As the most observant in the audience might already have guessed, this time around the dynamic duo is: Silu playing Joao II of Portugal Fleme playing Darius I of Persia This has two benefits. First, we have Darius on our side. Second, we won't have Joao as our opponent. Personally, I think the latter is the bigger benefit. Now, some might remember us talking about Zaroleon next, but that really was a train wreck. We started a game which was going well, and just when we were about to start the thread, we got a very improbable DoW totally blindsiding us and wrecking our game. We started another game which was also going well. We were again just about to start the thread, when we got a very improbable dagger DoW totally blindsiding us and wrecking our game. Long story short, playing the French seems to further encourage military disasters so we decided to just forget about that for now. Additional fun fact, in the latter game TGL (the library variety) went in 1600BC There's nothing bad in losing an sich, but losing in a boring fashion is mostly useless! Anyhow, we pretty much decided that we'll write something this time around, for good or bad. I can tell you already there'll be both good and bad in this game right from the start, and that surprisingly I'll get most of the other and Fleme most of the other. So, our settings this time around, mostly the same: Difficulty: Deity Speed: Marathon Map: Large/Hemispheres/2 continents Rivals: 5x2 AIs Other: Choose Religions We like to play some ways into the game for the first report, so without further ado, my start (I'm pretty sure I changed the build to warrior that turn): Decent enough for IMP/EXP. How about the surroundings then? Decent enough for... uh... solar panels? Land oil? IMP-popping Erwin Rommel as a GG and roleplaying with him? In any case, we quickly decided some cheeseness is in order. In the form of... ...some dudes that can ride on horseback without horseback riding! They do require The Wheel though... How does that work again? Let me know if you figure it out. But I digress... Anyway, the ever happy Hatty lives conveniently next door next to some juicy land, which would hopefully make up for my everything-but-juicy land. I'm pretty much dead weight as far as the rush goes, so the least I could do was ferry a Worker over to fashion some Immortals out of wood and cast spells that bring them to life. I had a vast, vast expanse of land to the north, so I was a bit worried about barb defense. I asked for a single Immortal to defend against barbs - after all they decimate everything but Spears, and those don't come that early. And even if they do, I can emergency-whip some Warriors to take the brunt of them. Right? Oh poopers. Damn. Well, I'll just hunker up in Lisbon and conjure up some Warriors. Looks pretty bad, but No way there could be any more barbs on the way. Okay, disregard that. By the way, I think the "The enemy has been spotted near Lisbon" is somewhat of an understatement. Well, still, there's plenty of Warriors and Archers in that pack which our Immortal can easily destroy, not like there's any terrain defended ax--- *sigh* Me and my big mouth... Oh well. I think it's time to pack by bags and move to the western seaside resort of Thebes! I hear the weather there is lovely at this time of the millennium.