Hello hello, I am about to finish my hall of fame. As in, I try to win a game with every leader under the GS rules. I have yet to win a handful of games, among which one of them is Tomyris. I am not a minmaxer, I like to play intuitively (not on all aspects, but in general and compared to some of you or youtubers, pretty much). So I don't always win every game. Also I play with some mods enabled (Real Strategy and Smoother difficulty), which is supposed to make the game much harder. But I do win many, I would say, about 85%. And when I do loose, it's almost always because the game is faster at beating me with a cultural or science victory or because of a pretty bad starting position. I mostly play on Demi-God (comes from the Smoother difficulty mod) or Deity when I feel like I can handle it. However, this is not the case with Tomyris. I have completed 4 games with her, and I lost all of them. Also yesterday I tried again, and started several games (pangea, demi-god, standard speed), but I was overrun by the AI and the barbarians EVERY game within the first 100 turns. My strategy is pretty simple: I want to do early domination (which should sync well with her UU, CA and LA) and when I have conquered a couple of cities, I either want to go religious (if my conquered neighbor has holy sites) or full domination. So I start of building a slinger for defense, a builder for improving a pasture so I know where to find horseback riding in the tech tree (I play with shuffle mode). Then I beeline horseback riding, while building some military, builders and settlers. My intention is to full on spam light cavalry and Saka Horse Archers to conquer my next neighbor, before he or she builds walls. The problem is, is that the AI (and thus the barbarians) outpace me in science, before I'm even able to build horses. And thus they are able to fend me off, or even bluntly declare a surprise war and kill me within a couple of turns. The barbarians and zombies (I like to play religious games with zombies), are constantly attacking and pillaging my lands, which are in very open terrain, which I believe is an indirect starting bias of Scythia. Even more so, because of her starting bias, the production in my lands is mostly very low. The UB does not add any production, just faith and gold. The gold comes in handy when I have lots of cavalry, but it's just too late by that time. On top of that, I rarely spawn right next to horses. It always costs me at least one settler, to make sure I have access to horses, which most of the time are located quite close to my neighbor, who then is very much triggered by the fact I settle a poorly defended city right next to his borders. You know what happens next. I am very well aware of the fact that I'm making my game as hard as I can, I know. It does sound weird, me wondering why I don't win, when I enable all the features and mods that make it even harder. But this difficult start only happens when I play Tomyris. With similar settings, I am able to win 85% of my games with any other civ. Or I lose because of a ridiculous starting position, or because the AI outpaces me. So is it just me, or is Tomyris really not that strong as she is sometimes portrayed. In my experience she is the hardest, even most incompetent civ I have played. Her unique abilities come into effect way too late. Any ideas/tips/strategies?