I'm a few battles away from winning a LARGE source of whales, the first I've found in the game (which is my first Civ game ever, I must add.) However, I'm also just one tech away from learning Combustion, which OBSOLETES the whales, and I don't want that to happen yet! (Screw the Greenpeace treehuggers! ) I've discovered oil, but apparently there's nothing I can build with it yet. I'm also close to Industrialism, which obsoletes Ivory, but since that's a prerequisite for Plastics (which also requires Combustion, so no Three Gorges Dam...bummer) I don't think I need it...can't build War Elephants anymore, but it's a useful trade item. Still, it could go either way... If I skip Combustion, will I still be able to build tanks/gunships/destroyers and all that stuff? Checking the tech tree, I'm unclear if I'll still be able to eventually get Fiber Optics (Internet!) or Rocketry, Satellites, etc. I'm wayy ahead of all the civs both militarily and technologically, so I'm not worried about them outpacing me...yet.