A pretty good strat that I have been employing with the russians on diety is to start out with a few warriors (3 max) and explore out as far as you can. meanwhile tech to bronze and work on pumping out a settler from your cap while you simultaneously try to hit 100 gold. Then you have two settlers very early. Hopefully in your explorations you have found two things, 1 - a good spot with fish and hammers for your science city (2 forests is good but 3 with a fish is much better) and 2 - a good spot for a production city. With your science city start building colossus asap. With your production city build a single archer and start work on a barracks. In both cities push production. With your gold you can now road up all three cities if necessary (really you only need a road to your production city). Now you're set, once the barracks is built start churning out vet archers, and once colossus is built you will rarely fall behind in tech. You have two things going for you now, great defense, and good tech for teching to cats or whatever else your goal is. I usually try to take out at least one other civ once I have cats (2 cat armies + a few spies and an archer army for D). Use your capital to churn out settlers every 5 turns or so.