The 4th Immortal Challenge has ended. Click on the links below to view the rounds played so far: Round1: 4000BC - 2260BC Round2: 2260BC - 0925BC Round3: 0925BC - 0070BC Round4: 0070BC - 0350AD Round5: 0350AD - 0650AD Round6: 0650AD - 0950AD Round7: 0950AD - 1232AD Round8: 1232AD - 1406AD Round9: 1406AD - 1568AD Round10: 1568AD - 1697AD Round11a: 1697AD - 1870AD Round11b: 1697AD - 1870AD The spider weaves the curtains in the palace of the Caesars; the owl calls the watches in the towers of Afrasiab. - Mehmed II What you thought was dead has now come back to life. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you the fourth installment of the Immortal Challenge! Flight of the Phoenix This challenge will once again be played on Warlords (v2.13), both for the benefit of the Mac readers of the forum (who cannot yet have BTS) and for nostalgic reasons Also, BTS expands the game in many ways that make me less comfortable playing on Immortal, so for the game to be at that level it has to stay on Warlords. In this installment, we will be playing as Mehmed II of the Ottomans, giving this leader another life after the unfortunate end of the ALC on him. We will try to take advantage of the large populations afforded by the Ottoman Unique Building, the Hammam (+2 for both and ) and Mehmed's Expansive trait (+2 and half-priced granaries for faster growth). We will also try to fit Mehmed's Organised trait into our strategy, which should help us maximise research by reducing upkeep costs. We can slingshot Code of Laws to get the half-priced courthouses as early as possible and then research Civil Service soon to get to Paper, Education and then Gunpowder for his Unique Unit, the revolutionary Jannisaries. They truly revolutionize the battlefield by rendering all earlier units obsolete with their 25% bonus against all mounted, archery and melee units. With them, we might be able to conquer at least a whole rival civilization. All this might suggest that we play rather peacefully until we get to Gunpowder. But we shall have to see how things actually turn out. Out of the ashes of Byzantium, the last bastion of the true Roman empire, another empire has risen. Like the Phoenix, the new shall spread its wings and soar, surpassing even the past glory of the fallen. May our Ottoman Empire prosper! The Rules Each time, I will play a round with no stipulated number of moves. I will stop at suitable junctures, usually when there are a couple of important decisions that need to be made on how the game should move forward. Anyone and everyone can give their opinion and advice at end of every round, including making recommendations or commenting on previous moves. But the first rule of the game is you do not give spoilers. The second rule of the game is keep discussion constructive (i.e. no flaming or trolling). At the start of the next round, I will decide a number of advice that is most suitable and apply or adapt it while playing. If I feel that there is not enough advice to base decisions on, I will usually ask and wait for more. Non-Immortal players are free to weigh in. Based on past experience, there is no shortage of valuable advice from players of any level. The Settings The game will be on the usual standard settings (i.e. continents, 7 players, everything on default) for as much a ceteris paribus environment as possible. We will again be playing on Epic speed, since we want to realise the full potential of the Janissary and you know how Normal speed tends to treat UUs. And, finally, the game itself... Our start: It's a pretty good start, methinks. If we settle where we are, we get the coast, but we get a lot of water tiles and we give the river a miss. On the plus side, we get wheat and fish in the first ring for early growth. Mehmed starts with Agriculture, so the wheat can be useful very quickly, but we need to research Fishing to use the fish (doh!). Still assuming we settle in place, we will get stone and hill pigs in the second ring. Stone means we can build Stonehenge quickly, assuming we research Masonry soon after Mysticism, and we might want the wonder for the CoL slingshot. But stone also makes me think of Pyramids. Mmm. As you can probably tell, I'm in favour of settling in place already, but a bit of exploration would still be useful in any case. I would just move the warrior SW this turn. What do you think? Let's establish the new Roman Empire!