With the new patch out, I decided to try Civ V again. I had bought it on release day, and the game was so sub-par that I played about 4 games to a victory and decided it wasn't worth bothering with. Now I'm back and hopeful, but here are some problems I'm having. Infinite AI City Sleaze: I'm on my second game with the newest patch, and in both, it appears that the AI nations are doing ICS. Not just some, but seemingly all (that I have had contact with). I'm not sure if my own setup options do that (I create random personalities for AIs when I set up a game) or if the AI is simply using its cheating advantages to ICS. Am I wrong on this? I don't remember the prior version(s) doing such bad ICS. They would leave space between cities. I'm playing on King difficulty, and I can't compete with their map control. This is a bad predictor of my future enjoyment of the game. Any advice? Playing hundreds of turns of 1-dimensional combat to try to keep this "AI bacteria" behavior doesn't really appeal to me. This is an especially aggravating source of frustration with the game because *I* as a player have to manage my damn unhappiness/empire creep downside (social policies taking longer). The AI doesn't seem to have those same constrictions to play with. I've seen nations with 20 cities to my 8, when I'm struggling with massive unhappiness despite my wonders and my awesome burial tombs...(I play Egypt a lot). I still don't get the idea behind research/growth. When I start out, how should I manage the balance between the need to grow and the need to keep pace with cheating, sleazing AIs? I like to play Egypt because I mostly enjoy growing an empire and being the wonder leader. But even on King, I'm being out-teched and then out-wondered when I'm Egypt, WITH marble, and with Aristocracy. So I should have massive advantages in wonder-building, which doesn't matter when the AI out-techs you. I could really use some advice, or direction to a strategy guide on how to manage early city construction. I'm not interested in having to conquer and raze 20 enemy cities every game just so I can have decent space on which to build my empire. I tried that. It's boring, and time-consuming.