After a long pause, I'm back to reporting a multi-session 5-players game of 7 Ages.
This part is session # 5, held on jan. 25th, 2013.
Turn 15 :
History goes on with FD's Melanesians, very busy producing new settlers and especially content of a quite welcome monetary abundance perfect for the task.
FB's Pharaonic Egyptians did create a surprise of their own by breaking their ancestral pattern of routinely civilizing, choosing production instead, but not before they had completed their third conquest of Nubia, in the expansionist euphoria of their christian proselytizing. This was a blessing for them, as we'll see, since their usual
civilizing opus would have otherwise prooved deadly.
My Phoenicians also created surprise, by trading with Babylon although they were already ahead of the technological race, but their keen sense of business allowed them to escape triumphantly from dark ages with no end in sight otherwise. Carthago was however very upset by the deal, and even endeavoured to take part in the trade for most mysterious reasons, but their conspiracy was very conveniently busted thanks to what was most assuredly an accident : the arson of the great idol of Baal in Babylon, which incidentally caused the terrible death of the Carthaginian middle-man who was in Babylon to deliver some compromising documents against several influent traders from the Phoenician delegation. Things went back to normal without much fuss, but not without some stil ill-understood grunts from the Carthaginian leader.
My Amazons were next to take a daring initiative : swooping on Dacia to wash off the centuries old insult from the Franks (washing was delicate, but nontheless a success without too much of a wrinkel
from Franks as white as sheets), the fierce warioresses didn't hesitate before they made a raid on Egypt's land. There again, Carthaginian provocateurs were busy sowing panic in the ranks of the Egyptian army, that owed its salvation to a retreat to Nubia, miraculously freshly converted. Anyway, Memphis had fallen, and the blow was a smashing one for FB, while GL was jubilant on fulfilling the dark agenda he had hatched for two weeks with devious glee ...
On the far side, Sriwijayans were expanding on the seas, hereby gaining a definitive edge over the Japaneses, and reaching first rank in nautic power.
Franks, disapointed by their dacian defeat, started a mass migration to focus their attacks on the danish fortress of Carthaginians, leaving just a bunch of defenders gathered in their ancestral huts of the black forest, in order to escape frome GL's Goths wave to come. Their plan was a success, and despite a bad surprise on discovering an elite legion of top-level carthaginian veterans swordsmen in the danish barracks, the sheer strength of numbers helped the howling hairy hordes of barbarians surpass the beautiful discipline of Carthago's army.
The next offensive was launched from Babylon : now heading a huge army on a tiny territory, Nebuchadnezzar was daydreaming of conquest. Of course, he was not daydreaming enough to realize his dream of invading Aryan India, whose black color meant fierce fight, and whose buddhist faith would have brought disorder whatever the result of war.
But anyway, his dreams were lucid ones : not only did he take back his family holdings in Assyria and Medina, lost long before to Ashurbanipal, but he sailed the fleet to Pakistan in a not too openly hostile move of containment against Aryan would-be expansion, while crushing Amazons in Alamut and swarming the mountains to establish a buffer between the heart of the empire and the northern borders of Caucasus.
Carthaginians then made a daring move, angry as they were to discover a painful detail they had so far failed to notice (as they use to say, Moloch is in the details) :
the Phoenicians now holding their homeland of Carthago were master corrupters, used to flood any strong aggression in rivers of gold. The Carthaginian cohorts, rising from the desert sands, rushed twice toward their former capital. It was in Megara, suburb of Carthago, in the gardens of Hamilcar. And twice did the troops and their officers return to the desert with their hands full of gold, their heads full of wine, and their souls full of remorse. GL's anger was understandable :
now knowing how difficult it would be for him to recover his homeland, he did however find his quantum of solace by unleashing the Goths against the remains of the formerly glorious queendom of 2ena : judging that the two last Frankish keeps were out of reach, he swooped on the Amazons to let his ire's fire rage freely, banishing them forever from the fertile plains of Ukraine and the Don basin !
Aryans, Chavins and Japanese, curious about their destiny, did consult the auguries. My Aryans took profit of their religious leader to put their hands on gold and copper mines my Phoenicians had just discarded, to the great despair of Carthago, who saw in the move a complete reset of its protracted war. Meanwhile, FD's Free State and JC's Romans relished in the simple but architectural joys of civilization.
As the turn ended, we noticed that GL and FB had a big slowdown in glory, while FD collected 15 (!). The rankings were now : FB with 110 point, GL with 102, FD 96, myself 86 and JC 73. Here I must confess I was a bit upset by FD who had left me far behind after a come-back of 30 points in 3 turns (!).
However, History must go on.
Turn 16 :
JC was next to set foot in the Americas, with his first Mayan cities in the heart of the Yucatan jungle. FD, still smiling from the radiant glory of his Free State, saw his productivist instincts fast-frozen when an untimely "Overslept" ended his action even before it started. JC's Romans and GL's Carthaginians, still synchronised, did a parallel production, while my Phoenicians did a second trade, this time jumping over two dark ages.
FD's Melanesians set foot on the Australian continent, while JC's Babylonians, still eager to expand, broke through a soft Phoenician Cappadocia to strike my Amazons in Asia Minor. Then my Aryans made their
move, occupying the whole indian subcontinent but Sinhala, and even some mountain areas in south China. Alas, their only naval fight was a complete failure, with the Sriwijayan flottilla routing an Aryan fleet twice as large...
Chavins and Goths consulted with their soothsayers to explore their future (which was dark for the Goths), and Sriwijayans, Egyptians and Japanese went back to their civilization studies : GL's Japanese had a golden age of urbanisation, and passed JC's Romans as #1 for cities, after they unleashed a wave of arson and pestilence upon their Free State neighbours. Reduced by the loss of the Hopeh area, those were now clearly behind my Aryans, holding 14 areas...
Then Franks and Amazons left the stage of History, which meant for me and FB a technological stagnation, or even recession, thanks to FD's carefully calculated cadence markers.
After this new turn, competition was still fierce, even if the ranking was unchanged, with FB at 117 glory, GL at 107, FD at 106, myself at 91 and JC at 85.
Turn 17 :
A couple of new empires showed up to end this session, with age 3 coming to an end : the empire of Khanem-Bornu in Chad for FB, and my Khmers, who used silver and copper mines to make a strong start in Cambodia and oust FD's free state, depriving him of his 3rd wheat point. Babylon, Japan and Melanesia produced, while my Phoenician did trade for the 3rd time in a row, and pulled every possible string to convince FB's Egyptian to let me win the deal with my last card of value 1 !
A new age was almost there to open new horizons for the human adventure, when FB, unconvinced by the exchange result, transformed my trade win in a more profitable joint-venture. This meant that my Phoenicians could not get to age 4, and moreover, that they were in a dark age !
JC's Roman made some manoeuver, occupying the whole northern frontier of their empire, fortitying the whole south bank of the Rhine-Danube line against the Gothic threat in the north. In China, FD's Free State restored internal order with military enforcement, restoring calm in the fertile plains and forests, but failing to do so in mountain areas. Chavins, Mayans, Carthaginians, Aryans and Sriwijayans practiced chamanic transes to read destiny's agenda, and Aryans got some attention again when Buddha, their spiritual leader, managed to take a couple of trumps from the discard pile during destiny : treachery and bad augury.
FB's Egyptians civilized, without being able to surpass Japan of Roma in cities rank, and GL's Goths, upset by the disappearance of my Amazons and the fortifyed Roman Empire, committed a happy suicide with their macho leader Alaric, rather than admit the guilt they felt from never having the opportunity or courage of facing male opponents.
When this turn and session ended, FB was still ahead with 124 glory, followed by GL (114), FD (111), myself (95) and JC (90)
I hope you enjoy this report, to be followed...