If you fail the gambit completely and finish LH, I would have recommended building first on the forest island. Pheasant and whale are good for early shield production, and waiting 5 turns for irrigation isn`t that big of a drawback. (Also 1 more trade arrow.) But it would still knock whoever got unlucky off tempo. It`s so important, in these "obstacle course"-type GOTM maps, since there`s usually a breaking point after which a snowball comes out-of-control. Side note: Had you considered using the mine-on-city trick before building Beijing? Or did you consider getting the 2nd city and its resources more important? I did not think of doing that myself.