I currently only build encampments if I'm going for a domination victory. I often don't research Bronze Working for a long time and only if I think I can fit a spearman (not a swordsman) into my builds for the sake of the eureka chain. In most of my games (all deity lately), I build 1 slinger then buy 2 and upgrade them to archers. To me, this is by far the most efficient use of gold in the entire game because of how discounted it is and the 3 eurekas and 1 inspiration that result. Then I build walls in whichever city I think will be attacked and that's sufficient to hold off an AI. Ultimately, I end up with a warrior, 3 archers, 2 catapults and 2 galleys. If you ignore the bottom of the tech tree until you have a bunch of universities, these units provide most of the eurekas and inspirations you need. Sometimes I throw in a spearmen for the 2 eurekas it provides or horsemen if I need extra muscle. Most of the swordsmen strategies people post leave me asking, "what do you do when you don't get iron and how do you tech/civic?" Likewise, what do you do when you don't get niter and then oil? I only do that with civs that have swordsmen that don't require resources. What on earth am I missing? I know there are a bunch of eurekas and inspirations from encampments but they're mostly about the bottom side of the tech tree (i.e. not economy or tech) and a single spearmen and some great people fills in the gaps really easily. If I go mid-topside on the tech tree, I always get field cannons before the AI simply because I'm rocking universities everywhere and have hit a bunch of great people by virtue of rushing econ. I really enjoy playing encampment based Civs but I get the impression that everyone rushes an encampment in their capitol and I just don't get it given that you can ignore that part of the tech tree incredibly easily without any risk. Note: I have used IZs and harbours even before GS. It's kind of dreamy for me on the latest patches Note 2: I always balance chopping with the corollary that I have to build a builder. I have rushed pyramids with Liang in addition to chopping an army, and that makes sense to me. That's pretty specific though and, again, is hopelessly unreliable unless your swordsmen don't require iron. Thanks for any responses and big thanks in general to the folks on these forums.