Samurai, I choose you!
A friend of mine called me up just a few minutes ago to ask me for advice on how to set up his first game of Civilization IV and what civ to pick in his first game.
He's going with Japan. Because "Samurai sound cool".
Yes they do. Yes they are.
I realize, that I am actually somewhat envious. Knowing that a friend is about to play their first game of Civilization IV is kind of like knowing that a friend is about to go on his or her first date. I can't help but think of all the joys that he's about to go through. And also all the frustration.
The joys of booting up the game and hearing the sweet sound of "Baba Yetu". Listening to the narration from Leonard Nimoy. Being taught "Writing" by a goody hut in the middle of the unexplored tundra. Building his first World Wonder and watching the gorgeous video to accompany it. Crushing an AI in war for the first time. Building that first tank and feeling like no power on Earth can stop you. Converting a neighboring city into his empire through the shear might of his cultural influence. Learning how to rake in mad amounts of cash by selling luxury resources.
But also the sting of seeing that first ever "stack of doom" marching towards his city defended by 2 measly longbowmen. Getting beaten to a wonder by one friggin' turn! That first time his long-time ally suddenly decides to stab him in the back for no apparent reason. Getting a Great Artist instead of the Great Prophet that he wanted so he could build the Holy Shrine that his economy so desperately needs (what the hell am I gonna do with an artist?). Looking at the clock for the first time to see that it is 1:30 in the morning and he has to get up at 6 to go to work, but Ceasar just declared war on him and he has to play a few more turns to punish that traitorous bastard - oh crap, now its 2:45! Well, just one more turn won't hurt ...
My friend, I shed an envious, nostalgic tear for you.
Godspeed to you! May your glorious empire prosper, and stand the test of time!