Egyptians, Diety, Large Map, Restarts ON, 4 other civs (this was not announced, but I only saw 4 others in my game). I like to play for conquest, but not so much with restarts on. I am playing though - maybe GOTM 102 hooked me again. Briefly, my early game went badly when I popped a hut before monarchy and got warrior code. And then I barely missed getting monarchy in an oedo year, which prolonged Egyptian despotism to 1450BC ... ugggh. But I did not stop making cities, and managed to get the civ back on track by about 700BC. There was no combat until 120AD when I sneak attacked Babylon, which had 3 defenders and the Great Wall. By a stroke of luck, I had no losses there, and the rest has been fairly routine. It is 320AD and I expect to finish around 500-600AD, depending on the restarts. Here are a few highlights: 4000 BC: Thebes (1). 3900 BC: Memphis (2) 3800 BC: Hut = 50g 3100 BC: 4th city, finishing Bronze Working 2950 BC: Hut = WC. Arrrrgh! I hear that some players refuse to pop huts before Monarchy, if it might mess up their tech plans. My gut feeling is that huts are too valuable to pass up, and I pop em, but I don't know the right answer on this. This hurt. 2750 BC: Hut = Archer. Another tech here would have saved me, by putting monarchy back into the good 2/3's. But after Code of Laws, I had to choose Currency. 1450 BC: Despotism to Monarchy. 1050 BC: Babs build Pyramids (and 2 AI civs are working on Col). This is a sign that my civ stinks - I have just gotten Trade [and switched to Pottery] and have barely started thinking about WoWs. I will have to build MPE first, to get Pottery quickly, to build HG, to keep the rabble happy. 1000 BC: Stats: Monarchy, 15 cities, no WoWs, no attack units, am working on vans. 925 BC: MPE, and the talks went well ... I got Pottery, etc, and all 4 maps. 850 BC: HG. 675 BC: LH, approx 20 cities. The 3 recent WoWs slowed growth, of course. In hindsight, I am not sure LH was needed so early on this map, but I think it paid for itself by speeding up colonization and trade. Also, I had 2 flotillas ready to go by approx 675 BC. 600 BC: US builds Colossus. For some reason, this map was not good for Hides, so I didn't mind the lossus of Colossus. 550 BC: I am preparing several outposts on a wide peninsula near the Babs, when a Bab horseman triggers a barb explosion there. I have to put 3-4 settlers back on their boats and move on, which may have actually been a good thing. More expansion = good. First van = 144g. 525 BC: Another tech glitch ... after Philosophy, I wanted HBR/Poly, to get my conquest started, but had to choose Republic/HBR. 425 BC: Luckily, the Germans discovered HBR and traded it to me. Approx 400 BC: Babs build GW. This can be very bad news for a conquest player [eg recent discussion with CharlieChuck]. And it was in the Bab capital, which was already huge (size 7 or 8), but at least it was not on a river ! I decided I could bring in approx 8-10 vet crusaders and expect success. Since Babylon also housed the Pyramids, this became Egypt #1 priority. I have approx 35 cities, with quite a few near Babylon. 300 BC: Poly -> Mono. 275 BC: 2 decent vans deliver, and I can afford 2 overseas barracks. 225 BC: Lucky hut ! Monotheism ! Now, we can turn it up. 125 BC: Unlucky hut ! Feudalism ! Well, this isn't TOO bad, since it allows Sun Tzu, but it hurts RBing and introduces pikemen into the game. In my past games, the AIs have often managed to steal/etc this tech from me, which is a big pain for crusaders. When I wrote the conquest guide, I generally liked Feudalism, but my opinion on this has changed. 25 BC: A very nice van, 456g to Babylon. 1 AD: Stats = Monarchy, 57 cities, 3 WoWs, have 18S, 7 cru, 17tri, 7v, etc. Am almost ready to attack Babylon, but cannot provoke a war. Have 26 techs. 20 AD: US builds GL. 80 AD: I've been demanding tribute from all the AI. Finally the Germans declare war. Vans bring Egyptian accounts up to 1000g. 100 AD: Babs still won't declare war, but they are caught stealing, which is just as good. They lose 5 units near Babylon this turn. This ended a nasty pattern - whenever I demanded tribute, the Babs withdrew all their units [I had lots of cities near them], and most of those went into Babylon, unfortunately. Also, I built Sun Tzu, made peace with Rome for 200g, and bribed Veii from barbs for about 100g. 120 AD: An Egyptian diplomat reports that Babylon is defended by an Archer, Phalanx and a Warrior, all behind the GW. Egypt attacks, with approx 10 crusaders at hand, but suffers no losses. Egypt takes the Pyramids [which only seems right] and the GW. We then agree to a cease fire for 300g (hoping to return to war ASAP). The GW is probably a bit underrated in conquest games. I usually don't build it myself, but when I get it from an AI, it makes outposting so much easier. 160 AD: German capital, Berlin, goes down. 240 AD: German civ goes down, respawns as French, way way way to the South. 280 AD: Washington down. I felt I had to sneak attack the Babs and US, because I had a large gang of idle crusaders on that continent, and demands for tribute weren't working (though I usually aim for a perfect rep). Egyptian settlers had already patched together the Bab/US road networks, so the conquest was very fast. I am still cleaning up the last Bab/US cities and/or using them for trade. 320 AD: The rest should be fairly routine. I am almost ready for Rome. I have been struggling to get decent units [crusaders] into the distant French zone, and had a bit of luck this turn - an explorer popped a hut not too far away, and got a crusader. So, I can probably attack Paris with at least 2 crusaders soon enough.