In vein of the other thread, what tier 2 government (Monarchy, Merchant Republic, Theocracy) do you usually pick, and why? I find myself going close to 50:50 between merchant republic and theocracy. I mainly aim for diplomatic and science victory (Merchant Republic) or cultural and religious victory (Theocracy). I find that the heavy emphasis on production for a science victory pairs well with aid emergencies for a diplomatic victory as well, so I usually pair those two victory types. The emphasis on economic policies in merchant republic lets me run science and either trade/production boosting policies. I will usually do some light domination, like picking up a few neighbouring cities with a casus belli/joint war declarations. For a cultural victory, I will usually always try to found a religion as well, for the tourism bonus from shared religion. If I don't meet a lot of religious resistance, I will usually spin it to a full religious victory. Religious games also benefit from a lot of wonders, which fits nicely with the cultural aim, and the discount on faith buying combined with the huge faith yields from governors in Theocracy makes it very easy to faith buy great artists and writers (especially with the Oracle wonder) to quickly fill out great work slots. I barely ever go for Monarchy, usually only just to pick up the inspiration for Castles, and because it comes naturally before Theocracy, but I will rarely if ever stay in it for more than a few turns. The bonuses of Monarchy are honestly just a mess in my opinion. It boosts envoy gain rate, so that would indicate a diplomatic victory focus, but it has 3 red cards, which would seem to be for warfare/military buildup. Then for some reason, it has an even more random bonus of additional housing per level of walls in a city? I got a lot more respect for Autocracy in the discussion in the last thread (apart from its terrible legacy card), and I think I've definitely been undervaluing that government, but I would really be interested to hear a similar defence of Monarcy as a main tier 2 government.