Hey there, There are probably people here much better at this game than me, sometimes I still end up in a quite hopeless situation, where I am alone on a continent, without any luxury resources nor religions. At that point I just become the underdog of the game. I don't know if other people know ways to get out of this situation, but I wonder if there are people that would actually keep playing despite this hopeless situation. In some way it should be challenging to play while you are a vassal state of a bigger civ, but I think it goes against human nature to accept such role in a game like civ. Sometimes I keep playing in such situation, but it becomes a littlebit depressing after a while.