Civ: Byzantine Victory type: Culture Play-style: As wide as possible, aggressively if necessary Summary This strategy takes advantage of the fact that Theodora is guaranteed to be able to found a religion and can take beliefs even if another civ has already taken them. This means that we can be sure that whatever synergy we want to build with our religion is going to be possible. There are lots of interesting synergies in religious beliefs, but we're going to focus on the synergy between the reformation belief "Sacred Sites" (+2 tourism for each religious building in a city) and the multitude of religious buildings we can access via our belief choices and the Piety policy "Monasticism". The basic idea is to go as wide as possible, get a religion and choose religious buildings whenever possible (any combination will do, but I would especially recommend 'Stupas' for their extra tourism), and then reform your religion and choose Sacred Sites for lots and lots of base tourism. You then go on to achieve a culture victory, supplementing your tourism as needed with other sources (great works, wonders, historic events, etc). You can guarantee yourself 4 religious buildings (3 from beliefs because Byzantine gets an extra one and 1 from the piety policy) which means every city can contribute +8 tourism with Sacred Sites (or +12 if you wisely chose 'Stupa' as one of your buildings). If you have, say, 12 cities then that's 144 base tourism to build on. Policies: I would recommend your policy choices to be Progress->Piety->Aesthetics. Progress has synergy with wide play, Piety gives you an extra religious building and cheaper purchases of those buildings, and Aesthetics allows you to convert the massive amount of late game faith you will have into Musician bombs. Pitfalls: It can sometimes be difficult to Reform you religion. You need to reform as soon as possible to get your tourism going early on in the game, allowing it more time to overcome other's culture. You either need to build the "St Basil" wonder which grants you the reformation or you need to meet the percentage of world-wide followers requirements to build your founder belief building and perform the reformation. Either of these can be tricky depending on your game. If your immediate neighbors all have their own religions and are stubborn about accepting yours then meeting the population requirement can be difficult using only your own cities. Building the wonder can also be tough depending on how aggressive other civs go after it. Failure to reform ruins this strategy and you would have to fall back on another means of victory. You also can't afford to neglect other aspects of the game. The world congress will ruin you with proposals like "travel ban" if you aren't capable of defending yourself with votes. Try to ally CSs when possible or otherwise gain additional votes through wonders. If you are able to make your religion or idealogy the world religion/idealogy via the resolution that can also help you gain votes and keep the world congress in check. When settling wide, know that you need a military to defend your cities. A city settled far from your main bulk with little or no defense is likely to be snatched even by a civ you consider a friend. Use the massive amount of production you have in our numerous cities to build military units when needed. You can even gift obsolete units to CSs rather than upgrading them and save yourself money because it is often easier to just make new ones that are on-era. Other tourism sources: It is also recommended to supplement your tourism with more traditional sources. +Culture tiles from luxes (especially those that get additional culture from a monopoly) add to your tourism once you get Hotels/Airports/etc as does culture from village improvements. Since you are wide you have a decent shot at getting multiple monopolies and getting fairly large culture tiles. Wide also means you likely have lots of archaeological sites within your borders, and multiple cities in which to build archaeologists. Grab as many as you can to add to your tourism, either as tile improvements benefiting from Hotels or for placement in the endless number of museums you'll have. You will likely have a MASSIVE amount of faith in the late game. All of those religious buildings will be adding to your faith/turn and will end up paying for their initial purchase price and then some. Use that massive faith to Musician bomb any culture hold outs. Last, if all else fails, use your wide empire and its large production to pump out military and simply conquer those civs that have run away in the culture game.