Well, now I don't feel so bad. My contender game made it to the 800 ADs before Shaka came to wipe me out and I retired. I then played the Adventurer game, and even that was no piece of cake. I took revenge on Shaka and got up to ~20 cities, but then was walled in by Sury who had a huge military. I was Friendly with him most of the time, so a massive invasion didn't seem worth it. I had to do some catching up in the Industrial era, but I finally upgraded to Infantry and went east to take out Zara. After that, I settled into Space mode because I had spent way too much time on the game already. Space victory in 1943.