I honestly find that baffling, as tech trading adds an additional layer of strategy to the game..really multiple layers. Don't pigeonhole yourself into a fixed line of thinking about this game. Anyway, an academy in a good Bureau cap can be valuable long term, but it really depends on what you are trying to do...like go Space. However, GS bulbing strategies are one of THE most powerful things in the game, especially on highest levels. There's not even a debate on that fact. You are missing a huge aspect of the game but not learning how to bulb and create great people...like with early Pacifism ..ha And an academy can be compensated tremendously by acquiring a bunch of and sooner because you bulbed/libbed your way to Curs circa 500AD or so. Keep in mind that many folks here play to optimize the game, and have done some for many many years. We play to win the best way possible and get better. Sounds like you maybe role-play a lot - like with no tech trading maybe to make units last longer, which is perfectly fine, mind you, but the advice we give you is to make you "better" and faster...and kill high difficulty AIs. barbs are just something you have to learn to deal with and there are ways to deal with them. plus side, is they can slow ais some early and give units XP. yeah, they can potentially ruin a game, but it is the way the game was intended to be played - like with tech grading - so I'd just say gg.