What to produce?

You need to constantly decide what to produce throughout the game. A sudden event might force you to do it or even better – you anticipate events and you start preparing for it multiple turns before.

Unfortunately you cannot simply mass units the entire length of the game. You must make much effort in improving your cities as well. Growth is important and thus food improvements like a granary is useful. But you should also try to increase the culture ticks as soon as possible so your cities gets access to more tiles and your empire expands. Try to build a monument and temple when you get the time.

Tip: If you're in a crucial part of the game, perhaps you're in a war or a situation where every turn seem to matter more, try producing (and researching) only one item at the time. By following this simple rule you can avoid silly hazards like for example building an improvement building instead of vital reinforcements.

In the beginning of the game you often don’t have the opportunity and time to research for colloseum and build it to improve happiness. You must expand for luxury goods and rely on these bonuses or/and spend social policy points that improves happiness. Later you should definitely queue up happiness improvement buildings when you’re all settled in and your new settlements starts growing.

Also don’t ignore research improvement buildings, they can get very important throughout the game and might decide the final outcome. With high research ticks you get access to advanced technology sooner and can get a superior army compared to your low-tech opponents. But usually the citizens provide a decent research income, so I find myself prioritizing food, units and happiness by a long shot.
Notice that the longer the game lasts the more important research rate will be, so choose wisely.

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