I have a bunch of random thoughts about certain aspects of IV, but I don't know where to put 'em, so here I am I guess. Some of these are suggestions, some of these are observations. Either way, feel free to read or comment. 1. Does anyone ever notice how peculiar it is that the "default" melee units for the ancient and medieval eras are in reality units that one rarely ever saw in the battlefield historically? Axes, while used, were pretty rare throughout as they were cumbersome and required a bit more skill and strength to use, I would imagine. At any rate, the almost comically large axes in the unit models and combat animations were nowhere near as large as real-life battleaxes; if they were, they'd be almost impossible to hold. Maces, on the other hand, were pretty much never used in medieval combat, period. They were simply too unreliable and cumbersome, and required too much skill or strength to use effectively. Instead, AFAIK people used spears, pikes, swords, daggers. 2. I feel the samurai and berserker are, simply put, weak UUs. Samurai gets up to 3 first strikes but none of that matters when facing mounted and at any rate first strikes don't do much if there's a large gap between attacker and defender strength, AKA city garrison longbowmen. For berserker, the 10% city attack is laughable, almost never enough to push over a jump point, and who even does amphibious assaults in medieval era? A suggestion I have that both makes sense and balances these UUs is this: require only metal casting instead of machinery for both. Think about it - why would you need machinery to know how to make katanas or train crazy axe-wielding maniacs? Not requiring machinery would also allow these units to come into play quite a bit earlier, especially with some oracle + GP shenanigans possible, at the narrow window of time before AI gets longbows. Facing archers with 8 strength units is a significant advantage, maybe the one that Toku needs to make himself not crap. 3. What if mounted units received flanking bonuses for every friendly unit, on an adjacent tile, also bordering the enemy unit that's being attacked? Maybe to make it not OP it could be limited to applying only once per tile, and 5% per tile at that, maxing out at 15%. If that makes mounted units too OP, maybe give it to the flanking promotion to actually incentivize it, or even give only when certain non-mounted friendly units are nearby. This also helps split stacks and add just a tad of tactics into a strategy game without overdoing it (this is overdoing it). 4. I feel like Oracle is overrated, especially on higher difficulties. First of all, sometimes you just plain won't get it, wasting quite a bit of hammers and even beakers (I mean, who needs priesthood that early...). Secondly, sometimes you'll be forced to build it so early you'd have to get something suboptimal with it (code of laws or metal casting comes to mind, both perfectly viable but usually undeniably worse than CS). Finally, it's a HUGE hammersink if you're not industrious and/or have marble. 150 hammers could've been used to settle a city and give it a worker, fund 10 extra turns of research by building wealth, build an army of axes to take the pyramids and a juicy cap, etc. Finally, the opportunity cost of researching relatively useless religious techs is that you don't get currency, mathematics, or even BW early, greatly delaying your infrastructure. I'd rather have 100 bpt on turn 100 than 40 bpt with civil service, to be honest. So, any thoughts about my thoughts? Am I just wasting my time here or do the things I say hold some merit? Most importantly, what are your showerthoughts that you find mildly interesting or have been dying to share?