Okay, big fan of turn-based strategy but never played a Civilization game until recently (was afraid they would be too complicated). I did start to enjoy it, until the same problem started cropping up. Now I'm getting frustrated. Every time I start a new game, I almost always become ahead of the pack in no time and stay that way. Then, 9.5 times out of ten, at about 1750 A.D. one or more other civilizations declares war on me, then promptly wipes the floor with me. I even tried lower difficulty levels, picking a leader with the Defensive characteristic, and focusing on military advancement, and yet I still watch as all my progress is slowly ruined as wave after wave of my musketmen and cannons are easily destroyed by archers and swordsman from the opposing side(s). What in the hell could I be doing wrong? Every bit of advice I can find for newbies online make suggestions that are exactly what I already do. (Don't expand too fast? I usually can't seem to be able to expand enough for the game's expectations, especially since I keep spending more and more on military advancements.) Help me out here, please.