After reading almost every article I could find here, my game improved tremendously! Previously I had been stuck with AA wonder addiction and was only able to win at Warlord with only massive MA Knight-rushes. With the aid of Fanatics I won so overwhelmingly at Regent level that I decided to jump straight to Deity (on Vanilla). So I'm alive, if that's anything. I'm Russians playing on a standard map, random settings, non-pangaea, heavy barbs. I got such great map position that I feel almost guilty that I was unable to exploit it properly. My capital city started perfectly placed for a 6-turn settler factory, and my scout found a settler early on to give me a second city in time to cut off the northern expansion of my closest rival, the Germans. I have horses and 3 lux goods in my territory but no Iron. I'm currently in the early AD's languishing about 6 techs behind after being beaten to the GL by about 5 turns. Completed a successful Palace Jump to best locations but my 13 cities were mostly crippled by corruption for a long time in the early going. I'm currently earning about 55 gpt, with 31 of that free for trade. However, my problems: 1. The AI will no longer accept my gpt for techs or contacts, even though I have NEVER broken any agreement. 2. I'm fricken behind in techs. 3. There is no Iron resource within my range and even if I wanted it I'd have to wage a massive war with archers and spearmen versus the Germans with swordsmen but not Knights (no horses). I'm currently coming in 3rd of the 4 civs that i have contact with, with the Germans 4th. Logically, I should abandon or restart the game. Are there any ways to salvage this game? And if I restart, what should I do differently? Should I prebuild earlier? space my cities out more to limit the corruption? (I'm using a 2-3 square spacing) I'm bound and determined to seek excellence at Deity and never play another level again. Any help would be appreciated, especially with regards to build order of the secondary cities and the order in which I should attempt to acquire techs. Thanks in Advance.