So, even though I am supposed to be working, I couldn't resist taking a look at NFP and the Maya civilization. What do you think about this start? I am playing on Epic speed, which is why production times are longer, and I lucked out and got a Relic in the first goody hut, which is why I already have my second city. Spoiler : Based on my preliminary analysis, there are a few things which are particularly helpful for a good Maya start: 1) Plantation Luxuries, for Observatory placement and the bonus amenity when next to the capital This seems to not be a problem, as those luxuries are common, and the Maya seem to have a bias toward them. I did do a few restarts to check, and the Maya seem to start near plantation luxuries every time. Looking at the rather lucky start I got above, the Observatory might be stronger than intially assumed. There is a nice spot next to the capital which is initially a +4, easily upgradable to a +5/6, and my second city has an initial +6 which can be turned into a +7. If I put my third city to the northwest, it has another initial +4 site right there. Oh, and by the way, I checked, you don't get the bonus amenity when settling directly on top of a luxury, so that is something to keep in mind. 2) Farmable Resources, for housing, Irrigation boost and good workable tiles This again seems to not be a problem, it is fairly rare not to start near these as any civ. I do think the Mayans have an advantage in how their early strengths are tied to techs which lie on the same path in the early tech tree. You will generally want to go for Pottery first, as that leads to Irrigation (boosted by farming a resource, gives you Plantations), as well as Writing, which gives you your Observatory. I think this is a nice design, it reminds me somewhat of Norway's synergies (gets a unique Galley replacement, Galleys boost Shipbuilding, Shipbuilding then allows Norwegian ships to enter ocean tiles). 3) Good ring 1 production tiles, to get out that first Builder Getting this is obviously situational, although the independence from fresh water does give you more flexibility in choosing your capital settling spot. 4) Having somewhere to place an Aqueduct Aqueducts are good anyway, for Industrial Zones, but for the Maya, they are always +6 housing, which makes them even more beneficial. 5) An expanse of land in every direction The most efficient city placement for the Maya will generally be capital in the center, cities in a circle around it. This means coastal starts are worse, as it means one or two of your settling directions are removed. Starting near a mountain range is not great either; the Maya get less out of mountains than other civs, and it will mean more dead tiles and hindered movement within the capital ring,. This is different from most other civs, as Mountain ranges provide good Campus sites, protection, and an increased chance of being near a Continental border (which is usually a good thing for a variety of reasons). EDIT: Oh, and a few turns later a turbo-boosted Scout from Gran Colombia finds me. Well, thanks for the Writing boost, Simon.