Its super easy to keep your district count 1 above your techs. What you explained (the early ones) is the hard part. Your story ends with 6 districts and 3 techs. You're already 2 districts ahead of schedule. I don't see any difficulty at all really. True, depending on your playstyle, you may not want to build every district early. But because i have gotten sick of this extreme focus on one thing and ignoring everything else, i now play my games to build a well rounded empire capable of achieving every victory condition, so i do want to build many different districts. At least, holy, campus, commercial, theatre, harbor, industrial i all want two or more of. Also, if you go for those you want first and build 2 of them, you have enough slack to not build some of the others. If you only want to build 1 or 2 types of districts, the whole discount thing loses most of its value, but i think in a standard game where you target a certain VC, you still will want, 2 campus, 2 commercial, 2 harbor, 2 industrial no matter what VC you go for. The hardest part is wanting a religion on deity, forcing your first 2 districts to be holy ones. Then it's problematic to get 2 campusses at discount before the government plaza as you would have to build them one after another instead of at the same time. But you solved that problem nicely a few posts above. Not wanting a religion would make things easier as you can go trough the whole tech tree with 1 less district researched. With that advantage, i could imagine going for 3th discounts, but i didn't try or plan that out yet because religion is a must for me now. I do think that building only settlers from my capital and having the holy sites at cities 2 and 3 may be key though. I know there's a point in waiting for certain benefits (50% production card, faith purchase settlers, religious settlements), but i am not going to wait and delay building settlers for that, especially when i got 1 point in a militaristic CS or 2. I want those cities down asap. This playstyle of course also benefits the discount mechanic as you have more cities to build those districts, without doing crazy stuff for their growth. If you start building districts in your capital, building workers there to harvest food tiles, i think you are investing too much early on, causing your empire to be too small later. It is of course also all depending on a friendly neighborhood allowing you to build 5-7 cities. Combining this with early war is something i want to try next, but i imagine it might be hard to find much value there.