Tundra is much better - which isn't saying much! Mined and railroaded, it yields one food and two shields (desert 0 food, three shields). This means your investment of a settler will lead to at least a pop two town against a pop one town in a desert without doing more than build a road. Of course, you can irrigate the desert for one food which equalises things a bit. When rail comes along, the irrigated desert will yield two food, but: Tundra may hold woods for one food & two shields (desert oasis 2 food & 2 shields mined) Tundra may hold furs for +1 shield (desert incence) Tundra may hold game for +2 food Tundra may also hold oil and aluminium (desert oil and salpeter) Now, a coastal town (temple, harbour) in "tundraland" with one or two fish, one game and a couple of furs - yumm! Here, OCP is definitely better than CXXC and as a bonus, settling a large tract of tundra will almost certainly get you oil!