Ali Ardavan: A great attempt with you OCC! I did not play GOTM #17, but from what I read there were no huts to pop in this one. That puts a definite extra challenge in your efforts. I am by NO means an OCC expert - I would have to defer to Smash on that - but there are a few things that I could suggest that may help your (hopefully) future efforts: 1. I know that the Great Library is tempting, but it will usually do more harm than good in that it will likely give you techs that you don't need or don't want - making for a longer time to your next tech. I know that you received quite a few with the Library, but the best thing to do, really, is to trade whenever possible. For this reason, Marco Polo's is often the better choice. If not, put those shields into caravans and they'll serve you better. 2. Couldn't tell, but were you celebrating when you had the chance? I usually celebrate up to 8, then to 12 once I have an aqueduct, then again for as long as I can after a sewer system. Then, one last time once all of the land is farmed and I have a supermarket. The rest of the time, I have luxuries down as far as possible - to zero once I have Shake's Theatre. I often sell my temple once I have Shake's as well. 3. I see that you built a barracks right away. I will usually only build one AFTER my SS has launched. I'll usually build a few warriors for martial law and exploration and then start right away on a wonder (though possibly a temple for happiness reasons on deity, but not necessarily). 4. I see that you studied Bronze Working pretty early. I don't know what the starting techs were, so I'm not sure what the situation was. Normally, I'll make a beeline to Monarcy ASAP and go for BW or something else only when I must. I'll start ANY wonder available and try for BW in a trade or study it myslef later - then switch the wonder production to Colossus. Again, you may have not had a wonder to start on, in which case BW was a good way to go. 5. Contact with other civs is huge! This is why Marco Polo's is nice. I know that it flies against all your instincts, but it is best to GIVE away any tech that you have that others don't. This does a few things. First, it makes these other civs like you and they'll be more willing to trade maps, ally with you, and then give gifts as your gracious allies (a GREAT source of cash - they will pity you with your one puny city). It will also keep them from attacking you. Second, it will make your own time to new techs shorter. Third, you can essentially have the AI study things for you while you go off and study something else. You'll find that you can FLY through the tech tree in no time. The time to stop gifting is normally right about the time you have combustion. Combustion is needed for flight, and you don't want them to cancel the Colossus before you are ready. 6. TRADE. LOTS OF TRADE. Once I have trade I make 3 caravans right away (unless there's a race for a wonder or something). Caravans are king, and if there is nothing else to build, build caravans all day long. Every so often, check to see if something is available for trade and then make a caravan if it is. Things like walls, port facitilies and the like will NOT help you out - remember, you are out to avoid all conflict possible. Caravans boost your science in a one-time fashion, boost your gold in the same way, and give your city lots of nice trade arrows to work with. Try to trade with large cities that have good trade-arrow land by it - preferably from a civ in a republic or democracy. With good caravan/freight work, you should never want for cash. 7. You discovered democracy in 1798 and did not become a democracy until 1891!!! With Shake's, there should be no fear of a democracy. There should be no war anyway if it can at all be avoided. Study it ASAP and swith to it ASAP as well. 8. Don't know if you do this, but I use food caravans to build all the wonders that I can, and later to build as many SS parts as possible. It's usually best to incrementally rush in the early years. If your city produces 10 shields, let it fill in the first row of the caravan. Then, rush-buy a phalanx for 25 gold, then rush an archer for 25 gold, then rush a trireme for 25 gold then switch back to caravan. The next turn, the caravan will be completed as the final 10 shields will be added (and feel free to use other units that work at the time - they are just examples that I used). With the SS parts, you may start a wonder and add caravans to it and then switch to the SS part. There is no shiled loss when this is done, so it's possible to, say, add 4 caravans to the Manhattan Project (if still available) then switch to an SS component which will then be finished the next turn (if your city has enough shields - usually 80 shields is what you should shoot for). In this way, you can build a part each turn. 9. Call me nutty, but I like to get Leo's if I can - built with all caravans. I like having non-engineers if I can and it upgrades what little military I do build, diplomats to spies, and caravans to freight. OK, I'll shut up at this point. Hope you find some helpful hints.