I've been getting back into Civ5 since I've heard Civ 6 is coming out. And I've played quite a few games with this setup: Celts, Pangaea, Large Map, Immortal (7), Marathon, with only Domination victories allowed. For culture i usually go: Full Liberty, Mercantilism till at least the +2 happy per luxury, then at least 1 rationalism and at least 1 in autocracy. Money is no problem. By the time i put some in autocracy I've usually encountered the break-away-science civ. I play this setup because Domination is the only fun way for me to win and since this game also also not too much fun w/out happiness I go hardcore into religion so that I can have tons of cities. I like to paint the continent with my country's color like the good old school Civ versions, so I like wide empires. I also make it a point to build Notre Dame. But I almost never build other wonders unless i try for Macho Pichu. I like Marathon because I like to experience the ages more instead of whipping past them. I set it for domination only so that AI will hopefully know what's coming for them and give some challenge. Anyway, with difficulties lower than 7 I have no problem. But in 7+ I mostly have no prob but there's always some punk Civ that's out of reach along with a few other civs I can't reach.. but this one civ just breaks away from the rest of us civs in Science by almost an entire era. This is pretty much every game i've seen. So here I am having fun wasting civs like nothing with my new found range 3 artillery and by the time I reach this punk civ with my army they have planes. When a powerful enemy has planes and it will be almost 100 turns in Marathon before you get them it's not fun and usually quittin time. Off topic but there is also a break-away civ with wonders.. every game.. sometimes it's the same civ. This wonder-civ will literally have 20+ wonders when the next highest civ has only 3 wonders. What's up with that? Anyway, I'm wondering if this Science thing is happening as a result of my game setup combination, having a wide empire, or just me not working for science hard enough. I get science buildings asap in my non-puppet cities and put up specialists when I feel i can and also use great scientists to build their tile improvement. I even occasionally purchase great scientists with faith. I have read a few things here and there about how to increase science and work on it a lot but it's not enough. Is the 5% per city science penalty destroying me? Any advice?