I was just reading another post about the silliness, of the Civ V tech tree, and it got me to thinking about comparing the Civ V tech tree to the original Civ I. The most significant technological advancement in Civ I (and possibly Civ V) is the Railroad, so I thought I good place to start would be the advancements required to get that. In Civ I, to get the Railroad, you needed (working backwards): Steam Engine, Bridge Building, Physics, Invention, Iron Working, Alphabet, Mathematics, Navigation, Engineering, Literacy, Bronze Working, Masonry, Mapmaking, Astronomy, The Wheel, Construction, Writing, Code of Laws, Mysticism, Currency, Ceremonial Burial. Of those, only Astronomy, Mysticism and Ceremonial Burial feel out of place, since the eventual development of the Railroad could have occured without them. In Civ V we have, as a requirement for Railroad, every Ancient, Classical, and Medieval Technology, in addition to every Renaissance Era technology with the exception of Fertilizer, Metallurgy, Rifling and Archaeology. Which means the following technologies are responsible for the Railroad in the Civ V tech tree: Acoustics, Astronomy, Gunpowder, Theology, Chivalry, Civil Service, Optics, Philosophy, Horseback Riding, Trapping, Calender, Sailing, Animal Husbandry and Archery. Really does that even make sense? How do any of those contribute to the understanding needed to build a railroad? Why can't a railroad exist in a world without Religion, Weapons or Horses? The other thing that bugs me about the Civ V is that I inevitably get to a point where the entire scientific advancement of my Civilization is bottlenecked at ... Acoustics.