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Maelstrom Strategy
#11
I am a big fan of the High Council and wanted to speak up for it. First of all, yes, it's fair. A handful of kingdoms get the charisma bonus, but it's all part of the balance and it works out. But getting on the HC early, especially on turn one, can give you a real head start. You will almost certainly get a 2 point bump - 1 from getting on and 1 from the first bid (if you are making a serious bid to get on the HC on turn 1, you very much should put in a bid for the issue). And likely another and you will probably control the second issue, too. And those early points make a big difference in getting your region, starting to train agents, hiring a HP, etc. And then to get above 20 and stay there, it's also invaluable. Especially with the magic harder to come by - and, of course, this means you can promote more of your people. And it adds a whole layer to kidnapping people and torturing them for skeletons if you have an enemy on the council. And you can do more than just boost your influence. I would be very upset if it went away.
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#12
I think both are fine, both could be enhanced, but not a necessity. There are definitely kingdoms that are weaker than others in Maelstrom. Wizard kingdoms as a whole. There are a few regions that are not desirable if I have plans to win, such as the four corners.
A military kingdom in one of the central regions with a developed emissary force has the best chance of winning an early victory by Rex. It appears no one can develop a wizard force of more than 5, one simply cannot afford to do so and still maintain a winning strategy without a great difficulty.
It also appears that if you maintain a solid army group, you cannot also build up to a legendary castle. As everyone becomes aware of the few combinations that are the formula for winning a game by Rex, those wins will be thwarted and more games will go all the way to the end and be decided by points, unless players start to drop before then.
That's how I see the strategies thus far.
I believe these things will show to be true as games are completed.
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#13
(04-03-2019, 07:49 AM)RELLGAR Wrote: I think both are fine, both could be enhanced,  but not a necessity.  There are definitely kingdoms  that are weaker than others in Maelstrom.  Wizard kingdoms as a whole. There are a few regions that are not desirable if I have plans to win, such as the four corners.
A military kingdom in one of the central regions with a developed emissary force has the best chance of winning an early victory by Rex. It appears no one can develop a wizard force of more than 5, one simply cannot  afford to do so and still maintain  a winning strategy without a great difficulty.
 It also appears that if you maintain  a solid army group, you cannot also build up to a legendary castle.  As everyone becomes  aware of the few combinations that are the formula for winning a game by Rex, those wins will be thwarted  and more games will go all the way to the end and be decided by points, unless players start to drop before then.
That's how I see the strategies thus far.
I believe these things will show to be true as games are completed.

Well, what are these few combinations? 

Someone suggested Red Dragons making a play for Stormgate as a strong option, someone else said the Red Dragons aren't strong enough.  Remember early feedback the corners were considered both too strong by some and too weak by others. They are being selected very early in drafts.

On the mage kingdoms, I'll bet they win at least one of the first four games.  They may not be frontrunners and dominating as in The Choosing, but they will still have their traditional advantages past turn 20 or so.

In general, I think we see a lot less selling food (supplies) on the open market as players start planning for castles and wizard towers, and the seas more central than on the periphery as in The Choosing.

For decades, players have wanted longer games. In 2nd Cycle, some will recall games ending on Turn 18. It has not been uncommon in The Choosing for games going past turn 30. I believe that trend will continue in Maelstrom and most games, unless say a mage kingdom in a capital region goes unmolested for 20 turns, games will go past turn 30 as a normal state. I think we have gotten to the point lots of players in the 1st Cycle wanted, where an early defensive strategy can be a winning strategy.
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#14
(04-03-2019, 10:23 AM)Ry Vor Wrote:
(04-03-2019, 07:49 AM)RELLGAR Wrote: I think both are fine, both could be enhanced,  but not a necessity.  There are definitely kingdoms  that are weaker than others in Maelstrom.  Wizard kingdoms as a whole. There are a few regions that are not desirable if I have plans to win, such as the four corners.
A military kingdom in one of the central regions with a developed emissary force has the best chance of winning an early victory by Rex. It appears no one can develop a wizard force of more than 5, one simply cannot  afford to do so and still maintain  a winning strategy without a great difficulty.
 It also appears that if you maintain  a solid army group, you cannot also build up to a legendary castle.  As everyone becomes  aware of the few combinations that are the formula for winning a game by Rex, those wins will be thwarted  and more games will go all the way to the end and be decided by points, unless players start to drop before then.
That's how I see the strategies thus far.
I believe these things will show to be true as games are completed.

Well, what are these few combinations? 

Someone suggested Red Dragons making a play for Stormgate as a strong option, someone else said the Red Dragons aren't strong enough.  Remember early feedback the corners were considered both too strong by some and too weak by others. They are being selected very early in drafts.

On the mage kingdoms, I'll bet they win at least one of the first four games.  They may not be frontrunners and dominating as in The Choosing, but they will still have their traditional advantages past turn 20 or so.

In general, I think we see a lot less selling food (supplies) on the open market as players start planning for castles and wizard towers, and the seas more central than on the periphery as in The Choosing.

For decades, players have wanted longer games. In 2nd Cycle, some will recall games ending on Turn 18. It has not been uncommon in The Choosing for games going past turn 30. I believe that trend will continue in Maelstrom and most games, unless say a mage kingdom in a capital region goes unmolested for 20 turns, games will go past turn 30 as a normal state. I think we have gotten to the point lots of players in the 1st Cycle wanted, where an early defensive strategy can be a winning strategy.

Rick it's just too early. We haven't even completed any games yet, have we?
I'm really just using my current game as a test, to see the real impacts of some of the changes. To see what new adds like Forges really do to the game. Right now the vast majority of games have a fairly slow start with just 1 or 2 aggressive people. As folks get comfortable I expect that to change a lot.
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#15
From Canticar, Ry Vor I will take your bet. I dont think a mage kingdom will win any of the first four games. 5249 is still early but there is only one mage kingdom in the game so you have a 10% chance with that game. The other games are far enough along that I can predict there wont be a mage kingdom as the winner. In fact I predict that as players become familiar with the game mage kingdoms will only be taken in diplomacy or team games where they might gain some protection from their allies.

In one of the early games, on turn 10, one mage kingdom has already dropped, one mage kingdom has been rendered completely ineffective, and the third mage kingdom is under heavy attack. I think that all three mage kingdoms will be taken out of this game before we reach turn 20.
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#16
(04-03-2019, 11:55 AM)gkmetty Wrote: From Canticar, Ry Vor I will take your bet.  I dont think a mage kingdom will win any of the first four games. 5249 is still early but there is only one mage kingdom in the game so you have a 10% chance with that game.  The other games are far enough along that I can predict there wont be a mage kingdom as the winner.  In fact I predict that as players become familiar with the game mage kingdoms will only be taken in diplomacy or team games where they might gain some protection from their allies.

In one of the early games, on turn 10, one mage kingdom has already dropped, one mage kingdom has been rendered completely ineffective, and the third mage kingdom is under heavy attack. I think that all three mage kingdoms will be taken out of this game before we reach turn 20.

Who do you like in the first Maelstrom game (Maelstrom Premier / 5242)? 

Changing gears slightly, what about the Stormgate aspect to Maelstrom?  Interesting twist?  Twice we have seen Elves in Pellinor make the play, and the jury is out.  We will see on this and other matters.  I can only say as for my role, I want to see the average and the strong players both think any of 24 kingdoms can make the podium, no matter how different they are.  We are seeing the Atlantians and Ancient Ones and Rangers and Elves doing pretty well here early, where those were mostly unpopular in The Choosing.  I don't see the mage kingdoms going neglected, ala the Red Haired Step Children of The Choosing.  Some things haven't been realized yet, like the Undead being stronger, and just how the staple spells available earlier to Dwarves and Halflings (among others) and all guaranteed to get at least Power 5 make them more appealing to good players who can be a bit more patient.

With Devout trait viewed as stronger, kingdoms like the Lizardmen, Nomads and Amazons will be popular choices now, whereas they were not earlier.  Honestly, though I shouldn't pick the favorites among the children, I like those three quite a bit.

Since the first game is just getting to turn 20, and we have had some drops of mages who I think will try again with a little different approach next time, mage kingdoms won't storm through like in The Choosing, but there being 5 mage kingdoms out of 24, I think they will win at about that percentage, as opposed to winning 2/3 in The Choosing.
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#17
(04-03-2019, 11:53 AM)Calidor Wrote:
(04-03-2019, 10:23 AM)Ry Vor Wrote:
(04-03-2019, 07:49 AM)RELLGAR Wrote: I think both are fine, both could be enhanced,  but not a necessity.  There are definitely kingdoms  that are weaker than others in Maelstrom.  Wizard kingdoms as a whole. There are a few regions that are not desirable if I have plans to win, such as the four corners.
A military kingdom in one of the central regions with a developed emissary force has the best chance of winning an early victory by Rex. It appears no one can develop a wizard force of more than 5, one simply cannot  afford to do so and still maintain  a winning strategy without a great difficulty.
 It also appears that if you maintain  a solid army group, you cannot also build up to a legendary castle.  As everyone becomes  aware of the few combinations that are the formula for winning a game by Rex, those wins will be thwarted  and more games will go all the way to the end and be decided by points, unless players start to drop before then.
That's how I see the strategies thus far.
I believe these things will show to be true as games are completed.

Well, what are these few combinations? 

Someone suggested Red Dragons making a play for Stormgate as a strong option, someone else said the Red Dragons aren't strong enough.  Remember early feedback the corners were considered both too strong by some and too weak by others.  They are being selected very early in drafts.

On the mage kingdoms, I'll bet they win at least one of the first four games.  They may not be frontrunners and dominating as in The Choosing, but they will still have their traditional advantages past turn 20 or so.

In general, I think we see a lot less selling food (supplies) on the open market as players start planning for castles and wizard towers, and the seas more central than on the periphery as in The Choosing.

For decades, players have wanted longer games.  In 2nd Cycle, some will recall games ending on Turn 18.  It has not been uncommon in The Choosing for games going past turn 30.  I believe that trend will continue in Maelstrom and most games, unless say a mage kingdom in a capital region goes unmolested for 20 turns, games will go past turn 30 as a normal state.  I think we have gotten to the point lots of players in the 1st Cycle wanted, where an early defensive strategy can be a winning strategy.

Rick it's just too early.  We haven't even completed any games yet, have we?
I'm really just using my current game as a test, to see the real impacts of some of the changes.  To see what new adds like Forges really do to the game.  Right now the vast majority of games have a fairly slow start with just 1 or 2 aggressive people.  As folks get comfortable I expect that to change a lot.

Yes, still quite early, the first Maelstrom game on turn 20 and hard to tell who is winning. 

If we do make a new edition, the PC improvements which were kind of rushed to completion in Maelstrom will be largely redone.  The economic ones will be much more consequential, a citadel will not be eliminated for a castle, sea trading may be more important, and the forge will not be as powerful/cheap as now.
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#18
I would like to add a couple of thoughts here.  There is much to like about Maelstrom but also several things that might be considered to improve it.  With the food cost becoming such an important factor the rule of law tax at 10% seems to me to be an unnecessary add on that only makes play more difficult.  It's just a little irritant that I would rather do without.

Granary's are an interesting development but I would really like to see them help overcome the food shortage during times of famine.  This was their historic purpose, to store food and avoid spoilage.  Could we find a way to code the granary this way?  Wouldn't it be nice to store some food away for the winter or summer?  What do the other players think about that?  And what about having a region or 2 that just stays the same all year round, without any adverse season?  It would surely play well to the military kingdoms. 

One of the challenges I have seen so far is if you play a magic position how do you stay alive long enough to develop?  We have seen strong military kingdoms  eat up the magic kingdoms very quickly.  The regions are smaller and even the few positions that still have hidden capitals can get discovered quickly.  If you have a strong naval game like PI you can take your capital to sea, safe from at least the flying dragons.  That presents another issue though, if you have selected early customization of bazaar, forum, temple, and you relocate your capital to safety at sea you leave your improvements ashore when you move, plus using a king order and a pile of gold. 

The new game lends itself to a host of interesting decisions and strategies are still being developed.  It seems like we see something a little different in every game.
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#19
Not to add fuel to the fire here but in game 5247 as the Demon Princes, I just eliminated the Sorcerer on turn 9. I wasn't even trying that hard and didn't move on him until turn 6 I think. I don't know what the Sorcerer was doing, perhaps, just having fun and screwing around in the game (which is ok and I do that too) but I wasn't challenged at all conquering his region. Not having a sanctuary caused his elimination...

I don't know if people missed my comments on some things to think about as a starting wizard kingdom in Maelstrom but here's the link anyway: http://www.kingdomsofarcania.net/forum/s...9#pid57509

In general, playing the NE in 5242 (turn 19) and SO in 5246 (turn 14), I think wizard kingdoms are definitely weaker than before but they can dominate others if they concentrate on certain aspects of their kingdoms. I can't say what I have in 5246 but when turn 10 came around, I wasn't worried about ANY military invasion of ANY kind in that game.

Personally, I think the biggest bane for wizard kingdoms in Maelstrom are pc fortifications and their ridiculous buildup. However, if you want my year-end prediction on which kingdom prevails, the Demon Princes should dominate Maelstrom. Why, because demon princes can gate anywhere without range restrictions. For example, I was thinking of gating across the map and taking Stormgate early in the game but had other designs. Also, skeletons and zombie brigades are the most cost efficient troops for their combat value and Demon Princes practically get them for free...
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#20
Interesting comments by a strong and underrated player.

The Demon Princes didn't become stronger in Maelstrom, unless they added an adept to the start.  Meanwhile their opposite number, the Ancient Ones, are doing very well.

Some kingdoms: Demon Princes, Red Dragons, the old Witchlord and perhaps the new Necromancer were intended to be intimidating presences that would require a kingdom or three to not let them go on unmolested.  The fashion of anonymous changed things some. 

Generally it seems it is the player, despite the wide range of kingdom capabilities that determines victory or podium placement.

One more thing I am hoping for by allowing for more defense without forces is to slow the tactic of attacking a kingdom known to be engaged in another war.  I also still feel the changes and the significance of Loyal reaction through Tight Control mean there will be less region sharing at the onset, but will possibly be more significant in the mid game instead, where perhaps bordering kingdoms share their second region instead of automatic war. 

Castles are interesting, with that big one turn swing in defense, the immunity to siege, the strong status quo.  While a strong military isn't that put off, it may be by a Greater Castle.  Again, once the other improvements like ports and granaries are clicking, we'll see a lot more improvements built.

Oh, on that, an idea is that each granary controlled would reduce supply spoilage by 25%.  So with 4 controlled PC's with granaries, there is no supply spoilage.  Also the intention was to amplify sabotage, such that a building would be destroyed or damaged.
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