I agree with everything posted above except for the final portion, so I just wanted to offer a counterpoint on the Central Asian civ issue. Until the Mongols, essentially every Central Asian empire was nomadic in nature but extracted tribute, money, goods, etc. from the oasis trading stations along the silk road. This seems better represented by ind. cities with occasional barbarian spawns. Then we get into the definition of a civilization in the mod as essentially "the story of a people/ethnic group/culture" etc., and until the 18th century most political polities in Central Asia derived their legitimacy from having rulers who were directly blood-related to Genghis Khan. Therefore, the first truly non-Mongolian peoples who we could insert into Central Asia would not arise until the 18th century, and the most important of those was Bukhara. But in the grand scheme of things Bukhara was never larger than one city and just not that important. On Central Asia, I think we should resist the urge to "fill the map" and instead encourage other civs such as the Persians, Iranians, Mughals, Chinese, and finally Russians to expand into the region. But since they already seem to do that in nearly if not all of my games (admittedly not more than 1/2 a dozen), I'd say just leave it the way it is. We shouldn't bend the rules of the mod to fill the map.