I used to always go second city, then national college, but lately I've started to wonder if it's really worth doing. Let's give a hypothetical scenario since I know people love to say: it depends! Say you have a Tradition start with no trapping resources and no sea resources. So you can more or less go: Pottery -> Mining -> Animal Husbandry -> Writing/Calendar -> Philosophy (National College). Now in this scenario, sometime between Writing, Calendar, and Philosophy you get enough cash to rush buy a settler, but not enough to rush buy a library in your second city before you hit Philosophy. Oh and in this scenario, you have plenty of room, so competing for real estate is not an issue. This is Standard speed if that makes any difference. Is getting the second city up and running worth delaying National College as well as increasing the build time, or should I time my second city right as I finish National College? This doesn't have to be so specific if there is a general rule you follow.