Just ...three...last...points. Point one: Beginning with the mundane (but, I promise, it gets more exciting), keep in mind that, at some stage, youre likely going to want to stop working the cottage NE of Mutal and farm over it (to spread irrigation to the corn 1N, 1NE of Mutal and allow for one more specialist). With that in mind, it might be worthwhile working the other unworked cottage 1E, 1SE of Mutal instead. Point two: Looking again at the save, I just noticed that Shaka has a X-bow in Nodwengu. (Perhaps thats why his power has just started rising so fast?) To my mind, this only increases the value of engineering (as opposed to paper) as your next tech (for the trebs). Point three: IMHO, it also means you have two very clear choices re: your forthcoming war: (a) go in imminently and take the risk that Shaka doesnt have too many X-bows waiting for you (perhaps you could move your chariot N of Tours through his lands W of you to check this), or be prepared to sustain casualties if he does, or (b) wait until youve produced more, stronger, military before you go in. Its a close call (and one youll know best given your earlier post mentioning how lightly some of Shakas cities are defended) but, IMHO, you likely need to wait at least a few turns to produce a few more siege units (in particular) and jumbos, given that youre looking to fight a two front war. Id love to know what the more experienced players would do here. In either case, theres certainly an argument for using your newly acquired skill of implementing binary research (thanks JammerUno & kossin ) to temporarily drop the research slider to zero and use the 117 GPT that results, to upgrade an axe (125 GPT) or a CR2 sword (110 GPT) or two before going in. (Note: (i) this at least gives your CR2 maces some chance against a siege weakened X-bow and (ii) it means you have a natural counter if Shaka techs to engineering and upgrades any UUs he has around.) If doing this of course, just dont forget to turn the slider back up again after. (And yes, Ive forgotten this too occasionally. ) Ideally, Id love to suggest teching engineering first before turning the slider off (and then adding a few trebs to your stacks) but, the question is: can, or do you want to, wait that long (maybe 15+ turns after upgrading to maces, and producing and moving trebs to the front line) before DoWing? Look forward to reading how it all goes.