Is anybody playing this free game called The General?
You can get it here:
It has similarities with Civ. The goal is to conquer the world. You must research technologies to increase population growth, urban density, research rate, military strength, etc. Economic strength of your nation comes from peasants who do the farming. But you must convert them to scientists to do research, and convert them to soldiers for defense. You hire a general to lead the troops, a good general is expensive but makes a great deal of difference in battles.
The AI is good and AI countries develop very fast although the author claims the AI never cheats on all difficulty levels. The gameplay is through simplistic menus and there are no graphics, just a few charts and maps. It looks simple to play but it is hard to win. Diplomacy is non-existent in single-player games so if you attack everybody, you can be guaranteed to lose the game when the AI gangs up on you.