The words "CIV is a war game" didn't came from me, they came from someone else. I think they're true though, because of what SpK said. Ofc. it's possible to play peacefully, but that just makes it more difficult and prolongues the game. When there is one area in which the human has the advantage, it's war, because the AI can basically only defend, it's not efficient at conquering and its build-up of troops is pathetic compared to what a human can do. In the other areas, the AIs perform quite well because of their bonuses though, so it's much harder to beat them there. Denying onesself the advantage in war, really sounds, like one would try to make the game more difficult for onesself. I'm also nervous before every war, but in the end and with good planning, I always find, that I just steamroll my opponents, not mattering what defenses they offer. The only thing that can force me to make peace, is, if an AI reaches Rifles while I attack it, that situation regularly makes me a little angry, but it only happens once every 5 games or so.