I just started using this strategy in two of my games as the Byzantines and the Dutch (on Monarch difficulty). Since both of these civs start with alphabet, getting to Philosophy is easy, I make sure I get pottery before then so I can get Map Making as my free tech. After that I start building ships and exploring and settling before everyone else (this is an archipelago map). During my rush to Philosophy I got an SGL and used him to hurry the great lighthouse the turn it became available. Now I have Dromons with 5 movement points that can travel through sea! Of course, since I neglected research of other techs to do it, my science adviser informed me that we were technologically backwards, no problem, I sold Writing to Egypt for The Wheel and Masonry, and made similar deals with my other neighbors. I went from backwards to advanced within one turn. I had never utilized this strategy that much before today, but now I'm using it whenever I can. Have you fellow civvers had similar experiences?