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Game 5083 Ice Age
#1
Congrats to Windstar on taking the Gold via 4 regions on the last freakin' Turn!!!! I did everything in my power to take one region from him on the last few turns because I knew I'd win if it went to Status Points, but the damn bloody Drow wouldn't take his beating and stay in his corner like a good boy. He kept popping up (like a whack-a-mole) with new diplomat/group/agent blitzes at the most inopportune times and pulled just enough resources away that I couldn't keep pace with the GN! The GN owes him big time!

Everybody dropped but the top 3 by T37. The Ranger was in first and well on his way to winning (3 regions and within a couple of PCs of fourth region) around Turn 35, and then just dropped. Puzzling. That paved the way for the GN to teleport to those empty regions down south and grab his 4th region. For about the last 3 turns of the game, the GN and DU both had 3 regions with DA having 2 regions.

This was actually a very exciting game with a photo finish as we didn't know who the winner would be when we opened the T40 results.


Victory By Rex Is The Gnome Kingdom!


Game End Status Points

Place Kingdom Player Results-40 Grand Total

1 GN Windstar 17,905 25,525
2 DU Imperial Tark 14,760 25,534
3 DA Eregnon the Black 10,340 20,805
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#2
Well done Windstar.  Anytime you beat Tark it's a major  accomplishment.  How about a write up?
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#3
It was fun playing the Ranger in this game. Took the kingdom because it was well-balanced and should do well in a variation like the Ice Age format.

Even though the Rangers have a decent military for their food/gold cost, they still require a sizeable amount of food after receiving their reinforcements so I had to consider that during my planning. I had to be more active in this game because of the Ice Age condition which encourages aggressive gameplay between others due to the limited resources available.

I wanted to pump up my wizards first though to help move my groups around the frozen tundra. Normally 3rd level would be good enough but I like getting that intrinsic True Seeing effect because I don't like being in the dark when I attack a pc/group. Also, Ice Age shortens the range of agents so I didn't want to miss out on the recon of where my group was traveling with agent trails. The Ranger doesn't get intrinsic True Seeing until 6th level which is very costly during an Ice Age but I spent the gold anyway. Perhaps that was a mistake in my early planning but it ended up being a lucky move for what happened next.

The Nomad conquered one of my pc's so I decided to go after him. I needed that 6th level speed spell to reach one of his pc's in the Sands and it ended up being his capital of all things. And boy did he have a lot of stuff there: 4 dukes, 3 barons, 3 L8 agents, and a priestess. Hit the jackpot for sure!

With no groups to defend his capital, I easily took it and it bumped up my troops' experience (got 2 elite ranger brigades and some veterans) along with his duke, 2 barons, L8 agent, and priestess. But raising my troops experience was a far greater value and it became one of the primary factors for the following turn.

The Nomad raised a massive army, and I do mean massive, which met me at Vanasheen the next turn. I didn't know how that player raised such a large military during an Ice Age game but I was going against a group that was more than twice my size! I thought I was finished and I bet the Nomad thought so too.

Perhaps, the Nomad was overconfident but his wizards didn't cast the right spells for the battle. I relied on my pwr-6's shield spell which value is based on the quality level of the troops. So with elite Ranger brigades, the shield spell got a nice bonus and it probably was the deciding factor in surviving that enormous battle. Read about the battle report below.

Other than that, nobody bothered me in this game so I waited until another kingdom gained control of three regions (since this was a Rex victory game). When the Druid got that on turn 30 or so, I teleported five Ranger groups to the Mists and conquered everything without a problem. Then I had to go to Oakendell or Talking Mountains and went for region 3 because I had Rock Golems for my other groups (rock golems are a fairly good value during an Ice Age).

That was around turn 32 or so and I had to start working on the Map Snapshot feature for Alamaze which took a lot of my time to research and develop (still ongoing). So I ended up missing three turns by turn 35 and got booted from the game but I could have been a contender if I didn't get sidetracked on programming.

Anyway, this was a fun game and I really enjoyed the Ice Age format. Congrats to the winner.

Here's the battle that I had with the Nomad:

Battle between the 1st Ranger army group and the 1st Nomad army group in the desert of
              area YU:
     
                                                 Ranger                                       Nomad

                                      Commanders
                   Warlord Knight of Kyr           Warlord Scourge of Vale
                   Warlord Vaughn the Slight       Lord Commander Shakar
                   Lord Commander Little John      Major General Bravos Scorpano

                                       Wizards
                       Power-6 Lady of Grenwild    Power-4 Cleric of Pel
                       Power-3 Rhiannon            Power-2 Mira Starlight
                       Power-3 Stormbringer        Power-2 Valir

                                       Brigades
                    2 Rangers Elite                2 Nomads Veteran
                    6 Rangers Veteran              6 Nomads Regular
                    1 Rohirrim Veteran             1 Scorpions Veteran
                    3 Zamorans Veteran             1 Zamorans Veteran
                                                  10 Zealots Regular
                                                   6 Great Bats Regular

                                     Combat Factors
                     Renowned Leaders              Renowned Leaders

                                   Tactical Selection
                    Determined Attack              Determined Attack
     
     
    The 1st Ranger morale was boosted due to the valor of the Zamoran brigades. Early in the
    day, the 1st Ranger army group advanced upon the advancing lines of the 1st Nomad army
    group commanded by Warlord Scourge of Vale. Aware of the political situation that had
    declared the Nomad to be treated as an enemy of their nation, the Ranger troops were
    invigorated and gained a morale boost as they prepared to engage their declared enemy! The
    1st Ranger group proudly led the Rangers. The Nomad fielded its pride: its 1st group. As
    the attackers crossed the parched desert, the first missiles sang out.

                                 - Long Range Missilers -

    The erratic whipping winds from a magical storm reduced missile damage on both sides. Long
    range missilers from both sides joined the fray and fired their arrows. The Ranger forces
    dealt out light losses upon the Nomad forces in return, the Nomad claimed minor losses
    against the enemy.

                                 - Short Range Missilers -

    The erratic whipping winds from a magical storm reduced missile damage on both sides. The
    short range Ranger highly efficient bowmen and the natural horse and foot archers of the
    Nomad force initiated their attack. The Ranger lines imposed light losses upon the Nomad
    forces in response, the Nomad dealt out minor damage against the enemy.

                                       - Magic -

    Ranger conjurers dismounted just past where the defensive missiles were falling and began
    an animated incantation. Lady of Grenwild's presence was noted. Blinding light shot forth
    from him. Power-6 wizard Lady of Grenwild muttered a few words in a foreign tongue. A
    faintly visible blue shimmering began to surround the troops and noticeably lessened the
    effectiveness of the arrows of the defenders. Rhiannon likewise had his presence be seen
    in similar manner. Power-3 wizard Rhiannon while seemingly detached from all else, seemed
    to draw within himself and began to incant. A light sparkling mist seemed to fall briefly
    over the troops, and then they grew clearly more intrepid. Stormbringer also let his
    presence be known in similar manner. Power-3 wizard Stormbringer incanted in a low
    forceful tone. A massive ball of fire sped toward the main ranks of the enemy and
    exploded! Nomad wizards dismounted just beyond the range of defending bowmen and began an
    elaborate incantation. Cleric of Pel's presence was evident. Ice blasts shot forth from
    the wizard. Power-4 wizard Cleric of Pel made a series of intricate gestures. A light
    sparkling mist seemed to fall briefly over the troops, and then they grew clearly more
    intrepid. Power-2 wizard Mira Starlight slowly spoke in an arcane language, gestures
    building to a crescendo. Looked upon the heavens and gestured violently. Suddenly winds of
    gale force drove across the battlefield, reducing the accuracy of enemy missiles by about
    half, but also reducing the accuracy of our own missile troops. Power-2 Wizard Valir began
    sorcerous incantations in an unknown tongue. He then created a powerful warding, which
    would protect the heroes and wizards of his force from the black magics of any opposing
    spellcasters. The Ranger lines imposed minor casualties upon the Nomad lines and, in
    return, the Nomad caused light casualties against the enemy.

                                      - Artifact -

    By raising the Morning Star of Torag, Nomad Warlord Scourge of Vale infused his troops
    with boldness and caused alarm in the minds of the Ranger leaders as the magical mace slew
    enemy forces. By raising Narsil, Flame of the West, Nomad Warlord Scourge of Vale infused
    his troops with boldness and caused alarm in the minds of the Ranger leaders as the
    magical sword slew enemy forces. Nomad Wizard Cleric of Pel held forth the Rod of Fire
    that released intensely hot flames that damaged the foe. By raising the Sword of
    Alvinitar, Nomad Warlord Scourge of Vale infused his troops with boldness while the Ranger
    leaders flinched as the magical sword slew enemy forces.

                                       - Charge -

    The outcome of the battle was still very much in doubt. The horsemen from both sides
    charged ahead and clashed upon the battlefield. The Ranger ranks inflicted light
    casualties upon the Nomad ranks in return, the Nomad dealt out light damage against the
    enemy.

                                       - Melee -

    The Ranger troops had opened gaps in the lines of their foe, which their commanders now
    sought to exploit. Now the time had come for the main body of each force to clash. The
    Ranger melee advanced forward to meet the Nomad melee in close quarters. The Ranger lines
    dealt out noticable damage upon the Nomad lines as the Nomad claimed significant damage to
    their enemy.

                                      - Combined -

    Hour after hour passed, yet none could tell which side would be the victor since both
    forces were evenly matched. Despite all that had preceeded at this moment, the battle
    outcome was still in doubt. Now all remaining troops of all types hurled themselves into
    the thick of battle to settle matters in decisive fashion. Victory had yet to take sides
    in this epic struggle: Yet more hour killing hours passed, and these saw all the weary
    lines of each side rejoin the contest in a final, gallant effort to triumph. The Ranger
    combined might defied the Nomad entire force for the final battle. The Ranger ranks dealt
    out substantial casualties upon the Nomad forces while the Nomad caused appreciable damage
    to their foes.

                                     - Conclusion -

    Faced with the prospect of incurring greater than planned losses, Warlord Scourge of Vale
    saw that a withdrawal for the Nomad had to be quickly made. Losses in retreat for the
    Nomad were negligible. Ranger casualties were put at 42.46%. All Ranger leaders survived
    the battle. Surpassing expectations was Little John, who again has distinguished himself.
    He is now a Warlord. All the Ranger wizards survived the fray. Due to experience, victory
    and valor, a Veteran Rangers brigade has been recognized as Elite! Due to experience,
    victory and valor, a Veteran Rangers brigade has been recognized as Elite! The troops are
    eager for more victories: morale is up! Nomad casualties were put at 59.62%. All Nomad
    leaders survived the battle. Impressing his peers was Shakar, who again has won further
    glory. He is now a Warlord. All the Nomad wizards survived the fray. Awarded distinction
    was an Zealots brigade. They are now a Veteran brigade. An Zealots brigade of Regular
    experience fought valorously and have been elevated to Veteran status. An Zealots brigade
    of Regular experience fought valorously and have been elevated to Veteran level. Awarded
    promotion was an Great Bats brigade. They are now a Veteran unit. The toll of battle has
    diminished the group's morale.
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#4
Since everybody left me alone, I just focused on my economy. Since I got spell 603 at 2nd level, I put two P2 wizards just doing that spell for like 8 turns, and I used the Bounty spell several times to increase my food production. I then raised my wizards and recruited lots of troops. I also like how I got the summon rock golems at 3rd level, and since they only cost 500 food each (plus gold cost), I could recruit tons of them.

I was going to go after the Ranger, but I decided against this when he took his first region. So I prepared to attack the Amazons, but the Black Dragon went after him. I then decided that I had to go north, so I attacked the AM and the BL at the same time. Since I had good luck in Torvale, I then went after the BL in Amberland. And when the RA went after the DU, I saw an opportunity to pick up my 4th region and went after the DU. I was surprised that he came after me in force, so I decided to teleport my groups (2 army groups and one large army) into Arcania, which I soon claimed as my own. And I managed to hold on to Amberland just as I took Arcania.

All in all, this victory was sweet because it is my first victory! I learned a lot in this game, and I plan on using that knowledge to help my future games.
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#5
The sweet taste of victory, Windstar, a taste not all get to savor. Cheers and Hail Windstar!

For you and others an economic focus will have a much more robust and challenging feel in Maelstrom when "Order #600" is replaced by perhaps 40 different PC improvements, encompassing broad categories of economic improvements, defensive improvements, and special purpose buildings.
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#6
Whack-a-mole? If you and the BL hadn't decided to both attack me at the same time, things might have gone a bit differently. The BL was more of a nuisance than a threat, but he did suck off enough resources before he dropped that I wasn't able to concentrate on you as much as I'd have liked.

This was a brutal game - 10 started with only 3 left at the end. In my case, shortly after I got 9 the AT decided to come after me. He mostly kept his groups in the sea areas where he had the advantage, but eventually his army group was forced to meet mine in the marshes around Gundibar, and that as they say was that. Once he dropped, I realized the WA was making inroads into the Steppes, so I went right into battling him. I pushed into 3 and took it. He dropped, and right on cue both the DU and the BL showed up in 3. I was kind of expecting the BL to back off as it was obvious the GN was attacking him, but he kept his army groups running around the Steppes.

Meanwhile, the DU decided to move his capital to a village in 3, and I spotted it with my Crystal of Seeing (one of the most useful artifacts in the game, IMHO. As Gordon Gecko said in "Wall Street", there's nothing more important than information).

I debated whether I should move my army group to the DU capital, which was defended by an army, or use my L19 agent to kidnap the DU king. In the end I decided on the kidnaping, which is why he had a regent for the rest of the game. In retrospect, I should have done both.

I eventually met the DU army group with mine at Hammerhold, and we pounded each other to a bloody pulp.

Now here's something this game got me curious about. Does the Wall of Flame spell actually do anything? I threw a wall of flame, he crossed it, I had hold at all cost so we both ended up in the combined arms phase, and yet his casualties were only 54.79%, which is about what I'd expect without the wall, and the effect is supposed to be enhance in Ice Age. I've noticed that if the battle ends before the magic phase, the wall effects don't seem to be applied, even though the enemy would have to cross it before the battle was joined. Now I'm wondering if it does anything at all.

So he was down to 4 brigades and I was down to 3 after the battle. We traded Summon Death spells, but his went off first so mine had no effect since I had no brigades when I threw it. Luckily I had one wizard turn invisible which kept the group alive.

I had to head back into the Steppes to deal with the BL, and lost control of 3. The DU then teleported an army group to my capital - I hadn't realized he got that at level 6. The DA gets it at 7. This unfortunately allowed him to rescue all the princes of his that I had managed to kidnap - I think it was 3 total. We were facing each other at Jukanta when the RA attack into the Mists forced him to teleport out. I gave him a summon death as a going away present.

So at this point I started recruiting troops and trying to build myself back up. I considered going after the Mists, but then the DU nicely declared me neutral so he could have room to declare the RA and GN enemies. I figured that would give me a chance to attack into 3, as I was now friendly, and I hoped he'd be distracted enough that I could grab it. I had also found a quest sighting, and had the key of the slayer and the key of the gem. I knew where Elan was, so I had a 50% chance the gem would be at the sighting. The plan was to get the gem, teleport my army group to Vanasheen, and send enough diplos into the Sands to take it. If I could get 3 also, that would give me the 4 regions I needed to win. A desperate plan, but the only game in town.

Sadly, the artifact turned out to be the Ring, and the RA dropped the same turn I made my move into 3, so the DU was able to respond. Que sera, sera.

I think the DA is a good kingdom for Ice Age. The troops don't eat much, and the Rider's trait is amplified, as it provides a 16.67% increase to range for emms, versus a 12.5% increase in the normal formats. Plus they can move 3 areas in any terrain except mountains without force marching.

At any rate, congratulations to Windstar for the win. A fun game all around.
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