If you are interested in Deity Vanilla Cultural games, you should probably be reading this instead. http://www.civfanatics.com/civ4/strategy/culture_victory.php I have gained some experience in BTS and in levels around Noble since I wrote that article. But not enough. I will be writing here my findings in order not to forget them. Please comment your ideas here too, I'll appreciate it. Most of my experience comes from GOTM games. Some of it from HOF games, like Minor Gauntlet 112. You can read the writeup of that game here http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=10149336&postcount=16 I have just improved the Small Normal Prince Cultural slot of HOF. You can read the writeup of that game on the second post of this thread. I plan to comment here in additional posts every cultural game I take a number 1 spot in the HOF tables. If I have the time to play, my next goal will be BTS, Small, Normal, Warlord. Here are some observations I made in GOTM35, GOTM36 and GOTM37: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=10059388&postcount=11 ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I've been comparing data between my most recent games. Maybe I am just finding useful info about my personal way of playing... but I think I've found some "universal constants". My way of playing is stopping at Liberalism and going 100% culture just then, with 2 cities dedicated to cottages and/or WorldWonders and a city dedicated as main GPFarm; all other cities are secondary GPFarms. Conclusions (numbers come from Normal speed, apply the appropriate factor for other speeds): I always can put Hermitage in my best city (and yet have to use some GA bomb on it). At the end of the game the cuantity of unused GPP is 4 times (CONSTANT1) the cost of the last GP. So having to go to 1 more GP means 800GPP lost to inneficiency, apart from the cost of the GP itself. This means that using a GA in a GoldenAge can be a good idea, if you can hire enough artists during the GoldenAge . At the end of a game I'm always doing some 2200 to 2300cpt (CONSTANT2) in the 3 cities. This means that, as an average, the last GA is worth 2 turns. If you plan to lose 2 turns to anarchy, using a GA in a GoldanAge is a good idea. During many months I studied my data and couldn't perfectly correlate it with the victory date. I was missing a key parameter. That parameter was "the date where all the cathedrals get built". Perfect timing makes you finish your cathedrals at the same time you reach Liberalism. Assuming you got perfect timing, the time between Liberalism and Victory date is 45 turns (CONSTANT3). During that period the 3 cities are doing a total of 500 to 600 base cpt (not includng multipliers) (CONSTANT4). During that period 1 GA is going to be generated every 3 turns (CONSTANT5). During that period you'll be doing 1800cpt as an average (CONSTANT6). An additional religion, with its corresponding set of cathedrals, it's going to mean a saving of 5 or 6 turns (CONSTANT7). At 100% culture, I was doing 243, 168 and 196 base culture points (before multipliers) in my cities. If I had had a 4th religion and I had been able to have the 4th cathedral magically built in my 3 cities at Liberalism date, then I would have done 50%(243+168+196) = 300cpt additional in my civ. Considering this additional culture, I would have won sooner, but how much sooner? Every saved turn would have deprived me of the 2300cpt I was doing at the end and also of the GPP I was doing every turn... So all in all, the new religion with it's free cathedrals would have saved just 5,2 turns! At the end of the game you won't have done just 50000c per city, or a total of 150000culture, but 155000 culture. Excess culture is 5000c (CONSTANT8). So all in all you would have added: - 12000 culture before you reach Liberalism. - 45 turns at 1800cpt = 83250c - 15 GA = 60000c Total: 155250c Practical application: What do all this numbers mean for you? Well, if you are just like me, you probably don't need them. When you have to take a decision like "will I pop enough GA from here to the end of the game as to set up the Hermitage in the best city?" or "Is it worth building another monastery or am I close enough to victory that it is better to build culture instead?" you just prepare a huge spreadsheet, spend a couple of hours calculating and then you know for sure the turn of your victory and how many GA you are going to have. Now, if you don't do that kind of calculations, then you are probably at a loss about the turn you expect to win or the number of GA you will have for bombing. In this case, my constants can be a useful guide. Example 1: You are playing a hammer rich game. You were very early infected by foreign missionaries with 3 religions. You can go for Paper-Educ-Liberalism directly or I can first make a detour to get Christianity from Theology. Should you try? Well, if your game is hammer rich and you have had the time to spread the religions and build temples, you'll probably finish your cathedrals before you reach Liberalism. In that case, a 1 turn delay of Liberalism will be a 1 turn delay in your victory date, since it will take around 45 turns from one date to the other. The additional set of Christian cathedrals will save 5 or 6 turns out of your final date. So if you can research Theology in less than 5 or 6 turns, you should go for it; if your research capability is worst than that, you shouldn't. Example2: You've got your first GA from Music. Should you settle it or save it for a culture bomb at the end of the game? It's an Epic game. The land is very bad. Count how long will it take for you to research up to Liberalism. Add some more turns if your cathedral building is slow. Add 66 turns (45*1,5, Epic factor). Add a couple of turns because the land is so bad you don't really trust the "jesusin's 45 turns contant" applies in this situation. Now you know the number of turns the GA settled as a superspecialist will be contributing. If number of turns * contribution per turn is more than 6000 culture, go for it, settle him. Example3: Was wasting a GA in a GoldenAge a good idea in this game? I invested a whole GA. If the GoldenAge returned more than a GA, then it was a good idea. Popping a new GA to substitute the used one had a direct cost of 4200GPP and an indirect cost of 1200GPP in the shape of additional unused GPP at the end of the game. Total cost = 5400GPP. The GoldenAge lasted 15 turns and during them I was doing 300GPP more than out of GoldenAge. That's a direct benefit of 4500GPP. But a 10% of my specialists were in cities that didn't ahve a chance to pop a GA, so they were merchants instead of artists. The direct benefit gets reduced to 4050GPP. Also I was doing some more hammers which were translated to a few culture points I won't bother to count. Also I was doing additional culture in my ciites: 150cpt during 15 turn or 2250c. Since a GA is worth 6000c, then this additional culture is the equivalent of more than a third of the cost of the GA (5400*2250/6000= 2025GPP). So total benefit was 4050+2025 GPP and a few hammers, which is more than the 5400GPP cost. It was the right decision.