You can but it isn't necessary. The peak bottleneck screws the default AI so Monty won't attack you, leaving you scott free to settle all of south america untouched by anything but barbs. But your UU owns early barbs, and you have easy access to copper anyway. The jungle land is rough to clear but very powerful once you've done so. Probably the hardest start is Mali. Japan can get 3 cities then go GLH + spam cities into asia (a little) and down the phillipines into australia with just galleys. Working colossus coast is also an alternative and gives you triremes to spank the barb galleys away too. Mongolia would be hard but you can just blitz China for the good land...kind of like most of Europe. Of course, the winner of monty vs roosevelt gets very good land also. But mali gets a terribly slow start due to poor initial tiles and has to contend with egypt for africa...which is weak compared to the other continents (even south america!) and probably better than only australia and the south pole ^_^. On the bright side, you know where Egypt is and can run over there and skirm rush them to death on most difficulties, giving you a crack at ALL of Africa, which is quite doable at least.