I have 4 city sites that I would happily settle second in any other game, but in this game they're all urgent. I think I have several viable choices, all of which become less viable every turn. This should be an interesting problem to dissect. What would you do here, and more importantly, why? Leader: Survayaman (Expansive, Creative) Difficulty: Prince (so first to Alphabet is possible) Current techs: Hunting, Mining, Bronze Working, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry Tech path: Wheel, Pottery, Writing, ??? Speed: Epic I have my potential city sites labeled with signs, in no particular order. Screenshots in spoilers: Spoiler : In the cap my tentative plan is to chop that Settler (11 turns build time) with my 2 workers, build a warrior while prechopping, switch builds to settler to get the chops, finish the warrior, another warrior if needed, settler, worker x2. I plan to build a warrior or two in my second city for garrison / fogbusting so my cap can keep cranking workers/settlers with all of its food. My goal here is to REX extremely quickly to claim the limited land and block off as many AIs as possible. I have 210-ish gold from huts, so I have some financial padding to survive early on before cottages get online and tiles get improved. Long-term this might be my best GP farm, so if I want to use Beauracracy I'd have to move the cap to C1, which I'd rather not do. I'll have to decide soon, before I start improving the riverside grassland (farms or cottages?). C1 will get immediate copper + food on a plains hill with good surrounding tiles. This will stop Zara from getting copper, as far as I know. However it doesn't have the benefit of totally boxing him in, which is a huge plus of two of the other cities. I don't need this copper too badly either, since I have another source to my north that's fairly secure. Short-term I like it's production potential to contribute to an axe rush. Long-term, this might make a good Beauracracy capital location with a palace, or simply a hybrid city. I met Isabella's scout coming in from the east just north of Zara's territory, so I'm guessing she's Northeast of him somewhere in the darkness. ----- Spoiler : Up north is Elizabeth, and I wouldn't be surprised if she has no land north of her cap, so settling C2 will keep her down to 2 cities total. If I settle C2 first, the plan is obviously to land-grab and axerush her right afterwards, while she's backwards and, well, has only 2 cities to my 4-5. This city also gets me copper after a border pop, which is fine since I don't need it ASAP, I'll expand before warring and barbs shouldn't get too advanced on this crowded map. The stone I don't really care about, since I'm going to be REXing --> axe rush, so wonders will just be a distraction. C2 also secures the only known source of elephants for my UU, and Elizabeth is likely to settle near here if I don't block her with my 2nd settler. If I miss the blocking opportunity here I can settle the spot marked "later" to access copper. Short-term this city has nice production for an axe rush, and good production long-term as well. The horses/dye area to the right is low priority, and I figure creative Zara will make settling there difficult, so I'm ignoring it for now. ----- Spoiler : Joao is to the south, and it doesn't look like he'll have more than 3 cities if I settle C3 and let him have the stone. C3 will completely block him off after a border pop along with the mountains. (There's a peak in the fog, marked with a sign.) It would make a great commerce city since it claims all 9 floodplains. Expansive will offset the health penalty. I figure I have a little bit more leeway in how quick I settle this city, since Joao might settle the stone somewhere that leaves me room to settle C3 as my third city. Then again he could settle within 2 tiles of C3 and stop me from blocking him while taking some of the floodplains. Again, the strategy here is keep Joao tiny, then axe rush his pathetic tiny empire. Hopefully he'll build wonders with the stone for me. I could also settle 2W of C3, and add another city 1E of C3 later. This wouldn't block Joao completely though, so I'd have to rush yet another settler down there to claim the good land before he does. This does let me split the 9 floodplains between two cities however, which is nice, and it also claims the stone early on. I'd rather let Joao go about building wonders with it for me though. C4 gets me immediate access to a gold mine, with a second gold mine after a border pop and corn to feed them. This city would help pay for the quick expansion and keep Zara from getting a two-gold city and teching ahead of me while I beat up Elizabeth/Joao. Settling this city second might prevent me from blocking either of them in the first place though, which I think is a higher priority. ----- So, which city should I settle first? I'm leaning towards C2 near Elizabeth in the north since that gives me copper and elephants while denying them to her and blocking her completely. The third city will be C3 if it's still available to block Joao as well, leaving me two easy war targets. Hopefully Joao will have settled the stone somewhere unobtrusive, keeping him busy building wonders for me instead of units. You can't quite tell from the screenshots but it looks like Joao is more likely to have land to his south than it is for Elizabeth to have land to her north, so this maximizes my chances of blocking both of them. I'll settle C4 if Zara hasn't settled there yet, or C1 if he has. Or should I just take C1 as a good production city and start cranking axes even if C4 is available? Is my tech path good? I want wheel to get roads for trade routes and to get to pottery for cottages, since my expansion will hurt badly without them. The land screams cottages to me, which I greatly prefer over specialists. Writing next for OB with Zara/Izzy to build relations and for a library somewhere to start working towards a great scientist. I figure I can delay military techs until after these three since axes should be enough to take out whoever I block off. Should I prioritize Iron Working or Horseback Riding instead? Something else entirely? Edit- save attached.