You're right on, Fetch. Got my game pegged. I am doing exactly your advice -- getting some boats on the water. Caravans will go ocean, right? It's now about 1000 AD. Freddie tanked up around 0 AD. My cities are coming into their own, but man am I behind on tech. Running 8th. But I've got Mansa, and research now approaches 50%. Getting ready to set my GP farm now, hopefully with Globe (though it appears my best city will get to size 28). Civ4 is a much different game from Civ3, that's for sure. Thanks for "custom game" guys. I didn't notice it. Will look harder next game. SMOKE CITIES: After reading the manual, and looking at the board, it appears that city growth just affects city growth. IE, the angry people eat 2 food, which can lead to a decline in pop. But apparently no city destruction. I've got lots of smoking cities right now so I'll watch buildings carefully. NO MONEY: Yea, I had a negative cash balance even at 0 tech there for a turn or two. All kinds of units got disbanded, probably 10. A little bit of micromanagement got things turned around. Civ4 plays so much faster than Civ3 that I just haven't gotten the habit of management down again. We'll see if it costs me my first game.