I have recently stumbled upon an interesting strategy for dealing with defeated enemies in early wars. This is an offshoot of the common strategy of taking an enemy's capital and leaving him with one small city in order to avoid the diplomatic penalty of exterminating a civ. Basically, the strategy goes like this: - reduce your enemy down to his smallest city. - if possible, throw down a citadel that gets your borders to within two tiles of the city. - do not raze his tiles. Let him grow as much as possible with that single city. ...now here's the important part: - never make a peace treaty. Use the city as an XP pinata for your ranged units, and as a free source of workers. I have had a lot of success using this strategy. I say to not raze the enemy's tiles because a humbled enemy will still try to win the game, will continue to produce workers and settlers whenever it can. These, you simply steal, use and delete when they are no longer useful. Eternal war serves the dual purpose of not allowing a conquered enemy to annoyingly re-expand (which they will do), getting a free stream of workers and settlers (especially good if you conquer him early), and having free target practice for your ranged units to build up xp during periods of peace. Getting a citadel (if you have a GG to spare) up close to his city is helpful because it allows your units the extra healing when they fortify, which means they can hang around in range of the city for a long time and soak up xp. Your downtrodden enemy will take so long to tech that whatever single ranged unit he can field in the city won't be a meaningful threat (although that unit will also earn a ton of xp, so be careful). You do need to manage the city's growth a bit. You want your enemy to have enough production to be able to build those workers and settlers, but not enough to try anything tricky. But of course, razing food tiles and forcing starvation is an easy way to keep the city's size under control if it looks like it's growing too much. This is obviously somewhat map/situation dependent, and works best on civs which your civ has completely enveloped (meaning that they are geographically isolated such that no other civ can come and conquer their last city), but when the situation is right, I have yet to find any drawbacks to this strategy. There is no diplo hit that I know of for continuing a war across millenia so long as you don't knock over any more cities or destroy the civ, and the benefits that you might gain from making peace (small amount of gold) are much smaller than what you get out of continued oppression. It's an evil strategy, but it seems to be a winning one.