Hey, I got this strategy and it's my top strategy I've found so far, please rate and post your own! (original source: http://tinyurl.com/civstrat) This is a start I do on nearly any race really(currently playing on immortal). some benefit more from this startup: germany for landsknetch, china paper maker, greece/siam for patronage/era city-state bonuses, etc. Go straight for writing, then philosophy/trapping(the prereqs for civil service basically. You can time this around when your great scientist pops) Your capital builds: scout/warrior -> worker -> settler -> library Build a couple farms on your capital. best are rivered plains/grassland tiles. Once your library finishes get 2 scientists. use the eventual great scientist(should take about 17 turns) to lightbulb civil service. now you're in the medieval age. from now on use your capital as a high pop science city(libraries and all benefit from higher pop anyway). I know a lot of people prefer trading posts over farms. however in this setup, a rivered grassland produces 4 food/1 gold(with civil service), therefore supporting itself and a scientist, therefore producing 1 gold/6 science(3 from specialist, 2 from pop, 1 from pop library). in comparison a trading posted rivered grassland would only produce 3 gold/1 science. resume normal play from here. on lower difficulties you can do this using a great library instead of a great scientist. IF you're playing continents/archipelago and you discover by this time you're isolated you can take this to the max and just keep building high pop cities, libraries/universities/public schools, max out your scientists on every one and then win via space race. or steamroll the AI with giant death robots vs infantry, it's up to you really.