IMO the best sttrategy will be BW. Here are the reasons for that: - HBR is expensive tech and lead to nothing(BW=mining,chopping and slavery) - The Keshik is exensive unit with very cheep counter(spearmen) - The exemple OCC game show that the only real chance for the barb to destroy some of our rival is fast barb axes. - As we got BW the barb will get it too - Later in the game we will get HBR for free and then we can use the keshiks for their best purpose - pillage. - On arhipelago maps like this the movement bonus of the keshiks will be less efective - As we start with aggressive leader our axes will start with combat I promotion - From my experience and lots of other games posted on here the axe rush is sure thing on monarch while the use of HA(keshiks) has very suspicious result. And here are my other points: - we will need to make peace not for the trade but for the WW. Because all dead barbs will cost WW for us.(WW will be big problem) - This game is monarch on epic speed the trade will play very little role somewhere near Astronomy. - Military tech must go first and leave the other to take them free from the barbs. - as the game go in AD the barb will get less role because there will be no free space on enemy islands for barb spawn. I hope at least they will keep some islands clear for AIs. - We must go for early conquest to be competitive(even without Asro if possible). - Most of our cities must be production powerhorses and preferable on coast(arhipelago map) - After BW we must beline for cats(as they must be our main unit: 1 of every 2 units is good ratio). if we don't have enemy by land sailing must go first. - As this is arhipelago map if we control the seas we will control the whole game so this could be good strategy. - We can try to prevent the AI to meet each other if it is possible. I thing that we must give more attention to the global strategy in our discussion. From what i've read in SGOTM 4 thread the micromanagement is widely discused while the whole strategy is taken too fast. Maybe i'm wrong if you have discuss it by PM. This is only my personal feeling. Please fill free to criticize my opinion as this is the way to make good decisions.