Me (Persia), Jeanette (Greece), Josh (Phonecia) and Cameron (Arabia) met for Antike. Cameron was a new player. I taught the basics of the game in a few minutes - its surprisingly fast to teach enough rules to get started - you can leave the combat rules for a few rounds.
[some details a bit hazy since played 3 days ago]
Knowing that Greece was a passive player and Phonecia would likely expand south, Persia decided to temple all three starting cities and set up a production base. Greece and Arabia built an early army and began expansion while Phonecia took a research route.
Arabia did very little for most of the game - inexperience showed - and was left alone until near the end.
Phonecia grabbed Market and Wheel, Greece Monarchy. Everyone followed with Market. I felt that Phonecia (now building large navy) might attack Greece who would then retreat and be destoyed, leaving Phonecia in control of the Med Sea. I expanded a little South and built 6 units on Phonecia's doorstep, not intending to attack, but to deter them from being too aggressive.
Phonecia did attack Greece, but left units in reserve. Greece had not fortified strongly enough and lost Athens, including a temple, leaving Phonecia with a handy lead on VPs (5 to 3).
Still feeling a little weak, I took Democracy, followed by Greece, who took Athens back a couple of turns later.
Phonecia's problem was the lack of a strong production base (except for gold), making it tough to expand and grab Kings and the temple guys. Greece and Persia were making steady gains.
The game was decided by who could most efficiently get the last couple of VPs. Persia built a token fleet for a Navigator. Greece did the same, but also used the fleet to expand to Africa and ten cities. Persia quickly templed two more cities for 6 total. Meanwhile, Phonecia paid 13 gold to grab the second sails knowhow to go to 7 VPs.
Persia realised that the best way to get a VP was to sack one of Arabia's temples, guarded by 10 units! A huge battle later and I had 8 VPs. The 9th was gained by going to 15 cities. Greece tried to prevent this with a late attack, but Persia won (9) from Greece (8), Phonecia (7) and Arabia (3).
It is a very good game - plays fast (under 2 hours), good strategy and tactics.