I turned off city-states. The game goes much faster now, at least up to turn 160. Quick speed, standard size map with the standard 8 civs, but 0 city-states. The time in between turns is dramatically reduced- I barely feel like I'm waiting at all compared to the same point in my other two games. The time between turns has been under 1 second every time so far, and though I did turn off combat animations (which also helps the pace of the game a lot) there's usually a lot more than 1 second of time spent watching nothing at all happen between turns. For those of you who hate the long waiting times, try the game without city-states. I think it's likely that you'll have a much better time playing 95% of Civ5 quickly than 100% slooooowly. Personally I don't miss city-states: farm vs trading post is a more legitimate choice now without maritimes, and you have to settle where there's a decent amount of food. I used to think this game was horrible mainly because of the balance issues, but I'm starting to think it's because it just wasn't fun sitting there doing nothing for so long. Now I'm actually enjoying the game despite the flaws because I'm more immersed since I'm actually doing something the majority of the time, instead of doing nothing the majority of the time. Those times when you don't get to build anything for a bunch of turns aren't nearly as bad since each turn doesn't represent a huge investment of time. Has anyone else tried the game with city-states off and noticed a big difference like I have? Did it make the game more fun for you? Why or why not?