I just want to point out that the monster are F-ing awesome.
In my latest game, my civ started out in a little corner of the world surrounded by armies of trolls, Drakes, and a Death Demon. They were far enough away that I could build up, but were effectively blocking me from expanding much. I literally had to blaze a trail a through them to reach another habitable zone for another city.
I think this was exactly the right feel. Taming the world was actually something I had to plan for an work towards, rather than something that happened naturally as I expanded.
You done good, Stardock.
AI Factions need some help though. Never really much of a threat.