Part of the problem with this particular scenario is that not only are all of the AI in contact with another from the start, The Netherlands, which is what I play (my family background is Dutch), has the fewest cities of any civilization on the board, three in the unmodified (by me) scenario and four in my modification. So I start in a far less advantageous position with respect to research and production of units. As a partial compensation, I give the Netherlands extra colonists at the start, along with some Leader units to rush a couple of Wonders for additional tech. I have several Wonders that give two bonus techs when built. However, it takes time for the extra colonists to get started building cities, and I have only three cities to initially build Wonders in. I manage to stay even with the AI at Regent by these means, but I would hate to think about higher playing levels. Theov, and any else who may be interested, whould you like a couple of biq files to look over?