Hi, civfanatics! I think in most games your usual early choice civic-wise is Political philosophy - it allows you to establish governments with all of their perks (more card slots, more points towards envoys, inherent bonuses to combat strength or great people and so on) If so, what to do after? The choices are: 1) Go back to Games and recreation to build entertainment districts or Drama and poetry for theatre squares. The first option is kinda meh, because at this point you are hardly in need of additional amenities. Drama and poetry - may be, but it still seems pretty early to me. The amount of culture you get is not great, you will get more from city-states and monuments which are cheaper. Maybe I just haven't done a proper culture game yet. 2) Choose Defensive tactics and later Feudalism. Defensive tactics gives you Bastions card (bonus to city defense and city ranged attack) and Limes (+100% production towards defensive buildings). Feudalsim is an interesting choice. It gives you first farm-adjacency bonus, eureka to Stirrups technology (knights tech) and unlocks Feudal contract (+50% production to medieval and renaissance era melee and ranged units) and Serfdom (two extra charges for builders). These are good choices however I tend to not build as many farms at this point of the game and prioritize mines and lumber mills There is a "but" - it obsoletes two important earlier cards which I often use: Agoge (+50% production to ancient and classic era units) which means that it's now more expensive to spam archers and spears and Ilkum (+30% production to builders). In general, Serfdom is better than Ilkum but in my experience I don't know what to do with those 5-charged builders, I simply don't have that many tiles to improve near one city. And if you move builder around differnet cities more turns is lost for that movement, it's sometimes faster to use couple of cheap 3-charged builders than one 5-charged. What is your experience? 3) Go to Recorded history and later Civil service. Recorded history unlocks Great Library and Natural philosophy policy (+100% campus adjacency bonus). Civil service gives you Retainers card (+1 Amenity for garrisoned units) and Meritocracy (+1 culture for each district). The bonuses can be pretty strong if you have great land with good locations for campuses but the Inspiration for Civil service I find rather hard to get (grow a city to a 10 pop) because of housing restrictions. But if you don't have enough districts or suitable campuses than bonuses are really small. In some cases of course you don't beeline Political philosophy. For example, if you're doing religion-focused game then your better choice is probably Theology and later Divine right for Theocracy government. Or if you already have extra policy slots from unique abilities (Germany, Greece) and you go for early domination then you should probably go through upper-tree with Military training and Mercenaries. The last option is to "dance around" these options until you get an Insipration boost for one of them. So, what is your opinion? What do you prefer researching at that particular moment?