I approached CivIII with the intention to start out at a relatively challenging level and play until i win one. For me this meant starting out at Regent and playing each game to the bitter (or otherwise) end. Civ has always been an exercise of the imagination for me. Doomed last stands, particularly from my early CivI games, are often as valued in my memory as warmly as some of the greatest victories. In the first few games of a new Civ release the world hasn't yet sunk into a predictable cycle. You make stupid mistakes. Built units that turn out to be of little use. Research the wrong things. Try to guess which wonders will be the most important. Just like life. You plunge in with no pre-conceptions. The world is new. Anything can happen. I played my first few CivI games at Prince and suffered quite a few maulings. I played my first CivII game at King and strangely eeked out a space victory at the very end. That must have got me overly confident because I lost my next one. At last I'm posting an account of my first CivIII game. It took a good three weeks to play, and another week to flesh out this history which I sketched while going along. (You get married, get a full time job, and you just can't play these things like you once did.) So here it is. I played at Regent. 8 civs. Normal map with default settings. Restless barbs. P.S. must be the Germans inspire creativity. Sure are a lot of German tales here.