I agree with most of Sulla's points, although I don't agree with blaming 1UPT. I think a decently balanced game could have included that. But I think he actually fails to emphasize two additional problems with the game that are just as serious as those he mentions: 1) The problem with global happiness is not just that it doesn't work as a game mechanism to actually limit expansion. It is that the mechanism makes no sense. Civ is not a role playing game, but even so part of the "fun" is actually feeling like you're building an empire. The decisions need to make sense. Global happiness makes no sense as a feature of empires. They should just call it "expansion penalty" because it is a pure game mechanic that corresponds in no way to what is actually happening. "my happiness is minus one, ergo build happiness building number two." Succeeding becomes a function of pure math. If I'm friends with Singapore, they will deliver food to every city in my empire! What the hell? All of these mechanisms are meaningless and the stupidity would be a problem even if there was balance. 2) So many of the options the game provides are boring because the options have no effect on success. This is a balance problem for sure but it's bigger than that. A huge part of the fun in Civs past is picking that perfect city site. Here all terrain bonuses are pointless and thus the entire map is unfun. 90% of the bonuses and wonders are basically pointless. The game therefore gives very few meaningful choices. Sulla kind of gets at this but doesn't actually go far enough in explaining the unbelievable depth and breadth of the balance problems. And finally there is no reason 1UPT should explain the terribleness of the AI. Has anyone here played Dominions 3? That game was developed by like 3 people and the complexity required of its AI dwarfs what is needed in Civ IMO, and the AI in that game is eons past Civ. It's a total embarassment.