Ok, first time around, we didn't get off to such a great start. This time I have made sure we are in a decent position before posting. Game setup was 80% water, archipelago, normal, temperate, 5 billion years, standard size, 7 random opponents, deity. I picked these because of the obvious benefits to the human player, and playing to the Scandinavian strengths. There will be a lot of coastal towns for the berserks to assault! I also wanted a start that had early access to bonus food, so after about 12 attampts I ended up with this position: We settled in the spot. Started work on a warrior, and started research at min on writing. We quickly discover that we are alone on our island (about now I am definitely going to run with this game). The first scouting curragh was joined by a second, and later a third. We found England first in the far south, then Carthage. Further along to the west, on another island, we found the Ottomans and the Dutch. Our second curragh, scouting to the east, locates the Romans and the Greeks. We are falling behind in tech, especially first tier tech. I buy pottery from England, as this is essential to our expansion plans, but otrherwise I just wait on the writing research. Fortunately I don't see writing appear in any of the other civs techs, until it finally comes in for us. We then start min on philosophy to get the free tech, hopefully, assuming we get there first. It is now a bit of a cat and mouse game to ensure we get value from our writing monopoly, but also to give us enough time to study philosophy. We go for max on this research, or at least max that we can afford, which is around 50-60%. This ends up taking about 24 truns. It appears that we have no luxuries, and there are no islands connected by coasts that provide luxuries, so we can either build the great lighhouse, or we will need astronomy in order to benefit from luxuries. Hence in this earl;y part of the game I am having to run high luxury rates via the slider to control happiness. 1700BC - Every turn we have been checking for the various techs available for trade and the prices available for them. On this turn, I notice for the first time that the price of writing to the Romans has dropped. They have obviously started their own research on it. We are only a few turns into philosophy, but it is time to realise our value from writing. In doing so, I realise that the probability of succeeding with philosophy has just dropped. The trades: to Carthage for Masonry, the wheel, bronze working, 92gp to Greece for Iron Working, Horseback Riding, ceremonial burial and 36 gp to England for Mysticism and 15 gp to Rome for 82gp The Ottos and the Dutch had nothing useful to trade for. 1525BC – Barbs kill a worker! England declare on carthage (goody). We start using a few scientists to speed up research on philosophy. We also see that polytheism has become available. It is clear that the fastest way to a decent government now will be to head for monarchy as our free tech from philosophy, assuming we get philosophy (no sign of code of laws yet). We therefore see if we can get polytheism, but no trade is available just yet. 1400BC Trade hB to Dutch for 46 gp, still can’t get polytheism! 1350BC Meet France. We are up three techs! Sell HB for 255gp(all they have). We can now buy polytheism. 431gp to Carthage is the cheapest. We run with this. We trade polytheism for map making and 4 gp from the Dutch. 3 turns to philosophy, monarchy queued. Trade England map making for mathematics and 18gp. 1275BC Philosophy comes in! We are first there! Revolt to Monarchy – 4 turns of anarchy drawn (not bad!). The map at this time: 1250BC – Our curragh survives two barb galleys attacking. Found Aarhus. 1225BC – England demands philosophy and is told to get lost. They declare. England has no direct coastal access, and is still at war with Carthage, so this does not worry me. 1200BC – We are in Monarchy. 1175BC Establish embassies with the Dutch, Grece and Rome. The Dutch are only 7 turns shy of the Great Lighthouse, so we give up on this. The Dutch are high on the beserkers list of conquests, though. 1100BC – Sell philosophy to Hannibal for 393 gp. Use the cash to finish establishing embassies. 1025BC – Dutch complete great lighthouse! 1000BC – Carthaginians complete Temple of Artemis.. We have: 8 cities 28 pop 2 settlers 3 workers (not enough) 1 warrior 4 archers 4 spearmen 1 galley 2 Curragh. All AA required techs except Currency, Code of Laws and Construction. 975BC – Found Stavenger. The Carthaginians have Construction. The Netherlands have Code of Laws. I could trade for both but will wait for now.