I've recently gotten back to Civ4, which also meant that I wanted try my favorite mod from about a million years ago... I am a big fan of playing the native underdogs a bringing them to the top of the scoreboard. Ethiopia was a natural choice, since unlike Kongo or South American civs, you get a little bit more time to prepare up and build your infrastructure. I settled Aksum in place and Muqdisho on top of Horses (1E of Horses is a better city long-term as it also gets access to Camels, but it's and awful city until your borders pop so I decided against it - you need every bit of production and commerce in the first couple of turns). The Egyptians prepared a nice surprise for me in a form of Yebu with a pre-settled Great Prophet. This city also helped me secure the third source of Incense (apart from the two already present in Ethiopian core). Getting Orthodoxy does seem kind of random - in my first attempt, it spreaded to me 3 or 4 turns before the UHV deadline, but in this playthrough I had plenty of time to produce a Monastery and a Missionary in Muqdisho. I only had to spread the Orthodoxy to Aksum, since Yebu got the religion naturally without any specific effort on my part. I would be able to get the second Great Prophet too (taking chances by running Scientists on top of Priest specialists in Aksum), so you do not have to completely rely on Egypt pre-settling one in their cities. The backbone of my grand strategy and the economic boom was the Republic civic. This not only gives you +1 food per standard specialist, but also per all great people settled within your cities (including great generals). Once you start settling those great people, a snowball effect starts, since the additional food allows you to run even more specialists... I suggest settling every great person in Aksum, for the maximum effect. Aksum should also receive all those nice science/gold multiplier buildings ASAP. The drawback of this strategy is that you cannot really use farms or cottages and your plantations will also lose some food (if there was any in the first place). However, this is not an issue for Ethiopia, which can rely on pastures, mines, fishing boats and settled specialists. I conquered Egypt from Arabia and thus I replaced those rather mediocre cottages with watermills and workshops. Currently I am wondering which other civs are not to reliant on cottages, farms and plantations and would benefit from a super-capital. Perhaps Japan, Vikings, England, Greece, Carthage? Below you can see my ultimate civics: Republic - for obvious reasons Centralism - adds nice gold and production multipliers for Aksum Egalitarianism - +2 science per specialist and additional specialist slots Regulated trade - for a massive +50% commerce multiplier Secularism - for a science multiplier as well as certain religion-bound wonder and friendlier relations with the world's superpowers. Multilateralism - Additional production multipliers related to trade routes As for the third UHV: 1500 AD should not be an issue as there were absolutely no European colonies in Africa apart from French Madagascar (not in scope of the UHV area). 1910 AD could be a bit of an issue - Portugal loves conquering Congo and settling some junk filler cities along the Eastern coast - so be prepared to fight them. Netherlands settled their crappy desert cities on the Western coast (I had already blocked Durban and Cape Town by that time) but they subsequently collapsed so I didn't have to declare on them. In my game, the Prussians settled Cameroon via the World Congress, so I had to declare on them a few turns before the UHV deadline, which started pretty much the first world war. However, by 1900 you should already have a comfortable tech lead and a sizable stack to take out any intruder cities in a quick blitzkrieg. Stability may be a bit concerning at the last stages of the game as your commerce will start stagnating, which DoC unfortunately treats as economic recession. Nevertheless, I somehow managed to get it back up to +10 by 1910 AD. Feel free to ask me any questions and please suggest some other civs, which could benefit from a similar super-capital as I kind of prefer this non-conventional approach, rather good ol' cottage over everything.