After the first game in MP LAN i wish to give some feedback. Overall the game it's really fun, but actually MP LAN gamers are really biased. Let's start with the bad news... LAN players are called to a Great Act of Faith: thanks to steam they are called to buy one copy of the game for PC, but after that we discover that multiplayer has been set on the power of a 56k modem of the '90s. No animations means not just that you simply teleport from an hex to another, but that you don't even have a quick combat like civ IV: you simply teleport on the enemy if you win or see the health going down...not even a music or at least a sound!! When it's AI's turn you get attacked and you don't know where, and you have to quickly check for floating red numbers (health decrease) when it comes your turn. You not only can't see the new leader's presentations but you don't even receive diplomatic missions from AI!! Let me explain: you receive quests from City States but AI civs don't propose nothing to you, pacts or tributes or luxuries exchange... you have to propose it, AI civs simply don't interact with you (declaring war apart). Can't also understand WHY it says you have discovered some tech but he cannot read the phrase of the tech... Firaxis PLEASE MAKE US MONEY WORTH IT, GIVE US AN OPTION TO ENABLE ALL, wonder's completion window and music too. Can't understand why LAN games should go faster than Single player...and have less animations than civ II... i mean doesn't anyone realized it? Really?? Firaxis there is a lot of people playing Civ LAN... didn't you know? It seems to me that is BETA MP. Let's come with good news: it really gave me the "one more turn" sensation. Me and my brother play civ LAN since civ III. I started with Greeks and him with Romans, like always, with emperor diffculty. In early years AI reallly surclassed us in anything. The most strong leaders has always like the double of us victory points. Finaly thanks to the "build-first-scout-strategy" i took many ruins and i got an Hoplite. So i defeated many barbarians and took a lot of gold. With that gold (and some quest accomplished) i became allied with two cultured city states and in 1000BC i regulary take 21 culture per turn. I also managed to build a couple of wonders, but i was third in the score, not too bad for AI. Building roads is really expensive (1 gold per tile) and the trade routes (3 gold for a city 4 tiles far from capital) give you less gold than you spend. The most expensive thing for my economy was manteining the alliances with city states: even with greeks (without patronage) it took me 250 gold each 20 turns... but also give + 16 culture (that is A LOT in 1000bc) and furs... i think it's a good investment, with greeks. There are design decisions that i can't understand, why food resources are all the same and worth nothing? Why i should build a farm on a deer instead of a camp, because it gives me more food. Also wonders seems not balanced: pyramids give a great booster (+50% worker speed) but colossus merely give you +1 gold from sea tiles in ONE CITY. Why one should choose Colossus? Things that i like? 1) social policies 2) City States really adds a lot 3) Combat's GREAT improvement 4) "Improved Geopolitics": you are gong to combat now not just for large scale religion wars "against all the buddist", but also for small disputes between city states or to defeat barbs (more often than civ IV), and this valorize the improved combat system. 5) hex are much more realistics 6) AI is not just training stucks of doom and sending them to you like a barbarian, but seems to have a plan to win, good or bad (just now); and so you'll try to win too, not just compare victory points, like in too many civ IV games, where you felt like playng alone if you tryed to win (no matter the difficulty level the AI civs where just obstacles not adversary) 7) the diversified resource system (not all a matter of gold) adds the need to CHOOSE, not just maximize the income of your civ, doing THE right number of city, in THE right places, with THE right resources and techs. Here you have to choose, like the AI, what strategy to pursue, where will you invest your (scarse) gold? Hurry up production early on? (And so, what, units or buildings?) Making friends? (Which? Civ or city states? cultured or militaristic?) Maybe you should choose Science? That's GRAND STRATEGY not just doing all (managing to maximize), but take HARD decisions. We have to be first statemen and only then managers and generals. It seems to me that problems can be fixed with patch and lackness fill with expansions, but i'm happy to see that there is a gorgeous structure behind. Altrought, I was really enjoying the game when Dario invaded Rome with 6-7 units and my brother, who was trying to rush legionaries (like he always do), in that moment have just 2 warriors and a spearmen... It seems that AI is not that stupid because he had his men killed by enemy archers and Rome conquered in 3 turns, and we were used to play emperor at civ IV without any cheat or tech trading. AI attacked not with the intention to "make some damage"(like often in civ IV) but with the intention to conquer and destroy a rival, at the right moment (just because first legion comes up) and in the right way (sorrounding your capital and having archers in the right place). Recapping: GOOD: Social policies, City States, combat improvement, "improved geopolitic feeling", Hexs, AI Grand strategy, diversified and equally important resources (gold, science, culture) BAD: MP animations and settings, LAN Bias, AI to be fixed and improved, losing too much on the road (food resources differences, pollution, health, religion) (to be add with exps?), many balance issues, lackness of in game and out game information on certain aspects. Overall score: 9/10, it may become the best (grand) strategy game of ever (maybe the first), but needs a lot of works and addons. i hope Firaxis will support us, like we supported them.