I took a much-needed vacation in Beyond Earth, but the win times are so quick and the victories so mechanical pre-patch, that I got bored pretty quick. I am very late to this DCL, but the Maya are one of my favorite Civilizations, so I decided to give it a try. Spoiler : I took the observatory/river tile settle location for Palenque. Early hammers were weaker, but it looked like a better mix of food/production long term, plus the observatory is always a nice boost. Got a culture ruin immediately to the south, opened tradition, and skipped the monument. Early build order was scout X 2, shrine, settler X 3, Granary, Caravan. One scout grabbed two workers from Montezuma on the same turn, thanks to altitude training. Plus, one worker steal from Budapest (+ another later). Grabbed the salt location next to Venice with first expansion (early scouting always useful). As an added bonus, Venice sent early trade routes, despite my salt and truffle land purchases nearby Venice . Early tech order was Pottery, Mining->Masonry, Husbandry -> Trapping, Writing, Sailing, and then Philosophy. The expansion locations did have luxuries, but the food situation was not particularly good, so I decided to tech beeline Civil Service instead of Theology, just to take advantage of the river tiles. National college was somewhere in the turn 80s. Hanging Gardens was still available, so I decided to go for that first over Oracle, but I also managed to get Oracle with my first bonus GP, a great engineer, which I used to open Patronage. Education hit exactly on Turn 100. As for religion, the early shrine netted desert folklore. Even so, I was still a bit concerned about getting a religion after the recent patch, so I decided to rush buy a shrine in Chichen Itza, and then worked only desert tiles in the capital. Buddhism ended up with Tithe + Asceticism. Pagodas were already taken. One missionary sent to spread, and then I enhanced with religious community and religious texts. Production in the expansions was a little weak, beyond the first hill or two, and I was going Tradition tall, so religious community seemed like a good choice. City state friendships were a bit weak in the early game, I only managed to ally Zurich pre-100 turns. The major reason for this was that several units were occupied with creating a wall of Montezuma, between Budapest and Almaty . Dido and Montezuma were in a state of perpetual warfare, but I felt like it would be a net win to filter Montezuma’s settle locations for him, as I hate being attacked while building universities. Dido had terrible land compared to Aztecs, so the eventual victor was obvious. After education, I made city states a higher priority, and concluded that my friendship declaration with Venice were not in my best interest. Venice was also a possible target for “acquisition”, as he was providing no luxuries, and he has a bad habit of trolling my city state alliances, especially if I give him a DOF. After universities, I started building an army to acquire Venice, at least until his knights showed up, at which point I decided to go for mid-game wonders instead. After lining up acoustics with social policy turns to go straight into Rationalism, I did a tech beeline to Astronomy, and then Engineering->Metal Casting->Machinery->Printing Press. I was able to avoid war with Aztecs, and meeting all the civilizations and CSs is a big advantage. About 5 turns into my Learning Tower, Pocatello started building a tower in his Capital, which looked a lot like the Leaning Tower that I was building. There was clearly an anti-Pocatello alliance on the other continent, but I could not bribe anyone to fight him for a distraction. After finishing my leaning tower, I noticed that his was still half complete. Oh, so that is not that Learning Tower he is building? Wait a minute, I know what tower that is! So, I picked GE from Leaning Tower and rushed Porcelain Tower. Missed out on the Sistine Chapel by a couple of turns. The irony is that I am pretty certain that the Leaning Tower made no difference in this game at all, I was not getting another GS for MANY turns before or past the final turn. Tech to Scientific Theory, turn 151, and then rush bought a couple of public schools. Social policies were Secularism, Humanism, Free Thought, and Sovereignty. Saved scientific revolution for late game. I was able to Ally Kabul, Ur, and Quebec City during the mid-game. I also realized that the only faith CS, Lhasa, was captured, so I squeezed in some temples in the build orders here and there. Venice used a merchant on Bucharest, which just bought me more a few more turns before the Aztecs would come knocking at my door. Despite Pocatello looking like the runaway on first contact, Korea and Siam cooperated to turn the tables on him, so I made friendships with both and signed RAs. Could have went fertilizer to help with food, but I decided to go Industrialization -> Electricity -> Radio to get first Ideology, picked Order on turn 172. Siam put in over a 1000 hammers into World’s Fair, so it was a good thing that I did not stop there. I picked Hero of the People and Skyscrapers for early adopter policies. World’s fair ended a few turns later, used the free policy on Worker Facilities, and then rush bought a couple of factories to get the immediate science boost. Used oxford to get plastics, turn 186, then to fertilizer, flight, railroads, and then straight to Rocketry as I did not need archaeology. I already had the social policies I needed, and there was no tourism runaway so no need for more culture. I built Eiffel just in case I ran into ideology/happiness issues. I also parked some useless GMs on the peninsula next to Palenque, to deter AI trolls from forward settling on me after their Ideology hatred built up. Late game was science limited, Palenque had massive production by that point in the game. I pretty much felt the borders were pretty secure with 2 XCOMs, a tank, and 2 Mobile Sams. I just looked at the screenshot and noticed the catapult that I kept all game, probably should have gifted that to a CS in need . I was able to continue RAs with Korea, but Siam decided that it did not like my ideology choice. The end game was simply fill every specialist slot to maximize beakers, wait 8 turns, slowly bulb GSs one turn at a time, hit next turn. Two faith bought, two from Hubble, one from Space Pioneers. I used the rationalism finisher to get Nanotechnology. Last RA from Korea, and then GE from Space pioneers helped pushed the game to sub-250 turns.