The UHV is impossible. Period. Despite nearly 2k in gold (1852) at 1300, it still wasn't enough to be first in money I've never seen another Civ with any where near that much gold at that time in any other game I've played. Is it the Byzantines with the cash? China? No idea, I just know that Mali, in the 600 AD start, is not possible to achieve it's UHV. What I did: Found Timbuktu, 1 square SE of start spot, Accra on the coast due south of Timbuktu, Djenne between the rivers and mountains. Timbuktu makes a market and hires 2 merchants as soon as possible. Accra builds 1 turn wealth, then a work boat then a trireme then wealth. Djenne built a scout, then wealth. I popped one Merchant before the first date and put him in Timbuktu. I researched Fishing, Sailing, then turned science off completely. I made contact with Spain but they weren't coming off of anything reasonable (code of laws for divine right...no thanks). When it was all said and done, I had 1852 gold in 1300 and a grayed out 0/3. Aside from making contact with the Euro's (ie France and Spain) and selling Divine Right (the only tech you have that they don't) for paltry money (100-ish gold is the best you can hope for, hardly worth selling DR for that even for the UHV) I don't know anything else that could possibly done to achieve the UHV. Long and short of it, Mali needs serious help. It's bad enough that you can't even expand to the east to grab the cows early because of the incessant native attacks and the ever present, ridiculously over powered barbarian camel archers, or the fact that you are a medieval civ and have a freakin next to worthless ARCHER for a UU ( they are regularly owned by native impi's in every game I have played, even when fortified in a city for the full 25% def. bonus) you also have the worst starting area in the game, period. It's worse than the Maya even imo. At least the Maya can research a tech or 20 before they encounter hostile forces, aside from their little native problems of course ( much easier handled with longbowmen/crossbowmen which is no prob for Maya at all yet an impossibilty for the Malinese since you need gold ASAP. Never mind that the Maya start in the late classical era, yet you as Mali, start in Medieval times. Historically, Mansa Musa made many tremendous accomplishments. Timbuktu was one of the greatest cities in the ancient world, primarily because of Mr. Musa's achievements as a warrior, tradesman and scholar. Good thing you don't have to build the University of Sankore as part of the UHV, because as Mali, with that crappy starting area, it is literally impossible. Heck , it's usually built before you even spawn. Anyways, I don't expect Rhye will be doing anything to help out the Malinese since he is basically finished with RFC, but that doesn't change the fact that Mali is in desperate need of help. I will try an unlocked old style version from the 3000 BC start as Mali and see if it's possible then, but I'm not getting my hopes up. I basically consider Mali's UHV to be , like Ethiopia, the Aztecs and the Inca's UHV's, to be impossible.