I am fairly good at computer games in generall, but this is my first time playing a civilization game. I first played a quick campaign on settler difficulty to get to know the game a bit better. It was very easy of course, i flew through the game with no problems and no AI declared war on me. Then i tried on the "normal" difficulty. It was fun at first, and in point i was about in 3:rd place all the time so i thought that maybe i could win. I dont like war (especially because i dont know how the war system works in this game, and i prefer to not go to war in strategy games when i can, its the building that i like). Because of this i did not have more combat units then one in every city defending, and also the most of them was the warriors that you get first . Then at around 1500 all hell broke loose and two factions declared war on me. In the next turns they came with around 20+ units of war elefhants and catapults and stuff and just destroyed me. I tried to produce some muskeeters in every city but i realised i was doomed. So my "question" is really this; is it possible to play a natural game of building and expanding by culture or do you allways have to build and have an army prepared if someone declares war on you? If so, is it enough to defend the citys that are at the boarders of other civs or do you need to defend every city? Also, is it possible to trade with the AI without having a open border contract? It cant be fun if they declare war when they have their units in my regions..