No problem at all with harsh criticism. Thank you so much @Pedro78 Spoiler : Learning new tricks is what makes this game so fun. I know I do things wrong all the time, try to correct things myself but it's not easy. 300ad optics with 6 cities is probably doable, I settled a 7th city T108 and got a 7th developed city but likely lost some turns on optics because of that. I have difficulties not utilizing the power in food sources. So that 7th city was a city on a PH way east, to start flourish on the green sheep, as that food was not needed nor wanted by the other mature cities anymore. Just taking the citizens of that sheep might be optimal play from the optics date viewpoint, but it's so hard. The screenshots I already have available, saves from the early game is also attached. Spoiler Pre Optics : As I was playing along, I looked at Rustens screenshots (did not open his saves) and took screenshots at the same turns to compare. I had a different settlement pattern and tech order due to me settling close to rice and teching agriculture though. Something that I reacted at was that I had basically clearcut everything early, but he had not. Here is the period after writing, when building libraries and saving cash. I'm at 4 workers here, will have to look at earlier saves to see how soon I got them, but I did not get more after I had four. They where a tiny bit streched and 5 might have been nice sometimes Here I have reached metalcasting. Closing in on optics. And at optics. * I don't know the pre-whipped trebs -> cannons trick, at what hammer and to what purpose? Say I whip a treb at 20/80 (without forge), and the natural hammers of the city is 2, won't I end up the next turn with a cannon at 82/100 and just screwed up my cities whipanger? Compared to just having a few hamers invested in trebs all over the board, the turn after steel I can then whip cannons everywhere. What is the gain of pre-whipping? Is it just that one turn saved (which is very good obviously), or is there more to it? I appreciate that there should be a sense of urgency and that what can make close games make or break is just the ability to streamline the process, shave a few turns here and there. * "Emphasizing production is A LOT more efficient than emphasizing research, so production should almost never be a bottleneck." You probably have to clarify that, I don't follow. * Why not Joao? Because I saw that he was weak, and that he will most likely stay weak the entire game. Especially if I help things along in that direction by cutting him out of tech trades, and screwing him up where I can. I reserve him for a backup later on, I can allways regroup and go take his continent later on if I fail with toppling someone stronger. Correct or not, I have no idea. But thats the reasoning. * Did you make several switches in and out of Caste? It seems pretty bad unless you combine it with workshops + drafted rifles which are not a good idea on this map. I did make several switches yes. 1. when I got my hands on CS, and also went into caste by then. Partially to provide borderpop in the dual-fish island, and partly to rush out one more GPerson (a scientist, that half-bulbed chemistry). 2. Swapped to vass+slavery to whip good units after I got out the GSci. 3. When I got economics I swapped to Free market+caste again, cities that could be whipped was starting to pile up their whip-anger alot, and some of the larger cities ran a few workshops. I liked 1, and 2 felt necessery. Don't really like 3, as I only got a marginal benefit from caste, and it made reinforcing problematic. But I don't know, feel like a whole lot of flip-flopping. Yes, exploring the world of marginal utility of exotic stuff keeps the game more interesting, absolutely! But if one does it to the detriment of the game it can make the game very un-interesting too. Not fun losing every game because you are buliding Duns.