I'm used to playing on the Huge map size, and Marathon game speed, too. I'd usually gank a neighbour early, then settle down and go for a Space Race victory, with having Diplomatic Victory as a second option. As this began to get kind of boring, I changed some settings around. I played on a Standard map instead with six opponents, and to my surprise this had a tremendous effect on the gameplay experience. The AI was much more aggressive, and had no problems with keeping the technological pace up either. It felt like playing versus a way better AI, to be honest. It was performing well better than on a Huge map. So this led me to wonder what the influence of the map size (and number of civilizations) actually is. What factors are influenced by this setting? Is the AI struggling to efficiently organize its empire on larger maps? Any information would be welcome. Also, is it possible to set a random number of opponents somewhere when setting up a custom game?