I just started playing Civ IV again about a month ago and I've steadily been working my way up the different difficulty levels in BTS and am currently playing on Noble. I'm having two major problems on this setting (which irks me as I used to be able to play Civ II on Diety!). 1) There seem to be long periods of time when my cities can't really do anything. This usually happens for 20ish turns between the time I get Writing and until I get around to completing Alphabet. Usually I research Writing - Iron Working - Alphabet and have at least 5 cities at this point. After building 5 units for every town, plus some fog busters, having 6 workers active and building the buildings I can build at the time (obelisk, library, and granary) . . . there just comes a time where I basically run out of things to build. That just seems like a huge waste to me. I could keep churning out military units, but that effects my cash flow, which in turn effects my ability to research things faster. Which leads me to . . . 2) I think my research is way slow, by the time I get to writing my research is taking around 14 turns a pop and any new improvements a technology can give me, I can build way before I get a new technology and once again, my cities become unable to produce anything of value. This seems like a huge waste of time to me, in a game where wasted turns should be a sin. I assume that it's some combination of me researching technologies too slowly, combined with financial mismanagement of some sort (which eats into my tech rate), and also the fact that I'm playing on an "easier" setting, which makes it easier for me to build things in an efficient matter. Any advice? I could upload a save if that would help.