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Never get involved in a land war in Asia.

Last night, I don't know why, but I got the itch to play Civilization IV again. I dug out the disc and reinstalled it. Ah... listening to the opening and title themes is probably one of the best gaming moments... ever.

It had been quite some time since I last played cIV (2 years!), so I was a little rusty with the game mechanics. I decided getting chummy with the tutorial session was in order. After the tutorial session is over, the game lets you continue playing in the map, which is pretty easy, since the only other civilisation apart from yours is India, led by peace-loving Gandhi.

In this session, I, playing as the Romans with Julius Caesar, decided to spread my religion (Buddhism) and culture to Gandhi's cities. Gandhi swiftly embraced Judaism and I was not pleased. As my civilisation was advanced further up the tech tree than Gandhi's, I decided to do some arm-twisting. Embrace Buddhism. Or else.

Gandhi, being the peace-loving hippy that he is, agreed. India gave up Judaism and embraced Buddhism.

When another civilisation's religion is the same religion as your state religion, it's easier to influence their cities to defect to yours. Which was exactly my plan. Before long, Rome's cultural influence and happiness of its citizens persuaded the Indian cities of Lahore and Bangalore to fall under the glory of the Roman Empire.

I didn't really concentrate on my military, and neither did Gandhi, so we agreed to have an open borders treaty, and together we declared "there shall be peace in our time". Hehehe... little did Gandhi know, while I built magnificent libraries and temples to increase my influence of culture, I was also secretly increasing my technological abilities, and my secret scientific labs came up with new advancements as the ages passed. I shared some of these technological advancements with my pal, Gandhi, of course. But by the time I gave them to Gandhi, they were already inferior to what I was already building.

Before long, the Roman Empire had expanded across the tiny continent we were on. It became painfully obvious that the continent was no longer big enough for the both of us. One of us had to go.

I'm sorry, Gandhi. It was great while it lasted. All the niceties we shared was just pillow talk, baby. You can never hope to defend your cities with your pikemen. My army of tanks will crush you.

He surrendered after I took Bombay. And Delhi. Now the planet was mine.

Meanwhile, in the real world, it was 2.30am, and I had to sleep.