Dear gaming geniuses (if you can play this game on any level above prince), I've played this game for years. On and off I come to the forums and try to improve my play. I'm somehow still terrible. Please criticize the living crap out of me, I can take it. Below are some saves, and screenshots, along with my explanation for why I feel the need to do things. I'm playing on Noble, Normal time, Standard world size. I've decided that half my problem is in not micro-managing enough. I just think it's a pain in the butt, but I've been trying to keep control of my workers and pay attention to which population is working which tiles in each of my cities. I'm having some trouble determining what role to assign to each of my cities. I figured my capitol looks like a good finance/production hybrid city. The city I made to my NE (Teohituatciainuinc) looks like a hammer city waiting to happen. I noticed a lot of green in the city north of that so figured I could cottage that right up. Originally my plan was to turn Zara's capitol in a GP farm, but I ended up needing civil service because I'm not anywhere near a river there, and just wanted to build a bunch of farms. Civil service complements my warlike strategy for this game so I figured it'd be a good tech to aim for early. I didn't want to go cottaging those extra tiles up because I wanted to keep some sort of specialization (otherwise every single city I build will be a hybird city), can I get some commentary on this point? Spoiler : I see that I have Ethiopia just east of me, and totally up my butt, so I figure my first course of action will be to steal that juicy looking GP farm that is currently function as Zara's capitol. First thing I decided to research was Bronze Working, due to the need to build a quick army and take out Ethiopia, and so I could bust out using slavery. After Bronze working I ended up moving on to Fishing so I could work boat those tiles, then to Iron Working so I could start a fleet of Jags. Two mistakes I notice already, in hindsight: I should have researched Monarchy a little earlier to take advantage of happiness and the gold from those vineyards I have, and the second is that I misclicked and moved my settler thinking he was an explorer, doh! That costed me a turn. Spoiler : After the work boat my next build was a settler. I felt it imperative to get a couple cities out quickly, first to block my enemy in, second to be able to bust out an army more quickly. Then I started in on a second work boat. At this point I knew that my very quick expansion was going to eventually come back and devastate me financially, so I started studying pottery to try and get some cashflow going to compensate for that. Spoiler : At this point my society has become a Jag pumping machine. I've completely blocked Zara in, and am nearly ready to rain devastation. I've completely blocked out Ethiopia from expanding, buying me a few more turns to continue pumping jags. Is there any rule of thumb for maximizing slavedriving without angering the people too much? Right now I'm studying Mathematics because I was thinking some early catapults would help out with my war effort, and that's on the way to construction. Spoiler : Felt like my tech was starting to fall behind so I decided to study Alphabet to maybe do some trading with Egypt far to my west. At this point I have kicked the crap out of Zara. But haven't picked up sailing yet (doh!). So after alphabet I busted out sailing, built a galley and took over that last city on that island to the east. Later on, I decided this was a mistake which ended up costing me too much money. I'm thinking maybe I should have just been happy with the bonus capitol GP farm I had just taken over, and taken advantage of the PLENTY of room I have to expand to the north. By now I'm realizing that it's just me and Egypt on a big island, so I'm going to need to try and get optics early so I can explore new lands. But that takes away from my efforts to study war techs and keep my economy stimulated. Which direction should I be focusing my research now? Spoiler : Finally I made the (in hindsight stupid) decision to use all my extra Jags and try to also take over Egypt. This was stupid for several reasons, first because after obliterating Zara, taking over Egypt would leave me nobody to trade with. Secondly, with plenty of room to the north to expand into, there was no need to invade Egypt anyway. I would have been much better served by immediately aiming for Monarchy, taking advantage of those vinyards and the happiness bonus from my now abundant Jags. I actually had like twelve jags over there trying to invade Egypt, and Egypt obliterated them with archer, then got a tech lead, got longbowmen, and it was over. Even if I did have the resources to sucessfully take over Egypt, had I done it, it would have costed me tremendously to have cities so far away from my capitol. I was tinkering with the idea of just razing everything for cash, but came to find out I didn't have the means to even win a war against egypt, who was pleased with me before I declared. I think I'm going to start back from an old save, and instead of invading Egypt, try for the Monarchy/expand north/trade with egypt/escape the island strategy. So what say you guys? Tear me apart plz?