I've decided that my next game will be a relatively peaceful, tall, science game and I think the Maya fit the bill. Let's talk strategy! First, their kit: The Long Count After researching Mathematics, receive a bonus Great Person at the end of every Maya Long Count cycle (every 394 years). Each bonus person can only be chosen once. Atlatlist Replaces Composite Bowman. +1 Ranged Combat. Available earlier. Receives the Atlatl Strike Promotion (+50% Ranged Combat Strength VS Wounded Units). Kuna. +1 Science, +2 Faith. Can only be constructed in Forest or Jungles, and not adjacent to another Kuna. +2 Science at Mathematics. +2 Science at Astronomy. +2 Science at Archaeology. +2 Culture at Flight. Unlocks at Construction. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Why should the Maya favor tall? Well, their UA gives them free great people so I'd like to find a way to build upon or take further advantage of that. Staying tall with fewer cities will dilute the bonuses of those free great people less than if I went wide. Also, I will look to choose religious beliefs that synergize with great person births and tradition/tall will help me generate still more great people. Also, the Kuna strikes me as one of the few UI that actually favor tall rather than wide. Most UIs scale with wide well (Maori, Chateau, Kasbah, etc) however the restriction of the Kuna to only jungle/forest means that you probably want to stick to your initial jungle/forest area and it's unlikely that area will be large enough to really support wide (depending on your map settings of course). Why would a science victory fit? Well, just look at the Kuna's bonuses- science and more science. The jungle start bias will add some more science with universities. There's nothing explicitly pushing us toward domination/culture/diplomacy victories and to me, science is sort of like the default/time limit victory that you get as long as you can thwart everyone else's victories. Why peaceful? If you look at all the civs in this game there are a LOT of civs that very much cater to war, so anytime I play a civ that isn't explicitly warlike I try to be somewhat peaceful. There are certainly plenty of advantages to war even to civs that aren't built around it but it's sometimes fun to just play defensively. Also, the Atlatlist as a archer-line UU seems defensive to me. Archers are particularly good at sitting in defensive spots behind cities and mowing down invaders without putting themselves in danger. And last, why the Maya? There are other civs that would perhaps be better suited to tall science (Korea...) but unfortunately I've played them too recently so I need a change of pace! Also, I've been to some of the Mayan ruins in Mexico (Tulum and Coba) so I have a soft spot for them -------------------------------------------------------------------- My early-game plan: Clearly we need to get to mathematics ASAP to get those long counts started. In the early game the ratio of turn # to years that go by is much larger than later on so every turn we delay could result in fewer great person births total and delay our first great person birth too. I've tested out the early game for the Maya a few times now to try to get a feel for how I should approach this and it seems that beelining the Mathematics tech isn't necessarily the way to do this. The tech unlock for the Kuna is in construction which requires a slight detour but I'm thinking that the science from the Kuna improvement could actually help us get to Mathematics sooner. The Kuna will also help us get our religion sooner. I'm planning to fight the urge to settle more than 2 or 3 additional cities prior to getting Mathematics. The fewer cities will keep tech/policy costs down early on and with tradition most of my culture/science is from my capital anyway. I'll try to grab nearby jungle/forest locations that hopefully guarantee my luxury monopoly and then fight the urge to expand further until perhaps later if there are additional jungle/forest spots. From what I can tell there are 3 main sources of science I'll have available to me in the early game. First are councils from my capital or satellite cities. Normally councils aren't super high on the priority list but since I have to get to Mathematics ASAP that might change this game. The tech for councils also reveals banana which might be useful in a jungle environment, even more so because Kunas cant be placed on them so knowing where they are in order to better plan Kuna placement is important. The next source of science would be the Kuna themselves. I'll divert to unlock them at construction and will prioritize workers to get them up quickly. The last source of early science would be the 3rd policy in tradition which grants some science bonuses and a science specialist. At that point in the early game every point of science is a large percentage of your total so working a specialist could be a fairly large bonus. Unlocking that 3rd policy early enough for it to matter in the Mathematics race will require strong culture generation from early monuments, the tradition artist specialist, and maybe our pantheon. If all goes well I can get to mathematics somewhere in the turn 70ish time frame, which I think is something like 900BC on standard speed? I will plan to leverage the early great people for either an early great engineer for a free wonder or a great prophet to found or enhance my religion super early. -------------------------------------------------------------------- My late-game plan: I'll cater my religion around science or things that benefit from great people. My pantheon by default will probably be Goddess of Renewal (faith/culture from forest/jungle and science/faith from herbalists) since my start bias is jungle unless for some reason the terrain favors something else. I'm also considering Goddess of Wisdom (+1 faith per 15 science and +1 science/turn, faith/science/GAP per city) though that feels more like a strong wide pantheon to me. For founder I'm thinking ceremonial burial (faith/culture when great people are expended). For follower beliefs I'm debating between Scholarship (science/follower), Asceticism (food/follower to help support tall), Master (specialists get extra yields), and Veneration (faith/follower for more faith bought great people). Mandirs would be nice follower building for the growth and great person assassination protection, too. Enhancer should be Iconography for sure I think. More great people from those free great person points seems rather strong to me, especially since the Maya can probably enhance faster than almost any other civ (maybe India can be quicker?) and early game those +2 great person points for every type could be pretty awesome. And for reformation I'd probably go for Glory of God (more faith bought great people) but possibly also Jesuit Education (faith bought science buildings). Other than religion's great person synergy, I'll also be on the lookout for wonders that give great people or that synergize with tall/science. But in particular I'll target: Hanging Garden (free early garden and food to feed a tall capital) Sankore (bonuses when generating great people) Leaning Tower (free great person and great person generation) Porcelain Tower (free scientist and more science) Hubble (science victory assurance) I'll plan to go tradition->artistry->rationalism->freedom as those trees most favor great person generation and science.