In another thread someone was curious about how to win without building any defensive units, so here's an example game. It's emperor, vanilla 1.29, random settings. As I mentioned in that previous discussion, I used to be a classic "combined arms" player, mixing defenders, attackers and arty in a stack. What I have found is that the defenders are unnecessary. Your stacks are actually more effective without defenders, and you can actually win more easily if you don't waste the resources to build them (at least at emperor level). Disclaimer: I am an emperor level player, not a great player. I often automate workers and use the governor because I REALLY hate MM. Thus I will never advance in level above emperor due to wasting so many shields, but I really don't care because this is how I have fun playing (no MM math involved)! So please don't look at this for anything involving micro issues (except to realize how one can still win while never building defensive units despite being terrible in every other aspect of the game). As Russia, from reading the forums here I thought the blitz ability of the cossack would be a huge benefit. Turns out the blitz attribute was added after vanilla (gotta read more carefully). In vanilla the cossack has an extra defense point instead. This would seem to make Russia good for a "no defense" game, but turns out the game was decided by the time I got cossacks anyway. Our story begins in 750BC at the conclusion of the expansion phase. Things look somewhat bleak. I've got 9 whole warriors. I'm down 4 techs already. Egypt (yellow) south of me has built 2 wonders and is looking strong. The good news is they have no iron! So they will be my first victim. Babylonians (red) will make a perfect ally since they have only one border and it's all w/ Cleo. France (pink) also has no iron hooked up yet. I will soon have two, so I can ally France using my extra iron. So the plan is build more warriors before iron is hooked up, no research for cash to upgrade. First build for every city is one culture building (temple until I can get cheaper libs), then barracks if it's a good producer. Barracks cities go all warriors until horses hooked up, then go horses. Other cities go all cats. I don't want to build any swords if possible since they have no upgrade path in vanilla. If things go right, any excess swords will go into sword armies so they aren't completely useless.