Since there is plenty of input on the seemingly interminable barbarian problem (first the sabertooths, then the griffons, then still the griffons, then the minotaurs, now the hillgiant/cyklops "you'll never work a tile again" combo and elementals...could a fiendish mind be at work here, under the guise of a series of unforeseen bugs and balance issues?) I thought I'd make a separate thread for them. Playing the Mekaran Order - things are going great, I'm waaay behind in cities but I've got Poisons and at least four excellent sites, one of which happens to be the Calabim capital. They're second-closest, so as my capital queues up some settler-spam and my second city turtles up, I sent my lone lair-popped Gladiator (with Bounty Hunter; not sure how this works with its culture-victory promo, it looks like it's randomly doing one or the other) up to feed off Moroi, with Corgayle a couple turns away from completion. War goes as expected, unfortunate hill/forest/river placement neuters the AI's ability to launch a stack at my Gladiator, Corgayle heads to defend second city from the incoming Moroi stack with no anticipated problems. It is turn 132, and I am about to lose the game. Hit Enter, answer a phone call, look back and four Strength-7 Air Elementals have crushed my second city. They kill Corgayle AND the Moroi, hilariously, with Lightning Elemental spam, then take my capital. I WB'd, dropped some Adjuncts and a city on a random plot of land, so I can watch the fireworks - the elementals steamroll the Calabim and proceed south to crush the Kuriotates. The Bannor are a long way west, so I alt-F4. Good times. I did smile a bit when I imagined how the opposing armies must have felt about getting railed by a third party of living tornadoes, so I guess I had fun. Any other highlights?