I finished out the Machiavelli challenge today with a 100k win. I'd only ever won a game before on 100k by accident before (whoops! why is my game over), and never particularly was intrigued by a 100k game. It's a long game, it's focused on culture rather than tech, and it is more important to have a lot of cities than anything. I wound up with a fairly decent for the standard map size, so I'm OK with how I ended up. It's different, I'll tell you that. Using Persia (scientific for cheap libraries, industrious for worker activities), I had two settler pumps going, but that's not enough. It strikes me that you need to get the settlers even more quickly than a domination-type game because you are not only trying to hit the domination limit, you are essentially going with an ICS strategy outside your core (I like keeping a productive core w/ each city having 12 squares to work). Tried feudalism for a while - it's great at whipping libraries but not so good when you are trying to build bigger buildings. I'd probably go feudalism until I've built about as many libraries as I need in a first round, then switch to republic. Built the ToA for the free temples. Now I'm kind of so-so on the ToA for a 100k game. It's probably better to have a bunch of temples popping out 4 culture per turn in the 0 ad-finish time line than it is to have the free ToA temples. Someone can probably do the math. Sure, doubled libraries are a bit better, but you have to hit Literature first. It's a close call, but perhaps the ToA is not as good one would think. I maxxed out at 100 cities and 55% of the land. Made peace at a couple of junctures and didn't have the desire to crush the AI for another 10% of the land. Sure, it might have allowed me to finish maybe 10 turns earlier, but I was so focused inwardly that I didn't want to bother doing some pointy-tip empire expansion. Which brings me to my point (there was one?). One of the things about the Machiavelli challenge is that it forces you to play styles you've never played before. Playing for fast science for SS or Diplo victory is very interesting, and really makes you focus on what your really *need* in terms of science. 20k is about making your city (and, abstractly, all your cities) as good as possible as quickly as possible. Conquest is about what you can build and how quickly you can manage a series of campaigns. Domination is about quick expansion. 100k is a weird mix of domination and city-focus. All of the victory conditions make you look at the game a bit differently, and you have to round out your skill in playing them. The bottom line is that I think I'm a better player by having to have to play each of these victory conditions for the M.C. Thanks, slug and the others in the HOF crew for creating it.