The original poster should read obsolete's game, because he wins without cheating with early rushes. If you're teching up to construction and presumably code of laws, that's not a particularly early rush, and you could probably build granaries by then. I'm assuming you're skipping alphabet and possibly monarchy? And elephants require horseback riding in BTS, I think, so that's really a mid-game attack. I've been playing montezuma immortal warlords on a small map, because while conquering is easy with catapults, HOF deity level players apparently can pull off wins a lot earlier. They get things that I don't, apparently they know how to deal with protective leaders or mansa musa on hills or getting cities before 60% culture pops. To me the game is about understanding the nuances. Obviously what I do understand seems obvious, and what I don't isn't. I like the process of being a better player and learning about the game, and I see these forums as a way to help each other do it. Let me start here, since maybe you understand warring very well. Other than worker techs, what's your tech path? Are you running 2 scientists early to get to construction?