I assume that your civ has Democracy. This is a draft of my war strategy under a democratic government. So far, it has worked very well for me at all levels (including at Deity level). It works best for a Comericial civ, but it will do well for any civ. I'm not sure if it will work for a small or standard map since I have never played any game smaller than a large map. 1. In all the game that I have played so far, I have always switched to Democracy as soon as I discovered it. 2. I always perform micromanagement during and after I emerge from Anarchy to make sure my citizens in all cities are happy or content. If they are unhappy, I will convert them to entertainer. For some city, some of my citizens may be starving to dead because there aren't enough food to support everyone. That's ok. They may be starving to dead but they die with a smile on their face. 3. By now, I normally control at least 3 luxuries and a continent. I normally set science and happiness to zero and the all my income to buy market and whatever necessary for all my cities. 4. At this point, I would normally make at least 1000 gold per turns. Moreover, I would normally have a leader standing by to rush the Adam Smith Trading company. At Deity level, sometimes I have to take over that Wonder from the AI. It's good to have the Adam Smith Wonder, but if I don't have it, It's not the end of the world. By the end of the Middle Ages, my civ would normally generate 3000+ gold each turn (about 500 less golds for none comercial civ)....However, I am afraid that life is not always that simple. Sometimes, we have to fight for what is rightfully ours, so for the remainding of this post, let's see how we can wage an effective war with a democratic government. By the time I discover Magnetism, I would have trade the world maps with all the civs and pretty much know where all the resources are, especially luxury resource. I immediately build a dozen galleon and divide them into two groups, no escort is necessary. Since everyone is just recently discover Magnetism, there is no warships to worry about. I create two tash forces of 6 galleons each. I load them up with 12 of my best defenders (usually pikemen), 11 of my best fast units (usually knight or cavalry), and one settler. Note: If I have more money, I will throw in a couple more ships with defenders or creating another taskforce. Each of my task force will immediately set sail for those remoted continents wherever the luxury is located at. "To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but can not make certain of defeating the enemy." - Sun Tzu Art of War. When my task forces are in possition, I will immediately land my troops right next to those cities with luxury resource. Of course, the enemy will ask me to leave or to declare war. What are they thinking? I don't travel half way around the world so that I can just home. Of course, I declare war. Since most of the enemy cities are depend with 2 or 3 defenders and 1 offensive unit, they are no match for my invasion force. I immediately raze that city (which generated some nice slave workers), use my settler and build a city right on the same spot. I immediately fortified all my troop inside, dig a moat around it, rush a citywall during the first turn (then a barrack, and a harbor after that, ...then the temple). Note: I rush build eveything in this city at every turn. 5. By now, the enemy has mobilized his force against me. He probably also gets a few of his buddies to sign a mutual protection pact and to declare war against me too. In fact, the whole world would be at war against me at this point. That's ok, the more war the better. 6. Since I was the one who start the war, my democratic citizens probably start complaining by now. Oh well, it could have been worst. At least they are not religious fanatics. IMO, democratic fanatics are lot easier to deal than the religious fanatics. Anyway, I would do micromanagement every three or four turns to make sure that they are happy. If they are unhappy about the war or whatever, I will converse them to entertainer. For some city, some of my citizens may be starving to dead because there aren't enough food to support everyone and to keep everyone happy. They may be starving to dead but they die with a smile on their face. I would normally repeat this step every three turn to make sure that my citizens are happy. 7. As Sun Tzu said "the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself". Turn after turn, my enemy will try to retake those luxury resource and they will die trying. I only send out my knights or cavalries to finish off the wounded attackers. With 3000+ golds that my civ continue to produce (I always set happiness and research to zero when I'm at war), I continue rush new units every turn at my remoted outpost. Now, is a good time to rush some cannon as well. After a while, the enemy will stop attacking, it's also a good indication that they are running out of troops, now is a good time to defeat them. 8. I will only take cities that I can be able to hold. If not, I will burn them to the ground. Those extra slave workers are so nice. Note: Just make sure that you don't loose any city back to the AI. If you loose a city, your people will be very very very unhappy and some of your cities may decide to switch side. After about 20 turns, try to communicate with them to see if they are willing to sign a peace treaty. 9. Signing Peace Treaty: the moment I know that he is willing to talk, I will start a massive offense and try to take as many cities away from him as I can during that same turn, call him up and sign the peace treaty with him. Don't forget to ask him for the worldmap, techs, towns, and all his gold. Even if I have to give him something in order for him to sign a peace treaty, it's still a victory for me. My original mission is to secure resource; anything else is just a bonus on top that. In summary: It's so easy to wage war while maintaining a democratic government. At once time, I even at war with the same civ for more than 40 consecutive turns without any problem. The key is to winning is to control all luxuries, only take what you can keep, and be willing to let your people starve to dead. Just remember, they may be starving to dead, but they always die with a smile. After you discover railroad, starvation may not be a problem after that.