Let see where we stand. Orleans has a factory and is a metro. I did not make a coal plant as I would normally. Should I do it now? Yes, here is why I switch army to plant. Currently I am making 38 shields at size 14. 50% of that is 19, so it totals 57. That is a bit more than 7 turns for an army. If make a plant, it drops to just over 5 turns. Now I am going to grow to 15 about the time the plant is done. That citizen will work a plain tile that is mined and has a rail. New numbers will be 41 shields, factory adds 20 and plant adds 20. We then get 81 and now can make an army in 5 turns. As we sit it would take 8 till size 15 and then 7. The next issue is hand in glove, MM and farms. My experience tells me were are not really ready for much in the way of farming right now. How I approach it depends on many things, but for this game it will be this way. First I will look at how close I am to closing the circumference with rails. I do this as I do not want to pull workers off to improve tiles, read farms, until I am comfortable that I can react to any action on any tile. In practice this means rails on nearly all coastal tiles and to most towns. We are close now. Once that is done, I will go to f1 and look at happy faces or rather unhappy ones. These are likely to be the places that do not have infrastructure, namely markets, and hence could have specialist. If you have multipliers, you normally want all pop to be working. It may come to pass that you just have to use a specialist anyway, but that does not happen at this stage in low level games. This is due to starting with all those content citizens. So once I find candidates for irrigation and specialist, I will send workers to get the rails and water down. Notice that I have removed worker builds from all those newer towns as they popped one out. This is because I have the key rails done and I want to let them grow to become farms. One issue with some of them is that they are choking with jungle and trees. I will soon create as many jungle clearing gangs as I can and go after the best sites. I am sure I have over looked a few useful things, but the only thing left right now is the plan to invaded. I have reviewed the idea of sending support to those two towns Xerxes gave us. I am now inclined to change the make up and send them to eliminate him. Next is who is the initial target on the other continent? We have two considerations, which could be over ridden by time concerns. So I choose the proximity and size as the main reasons. I select Shaka as he is close and smaller. This is an issue as I have few galleons or units to send. One more thing is last I checked Sam and Shaka were trading blows, so not likely to gang up on me. The other two could, but I am betting they will fear my infantry and armies. That does not preclude insanity. I will reiterate that this article is only my thinking at this time for this game and this situation. It is not necessarily the way I would do it in other conditions or the best way, it is only one way. I have reduced the number of screen shots as it was forcing me to have small and numerous post. This was better to read, but was making the report very long. I send the boats to the top of the empire so they will be closer to Shaka. Do not forget to send units to fill the armies, once they have landed. I will add an infantry into the sword army to make it useful. 1280AD start on ToE, but is is 6 turns. Research of Corp will take 4 turns, so I have 2 turns of nothing. I cannot research anything in 2 turns. So I am stuck and will have to pile up cash, which I do not really need. Time to send the fleet to see Shaka. 1285AD land on a hill with sword army, 2 cav armies and 1 infantry army. A settler, infantry, 5/5 mdi and crusader and 4 cavs. Not a very large stack, especially after I fill the 4 armies. The MDI can be upgraded, but I will give it a chance to make a leader. Boat headed for Xerxes, with 4 units.