The following Mayan UHV strategy is two-parts exercise in hair-on-fire crisis management, and one part cheap and gamey tactic to end the game early so you can go off to do better things with your life. I would love to see someone post alternative strategies for this UHV game. UHV Conditions 1. Discover Calendar by Turn 154 2. Build the Temple of Kukulkan by Turn 210. 3. Contact a European civilization before any discover the Americas The Situation You open in the Yucatan, which is one of the most unpropitious starting places on the map. (It's a green Hell.) Aside from a shortage of strategic wealth—you get a Silver, a Stone, some Dye, and some seafood (but neither the Stone nor the seafood are inside the BFC of your spawn point)—you will have barbarian/Native cities spawning nearby, and Native Holkans popping up every few turns inside your borders. You have only two Holkans as starting units, and you only get one Worker to improve the rainforest-ridden terrain. And then along about the time you'd be finishing your second UHV condition, waves and waves of hostile units will come sluicing down through Mexico, right at your face. Really, as the computer said in War Games, the only winning strategy is not to play. Or, at least, we can end the nightmare as quickly as possible. First Moves The first thirty or so moves consist in running around while tamping down all the threats. The first threat will come from a Native city that will spawn on Turn 125 on the Stone tile three west of your starting location; the second will be the Holkans that will spawn in your territory; the third will be a barbarian city that spawns in southern Mexico, just outside your historical territory. The key to solving all these problems is to grab Danibaan (that first-to-spawn Native city) for yourself. Found Yax Mutal on your starting location, and prioritize building a Holkan. (Work the Silver tile, not the Corn tile, though it stagnates YM, and mine the hill.) That should give you a third Holkan a turn or two before Danibaan appears. Fortify your three Holkan on the Corn tile west of the river. When Danibaan spawns, two of its Holkan will swarm out and attack you across the river. You will have better than even odds of surviving the attack with all three units intact (though one may have been mauled) and you should be able to easily defeat any of their survivors when you charge across the river the next turn. Unless you have had some very bad rolls, you should still have three units (two of them pretty sturdy) to attack Danibaan with. It will have only one defender, and you need to rush it before it builds an Archer. The odds are with you. You've a good-ish chance of taking it with no losses; a better chance of losing one of your units in the first charge but taking it in the second; and a smaller (but not vanishingly small) chance of losing two units but still getting it. It's very rare to lose all three units without taking Danibaan, and if that happens, I recommend liquor. Danibaan serves four purposes: First, it is a second city, and you need two of them and you need them quickly. Second, it gives you access to Stone, which you need for the Temple of Kukulkan. Third, it is a very productive city, and it will be the one you use to manufacture units. And fourth, it's a stopper in the hole that lets Natives swarm in from Mexico. Once it has come out of resistance, turn your Culture up to 100% for two to three turns until you have pushed Danibaan's borders out to the second ring. This will pre-empt the hostile city of Tolan from spawning, and will also get you food resources for Danibaan. (Don't bother trying to improve them. The natives are too frisky up there, and you won't need them.) Set Danibaan to producing units: Three Archers for itself, and enough Holkan to bring your total Holkan force up to five. Yax Mutal should have been building an Archer for itself in the meantime. The End of the Beginning There will be some hairy moments when hostile units attack your cities before you've got your army formed, and before you've got good defenses for them. There is a chance of disaster, but it's a risk you'll have to take. After you've got two Archers in Danibaan (the third is to guard against maliciously awful combat rolls) and one Archer and a Holkan in Yax Mutal, you should be safe from the worst. Hostile Holkan will spawn on any tile in Mesoamerica that is two tiles from one of your cities. With Yax Mutal and Danibaan, there are five such tiles: the two northernmost tiles in Yucatan, and the three tiles below the line formed by three Mountain peaks and the Silver hill. These tiles are where you will park your five Holkan, forcing those hostiles to spawn in Mexico, where they can cheerfully dash their brains out against the walls of Danibaan. [Okay, you can get away with building four Holkan and a Militia. The Militia can go on the Plains tile south of the silver, but you need Holkan for the tiles because of the rainforest.] Once you have your five Holkan in place and Danibaan well garrisoned, you will not have to worry about hostile units. In the meantime, your Worker should be improving the landscape—what little of it he can improve, as that's basically just the Silver, the Corn, and the hill south of Danibaan. There's not much point to improving anything else, though, because of other moves you will have been making. Techs You need three techs to win under this strategy: Calendar (a UHV condition); Aesthetics (for the Temple); and Seafaring (for finding the Europeans). But it starts with Writing, which is your first research goal. Once you've discovered Writing, change to Republic; when each of your cities has three citizens, hire a Scientist. This is like getting a Library without building one. After Writing, research Calendar, which you should get with two or three turns to spare before the deadline. Then research Leverage, Construction, and Priesthood. While you're researching these, Yax Mutal should generate a Great Scientist, who you can use to get Arithmetics and Mathematics. Then you can get Aesthetics. Following that, research Seafaring. And that is all that you will need. If you are bored, research Alloys so you can build some more inside the jungles. Builds You will be prioritizing units, but if you want to end the game early (and really, why wouldn't you?) make a Settler an early build in Yax Mutal. You won't need any other buildings—no Libraries, no Granaries or Harbors; only maybe some Walls in Danibaan, and if you're really nervous about the jungle life, a Barracks and Ball Court there. Also, build another unit—Holkan, Militia, Archer, anything you like—and a Galley when you've got Seafaring. The Temple of Kukulkan you will build in Danibaan (which should have a population of four by the time it becomes available), and you can let the city run a food deficit as you build it, for you will be collecting food from research (the Mayan UP) and from defeating enemies (a Holkan attribute). You should be able to build the Temple with ten or so turns to spare. This will get you the Golden Age. A Gamey End to a Very Gamey UHV Game As you are building Temple, you will likely finish the Galley. Load it with the Settler and unit, and send it up the east coast of North America. Eventually you will hit a spit of forested land surrounded by impassible Cape tiles. Land the Settler, build a city. Its cultural borders will encompass the Capes, allowing your ship to pass through them. Continue north with your Galley and unit (no need to garrison the city; you would want to see it conquered but alas there will be no Dog Soldiers that early to take it off your hands) until you hit Greenland. A two-tile spit of Ice will halt further movement east, but you can drop your unit off and move him several tiles to the north and one tile to the east until the western tiles of Iceland become visible. Eventually, some Europeans should sail into the area, making contact. As Greenland is not part of North America, this counts as "contacting Europeans" before the Europeans find the Americas. Depending on your luck, this can occur before 1000 AD. Then quit the game and go find something less stressful to do. My thanks to bluepotato for explaining how to get the third UHV condition done so as to get done and get out.