Spoiler : Very well written! Congratulations! Spoiler : Large empires are indeed much better than smaller empires in Civ5. The only drawback is that large empires have a harder time trying to win a Cultural Victory (if this is really something possible to happen). But, when your empire is the most powerful, there are other and more interesting possibilities... Spoiler : Playing Civ5 like Civ4 (or any other version) is suicide. Trying to win as a "small empire" is self punishment. Constant conquest requires constant genocide. That's it - the "grand strategy" game.