I was only able to build 3 cities plus capture a barb city before I was blocked by the AI. My expansion was delayed by the desire to build pyramids. But, by pure luck, I had managed to deprive Alex of iron and copper despite the balanced script, so I declared war around 500BC. Axes, swords and cats wiped out his archers in 1000AD! At the end I was racing Augustus to get to Alex's cities, so I ended up with 7 total cities. Augustus could have captured Corinth, but stopped his assault to bombard Corinth, allowing me time to get there and steal the city from him. The next phase was to build up the economy and prepare for the next war. Cyrus to the north was my friendly Hindu buddy and cautious Asoka, the culture-monger, was to the west, so my recent ally, Augustus, was the next target. He had a huge stack in Thebes, against my similar stack in nearby Sparta. The stand-off would end when Augustus declared war on Cyrus in 1740. Cyrus asked me for help and I declared war on Augustus in 1750 and practically walked into Thebes. The initial phase of the war between Cyrus and Agustus was a bloodbath as history (replay) recorded 6 Great Generals being born in the first 4 turns 4 for Cyrus and 2 for Augsutus. It was infantry vs. rifles, so it was just a race between Cyrus and myself to divide Augustus' empire. I captured the prize of Rome by 1 turn ahead of Cyrus. Rome had Sid Sushi and Sistine. I knew Asoka was trying for culture victory as my western border was quickly collapsing. Nottingham was being starved by this pressure, but I was in no hurry. On normal speed, you need 50000 points in 3 cities and Asoka wasn't even close. I didn't realize until after the game was over, that this game was actually QUICK speed and Asoka was VERY close to the 25000 points needed. The game was advertised as normal speed. After completing the Roman conquest I had to march to the other end of the continent and quash Asoka with tanks and bombers. This left me only about 30 squares short of domination, so I turned up the culture slider to 90% and pushed back the long border with Cyrus pretty easily without firing a shot at my good friend.