All Leaders Challenge Game 28: Ethiopia/Zara Yaqob Played with the Beyond the Sword expansion pack Round 0: Move the Scout Round 1: 4000 BC to 3160 BC (21 turns) Round 2: 3160 BC to 2640 BC (13 turns) Round 3: 2640 BC to 825 BC (48 Turns) Round 4: 825 BC to 525 BC (12 Turns) Round 5: 525 BC to 450 AD (39 Turns) Round 6: 450 AD to 1190 AD (46 Turns) Round 7: 1190 AD to 1530 AD (37 Turns) Round 8: 1530 AD to 1790 AD (52 turns) Round 9: 1790 AD to 1860 AD (32 turns) Post Mortem Personal Introduction I’ve been a long time reader here at these forums and have been helped greatly by many of the posters. Sisiutil’s All Leaders Challenge games were extremely helpful in my development and I’ve decided that I’d like to pick up the ALC series where it left off. I will no doubt be inferior to Sisiutil, but I hope that I’ve reached a point where I’ll be able to demonstrate how to play the game well. That being said, I certainly have room for improvement, so feel free to give advice, tips, and otherwise critique my gameplay. My hope is that this series can be picked back up as there’s nothing quite like watching the games “live”. Pre-Game Discussion In this ALC game I’ll be playing as Zara of the Ethiopians. I rarely play as Zara so this is certainly going to be an adventure for me. I’ve played against him enough, though, to be aware of his creative inclinations. I’m not sure I’ll be taking that route, but we can discuss that later. Traits: Creative: gives us +2 per city and double production speed of Theater, Coliseum, and Library. I used to find this trait awesome, and it’s certainly one that I still like, but it’s not as cool as it used to be in my eyes. The useful things are the early border pops, which can be incredibly useful in the pursuit of strategic resources and land blocking, and the quick libraries which cannot be undervalued. The quick theatres can be cool if we find ourselves in a situation where we want a quick Globe for a head start on massive whipping. The quick Coliseums I could do without … this isn’t Civ V. Organized: civic upkeep reduced 50 percent and double production speed of Lighthouse, Factory, and Courthouse. Yeah, this trait is super. Civic upkeep I used to not even pay attention to, but at the higher levels it becomes a major issue and having to only pay half of it is huge in the pursuit of rapid expansion. And courthouses and factories are awesome. Lighthouses are pretty cool too and if we find ourselves coastal The Great Lighthouse is certainly a possibility. Starting Techs: Hunting and Mining. The more starting techs give my workers to do the more I like them, so these two are pretty average. Hunting will let us improve elephants, deer, and fur and gets us one step closer to archery. Mining lets us build mines on un-forested tiles and gets us one step closer to Bronze Working. Unique Unit: Oromo Warrior. This unit replaces the musketman. Its cost and movement restrictions are the same as the musketman, but it gets a free first strike, is immune to first strikes, and starts with drill I and II. I have little experience playing with Oromos and I usually bypass Muskets, but this could be a game where we beeline Gunpowder and build a force of Oromos. Unique Building: Stele This unique building is a monument that also gives +25% culture in the city. Given that we’re creative this building is super lame. I don’t plan on building monuments, but I suppose this building could be useful if we have a culture war over tiles with another civ. On the other hand, if the land and neighbors allow it, this building is incredibly useful if we decide to pursue a cultural victory. Starting Position The idea of the All Leaders Challenge is that games are going to be played with each of the Civ IV leaders. With the help of all the posters who participate, an attempt will be made to make the most of the leader's unique characteristics: traits, starting techs, unit, and building. Aside from the leader, the other game settings are (mostly) kept constant for the sake of comparison. I will post the saved game files, screenshots, and status reports here as the game progresses. Everyone is invited to offer opinions and advice, and to make your own attempt at playing the same game. But if you do play a "shadow game", I kindly request that you refrain from posting spoilers--i.e. any facts or even hints about the map, opponents, and so on--before I'm there myself. I'm trying to play the game as authentically as possible. In this ALC game, I'll be playing as Zara, leader of the Ethiopians. I'm playing the game using the Beyond the Sword expansion pack and its latest patch. The difficulty level is Emperor, the map is Fractal, and the speed is Normal. I’m leaving all the boxes unchecked except for huts and events, both of which are off. All victory conditions are enabled. If you have any questions about why I picked what I did, feel free to ask. Here is a more detailed look at the initial game settings: Here's a reminder as to Zara's unique characteristics: And, finally, here is the starting position: My initial thoughts are that this start is pretty lame. Let’s look at what we’ve got. Bad: Plains wheat, lots of other plains, and no fish. Good: Grassland cows which we are only one tech from improving, gold nearby, and lots of forests which we are only one tech from chopping. I’m not inclined to settle in place with so much water without any fish/crabs/clams. I’m thinking of moving the scout 1NE and then 1SE to see if there’s some northern land that might be better. What are your thoughts?