Saturday, March 16, 2013

Through The Ages - Card - Moses

This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.
According to the book of Exodus, the pharaoh of Egypt ordered all male Hebrew children killed as the Hebrew numbers grew to be a threat to Egypt.  He was hid among the reeds and adopted by the royal family.  After killing an Egyptian Slave Master, he fled across the Red Sea where he encountered God. He returned to lead the Israelite people from Egyptian rule after the Egyptians suffered 10 plagues.  After fleeing from the Egyptians, they settled at the foot of Mt Sinai, where Moses received the 10 Commandments from God.  He died within sight of the promised land after wandering the desert for 40 years.

The true historical facts of Moses are not exactly known.  What is known is Moses is steeped in the bases of most Abrahamic religions.  In Judaism, Moses is an important figure with many stories about him, including teaching the Phoenicians their language.  In Christianity, Moses provides the vessel for the "10 Commandments" from God, and his life story provides the framework upon which the teachings of Jesus build.  Islam considers Moses life to parallel Muhammad, and Moses is referenced more times than any other character in the Quran.

Although his actual life, trial, and tribulations are not known, the impact of Moses upon religious thought is, perhaps even more profound than that of any other figure.  Like Homer, it is possible Moses was not a single individual, but a potential conglomeration of many people.  In any case, Moses remains an important figure in many modern religions.  
Game Stats
Moses game ability is short an simple: Increasing populations costs 1 grain less.  This is surprisingly useful as the player can quickly build new buildings.  This ability is neither good nor bad, as evidenced by the chart below which shows taking Moses has little effect on the end position.
Moses, in the end, is of average effectiveness.  Although very popular as a leader, his impact on the game seems to be marginal.   This makes him neither a good nor bad leader.  Perhaps the largest advantage of Moses is to delay building Food structures and concentrate on other structures.  Unfortunately, this can quickly lead to unhappiness, so it is likely to lead towards building a happiness structure.

In an oddity compared to the real life counterpart, I believe Moses is best among the Age A leaders best situated towards using Drama instead of Temples.  The Drama provides both happiness and culture, and can set up the Library/Drama combo needed for Shakespeare.  This is because Moses permits the player to concentrate on buildings other than Farms.  The savings in building a Farm can be balanced by purchasing a Library and Drama building.  If the cards fall the right way, this can lead to a focused Culture Strategy.

Let me know your thoughts on Moses in the comments.
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