It took me until yr500+ to win, but I took it very slow. First time on this scenario, and I played on Noble. Spoiler : I chose the mage hero for the +Science. It was awesome to find out later that I could use a fireball with her, which made my defense easy from early on. I did some initial building, then built a city in the South Western pass, blocking the route, and another city in the North Western pass, blocking that route. I stationed an archer in each, and gradually raised the defense in each city until I had 4 archers in each. Once I did this, I could afford to remove just about all of my units from the capital and just spam improvements (Cottages!) and buildings throughout the entire area. I stayed there and researched at 100% until I had all the techs on the tree; that wait took a long, long, LONG time- but I ended up with a level 9 hero and a bunch of really good archers (level 3-9) by cycling them out of the city as attacks came in. Once I could, I built 3 assassins to explore enemy territory and see what I was up against as well as plot out how I would take them out. I realized early on this was a bad strategy, and lost my assassins. I built another one and sent it out exploring unclaimed territory again (manually). Found the ship captain, killed him easily and stole his Galleon. Took it towards the island, where just after I unloaded, the Eagle killed the galleon. I took advantage of this, and stole the item from the Volcano- which exploded and killed the NW part of my "wall" by blowing up the city. I moved on west with the item, ended up by a barbarian city- I killed the giant spider (By now, my Assassin had beast taming) and set it aside to heal. The very next turn, my assassin was killed by the frostlings in the city. I dropped the sheathe(?) in their city, and had to go reclaim it. After spamming defense, I eventually ended up with 2 assassins made from the Children and one that had just been wandering around aimlessly. One of the Children had the movement and blizzard spell, the other had the eye spell. With these, I was able to run around and farm experience while I explored the map (1 stack) and I ended up with Combat5, +2 Movement, Animal Taming, Frost Resisting, Blitzing, +30% Withdrawal assassins by the time I figured out where to go. Captured one of the mammoths, and told it to head home. It got, literally, one tile outside of a safe city and was killed by barbarians! Anyways, the Assassins took out the city in the very NW corner, easily. Moved in, and using the giant spider to soften up, took the city and stole the sheathe back. Carried the sheathe all the way back to the capital, and dropped it off. Went back out, found where the Ice God was staying, started destroying Frostling huts, and capturing animals. I ended up capturing a mammoth and getting it to +2 movement, where it was (again) killed just outside of my city by frostlings. The other one I caught I guarded with bears, wolves and spiders before sending them all home (and it did make it). I found out that the other pieces of the sword were inside cities- and found the Orb inside the little clearing. I stepped on top of it, and it became "mine". I decided to rest up and let my guys heal before picking it up, in case it would spawn something hard to kill by picking it up. The very next turn, a wolf ran out of nowhere and stepped on top of my assassins- "killing" the orb, and it disappeared. It didn't come back. -_- So... enslaved the wolf and used it as a scout to explore enemy territory again. After destroying the ice castle, I ran back home and began building an offensive force. With catapults and archers, along with my assassins and hero, I was able to easily take over a couple of cities with brief resting periods between captures. Eventually, the "Blue" civ capitulated (Sorry, I am terrible with remembering names) and swapped from -100 to +100 with me. I used them as a shield later, against the blue dragon, and after taking a few rest turns to replenish my army (This time, with lots and lots of Mammoths) I had 2 parts of the sword. I moved in close and used 3 catapults, some barrage, and the fireball a couple of turns to weaken it up before taking the first "white" city, then the capital in a few turns. After picking that up, I took one of the mammoth raiders (Was a Children) and used the +Movement spell to rush it back to my capital and reforged the sword. Since I saved the Stag, earlier (Twice) the hero that spawned got to ride it. I got the message that the blue dragon was coming out, and began to rush toward the God of Ice, using the +Movement spell (along with my entire army) to speed the way. Turns out, I couldn't use most of my army anyways, and they would've been better off defending against the dragon that took 5 cities on it's way over. Even fireballs wouldn't do anything, since they can't move into the same square as the God of Ice. I moved my stag-riding hero in, killed the god, and won. Woo! That's a big spoiler. All in all, defense was easy since I had a good strategy at the start; offense was a bit harder since I didn't have any Iron, Mammoths, Horses or Copper when I began moving out. At noble level, this played out pretty well. It definitely had an "epic" feel to it- lots of fun to play. Downloading FfH2 right now.