Reading a lot of recent threads, there seems to be a general dislike of vassals and I'm struggling to understand why. I generally play at Monarch with random leaders (I know its time to move up to emp) and I have found that my recent games have all been domination wins caused by vassalling nearly all the other civs. Once you have beaten an AI civ (i.e. taken all its best cities) and it is prepared to capitulate it can then take another 20-30 turns to mop up the rest of the cities. This time can be better spent healing and smashing into the next victim. I know that vassals are rarely much help in war (except Genghiz who always seems to have another stack of keshiks) and are generally useless for helping techwise but it effectively puts them out of the game much earlier. On a separate issue, why is Mansa such a wimp - he seems to go through life looking for a master. He frequently volounteers to be a vassal even when he is not being threatened by anyone.