I'd throw some comments as an experienced Deity Venice player (though i haven't played since December or so) You can get a religion if you have Religion City-State nearby. Even if you take GOAC, wich is a default Pantheon for Venice. Btw, you pantheon does not spread to puppeted City-States The way around it is to wait until City-State upgrades its Warriors to Spearmen. That helps A LOT - you can get like 3 Spearmen for free. With that in mind you can build Archers instead of Melee and start war sooner. Timing is very important. I am absolutely sure that you do not need to puppet more that 2 City-States. It is much better to have them as Allies and puppet something else with your army - you get lots of gold, lots of yields, etc. Also They are hard to defend, much better to conquer several cities that AI builds near your border. Pyramids are a must if you Play Tradition into Tourism Venice. You don't need Pyramids if you play Authority Venice because it is a very bad technology, you need military techs, also you get MoV from policy. This is wrong. In fact it is better to delay it for some time. The reason for this is that you want City-State to upgrade its army. Also you want to focus on military techs yourself, so if you delay Trade - there is a high chance that you can get couple of good buildings that you do not have access to. Best way is to time purchasing the City-State with you attack on nearby AI. The biggest thiong about Venice is that it snowballs better than any other civ. You start low, but you should not be afraid of that. However that of course requires good money management. It is very important to invest in Puppets, in many cases more important than investing in Capital. This way you can controll what they build and they will not spend production on that beauitiful shiny Amphitheater that takes only 28 turns to build Supply cap is an issue in the early game, but it should be okay by the time you hit Renaissance. If you have problems with supply - you probably puppet many remote City-States that are hard to defend. Venice empire should not be spread across the map, it should look just like any other empire, except that someone else builds cities for you (That includes Tourism play, the difference is that with Tourism you have to conquer 4-5 cities and stop, and with Diplo you can go up to 25-30). Also it is strange that your supplu is so low, you actually can invest into Barracks, Armory, Walls, Castles it every city and you'll be totally fine. Diplo victory was a default way for Venice before, because you get tonns of MoV that work almost like Great Diplomats. However, if +20% MoV per puppet is removed - thing become harder. Also this is a bad change, because it was fun to snowball like this.