Hi! I'm new to the civilization franchise, civ5 is my first exposure and I've logged too many hours already! Just my personality, I'd *prefer* to win peacefully, hunkered down in my little piece of paradise. My one stint as Ghandi hoping for cultural victory, with just 4 cities, did NOT go well. I was rolled over. Do puppet city states count against # of cities unhappiness btw? Anyway. Inevitably, every game, no matter how friendly I try and be to cultivate relationships, no matter who those relationships are with, I get embroiled into a war. Some civs might, I suppose, be more irrational (*ahem* montezuma), or more militant, but even Siam will go from friend to foe in an instant, and then I'm forced to beat him down. Even if all I wanted to do was build farms and libraries! Soon after my war with that first backstabbing neighbor, every civ is calling me bloodthirsty, starting wars with me, and I find I've got a sprawling empire of their puppets and am on the warpath to domination victory whether I wanted it or not! And if I try and have mercy and make peace after taking them down a peg, 40 turns later I'm regretting it when they try and fight me all over again! So I'm forced to grind them into extinction, not a city left. Hech, even Napolean in my current game, castrated very early on, decided to declare war on me when he had all of TWO CITIES still stuck in the dark ages! I don't get it! He was even friendly for a while! SO: I need some diplomatic advice. I also want to know, if total war is unavoidable, do you ever stop expanding at any point? Do you ever stop taking on puppets? Sometimes maintaining happiness gets difficult, and I start to raze cities instead of puppeting them: but of course, I lose those gold routes, whatever production they had, AND someone else starts spawning new cities on the ashes of the ones I just burnt down. Or so long as you've got the gold to buy colosseums and theatres, do you just go on building an empire to stretch across the largest map? I'm getting a little frustrated. thanks! -Bernard Oh, btw-- how do anti aircraft guns work, when aircraft are housed in cities? Are they only effective if a fighter or bomber tries to attack the antiaircraft unit itself?