Edit 12/9 — new record with tundra peter—t127. Strategy is pretty much the same, just a better map with more focus on straddling the tundra/food tiles and prioritizing growth so campuses are online ASAP. Still made some errors like pushing too hard for Babylon when Geneva was also tough and I chopped two comm hub/banks only to pop a great scientist that boosted the tech anyway. I think this map could push down below 125 with practice but prob not into the teens. Capital growth was really terrible—no 2 food tiles to work at all until animal husbandry, still a great start overall but that delayed the expansion/culture boom significantly. Notable benchmarks: T40 pp with 4 cities founded/ready to found when ancestral dropped. Capital pumps settlers with Magnus to fill in surrounding lands while faith settlers are purchased as Far East/west as possible. Ideally 2 of those cities go lavra chop > double farm, then just prioritize growth. It’s fine to delay the campus in these two for a bit or let one grow while the other pumps settlers t55 pyramids chopped in T62 feudalism T65 12 cities, apadana, temple, Oracle all chopped in with Magnus > Magnus heads to Kilwa city and pingala slides into the capital for the free culture/science/grants and oracle combo T72 Kilwa is chopped in, saving enough future chops for amundsen in the same city. With the apa envoys should be enough for 15% faith/science/culture instantly with production following shortly T90 casa is chopped in, lost out on great lib (greedy). T100 ~800spt, ~600cpt. Way too much culture again. Faith is about 700 per turn, 30 cities either founded or getting ready to found, a number of which will just chop for eurekas. Stopped expanding to pool faith for ports as science is expanding so quickly it’s now clear I’m going to overshoot T109 rocketry T114 moon landing T117 amundsen (built solely for the +20% production in cities with snow tiles—this game both of the latter chop cities have that and I needed it to chop the third and fourth projects without a governor). Science is outrageously over killed at this point, edging up over 4100 per turn at its peak T122 Third and fourth projects, chopped in without a governor (needed nearly 20 chops) T123 with boosts from techno, Casa, Magnus, space race, full amundsen, and the colonization card, chopped in a total of 13 projects, two of which burned aluminum in another city. City took too much power to pre power it (50 something). Wish I’d had Hong Kong this game, feels like if I’d planned a better moon landing city and had Hk I could have pushed it to 17 chops to shave another turn t128 win (t127 hof) ——————— Older write ups below edit: sped this one up a bit, got it down to T135. added some screenshots along the way to hopefully illustrate the snowball a bit better and where turns could be shaved to maybe break into the 120s at some point. Plan is still to leverage nan madol (early suz) and anta (T50ish suz when it starts to turn on) for culture while spiking science asap t1-30: with ss mode on, the first 30 turns are about securing the first four governor titles and hitting every inspiration on the way to PP. i went magnus settler promo > amani to nan madol > pingala culture > pingala science this game instead and it paid off pretty well. hitting early empire is much easier and no tension with hitting 4 pop for the gov plaza. I've hard built the first settler and will build another one once the lavra is up and I can slot the settler card before the gov plaza goes in and ancestral hall follows. religion comes online much later this time, around ~t55, but again it's aurora/work ethic/religious colonization. once the settler is out, he'll go east until ancestral is about to drop to form the first settler outpost. on t30 science and culture are pretty unremarkable, but it doesn't seem to matter too much. just the two cities so far. this time i skipped the coliseum--i don't think I'll need the culture and id rather drop a second early campus to ramp science up quickly (I played this game mostly intending to secure stronger science as soon as possible, while aiming to be around ~450-500 culture at t100. Long term goal is hitting rocketry as quickly as possible. of all the different phases, this one probably played out the worst. I’m so slow discovering a wonder that it probably wasn’t worth waiting for the Astro eureka, and though I bought a monument pretty early it still feels slow. If the capital had started on a lake/near a wonder—especially a culture wonder—I think there’s significant potential to go faster, as your initial ramp up is really gated behind your speed to poli Phil (t46 in this game). Spoiler t30 : t31-t65 religion is up and running, and we're going PP>holy adjacency card>feudalism>theocracy, while hitting all the inspirations along the way. as for science, we're moving toward kilwa without missing any eurekas. the capital is now using the settler card on top of ancestral hall, but once it starts to take ~5-7 turns per settler I'll magnus chop 2 of them then switch to apadana around t75 or so. in hindsight, apadana was great but not at all needed as going this wide made science such a nonissue that globalization was largely irrelevant that third settler heads right and plops down on the edge of the tundra. the free builder chops a lavra, then builds two farms (to push us towards feudalism) and to keep the outpost city growing as fast as possible. the general idea here is to save faith for the outpost cities and fill in the area around the capital with production-based ones. by turn 60, I've got 12 cities, some of which are still settlers on the move, and science and especially culture are ramping up quickly. this phase was pretty close to optimal. Now that I’ve got some gold coming in I’m buying up all the diplo from ai who don’t value it early (most will often trade 20 for ~5-6 gold which can be flipped to Kristina for 180. She’ll bankrupt quick though, so I’m not sure it’s worth having her as great scientist competition). a blizzard hurts this game a bit, preventing me from getting a second campus down quickly enough for the 2 campus eureka on the way to theocracy. Feudalism hits around t64, which still feels like it could have been improved. Spoiler t60 : t60-t95 faith is skyrocketing, and I'm buying a settler every 2-3 turns. around t80, i magnus chop the last few turns of apadana then finish kilwa the next turn. the capital is finished building settlers, so pingala gets swapped in as the capitals up to something like 11-12 population and magnus is now free to pump a chop city every 5 turns. the strategy is largely the same, but with more of an emphasis on settling at the very edge of the tundra to make it easier to expand north and south. still chopping lavras early on in this phase, but as we creep up to turn ~90 or I start chopping campuses, plus whatever districts I need for eurekas (another comm hub for banks, a td for combustion and archeology, 2 harbors, an encampment and so on. Most if not all of those will be discounted, so it's easy enough to just chop them up via rainforests and make those cities hit 4 pop right away to follow up with a campus. kilwa hits on turn ~80 or so (a huge part of this game was getting it online asap) and with the apadana envoys I've got 7 to place in one turn, so I've instantly got production/faith/science/culture +15%, plus the 30% in the capital megacity. production will help a lot with the next couple wonders: ToA, oracle, and eventually casa. I was going to build big ben to boost flight but it was just too slow, and I ended up 1 turning everything from t~87 on anyway. this game i went with the science belief instead of world church--it's just so easy to overshoot culture that it seemed like the better bet. still think it's a toss up though. on t88, the second golden age hits and the void slinger +20% promotion turns on. science and culture explode, and from this point on they'll roughly double every 5 turns until I hit globalization. at this point I've got 22 cities counting the settlers still on the move. I was still a little slow here—didn’t get the harbors built in time. I also messed up the chop cities—the moon landing one should have started with a lavra because the campus didn’t finish and the lavra production could have maybe saved me some chops for a laser project later. I built industrial zones in the other 2 cities which I never needed (as I pre powered the laser city anyway because it was faster/was pretty trivial). Should have either gone lavra first or maybe just straight to the armory or harbor for the eventual 15% space race policy. Spoiler t95 : t95-115 expansion finishes around t107, because rocketry hits on t110. That's much better than the last game (t116) because those 5 turns will allow me to have both pingala and magnus in place to chop the third and fourth projects plus all the lasers in one turn (all three space ports are purchased with moksha). I've got way more cities, too: i finish with 32 total, up from ~24 i believe. the extra faith generated from the earlier expansion (going wider with settlers asap instead of focusing on an earlier religion) was much, much more powerful. i didn't boost the 3 workshops tech, or flight, or chemistry, or rocketry, but it doesn't matter: with careful use of overflow they're all one-turned anyway. i save all of my one charge builders and send a bunch of the 2 charge ones west, because two of my chop cities are right next to each other and that'll shave a ton of faith/gold. Spoiler t115 : t115-135 the end game is the same, basically, but I've got enough time to get the laser city fully powered before the projects become available. the two mars projects unlock on t125, so i one turn them both to squeeze out that extra light year. all of the light year projects follow, then it's just mashing next turn until the victory screen. I needed magnus to chop the third and fourth projects, so pingala is on lasers. I get up to 7 a turn right away, 8 the next, and eventually nine. amusingly enough the exoplanet mission is actually launched on the last turn of the medieval era. Another funny quirk-I had a deer/tundra tile in my laser city so I stuck a 1 charge builder on it with another nearby to get both chops in the same turn. But with lasers coming on the first turn of the third golden age, I briefly lost the monu Movement buff to settlers and I couldn’t get the Second to chop in time. If I’d chopped the woods first to reduce the penalty I could have chopped it the same turn and this would have been a 134 win instead of being at 49/50 there. amundsen is really interesting in these tundra games--if the chop cities are positioned just right it might be worth building just for the +40% chop production. that would have shaved one turn here for sure, possibly two. Spoiler t135win : hopefully that's helpful! leaving the lower write up below as it's probably still helpful/a bit more in depth, i'll prob add more tomorrow am Spoiler obsolete write up : ridiculously proud of this one, though obviously the settings are as cooked as possible (peter with voidslingers, huge highlands map with reduced ai + max city states). this won't be a full fledged guide (and it's going to assume familiarity with fast, faith-powered science victories) but hopefully this write up has some useful info for those looking to break under 150, especially in more normal games. happy to answer questions if anyone has them. keeping the details in spoilers in case anybody wants to try it blind can post the seed if people want to try it, only catch is that i don't have babylon yet (im out in the woods without wifi for a while, hence this game). not sure if it'll work otherwise? could post a save but you'll have to use my mods, lemme know. Spoiler T139 deity standard science win : Spoiler T1-40 : build order: scout>slinger>settler>holy site projects x2>settler>monument. these two settlers are the only ones we'll hard produce across the entire game. Pingala>culture promo priority is early pantheon (for tundra adjacency) and religion (work ethic/colonization, with world church following asap). religion comes online around t35, which kick starts the faith snowball for rapid settler expansion with the following monumentality golden age (all three eras (or at least the first 2 but you'll overshoot anyway) are also monu golden. capital needs to hit 4 pop asap to plant the govt plaza, so the third settler may need to be delayed to keep from delaying PP and ancestral hall. second city goes lavra>monument>entertainment complex>arena>coli, squeezing shrine and temple when possible. ideally both this city and the capital are on the edge of the tundra with some good food tiles as they'll be responsible for a ton of inspirations (10 pop, 15 pop, theater district, harbors and so on) this city will get magnus>settler promo to allow it to place entertainment asap. basic idea here is planting ~7 cities within 6 tiles of the future coli. this city also has coast, so I'll be magnus chopping coli/kilwa when the time comes, at which point magnus will move to the outpost cities to allow for more rapid expansion, as tundra growth can really slow you down. the third settler runs in the same direction the scout went, burning the dead turns before ancestral hall comes online. highlands is a ***** to move around in, so this distant settler will shave a lot of turns for subsequent faith-bought cities who won't have to slog for 10+ turns to found. I get an early suzerain of nan madol through amani, though I'm not the first to meet so I have to divert from PP to pick up the third envoy at mysticism. this is a bit awkward between the adjacency restrictions of the coli and tundra adjacency, but generally speaking I want the amenities as I'm going to keep my cities happy until T100, and a +5 lavra on a lake is significantly better than +6, especially in the early game. a hut pops a free scout, which I'd have hard built otherwise. I eventually get a third as well, which I'd have probably built at an outpost station. We need 3 massive chop cities, so meeting CS is the first priority but scouting the tundra for woods is a close second. clearing out the barbs is really important as well--not only do we need the inspirations, but the gov titles from are SS is clutch. same thing with finding a natural wonder/hut/city state. there's probably more wiggle room with a better start, especially if you're on a wonder like pio for the free culture (my actual start is nothing amazing, just the edge of the tundra). only two cities at t40, culture is around 30, science trailing behind around 15. Spoiler T41-80 : the monu golden age begins, and the snowball is on. settlers prioritize areas as follows: 1. lakes for free culture, tundra adjacency of at least +5 for the lavra (need to be careful with placement with larger lakes) 2. at least 1 chop for an instant lavra, obviously more is better 3. decent enough food tiles to allow for hitting 4 pop by t100. 4. failing #3, the city just slams a campus and chops a monument, then waits for chops to grow. this is not ideal as we want the lavras to keep settlers rolling, but sometimes the choice is between a settler moving for 20 turns or just plopping campus and the latter wins out. once the lavra is up, the cities go monument>granary>shrine>temple. if we're straddling tundra//wetlands, then granary is skipped. ideally the second city can squeeze a temple to evangelize the world church belief. gurdawas are tempting, but borderline. i skipped them. cheap source of era score in a pinch. once the builder has chopped the lavra and secured high production, he'll build a farm if possible (working towards feudalism eureka and if not, a fishing boat. 1 charge builders aren't used until pyramids. i don't have desert close, so I'm just hoping the ai doesn't build it. it's going fast on deity now, sometimes in the low 30s. once the ancestral hall is done, the capital switches to wonders. apadana>temple of art>oracle with grants promo>great library (this was largely useless, ai is too slow for free boosts and i boosted everything anyway)>oxford>casa. library might be worth it in non ss games where you need the space. i really want the envoys though--im flipping a ton of diplo for gold. I grab every noncontested or powerful suz, but otherwise save envoys for when the ai screws up my kilwa boosts. also good to bank them for cold war. t~45ish apadana, 50 temple, 59 oracle, 70 library. second city hard builds entertainment + arena (if I'd had more gold I would have bought the arena but i spent it buying builders), then starts coli. I chop it around t75, then immediately follow by chopping kilwa, which finishes around t80. I've been exploring with the +2 envoy card and the ai sucks at exploring highlands (scout promo is incredibly powerful) so I've immediately got suz of 2x faith, culture, and science. production follows a little later, around t90 once I've found cardiff. no hong kong this game, which really hurts. science are geneva (ideal) and mitla i think (meh). culture are nan madol and anta. anta's decent at this point, but now that we've got tons of lavras up it's starting to rain great people with culture ticking up every time. instead of going for feudalism, divert for temples asap. then it's feudalism>theocracy for the faith discount. we'll stay in theocracy until the very last turns of the game, where we'll turn to technocratic sov for the +30% project boost. the capital is chopped to 10 pop to speed up the civics on the way to theocracy. at 7, it slams a campus, at 10 a comm hub. the comm hub gets us a merchant in time for the mercantilism boost, but i mainly grabbed it because the first great merchant was the expansion one who grabs three tiles. I figured id use him to get more chops, but I don't know if it's a bug or something but my fourth and fifth rings chops didn't affect the projects. rip, should have rolled a harbor instead for the housing and tech boosts at the top of the tree. other merchants come too late to be useful. I forgo a +5 campus to make room for oxford (getting flat land is seriously painful on highlands) but get a +3 anyway. doesn't really matter, i won't slot the campus adj/rationalization hardly at all. better to use the amenity card until t100, as in this game it's making the difference between +2 and +3 in all my cities. the capital megacity itself floats between happy and ecstatic thanks to ToA. the 10% growth and 5% boosts are fantastic. once the empire expands too much I'll slot the campus adjacency card. relying on them less also makes it easier to maximize nan madol. science and culture explode, ramping up to 100 science/200 culture by turn 85. faith is in the high 400s, and we're faith buying a settler every other turn. Spoiler t80-116 : this is the hardest part of the game imo. the capital is building up some military now: we need warriors, chariots, catapults and so on for latter eurekas/inspirations. I trade away resources to build old units to 1 turn them. this is pretty quick, and sometimes there's lag between a tundra city getting its lavra and campus where it can help out. lucked out here--no ai built pyramids. i chop it on turn 93. chopping in general begins around then, though many of the lavra cities can just hard build campus>library>uni thanks to their production. around ~t90 or so, I stop building lavras as there's not enough time left in the game for cities to grow to four pop. chop priority is monu>campus>library>uni. if a lavra city can build a research station quickly enough to be useful, they do so. otherwise i slot specialists into the campus and just set the city on projects. the hardest part though is the eurekas. there's a lot of tension in the ~100 area, and I'm starting to get to the point where culture and science interact a good bit. at t100, I have 500 science and 500 culture. I think I've probably got too much culture though. there's a serious bottleneck around rapid deployment, professional sports and the like. too much to push through without moon landing. in the capital, i chop oxford to 1 turn away on t99, then chop most of the casa because i've got spaceport cities on other continents. with the capitals insane culture, the borders have expanded into the fifth ring. i also deliberately avoided settling anywhere near the chops to the south and east, netting 11 of them in total. i hold off on oxford until i need to boost flight. results are meh--i get flight for free, and electricity. electricity is pointless, flight maybe shaves a turn. by t115, I'm pushing 1100 science thanks to all the campuses being chopped out. I've boosted just about everything on the way to rocketry except for the 3 workshop tech (1 turned it anyway with overflow, opportunity cost is too high and factories come too late to be useful anyway), the 2 banks one (bulbed through it), chemistry (impossible to boost without great scientist: there aren't enough turns for an alliance to reach level 2, even with a trade route. if an ai was trading with me and we had the same secret society, it would have been doable) and of course rocketry itself. killing a unit with a musket in time is pretty hard because of the tension in the tech tree, but i kited a barb into a city with that great merchant from earlier to grab it in time. spies are useless, sadly. looks like I can steal a boost from gilgabro but by the time he arrives I've already outpaced him so much that no boosts remain. and with how quickly you chop things (the first turn magnus gets established) there's no window for the ai to disrupt rocketry anyway. the real bottleneck here (and the biggest takeaway in general from this game) is that rocketry is essentially your major bottleneck. that's because of the governors involved: you need moksha to faith buy a port the turn rocketry unlocks in your moon landing city, and magnus to start establishing. with rocketry coming online at t116, I've got an instant spaceport, but i need to wait 5 turns for magnus to get in there before I can chop everything. Spoiler T116-139 : after the mess that was the last section of the game, the actual end game is a breeze. I'm no longer expanding because we need faith for ports, and I'm mostly waiting for govs to establish while moving builders. 1 charge builders need to head to the moon landing, while 2 charge builders head to the latter 2 chop cities (which need to be fairly close together, or least have a road/maybe railroads connecting them). on t121 magnus establishes in the first chop city, so we chop the first 2 projects for moon landing culture. with high science and some chopped projects with extra builders, we have more than enough culture to slingshot all the way to social media and globalization. science is no longer an issue, topping out around 2400 with almost 1400 culture. I also buy my second spaceport with faith, then send moksha to the last port spot and send magnus to the second. we switch into technocratic sov for the last turn, gaining 30% to projects. on t131, moksha plants a spaceport in the third city, magnus reestablishes in the second, and I chop the third and fourth projects in 1 turn. simple now that I'm at this point, but it's a hell of a lot of work to plan out without hong kong. I needed 13 chops i believe, even with all of my boosts. if there was a single spot to improve this game, it's going to involve chopping those 2 projects without a governor in place, thereby freeing up magnus to boost your laser chops. That or using both Reyna and moksha to purchase another port so that both Magnus and ping can be established around t126. it's hard but the advantage is huge: we don't have to research a t3 gov, build the royal society, or spam builders into pingala. also shaves two gov titles: no need for pingala project boost or liang. and if I'd missed the pyramids it'd have mattered a lot less. the problem here is that if we want to stay in the 130s, we can't afford to wait 5 turns for magnus to tour if our third and final spaceport gets slammed at t131. if the tech tree was worse (this is the second best tech tree you could possibly have) I'd have a bit more dead time, and magnus would be able to establish himself in the chop city. could also be using pingala for +30%--maybe he allows you to chop the latter 2 and save magnus for the lasers. in this game, though, I teched straight from nano>seastead>last 2 techs, so there simply isn't time. on t131, I chop ~15 trees without a governor to increase the speed by 6, but powering down the city. since the city has an industrial zone for power, i just switch it to the industrial project and itll power itself up the next turn. if it's got too much production, builders can just add renewables. i've tried starting the project, then chopping it, but it seems power is calculated at the start of each turn. rip i also add another laser in my magnus city, bringing me up to 7 years per turn, which will just barely clear the threshold at t139. I could have added another in a perfect world, but despite having ~25 cities across almost 50% of the top tundra, i have no aluminum at all. I could probably have shaved a turn here if i'd figured out a way to keep the city from powering down, but i need 25 power for that and I don't have enough tiles before the trees are chopped out. i was aiming for that--I had reyna in there early to expand to the 4th ring and a monument with a great musician the turn the city was founded, but it still didn't work out. maybe if I'd used my great merchant to buy blank tiles and build? maybe if the city was bigger? not sure it'd have even made a difference with the way the break points work with chops though. aluminum would have made the difference, probably.