Tired of having the AI the out tech you? Tired of them starting with bonus techs? With extra units? With reduced civic upkeep? Reduced maintenance costs? Have you ever wished you could take those same bonuses and show what someone not completely brain dead could do with them? Tired of leading, rhetorical questions? This thread exists to see just exactly how insane the AI bonuses are on higher difficulties, and what some skilled players could do with them. I've modified the Civ4HandicapInfo.xml file so that, where ever it was possible, the player has same bonuses as the Immortal AI. If you'd like to play along, check out the instructions on where to install the modified xml file below. Our Leader is Charlemange, hereby christened Burger King With Extra Cheese, because cheesing is exactly what I expect to be done with this map: Starting Techs: Hunting and Mysticism. Hunting is sort of a waste, since we would have started with it anyway. Oh well. Extra Starting Techs: Agriculture and Archery. Traits: Protective and Imperialistic. Protective is pretty much agreed upon to be the worst trait in the game, but it can be useful if you find yourself in an early defensive war, or go massed drafted rifles. Imperialistic is one of the classic REXing traits, giving a 50% production bonus to settlers, and double the rate of Great Generals. And then there's the UB, a courthouse that cuts extra city maintenance, and the UU, a pikeman that gets a 100% bonus vs. melee units. But do we care about any of that? Heck no! On to the start! Er, I think the best thing to do is fan the units outward on turn 1, checking the surrounding land. SIP looks good, though an argument could be made for 1W. You trade some hill production for a food neutral gems, and the ability to farm the corn right away. (Remember, you start with both Agriculture and a Worker!) Settings used to make this map: Immortal difficulty should be quotation marks. You'll be getting most of the same bonuses that the AI gets, making it more a super-charged Noble. The AI still has some advantages, just due to the fact that some xml values only existed for the AI, and not the player. Spoiler for complete list of what WASN'T changed: Spoiler : AI still gets a -50% discount to upgrading units, you don't. AI can still produce buildings faster, and possibly still have a general production bonus. The relevant values here are iAITrainPercent, iAIConstructPercent, and iAICreatePercent. All are set to 80, so they're paying 80% of whatever these are. Construct sounds like building cost, Create sounds like engineer wonder rushing cost, and Train may be Great Person cost. Hard to tell. AI pays half of what you do in unit supply. AI suffers from only 60% of the war wariness that you would. AI has an "iAIPerEraModifier" of -4, whatever that means. AI gets an "iAIWorkModifier" of 75. Not sure what this means, perhaps it's related to the time needed for workers to build improvements? AI cities require 85% of the food you need to grow a pop. Their cities will still grow slightly faster than yours. Other than that, you're getting the same bonuses as the AI. Same city maintenance, same discount on units (80% of normal), same starting techs, same bonus against barbs, same discount on techs, same starting units, etc, etc. To play the map, extract the XML file within the attached zip file to your BeyondTheSword\CustomAssets\XML\GameInfo folder, typically located within your Documents\My Games directory. This will cause the modified XML file to be loaded everytime you start the game, like an automatically loaded mod. Remember to remove this file when not playing this variant, otherwise every Immortal game you play will have these modifications. Got that? If you have any questions, feel free to ask. And if you're on Linux, replace the backslashes with proper slashes, and utter whatever voodoo magic I assume regular Linux users must know to make their computer work. Godspeed, brave warrior. Anyway, enjoy the map, and have fun! I've learned a lot about how the game handles the difficulty levels during the short time it took to make this variant.