I've always tried to build as many cities as possible until I reach the borders of the other civs in the game. Then I go to war to capture more. With only 4 cities it would be difficult to have the production base to build enough units to go on the offensive. Of course you need to keep a defensive force guarding your outer ring cities during you expansion phase in case you run into an aggressive civ or a horde of barbarians.2. Build 4 cities (including capital) and then go to war and capture the rest
I try to start my first Wonder, usually in my starting city, by the time I've built my 3rd of 4th city. The newer cities are used to produce defensive units/workers/settlers, while my capital is busy for 40 or more turns building a wonder. I usually build the Pyramids if I can beat the other civ's to it.4. Can't get those wonders unless I get lucky and get a leader so I don't even try.
If you can't win playing one civ, try another. A players style of play can be enhanced by selecting the proper civilization attributes and unique units ability that match the way you like to build up your civilization. Some civs unique units are available in the early game. If you like to go to war early, pick one of those civs. Some are mid-game units, if you like to expand early and go to war in the mid-game, then select those civs and so on.I always am the French