I am a strategy weenie. Who else lacks guts?

Yer, I had my share of similar experiences. GalCiv really was somewhat of a crapshoot for the good starting planets. I hope GalCiv 2 changes this dynamic, though I haven’t seen any indication of exactly how it might… certainly the first game walkthrough (that I linked to above) is pretty much the same old Drengin-conquer-everything story that we know and loathe :-\

Good to hear that Civ 4 has that kind of personality consistency/predictability.

I can more or less echo Metta’s Civ story with one of my own.

In my game it was also the Americans under Roosevelt who lead the scores and my Germans were #2. Had been so since the 1600s, and by the time the 20th century rolled around his tech lead was impressive. He had jets, I didn’t even have planes. He had mechanised infantry, I had cavalry. And ganging up on him wasn’t really in the cards, Roosevelt was on friendlier terms than I was with practically everyone, and they were even further behind in the tech tree to boot. As the American spaceship started to assemble I was getting desperate. I knew I’d never win an honest fight, but I noticed that Roosevelt in what might pass for historic irony had not researched nuclear power. I dropped practically everything and raced for the Manhattan project while diverting as much of my resources as possible into cash to rush build nukes. By 1933 I had managed to build twelve nukes when I noticed that Roosevelt had gained the tech that let him build the SDI. Unsure of how much time I had left I declared war and let them all fly.

Washington, Boston, Atlanta and New York were reduced to ruins in a single stroke, a blow from which the Americans never recovered. In the next two turns another pair of nukes helped me crush the remainder of his army as he assembled to strike back. By the time I won the game I had alienated every nation on earth, crushed mankinds dreams of reaching the stars, started a global heatwave and radiated huge swathes of land. But it was worth it.

I’ve preordered Galciv 2, but again - GalCiv 1 was one of the main offenders for not giving me a comeback. Oh look, it’s those plucky fighters, the Drengin. And oh look, they have half the universe and a warmachine made out of a gazillion units. Woo.

/quit

I have to agree with the comments about Civ IV - I’ve only played a few games but one of those saw a masterful comeback in a war against the Aztecs that was on/off for centuries. Great stuff.