One of the things I enjoy the most about Civ 5 compared to Civ 4, and especially since the new patch has come out, is the theoretical ability to win with a smaller sized civilization - with cheaper social policies, more frequent golden ages, national wonders and less happiness restraints, a smaller empire has some bonuses a larger empire shouldn't have so much access to. I like the idea of a small, specialised empire, and so I often find myself stopping at between 3-5 cities and trying to build upwards, generally aiming for culture. One major problem I keep running into, however, is being out-teched by my larger competitors. Whilst I may have many more social policies than them (although my rate of progress still seems a little too slow to win comfortably) I find myself starting to be out-teched even as early as the late medieval era (two or three AI beating me to the Renaissance), sometimes only just getting into the Industrial era as the head AIs hit Modern, or sometimes even Future era. It seems that the scientific pace of a smaller-scale civilization just doesn't compete with the huge AI So, am I doing something wrong? Is there a way that I should be playing which will maintain scientific pace with the AI while staying small, or has Civ 5 disappointed me by being yet another game in which the only way to win is to grab as much land as possible in the first 100 turns or otherwise watch the empire slowly fall behind everyone else?