If I moved any city one tile in any direction they wouldn't be within the Industrial Zone's AoE. That's the main theory/concept of what I did. Sacrifice optimal city locations in exchange for one IZ to cover the entire nation. Despite the low population, because of that one maxed out IZ in the middle all of them built research labs in 19-40 turns. Count how many tiles each city is away from the IZ in the middle. It's exactly 6. So moving them in any direction would put them outside the IZ's AoE. I don't know whether optimal city location is better than insane IZ efficiency but what I do know is that once I got that factory up I ran out of things to build really quickly on all of my cities which is why they were doing campus research. The vast majority of my science is from science buildings enhanced by policy cards so getting those buildings up faster seemed like the better option than having a higher pop city. So my cities weren't really cities, they were just science buildings built by the production of the capitol's factory. Which is why they were maxed out on science and commercial buildings despite being 3 or 4 pop. I hit GDR at the same turn as you did but you had science CS while I didn't so I think for just pure science rush what I did is more optimal. I need to learn how to do the Magnus Grand tour so definitely gonna look into that. One thing at a time, now that I'm done with the build order i'm gonna learn the fancier stuff. I did not know that was a thing. Time to learn what Government Plaza is!