The first time I played the game I noticed it seems designed to have little action, for whatever reason. Everything takes too long to do and that was unsatisfying for me. So what I did was edit the XML under assets for buildinginfo and units. I reduced the build cost on everything by about 25 percent. I also reduced the upkeep on everything by at least one and sometimes more. I also edited the luxuries so they provide seven happiness, not five. This makes for a game where you can actually construct buildings and units in a decent time, and you're not just sitting around waiting for something to happen. I do still find that construction is slower than I'd like, so I've also taken to making my own maps with a heavy emphasis on hills and forests. I'd recommend these tips to anyone who has noticed the same problems I have.