Hi, while I loved bragging about how I beat Transcend in Alpha Centauri, upon playing Civ4, where the cheap exploits like mindworm grabs and buying cities have gone, I made a startling discovery, which is that I actually SUCK at this game. I never played it with a strategy like rushing or racing to some particular wonder/advantage. So now I seriously need to relearn how to play. The other thing is, I love playing huge marathon maps. If you're going to build an empire as big as you can, you might as well choose the settings that let you build it bigger, rather than smaller, right? 'problem, obviously, is that there's more opportunities to make a mistake and let the AI kick my ass. Well those are my settings so I only have myself to blame, but now is not the time for assigning blames! So I tried to do some Praetorian rush in Noble. I grabbed some of the tile improvement techs I need then went straight for Metal Casing and Iron Working and made myself 10 praets. The problem is, before I even started rushing, my tech slider is down to 60%. I was worry that if I take more cities, I'd actually go bankrupt. I think I am slightly smaller than my target in number of cities. I have 7 and he has like 8 or 9 ish. And I actually have sealed off room for like 2 more cities - not great ones, they are like tundras but have some useful resources. What should I have done there? rush anyway and take cities hope the loot money take care of things until I rebuild? Rush anyway and raze cities? Or just built peacefully? Did I miss some crucial techs for holding my economy up?