Now I don't play at immortal or deity. I like to enjoy a civ4 game without getting too mathematical about it. (Forget civ5, the mechanics and 'immersive feel' are lousy, imv.) Monarch level for me is just fine, a fun 4-5 hour romp to victory around 1400ad enjoying the view without having to think much. My laptop lags in the late game, so must avoid. 1. Creative leader necessary. Much nicer that newly conquered cities build courthouses than monuments. 2. Tech immediate requirements for resources given at start of game. I need horses so AH is a must, and if no horses within reach of projected cities 2-5, begin again. Use 1st city as settler/worker pump till 5 cities in total, then library. Run 2 scientists to bulb math for chopping out the Horse Archers. 3. Get to writing around 2000BC, then HR, build stables in cities 1-5, then Alphabet to trade for IW, archery etc. 4. Annihilate nearest neighbor as soon as army of 12 Horse Archers assembled, victim normally crushed by 100BC. No vassaling for first conquest. Meanwhile teching CofL, then beeline to guilds. 5. Always courthouses and barracks as first build in conquered cities, then Horse Archers. 6. On to next neighbor safe in the knowledge that Knights will come on stream around 500AD. 7. Enjoy smashing up the opposition. Win around 1400AD. I'd like to get the win date down to before 1000AD but haven't succeeded yet. Finally much respect goes to Chris on YouTube with his magnificent Lets Play Deity series.