Rise and Rule of Ancient Empires Game Cheats

You don't need to keep a large standing army around your empire, 
especially in the early stages of the game. Cities have a defense 
value even when there are no military units stationed in them. 
Even if an opponent gets lucky and blunders across one of your cities 
with an exploring unit, he probably won't be able to take your 
city...and even if he gets lucky and takes your city, your people's
affinity for you will likely return control to you on the next turn.

I don't even think about raising an army until I have located at 
least one opponent. Instead, concentrate on building the improvements 
that allow you to build more advanced units. Military units are cheap, 
and you can raise a respectable army in 2 or 3 turns if you've built the 
infrastructure first. 

If you should discover an opposing civilization before it finds you, 
send a small to medium-sized force to threaten at least one city. 
Approach it from a direction other than directly toward your own 
civilization. The idea here is to panic the other player into raising 
an early army of weak units, and to mislead him as to the direction 
of your own cities, while you continue to advance your infrastructure.

It's also a good idea to station some pickets near your enemy, as far 
from your own cities as possible, to keep his explorers away.

Don't waste time or resources on internal trade. External trade will 
help with conquest of opponents' cities, but as a practical matter the AI 
opponents will rarely maintain peace long enough for you to trade effectively. 
Merchants are a valuable unit in head-to-head play, but have minimal 
impact on a solo game.

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