Great game. Its killing me! I've tried five times now on the prince level, and each time something different goes wrong. First try, I was never at war once with the AI players. I thought--how fortunate, perhaps I have a chance. No dice. The Malinese launch to Alpha Centauri just about the time I industrialize. Second try, I wasn't prepared for those pesky barbarians. They didn't take my cities, but I spent so much bleedin' production trying to fend them off that I fell way, way behind. Then I was attacked by the AI and game over. Third try, the AI ganged up on me early. I had no chance. Game over. Fourth try was like the third, only the AI waited to pounce until later in the game. I was better prepared, but there was just too many of them. Game over again. In my most recent attempt, I avoided war for as long as I could. Founded the only religion on my continent so we were a nice happy family at first. I maintained (just barely) every advantage until the Aztec's came a'calling from across the oceans. Turns out there was a huge continent over there with at least 4 civs more advanced, powerful, and wealthy than I. But at least they were "over there". Back in the home land, I'd been trying to get some good wonders going. But at least four times, on the very turn that I would normally have produced it, some other AI would curiously produce it. WTF, says I? Once, it could be a coincidence, even twice. But four times? Bah. So then all the other nations begin trading techs among each other and suddenly I'm dropping fast in the ratings. Still, we're barely into the classical era, and I figure there's a long way to go yet in this game. I can do this. Well, eventually, the Aztecs decided to attack me. My first war. He's in first place tech and powerwise, so he could crush me if he wanted to. But he just doesn't have the determination to send enough troops across the ocean to dominate me. I defeat the stack of troops he dropped off on my coastline and we make peace a few turns later. Meanwhile, things are heating up in my happy little family. Tokugowa (?) declares war on Asoka. A few turns later Alexander, my other brother in the increasingly neurotic family, joins with the Japanese against Asoka. I join with Asoka against the Japanese, but Alex and I keep our distance. Asoka drops in the ranking, but I climb. Tokugowa climbs. Alexander climbs. Basically we split up the spoils of war. I had retaken the cities Tokugowa claimed from the Indians and kept them for myself. Things weren't looking too bad. My military was comparable with the others in my insane family. I had gained ground. Peace breaks out across the land. Everything is calm for a hundred years or so. Then, from across the sea, Catherine and Genghis, despite being significantly weaker, declare war against me. Why, I don't know. The AI is crazy like that. Similar to the Aztecs, the ocean is too big to make the effort worth it for em. I defeat their little stacks and concentrate on building up tech and culture. My army was good. Not great, but good. But just then Alexander and Tokugowa both gang up on me, and somehow, despite being contantly broke, they both have about a jillion next generation units. Game over. So it seems like in every game something different goes wrong and I don't know what path to take to overcome it. Okay, I need military to fend off the beasties. But if I spend the production into making a proper army, I fall behind in everything else and never have enough army to make conquest an option anyway. Not to mention I just don't have the coin to support the army. If I try for culture, my army is weak and I'm inevitably invaded. Same for economy. I'm attacked before I can ever afford a good enough military. Then there's that annoying, uh, feature, where the AI consistantly builds wonders one turn before you do. Or, miracle of miracles, manage to upgrade every one of their dozens of units with only a hundred gold or so. And a million other little things. I keep looOOOOoooosing, and its killing me. I know these aren't very specific questions, but.. if you can... help!