I agree Colm, these are some pretty broken UHV conditions if they can only be achieved by incredibly lucky goody huts. China gets Writing around Turn 20, while the fastest you can get it is Turn 25 or so, even though the Chinese go through Animal Husbandry, which is more expensive than Pottery. I was lucky enough to pop Pottery from the first available goody hut around turn 5, which enabled me to just beat the Chinese to it at turn 19. Making matters worse, this is not like religion techs, where if you get it on the same turn as the AI it'll still give you the religion. You have to get it at least a turn BEFORE the AI. That said, I have noted once or twice in my many tries that China did not ALWAYS beeline for Writing. They just do so 95% of the time. I don't know if there's any correlation, but the times I noticed they didn't get writing super-early were the times I didn't beeline for it myself. If the China AI omnisciently knows if you're going for writing, and beelines to it just to spite you, then that is awfully lame. This also shows that on Monarch, the AI seems to research around 25% faster than the player. Is there any way to get something like Noble difficulty in RFC, where the AI and player are on an even keel? I find Viceroy too easy and Monarch too arbitrarily hard due to stuff like this. I tried adjusting the research speed parameter in Handicapinfo.xml, but that seems to affect all Civs, as lowering that made them get Writing around turn 15.