I remember getting Rome: Total War and it not working properly due to a scratch on the disk, but that didn't stop me from being absolutely terrible at it. While Amazon replaced it, I went looking for a strategy guide and found RTWH. It was the strategy guides written by Ace Cataphract and Cheesewiz that convinced me to look at the forums. After a bit of lurking to work out who was worth listening to and who was (to put it politely) talking rubbish. That was in March 05 and I'm still here and in a different colour after someone thought I'd make a good staff member.
Many thanks to all the people who taught me to play RTW and made me feel at home at HG in those first few months, whether you knew it at the time or not:
Ace Cataphract, Cheesewiz, Firefox (pre-insanity), bk 101, Jax, Blunderboy, dad_savage, Sassenach, Doitzel, Adder, Admiral_Nelson, Ueriah, Ichbinian, Gadz13, Johndisp, KaiserWinterfeldt, Lorentius Vadis, MaximusDecimus, Ferret, GloryofSparta, Themistocles472, ben_is_sparky, Chilly5, exe1, Mace, Nausicaa, Dio, FlyingMonkey and probably many others who I now forget.
Thanks also to all the staff members who have kept HG running.