The second attempt (we lost in the first attempt) in this Emperor Challenge has ended with a victory. Click on the links below to view the rounds played in the second attempt: Start: 4000BC Round1: 4000BC - 2640BC Round2: 2640BC - 1560BC Round3: 1560BC - 0400BC Round4: 0400BC - 0450AD Round5: 0450AD - 0820AD Round6: 0820AD - 1050AD Round7: 1050AD - 1290AD Round8: 1290AD - 1400AD Round9: 1400AD - 1540AD Round10: 1540AD - 1665AD Round11: 1665AD - 1832AD Round12: 1832AD - 1904AD Round13: 1904AD - 1950AD (Part 1) Round13: 1904AD - 1950AD (Part 2) In the year 2092 AD, global warming changed the face of the earth. Climate change brought about fierce hurricanes and the melting of polar ice caps, inundating land around the polar regions and all over the world. Seas dried up and new seas were formed. Continents changed shape as the oceans around them writhed and shifted. A new ice age had arrived. Human civilization as we knew it was destroyed. In desperation, countries fought each other for dry land with everything they had. The resulting nuclear exchange only hastened the onset of the ice age. 99% of those who survived the pandemic of 2081 were killed by the cold, the natural disasters, the war and the outbreak of disease in the tropical regions as dead bodies piled up. What followed was a century of darkness. Survivors lived in underground shelters and knowledge rapidly decayed as they lived like animal scavengers in the harsh conditions. Within decades, everything learned since the time of the ancient civilizations had been forgotten, and what remained was the most primitive and necessary knowledge such as how to make fire. Spoken language was preserved, but writing and the alphabet were not. It was as if the clock was turned back to 4000 BC or earlier. It took almost 100 years before the surviving humans could emerge on the surface of the earth. By then the nuclear winter was over and the surface was habitable again. The pockets of survivors had coalesced into a single tribal group each with a vague memory of their past identities and of the wickedness of other human beings. With that, they embarked on the long road to rebuild civilization. This is the third installment of the Emperor Challenge. In the previous episode, we played as Ramesses of the Egyptians and went for a 'religious strategy' centred around two key wonders - the Spiral Minaret and University of Sankore. After fighting extensively with the other 2 civs sharing our continent we were left behind in terms of tech by the other continent. However, we dominated our continent and managed to win by diplomacy again. In an alternate win scenario, we caught up with the other continent and managed to win a space victory. This installment is also played on Warlords. Again, my apologies to the vanilla players (why don't you get Warlords too? ). Although we are playing Roosevelt, who keeps the same traits, the trade route economy we are aiming at depends to some measure on the Temple of Artemis, which is a Warlords wonder. My apologies also for not waiting for the new patch (for all I know it could be released tomorrow). There's no given date for its release so waiting for it seems rather pointless. By not waiting, I am taking the risk that the game could go very wrong due to the bugs in the current version of Warlords. I hope this game will be as smooth as the previous one. Anyway, yes, the trade route economy the focus of this game. Why? I think many amateur players, myself included, do not pay much attention to this aspect of the game. We are obsessed with cottages, specialists and commerce multipliers and we take trade routes for granted. Sure, we research techs like Currency and Corporation for the extra trade routes and we may switch to Free Market with the vague idea that it benefits our economy. But do we even glance at the little box in the city screen that says "Trade Routes"? Do we build harbours at the right time to increase the numbers there? Do we realise just how much benefit the Great Lighthouse and the Temple of Artemis, with their bonuses to trade routes, can give to our economy? Do we research Astronomy early to reap the benefits of overseas trade routes? I hope this game will show us everything we need to know about trade routes and reveal the potential they have in affecting a game and the strategies used. To give us some added challenge, we are going to aim for a domination win this time and are playing with different settings. If this game turns out to be a win, it would be a good signal for us to move on to an Immortal Challenge So what's with the theme and the choice of leader? The theme is just to spice things up, as well as give an excuse for the Ice Age map It also suits the trade route focus since in a harsh new world, trade would be important for the individual civilizations' survival. Despite the memory of past transgressions against each other (and that's why they are more aggressive ) human beings remain essentially a pragmatic species when it comes down to it. The choice of Roosevelt is affected by our focus, since he is Industrious and Organized. The first trait helps us get the wonders we need, the Great Lighthouse and the Temple of Artemis. The second trait allows us to expand more (and therefore have more coastal cities to benefit from the Great Lighthouse), as well as build a lighthouse more quickly to start on the Great version earlier. His UU, Navy Seals, might help us in a late game domination push in establishing beach heads (think Operation Overlord) if we need to invade the other continent. His UB... Well, we'll see. The Rules The same as before: The Settings Here are the settings, different and not so different: Diplomatic victory is disabled this time (not realistic in a post-apocalyptic world marked with distrust, yes? ). And, finally, the game itself... The starting screenshot: We need a coastal capital to have a Great Lighthouse/ToA combo, so this is good in that sense (high sea level probably helped). There's wheat, which we can improve immediately (we start with Agriculture and Fishing), so there's good reason for building a worker first. There's a short river for the fresh water bonus and for irrigation. There's also a tribal village nearby and our warrior can pop it immediately by moving SW. Should we do that? PS: I've never asked about this before, but some of you may not be seeing nice screenshots if you running on low resolutions. Mine is 1280x1024. Any problems with it? I can make the screenshots bigger, if that helps. They are currently at this size to keep the file sizes small.