Hi everyone! So, even when I lose a game, I typically try to reload / replay from a save before a pivotal choice and see where I'm going wrong. I'm not really sure what to make of this game after various tries. I am stumped as to where I'm losing the game and would appreciate any thoughts. I'm sure at a micro level there are issues, but I feel like my main issues here are on a larger scale (e.g. choosing a victory condition that is unlikely, picking the wrong war target or era, too few units, military unit mismanagement, etc.) I attached saves at a few points for perusal. Any thoughts appreciated! (This is on immortal difficulty) Spoiler Map details : Fractal Normal speed, Standard size NHNE Medium Sea level Spoiler Game details : Just to explain saves first: 4000 BC - initial save 950 BC - before war with GK 675 BC - after war with GK 720 AD - random save during the "tech to cuirassiers" phase of the game. A glimpse at what I'm doing mid-game 1160 AD - pre-war with cuirassiers 1440 AD - position just as I give up after many retries So, about T10 I meet Genghis Khan, and shortly after I learn there is little to no land to grab; so war seems imminent here. I opt to axe rush GK, just to get the inevitable out of the way. I settle 4 cities before I get things under way at 950 BC. Perhaps this is too late for axes, and causes the later troubles? I'm not sure. Anyways, city placements are IMO reasonably straightforward: Edirne for copper + gold, Ankara for PH + 2x food, then I added Bursa later because the capital can't use all that food. Before & After: A pretty quick, simple, and decisive grab of some of his nearby cities. Beshbalik would be nice to have, but since I have retried and retried on this I know it is too well fortified. So I call it, and plan to polish him / others off with cuirassiers. It's also important to note that GK has only horse, making the rush that much easier once Ning-hsia is captured. Additionally, I further feel my hand is forced into war because GK does not get a religion early, and wagering I can tech enough to get trading going to get him to pleased seems risky. From here, the gist of the game is to grab music, win lib, and use cuirassiers on as many as possible. I know delving into this phase of the game on a turn-by-turn basis could be helpful, but I'm wondering if there is a problem statement to make (e.g. am I axe rushing too late, teching slowly / poorly, misusing GP, working stupid tiles / specialists, mismanaging diplo / war, etc.) My GP are as follows at this point. I skip bulbing philo because I don't get Buddhism until pretty late. And I am not going in my own religion with Isabella in the game. Academy in capital Golden age with artist from music Bulb education 2x Bulb lib 3 merchants for upgrading units, finishing teching. For diplomacy, the AP war against Hatshep makes a capitulation impossible to avoid. I have tried various combinations of bribing / not bribing each AI off her. Efforts to keep peace are wasted, since the next AP vote is usually another holy war. Giving Ragnar the vassal is far less troublesome than Isabella, so that's how that comes to be. Finally, Ragnar is plotting in the 1160 AD save so I could only create a war by bribing Isabella onto Ragnar. This seems to hurt the situation, since she is already somewhat of a tech leader, and he ends up declaring on his own shortly anyways. Anyways, the game shakes out that I am ready to declare at 1160 AD. A few 100 years behind what I can normally do, but the early war with GK probably leads to that. Here's what has me stumped. At this point, I have tried the below victory conditions: If I try to finish off GK and Ragnar before teching to space, Izzy wins by a decent margin (20 turns or so). There is a small - medium continent that the other 2 AIs have, but they're such cavemen that she ends up soaking it up and gets up to 22 - 24 cities. If I try to chain capitulate everyone on the continent by proximity to me (GK -> Ragnar -> Hapshet -> Izzy), Izzy ends up too far ahead to take down. It ends up being infantry + cannons vs. the same, until she gets tanks. So clearly, Isabella is the reason I can't win. But, if I go right for Isabella from the 1160 AD save, I find I am still shy the units to make things work. The 1440 AD save is where I have given up for now. (a peace treaty and the AP delay war against Isabella here). You can see below after taking a few cities, I just don't have the numbers. I have more on the way, but she continually attacks and really prevents my numbers from growing too much. Even with Ragnar as a war ally, I seem to be getting all her extra defenders. So, where am I messing up here? I haven't explored just going for domination and skipping Isabella, but the game hardly seems like it should come to that at a glance. At ~1000 AD, Isabella only has 13 cities, so nothing too egregious. Plus, I am even ahead in military tech here, it's just a matter of not being able to whip out enough units to match her production. Am I simply getting too antsy, and declaring before I should? I'm not terribly happy with 1160 for redeclaring, but I don't think doing so 100 years earlier changes much. She will still have a similar amount of cities, and presumably isn't far off from the same tech she has now (guilds, engineering, gunpowder). So hopefully others have some guidance, as I am pretty stuck with this one!