Hello guys (and gals?), I come to you today with a question that's been stirring in my mind for ages. Is there a reliable way to found an early religion (for the holy city) or capture the holy city of an AI, and quickly set up a shrine on Deity and Immortal? I ask this because I want to broaden my style of play, and I tire of the usual early-mid game where I need to mass expand (or rush) against the AI's every game for territory... and then having to spam cottages and/or run merchants and build wealth just to keep above 60% research. I (sort of) already know of Trade Route Economies.... but those rely heavily of coastal cities and the GLH. I've been trying and Experimenting with founding an early religion or capturing a holy city, but It's really difficult to both get the holy city AND the great prophet fast enough for it to really matter. In my early attempts I tried rushing the AI to found either Buddism or Polytheism. (did i spell those right?) 50% of the time I fail to beat the AI and basically have to quit the game because I'm so far behind. In my Later Attempts, I would get a bunch of military units and basically steal a Holy City from the AI. This option seems more reliable, but the cost of attacking a Holy City (Especially a hillside one) early in the game is very high, and usually puts me just as far behind as my early attempts at a Religious Economy. So I'm here asking the community if there's a reliable way to establish/capture a holy shrined city after the expansion stages of the game, and actually do it fast enough for it to benefit your economy enough to keep the slider at 100%...? The advantages I can see of a religious heavy economy are: Your primary religion is basically +1 happy for every city with that religion, and another +1 happy for having built a temple in that city. So +2 happy. For each religious shrine you have, you will gain +5 WEALTH just for having the holy Shrined city, and an additional +1 WEALTH for every city in the world with that religion... Your cities also gain from the culture generated by religions and religious buildings, allowing faster border pops. DIPLOMACY... If you are fast enough and plan carefully, you can benefit dimplomatically with the AI by converting them or yourself to the same religion, and also benefit your economy by doing so. and um.... anything else you guys can think of? I look foreward to the criticism I'm probably going to get for trying this type of economy...lol!!