Hi there! I just started my first emperor game, and would greatly appreciate help, comments and tips in the process. I will post my progress in this thread and some info on the reasoning behind my moves. Here's my first 91 turns, here is how I did it: I started as Catherine as the Russians, mostly because I haven't tried neither the Russians nor Catherine before, and I think creative is a mighty fine trait to have. And since imperialistic and creative are both strongest early on I hope there's some synergy advantage here. Map is fractal, medium, no huts, unrestricted leaders (although I didn't end up actually taking advantage of that particular setting...) Anyways. The start is very good; only food bonus is sheep, but there's plenty of floodplains and forests, too: I start off by building a worker, and researching agriculture, wheel, fishing and then pottery. This was the first strategic choice that I was uncertain about; should I have prioritized bronze working for the slavery/whipping? Anyways, to the immediate north of Moscow there's another sweet, sweet city spot: Not only was it flood plains + corn, but it had river connection with Moscow as well, removing the necessity for roads! I considered putting the city one more tile to the east, but decided against it. Upon researching bronze working and not finding any copper, I continued by researching iron working and found some next to my capital. I skipped all the religious techs and skipped directly to writing, then mathematics. Comments on this tech path? Anyways, I later founded Novgorod in this spot: For the next city, I had a couple of alternatives but only one good one; my southwest was incredibly mediocre, whereas my north was lush and fertile; the only problem was city upkeep which was starting to hurt by now. My southwest: I am incredibly tempted by that stone - I f**king love stone! But I just can see no way to get it, since the spot is almost bereft of food sources. One alternative would be to found a city on the spot east of the horses, which would allow me to take the flood plains from Novgorod - but Novgorod, having so many plains and desert tiles, will need them alone. Another way would be to let the stone city leech of Moscows sheep. Would this be smart? I am often irrational when it comes to letting other cities steal tiles from my capital, am I letting this cloud my judgement here? Anyways, I decide to push into the fertile north. Sadly my screenshots are a bit disorganized right now, but here is a very far zoomed out view of the city of Rostov: Some flood plains, horses, much grassland, some hills... I like that spot. Although the real treat is one city spot to the north of it: At this time city upkeep costs are becoming critical, but I hope to pay it off quickly with the extra from these sweet, sweet diamonds powered by that rice. Here's the diplomatic situations btw; I have Suleiman of the Ethiopians to the northwest, and Cyrus of the Incas to the northeast Here's the full map, with the diamond city spot very close to being colonized: What do I do next? I can built the hanging gardens, and I am researching the Alphabet right now. I can also research masonry quickly obviously... And that stone is tempting me to try the pyramids. What do you think about that? With all these floodplains, should I try early representation and then load up with science specialists? This has some synergy with my creative trait obv. I have lots of workers and lots of forests, and if I get that stone each forest will add another 60 hammers. I could also get the hanging Gardens, although most of my cities are at their happiness limit so I don't know if they will help all that much. And of course, this will require me to found a city near that stone... So I have three choices: A) Continue expanding at full speed, powered by cottages B) stop expansion for a while to get Pyramids or C) Build the hanging gardens. Comments? I would appreciate comments on my choice of improvements as well. Initial save and last save is attached.