OK, lets revive this forum with some strategy and tips. This isn't a 'Do X, Tech Y, and Build Z strategy guide, but a general frame to build upon. Starting as Minors. 1. Initial government selection: Default is -5 "We hate out Government", and who wouldn't, Barbaric. Solution Garrison Minimum of 3/4 Troops per city. Grade of Troops doesn't matter, just number, but they still have to DEFEND THE CITY. 2. Building 2nd city, when and why: I like to grow my initial city to Max and , BEFORE building a settler. Rom is designed for Marathon play and large/huge maps, both I Capital will build Settler much Quicker, may be slower to get out 2nd city, but 3rd, 4th, 5th will be much quicker. Production will be Maxed out, food the same and new cities can be left to develop, while capital takes the load. 3. Defending troops: Default starting unit is a warrior, this is only good for making up Garrison numbers, early exploration. Teching to Javelins is ok, but ARCHERS are the supreme unit of the day. In unmodded Civ IV BTS, archery is Poo Pooed. "dead end Tech", Axes dominate etc. This isn't BTS. 4. Workers: You need more then 1/city, I usually go for groups of 2 early on, with 2 or 3 groups per 2 cities. Farms are KING, Food economy people, Grow those cities into working all those available IMPROVED TILES. Cart paths will link resources, but not transport troops, the Roman legions had Paved roads, not for commerce, but for TROOP MOVEMENTS. Nothing has changed in 2 thousand years of real life. 5. Early cities: Do I settle close, NO. I settle for longterm Mega cities in my core. they have Rivers, Hills and resources ideally. Food and Production are Key, early hammers to build your war Economy. 6. Taking an AI Capital: Starting as Minors is almost a cheat, almost. Attack with Javelins and Archers, use ranged attack and surround and destroy options. 1 Unit per tile will suffice for surround, the AI's won't attempt to break this as it weakens its own home defence. Now you have the advantage, use it, take that capital. Will it revolt, depends on distance and garrison. Most likely yes it will. This is an opportunity to train your troops. DON'T garrison with 1 Warrior, as per a back water city. Garrison as a front line city. Most cities will revolt due to Civics available early on. This is UNAVOIDABLE, accept it, build Culture buildings, bribe, change into better civics. But most of all, ELIMINATE TOTALLY ANY TROOPS OF THE OLD CIVILIZATION. Don't just take cities and leave troops out in field. 7. Growth: Now you have a core of 3-7 cities, 1 or 2 Ex AI Capitals, with some settled by yourself. Ideally they are all in a ring about your capital, if not MOVE YOUR CAPITAL TO CENTRE. Distance does matter, just check the revolution index, use the Cheat page (3 option on revolution page) Now is the time to Grow your cities to the max, Slavery is the Worst Option to use, only if dire emergency should this be used, Civics do Matter. Take time to Look, think about trade off's and adopt accordingly. 8. Religion: Ideally you've either founded a religion, captured one, or had to Adopt one, with a long term View to Capture that Holy city. This will give your city the Culture, happy and coherence it needs. 9. Economy: "A Civilization cannot aspire to develop with out currency", or something along those lines is a quote in the tips, and its TRUE. Trade will get you out of the minors into the Majors. Once there, Tech trade with other Major leaguers. Don't think along the lines, "I need X% science slider", Trade, barter, extort techs. 10. Conquest: This is what its all about people, DOMINATION OF YOUR CULTURE. Leave the AI's to their petty little wars, petty little cities and woeful teching. You've grown a core of 10-15 cities by 1 AD. They all should be Double digit population, 10-20 population ideally. What you have NOW. is a MODERN ERA empire for the AI's. Now you can play to your style. Conquest - Move forth and conquer your foes, Vassalize is you wish, destroy if you prefer. Science - Exponentially expand your empire as you can take on more cities, Conquer, them, settle them, absorb them. Build your building Multipliers, hire specialists, Farm the land till it groans under the weight of your crops. Culture - Party time, Wonder about the wonders, 4/ city limit. Space - Dream of the Stars, aspire to rise above it all. Personally, I like playing Continents, and playing the long game, i.e. space, ascension gate etc. I've all-way's conquered my continent by the calendar reversal, or beginning of the AD's. I eliminate totally the AI's, and tech alone till mid 2nd Millennium. Even with Tech trading, the other continent is usually a miss mash of Civ's, Rebels and Petty wars. I've only seen 1 Domination by an AI of the other continent, and I fully expect it to self implode, and lose all its vassals as a result. Do I have problems with Rebellions, yes I do. Do I have problems with Managing my gold rate/science rate. Not for long. Do I suffer in the Tech race. No I don't. My tech base, and with trading, I'll quickly come back, gain all missing techs and amass a huge lead. Am I concerned about invasion. Hmm Coastal cities with 2 or 3 troops, maybe, 1 warrior garrisoned cities, in the CENTRE of my empire, Oceans DOMINATED by my Navy, not at all. Again a History lesson can be applied, England in the 1500's was a minor nation or Europe, Geographically isolated from mainland, a Continents game of sorts. Naval Power assured a 400 Yr empire that spanned the globe. They only came undone because of Wars on Continental Europe. A lesson for Civ, of sorts. Don't let your core empire suffer due to your wars. Keep the Population happy with Civics, buildings and resources. Fight a war in your Neighbours lands, let their crops wilt in the fields, their people go hungry, destroy their economy. Be America in the last 2 Centuries, fight and finance wars overseas but keep the Homelands whole, Even at the Cost of A Civil War. Finally have I ever failed with this strategy, yes once, I started with a Flat capital, flood plains, few tree's, no production. Another Minor AI nation, came with its Starting Archers, and owned me. I was moved to take over another AI's capital, and Whoooo Boy, what a difference a starting position can make. Remember People, The AI's start with Archers at Emperor and above, don't think you can just mow them down with warriors, its fun and a challenge I enjoy. I this mod, and the stand alone A New Dawn Mod, is another flavour to the recipe.