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Gnome vs Red Dragon
#1
Can the Gnome take on the Red Dragon in 3rd Cycle? I say, yes you can and here's how.

There are three basic strategies that a Gnome can take against an aggressive Red Dragon:

   (1) Develop two pwr-5 wizards for Dome of Invulnerability and Cold Darkness spells

   (2) Make Cradia a bastion of defense and continuously improve it's defense/gold

   (3) Take advantage of 3rd Cycle brigade special effects and build a solid military

Options 1 and 2 are typical 2nd Cycle strategies though hiding behind the city is further enhanced in 3rd Cycle with the GN's special abilities. So unless the RD spends gold on turn 1 to develop a pwr-2 (for ward) which is unlikely since it's a waste of gold, the GN will easily gain control of the city on turn 2 by sleeping/stir unrest the opposition.

I would take things a step further and relocate my capital to Cradia on turn 2 (a bold move) so that on the following turn, acquire a Glyph of Protection for its 7,000 defense thru kingdom customization. That would definitely give the RD trouble when considering that the GN gets +40% to pc defense due to traits and mountainous terrain (e.g., Cunning, Industrious, and Siege Engineering all provide +10% to pc defense then add the GN's Advantage rating in the mountains which provide +10% to pc defense for a total bonus of +40% for Cradia).

If the average city in the mountains has a defense of around 22,000 + 7,000 glyph = 29,000 + 40% GN bonus = 40,000 city defense at the END OF TURN 3. How awesome is that? And that's without taking advantage of the GN's early spells for improving a pc's gold/defense.

But those two options are so typical of a 2nd Cycle game that I wanted to do something different that had more of a 3rd Cycle feel to it so I thought about doing option 3 instead and take advantage of a brigade's special effects as follows.

Turn 1:
  Recruit 3 brigades of Westmen (my favorite of the pc recruitable types) at my two towns in Torvale/Runnimede. Have my pwr-3 summon a brigade of Rock Golems and raise my pwr-2 in Torvale to pwr-3.

Turn 2:
  Train those 3 brigades of Westmen to become Regular (to attain their special shield bonus) and move/combine my groups together which were within range of each other (a somewhat rare occurrence). Have those two pwr-3's summon two more Rock Golems which has a 5 brigade maximum limit. Combined together will be a group consisting of 4 Gnome brigades, 3 Westmen, and 5 Rock Golems. That's a solid group with two pwr-3's to boot at the end of turn 2!!

Turn 3:
  Develop a 3rd pwr-3 which is doable if I scrap seapower and take gold with customization order 11. So at the end of turn 3, the GN would have a really solid group with a total combat value of around 32,000 with three pwr-3 wizards.

If the RD intercepted this group in the mountains, the GN group would receive +50% defensive bonus due to the Rock Golem's special ability (which is substantial) then add another +10% from the Westmen shield bonus. Combined with three pwr-3 shield spells, that's one tough GN group that the RD can't handle. Actually, not even close in being able to handle!

I ran a quick calculation and the battle was so one-sided that I had to combine both the 1RD and 2RD groups together just to provide the RD some resemblance of a fighting force against the GN. And moving the second RD group from the Talking Mountains to Runnimede would take some time leaving the other RD group vulnerable to attack. What a reversal of fate that would be, the GN intercepting the RD in the early stages of the game!

Spells matter though. Wind Storm is awesome in reducing damage from the initial missile combat stage and Flash Flood is even better against the charge phase though the Flash Flood spell has just been recently changed to no longer affect flying groups (that includes groups that acquire the flying ability thru artifacts). The shield spell by three pwr-3 wizards plus their presence is always good and will allow your group to stay longer in battle to inflict massive damage against your foe while taking little in return.

In the meantime, the RD is stuck with his initial turn 0 brigade layout worth of troops until turn 4 and that's only if he's able to acquire a Marshal or a Veteran brigade to even start recruiting. Until then, no improvement is possible and depending upon the luck of acquiring a Marshal/Veteran brigade, it could be until turns 4-6 before the RD is able to recruit anything. All the while the GN's strength increases during that time.

So GN, don't get bullied around anymore and have fun spanking the RD back to the Talking Mountains!!!
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#2
Doesn't that tell you the dragons inability to recruit until t4 and the requirements to recruit need a tweak. I would agree with the WY and PH brigades are fine. But the bats should be recruitable from turn 1 for the dragons. They effectively are the dragons PC recruits. And shouldn't require any type of brigade status or leader to recruit them.
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#3
Does require a good set up to get the GN groups together quickly.

RD able to be bested in military by basically any magic kingdom from turn 4 on just shows a flaw in the Dragons set-up.
All kingdom can out-recruit the dragon. Recruiting humans and 565s
Magic kingdoms can recruit via spell even at PCs so even when a dragon can start recruiting at T4 a magic type kingdom can be recruiting more than 2x the units for maybe a cheaper maintanance cost.

I would agree with Atuan let dragons recruit bats like everyone else recruits humans. Only they would not take away from census. Let them be unlimited as a total so a late game Dragon is still something to feared.

Also note the RD player dropped in the betas giving no feedback. BL had recruitment issues in the beta
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#4
Wanted to compliment Uncle Mike on an informative and insightful early strategy article for the Gnomes.  I'd like to see these for all 24 kingdoms.  I still feel it will take players a while to adjust to 3rd Cycle, understanding not only your own but also your enemy's traits, new spells, abilities.

I think the picture though was about as creepy as the music video Gray Mouser posted.  A quintessential silly big hair band video.
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#5
This is a great read! I haven't played long enough to give my own input, but more posts like this in the future would be really helpful and interesting to gain new perspectives!
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#6
(03-31-2016, 11:08 PM)Tomag Ironfist Wrote: This is a great read! I haven't played long enough to give my own input, but more posts like this in the future would be really helpful and interesting to gain new perspectives!

That power 3 summon spell for Rock Golems is really strong.  They have no maintenance cost and are great against PC's.   Combine that with some war machines and you will have a very strong offensive force to take out enemy PC's as well.   The Gnome kingdom is much more attractive than it has been in the past.
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#7
(04-01-2016, 09:11 AM)Hawk_ Wrote:
(03-31-2016, 11:08 PM)Tomag Ironfist Wrote: This is a great read! I haven't played long enough to give my own input, but more posts like this in the future would be really helpful and interesting to gain new perspectives!

That power 3 summon spell for Rock Golems is really strong.  They have no maintenance cost and are great against PC's.   Combine that with some war machines and you will have a very strong offensive force to take out enemy PC's as well.   The Gnome kingdom is much more attractive than it has been in the past.

And the dragons are much less attractive...
 Lord Diamond

Please do not take any of my comments as a personal insult or as a criticism of the game 'Alamaze', which I very much enjoy. Rather, I hope that my personal insight and unique perspective may, in some way, help make 'Alamaze' more fun, a more successful financial venture, or simply more sustainable as a long-term project. Anyone who reads this post should feel completely free to ignore, disregard, scorn, implement, improve, dispute, or otherwise comment upon its content.





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#8
I don't know, let the Red Dragon be the Red Dragon. Why is everyone talking about defeating him militarily early. He's got other problems. The thing is Red Dragons can win a fight but at what cost. Just get out of the way and use emissaries to take pop centers. You will loose some but they can be easily replaced, Red Dragon brigades are not replaceable. Red Dragons need to show up for a fight with enough buffer brigades to keep the RD brigades from loosing to many troops. Sure they can reorganize but but that takes orders, lots of orders to recruit buffers and reorganize. Influence and economy is what a Red Dragon really needs to get the pointy end of their Kingdom into a fight. Don't show up to the fight and they wont build leaders and let them take pop centers and take them back with emissaries.

Just my thoughts.
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