I've been playing this game for a while. While I can sometimes win on Emperor level, I'm finding anything higher than that impossible. It just seems that around modern era the AI ramps up it's production so much you're effectively trying to hold back the ocean. In my last game, I was playing Ethiopia on Immortal. I chose Authority/Fealty and was starting on Imperialism. I'd managed to take three cites from Brazil as well as one city Spain had aggressively forward settled. After a war in which I was fighting France, Spain and Russia (the three most powerful civs) combined, France managed to capture Rio which I then captured from France. The war ended and everything was fine for a while. Then Russia and Spain declared war on me. I was was able to hold back Russia for awhile and was even in striking distance of a city when Spain sailed up with what must have been 100 frigates, cruisers and ironclads and laid waste to my eastern seaboard. I had about a dozen gattling guns and cannons defending it, but it was no match for their superior numbers. It seems every game goes the same for me. Found about five cities in the ancient/classical era, defend and build basic infrastructure until the late medieval, go to war and capture a few cities, have the AI totally hate you despite each of them acting even more warmongery, and then around modern era have them all gang up and dump wave after wave after wave of units on you. There's no way to keep up. My pacifist games are no better. Around modern era everyone decides they hate you, even if you haven't lifted a finger against anyone the entire game. I keep wondering if I'm missing something - if there's some basic strategy the game expects you to follow that I am missing, or if it's expecting you to pick certain settings when creating a game and I keep picking ones that are impossible (I was using pangea/standard map size/8 civs/epic pace). Some other threads here talk about 6 cities being 'tall' and ten or twelve being 'wide', but in my experience even being able to found 6 cities is pretty rare and only happens if you have a fairly isolated start and with decent resources.