Like i promised earlier, i'm showing what are the best moves to optimize the fabulous 4 cities swords rush strategy. It will be played under these settings : -Arabia is our civ played -Immortal difficulty -Continent all standard -Standard speed and map -No paid DLCs, only vanilla civs and Mongols -Quick combat, no ruins, save promos enabled Alright, so let's check the starting position : Spoiler : Typical Arabian start. Desert, oasis and gold around. I settled in place after nothing else seen from warrior(see details below why i settled in place). Capital is about to reach 2 . Don't forget to do this : Just lock the food tile and click production focus. This trick adds hammers and don't slow growth for the next turn. I will do this for every other similar situations. Spoiler : Then i lock the sheep tile to have time to build a monument and a warrior just when capital will reach 3 . Most of the time it's better to wait for 3 before starting settlers. After the locking tile trick, you can usually put on default again. But here, micro is important to let the capital synchronize production with other things. Spoiler : Settlers production has started. I opted to work the oasis tile instead of the sheep tile because Iron working will come online after the last settler built and this let me make a bit more gold. I do this because i don't want to pre-build anything else at that point. I don't know yet if i can steal some workers(not pre-building a worker) and i don't have pottery yet. Working the sheep tile would have saved me only 1 turn of building time only. Not a big deal, because collective rule wasn't enabled yet. Spoiler : Land is explored, Askia is on left side and i crossed a China and Rome unit. It seems that i will settle aggressively near Askia. I can settle very close to Askia first, near the spice tile, and let the 3rd city at 4 tiles north east, on the hill, close to the ivory tile. I settle the 2nd city there because a forest is close(calendar ressource) and i can grow in 5 turns to 2 before settling 3rd city. I can also work 2 mines if needed. 3rd city will produce a worker after a warrior since he's working a mine and settled on a mine too. Some forests around will also speed things up. 4th city depends where iron is, but can be right where gold mines are, east of capital. Spoiler : 2nd city is settled, i let my units north of land to protect from barbs. I don't want to lose any turns. Spoiler : Since i discovered a natural wonder, i got 1 extra , enough to let 2nd city grow to 2 before settling 3rd city. Very important in the long run. It's one big reason to build a scout even with ruins disabled. Impossible if you grow your capital at 4 unless you discover 2 natural wonders in time or play lowest levels. Spoiler : I got a free worker from Tyre. I let this cs at war because i will want this city later and get the gem mine. When the gold is improved, i sold it to Askia immediately. I barely have time to work another gold mine right before i hit over -9 . Spoiler : Iron discovered in 3rd city! After iron is improved, i immediately upgraded warriors to swordmen. I'm going for Askia. Spoiler : Bye bye Askia, a free worker is waiting too. I will heal and going north to capture Tyre. Spoiler : 4th policy is online, i pick Republic to grantly boost production. Spoiler : Every settled cities have built a library, i have 6 cities and my capital is starting the NC. Now at turn 70, i stop here because the rest of the game can be different depending of victory type. Allied Monaco, the empire is at 11 now. I made peace with Askia and he gave me a silver lux. Spoiler : Research : Animal Husbandry, Iron working, Calendar, Writing, Masonry, Trapping, Philosophy. Calendar before writing because i got 1 calendar ressource in 2nd city and 2 other unique calendar luxs in Askia's capital. The only lux tech you need before writing is the one that gives you more than 1 unique lux of the same tech. Cities build order : Capital : scout-monument-warrior-settler-settler-worker-granary-some in a barrack waiting for writing-library-NC 2nd city : warrior-monument-library 3rd city : warrior-worker-monument-library 4th city : half monument-library When Philo was researched, i micro'ed all cities and especially helped the slowest city to build his library in time with chopping and starvation. Policies : Full Liberty : Collective rule Citizenship Republic Meritocracy Representation Workers should be ready some turns before Meritocracy at building roads. This prevents the empire to fall into unhappiness too rapidly. Representation at the end when the empire is much larger. Mid term options : If you want lot of gold early, beeline currency and build markets before the golden age occurs. Build the National Treasury with a free GE from the Liberty finisher for more lulz(can be nice if you plan to mass upgrade/rush buy cheap units). For mid-long term investments, rush Chichen Itza with the GE. This wonder is better than Notre-Dame for large empires. And you get a free engineer point per turn. For maximum production output, beeline metal casting and pick a free GS to bulb machinery. Build Ironworks early in capital. You can leverage other medieval rushes like beelining Steel, Machinery or Chivalry by picking the free GS and bulb one of these techs. Build workshops when rushing Machinery and Steel, build markets when rushing Chivalry before sending waves of units. Long term options : Beeline Education. Build 4x universities and run scientists everywhere. Try to build the HS to accelerate GS production. Build gardens and the Heroic Epic. Finally, pick the Freedom policy for mass GS production. Get Rationalism and PT, sign RAs and fly through the tech tree. Brief resume : -Starting position : move warrior then watch which site is best to work luxuries and tiles around without buying too much tiles -Start with a scout to observe rapidly land around you. Try to find at least 1 natural wonder. -Build a monument then a warrior. Bring your capital at 3 . -Start 2 settlers in capital. If you settle on a luxury mine, you can sell lux early enough to rush buy a worker. In my example, i didn't want to settle on gold because there was not enough tiles around and the marble tile was too much costly for the 3rd ring. -2nd city should be put near a forest and a hill if possible and let him grow to 2 before 3rd city is online. This city can build a worker before a library. In my example, i built a worker from my 3rd city. 2nd city served to block Askia. So it's possible to alternate between these 2 cities the build order. -If you find a 6 iron tile, you can add a warrior in any city and capital to make a 6 swords army. To do that, you need to settle on a luxury mine and sell it. Best done at Deity. You can add some archers too(with archery after IW). It's possible, at lower levels than immortal, to build the GL instead of a library in capital. You need to rush buy a granary in capital to gain enough hammers to not slow down things. You can also bring a golden age from 4th policy and constantly build warriors if by any chance you gather 12+ iron and playing a big continent map or a pangea. This allows you to upgrade tons of units. Many other approaches can be played from this strategy. ====================================================== tommynt wrote : why not settle on luxuries? There is 2 main reasons : 1st, the land is not well suited for this approach. luxuries are not close from hills or too far from capital. 2nd, this strat is suited for a swords rush approach, followed by NC. To build the NC, you need libraries. To build libraries, you need . To get production, you need to work citizen on tiles. Growth need to be halted because of all this, it means that you can wait before eliminating unhappiness. Why get unhappiness when you need to stay at 2 pop? Workers can have time to improve luxuries during that transition and let cities build libraries first. When luxs are improved and libraries are done, growth can be back without a problem. In a mp game, especially in duel games, the NC is rarely a good option. What you want is to settle on luxs to save time and let you build more cities(ICS). Some examples are shown in the multiplayer section. Thanks to KiffeLesBiffles btw. Obviously, the approaches under sp and mp are different. Similar posts/threads : Nice general approach for deity level wrote by Syailendra : http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=11107029&postcount=19 Some nice details,(worker priorities!) wrote by peddroelm : http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=11104199&postcount=13 A 4 cities sword rush deity level with aggressive lux settlements made by me : http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=445082 Save files added!