Neo - great strategy! I started a King level game on a large map yesterday with max civs for Large (don't remember, like 7 or 8 other civs?) and Raging Hordes to try out the Papal Doctrine. I played as the English. I played it a little differently, setting science down immediately, and sending out several scouts to find other civs. I began tech trading as soon as I found each civ. On a whim, I after founding only 2 cities, I decided to go straight for Pyramids in my capital, forgoing the building of any grainaries. I had a sweet location with plenty of food plain for growth and hills to mine for shields, and I had several workers to improve the terrain. Big mistake, in the end... by the time I was ready to expand, I had the Germans and Russians building towns right on my borders, and nowhere to grow. I will definately do the land-grab first next time. I played up until shortly after I entered Medieval times. The Germans attacked, and eventually took London. But, I learned alot! A few things of note: * The science rate is screwy. Instead of setting science to 0, I set it to 10%, to allow a little research (Still in despotism). Every now and then, I would gain a tech before someone else, giving me something new to sell. BUT, on a couple of occaisions, I got restless (such as when waiting to discover mapmaking) so, I tried upping my science rate. IT MADE NO DIFFERENCE. This was at a point in the game when my per-turn income was like 45. Now, at the time, I was busy micromanaging a few other things, and shurgged it off. Next game I will investigate more closely. I'm guessing that income from other civs doesn't go towards science, so my effective per-turn income was much lower. But still, i found that 0% Sci meant never discover anything, 10% meant 24 turns to map making, 100% ALSO meant 24 turns to map making. Even left the settings for a turn to see if it changed. Nope. Also, once I got to Republic, I tried again. 10%-40% were all the same slow rate. Once I hit 50%, each additional 10% shortened research time by a few turns. Why isn't this a sliding scale from 10 to 100%? * Explorers are nice for finding other civs early, but early on they don't have much to trade. Sometimes it was worth withholding a tech for a few turns to let someone make some money. * On a couple of occaisions, Rome had an additional item in the trade window... a Worker! After a quick look in the manual, it seems that any worker in his civ's capital city can be traded. I traded him something for his worker, but was woried how I would walk the worker back to my empire. No worries - he appeared in MY capital! * Explorers and Raging Hordes don't always mix . * Get to Know and Love your Foreign Advisor, in the top left of the diplomacy window. I don't know if he is as helpful in harder levels, but at king he was indispensible. He will tell you if your deal on the table is likely to be accepted. Using his feedback, I always got the best deals. Just keep tweaking until he say they won't go for it, then back off a bit until he says they will. * While crafting a deal, play with the per-turn verses lump sum settings. Depending on mood, cash on hand, and i'm sure, many other factors, sometimes the computer values hard cash more, sometimes per-turn cash is better. I usually try to get the most per turn I can ( with advisors feedback ), and then add a lump sum (also with feedback) to get the most buck for the bang. * Don't be weak! Others have pointed this out. I let my military stay small, and watched as the other civs' attitudes towards me grew poorer and their trades got more expensive to me. When I strated to build a military (too little, too late), it did start to improve. * Question: any way to see what the other guys has (especially tech) BEFORE you go to the table? Even with an embassy, the foreign advisor screen (F4) has precious little info. Well, I'm off to try again. Wish me luck!