Some observations and questions on money for the 1.61 patch. I play at epic speed and the cost of upgrading units has gone up about 20-25%. Was this part of the time correction (hammers at the root affecting the output of the upgrade equation) or is this an increase across all speeds (new upgrade equation)? It also seems the Kremlin is now necessary (even if less powerful) since cash rushing items, especially wonders, has gone through the roof. My experience at epic (without the Kremlin) is that wonders cost at least 3 times as much gold as they did prior to the patch. Again, is this true across all speeds or part of the time correction, or is this an effect of trying to fix the Kremlin and wacking all rush buying? As affecting strategy, Universal suffrage still stays the premiere late game civic over representation. Where as before it was rush buying, now it is production (Town hammers). The civics are closer in power than before, but I believe the edge still goes to cottages (as it should). Also, with rush buying changes, production is even more key. Cities will now have to actually build the units and buildings more than before. In my experience this weekend, this has shown that in "commerce cities", mines get an edge over windmills if food is available (and sometimes not) and watermills get used more often in the place of a cottage site. I like the V1.61 changes, definately tougher overall. And to quell (or start) an argument, I believe that cottages are NOT overpowered. It is my belief that they are a specific game design and are meeting the intent of the game developers. You still have to use them and in lots.