I played all iterations of Civilizations, 1 through 5. Although I could say I really played Civ 1 and 2 and now I'm taking some time with 5. Civ 3 and 4 I played a little, tried some higher difficulty level, lost, and didn't take my time to learn it. So I begun playing Civ 5 a couple weeks ago. Started with a Chieftain (I was considering myself a newbie, since a lot has changed since Civ 2). Although I played by instinct, not knowing what to build and study, I scored a domination victory easily. I started reading some guides on the internet and really learning what I was doing in the game. Then I decided to move one step in difficulty and change victory type to science. I was way ahead second civ. One step more in difficulty to Prince. Culture victory. Way ahead second. King. Diplomatic. Way ahead. Now I'm playing Emperor. I'm still on 100 AD or so, but I'm already second civ in score after beating the top one to ashes. BUT, I don't think that I'm already at this level of play. There's a lot I don't understand yet and I make a lot of mistakes. So I'm wondering what's happening. I play mostly default settings, small maps (the one below standard) and usually choose a civ according to the victory I want, except my first (Chieftain) and present (Emperor) games, that were random. My strategy was pretty much the same. Right at the beginning try to conquer the neighbor civ. Since I'm playing small maps, it's usually two or 3 civs per continent. I usually get a little behind on science and culture, but I'm able to catch up later having the whole continent to myself. So I'm wondering that maybe this is some trick that makes winning in these conditions easy and I could still be beaten in other game conditions even on Prince or King level. Have any of you tried this small maps, early warmonger strategy? Is it real or have I just been lucky so far?