First Emporer Game: Start

Well you need to get rid of zara I'd Beeline construction and hit him with axes and cats. try and bribe Kublai and/or Sitting Bull into attacking him first to lower both their power graphs. Sucks not having horses nearby as Darius, but I think your game is still doable. On the other hand this isn't an ideal map for Darius or a financial Civ and though all the jungle will be nice later in the game it will slow you down, if you don't feel comfortable with this as your first Emperor try then go ahead and restart the game. In the end it's just a game but personally I don't like to run from a challenge. I'd play it out for a while at least and learn what I can from the experience.
 
Just to finish up and end this thread (I hate leaving loose ones that I started).

I abandoned the start described in the original post, was just too difficult.

Restarted with Darius same conditions. Got a more favorable start, but as rather arid map. Had William and Joao as immediate neighbors and Willima and myself were able to cut off Joao's land forcing him to settle on the seas (he produced Ragnar as a vassal). Fred to the south was a non issue the whole game, Zara was on penninsula type land separating my land area from a larger land mass which had Ghengis/Musa/Wang. One off shore continent had Saladin/Shaka/Julius (vassaled to Sal)/Washington all playing a game of dogpiling GW.

I went to war with William taking most of his land, then kicked Zara off. Musa/Wang led in tech for a while but that faded as I grew bigger and Musa/Wang/Ghengis all went to war with each other on and off. I then took over Joao lands on my land mass, followed by Zara's (who I vassaled). I got indiustrialization while ghengis had grenaders and vassaled him and Musa. Send a large naval force to attack Shaka to vassal him.

First emperor victory, Domination in 1780, score 150,000. My highest score ever in any CIV game!!! I had 85 cities, 7 vassals.

Some observations

1) I built oracle and took COL and founded confuscism. Never got another wonder until the Taj Majal afterwhich I built every wonder in the game, building them before anyone had the needed techs.
2) My great people rate was extremely slow at first, my third GP arrived in 1400 AD, I just didn't have a good GP city (first was a great prophet used on the shrine for Conf., second was a GS to bulb most of education). Once I had Amsterdan (national park, lots of free specialists) and Lisbon (rich in seasfood, good GP farm) O got alot.
3) Most GP's produced (including free ones from economics and communism) were used for golden ages. Between the Taj mahal and GP I was in a GA for 48 straight turns (alas I did not have the Massuleum).
4) Techpace was not as bad as I first feared (emperor BTS AIs tech slower than Warlords Monarch).

Thanks for all the help. One to a new leader!
 
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