I'm new to the Sid family of games so coming from a warcraft, starcraft and age of empires background leaves me with a few questions that a I'm little fuzzy about. (1) I understand that luxuries must be connected by a road to be "connected" to your population in order to receive the benefits. The luxury makes one citizen happy in every city connected to the luxury via roads. If you have several luxuries like 3 gem squares for instance connected to your entire realm via roads then you should have 3 citizens in every city benefiting right? If this is so how do you end up having "extra" luxuries to trade around with other powers? Also when you trade extra luxuries are you actually trading the entire square's production of that luxury or just what your not using, in other words does the amount the AI gets from you vary? (2)Do fortresses actually work? I thought in the manual it said it made units have an area of control that allowed them to attack into the 8 surrounding squares with the bonuses of the fortress. I have several of them I built around the perimeter of my kingdom along my road spaced 2 squares apart so that theorhetically no enemy could walk past them without getting attacked by my troops garrisoned there. Thus far I have not seen them attack once any of the troops who have gone past. Is there some other criteria before they will auto defend? I assume you have to be at war to prevent a nasty international incedent with the troops that stray into your turf from time to time. Basically I'm looking for a further explanantion on how fortresses work and if other people use them. I know some people would rather have a city occupy the space but I wanted somthing that if I lost it on combat along the frontier would not be a boon for the enemy. My nearest cities are garrisoned about 4 spaces behind the fortresses. (3) Does the AI "cheat" at higher difficulty levels or simply play more aggressively and with little or no wasted efforts? I know alot of other real time games have to have the AI cheat at the highest levels to provide a challenge. Are we all still playing by the same rules on Diety or not? (4) Kind of an abstract question but how long are some of the longest games you've played before in actual real time hours? Thanks in advance for taking the time to help me get educated around here! I am beginning to think that most RTS games are turning into twitch reflex games more than good strategy games and if I want to stroke my twitch reflexs I'll play the Quake 3 Mod Urban Terror. Civ 3 so far seems to be really peaking my interest and reminds me of the 'ol days of Axis and Allies games in college.