Hi-diddly-ho, Civ-a-rinos, Civ-a-rinas, and Civ-a-rhinos alike! Our latest foray into Helping Me Verb Adverbs all over the place finds us in uncharted territory. The settings are largely the same--Fractal map, Normal speed, Normal size. Our goals are the same--helping lower-level players survive and thrive in harsher and harsher environments while doing an unhealthy amount of creative writing devoted to a stupid video game about tanks blowing up guys with bows. But this time, we've made a major change. This time, we can't just do fine. We have to do well. This is Emperor, baby, and a whole lot of people are going to be waiting to cave our skulls in. Last time, we rode Washington through a rough start hemmed in by backstabbing jerkwad neighbors, beelined Construction, and proceeded to use combined Elephants and siege to mop the floor with a whole lot of saps--all without building a single world wonder. That was part of our rules, but this time, I'm not going to tie my own hands. This will be my first-ever Emperor game, and I won't rule anything out. As per my usual rule, the good ol' D6 determined our leader from our list last time. He's no stranger to the series, but unlike frequent Help Me Verb Adverb guests like Saladin and Isabella, he's taken a pounding literally every time. It's the flyin' Dutchman himself, Willem van Oranje of the Dutch Empire! Spoiler : Ol' Bill has a lot of history in the series. In our very first game, he succumbed to Shaka's Impi fury and was relegated to the pages of history in no time flat. Last time, he was an early ally, founder of our Jewish faith, and later got his head caved in by elephants and cannons. So it's safe to say that I'm hoping we can break the poor guy's losing streak this time. Much like his predecessor George, Willem comes into play with powerful traits (two we haven't seen so far--yay for no Expansive leader this time!) and sort of middling uniques. Creative is wonderful for free border pops, high-pressure settling, cheap Libraries, and not having to worry about having food in the first ring all the time. Financial will power up our cottages, our coastal tiles, and any nice luxury resources we have on our hands. The uniques are more situational. East Indiamen are powered-up Galleons with greater strength and carrying capacity as well as the ability to bypass closed borders much like Caravels--pretty good, but mostly situational. Dikes are Levees that add their hammer bonuses to ocean and coastal tiles that, while better on Financial, are still rarely worked--though they will make our Moai city a powerhouse under the right circumstances. We also enter with Fishing and Agriculture, and we'll be able to exploit one of these techs with our start! Spoiler : A few thoughts. 1. This is going to be a really nice Bureau capital, especially if we grab Calendar first. One thing I really like is that the first corn will irrigate the second at that point. 2. That said, I still hate starting with Calendar resources, much like we did with Sitting Bull. 3. We're awfully close to the jungle. The warrior should probably move toward the southeast to see if we'll get anything by settling on the plains hill (though SiP looks strong). 4. With immediate usable food, I'll likely do a BW beeline right from the start, then see where things end up from there. The capital will be a production powerhouse in the early game, but I'd like to let it work some cottages down the road once we sort out the smileys. Save is attached. As always, put shadow discussions in spoilers plzkthx. Looking forward to a good time with you wacky lot as always!