Here's a strategy guide for my favorite leader, Genghis Khan. I'd also like to highlight the roles of Vanguard units, in particular Levies. Genghis Khan's defining characteristic is mobility. His units move faster, heal faster, and have a farther range than any other leader! He's also the one leader particularly suited to conquering everything in sight -- civilizations, citystates, everything falls under the dominion of the Khans! - Click to enlarge - This is my basic midgame army composition as I prepare to attack Babylon to the southeast. In this game I've currently got: 2 Great Generals 7 Keshiks 4 Longswords 2 Levies 2 Trebuchets 1 Crossbow (gifted from a citystate) Various amounts of pikemen as knight counters and city garrisons. Keshiks Keshiks have the longest effective range of any land unit in the game and are central to Mongolian warfare. I handle them tactically by rotating them in and out of the line of fire, retreating after each attack. They can hit targets 2-4 tiles away (in rough and open terrain respectively) while returning to their original tile without taking any damage in return. They also earn experience 50% faster, quickly attaining Blitz and Range by the time the first opponent is conquered. This increases their range to 3-5, a higher range on open ground than even Artillery can attain! However, it is absolutely essential that Keshiks use their range and mobility to never end the turn on a tile attackable by any melee unit. This includes unknown units that might be hidden behind fog of war, or units the AI might purchase on the next turn. At 8 with no defensive bonuses they're weaker than Spearmen! Even the strongest Keshik will typically get killed in a single hit from melee units. Vanguard Units Complimenting Keshiks are the Vanguard units, particularly Levies. Vanguard units can achieve a better sight range than Keshiks, helping spot targets for the Keshik's huge attack range. Vanguard units with Trenches or Guerrilla are excellent for protecting vulnerable Keshiks from melee attack. With a Khan nearby vanguard units have very fast healing in enemy terrain. Their combat strength is relatively weak, but high speed and fast healing make vanguard units easier than melee to rotate out from the battlefront when low on health. Vanguard units are also excellent at providing battlefield healing with the Medic promotion. Their maneuverability, lack of a resource requirement, and relatively low cost makes vanguard units ideal medics. The limitation of Levies is they have a weaker attack strength than other units. The Trenches/Guerrilla promotions improve their defensive capability, but none of their promotions boost attack capability. Early Strategy The high speed of Mongolian scouts lets us explore territory faster than any leader but Washington. Use this speed to quickly identify which game opening strategy you want to pursue, in order of priority: Citystates First Select this strategy if there's citystates closer to you than other leaders, and the terrain is favorable for assault. Honor tree 2 starting cities Major Civs First Use this strategy if there's there's not enough good citystate targets nearby, but one or more players are very close (10-20 tiles from capital to capital). Honor tree 2 starting cities Fast Expansion This is a fallback strategy if there are no good citystate or player targets nearby. Liberty tree One city per luxury or strategic resource site. Strategies A and B: Conquest → Expansion It's important to begin the war as soon as possible. Don't let your targets build up their defenses! Select a good site nearby for the #2 city, and ensure you have at least 2 units' worth of horses with these first two cities. Capital build order: Scout Worker Barracks Archers and Spearmen Armory Heroic Epic Chariot Archers Swordsmen Levies Second city build order: Barracks Spearmen Possibly a catapult Armory Spearmen Purchase two Monuments, then two Workers when you have the cash. Peaceful units and buildings are more cost-effective to purchase than military units/buildings. In most circumstances build farms in these first two cities. Mongolia's start location favors plains, which are high in production but low in food. Plains also tend to have lots of wheat so purchase a Granary or two if the surrounding terrain is favorable. Don't build a watermill, lighthouse, stable, or other long-term investments yet. Attack your target player when you have 3-4 archers and spearmen to whittle down the defenders' army. It doesn't matter if these units die -- they won't be a part of your core army later on. The important thing is to clear the way for your second wave. Once you have the Heroic Epic, follow this up with chariot archers to pick at your target city's defensive strength. If the target is not in a good position to attack with chariots, bring along a catapult or two from the #2 city. Catapults are not particularly important to keep alive since they will be of marginal value to your medieval army. Max out engineers in your first two cities to churn out Manufactories, placing them around your capital. Go down the center of the Honor tree, then get Representation and Commerce. Skip the left and right sides of Honor - your army will be so highly promoted the minor combat bonuses are marginalized. Also skip the left side of Liberty since it's less useful for a late expansion. At this point strategies A and B split. Strategy A: Citystates First Nearby citystates can be captured with ancient-era units. After this is done, invest in the Liberty tree and back-fill the territory with cities to pick up all the luxury and strategic resources. There's not enough happiness in the early game to plaster the land completely with cities, so don't go for sites which won't net you more luxuries and strategics. Once the resources are claimed, wait an era to get the economy up and running. City priorities: Your first two cities should still prioritize growth, production, and happiness. Other cities should prioritize villages and gold. . Tech priorities: Ancient/classical priorities depend on circumstances. If there's lots of friendly players nearby get Philosophy early, otherwise go for Horseback Riding to build stables and circuses. Your first Medieval techs should be Civil Service and Engineering (order depends on terrain around rivers) for the food and production bonuses, then Metal Casting. Finally start Chivalry to begin the next phase of the game. . Army Composition: Build your army composition similar to the screenshot at the top of this post. Max out your horse units first, followed by iron units, both from your capital's Heroic Epic. Pump out spears/levies from your #2 city for cannon fodder and garrisoning all the cities you'll conquer. Also train a few vanguard units from your #2 city for detection and defense. Pick a major civ target while Chivalry is researching and move your army into position on the leader's borders. Once Chivalry is complete, immediately upgrade to your Keshiks and declare war. The AI is relatively decent at placing its army adjacent to yours even in peacetime, so you'll have a lot of fun mayhem! Strategy B: Major Civs First This is basically the same as Strategy A but takes a little longer to get the train rolling. Major civs have tougher defenses, so ancient-era units are usually not sufficient to capture a major capital. Build a few catapults to take it down. Due to the longer time required for this conquest you typically will not have conquest - expand - conquest phases of Strategy A, and instead must expand while the war is still taking place. City priorities: Same as Strategy A. Tech priorities: Chivalry before Engineering and Metal Casting (reversed from Strategy A). Army Composition: Other than the catapults, this is the same as Strategy A. Strategy C: Expansion → Conquest Genghis Khan sometimes starts in poor terrain since Plains can appear near lots of Desert, Tundra, or islands (with very little Grass, Plains, or Rivers overall). When this happens the game gives us more room to expand and make up for the lower frequency of good city sites. Your opening strategy will depend on the quality of your capital's starting location: If you have lots of good resources and bonuses near the capital with relatively few decent city spots within 5-10 tiles, go for Representation first, followed by Collective Rule. Citizenship lets you quickly develop your capital. Representation will give you an advantage in policies later in the game. If the capital site is somewhat poor, or there's some really amazing city spots nearby, switch this with Collective Rule followed by Representation. A quick settler is immensely powerful in this situation. It can sometimes be helpful to pick up the Honor opener early on. It is a low priority, however, because you seldom have many early garrisons with Strategy C. Once you have both Collective Rule and Representation, work towards Spoils of War. Skip the left and right sides of Honor, as in Strategies A-B. Focus entirely on quick expansion and economy for the ancient and classical eras, with only a light defense of a few spearmen and/or archers to fend off barbarians. Pick out the best site for a high-production city and plop down your military city. There's usually a better spot than the capital. This will be the city training most of your units for the rest of the game, so prioritize food and production in it. No military units from this city yet! Focus entirely on long-term investment with buildings like a granary, watermill, stable, barracks, and armory. Max out engineers in this city to churn out Manufactories for placing around the city. Don't get a Heroic Epic with Strategy C. The 15% combat bonus is not worth the tradeoff of a much higher cost after fast expansion. Your first Medieval-era techs should be Civil Service, Engineering and Metal Casting for the production bonuses. The order of civil service and engineering depends on what terrain you have available near rivers. Metal Casting is last, and once it's done purchase a Smithy in your military city (also a Blast Furnace if/when able). Immediately start pumping out Chariot Archers as you research Chivalry. Move the chariots into an attack position near a citystate (preferably) or a major civ (if no CSs are available). Around this time you should have Professional Army, so once Chivalry pops upgrade your chariots to Keshiks and immediately declare war. Work at killing off your opponent's defensive force while continuing to churn out units from your military city. Train units in this order: Max out your horse supply on Keshiks. A few Levies sight range, absorbing damage, and garrisons. Several swords/longswords for capturing cities. Pikeman for cannon fodder and countering mounted units. Strategy C starts conquest later than A and B, but accelerates very quickly at this point. Unit training is lightning fast with all the investments of stable/furnace/watermill/smithy and Manufactory improvements. Keshik's 50% Experience gain also means they'll rapidly catch up to where you would have been with Strategies A and B. Once you've completed your chosen game opener and your Medieval-era army is up and running, you're all set! After a successfully executed Mongolian opening strategy, victory is assured, so the challenge in late game becomes seeing how quickly and efficiently you can terminate your foes. Have fun rolling over the world on your path to victory - just try to delay the global Denouncements as long as possible, and thanks for reading!