At what point do the strategies for conquest and domination victories become distinct? In a recent game, I played with the original intent of getting a domination win. When I had about 50% of the land mass under my control, I decided to make it a conquest instead, thinking that might be more satisfying and because I rarely win games that way. So my only change in strategy was to raze and pillage rather than keep and defend. And to do so at the 50% mark. It is likely, however, that much of my empire is dead weight and not paying for itself. I have 4 or 5 strong core cities and then a ton of small and generally unproductive cities that I've captured and am in the process of building those initial courthouses/theatres/granaries, etc. Some of these have finally grown to pay for themselves, I am sure. But many have not. They have, however, given me so many resources that my health and happiness limits have not been a problem. That is a real bonus. I am thinking that maybe a real conquest strategy would have begun much earlier and would not have involved capturing as much as 50% of the globe. Maybe a much smaller amount would have sufficed, and I wouldn't be carrying the dead weight. (but again, I wouldn't have the resources either). I am not necessarily asking for THE conquest strategy, but just wondering what you guys generally do. Does anybody win a conquest victory with only their core 5 or 6 cities? Or do all conquest games start out as domination games, growing to a huge size before killing everybody off?