This forum doesn't seem very active anymore but regardless I'm going to share some initial impressions of the mod. Obviously I've been a huge Civ 4 fan for years, and a few days ago I decided to try out this mod I've heard about a lot. I knew it was going to be a bit different, but I was kinda shocked. First of all, I love the way the map looks. I know it's just retexturing but seriously, great job there. My first game was with the Khazad. There was a dragon statue called "Guardian of Pristin Pass" right outside my capital, I had no idea what it was about. Then I walked a Warrior scout by it and a few 8 attack Gargoyles spawned, killing my Warrior. I then had a problem settling anywhere as these Gargoyles were patrolling my borders. Seriously, 8 attack, wtf? Between this and getting my city sacked within about 8 turns (before I could train a Warrior) as the Ljosalfar I learned that barbarians were no joke. Alright, so my main issue with the game: every civilization feels the same. I know this will be an unpopular opinion because I hear people talk about how great this mod is because changing civilizations is like playing a new game. And I'll be honest, I haven't tried even half of the civilizations so I haven't really delved deep into the more unique ones. I've played mostly with the dwarf civs because they seem pretty straightforward. But I'm not really sure what the Khazad are really about. They are supposed to be an aggressive civ, but they have the same Warrior -> Axeman -> Champion upgrade path that every other civ has. I'm not sure what exactly makes them stand out besides the Aggressive trait. Compare this to the Luchuirp who get very unique units, the golems. The golems are just way better than what the Khazad have access to, and that's not even including Barnaxus. I'm probably missing something but if anything, the Luchuirp should be the aggressive attacking civ. The Khazad get the vault bonus, but honestly this feels more like a penalty in the early game since you can't research as much early tech without getting penalties while expanding. In my most recent game, this caused me to lose out on founding Runes by a few turns. Honestly the Khazad just feel like a watered down Luchuirp. Again, I'm probably missing something. I got the Hippus when I chose a random civ, and they have sort of the same thing going for them. They're supposed to be the warmongering horselord civilization, but they get the same exact horse units that everyone else gets. What makes them special? To be honest, the vanilla Civ4 civs felt a bit more unique because you often got early unique units and buildings which influenced how you played the game. In FFH4 I feel like I'm playing with more or less the same civ every game, because all of the units, buildings, and tech are the same. A lot of civs in FFH2 are supposed to be played aggressively. The problem is that the map makes conquest really difficult. At the default settings, civilizations start really far apart or are blocked off entirely by mountains. In my most recent Khazad game I couldn't really justify rushing another civ since it was dozens of tiles away. Not only does that make conquest difficult, but I also feared crushing maintenance costs. To make things worse, resources seem really rare so expanding towards another civ can feel awkward. I just never felt the incentive to start war instead of just expanding around my capital with settlers. Maybe I should increase the number of AI civs beyond the default? In my Hippus game I physically couldn't attack anyone, since a dragon city spawned in the valley north of me, and every time I put a unit in its borders it died to an invisible enemy unit. There's still a lot of civs and mechanics I haven't had a chance to experience yet, so maybe that will change how I see things. I'm sure I sound like an idiot, but this is just my initial impression of the mod. Edit: Oh, and the mod disables the combat log for some reason. That's annoying.