I have always been fond of the Khazad from Fall from heaven 2. They had a focused research tree, massive production bonuses if they have gold in exchange for a lack of magic. I also love the lore of two close friends who grow apart. This adds massively to their repertoire by making siege units more useful and adding the stonefire guild whose production bonuses are multiplied by the vaults. Most people complain about how difficult it is to expand as the Khazad. It's not really, especially with Kandros being financial and imperialistic. Beeline to festivals then build markets in all your cities use the income from that to expand quickly. Cheap markets + cheap settlers= large empire. This turns a ruined economy into a stable one. Beeline to way of the earth mother. Make sure to found the Holy City, the shrine income is really needed. switch to RoK and go back for all the worker techs and cartography for city states . Use sons of kilmorph+ trebuchets(Once you get construction) as an attack force until you get to bronze working. Research Arete and then begin building mines of Galdur. At this point you can decide, keep the SoK with useful promotions to upgrade to paramanders, sacrifice the rest for production. Switch to Arete. By this point you should have many well established cities and a lot of dwarven mines. Afterwards head to mercantilism and switch mercantilism civic. This turns your stable economy into a monster. I did this and was making 600 gpt at this point. Notes: The mercantilism civic adds 200 percent yield to trade routes but disallows foreign ones so when you war, vassalizing instead of destroying is generally a good idea as your vassal's cities count as domestic trade routes while receiving the foreign bonus. This strategy also requires specialists. Food resources help with that as well as flood plains. It is also good to note that for the khazad, watermills, windmills and dwarven mines are better than farms. Never build farms for food for the khazad.