This is something I was surprised about the more I started to visit the forums. While looking around everything that I see from the players here is all gameplay with the sole objective of winning, and that's it. Maybe it's just because I'm a previous Total War/Europa player, but I almost never play this game just to beat the AI. However, it seems here that's the only way many of you play it. Now don't get me wrong, this is a strategy game, there is no shame in playing that way, but I thought CiV was different. When I play a game of CiV I'm playing it build a Civilization and try my best to create a story with it. I'm building my Civ not to win the game, but to stand the test of time. I love history and like to use CiV as a tool to in a way create it, or change it. Beating the AI can be fun, however I've found it more enjoyable to just see how my civilization lasts and builds in time. If it fails, it fails, if the conquers the world... well, I have a story to tell don't I. To help with this, I've always set house rules for myself. Those are, well... all of the exploits many of you use. Now don't get offended, but stealth bomber spam and bee-lining techs with 6 saved GS are not everyone's cup of tea, some of us like different. usually I set rules that help the AI and make the game a more realistic challenging experience. I've found the AI may not be as bad as we think it is, it's just people exploit it so darn much (lol... nah it just sucks). If the AI can't do it, don't do it yourself. House rules are a fairly effective way at masking the stupidity of the AI. It puts you at a somewhat level ground with the AI, and it becomes much more than a war trying to overcome the insane cheating of the AI. Sure it's not the most strategic way, but maybe its more enjoyable. The term "house rules" seems almost nonexistent on these forums, same with stories of peoples CiV's. When you visit the Total War forums for example, you find people explaining how their empire started from it's small roots and came and did the impossible... or failed. There are some incredible writing with the stories of their empires, and they are a joy to read. But it's mostly about how to win the best way it seems for CiV players, and I never knew this until I started coming to the forums more. It doesn't help that CiV makes all of the diplomacy so gamey, and has all the CiV's so concentrated on victory. The comments about how one CiV hates how your trying to win the game or about how your their favorite city-state really demolish this realistic building a Civilization feeling. I like to feel as we are Civilizations testing human existence and the leaders are mere symbols for them... not just 8 people sitting in front of the computer screen slurring insults are each other on their way to victory. However, it seems CiV has gone in the direction of winning is the main objective, and the Civ's respect this with their comments. Many may like this since they are much more into winning it seems, but it's not my personal preference. This being my first Civ game, I wonder if the older ones were like this. Anyways, is there anyone else out there who plays for the building a civilization experience rather than a strategic victory? This being a strategic game I can't expect people to play this way, however I was rather shocked by it.