I had won a game on epic noble level as the Russians just a few days before playing this so I had had a little more practice than some people. I stuck London 1 square North of the starting position and this seemed to be paying off as I had more woodland and an extra hill within the city boundaries. This made it a little more useable as a production facility. I managed to get the Collossus and the Great Lighthouse built there without too much fuss from the other Civs. But I made some stupid errors throughout the game that I think add up to just cost me the game on the final stretch (I was a few space ship parts behind the Americans at the end of the game). The lack of horses was a problem throughout history and without a permanent source of a mobile attack force, I tended to play defencively. I was quite sloppy with some of my city positions too. I went for the stone quarry in the desert for York and I still kinda stand by that move, but it was still quite a gambit that cost a lot of other postions. First I wasted more units than was necessary in taking down a barbarian city (sending forces of 4 or 5 thinking "that'll be enough to take them on" and watching them get cut down in the forest). A sneak attack by the Aztecs that I only just survived woke me up to the fact that I was large but weak. I consolidated, building up my defences and frontline culture, grabbing Taoism and Islam as religions to call my own. When Saladin looked technologically weak, I picked off a few of his cities just so that Lincoln and Mansa Musa (my Northern for the most part friendly neighbours) didn't get any ideas that I was a pushover. I then had another campaign against the Spanish that won me few friends in the International community but did secure my borders further. For a while I was the largest civ after that. Just as I was attempting to catch up in the industrial era, Saladin who I had written off blasted his way through my borders and annexed an important cultural city with cavalry and I realised the war in his mind had never finished. It took machine guns and infantry to flush him out and then I took Baghdad just to be sure that he would never be a threat again. All this cost me dear in resources that should have been spent on beefing my productive forces ready for the final space ship rush. So I reached the end of history as a runner up in the space race.