Man is this game hard, It is an absolute day and night difference compared to Civ 5 which is the first Civ I actually learned inside and out. I have read the Civ 4 manuals! Even printed them out and spiral bound them if that toons you into how badly I would like to learn this game. I cant even beat on normal mode (I take that back, I beat it once). Im learning that you actually have to counter units in this game. Like you actually have to pay attention to modifiers and use them accordingly if you want to stand a chance in battle. However I still run into problems. I have read the strategy forums, it doesnt help! Something is going wrong with my early game that destroys me for the rest of the match. 1) I keep getting boxed in. I love the small maps with only a few civs, however try as I might to rush settlers I almost always get boxed in. How on earth do you combat this? I could play a bigger map, but like I said I tend to enjoy ones that are not as large. Any tips? 2) My early game looks like this.....Build warrior, get civ pop up a little bit. Get a settler, get some prime ground, rinse and repeat another time or so, research techs that will improve my surrounding territory, get a worker up and working as well. This style seems to work rather nice on civ 5 and the same holds true here, but once again I end up lacking. How important is it to pay attention to the overall "score" of each civ? One thing I notice is that sometimes im not the top civ and in the lower brackets and it is demoralizing. How important is it in early game to use that as a judge to see where you are at?