Intro The intent is to score 5 million points. I plan to do that mainly by moving from Small to a Standard size map, but I've also overhauled the traditional Inca/Quechua Rush to set up the economy for long game. Naturally, I will also incorporate some improved gameplay I've picked up since my last high score run. This game will require patience. In this case, not just from me, the player, but you the reader--if you intend to follow along. The game has been on hold for several months and I don't intend to continue playing until next month. Reviewing the progress so far will help me remember where I left off. Standard size is playing out differently than my previous games on Tiny or Small, so I will be looking for some advice. High Score history: BTS (because of corporations, and a change in the timeline which affected score greatly) allowed much higher scores than vanilla. Way back (Jan 2008), we started seeing 500K+ scores by VirusMonster, and they seemed impressive. The strategy article for that game is a good read. This was quickly followed by killercane's first 1 million+ game. WastinTime had an unofficial 2.1 million on Tiny size. When I started--and then stopped-- the game we're now going to walk thru (in March 2012,) the current HoF high score (set way back in 2009 by WastinTime) was just under 3.2 million on a Small map. If you're reading this (and not living under a rock) you've learned, as of June 2012, the new high score is ~3.6 million, played by Seraiel on a Huge map. The reason I put my game on hold was because I didn't want to suck the air out of Seraiel's sails on his journey to 3+ million. There was also an unofficial score of 3.3+ million which held the top score spot briefly. It was Immortal difficulty on a Standard size map by T-hawk which mostly adhered to the HoF restrictions, and I consider it valid. I plan to get slightly more population than achieved in that game by settling more islands and less mainland, but I plan to do it on Deity (instead of Immortal) and ~40 turns faster, which takes the score to 5 million. This is not a fantasy. It's very calculated, literally. The same person, T-hawk, has created a fantastic score calculator. It had recently gotten some new attention thanks to one of Seraiel's initial efforts, and I've been using the excel version for a long time. Goal Score 5.0 million. Population and finish date/turn are all that really matters to score. Turning to the score calculator we see a couple options: 4500 population, win on turn 460 (800 AD) Spoiler : The game is now complete and my final numbers were: 4548 population, won on turn 468 (840 AD) 4800 population, win on turn 475 (875 AD) or, seeing how late Seraiel's game went (544 turns), maybe I'll aim for: 5400 population, win on turn 500 (1000 AD) For comparison, T-hawk (playing the same size map as I am) achieved 4400 population on turn 508. Pre-game: I used max opponents (10). Even though it lowers the domination limit (meaning less land and less population), it gives you close, conquerable neighbors and still leaves some trading partners alive. You may be better off using less than the max on Large or Huge maps...discuss. The map, of course, is Big & Small. High seas produce the most tiny islands. And my secret is arid! I've always used arid climate because it lowers the 'max' population used in the score formula. You could try to argue that arid has less food, but I will probably remain unconvinced. The AI can have most of the dry mainland, and I don't care if the terrain under my island city is a desert--I still get 2 food from it! I didn't want to waste your time on false starts, so I've played a few games out until the Oracle is built. (One time, the Oracle was lost turn 124, then on turn 99! So I regenerated.) Now my new game has stabilized and should be on target for 5 million! Here's the starting Screenshot. I'll pause the writeup here to discuss...Where would you settle? Next up is Inca Rush 2012 and the first 30 turns.