Hello all. I've had C3C for a year and a half now, and I'm comfortable enough with winning on Monarch, to the point where it got boring. Eventually I realized, if it's too easy, go up to Emperor (duh). I prepared myself by reading Ision's excellent article on "The Great Leap", along with other advice from the Forum, and thought I could handle it. Sort of . I was able to get a Cultural win on my 2nd or 3rd try with the Iroqouis. And I also narrowly lost a Space Race as the Celts (my score was well over 5000). Since then, however, I keep failing miserably. I thought I had a good game going with the Chinese, but my bloated military became obsolete and I couldn't keep up enough in tech, so that the AI had Musketeers by the time I got Riders. Other times, such as with the English or Sumerians, I apparently over-expanded and got ambushed. Still other times, with Babylon and Egypt, I got frustrated and gave up as my Golden Age was triggered while still in Despotism. So, with that in mind: 1. How do you guys keep up in tech? I know about trading with the AI, but I can never seem to get a tech before they do, and I never have anything they want. Other times I've tried buying techs, but it's so expensive (e.g. 220 gold for Ceremonial Burial) that I still far way behind. Particularly frustrating is when I beeline for Philosophy, only to NOT get the free tech 2. In a related vein, do you beeline for Republic or Monarchy, even at the cost of being able to build offensive units or marketplaces? I can't take another Despotic GA! 3. I know about settler factories, and try to set them up ASAP when possible, but is it worth a tech detour to research Pottery early, even at the cost of falling behind in the Philosophy race? 4. Similarly, I now know NOT to build hordes of spearmen, and try to build as many offensive units ASAP, but is it worth a tech detour for Warrior Code (or a HUGE detour for Iron Working)? Should I just build hordes of Warriors and count on quantity over quality when playing a builder game? (Obviously, when I take a Militaristic Civ, I build swarms of Archers right off the bat) 5. How soon do you build workers? I often find myself not building any until I've got 3 or 4 cities going, preferring to spend the population points on settlers instead. 6. Is it worth it to do heavy pop rushing for Temples, Libraries, Barracks? I've been doing a lot more pop rushing than I used to do on Monarch, and thought I was doing a good job getting my infrastructure up quickly, only to have serious financial shortfalls (especially when having to spend 10% or 20% on lthe luxury slider). 7. Is the Despotic GA really to be feared and despised as much as I do now, or I should I just get over it and kick some tail with my War Chariots or Bowmen? If you've read this far, you have my gratitude. Now please help! I don't want to go back to Monarch!!!