Please read this other thread first if you haven't seen it yet or you wont know what I'm talking about. > http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=147012 And also thank you to synex for that clever orignal strat. Though this one you can pull the same thing off quicker and also fend back attackers untill you can rush buy a real army for serious destruction. Okay everyone , I tried it too (the Catherine cottage spam) but I think I have made a few improvements , plus this was on noble and small Pangea map. I'll try a harder difficulty later , I'm sure it would easily work if you're clever enough. Instead of using Catherine , use the Chinese > Qin Shi Huang. Why ??? First , Chinese start with mining already , so first thing research bronzeworking to Chop. ( Plus they get agriculture as well so quickly pottery to make cottages ) Qin Shi Huang traits are Financial and industrious , > so you get that extra commerce like Catherine but heres the catch > Go for Chop for stone henge , you'll get it with him 50% quicker because of the industrious trait, (and halved if you have stone which I'll explain later....) now you already have that culture boost plus will begin to start generating great people (engineers and scientists are the best for this strat ) Basically follow the intructions that the thread mentioned above has , and make sure you put a production city on a hilly area > closest if possible to the most aggresive neighbor ( such as Montezuma , Tokugawa and Alexander ..etc. AND DONT USE STATE RELIGION..... and give into demands ~ also make sure you have at least a decent defence force such as axemen & spearmen if they try raids , you'll need to be mobile and not hole up in your city or they'll just pillage your hamlets ) Another tip , DONT OPEN YOUR BORDERS , especially if you're weak with military which this strat at the start is , because the AI scout your cities out and realize they can attack (trust me , dont open borders and you'll be surprised how long you're left alone ) The MOST impotant resource to get is STONE (put your first settler near it at the start), because with stone you'll get the 3 important wonders I use for this improved version > #stone quickly builds Stone henge for your culture boost #stone quickly builds the Pyramids which will let you get the Civic Universal Sufferage right from the start # AND GUESS WHAT ? it also halves the time for the Kremlin ! These first 2 wonders also generate Great people , which you'll want mainly scientists and a few engineers. I tried Catherine and Qin , this way Qin is much quicker to getting things done ! and you wont end up dead trying to pull it off even in a Small pangea map next to Montezuma (which happened & I wiped him out with my superior army I rush bought ) Try Qin and you'll see.