I echo Atlas's comments. I don't think the early attack is cheap when it's with one UU - after all the game designers put UUs in the game for a reason. I understand we got lucky and that if the AI was simply programmed to not die it could have super-beelined getting an archer, but in this case our AIs didn't die any easier than real humans in MP games due to Natives. I also feel the Civ/Leader was superb for the varient - both because of the Philo+Great Library synergy, the awesome early barb defender, and the drafting bonus provided by Protective. I hate Protective, but the only time I can deal with it is when drafting - which we decided on turn 1 we would do. As far as the general difference between team A's stronger midgame cities, I agree that overall your game looked better. I don't feel we languished in our game however. Our goal was never to have even decent cities on the mainland. The goal was get the Great Library, and then sit on our butts until Nationalism. On Noble at least, I think both games demonstrated that a strong opening plus a decent understanding of how the player can exploit late-game civics and the vassal system means that the midgame really doesn't matter much.