After the long, gruelling marathon nuke-fest domination victory, you might want to ease off on your nerves and play a quick game or two to enjoy the variety Civ IV has to offer. I have found that one of the most enjoyable types of games are the One City Challenge, and a very entertaining, yet absorbing way to go about it is to aim for the diplomatic victory. For starters, you might want to play on a standard, normal speed, pangaea map wit 7 opponents. Permanent Alliances are an interesting variant to this, but for now I shall deal with the non-permanent alliance aspect of this game. Also the following strategy will work well upto Prince, as I have not yet tested it on Monarch. As far as I can see, Gandhi offers a good set of attributes to play this one on. Since we won't be going to war too much, we won't need an aggressive trait, nor will creative, expansive or philosophical be very useful because it is an OCC. Gandhi also starts with two pretty good starting techs, Mysticism and Mining which allow for some early wonders giving you a tech head start that you cannot otherwise do without. Spiritual is helpful primarily for the no-anarchy bonus, while industrious is important for the wonders you will be in a race for. Your broad strategy is going to be something like this: Keep up in tech till at least the Enlightenment Keep the four most powerful civs (in terms of population and area) happy, i.e. , always above 'pleased'. Wipe out the two weakest civs without lifting a finger yourself. Early Game In the initial phases, aim at getting ALL the religions upto Christianity. This is important because you want your neighbours, even if it is Izzy or Alexander, to share the same religion as you and thereby not attack and destroy you at the first opportunity they get. Also, Organized religion will give you a good production boost in the race to the early wonders. Once you have Theology, switch to Theocracy, and stay there while spreading only your one, true religion. As far as spreading goes, in the initial stages, it may be enough to get one-two cities of your neighbours to have your religion in order for that civ to convert, but if you miss a particular religion, it may be necessary to spread it to at least three-four before the opponent converts to the religion of your choice. Do not worry about worker techs until u get to alphabet when all of them will come in a couple of turns and with a Fast Worker or two, all the important resources and improvements will be up and running before u know it. Pyramids may not be a worthwhile effort as the bonus in switching to representation may be marginal as compared to the tech boost of Oracle+ Great Library, and maybe even Parthenon forest permitting. Another thing to note: Keep some forests in place in the fat cross and do not chop them ALL for cottages. As far as possible chop forests on hills for mines and then the ones next to rivers for the cottages. Leave the others for the hammer and health bonus. Send off a couple of warriors on scouting missions and keep only two-three units for defence against any wandering barbarians.. You must aim to get the Stonehenge as early as possible for the Great Prophet who will build u your great shrine. The Great Shrine is absolutely necessary given that research will always be at 100% and your only source of income will be through missionary activity. Diplomacy in the early game will revolve around getting your nearest neighbours to switch religions and keeping out of early wars. Hook up all your resources as a priority and start trading any excess instantly. You will need the 'Fair trade relations' bonus later. Trade any tech with the most backward Civ first and the most advanced last. This is to allow you to get the most techs out of the trading. E.g., if you are the first to Alphabet (as u will likely be in most games), trade with the guy who has the least techs more than you, then with the guy slightly more advanced than the last one and so on.Seems fairly obvious, but can be forgotten sometimes. Once you have the tech lead, and say a Science Academy, turn your great people into super-specialists for the jump in production and cash (and later in research). Of course to maintain a tech lead, you will need to cottage spam, but keep in mind the necessity of keeping some forests in reserve.