I finally had some time recently to play some Civ 5. It's one of many games I've had sitting in my Steam library forever but never gotten around to. Short version: I love it.
Long version: I started off by playing the ingame tutorials, which involved a lot of muddling around as I got used to managing all my units. After that I quickstarted a new game, which gave me difficulty level 2 as the Ottomans, and I was instantly hooked. I was lucky to start near the coast, so I founded my capital of Istanbul and began exploring the continent. I ran into Austria very close to the east, which meant some tensions as we were both settling very close to each other. I ended up settling only one more city (Erdine) a little to the Northwest, which was still pretty close to Austria's capital, but Maria Theresa and I maintained an uneasy trade alliance.
After meeting some neaby city-states and building up my cities for a bit I began building ships and charting the coast. This took longer than I expected since it was a while before I got astronomy and could sail very far, but once I did, the world was my oyster. I sailed around the north and discovered American scouts, and soon formed an alliance with Washington. He would go on to found Protestantism and become the Holy Emperor of America, but he was often in financial trouble and would require some generous donations from my trade-enriched coffers. To the west I discovered Japan and China, the former of which readily became another of my trading partners and the latter of which was more hesitant.
During this time I was focusing on building up my artists with an eye toward the culture victory, but after circumnavigating the globe and discovering Brazil in the far east I found myself head of the World Congress. So I might just go for a diplomatic victory, especially since I missed out on founding a religion of my own. Until then I've been occupied sending my forces all over the world stamping out barbarians to help the city-states.
I can tell that this is much easier than how the game is intended to be played, but I'm still having a lot of fun, and I've always preferred starting off easy and working my way up.
Toss a win to your azuarc
O guru of GotD