Often, I find myself going out of the way in an attempt to get a Golden Classical era, but dramatic ages apart, is it actually worth the trouble? It seems to me that achieving the Golden Classical era will often end you in a suboptimal situation for several reasons: The benefit of a Golden Classical era seems - for most civs - rather limited. Classical Monumentality on paper is great, but often I find myself with very little faith income at this point of the game, meaning it will not land me much more than a settler and a couple of builders. Classical Golden era means you're much more likely to end in Medieval Dark era. This feels like an opportunity loss for several reasons - Medieval Monumentality is likely to land you many more benefits than Classical, and Medieval era is often a good window for conquest. On the other hand, Dark Classical era will make it extremely easy to hit a Heroic Medieval era. This will also allow you to aim for a Dark Renaissance era, which will again hand you an extremely easy Heroic Industrial era, at least if you play on a continents type map, because you can pick the Hic Sunt Draconis dark age dedication which grants massive era score for discovering new continents and natural wonders. I know there are players who say it's easy to get golden ages all the way through, and I expect that extensive conquest will make that true, but apart from that scenario, will it be more beneficial to strive for a Dark Classical era (which actually is rather hard to achieve)?