I started up a large map last night in C3C. Emperor, 40% water continents, middle choices on the bottom row (4 billion, temperate & warm I think). Roaming barbs. Random civ and random opponents. Standard rules except culturally linked starts off and NoAIPatrol=0 for the barbs. I get Dutch (Agri & Seafaring) on the coast with plains tiles, several forest and game. After settling I have desert and incense nearby. No fresh water in sight, but there's bound to be a river a few tiles away. This is a great start! Or so I thought. I had bad luck with barbs before I hit pop 2. They got my warrior and hit my city on the turn it went from size 1 to size 2. Oh well, I'll recover with these traits and this start location... As I explore I find rivers about 15-20 tiles away! Other than that lots of desert and plains nearby. After a while I had a city 3 tiles from a Hittite river...I irrigated from there to the city, then had a gang of 4-6 workers irrigate the roadway back to the palace and then throughout the empire. Took a while, of course. My first two cities are pushing settlers as fast as their 2 2-food tiles (before the irrigation got there) can push them. Along the way I meet my neighbors the Hittites and Carthage, and I'm trying to keep deals with them to keep them polite. Later I meet the Vikings, Byzanties and French. Barbs manage to kill a sword and settler, then later repeatedly ransack a city for all my money right after the Byzantines hit the middle ages. Somewhere in there I managed to eek out a curragh to explore the vast seas. A few turns later it turns out I'm on an inland sea. And I've already met everyone I see along the shores. But wait...two tiles from my city near the Hittite border is another 1-food coast: the big ocean! I redirect a settler there risking making the Hittites mad by settling on their border. A few turns later I whip the city to finish the galley. A few turns later....another inland sea!!!! Surrounded by the Hittites, so no new contacts. Each inland sea appears to have more sea on the other side of a thin land bridge, but other civs already own the area and have built there. So, agricultural with no cities on rivers, seafaring with ports on inland seas, and I had to bring in irrigation from 1/4 world away. Before that I was quite low on food. Plus bad barb luck. On the upside I did grab a horse and an iron. Hittites don't have iron, and Carthage doesn't have horses. I built a road to the Hittites so I could trade my only iron and my incense for tech. 'Course now they'll have swords, but even after reading several brilliant emperor/diety battles against superior AIs I think the Hittites are too much for me to tackle. I may try to attack Carthage since their capitol seems to border yet another sea. The real one this time? I may get dogpiled if I attack, though. I'm doing okay in techs but am behind everyone else. I guess I'll see how things progress after my core starts building up now that I'm about done popping settlers and I finally have some food there. At least I have more than one worker per city.