I've considered venturing on to Emperor level lately, and while I can take care of city placement and maximising efficiency, my main problem lies in technology. Now, playing Monarch, in my one campaign I am ahead in the technology race (IA, everyone else is either still MA or even AA), got my side of the continent I'm on all nicely defended. My closest neighbours are on the other side of some heavily defended Barricades of mine (and trust me, I needed them, got some nice bottlenecks - a two square block and a four square block, on Hills and Forest, two of these even happen to be across a River, and boy did they protect me from massive Aztec invasion forces!). All other neighbours are very far away indeed. I'm consolidating my part of the continent, eliminating a small, primitive civilisation that remains there so that they don't pose any threat in future (the Japanese). But, in all of this...if I go to Emperor level, I'm scared of the technology race. I know I will no longer be able to keep up with the pace of the AI, given their tech cost factor at that level. I also know it's something to do with researching certain technologies and then trading these for multiple cheaper ones with other civs, gaining monopolies. I have already started a modified Marla Singer's World Map for C3C, 31 civs, playing as Carthage (renamed to Normandy - I just cannot resist personalising civs). I altered Curraghs to have 1 transport capacity (I sort of liked the idea of starting on the British Isles and spreading out from there, even changed the start location slightly so it wasn't on bonus Grassland + Wheat). I'm researching Writing, not that far in. Where might I go from here? I have encountered Egypt and India, and amongst other things they can offer me Warrior Code and Bronze Working, also Pottery (is it that? I think so...can't remember off the top of my head). What do I do with my Writing? Do I wait until I have encountered other civs? How do I stop them from simply trading Writing onwards should I trade it to them first? Oh, and I altered Corruption to 50% for the scenario for Emperor level (such a large map, so it might be beneficial).