Hi-diddly-ho, Civ-a-rinos! Since I'm coming up on a bit of free time, I thought I'd get a thread up for the next game in the only game-learning series officially licensed by the American Dental Association to prevent the gum disease gingivitis: Help Me Verb Adverb (sure, why not). We're trying to help lower-level players improve their game and--with any luck--make the leap up to the higher difficulties. Last time, we were satisfied with okay; this time, we're shooting for the stars, and by the stars I mean "doin' just fine." Last time, we sank our teeth into a Hemispheres map with Sitting Bull and, after an initial chariot rush, had a difficult, peaceful game, with wonder-spamming neighbors and ambitious warmongers on all sides. This time, we're back to Normal-sized, Normal-speed Fractal, but also like last time, we're playing with some rules. Our leader this time is not a man of the ancient era. He is not in this time of his own volition. He has been summoned here by forces he does not understand. And with his own respect for these ancient peoples in mind, our fearless leader has created some rules for himself: 1. No empire on the planet may die completely by our hand. We may take vassals, but we may not strike the killing blow. Preserving these ancient folks' history is critical. 2. We may not build any World Wonders. This is, in part, as practice for a possible move to Emperor next time, but it fits the theme (Let the ancient people build their monuments and structures!). We can build National Wonders, and we can capture World Wonders, but we can't build any ourselves--not even for failgold. So who is our time-hoppin' warlord? I think he's up to the task. First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen, and hopefully first in this game, it's Washington of the American Empire! As per our usual method, we met ol' oak-molars last game, where he was a valuable trading partner and ally, helping us claw our way back into the game after getting our butts handed to us by Pacal for centuries. He did well for himself--especially with a late-game war against Tokugawa--but he was never really a threat to win. This game, we hope to see George do a bit better for himself. The American leaders are all pretty interesting: great traits across the board, decent starting techs, and mostly worthless uniques. Expansive has almost become a stable in these games, and its cheap granaries and workers dovetail nicely with our other trait and my personal favorite, Charismatic. We'll be able to grow quickly into big city sizes, and vertical growth can support a lot. And, of course, Charismatic also makes prosecuting a war or three or eighteen a lot more fun, so maybe we'll have that as well. The bad part about our favorite dirty capitalists, though? The uniques. Navy SEALs are sort of nice--the March promotion with Marines can help those late-game coastal wars--but they come so late that they rarely matter. And Malls? Gold bonuses are nice (and extra through the late-game culture resources is okay as well), but Refrigeration is rarely a priority tech for me. I don't recall building a single Supermarket in recent memory. But we do have Fishing and Agriculture, a pair of decent food techs. Fishing is more situational, but Ag will always get some play. How about the start (after our initial warrior move)? The warrior was originally on the forested grass to the southwest, so I moved him onto the hill. All I have to say is... ooooh. This is a start with some options, I think. SIP looks strong, with inner-ring food, and wet corn means we have a second city within shouting distance. On the other hand, we also have two plains hills where we can settle, and both will make pretty decent sites. The one where the warrior is standing will give us a food resource we can use right away, which makes heading over to Hunting before AH to get those pachyderms online more inviting. We can of course use a second city to grab the pigs and cows, and we should be able to get a strong city out of that site as well. The plains hill to the NW keeps the animals and the floodplains at the cost of the gold. I'm less inclined to go that direction for that reason. Almost forgot--strategy! Well, early jumbos and gold with Charismatic mean that smileys aren't going to be a problem for a little while, so I'm tempted to get straight down to brass tacks and beeline the war techs. Worker techs into Writing, chop out a Library or two, then wait for our first scientist to bulb Long Division while we tech HBR (all of this with incidental stops at Mysticism and Pottery and other useful techs). Then, if we've got a good target of opportunity, let the elepult massacre commence! If we SIP, should we go Hunting first? It's tempting given that it lowers the price of AH, and we can farm the floodplains for growth if we have to wait for the chance to get the moocows and piggies going. As always, please put map spoilers inside the proper tags. Save is attached. Thanks, guys; let's have fun!