Everybody knows the early game can- scratch that, IS- boring. There is nothing to do. If you have low building times, like in civ 4, then everything is built before you can research more stuff, so I will have every building, 5-6 units, and nothing to do or produce. If you have high building times, then it takes forever to make anything and as a result there is nothing to play with. My solution: minigames. I know this is can be a dreaded word, and many games have been considered worse because of their implementation. And I know most people would think it would be even worse in a strategy game. But I do not suggest a minigame like the card game in Fall From Heaven II, or the numerous puzzles in games such as Spyro. I suggest games more along the line of... Quests. I realize that "quest" sounds fantasy-ish, and fantasy does not belong in a civ game. Its not as if there are Unicorns! But no, thank God, I do not mean fantasy. I mean realistic activities leaders would have. These quests would be things like: -"Our trappers have been disrupted by barbarians, and they request royal assistance from Your Magesty." You have to go kill 3 barbs in say 20 turns, and if you do this feat, the specific hunting camp that initiated the quest produces double its output for 10 turns. Ie 1 gold becomes 2 gold. Some of them can be social policy-related, like: -"As a result of the social code people seem to be abiding by nowadays, the people wish to have a military to glorify. What is your wish?" You have to build an army of 5 units. So if you just unlocked the honor policy branch, then this quest may occur (maybe 1 in ten chance?) and you are given the quest. Completion would result in 5 extra happiness for 10 turns. Or they can be related to recent events: -"The people applaud our great military victory. They wish to lend to the war effort, but do not know how to. Orders?" You have to build a barracks in the city that begins this, and if you do you gain the basic infantry unit of your era, with the morale promotion. These quests would not be optional, but as they would only provide benefits (albeit small ones) there would be no point in chooseing not to do them even if there was the ability to do so. What is your opinion on these ponderings? They came across me as I attempted to play a game of ciV and cIV at the same time. (IV seems less fun now that I have seen all the benefits of V's good improvements, and V is.. V. It is not all it can or should be IMHO right now).