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Game 5031 Full Diplomacy
I agree the RD made a critical error in not creating a sanctuary. My concern is the knowledge one player has over the rest of the other players. I never questioned and DO NOT question UM's integrity. He just has an extreme advantage due to his knowledge of the %'s and possible outcomes of all facets of the game. I agree with J DOE, about the possibility of turn sharing of UM's strategies. Unfortumately, I feel that would defeat his enjoyment of playing the game if this were done while a game was in progress, and I really can't see many players reviewing his play after the fact. We have players that struggle now to make turn deadlines.
I am retired so would review his game turns, but if I did and someone else did not have the same time as I to review them, then I would or anyone having reviewed them would also become a problem for other players.
Not to perpetuate this awkward thread, but I'll make a couple comments.

Mike plays because he likes Alamaze.  He doesn't make nearly enough money to justify him working on our game and forbidding him playing.  I want him to be able to see his work in action.  And as Imperial Tark and Lord Thanatos and Jon Doe, three of our foremost players said, they aren't suspicious and people should realize developers are people too with feelings and a reputation to protect.  He does know what he is doing when he plays, but it is nothing untoward.  He makes fewer mistakes and his planning incorporates likely threats and opportunities: i.e., a good strategist.
I play occasionally, normally mainly with the advent of a new release to make sure the program is working as the design intended.  Otherwise, I enjoy reading the writeups of completed games to further gain perspective on the kingdoms and the rule changes.  So with 3rd Cycle I played new kingdoms like the Lizardmen, Amazons, Cimmerians.  I also played the Red Dragons once when there was scuttlebutt they had become too weak.  I played the Warlock once when the wizards were dominating to see how powerful in practice the spells were.  In the four years since the Resurgence, I have two silvers, and one was definitely due to my teammates.  I have played other kingdoms like the Gnomes to fill a game lingering in queue or Halflings (again, when they were considered weak in discussions).  I rarely attack anybody and find I am usually attacked 3 v 1.  in any case, I'm pretty sure when I am in a game starting, the experienced players are not sweating over The Gray Mouser being in.  He's going to sit back and finish his usual 6th.  

For the greater good, let's leave this behind.  I don't mind posting turns, other than the embarrassment of the designer being exposed as just an average player. If that makes everyone more comfortable, it's fine.  

Let's get some games started.  We've been in a lull for awhile.  Also I need to follow-up with Mike a bit on his tutorial, but it's about there so your buddies that may have been a little overwhelmed before might have an easier path to understanding now or in a couple weeks.

I've had various personal things going on, mostly good stuff like vacation and friends visiting, and have had sort of a writer's cramp, hopefully not of George Martin scope, but admit I am a bit less productive than I was a couple decades back.  I mainly want to have it really work rather than be released really fast.   But Maelstrom will come.
There's another issue regarding posting turns that hasn't come up yet: there may be some strategies that people may want to keep to themselves rather than publically share it with others.

As when Jumpingfist mentioned some time ago that he will share some things that he discovered in the game, like Rings of Spells/Power was allowing players to become a Lich two levels lower than normal (which is why we changed the rules on the matter) but not disclose everything he knows or all his tricks in the game.

That becomes even more problematic when astute players become aware of certain playing styles by reviewing others' turns. Like how one player may tend to move groups to villages while using emissaries for towns when invading a region. That foreknowledge then becomes a cross to bear for the overly-friendly player in sharing their turns to others (in that, everyone will know their commonly used tactic when invading a region and plan a counter-defense).

So the sharing of turns isn't a good idea at all for the sake of having fair and competitive play.

Besides, I want the freedom to make a suggestion whenever I choose and not be forced to do so as what would happen if I had to post my turns to everyone. Maybe because Imperial Tark is a teacher in real life, he feels more openly about the subject but that's not the case for all of us. I want the freedom to share what I want and when I want. I don't want to be forced to do something which others would catch on and later counter whenever I'm their neighbor in a game.

So, no, I won't be sharing my turns. If you think that means that I'm cheating, too bad. I want fair and competitive play.
(09-05-2017, 09:33 PM)Ohman the heartless Wrote: Like I stated earlier, I am not accussing UM of cheating!!!.  But as a PAYING customer, I still will not waste MY $ in a game where the PROGRAMER is playing.  MY CHOICE!  Way too much home field advantage.

And, I still think his data base knowledge is an EXPLOIT.

I disagree with "home field advantage" and "EXPLOIT."

A few thoughts:

I always prefer playing with/against people with more skill or knowledge than I as that is the only way to improve -- and learn.  Mentoring is nice, but rarely results in revelations for the mentor.  If you want to get better you should beg UM to play against you.  I recall learning so much from Morgan Kane in my first two Titan games.  It was a hell of an accomplishment when I was able to beat him in Titan or Warlord contests.  I asked him all sorts of questions... I remember the first question I asked him was how his groups landed on two or three of my capitals on turn 2.  Locate groups spells on turn 1 reveal the location of the first group.  Because I didn't move my group (or transfer so that group was inactive) he had the location of my capital.  Never again has someone located my capital in this fashion -- but I have used this on occasion.  Not an EXPLOIT, it is skill/knowledge.  A Warlords opponent or two can vouch for this fact.  If you didn't ward emissaries on turn 2 at cities you couldn't possible compete in a Warlords contest.  UM has that same experience.  Morgan Kane and I discussed the utility of drafting various kingdoms in a Titan contest and we agreed that the availability of turn 2 wards was a vast advantage.

I recall Phil McDowell (Rick's brother) giving me the following advice: "Understand order sequence."  There is so much to be gleaned from an in-depth understanding of the order sequence.  I don't think I considered myself above merely an average player until I spent dozens of hours over many weeks/months thinking through things in my mind about the sequence in which orders are processed and what can be done.  I hated that I could not train wizards and still move my groups to an enemy pc on the same turn.  Yet .... teleportation happens AFTER wizard training! ! !  WOW.

Every time UM posts and provides an insight into what things can be done it truly boils down to having an understanding of order sequence.  Which means I already knew the things he posted about or should have by further contemplating the order sequence.  UM posted early on during The Choosing about how a hallfling player could quickly have an army of rock golems and westmen capable of pushing the RD around.  He explained exactly how to combine groups, summon rock golems and recruit so that on turn 2 or 3 the Halfling could beat the RD in mountains (changes have been made since then, if I recall correctly).  My thought was, "sure, I understand that."

The point is that "knowledge" is available to all of us.  Jumpingfist used to tease me because I still prefer paper maps where I write everything in by hand.  I still have never used the player aids that calculate the chance of success for emissary actions.  That sort of reduction of the game to its mathematical components doesn't appeal to me.  Yet, it is NOT unfair for others to use this player aid.

Finally, even if UM can do all the things you fear he can: to me the challenge is beating him and exulting in that accomplishment.  That is why we play strategy games.... I don't want a mythical "even playing field."  I want a challenge.  As a gamer, I think you probably do too (once you get past the annoyance --- trust me, I have written some intemperate posts in this Forum because I didn't wait long enough to let my passions subside.)

Rather than say you won't play against UM, you should be seeking to start a team game where he is on your team so you can learn how he thinks.
Lord Thanatos
aka "Thanatos the Terrible"
One of my favorite posts....
(09-06-2017, 07:50 PM)Ry Vor Wrote: One of my favorite posts....

Very nice post. I hope to play with you in a game soon.
Thanatos, I know im a return player from the past, but I remember Phil telling me the same thing on a land line telephone back in the day Smile, great post brought back some memories, you see when I got spanked on a turn I would call him across the country and ask how could this be!!! It was almost always a sequence of order or spell lol Thanks for that post.

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