All Leaders Challenge Game 30: Germany/Bismarck Played with the Beyond the Sword expansion pack Round 0: Move the Scout Round 1: 4000 BC to 2520 BC (37 turns) Round 2: 2520 BC to 925 BC (41 turns) Round 3: 900 BC to 175 BC (30 turns) Round 4: 175 BC to 600 AD (32 turns) Round 5: 600 AD to 1090 AD (29 turns) Round 6: 1090 AD to 1550 AD (51 turns) Round 7: 1550 AD to 1816 AD (58 turns) Round 8: 1816 AD to 1909 AD (51 turns) Round 9: 1909 AD to 1920 AD (11 turns) Round 10: 1920 AD to 1946 AD (26 turns) Round 11: 1946 AD to 1975 AD (29 turns) Post Mortem Introduction 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 Bismarck of the Germans. Before we start the game, a more detailed discussion of Bismarck is in order. Traits Industrious: gives us the ability to build wonders 50% faster than we can normally build them and double production speed of forges. The industrious trait is one of my favorites. I'm a fan both of wonders and of forges and this trait makes them all come quicker. It is worth noting that the wonder building bonuses like marble and stone stack with industrious, meaning that should we see these resources we can build wonders in record times. Forges are extremely useful buildings throughout all of the game. Unfortunately I often have to put off building them longer than I'd like because of their large expense. But at half price, they are much more reasonable. Hopefully, our empire will also contain some gold, silver, or gems making the forge a and increasing building. Last game I went pretty crazy with the early game wonders. So I think this time, I'll try to build fewer of them and focus more on early expansion. That being said, I think there's a bunch of late game wonders we can go for. And since the Germans are a industrial era civ, it makes sense to build all the wonders that come about during that time ... if we can fit them in in between our panzer builds. Expansive: gives us many great abilities. We can build granaries and harbors twice as quickly as normal, and we can build workers 25% faster using hammers (the food overflow that goes into workers doesn't get multiplied). On top of this we get a free +2 per city which can counter the of our cheap forges and awesome assembly plants nicely. This is a pretty good trait when not playing a OCC. We'll be able to grow our cities faster since granaries will come cheaply and we'll be able to improve those cities faster since workers will come cheaply. And a free two health never hurt anybody. Starting Techs: Hunting and Mining Mining is a pretty good tech. It's always going to be useful and it's on the way to Bronze Working, which is also always going to be useful. I'm glad to have it. Hunting is more situational. It's nice to have if we get fur, ivory, or deer in our capital's cross, but otherwise it's kind of lame. We'll wait and see what the layout is before we get too high or too low on either of these techs. In general, they're not the two I would pick, but they can be very useful in certain situations. Unique Unit: Panzer The Panzer is a tank that gets a 50% bonus against other armored units. It's one of those units that loses all of its specialness on the lower difficulties when nobody else has tanks, but at higher levels I think it might be more useful. But it won't be that much better than the tank given the AIs propensity to build all sorts of useless crap. Finally, the Panzer has a difficult job in trying to replace one of the best units in the game, so while it might not be a great unique unit it's still a good regular unit. I'm hoping they'll see a lot of use in this upcoming ALC and we can capitulate the world with them. Unique Building: Assembly Plants This building is a super-powered version of one of my favorite buildings in the game. I'm not quite sure what to say about it except that I can't wait to research Assembly Line and get these awesome factory replacements online. They should help us immensely in our goal of building hundreds of panzers. Starting Position In this ALC game, I'll be playing as Bismarck, leader of the Germans, and the man who's boat was really hard to sink. 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 Bismarcks's unique characteristics: And, finally, here is the starting position: Hmph. Lots of trees and no food. On the other hand we are only one tech from Bronze Working and Animal Husbandry, so it's not all bad. Also, I'm hopeful that there's something in those grassland squares to the west. I built a ton of early wonders last game, so I think this time I'll focus on expansion, either peaceful or militaristic, I'm not particular. Long term I'm hoping to get a large empire early in the game and grow on it until the industrial era when I'll open up a can of whoop-ass with my panzers and take over the world. Sound good?