OK, I have never actually won the epic game on emperor level before, but I have defeated it regularly on Monarch, and I have beaten the rise of rome and WWII conquests on emperor. It is definitely time to step up to the challenge. It is not that I haven't tried emperor before, but I seem to have a nack of getting myself into a bind and getting too far behind, or at least apparently so. In my last attempt I started next to flood plans, but discovered them to be a mixed blessing when my capital suffered repeated bouts of disease before spittin gthe first settler. In two successive turns the capital shrank from size 3 to 1. It was a tremendous uphill battle from then on. I choose a large, continents 70% water, 4 billion years old world. I decided that due to the late map and contact trading, my best chance of success would be with a civ possessing expansionist and seafaring traits to maximise establishing contacts and hopefully get into a brokering situation, hence the Portugese. The start: No flood plains (based on last attempt that is probably a good thing), no river either, but at least a cattle and a bonus grassland. This will do to settle and we will see how we progress.