Last Night a Mountain Saved my Life

24 06 2011

In an all too predictable manner, I failed completely at writing something every week. But much like the fabled phoenix, I am not only commonly associated with incredibly nerdy things, but I shall rise from the ashes! The last time I made the effort to write something, it was spectacularly unimaginative and ended on on a stupid cliffhanger. But as that got me more compliments than anything else I’ve ever done (one), I shall carry on regardless. After you’ve read this, whether you liked or not, please say something. It doesn’t even have to be constructive criticism, just spew expletives at me if you want. For the forseeable future, I will be judging feedback on quantity before I even think of questioning the quality of it. I feel that writing more would be good for me, in many ways, but doing so without anybody commenting on it is a bit like pissing on a wall. I’ll keep on doing it, but if nobody tells me off for it eventually I’ll just keep my thoughts to the toilet which is my brain. Now, watch me rise!

As I pick up from where I was last time,  dangerously close to barbarians but temptingly close to treasure, I realise that any efforts to create tension in this require a higher aptitude with words than I possess. So naturally, I just thought I’d give up with excitement and just make a bunch of bad jokes about what I’m doing in the game. It turned out that the barbarians didn’t bother to leave their camp, so I just Montezuma’d (Geddit?) past them into the ancient ruins. I found a map of my surroundings, which revealed one land tile and five sea tiles. This map was particularly pointless as it turns out I was at the bottom of my continent, so I quickly sent my scouts back up north to try and find something useful.

Turn 24. By now I’d earned enough culture to select a new policy. Culture is generated by cultural buildings, such as my monument, and once enough is gathered you get to choose a policy to adopt. Policies provide various stat boosts, and while your initial selection is quite limited as time goes on more and more become available to you. As I’m planning to be a violent dictator, I chose to begin the Tradition branch of policies. Tradition is most useful to small empires, and gets less useful as the years go past. But I’m an aggressive egomaniac, I’m not thinking about the future.

Turn 25. This turn I finished researching Animal Husbandry, and then I made a bestiality joke to myself. I shan’t sully your eyes with it, but I assure you, it wasn’t very good. I now started to learn the arts of Trapping, as if I’m surrounded by elephants I may as well enslave them. Or eat them, I don’t really know. Whatever happens, I win, and biodiversity loses. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not playing the long game here.

Turn 27. Oh dear. It seems the barbarians from early just circled around the mountain, to let my scouts run into them. Now I’ve just parked my scouts right next them, which is the warring equivalent of dropping the soap. They attacked, and they hurt. My scouts fought bravely and killed many simple savages. As a British man this made me feel a pang of nostalgia, but that soon passed when the barbarians dealt double the damage I did. Fortunately they couldn’t finish me off, but neither could I run past them and avoid another scuffle due them cleverly standing in between two large hills. So I did what any moderately sane leader would do, and ordered my scouts to hide behind the mountain and lick their wounds. It would take them a while, but they’d fully recover and I could have another go at running home. In more successful news, my warriors spotted some more ruins up north. Hopefully I’ll be able to get these without having my celebrations cut short by some extremely angry, extremely hairy men.

Turn 28. Thankfully, my warriors had an uneventful journey to those ancient ruins. Inside they found some cultural artefacts, and the resulting culture boost gave me enough to pick another policy. I decided to plump for another policy in the Tradition branch, Aristocracy. Aristocracy lets me build Wonders 20% faster, which is a significant speed increase. And as wonders are the largest buildings in game, giving stat bonuses to the entire empire, it’s also a very useful speed increase. Showing a surprising amount of foresight, this wasn’t immediatly useful, but it won’t be too long before I want to build something massive. Preferably something massive with my face on it. As my scouts were busy piecing themselves back together and my only city was recruiting some workers, my warriors had my full focus for a few turns. Surely I couldn’t lose them?

Turn 32. My warriors saw a barbarian encampment, predictably occupied by a group of barbarians. I was going to walk past as I usually do and carry on exploring, but then I stopped and thought about it. If I really want to be the very best, like no one ever was, then to beat warriors is my real test, to train them is my cause. So I decided, that I shall fight them like men. So I attacked, and the fighting was vicious. We were better armed but they had the advantage of their fortifications, simple as they may be, they proved vital in protecting themselves. The first skirmish was a total stalemate, with both our forces losing half their troops. But still, I threw caution to the wind and attacked again. The result was a sound bollocking, from a group of men who find shaving requires more intelligence than they possess. If I were a nice leader I would give their orphaned children a day off school. But as I’m a bit of a bastard, I told them that their parents were a disgrace to their country and that they deserved both death, and whatever punishment the gods bestowed upon them in the afterlife for losing so pathetically (Do Aztecs have an afterlife? I don’t even know.)

Turn 35. After a short wait, my scouts are scout fit and ready to go. I had them peak round the mountain, and to my delight, all I saw was fields and elephants. Sweet, ubiquitous elephants. Now all they had to do was wonder through the open fields, gaily skipping towards home, dreaming of lustful nights with their sweethearts, and not thinking about what the future holds. Just hoping, praying, that their erratic leader wouldn’t march them right through barbarian territory to make new maps.