As a long-time Civ (the computergames) -player and a passionate boardgamer, I had great expectations for CivTBG. When I played a game with friends (some knew Civ, some not), I was really astonished of how the game went. The exploration markers can be both very good or very bad. If you find no resources but only plagues, prepare for some boring hours to come. The blank cities (cities without resources) are virtually worthless, since they produce nothing if they are unhappy (which they will be most of the time). On the other hand, the cities with resources are about 10 times more valuable than cities without. But what bothered me the most, was the kind of wars we had. It was very much like "Risk" or "History of the World". If someone saw an opportunity to attack a city, a single unit or a loaded ship, he attacked without a second thought. Diplomacy was totally unknown and everyone was attacked everywhere. This wasn't like the Civ (computergame) as I knew it. In Civ you build up your empire, develop your cities, research techs and attack other nations if you feel strong enough. You can also find allies which give you nice technologies, tributes or assistance in a war.
I have written L'effaceur's House Rules(LHR) to improve the gameplay of CivTBG. I wanted to make it more "Civ-like".
The core of LHR is Diplomacy. With an easy-to-use system, players can now show if they are friendly or not to their neighbours. The idea was not to prevent wars, but to prevent "Risk-like" skirmishes. It's all your decision: You can fight other players or you can make peace with them.
Influence Points are generated through researching technologies and you will need them to worsen your diplomatic relations.
Two other new gameplay tweaks are Turn Events (roll 2d and get a more or less random event) and Action Cards (each player can use one action card each turn, most of them need IP's).
There are a lot of other improvements to the advanced rules. Prepare to fight barbarians or to dig for new resources. Use Action Cards to surprise your friends. I left out the combat rules, seeing that there are numerous other ideas of how to improve this flaw.
I hope you will give LHR a try. You can find it in the files section or download it here: http://www.mypage.bluewin.ch/SZangger/LHR_complete.zip
The zip file includes everything you need to start playing CivTBG with the new rules, including a detailed word document (LHR_Backgound.doc).