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New Player growing pains
I have been very frustrated with some of my first games in which I've completely botched orders. I grunt and move on, but I am concerned about other new players having similar experiences and thought to share some of them here.

1. Take population centers early. Really. Don't rely on others to give them to you - and don't do it slowly. By T2, all of your armies and political emissaries should be committed to doing so!

2. Political power is a cornerstone to the game, even if you are a magic or military power. Influence is a currency not only convertible to one's economy of actions, but to raise new emissaries, too. These emissaries help hold your kingdom and expand it - far more powerfully than any army can.

3. Check orders. Twice? Ten times - more! I just realized I totally botched a set of orders in one of my first games, and my entire gambit is ruined because of it. I didn't comprehend the language used to describe the order [unusual one]. I do now - but it is too late. I suspect others encounter this hurdle, and it is a very rough one - particularly for new players that may not have the redundancy to recover. Check your orders, man!

4. Keep an eye on your objectives and when negotiating with neighbors, be sure that these objectives drive outcomes of collaborative campaigns.

5. Fall back on 'the story'? I don't know - it can be difficult to reconcile the frustration of a turn or two spent doing nothing whilst learning how to properly issue certain commands. I Know for myself that thinking on a narrative helps. After all, even seemingly arbitrary, less predictable elements - the weather, magic, an unexpected accident - can have a significant impact on the development of events in any world.

So - when in doubt, confused about why my emissaries failed to move armies drowned in the sea, and wizard didn't use his magic in any intended manner: I chuckle, and think on how such events might be framed in court, where surely they would be transformed into some story!!

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