This is a very general guide on how to improve science victory times. It's centered around the traditional tradition approach: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=523371 ...but I added some tips that some newbies might not know. I don't believe this kind of information is available all in one place anywhere else. Also I've never seen listed tips around these parts, so maybe step-by-step instructions will be a bit less overwhelming. Sorry in advance for wall of text. 1. Education by t115, scientific theory by t170, plastics by t210. NC as you are researching civil service. 2. 4-city tradition as fast as possible. Make 4 cities by turn 75 and take these policies: tradition opener, legalism, monarchy and landed elite (can be switched), oligarchy and aristocracy (depends on if aggro neighbor/when you get to NC). Pantheon should be the maximum faith-per-turn pantheon. Failing that, fertility rites, and if that's taken, then monument to the gods. 3. BO in cap: scout, scout if Pangaea, shrine, worker, settler, settler, library, worker, settler, granary, caravan, Oracle/NC (switch depending on timing). 4. BO in other cities: library, granary, then other buildings as the need arises. 5. Buy all science buildings in your capital except library. 6. Make sure you have enough production in your other cities to build science buildings in 10 turns or less. 7. GROW GROW GROW. EVERY TILE THAT CAN HAVE A FARM MUST HAVE A FARM. Work farms, especially riverside ones, full-time. Your capital should be size 10 by education, 20 by scientific theory, and 25-30 by plastics. Other cities should be 5 sizes smaller-ish, but really depends on terrain - no more than 10 sizes smaller than the thresholds though. Send 2 food routes full-time to your capital and maybe 1-2 to a city with least food. 8. Once population reaches 15 in a city, and food-per-turn is more than 20-25, fully staff the scientist slots. 9. Don't neglect your guilds - build and fully staff them for culture. 10. Social policies: take rationalism, secularlism, and free thought. Then pick freedom as your ideology, and get the tenet which allows you to buy ss parts. Along the way take civil society and universal suffrage. 11. Get plastics with Oxford and satellites with rationalism finisher. 12. Don't neglect gold, culture, or faith - these are very important. You want at least 5000 gold and 1000 faith accumulated by the endgame. And a religion in at least 1 of your cities. Need 10-50 faith per turn, 100 gpt, and 100 cpt for this. 13. Build Oracle, Pisa (choose free great scientist), Porcelain Tower, and Hubble Space Telescope. 14. Win all the international projects, even if it means deviating off your current builds - not that hard, as I demonstrated in the game. 15. Settle 1-2 great scientists in your capital - no more than 2. By the time you reach satellites you should have 12 great scientists saved up total: 7 generated by working scientist slots, 1 from Pisa, 1 from Porcelain Tower, 2 from hubble, and 1+ from faith. Bulb 1 every turn for techs which take 5+ turns to research. You will blaze through tech tree bottleneck in no time. 16. Buy 2 SS parts (or how many you can afford) and build 1 in your cities each - shift away from food to production and make sure each city has SS factories. 17. Beaker milestones: 70 bpt before universities, 300 bpt before public schools, 600 bpt before plastics, and 1000+ bpt by endgame. 18. Misc advice: think about how you're gonna get coal/aluminum - there's nothing more disappointing than grinding through with 30-production factoryless cities before discovering there's no aluminum to build ss parts. Ally with 1 culture and 1 mercantile city-state during modern era and stay allied with them thru spies/quests. Build Notre Dame if you need happiness, but make sure you can get it. For religion, take divine inspiration for guaranteed +10 faith per turn. RAs are generally not worth it (except on Deity) as most civs will be far behind you on science and you need gold to buy science buildings/ss parts, but if they give 4+ turns of research, go ahead and take them if you have the gold. And finally, if you feel unsafe, don't worry about getting some defense units - in the early game archer units, later on bombers/infantry. There's a freedom tenet which gives you 6 free Foreign Legion, upgrading into infantry. When settling cities, make sure they have at least half of these traits: 1. Coastal but not overly so (50% of tiles water at most) 2. At least 6 tiles of freshwater grassland/plains 3. A river 4. A hill 5. 1+ luxes 6. Good production, especially early on 7. A mountain 8. Easily defensible 9. Bonus resources, but they don't clog up useful farm-able tiles 10. Natural wonder (rare, but some are great) On any difficulty it might be wise to steal 1, 2, or even 3 workers from 1 civ. Basically, you take worker, pillage, and park warrior/spear 2 tiles from border to catch workers which try to repair. These free workers will both jump-start your tile improvements and delay other civs' progress. Try to connect cities as fast as possible, first with roads, then with railroads (make sure you connect all resources and farmspam enough to grow some first, though). The gold/production boost will come at the time when you most need it. If there's anything I missed, please post what. This is meant to be a GENERAL guide, and not cover anything incredibly detailed. Good luck, and have fun!