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This story started in 4,000 BC (like many other stories). The land was dark and only a small area was lightened by brave men - my settlers. They elected me as their leader and I knew from that time on I took over the responsibility for them. It was a great feeling and I swore not to dissapoint them. Quickly, I searched for a good place to settle down. The first city was founded. My men worked hard - 10 hours a day and they only got little money. I decided it was best to expand. The best hunters of my tribe were ordered to explore the surrounding and then I recruited men willing to find other cities not far away from the capital. Some 1,000 years later I controled several cities. My scientists worked for hours and soon men came together to talk about the rain and the flash. They did not know where they came from, so they believed in a being even more powerful than me. I enforced them in their believe and changed my government to Theocracy. People gave me a lot of money, but instead of exploiting them, I used it well. One day, men from different tribes visited me. The called themselves the Russians. We talked a bit, but I did not really get what they wanted from me. After some time, I met the Chinese. They seemed friendly at first and I thought I could trust them. However, I still expanded my empire and young men were still willing to find new cities. I sent them away, but what a terrible thing, my scouts reported that they had been kidnapped. Settlers dissapeared every now and then, I was absolutely helpless. My people demanded to stop this and I did. From that time on, all settlers had an escort, one of my elite phalanx divisions each. Expansion was running again.

After some time, I ran out of ground to find new cities, to the west there was a large and deadly desert, followed by a large area of swamp and jungle. I had tried to settle some men on the coast line, but they had a hard time. In addition, they were far away from the capital. I did not fear however of losing them, because an invasion from the sea was unthinkable and enemy armies would have a hard time marching through the swamp and jungle. In the east, my expansion was stopped, because I met the Russian empire. In the South the Chinese were established and in the north, there was nothing than water. I stopped calling for men to join settler groups and prepared for an improvement of my cities. I liked the Russian and the Chinese very much, so I sent my clerics to them to make them happy and to join my religion. The chinese emperor however was angry and felt cheated. He declared war! A hard time came. I was in no way prepared for a war. The cities that lay closest to my enemies were the worst defended and my army was not ready for a war either.

So, it came what had to came. Chinese troops fell into my territory and destroyed one of my cities. I tried to stop them, but my armies were too weak to stop the Chinese force. I was mad and I decided, it was time to fight. I ordered my men to the army and built weapons en masse. I moved my soldiers from the northern cities (which were secure, because the russians in the east did not declare war). I decided to protect my cities in the south, before heading for an offensive, a good descision which saved me from a lot of trouble.

I knew the chinese were good. Although the invasion force that destroyed my city was little (and soon eliminated) he had strong armies in the back. I sent my clerics deep into his positions to get informed of his movements. Most did not come back. I recruited and recruited and after some turns I had a good army consisting of knights, archers and some phalanx. I headed for an offensive. It was a stack of 9 units, the maximum and I expected him to achieve maximum victory. Luckily the Chinese cities that lie closest to mine were not good defended either. So, my stack achieved a victory and the first Chinese city fell into my hands - and with it, the knowledge of gunpowder. Yes, the Chinese had discovered gunpowder, but he must have discovered it only a few turns ago, because my clerics reported only little amount of musketeers. May it be as little as it is, but those musketeers frightened me. I had not even discovered agricultural revolution, but now, with the fall of the Chinese city I had gunpowder.

As you can imagine, I started to equip my men with muskets. I built and built and soon another Chinese city fell. Diplomats arrived once again and we agreed to keep peace between us. I was glad and put my army back to peacetime status, because I had to do some reorganizations. From one turn to the other, I completely stopped building weapons. I was a fool, I know. I thought the Chinese leader would stay with this treaty, but he only wanted revenge. He had made this treaty only to give him some time to build more units.

He threatend me with his troops that started trespassing my territory over and over. I demanded, asked and begged to leave it, but he kept comming back. Too late I found out that his only goal would be to destroy me. I saw too late that his armies had full strength. I tried to save what I could save and orderd on alert status. Weapon factories reopened and I began to prepare for another war. It seemed too late, but I was just in time.

After violating my leave-territory treaty I declared war. Now, I was prepared. However, I soon discovered that Chinese forces invaded my territory from all fronts. Not large stacks, no, only one or 2 unit that went through my territory plundering and stealing. I had to divide my stacks into smaller parts to push those raiders back. At that time my cities were defended by about 2 musketeers and 1 cannon. The cities closer to other civs were better defended. My whole attack force was divided into small parts and spread all over the land. Luckily the Chinese did not start an invasion, but...

The Russians, left alone for hundreds of years, thought they had to do something and declared war. My front went from the east to the southeast to the south. Quickly I put up an army that should prevent invasions from the east. I did not want to start an invasion there, as the cities there were small and had not much production to produce a capable army quickly. I concentrated on the south and south east. In the South-South-East (middle between south and south east) there was a large chinese city: Hongkong. I headed for it with 2 stacks of about 6 units each. I had no problem and after taking it, I left 2 units for defense, moved some new units in and formed a full stack of 9 units. So, I had left 2 units in Hongkong (later I moved some others there too) and I had a full stack for offensive operations. It looked like the Chinese empire was already beaten. My next target was a small city with only 3 or 4 people. It was build on a mountain with heavy fortifications. I did not know the strength of the defending units, so I ordered my stack to attack it. If I had only known what expected me there. I will make it short: I lost all 9 units causing only 1 or 2 kills on the other side. This was the worst defeat I had to cope with. My only offensive invasion stack was destroyed. The area south-south-east was completely left alone to some defending units. Gladly I discovered railroads at that time. Quickly I upgraded my main supply routes to railroads and soon I had built up another full stack ready for offensive actions. But, I was cautious now. It was a stack of 5 musketeers and 4 cannons. I tried to bombard the hell out of this mountain city, but only achieved minimum victories. I had to retreat after he put some cannons in this city and bombarded my stack to hell.

Meanwhile, I had a hard time on the russian side too. In the south-east I had tried to take a city several times, but only lost all of my units. The Russians were not the problem, because they did not have good units. They fought more with those pre-musketeer units, but they had some gunpowder units too. I had 2 stack in this area: one with some ancient units, some musketeers and some cannons and the other mainly with cannons and some musketeers.

The Russians had a hard time to cope with them, but I did not achieve much either.

After turns went by nothing great happend, until one day. I knew the Chinese had 4 musketeers in the mountain city (I had spies :)), too much for my stack. I waited for an opportunity and one day I saw 2 musketeers outside of the mountain city. Yes! I shouted. Could it be, that for some unkown reason he left the city even though he was aware of my stack nearby. I could not believe it, but I attacked. Yep! Only 2 musketeers defended the city. My stack whiped them away and the city was mine! Yuhuuu! Triumph, Happiness! This Chinese fortress fell.

The Russian front showed nothing new. I destroyed some very small 1-3 sized cities but nothing great. So, the Russian and I agreed to a cease fire agreement. However, I learned from the past, so I stationed some troops to protect me from Russians (2 full stacks) in fortresses. My scientists still worked hard and discovered desks. Yeah, they discoverd paperwork and desk. These combined with a men sitting behind the desk and doing the paperwork gives you a powerful weapon. I sent this weapon to the russian empire and wow, where do I get all this wonderful production from? In nearly every Russian city I had started a franchising corporation. It was fun and he could do absolutely nothing because I think he did not have lawyers!

The Chinese were no great problem meanwhile. After the fall of their mountainous fortress, their capital was my next target. I placed one full stack infront of it. Damn! He had a cannon instead the city and I knew my chances to destroy it with bombarding were little, so I decided to attack. The battle was short and successful. He lost his capital city and I achieved a great victory. His empire was divided into an area east and an area west. Area west was conquered soon afterwards. As I moved westward (south-westward to be exactly) capturing Chinese cities I met the Zulu empire. The Zulu were 2nd best in powergraph (guess who is best :)), but they did have a lot more technology than me. I decided to use spies. I sent some down there and stole airplanes and tanks! Afterwards I only had little money, which I had to use to start franchising corporations in the east. However, with those tanks I started a new war with the Russians and threw them back. I started to conquer the Chinese east section, push Zulu settlers back from MY continent and keep the Polynesians under control. I entered the area of mobile combat and I could start to expand again.

However, I had grown old and I lost a lot of energy in all those battles.

This is the situation I find myself in now: the Russian empire is on retreat, but still powerful to give me a challenging battle. The Chinese empire is nearly destroyed and with my new inventions: jet fighters and bombers it will not take long time before they dissapear. Maybe I use some of those bombers to keep the Zulu continent under control, but that depends, if I can hold the city that lies close to their continent.

Maybe I will make peace with the russians. I dont want to take russian cities. They are underdeveloped and the land the settled on only consists of woods.

The future will show if I am still able to hold my position in the Ranking list (Zulus nearly got me), but I am going to fight for it and I am prepared!

Let the battle commence (once again :))

By Andreas "Atahualpa" Beham

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