Chris, jeweling is a great way to supplement your income, but more important to a non-donator is making sure that you have value so that you can always be collecting resources and interest, especially this early in the round. Get your alliance members to help you take a city every day. I'm sure that you'll be hunted daily, mix things up by taking different cities so that they can't just build up troops in the cities around your base and force you to spend a lot every day to get value, or maybe if you can get a city off of a neutral player (non AI/3rd) AI will let you hang onto it.
I think war might be God's way of teaching us geography. -Paul Rodriguez
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