I just can't get the hang of this game. I've read the manual twice. I've tried this and that. I've played numerous times only to be trashed -- 8 to 12 hours -- only to get pathetic scores for the top scores list. Ack! What am I suppose to do? I've tried ignoring requests to ally to go to war. That seems stoopid, because I was pretty certain I was being used. Then I tried accepting these alliances, and sure enough, the instigator sits on his hands and does nothing! I try to avoid war. I do everything I can to develop my economy first, science second, and culture third. I enter into trade agreements freely as possible and most often don't accept trades that aren't equitable. I even give assistance to pathetic countries, and then get attacked by those I help when they have no freaking chance of wining, and go to war with me only to waste my time and resources. I don't know how to make them happy. WHAT AM I SUPPOSE TO DO? Is there any articles or anything about strategy, with tips and illustrated circumstances? Please! And please don't send me to articles with spreadsheet data for analyisis. I don't wanna be an accountant! Enough with the bean counting! Just give me a general plan and tips on who and what to avoid. thanks.