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Subject: Lunchtime in the fertile crescent rss

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Nat Saamanen
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Duluth
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The great histories are filled with the stories of three great clans. These three clans were the founders of modern civilization, and their leaders did build mighty monuments to the gods, and they did cause wars, and they did overthrow one another to advance their clans. The clans were thus: The crafty clan of the bull, who had not attempted to start a civilization before (newbie), the clan of the mighty lion, who had once competed to be the greatest civilization, and the stoic archers, whom had successfully been a major clan in two previous contests.

In the beginning, the world had few buildings but those dedicated to the Gods. The three clans arose near these centers of worship, and the first kings came about. The king of the bull clan was off to the east, and slowly grew a kingdom in the southeast corner of our beautiful land. The lions started in the southwest, determined to ransack as many treasures as possible, and the archers rise to power started in the north, creating a line of farms, and a few markets, they kept their government slim.

As time went on, the lions moved to the northeast, after hearing of a treasure in the region. The first monument was a monument to the farming god; the god of fertility. The archers shuddered at the grotesque celebrations that the king of the bulls and the Farming leader of the lions performed at this monument. Surely no good could come from such immoral civilizations. The gods will smite those clans, I was sure, as I was the power behind the archers. As such, I chose a far more holy monument, one dedicated to wholesome government and religion to be built within my kingdom. It's too bad that we had to build it on the site of temples, but it was to be holy ground indeed, bolstering my king's appeal with the people.

The bulls were to place a merchant prince in the center of the fertile valley, and surround him with temples, which earned him no prestige, but made him hard to oust, especially as this merchant prince's kingdom merged into another which had a monument that paid homage to commerce. Indeed, this merchant prince became the lynchpin upon which the direction of civilization turned. The lion clan was bold, moving in and pouncing upon treasure after treasure, while our archer clan was able to grow our kingdoms slowly, we were overtaken by the other clans love of war, and continually forced out of positions of power.

The bulls had a couple of final tricks left in them. They expanded their borders on a whim, and a religious war erupted between the bull clan and the lion clan. The lions were persecuted to no end, and all of their temples were torn down, eliminating the moral guidance that the lions used to lead their people. (Note: We definitely got this rule wrong, as the lion player lost all of his leaders within that kingdom, where you're not supposed to lose temples that have a leader attached.)

The lions found new places for their leaders to rise again, but the wicked bull clan then forced religious holicaust upon my chief priest, overwhelming my archer clan's followers in the southwest. After the dust settled, the Bulls ransacked the temple, and claimed the 3rd to last treasure, ending this epoch in history.

When listing the accomplishments of the mighty clans, it was apparent that the Bull clan had gored and trampled the other clans into submission, having picked up like 20 red tiles in the last two conflicts. They had a low of 13, I believe, in blue. The lions were 2nd (after tiebreakers), having 13-12-10-10, or something close to that. My archers, who fared poorly in both internal and external conflicts had a balanced score of 10-10-10-10 (I think I was 10-9-9-9 before treasures)

I'm not sure if the misplayed rule may have caused a difference in who won the game or not, but our Bulls played well for a first game, though he said he still isn't really sure what he was doing. My strategy so far is just to try and find a way to maximize my lowest score; which has worked ok, but I still don't feel that I'm analyzing things well enough, or really paying attention to other players strengths and weaknesses.
 
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