Hey there. I'm a long time CivIV player that only recently decided to give a mod other than the civ fanatics HOF mod a shot. Wow. I've been missing out. This one is great fun. I poked around a bit for ~150 turns on two games just to get a feel for things before starting my first "real" game. I went with the Elohim on Monarch difficulty (I play IMM for BtS games, so I toned it down until I learn more about FfH) and decided fairly early on that I would pursue the Altar of Luonnotar victory condition. I'm normally not super fond of builder victories, but this one made sense as it would put me on the same tech path as the Elohim UU and Hero, as well as Paladins. I just won the game and have these initial thoughts, reactions, and questions: Spoiler : -Unit specialization: It seems to me that you want the right tool for the job in this mod, whereas in BtS, siege + anything = awesome. Monks are actually a pretty sweet UU. An evil aligned civ was my nearest northern neighbor. My plan was to get a stack of ten monks and wipe him out to get at his land. He declared when I had only 5 monks. He came at me with about 8-10 pyre zombies which was too much fun since, from what I can tell of the mod so far, monks seem to be kryptonite for anything undead/demonic. I wasted his stack and took all his cities within 10 turns or so. -Barbs: The Armageddon counter stayed below 5-6 the whole game, so I don't even think I've seen the tip of the iceberg yet. A dragon spawned in a barb city not that far north of me. I came at this dude twice, both times with huge stacks of 25+ strong units. I expected only about half of my stack to be suicides wearing him down, but I was wrong. I would have had a better time shooting at a freight train with a bb gun. I didn't even bother a third attempt. Is there any particular tactic that works best for dealing with dragons? -Diplo: Random leaders rolled mostly good aligned civs, which was helpful for a builder game. There was one neutral and two evil civs(one of which I killed early). Since the neutral and second evil civ were warring the whole game, I didn't really concern myself with diplo. This led to a nasty surprise: a good civ that I was at friendly with (Malakim was their name iirc) declared on me and sniped a city! I took it right back and then cast "peace" with my hero. It might have been smarter to use my civs one time spell to just force his troops out of my lands for 30 turns and sue for peace in order to keep my hero, but I was still a bit too shocked that a "good" civ could declare at friendly to think straight. Especially weird since he and the neutral civ that he also shared a border with were at "annoyed". Is all diplo in FfH this unpredictable? -Magic: I went with Spirit mana for the three nodes in my territory, and it seemed pretty lame to me. As I said above, "peace" proved useful, but it's not a spell you ever want to find yourself needing really. Courage was ok, I guess. Inspiration was not even really worth it. It definitely didn't make me want to spam a huge army of mages, which is kind of what I was looking forward to accompanying paladins and heroes and such I ended the game not really understanding the best way to approach magic in FfH. Do you want one of a variety of different mana types, or many of one type? Do you want a lot of adepts/mages, or just a few heroes that can cast the spells? -The Altar of Luonnotar: Woof. I'm never doing this victory again. Generate a bunch of Great Prophets, research obnoxiously expensive techs that don't do much else for you, and build one huge wonder while keeping your borders secure at the end and you win. Boring. -The Tech Tree: I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, I think it's cool that you often need to focus on one aspect of the game (religion, magic, military, economy) that seems to fit your civ and alignment, but at the same time it's really annoying to be researching something like righteousness with about half the number of trade routes that you could have. I guess it helps make every new game different and challenging in its own way though. -Civics: I think some of these might be busted. After my first full game I realize I did it all wrong. No matter what victory you're pursuing, I don't see how getting to agrarian + god king or city states ASAP could be wrong. Even with only a medium sized empire and mediocre capitol this seems ridiculously good. I can only imagine agrarian with an evil civ that can run slaver! Or even a good civ with conquest. I know some of that seems to be me just griping, but I really did have a great experience, and now that I have a firmer grasp of FfH I will move up to Emp and likely have an even better second game. I know these forums don't have nearly the amount of traffic they once did, but hopefully someone who's been playing FfH for a while can answer some of my questions.