One of the things that takes the longest in this game is figuring out which civilization cards to get and what it'll cost. There are numerous tools that do the math, but this spreadsheet employs Excel's Solver add-in to optimize the purchase of the cards. You tell it:
- Which trade cards you have
- Which trade cities you own (if using that variant)
- Where you want to use your Mining bonus
- Your treasury
- Any civilization cards that you MUST buy this turn
- Which civilization cards you currently own
When everything is input, click the "Buy me something!" button and a macro will run the Solver add-in to minimize the "waste" from spending trade cards and treasury while keeping below the 8 trade card limit. If you accept the OCP's recommendation, the civilization cards you own are updated so you won't have to keep entering which cards you own each time you run the tool.
The spreadsheet has separate worksheets for each available civilization, so every player can use it simultaneously. It also has places to track number of cities and relative position on the AST so a running VP score can also be kept.
The tool does have some limitations, mostly in that it doesn't "error-check" to make sure you're not using Mining on multiple commodities, or have more than 1 of a particular civilization card, etc..