Civ 5 is definitely a game that is much more difficult to run than it should have been. I read in the Civ 5 forum that graphic card designers had to rethink the way they made their cards because of Civ 5's revolutionary rendering system. Why should a strategy gamer care about a revolutionary rendering system?
Civ III had lots of trade routes that had to be checked every turn, this was blamed for long interturns at the time. They completely got rid of trade routes in Civ 5, the game is much more simplistic under the hood, the landscape, although looking good, is a flat landscape, but yet the game is much more demanding of your system than Civ has ever been.
It seems some game developers just do what they want and hope the rest of the world will catch up with them - while strategy gamers are suggesting decent mechanics in the game, are pointing to flaws and are producing long posts to illustrate how more depth can be achieved in the game and are hoping the game developers are catching up with them.
I didn't know about how 'tiles' can be more difficult than 'skins', if that's the right way to put it. I did need to buy a new graphics card about 6 months age, as the old one failed, and the new one is 6 times more powerful than the old one was, but also the old one had no problem at all with tile based games like Heroes of Might and Magic III or Age of Wonders. Those games don't look more simple than Eschalon, apart from day - night effects and illumination of each individual tile.
But with both graphic cards, the new one of a different make than the old one, requiring new driver software as well, the problems with running Eschalon are fairly similar. It's better with the new one, but there's still lag, sometimes the game only wants to run in windowed mode and sometimes graphical glitches are disfiguring the map. All stuff I don't have with other, theoretically more demanding games, tile based or not.