Wow! This is the first ALC game that I've been able to follow in real time and I have to say it was extremely impressive. What stuns me most is how you managed to go from the bottom of the score graph to the overwhelming leader in just about three hundred years. This game was very well played. Worries about not utilizing the UU/UB combo are unnecessary. The point is to try to do so, and had the game been set up in a different way, you may very well have been able to use the UU/UB combination for a killer late game. Monty *had* to be destroyed and the natural outcome of winning a war against him would be taking his cities, thus determining the direction of the game very early. There was no way around it. Well, maybe there was (there's always another way) but to just make it *that* much more challenging to win when you already had your hands full would have taken the fun out of the game, not to mention this was your first time playing Immortal (hell I haven't gotten past Noble but I don't play often). I also have to give kudos for the great diplomacy skills that you used. Truly stellar. The dynamic of the Buddhist bloc also had more depth than I think I ever expected this game could have. There were clear divisions within the bloc that made things more interesting (and complicated) requiring you to buddy up with some and not others. The results paid off, definitely! So yes, you did a great job and it was a fascinating read! I can't wait for the next installment.