Rome/Immortal/standard x 2 / continents/legendary I've been playing and winning on Immortal and I'm about to make the last jump. But I wanted to take Trajan out for a spin one last time before then. My initial location was a resource wonderland- 4 rice, 3 bananas, pigs, stone, sheep, nearby mountains- but only one hill. Luckily I popped on it so , et voilá, it became the seven hills of Rome. As I looked at my map, teeming with goodies, a little voice in the back of my head was saying "but where will the iron pop if all these hexes are taken". That voice was immediately drowned out by the visions of glory that to come when I started exploiting these resources. I started my build with a scout then a warrior and then another settler. Very soon, Mansu of the Mali made contact from the southwest but he was not very friendly. Even a delegation couldn't turn his frown upside down. Just 3 or 4 turns after meeting him, he declared war. Now, he's no early game military powerhouse so I knew I could hold off his 3 warriors and 1 slinger with my 2 warriors and Scout. (I think he attacked because he could only see 1 warrior, but I was exploring with my other one behind some mountains. I sent that one to my nearby 2cnd city and followed that beautiful Roman road to the capital.).I killed that slinger asap and then went to work on his warriors. Then I saw them. Reinforcements were on the way. I pushed out an archer but I was getting concerned as Phillip II of Spain, who I had met shortly after Mansu, had also declared on me. Around this time I discovered bronze working and, just as I feared, not one ingot of iron to be found. My dreams of galea helmeted centurions crushing my enemies was struck a huge blow. And now I see a Spanish swordsman mixed in with the Mali. Great. But then their advance seemed to stall. The fog of war prevented me from seeing what was going on, but I did notice that a barb camp had popped to their rear. How long had it been there? By this time I had a small army of warriors, spearmen and archers so I set out on my own march. It was imperative that I find iron. I headed in the direction from which the Mali had come. There was no one around. I noticed that Spain had declared war on Mali a few turns before, but where was everyone? Whatever had taken place here was dramatic. I was unopposed all the way to the first Malinese city. It had a strength in the 30's so I was able to encircle and take it, but just barely. Phillip curiously sued for peace. What was going on? I advanced to the Mali capital. Dang it, strength of 40. No way my little army could take it down. Well, I thought, I'll snuggle up close to it, pillage, kill any units I can and then get a nice fat peace settlement. As I position my army in a half circle around the city, Phillip's army appeared on the opposite side. 4 swordsmen and a catapult. I have never been so happy to see another civilization's siege unit it my life! So I formulated a plan- let Spain beat this city down to a sliver of health then swoop in and let my little underpowered army take the last blip of health and win a capital. So I held my breath and in Phillip came, setting up his men and attacking. In a couple of turns the city health bar was down to a sliver. Now I pressed forward and took the city. Now I, with the puniest army you've ever seen, was in the process of eliminating an empire! My warriors were now nice and buffed and I had horsemen reinforcements coming from Rome. Still no iron. Maybe I could take some more cities, I'm sure Phillip was thinking the same thing. Except, his army had melted away again. And as I marched forward, following the road, I encountered NO Spanish troops. So weird. Oh well, one puny Mali city left, coastal, but ringed with a lot of desert. There was a mountain next to it so I sent some horsemen around it to encircle and, bang, there it was. An iron mine on the far side. I made quick work of it and bade Mansu farewell. Now I started cranking out centurions as fast as I could, which was not very. Spanish armies were still nowhere to be found, but after a little poking around with my horsemen, what had happened became evident. Early in the game I had met and eventually become suzerain of Mohejo-Daro. They were located to the rear of where Phillip's army would have been during this campaign. When Phillip declared war on me, the must have attacked him from behind. There were many city state swordsmen and archers around but not one of Spain's. It must have been a slaughter. That little city state had really done a number on him. By now I had 3 centurions and several horsemen. A little more exploration revealed Madrid. Reader, it had 3 iron mines.