The First Immortal Challenge has ended. Click on the links below to view the rounds played: Round1: 4000BC - 2360BC Round2: 2360BC - 0875BC Round3: 0875BC - 0200BC Round4: 0200BC - 0780AD Round5: 0780AD - 1140AD Round6: 1140AD - 1370AD Round7: 1370AD - 1600AD Round8: 1600AD - 1740AD Round9: 1740AD - 1912AD (Part 1) Round9: 1740AD - 1912AD (Part 2) Round9: 1740AD - 1912AD (Part 3) Overall Game Analysis That day I was alone and put myself in a stranger's hand. Ay ay, my lord! Evil, much evil passes here on earth. Perhaps I will never stop crying. - from the Songs of Dzitbalché This is a new beginning for us, my brothers. We have fought together in the Emperor's Challenges and won glorious victories, even under adverse conditions. We have enjoyed the spoils of war, the fruits of our labour. Now the time has come for an even greater test - the Immortal Challenge! Immortality awaits us at the end of the road. But how will we get there? It is a question that we must resolve on our own. There will be no aid from the gods, from whom this test comes. We will have to prove our worth in order to join the their ranks. And this is but the first of the challenges that we must surmount, one that will already take us to the brink of destruction and, possibly, the end of the world through strife: Apocalypto In this game, we will be continuing the tradition of the Emperor Masters' Challenge, where we 'showcased' high-level play by starting games on Emperor level with stated aims and discussing strategies until our aims were achieved and the games were won. Now, we are playing one difficulty up, and the main aim of this game is to survive, and win, Immortal level with the Aztecs. The Aztecs only have one leader in Civ4, Montezuma, who has the Aggressive and Spiritual traits. These are two of the most powerful traits in the game. Aggressive gives better melee/gunpowder units, which are crucial during the expansion phases. Spiritual gives an empire unrivalled flexibility, allowing it to switch from economic civics to war civics in the blink of an eye. The combination of these traits lends itself very well to a warmongering game: Aggressive units conquer new territories, empire switches to economic civics to build up infrastructure and economy and then switches again to war civics to build more units to conquer more territories. The Aztec UB sounds equally impressive. The Sacrificial Altar is a courthouse that reduces the duration of unhappiness from whipping by half. This potentially means an increase in the Aztec capability of turning food into production, which is what Slavery is notorious for. Imagine whipping all those units out within a few turns from the same cities and then decimating an unprepared enemy with them... Sounds fun. We'll be focusing quite extensively on the UB and exploiting it as much as possible. This also has the added benefit of giving our game some flavour. What are Aztecs without sacrifical altars? The Aztec UU, though, is nothing to be too excited about. The Jaguar is a swordsman that does not require metals to be built and receives free Woodsman I promotion. However, it only has 5 strength, compared to the swordsman's 6, making it less useful in most situations and extremely vulnerable to axemen. What can save it is the free Woodsman promotion, which gives it a natural advantage when defending in forests/jungles. With barracks, you can promote Jaguars to Woodsman II straightaway, which grants them two moves and even more defensive bonuses when in forest/jungles. Hypothetically, you can rapidly rush a neighbour with Woodsman II Jaguars (since you don't need to worry about hooking up metals) through the foliage (somewhat like the Germans racing through the Ardennes), but I wouldn't gamble this game on the slim chance that such a rush may work. Montezuma's starting techs are also quite unimpressive. While Hunting gives you a free scout to explore the map with initially, you get it at the cost of a warrior, who is potentially able to defend your first few cities against barbs later on. And there is almost no useful improvement you can build with Hunting (as compared to Agriculture or Mining). Mysticism means you get a shot at founding either Buddhism or Hinduism, but I wouldn't count on it on Immortal, which means this starting tech is almost a waste. The only other thing it gives you is the ability to build monuments from the start. It is, however, on the way to Priesthood, which we might want to get early to build the Oracle to grab CoL for the Aztec UB. The Rules As always, anyone can give their opinion and advice regarding the game at any stage, but no spoilers, please. And please keep the discussion constructive (i.e. no flaming/trolling). Before I begin every round, I will judge which advice is most suitable in a particular situation and apply it. If I feel that there is not enough advice to make decisions with, I will (usually) ask and wait for more. Non-Immortal players can also offer their advice. I've seen a lot of good ideas from lower level players that have contributed significantly to the Emperor games. So, don't be shy. The Settings 7 civs, with mostly standard settings: A tropical map is for flavour and the possbility that Jaguars would be more useful. And, finally, the game itself... Our start: Doesn't look impressive, but I'm not sure we can expect much more on Immortal. Oasis gives us a chance at an early religion, but we can't improve it so it won't be amazing later on. Corn is good for growth (and whipping), but it doesn't look as if it's irrigated. And we don't start with Agriculture (and we won't be researching it immediately if we go for an early religion). I do suspect there will be horses in the fat cross as it is (copper or iron may be too much to expect on this level). Of course, the first thing we need to decide on is where to move our scout. What he reveals may determine where we settle our first city and capital. I hope we will learn much from this thread. Let us begin!