Now, this post is more of a rant than anything else. If you find aggressive methods of talking something not suitable for you, back off. This is thread is sincerely meant to talk about the bulls*it factors of the game. I am only a casual player and after a lot of reading here I felt need to bring some things up. Arguement : The actual level of play. It's horrid. It's absolutely horrid. Anything below Emperor is meant for players who do not understand the game. Don't be offended. It doesn't mean you are incapable of learning or stupid if you don't agree with my sentence. Majority of players cannot beat emperor. Answer : People need to realize the key to playing CIV is understanding the game. Not simply pulling through a strategy in 6000 years long struggle. The biggest morons are the ones who choose Rome, Egypt or Persia to pursue your goals. You use cheap tactics (UU Is horsecrap) to beat the weak AI. It cannot compete against your save-reloads and perfect starting spot. The AI Cannot beat you in game that is made to favour you. Especially on lower difficulty levels. Even immortal level AI is so handicapped with its huge armies its unbeliveable. Emperor computer can find barbs hard, you understand where im getting into? You need to learn to adapt. You need to understand whats the best way to safe the first 10 turns and have long sight on your actions. You have to understand and manage the events that will occur in the game, not time your strategy perfect. A clever player doesn't go through his/hers game thinking about "The pyramids, i cannot play without them". Good player thinks, Where are the pyramids? Could I possibly conquer them and double my landmass. A good player is greedy in his/hers actions. Understand the fact each grid in the game serves a purpose. Don't think about the city in 200 turns. Think about it in the following 10-50 turns. The fact you need to be able to exploit it as soon as possible even if it means ignoring resources. You do it because you need swift advantage over the AI. Your science rating will go up by degrees. Meaning making calculated decisions and conquering a lot of land from the AI. Many people think you need to place to city to contain as many resources as possible. No, you need the city to be an early powerhouse. In near future you'll build another next to it. 2 Moderate cities. This is of course if you make it long enough. Smart people will understand this will almost triple your future potency when the conquered AI and your old landmass is combined. Arguement : AI Cabality AI is a gigantic ass and a moron in CIV IV. It's only there to be exploited. I was earlier playing a game on immortal level, where i had standard sized continents map. I started out having 3 cities, there was no need of building more. Any more would have only had damaging effect on me. I battled the nearest AI with major (But affordable) attacking force and completely overwhelmed it. The AI had nothing to attack with, it never does when you do things right. The looser walled and locked himself in even when he had me surrounded in landmass. There wasn't no casual attacks on mines or resources. Not even border cities. I had everything guarded and securing the main strategic points of the map kept the AI at bay. (Yes, the AI does a lot of math and calculates if attack is worth doing). Like i said, you only exploit it. I conquered everything with hardly any losses. My total landmass increased to 10% from a few %. Next to me was Washington who had meanwhile surrounded me all over, with biggest landmass of 15%. I launched assault on towards his strongpoints and easily gained his most important holdings. Even with all the cities surrounding me he was not able to launch not single counter attack. Meanwhile i had only been teching and super-rushing the conquered lands with whipping and chopping. Using the right grids. I turned a malfunctioning . .. .. .. . empire into gigantic powerhouse in matter of a dozen turns. Now what did i have there? Do the math. Time to tech my homeland experienced, strong attacking force, defensive force Conquered capital and the best chosen locations for extra cities. I razed all the stuck-up cities. What i didn't have : Few barely able-to-upkeep-themselves cities with pyramids and weak force to call upon the AI to launch its mass invasion from all border areas. To cripple you, not conquer. You have to take the fight to him/her. Arguement/Answer : Strategies This is the biggest BS factor of the game. Chariot rushes, egyptian chariot rushes, praetorian rushes. And top of all quechua rush. I'd laugh my ass off if you were forced to win just one game when all your luxuries and choosings would be taken away. Play leaders like montezuma or alexander to understand the game. Spirituality is the stronggest trait of the game for a leader that doesn't hold any aces in his pockets. Philosophical is a great trait. I hate coin economy. I only do specialists. Financial is . .. .. .. .. Play with your cottages if you wish to. Whipping/Civics/Specialists are the art. Allow you to swiftly turn wasteland into cities. You might find it funny to exploit easy money, I don't. If you have to rely on anything but a random civ, you really just aren't good. I do choose my civ, but i can manage without. I play "seemingly weak" leaders. Oh, im sorry you don't have your praetorians conquering all the world for you. Whats the point of that? Play equal fight on equal battlefield and show your better than your opponent. Unique buildings are a great thing, generally. Any building is. People do not understand the value of half-priced universities or promoted units but only look at the simple side of the game. The overall grinding of the map. Play random civ, first start if you want to prove anything to yourself. I see a dozen of games here that groups play. Let me first say, they are ass. A chariot rush never fails or scout lives all the way to 2000 AD. On immortal your likely to run into at least two animals at once every turn, meaning you have to slow down the scout or seek for 75% cover. Last time i was on forrested cliff i ran into a lion and a 2 Speed puma finished it on the same turn. Thats life guys, you lose sometimes. Your telling me you don't reload? I laugh at that, stop cheating yourself. The scout is likely to die, its just matter of how hard you can make it for the enemy to kill it. Use skip turn, walk one turn, seek for cover. You might get him to live and do the important part of fogbusting when you rush with a settler. Then again, he might die too. Your chariots might die too, crippling you. Likely they will die at immortal. Maybe you should build immortals? You know, AI can't beat them. Proven it a million times. With immortals you don't criple yourself even if you have to pull back from a war because you just go for the weakest opponent with best cities. Get real, you don't have to rely on luck. Rely on knowledge and math. Know your opponent, know what he can be or cannot beat. It's not sad to rush with swords and catapults. it's the right thing to do. I think most people here prefer it to as "Axe rush". I just dont like to give any offensive tactic a name. It means its been used once. You adapt. Maybe you need siege weapons maybe not. You need to know it before going in. There are dozens of threads about cultural victories and and stuff like that. are you guys cowards or something. the worst part is when you lose with your strategy against a weak computer, lol. With creative minds, this can be taken as far as beating deity. But admit it. As an average player you probably did it by copying somebody here. New players don't think about cultural victories . My buddy can beat a prince computer after i showed him a quarter or game-well-played. He didn't even understand the meaning of buildings. He just chose to use praetorians when he found them from civiliopedia. I had so much fun watching him whip the AI's. And people actually here tell its hard. Im not saying my friend is a monkey or stupid, but he adapted in matter of hours. It's because he was taught to understand the game. He couldnt perform great but he didnt do amateur mistakes either, that are greedy settling of cities and building the wrong things in them. Use them for their purposes. Conclusion : THIS IS A RANT. I am not a genious. Im actually very stupid person but i could take immortal level computer on BTS on first try. And that was after 6 months pause. Im ranting, for your good. To make you a better player. I don't care, i barely play CIV anymore. Besides with a couple of friends in internet. I suck, bad. But i understand the game, and thats what its all about. Thanks!