I've really been having a tough time adjusting to the much more aggressive AI in BtS (which I just bought, finally, last week). I usually played Prince in Vanilla, but I have been beaten repeatedly on Noble difficulty in BtS. My main problem seems to be that the AI expands much faster than I am used to, and is much more focused on military than before. I'm usually a warmonger myself, but I have found myself reluctant to go to war because of other countries power ratings. I can keep technological parity, but it seems that I am outproduced by every other nation. Here is my current game, which is rapidly going downhill. I had recently declared on top dog Zara after finally bringing my military up to his level, only to have Napoleon (an ally) and Bismarck attack me one after the other, forcing me to suspend my war with Ethiopia. Adding insult to injury, the Apostolic Palace, which until recently I was the head of, forced me to return a city to Zara. I believe this particular game is no longer winnable, but I could use some specific pointers on preventing this from happening again. One last thing: is it just me, or are siege weapons no longer that effective against cities? In my war with Ethiopia I built what I judged to be an adequate amount of artillery (about 9-12 catapults and 4 trebuchets), only to have it take more than 3 turns to break down the first city's defenses (which I might add, were around 70% according to the counter near the name of the city, but the information bar at the top left of the screen recorded its defenses being above 100%.