I'm currently playing a game on Prince level that's making me really rethink my strategy here. I managed to have two cities, my capital and one city that secured iron be my only "settled" cities. From that tiny start and only two cities, I've managed to make an army that's big enough to conquer the whole continent. When I took over the cities from the AIs I razed about half and kept puppets on half, and only annexed one city, Paris, a coastal city, and that was mainly so I could pump out a work boat to work a whale tile. By in large, my capital city, Rome did the lions share of the work. It was spitting out musketmen every 3 turns. I also allied early on with a city-state that had iron and horses, and that doubled my strategic resources with which to pull troops from. Have you other experienced players found that just a handful of owned cities can get a lot done on a warmongering game? It's nice to be able to get some social policies while fighting wars. Is this kind of setup not going to work on the higher difficulty levels? I find myself doing that national college start, and then by the time that's done, land is starting to get grabbed up, so it's hard to get a whole lot of settled cities going. In my games where I've had a lot of "owned" cities. I haven't done that well. It just seems like with Civ 5, less is more.