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Civilization IV: Warlords

We imagine growing up in the Meier household filled young Sid Meier's days with diplomacy lessons, history readings and classes in grand strategy - all before his midday nap. But after our latest look at his Civilization IV: Warlords expansion, it's clear to us somehow little Sid never learned the difference between quality and quantity. Like the original game, we've found that his expansion contains an absurd amount of both.

The expansion decisively lives up to its name, providing an expansive amount of game modes - even more than were originally promised. With new leaders, wonders, civilizations and unit types, Civ fanatics can simply ignore the new modes and enjoy a crapload of additional core gameplay.

But for curious fans that would like a twist on the original game, there are several new scenarios that will satisfy both veterans and new players. (You can't be that new, however - the original game is required to play the expansion).

The 200-turn Seven Kingdoms scenario will likely strike a chord with fans of the Hero movie. You'll begin as one of the seven kingdoms of China and work to unify all of them. Bloodlines are more important than diplomacy and religion - neighboring states will likely become strong allies if your families are intertwined. But we weren't able to keep the peace that way for long, and soon we had to make someone our bitch. The new Emperor's Council wonder, however, offers a vote-inspired route to victory, providing an alternative to pure conquest.

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