Regarding the above two posts about gameplay speed and the challenge. One should not be discouraged by the fact that Epic Speeds is easier than Standard Speed. It does not mean that you are bad player at Standard v/s Epic. On the contrary. It has nothing to do with your human skills. It has to do entirely with AI skills on those two alternative speeds. All it means is that the human player outperforms the AI strategically. The longer the game the greater the strategical impact decisions weigh in. The AI has no concept of "the future", it cannot see the future, it can only evaluate the present turn. The human player has a concept of future and can execute strategy with great impact into the future. Therefore on Epic speed the human player outplays the AI because humans can feel the future and act in a forward looking way executing long-term strategies 50-100 turns ahead in time to which the AI is blind as it is stuck in the present time only. That is why Standard speed is considered more fair challenge against the AI. The AI is good in tactical situations of the present but is very poor in long term strategy as like I said it has no concept of the future. And that is why I believe new advances in AI technology is being researched, like machine learning. Aware that the AI cannot see the future naturally like the humans, the attempt is to teach the AI to look into the past as a best approximation to the future. Learning from the past and predicting the future from those past events. These new advances seem to work well because in games like chess and go (long term strategy games) the AI outperforms the human. And it does that by looking into past games and analyzing identical positions and choosing among the successful ones. The AI beats the human not by thinking ability but by sheer memory/databases availability. While Civ5 doesn't use these kind of AI technology, it uses functions and parameters to evaluate on every turn and therefore it lives only in the present. While machine learning can "see the future: because it has seen identical situation in the past in its database.