Hi all, After a several-years hiatus, I am picking up this baby again and giving it a go. I have beaten Monarch consistently with standard settings before, and have never beaten Emperor. I have decided that for my next foray into Civ 4 I should see if I can win a Monarch game. My last game I started as the Mongols on a small continent with only Korea as my neighbor. Lots of plains tiles and the only available horses were deep in Korea's back lines, so now Keshik rush for me. By the time I eliminated Korea I was hopelessly behind the rest of the world in economy and science. So I gave up that game and now have the current game (SAVE FILE ATTACHED). My immediate question is what to do about Stalin? I have done some aggressive expanding and have a land advantage over my 3 neighbors on our continent: Stalin, Hatshepsut and Justinian. When Hinduism spread to my lands from Byzantine I adopted and spread it through all my cities, and I seem to have a stable alliance with Hatshepsut and Justinian based on religion and peaceful relations. I had a huge economic hit after aggressively expanding, and my science was 10-20% for many turns, and since I invented Code of Laws and Currency my economy has been recovering and my science went back up to 60%. I also have been watching the Diplomatic window and making sure to research techs that I could then trade with my 2 friendly neighbors, and I am now getting close to tech parity with them. It was at this time that the isolated Stalin (who I had made sure to hem in by aggressively settling in his direction early in the game) declared war on me with about a dozen units of chariots, swordsmen, and axemen. He has also started building horsemen. I knew this was coming (I'd seen his Power chart rising and I knew he had no option but to bust out of his corner) and so I'd started building units in advance of this. He has pillaged resources around my border city but that city is otherwise doing fine. I have focused my cities on building military units, mostly catapults because he has concentrated all his forces outside of my city and is using a catapult to bring down my defenses. So I see these as my options: 1. Go down to zero science and spend hundreds of gold to upgrade my melee units into Heavy Footmen and attack Stalin outside my city with suicide catapults and then melee. When I tried this without upgrading, it went pretty badly. So I reloaded! (Yes I know I'm a bad boy.) So it seems like to do this I'd have to take an economic hit and I'm worried that Hatshepsut will surpass me -- she just built the Colossus and the Great Library! Or is my land advantage and territory increase after I win the war enough to carry me through? 2. Hunker down in my city, maintain an adequate defense, and hope that Stalin will launch a catastrophic assault against my well-defended city? (We're also on a hill, by the way.) 3. Wait for my next big research (Philosophy) and gift it to Hatshepsut in exchange for her declaring war against Stalin, to split his front? Any thoughts from the Civ community? And if you have any general tips on how to improve my game please fire away! (Please be nice - I'm new at asking for advice here!) Thanks in advance!