Nico Nico Nii!~
That aside be ready 4 war. :B
I've had supposedly benign Civs run through my lands and pillage all my improvements before in 4, so I'm usually quite wary of Open Borders.
Never am, I'm afraid. :x
And your play-style is quite... passive, as you said. Early in the game I usually focus on science and building cities near important resources and then building my military as I begin meeting new rivals. I also usually have cultural **** going in the background at all times - having half of another nation's cities overthrow their evil masters and join your empire is an awesome feeling.
Also you should use a lot of spies, they're cool guys.
Well, there's the whole maintenance cost issue, and the trade bonus usually isn't enough to negate that, from my experience. I also build the improvements first in most cases so that the city can take advantage of the bonuses from the improvements that extra two turns (which is the amount of time it takes to build a road). And what would be logical in our realm doesn't quite transfer to the realm of Civ.
I usually get war declared on me for building cities near important resources, and I usually am unprepared for war if I am declared on, even though I have a tech advantage, because I have to pump my funds into technology to keep pace because the computer civs seem to have access to mysterious sources of gold that I don't. And culture is usually a background thing for me, since you have to have cities producing it at the border in order to avoid being overwhelmed by your neighbor's cultural influence. I rarely have cultural takeovers on Warlord, whereas I had them in abundance at the Chieftain difficulty.
They're expensive to maintain, though. Especially to get enough Espionage points to spend. :\
Game 1 Update 9: Bandwidth Killer
I have compiled a massive update and have now made this first page of the thread a bandwidth killer.
And that Great Prophet from last update is finally in St. Petersburg. Commence construction!
Temple of Solomon complete! \o/ And there was a +3gpt increase just from building that.
Settler built! Now to keep research levels up! (I regret this decision in hindsight)
That stone field looks like a good spot to build a city.
Oh, hey, I have Iron Working. And there are two sources on either side of that window.
And Mathematics is the direction we'll go. My two core cities are getting quite large.
I forgot to redirect my Settler toward the iron source when I got Iron Working.
And we have now founded Rostov.
We'll build a Granary first.
Oh look, some more iron and some horses.
And Rostov has now naturally acquired Judaism as well.
Crap. When did Moscow become unhappy? :( I guess we'll be building a temple next.
The faster Novgorod grows, the faster it'll be self-sufficient. Lighthouse it is.
And Moscow's borders have expanded again.
Crap. I think I see Gandhi's lands there.
I think I'll try to get myself another religion. More gold is always useful to have.
Moscow is finally happy. Time to build some defensive units.
Crap. Just as I suspected.
You are not worth having Open Borders with, Genghis.
Crap. I'm lagging behind in power.
Crap. I was beaten to Confucianism. Time to go for Christianity.
Hey it's you. You've been pretty non-aggressive lately in games I've played. Hopefully you'll be that way this time, too.
And St. Petersburg has built the Temple of Artemis.
I forgot why I took this one, but St. Petersburg is now building an archer.
And it's cool to know that I'm leading in culture. B)
I can't believe I neglected to build a Barracks until now.
St. Petersburg's gonna need a Granary.
And so Yaroslavl' was founded. It needs a Granary, too.
And now I need to build a missionary for the new city.
We need more cities, so I'm gonna build another Settler.