Based on the notion that there isn't a day that goes by that I wish I could meet one of these ai leaders in real life and apply the Vimes Elbow, this is a vent thread to share a story in about your daily dose of abuse. So... New game, giant earth, I just get my second city settled and Rome defeats Catherine, Pericles, and Preslav. Has 5+ cities. Normally I'm not too aggressive, but with two cities and 3 units, I figure I might need to pick up the pace. Fortunately, Harald dows me, so I head over to Finland and take a city, swing back and hit Vilnius, then dow on Scythia and grab 3 quick cities. While I'm doing this, Rome has dow'd on me (and someone else has too), so I'm defending Novgorod with a warrior and 2 archers from heavy chariots and horsemen while the rest of my army is off acquiring cities. I finally get swordsmen, upgrade on the march back from Scythia, and head over to Greece to liberate. Free Corinth, then Athens. When Athens poofs, 2 of my swordsmen get stuck on the boot of Italy. Fortunately, I get disembarkement in 7 turns. So I boat to France instead of the overland route. Now, Rome has perfectly placed 2 cities in Spain and France, with ancient walls, to protect against a landing. And Spain has a scout on the beach at Geneva (apparently just eating popcorn and watching the show, cause the ahole doesn't move the whole time). So I can land 2 units at a time, under fire, into the free spot beneath Geneva, and then get wailed on by Roman horsemen coming in along the road from both east and west. I thought about going around Spain and landing from the Atlantic, but meh. I've now got 4 guys on the beachhead, Germany has conquered Geneva, and thank god I bought open borders from Germany. So I'm doing the heal dance with my swordsmen, trying to keep them alive while my archer wears down Roman pike and horsemen. My swords are all red or yellow, except for one still in the water. Next turn I can land him and he'll take the next Roman charge. This 'dance' has been going on for quite some time - long enough that I'm getting anxious about the open borders lapsing and scattering my troops. Frkn Harald dows me and kills the green sword in the water. I was *that* close to perfectly playing out a bad situation, and Harald wrecks it. So pissed I swore so loudly and so colorfully at him, completely forgetting I was dogsitting at my dad's condo, and that it was 2am, I probably made the guy in the condo next door sit bolt upright in bed.