I'm just dropping this here because I suspect I'm not the only one who may have never actually tried inland sea before. I do not remember ever starting one in Civ 5 either. The idea of a map where East and West do not meet was very unappealing to me. I finally gave it a try, and it's exceeding my expectations. Results: - The sea matters and you have to fight for resources in it; - You need to fight for the coast for those juicy sea routes; - Pillaging sea routes galore; - Smaller water body = more naval warfare. It makes perfect sense now that I see it (it's impossible to avoid one another). - The limitations that the AI seems to have in bodies of water is considerably reduced here, not because there's less water, but because the AI usually has issues traversing them from one continent to another. Here they can just go around. - You WILL be stuck between at least two civs, regardless of how careful you are positioning yourself. On other maps typically I have an entire side protected by coastline. Here I have potential threats from two sides. - There's something appealing about the 'Campaign Map' look (map bordered on all sides) which I had never considered before. - New World Age makes for some epic natural barriers. That happens in every map, but there's so much land in Inland Sea, it makes it even more clear. You'll want to use forts just for the sake of awesome. --- --- If you have never tried Inland Sea before and always go for realistic Earth maps or landmasses surrounded by sea, I suggest you give it a try.