So a few months ago, I posted about a strategy for expansive civilizations which emphasized population, specialists, and minimal infrastructure. I've been meaning to post some sample games, but I haven't gotten around to it. Spoiler The Idea : The basic principle is that from around civil service to the renaissance, specialists are better than just about any other option. The challenge is you have to build up your cities to the point where they can run specialists as fast as possible. Usually you'll need a granary, a library, and caste system, possibly lighthouses, which can add up to 150 hammers. On top of that, you need to grow to size 6 to 10, which is difficult when you're whipping. Due to that, a lot of people don't bother settling up cities which can't contribute in time. You can bypass most of these costs, however, by using caste system (skipping libraries) and expansive (half cost granaries). Now every city with one forest and food is fast growing, low investment great person farm. Caste system requires code of laws, which is cheaper to get through oracle. This does unlock some pretty interesting possibilities. Spoiler The evolution : Oracling code of laws certainly isn't a new idea, but it does branch out into some less common strategies -Culture conquest of barbarian cities -Quick music bulb -Fast great merchant The first two choices have very good synergies. Using a fast granary->caste system to run great artist to culturally conquer barbarian cities is a cheap way to conquer those entrenched barb archers. You "waste" time getting a great artist - but a great artist can bulb music if you have literature and drama. Which gives you another great artist, which you can golden age, so it's like getting a tech for free. The third is useful for teching aesthetics/literature/drama or mathematics/civil service. Great merchants are probably the most powerful early great person. A trade mission will generate 900 gold normal speed to a civilization on your continent. Mathematics/alphabet are only worth about 400-450 beakers, and you don't receive multipliers. So before you can tech philosophy, great merchants will give you the most teching power. Unfortunately the only way you can get great merchants is through temple of artemis, great lighthouse, or running merchants. This is where using oracle on caste system shines. Once you've blocked off enough land, get a great merchant and set your tech rate to 100% while continuing breakneck expansion. Spoiler The drawbacks : 150 hammers for a 450 beaker tech is good, but after your second city your expansion will be severely behind. So if the AI can claim most of the nearby land while you're building the Oracle, it's a terrible idea. Common sense. That's why it's important to get a good blockoff and have a high food second city. Sample game-the music path The start Basic Oracling Code of Laws stuff: you need either AH or pottery for writing. Here since we are going animal husbandry, we skip the wheel/pottery and go straight for priesthood. Fast mysticism is good for stonehenge failure gold, since we have no other ways to boost our research A relatively high production city which blocks off the rest of the land for us. Note we don't have to build a monument, since founding code of laws makes our second city a holy city. And stage 1 is complete: we've taken code of laws. Stonehenge gold gives us a nice boost, too. The alternative path is the wheel-pottery, which works better when you're forced to go bronze working. BW costs extra beakers, so you need to make it back somehow, and those cottages help. If you go AH and skip BW, you won't be able to chop, so you have to rely on your mines and starting oracle faster. Marble is surprisingly unhelpful, since you end up having to tech masonry, which ironically can cause you to miss getting Oracle and writing in time. But the hammers you save ends up being an extra settler. Very basic phase 1. Stay tuned for phase 2: expansion, great merchant, culture conquests, and bulbing music.