I'm a good Monarch player and too bored trying Emp and above. I won games at Emp, but I'm so tired of the implemented bonusses for the AI. So I stick at Monarch, where the AI get's a little bonus only. I found out lately, that some AI's (almost) never trade worldmaps, especially at levels higher than Prince. So I found 2 alternative ways of snooping out his/her grounds, without failing and not to spend that expensive tech on it. You will likely found at least one religion, if you're looking for it. CoL is one and the other Philo of course, if you done the right thing with your science and scientists. So the opposition, except Toku, always give you open borders within turn zero to a few later. If you sell/give that leader a tech, you got the OB right away. Say if, you got Paper. some leaders give away all their knowledge of the map for pennies or very low-level techs. Others are harder to bargain with and here comes my plan into it's splendid execution. Like it's never been said before or what? But I think it's a bit forgotten. So send a missionary or two over there and let them check out this CIV's cities and infrastructure. They may be in an other religious orientation, than what your missionary is about, but I hope you didn't really convert to anything yet!? So they roam the lands and after a while you know their map of their country. Here comes the chance to actually buying his/hers WM ery cheaply, he will often offer WM-WM. No good, in this instance give him Meditation or whatever low tech they're missing and you get all their scouting progress as well! Sometimes I give them a higher order tech, just to get the extra +2 or whatever for trading. Of course I could use spies, but I found that spies longevity on another landmass is not very long. So missionaries are gold, and at this time you focus your spypoints to this guy/girl. Id like Justinian or isabella, they often chose Theocracy, no spread of other religions. Now you gift the AI your scouting Missionairies and he will spread your religion for (I think) 100% certainty. As far as I know, my spreading religion this way never failed. *might be a bug, anyone* Soon your espionage will actually rise high enough, so you can actually see what the AI's cities are like, of course if they have "your" religion. Continue to gift more missionairies and you will see all of that AI's cities, at least for a few turns. Not a new tactic, I think, but I just felt to spread the word. Please accept my friendly envoy into your lands.