The Second Immortal Challenge has ended in a defeat. Click on the links below to view the rounds played: Round1: 4000BC - 2240BC Round2: 2240BC - 0675BC Round3: 0675BC - 0325AD Round4: 0325AD - 0840AD Round5: 0840AD - 1270AD Round6: 1270AD - 1515AD Round7: 1515AD - 1685AD Endgame: 1685AD - 1896AD Germany, Germany above all, above all in the world, When it always, for protection and defense, Brotherly stands together. From the Meuse to the Neman, From the Adige to the Belt, Germany, Germany above all, Above anything in the world. - Das Lied der Deutschen (The Song of the Germans) Having succeeded in the First Immortal Challenge, we embark on the second one. In the previous game, we have seen the power of the cottage economy, where cottaging up and beelining to Democracy for Emancipation brought a complete economic turnaround that allowed us to jump from being the most backward civ to being the most advanced and win the space race. In this game, we are opting to use specialist economy instead, and one of the best candidates for this play style is Frederick of Germany. For the Fatherland! True to the tradition of the Emperor/Immortal Challenge series, this game aims to demonstrate skilled play. Immortal difficulty would not be overcome easily, and on top of that, we're also going to play with a specialist economy, which is less intuitive compared to the cottage economy. I shall not go into a detailed explanation of what a specialist economy is - there are plenty of threads around that can explain it. However, I would like to begin by clarifying that our pursuit of it would be tempered by in-game conditions. As such, we would likely end up with a hybrid economy, which some of you may consider as a different thing altogether. But I shall use the term specialist economy (SE) to indicate our heavy reliance on specialists for research, whether through their raw beaker output or through lightbulbing. As I mentioned, we are playing as Frederick of Germany. He is Philosophical and Organized. The first trait lends itself well to an SE because of the double GPP, which gives us a larger benefit from specialists in the form of more GPs earlier. Yes, it has been said that it is not necessary to be running an SE to benefit from Philosophical, as one GP farm is enough. However, running an SE probably means you get some GPs from cities that are not your GP farm as well. The second trait, meanwhile, halves our civic upkeep. This makes it cheaper to run expensive civics and maintain a large empire, giving us more flexibility in war and expansion. Just as importantly, Organized halves the production costs of courthouses and factories. The former means we can start saving more on upkeep earlier, while the latter, coupled with the fact that the German factory UB (Assembly Plant) builds faster with coal, means that we can get those Assembly Plants up very quickly. Apart from these potentially powerful traits, the German UU looks promising. But I shall not discuss the merits of the Panzer here. You can read about it in this thread. The German UB, meanwhile, while also coming late in the game, might prove to be very handy. Apart from being built very quickly, as I have mentioned earlier, it allows two more engineers than a normal factory. This could mean extra production in the late game, when we have large cities that have all their tiles worked and have to run specialists. It would be all the more useful if we build the Statue of Liberty or run Mercantilism or both, since we would then have more specialists to work with. Specialists and engineers to power the German economy and industry - what can be more apt than that? Having Hunting and Mining as starting techs is a big plus for some people. It's not my favourite combination, but it is useful. Hunting means we start with scouts, which may mean an extra goodie hut or two. And while camps are generally nothing great to be able to build early, being able to build spearman once we hook up a metal resource means we can worry less about having to defend against a chariot rush. Mining, on the other hand, is simply great. It is a prerequisite of Bronze Working, the ever wonderful tech, and it allows us to build mines, which may mean an ultra-early gold mine should we be blessed with that resource in our capital's fat cross. Now, on to the technical stuff. The Rules As always, anyone can give their opinion and advice regarding the game at end of every round. But take note that spoilers are not acceptable. And please keep the discussion constructive (i.e. no flaming/trolling). Before I begin every round, I will decide which advice is most suitable and apply or adapt it to the game. 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 previous threads, so don't be shy. If you're a Deity player, I'm sure you have no qualms about coming forth with your wisdom The Settings The game will be on standard settings (i.e. continents, 7 players, everything on default) and Normal speed. This is to keep variables at a minimum and focus on gameplay more than anything else. And, finally, the game itself... The customary starting screenshot: I think that's rather awesome. We have cows (a powerful food and production resource), clams (for more food), a river (health bonus and commerce) and marble (hammers and shiny wonders). And we start with the prerequisites for techs that allow pastures and quarries There are also plenty of trees around to chop, which is another aid for building wonders. With regards to these marvels, we have a few to choose from (marble-based ones, of course). We can opt to build a cheap Oracle and grab CoL to start building those cheap courthouses. We can also build the Great Library, which should be self-explanatory. Or we can build the Temple of Artemis, since our capital is at the coast and therefore stands to benefit greatly from it. We can probably get away with two, but not all. But, anyway, we have to discuss where to move our scout first, as usual. Who knows, what he reveals may influence our decision on where to settle our capital. Come, my brothers. Let us begin our quest for the glory of the Fatherland!