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Maelstrom Strategy
#1
I think its time for some ongoing discussion on strategy in Maelstrom.

How is it different from The Choosing?

What are new considerations?

Does the Maelstrom map, the 12 regions, the 12 non dispersed kingdoms, the different flavor to the regions, and the rebalancing, especially with mage kindgoms make it better, or just different.  For example, mage kingdoms were picked generally 3 at least of top 5 in drafts in The Choosing, now so far in Maelstrom, we are seeing many different kingdoms chosen, including lots not often selected before.  Agreed?  Is this then good, or is this like when we went from 2nd Cycle to 3rd Cycle where some just didn't like the change?

Obviously, the main breakthrough - how does any kingdom in any region work out for increasing the dynamics in the game itself?

So, how about some strategy as well in Maelstrom.  Castles?  Border wars rather than all-out wars?  Defense is not weakness?
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#2
Here's another question or two:

What do you think about seasonality in Alamaze: dealing with summer and winter?  Is it adding to the game and strategic planning, or is it a pain to deal with more than something adding depth?

The High Council: is this strategic and fairly balanced, or should it be scraped?

The High Priestess:  Is this kind of "cheating" good or bad?  Should there be no priestess and no Devout?  Or again - all this is what makes a great strategy game but also accessible to some new players - is this another strategic decision to build, recruit, test, divine in order to get that big info?
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#3
What do you think about seasonality in Alamaze: dealing with summer and winter? Is it adding to the gain and strategic planning, or is it a pain to deal with more than something adding depth?

I think it presents balance challenges. Especially in the new map. Could this be a selection at Creation?

The High Council: is this strategic and fairly balanced, or should it be scraped?

I like the concept but think it needs to be fleshed out. Currently it’s just an influence piñata with the occasional lowering of someone’s reaction. I think there are many ways to flesh it out.

The High Priestess: Is this kind of "cheating" good or bad? Should there be no priestess and no Devout? Or again - all this is what makes a great strategy game but also accessible to some new players - is this another strategic decision to build, recruit, test, divine in order to get that big info?

Maybe restrict to particular regions and or Kingdoms. Currently in one game I am playing by turn 12 I had a full map of the world with all cities , towns and villages excluding some hidden ones. It updates to show control each turn. This is ridiculously powerful but I’d love to see this kept in game but maybe just 2-3 Kingdoms and 2-3 Regions can recruit the HPs.
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#4
(03-31-2019, 06:55 AM)Ry Vor Wrote: Here's another question or two:

What do you think about seasonality in Alamaze: dealing with summer and winter?  Is it adding to the gain and strategic planning, or is it a pain to deal with more than something adding depth?

Seasons have always been a part and add to strategic planning.  They sometimes require someone to think past just one turn.  A good balanced way to add depth to the game without some lame random element.   Removing them I think would actually cause a balance issue around the rewards given from capital regions.

The High Council: is this strategic and fairly balanced, or should it be scraped?

What’s that the thing players throw gold at.   Sure keep it. I like when others waste there gold.   If you want to make the council something fought over, perhaps only allow negative effects.   (Sounds like something we have in real life)

The High Priestess:  Is this kind of "cheating" good or bad?  Should there be no priestess and no Devout?  Or again - all this is what makes a great strategy game but also accessible to some new players - is this another strategic decision to build, recruit, test, divine in order to get that big info?

Maelstrom finally made devout worthwhile.   I think to remove the abuse perhaps only allow them to divine things in the region they are in.  So you would need to risk your precious priestess to get that valuable map data or block those spells.  
Another idea could be to allow priestess to ward things from being divined.   Say your priestess puts up a divination ward over your region.  The next priestess action would not work and it would tell you what kingdom was breaking your ward.  The ward could effect you as well.  Maybe even allow the ward to be stacked up.  
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#5
HP... I like it the way it is.. just my opinion. AN will be chosen more now because of the devout, if it were nixed I would never play them.
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#6
That village next to stormgate was nice for RD. Start in a capitol region and you can grab it turn 1. The food in that village gets you thru the first winter. I'm not sure there is any kingdom that could contest for it so early
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#7
(03-31-2019, 01:54 PM)Rytek Wrote: That village next to stormgate was nice for RD. Start in a capitol region and you can grab it turn 1. The food in that village gets you thru the first winter. I'm not sure there is any kingdom that could contest for it so early

AM in Pellinor could become stronger in T1 than RD especially in the plains
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#8
From Canticar.

Maelstrom is new so strategies are still being formulated. I am in the first 4 maelstrom games so I have as much experience as anyone.

1. The map may be the same size as 3rd cycle but with 12 regions rather than 10, each region is much smaller and you have greater reach into your neighbors territories.
2. Magic kingdoms have not done well in the early games. They have no way of holding off an early attack, either military or political. This combined with the smaller regions has led to some early struggles.
3. While political invasions are still possible, my experience is that military might is a much larger part of the game. With smaller regions and fewer pop centers a single large military group can cover a region quickly.
4. As intended, food, or resources, play a much larger part in the game. Not only to support the larger military's but to build improvements. This was the intention and I believe the game designer has achieved his goal.
5. Minor cities are an interesting addition. It has added a new strategic element to the game. Kingdoms in regions with minor cities, not visible on the map, are attacking regions with Major cities. Taking the major city early provides an early economic boost and slows down your opponent.
6. I am playing the RD in one of my games. In the game notes it was stated that the dragon brigades were weakened while other military kingdoms gained. I have found this to be true. The RD is certainly not a military power any longer. Kingdoms with relatively common militarys can now give the RD a run for its life. With few other redeeming qualities to the kingdom I wont be playing them again.

As for the questions posed by Ry Vor.
1. changing seasons is one of the only constraints on a large military. With the new emphasis on food (resources) the Winter and Summer seasons force each Kingdom into some strategic thinking. It also introduces conflict as kingdoms in regions pending a bad season seek to acquire pop centers in neighboring regions with good seasons. Likewise it facilitates diplomacy in games that allow communication. I'm in favor of keeping the changing seasons.
2. I dont often join the HC early in the game. When I do bid for a seat it is normally when I have a kingdom that offers assistance on the bid. While helpful for influence I dont find it used very strategically. When proposing a negative action against another kingdom you risk being voted down, while simple requests to raise your influence are normally not contested. I dont have any issue with the HC but I would not be opposed to its removal.
3. Removing the Priestess will slow down invasions and give some power back to the magic kingdoms, assuming they keep the find PC spell. I also find the Priestess useful to heal groups. Taking this ability away might also slow down the military, but I think it would hurt the Dragon Kingdoms the most, you hate to lose a valuable Dragon brigade. I am undecided on the question of removal.
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#9
(04-01-2019, 11:07 AM)gkmetty Wrote: From Canticar.

Maelstrom is new so strategies are still being formulated.  I am in the first 4 maelstrom games so I have as much experience as anyone.

1. The map may be the same size as 3rd cycle but with 12 regions rather than 10, each region is much smaller and you have greater reach into your neighbors territories.
2. Magic kingdoms have not done well in the early games.  They have no way of holding off an early attack, either military or political.  This combined with the smaller regions has led to some early struggles.
3. While political invasions are still possible, my experience is that military might is a much larger part of the game.  With smaller regions and fewer pop centers a single large military group can cover a region quickly.
4. As intended, food, or resources, play a much larger part in the game.  Not only to support the larger military's but to build improvements.  This was the intention and I believe the game designer has achieved his goal.
5. Minor cities are an interesting addition.  It has added a new strategic element to the game.  Kingdoms in regions with minor cities, not visible on the map, are attacking regions with Major cities.  Taking the major city early provides an early economic boost and slows down your opponent.
6. I am playing the RD in one of my games.  In the game notes it was stated that the dragon brigades were weakened while other military kingdoms gained.  I have found this to be true.  The RD is certainly not a military power any longer.  Kingdoms with relatively common militarys can now give the RD a run for its life.  With few other redeeming qualities to the kingdom I wont be playing them again.



As for the questions posed by Ry Vor.
1. changing seasons is one of the only constraints on a large military.  With the new emphasis on food (resources) the Winter and Summer seasons force each Kingdom into some strategic thinking.  It also introduces conflict as kingdoms in regions pending a bad season seek to acquire pop centers in neighboring regions with good seasons.  Likewise it facilitates diplomacy in games that allow communication.  I'm in favor of keeping the changing seasons.
2. I dont often join the HC early in the game.  When I do bid for a seat it is normally when I have a kingdom that offers assistance on the bid.  While helpful for influence I dont find it used very strategically.  When proposing a negative action against another kingdom you risk being voted down, while simple requests to raise your influence are normally not contested.  I dont have any issue with the HC but I would not be opposed to its removal.
3. Removing the Priestess will slow down invasions and give some power back to the magic kingdoms, assuming they keep the find PC spell.  I also find the Priestess useful to heal groups.  Taking this ability away might also slow down the military, but I think it would hurt the Dragon Kingdoms the most, you hate to lose a valuable Dragon brigade.  I am undecided on the question of removal.

Thanks Canticar for that thoughtful and informative post.  Normally I like to wait a while before commenting on my own threads, but will comment early here.  On the last part first, the questions 1 - 3.  Good point on how seasons act like a governor on a military approach.  And I agree there is a higher influence on military in Maelstrom than in The Choosing, but not to the extent that mage kingdoms ruled The Choosing.  And most players I think kind of prefer a military approach as the hammer and the other avenues as the scalpel. 

The questions on HC, HP, seasons were really on the view to introducing a simplified Alamaze to be less daunting to new players.  So I am thinking not that any of those things are bad or broken, but is Alamaze still Alamaze without them, and would it be easier for newbs to not have to also wrestle with whether to bid for HC, etc.  I think new players in particular get really stung by the first winter, despite the efforts of Game of Thrones to help Alamaze players. 

As to mechanics, I still hate that in my mind I think transfers are the bugaboo for new players.  I really want a way to simplify transfers and I think that in itself makes the game at least 25% easier to get into.  Otherwise, new players just have to appreciate they are not going to win their first or second game.  This is why it is a long running deep strategy game.  You don't win your first chess tournament either. 

I'll wait for other comments on the rest of what Canticar wrote, all interesting stuff from an experienced player.
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#10
If the changes are aimed at newer people have you thought about just making those changes in the Primeval format?
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