My rise to emperor level playing, some thoughts: I was a warlord level player. On my own I became a player who won sometimes on Noble, usually by rushing a neighbor and taking them out. Feeling a little frustrated trying to rise to Prince I came to this forum looking for guidance. Being stubborn and an infrequent player it has taken me a year to finally nab my first emperor domination victory. Emperor was my goal, and no cheesy diplo or culture victory would suffice. Having witnessed on video several Deity and Immortal games I can confidently say I wouldnt care to play at those levels. Here is a list of the key changes in my play strategy that resulted in my improved play and hopefully qualifying this post for the Strategy and Tips forum. 1. Consistent Noble victory: a. Learned to expand and place cities. b. Learned to specialize science and production cities, particularly an Oxford city. c. Learned to build enough workers. d. Learned to bring enough siege units to a fight. e. Learned to not try and build every wonder in the game.2. Consistent Prince Victory literally went and played each leader in alphabetical order, skipping leaders I had played at lower difficulties. By Victoria I was playing Monarch. a. The true key here was simply learning to only tech what I needed to gain a military edge and then war - lets call this learning to prioritize techs, both early and late. b. I also learned to move my Science bar to either 0% or 100%.3. Consistent (?) Monarch Victory not sure I can say this yet. Havent played every leader at this level and find Tokugawa painful to play, although I had one fun game with him at Prince. a. Applying the lessons learned above brought me some initial stunning victories and then I manage to fumble with Pericles against a Saladin/Ramses/Stalin/Hannibal alliance. I probably could have won with the nukes and tanks I had, but my heart wasnt in it. The alliance was pretty close to tech parity. b. Learned better diplo. c. Learned how to plan a Great Person City using Golden Ages, Caste System-Pacifism-National epic combo to generate great people for serious tech leads havent loss at this level since.4. One victory at Emperor a. I went unrestricted leaders and ran with Pericles of Mali. b. One big mistake at this level in this game was not scouting sufficiently. The map wasnt Pangea, but all inhabited landmasses could have been visited with a workboat. I didnt meet 3 of the other civs for a long time which resulted in a somewhat tricky diplo situation that I barely managed to navigate at the end. c. Learned to make early trades with resources I didnt need at the moment for big diplomacy pay offs. d. Learned how to win a war even when all I had were cannons and the other guy had artillery. Numbers really do matter.Playing Emperor is still a little stressful, but the last time I stepped back into Monarch shoes I found it a bit boring to once again to roll over the other nations longbows with Cuirassiers finishing with Cavalry. I dont like culture victories (my first monarch victory) which are boring. I also dont care for Space. But Ill take a diplomatic win, particularly if I conquer a continent and it saves me the hassle of a long distance ocean war. Oh, and BTW, normal speed, standard map, no events or huts, choose religion and fractal are my usual settings. Occasionally I will use Pangaea, continents, unrestricted leaders and random personalities. I wish to offer my profound thanks to TMIT, Absolute Zero, and most recently CaF (Daniel?) for their videos that greatly improved my play. TMIT has got to be one of the fastest players on this forum. His videos are easy to work through because many of the early ones are only 15 minutes in length and it is hard for me to sit down for an entire hour in one session to watch someone else play. Unfortunately that speed also means that I missed some important actions. Still I learned some important key binds, how to plan a war, diplomacy, city specialization, and even when to move my capital. Absolute Zero best demonstrated to me the most efficient way to get into a position to war using a temporary tech advantage to gain a permanent territory advantage. CaF demonstrated some great trading techniques for diplomacy and monetary gains. All of the above was demonstrated to varying degrees by all three players, and the emphasis I depict probably just mostly represents the order in which I was ready to learn the lesson. I think the most important aspect of watching different videos by different players allows one to compare and contrast play style, picking different aspects of each to create ones own strategy that works best for them I wish also to thank VoiceofUnreason, Snaaty and Sisiutil for their great War Academy articles. Finally I wish to thank this forum. Until now I have been silently enjoying the many great posts that help to improve my game.