First, relax - no game should keep one up at night. I am not going to give a lot of advice on the minutiae of the game because I still have much to learn if I want to an expert, but I would say to look at your goals. Do you want to win Noble consistently or are you looking to play on Diety? If it is closer to the former, do not worry about being perfect - a single missed worker turn is a much bigger deal on Diety than on Noble. Secondly, look at the concepts of time and multipliers. Take IW for example. Timewise, the question is how long will it be until you need it? Eventually, you will have to clear jungle, but if that time is down the road then you should hold off and research something else because of the second concept, multipliers. If you could spend 300 beakers on a tech you can use, but the AIs all love as well and so will probably have around the same time you research it, or you spend 400 beakers on a tech the AIs don't place high in their research list, but which you could trade for 500+ beakers worth of techs including the 300 beaker tech you wanted (by trading with multiple AIs) it is easy to see which is the most efficient investment. In most cases IW is a tech that can be traded for, but is not great as something to trade away (at least, this is my understanding, but I am far from an expert), so you would get more benefit from researching something else and then trading that (or trading techs you get from trading the one you researched) to multiple AIs. Finally, be certain to read the why. With your 2nd city example, iirc, the first person suggested the hill for the production bonus, plus some shared tiles with the capital, though it meant you could not get the second food resource until your borders expanded, while 2nd person wanted his placement to access both food sources without needing culture, and so was focussed on growing the city more quickly. The real question is whether there is a single 'right' answer or multiple valid avenues? If there are multiple valid ways, that means one can stop worrying about what is always right and instead decide simply which is more helpful for your particular situation which will change depending on your goals and plan. Sorry, that got longer and probably sounds more arrogant than I intended, but it seems to me like you are too concerned about being perfect rather than good enough (which just a lot of pressure for a game). And, if your definition of good enough eventually becomes winning consistently on Diety (or whatever qualifies one as an expert) you'll probably get closer to perfect than you would by always trying to be perfect. Of course, I am just someone on the Internet, so my opinion is not even worth the paper it was never printed on .