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5293 Battle for Stormgate Ends
#1
5293, the Battle for Stormgate, ended today on turn 19.  I had the good fortune to win this one so will do a recap.  Thanks to all who played and congratulations to the other two who made the podium, Brek in 2nd with AN and Airetar in 3rd with AM.  This was my first win in Maelstrom and also my first win in a silent steel game.  I tend to prefer the diplomacy games so don't do many silent.
I was 2nd in the draft and opted for Pellinor.  The primary consideration was access to Stormgate and a chance for a second region, small as it is, without having to take on another player.  It's also the theme of this particular game so why not?  I was hoping that a strong position would be left when the snake draft came back to me on the 23rd round and was glad to see the Lizards were still available so snatched them up.
This game had a mix of players with several top of the line power players playing the DE and EL, both adjacent to me.  There was also a mix of other experienced players as well as some newer or returning players.  I'll post the draft and final tally's later.
My first goal was just get control of the region quickly.  No one had control on turn 3 but 8 of us got our regions on turn 4.  I also had a village in Triumvia, where AN was, and a town in Untamed Lands where DU was.  Sharing Pellinor with me was an AT village in the sea and an EL town.  I decided early on to leave both alone and try not to make any early enemies.
On turn 4 TY showed up at my town in Untamed Lands.  He was obviously out for an early war with DU but he took my town anyway, putting himself on my back burner as someone I'd be glad to return the favor for later in the game.  AN also took my village in Triumvia a few turns later.
At this point the goal was to take Stormgate.  I took the village of Cornucopia early.  AN showed up there but wisely left it untouched.  I had enough force by turn 7 and took Stormgate on turn 8.  After that I was developing the position and adding strength to all areas.  Wizards, agents, 3 priestesses, fleets, several ports, and dealing with encounters.  The heroic nature of the LI got me some easy promotions and after the battle for Stormgate I had 4 elite and 9 veteran troops, plus Stormgate Guard to recruit from.
By turn 12 I had been watching the battle between TY and DU for some time and was ready to pay TY back for taking my town earlier.  TY had actually been going downhill in his fight and lost everything he had taken in region 12 and 3 pc in 11 were now DU so I marched on his capital.  I expected him to still have some good military so I was shocked when he dropped on turn 13, leaving my attack mostly against human pc and a DU holding or 2.   I had region 11 very quickly and decided with 3 regions under control and in position to hit DU for the 4th it had to be all in or nothing.
 I would normally leave the DU player, the Grey Mouser, alone in a game.  He is a very peaceful nomadic type and seldom bothers anyone unless you pick a fight with him.  In this case I made an exception as it offered the only choice for a quick road to victory.  I moved the pols into region 12 and my big army group to the city there.  My good fortune continued as DU had made the city his capital!  His capital and several pols, including come TY captives, came with it.  The new DU capital was far to the east and I could not port my army group yet.  DU had been hiding his forces in the woods and counter attacked against Mythgar.  He took back 2 towns and a village which dropped me back to just 2 regions under control, 9 and 13.  Maybe this was a blessing as some players may have then seen me as less of a threat to win?
The following turn I relocated the pols for a 2nd round of political attacks on Untamed which would give me control.  I had to deal with the 2 DU army groups now running rampant in Mythgar so I moved my army group back to Pellinor in position to intercept at least one group, if not both the following turn.  I also raised a wiz to 7 at my capital and made room for him in the A.G. in case I needed some more range I could port with the p7.  I had a division with flight and with a crystal of seeing and a palantir I was able to watch 4 squares a turn for free.
I caught the DU 4th army group at the minor city in Mythgar the following turn with my intercept order.  I had numbers, quality, and leaders on my side while DU had better wizards.  He was able to escape with 30% losses and managed to kill my p2 but I took the city and with pols taking several others and my division taking the village it gave me the win.  No doubt the fact that DU had been fighting TY most of the game and unable to develop wizards past level 5 was a factor.  He could not dome and his pol force was much weaker than mine.
Another player asked me in a private post today how I like the LI position.  I think it is the most balanced position now that DA has been diminished.  The devout trait plays very well in Malestrom and the addition of heroic means automatic promotions in encounters and battles in all but tactic 1.  This was the 2nd time LI has been in Pellinor and won so it is not an original idea on my part.
Thanks again everyone and below I will post the draft and final tally.
1)DuPont - Nyvaria
2)Wookie - Pellinor
3)Grey Mouser - Untamed Lands
4)VBM - Demon Princes in Darkover (default last region)
5)Airetar - Krynn
6)Acererak - Diamond Coast - Cimmerians
7)Drogo - Mythgar - Tyrant
8)AlatarTBW - Crown Islands - Rangers
9)Brekk - Triumvia, Ancients
10)The Painted Man - Zanthia, Red Dragons
11)Son of Conan - Sword Coast, Atlantians
12)Strylian - Zamora, Pirates 

             Victory By Rex Is The Lizard Men Kingdom!
                           Game End Status Points

        Place Kingdom    Player                Results-19  Grand Total

          1     LI     Wookie Panz               34,032      44,347
          2     AN     Brek                      17,736      26,438
          3     AM     Airetar                   16,240      24,043
          4     DE     Vball Michael             12,360      19,100
          5     PI     Strylian                  12,497      17,972
          6     EL     DuPont                    10,928      16,147
          7     DU     The Gray Mouser            7,100      12,050
          8     AT     Son of Conan               7,415      10,933
          9     RA     AlatarTBW                  6,118       9,304
         10     CI     Acererak                   5,670       9,019
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#2
Nice write-up and Win Wookie. A lot of grumpiness over Stormgate being an easy win. But here it was available for anyone for 8 turns before you took it. Looks like you saw a window for victory and jumped on it. Others may have hesitated to get that final wizard to p7 before launching but then watch the window close.

Also nice to see Brek taking 2nd place so soon in one of his first games
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#3
I thought it would be interesting to play this game as a wait-and-see and just stick to me region and build. But it's really not the way to play this map. You can't build fast enough to be a big power with just one region. On the last turn, I moved against the DE and that might have been a fun fight but we were out of time. I feel like the dude in Jesus Parable of the Talents who hid his Talent in the cellar and didn't do anything with it. Fore sure, fortune favors the bold in this variant! Congrats to the winners.
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#4
(CI) Not my best showing obviously but my last couple games it's been me fighting VBall (as the DE) 1 on 1 when he attacks me early. Last game I podiumed as the Druid and had him drop as the Tyrant after he attacked me on turn 4 I believe but this time the whole game it was me as the CI trying to hold on against his emissaries and one giant army as I played cat and mouse taking back pop centers with my groups and running away from his massive 32 brigade army of DE, Skeletons and Zombies. Some fun but mostly a tiring game of whack a mole, which I imagine he thought as well. Sometimes Alamaze is too predictable in that everyone runs to grab their region and then you have to expand- and that has to be a neighbor. I knew he was going to attack me (when I checked all RR in my region and he was at friendly there is only one reason) when he did and denigrated and declared him an enemy the same turn to drop him to suspicious but long term pretty hard to beat back his emmys- one reason he can never go below suspicious and can also demonic enamor. Not being able to sleep any of the DE emmys really hurts your ability to fight against them, since many times one of my high level agents would try to kidnap but he was already gone.

I was holding on to my water capital at AY with a few P3s and 12 fleets and planned on just being a pest until someone attacked the DE (as Dupont mentions he did above) and then claw back some of my stuff but seems no one really challenged the LI.

CI can be fun but I'd say some weaknesses that are apparent are expensive military, slow movement capability and of course expensive magic with weak spell list. Lots of great traits but I also only found 3 total artifacts in my region which was a big hindrance after checking every square. In some of the larger ones like Darkover I have found more than 10 in a single game.

Congrats Wookie and others that placed.
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#5
(06-30-2019, 01:49 PM)Acererak Wrote: (CI) Not my best showing obviously but my last couple games it's been me fighting VBall (as the DE) 1 on 1 when he attacks me early. Last game I podiumed as the Druid and had him drop as the Tyrant after he attacked me on turn 4 I believe but this time the whole game it was me as the CI trying to hold on against his emissaries and one giant army as I played cat and mouse taking back pop centers with my groups and running away from his massive 32 brigade army of DE, Skeletons and Zombies. Some fun but mostly a tiring game of whack a mole, which I imagine he thought as well. Sometimes Alamaze is too predictable in that everyone runs to grab their region and then you have to expand- and that has to be a neighbor. I knew he was going to attack me (when I checked all RR in my region and he was at friendly there is only one reason) when he did and denigrated and declared him an enemy the same turn to drop him to suspicious but long term pretty hard to beat back his emmys- one reason he can never go below suspicious and can also demonic enamor. Not being able to sleep any of the DE emmys really hurts your ability to fight against them, since many times one of my high level agents would try to kidnap but he was already gone.

I was holding on to my water capital at AY with a few P3s and 12 fleets and planned on just being a pest until someone attacked the DE (as Dupont mentions he did above) and then claw back some of my stuff but seems no one really challenged the LI.

CI can be fun but I'd say some weaknesses that are apparent are expensive military, slow movement capability and of course expensive magic with weak spell list. Lots of great traits but I also only found 3 total artifacts in my region which was a big hindrance after checking every square. In some of the larger ones like Darkover I have found more than 10 in a single game.

Congrats Wookie and others that placed.
Ace you are right, no one really came out to challenge the LI, even after I hit 3 regions and then briefly went back to 2.   Someone was stealing food from Cornucopia early on and then I was getting reconned a lot the last 3 turns.  I caught one of Brek's agents looking.  Brek was that you stealing too?   PI came and hit a village around turn 11.  Maybe he was looking for another port but I quickly took it back.  Thanks for keeping DE busy.  See, it's not a thankless job after all Big Grin
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#6
This game seemed well named as the champion Wookie he of the Lizard persuasion controlled it early and as far as I know uncontested thereafter. 

I think everyone knows my persona The Gray (Gray dammit, not Grey) Mouser has a Moses-like connection to Ry Vor.  I had the Druid in the Untamed Lands which in my limited actual playing experience seems powerful.  I like having either Druid or Warlock, both currently with Mammoth as companion starting with two of those brigades in a corner and in a region with a major city.  OOOH!  I actually thought around mid-game I might win this one.

Back to the beginning, the Tyrant was next door in Mythgar, with no major city.  The tactics book by Clausewitz says the Tyrant with no major city has to attack the Druid next door before he gets powerful and take that big city.  So, I read that chapter.  It played out, and I have to say I laid the table as good as I could.  One obvious thing is by about the crucial battle around turn 9 or so my army had 5 veteran Apes.  You might not think much of that, until they rip your throat out in the forest, as in where the major city in the Untamed Lands is.  I think my army by this time was invisible as well at 10 brigades.  Anyway, the Apes give (I hear this will change sometime soon) give +10% attack and defense in the forest, per brigade.  So we have that +50%.  And the Tyrant is battle magic susceptible, ouch with an Earthquake and Tornado, I think I stunned a Tyrant marshal as well, so that's -15% to his attack and defense.  Ah.  It was glorious from the Druid perspective, I think 13 Tyrant brigades eliminated.  The rest was mop up. I don't think this terrain is a good matchup for the Tyrant against a suspicious Druid.

But, the Lizard King, who seemed to always have 16+ brigades seemed to be up to me to delay.  He gained the Untamed, while I took Mythgar away.  I saw he had some ungodly number of brigades, and as he surmised previously, due in part to the Tyrant pillaging as his main tactic my eco base was not so great, and additionally for the Lizardly One it was now easy to control The Untamed Lands. 

I couldn't quite get back on balance from whipping the Tyrant and reacting to the Scaly King in force.  I assumed, as many fallen kings do, that someone somewhere would attack the Lizard and my last turn, which effectively, was everyone's last turn is worth a comment I think.  I had 7 good brigades and three Power 5 Druid wizards, and two Warlords.  He had like 16 brigades also several Elite, and a P3 and P2, I don't think a Warlord.  He was at the city which I intended to retake the following turn and thought he couldn't gain control of the region even if he took the city.

So, Tacticians of Alamaze, what would you issue for tactic and have your three P5's do?  You are sending a 10 brigade army to the city on the way for next turn. 

I reasoned even if he took the minor city in Mythgar, it wasn't enough to take the region - I almost had control.  I would keep my force of P5's there, reinforced with another Lord Commander and 10 brigades and hope for some northern kingdom cavalry to the rescue somewhere. 

I had the P3 cast Wall of Flame and the two P5's each kill the Lizard P3 and P2 for strategic reasons.  Well, this Wookie instant Teleported in the P7 we had heard about, and my group retreated before the Wall of Flame was cast.  I've made that mistake before.  So one of my P5's was now failing to kill a newly arrived P7, did off the P2, but the Lizard King took the city and his other nobles got enough usurpation to just take the region. 

Clever moves by Wookie, and good to get a clean kill as it were on T18.

My sources on the inside say the next revision for Maelstrom likely will have the Rex be control of 5 regions instead of 4, given we now have 13 regions instead of 10.  And previously mentioned are changes to better protect Stormgate including no land access and starting with a castle.  But Stormgate was always intended as a strategic focus and players in other games should note once it is controlled, that player must be addressed quickly, even if just a diversion.

Well played, Wookie of the Stars.  Congrats to Brek and Airetar for their podium.
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#7
(06-30-2019, 03:53 PM)The Gray Mouser Wrote: This game seemed well named as the champion Wookie he of the Lizard persuasion controlled it early and as far as I know uncontested thereafter. 

I think everyone knows my persona The Gray (Gray dammit, not Grey) Mouser has a Moses-like connection to Ry Vor.  I had the Druid in the Untamed Lands which in my limited actual playing experience seems powerful.  I like having either Druid or Warlock, both currently with Mammoth as companion starting with two of those brigades in a corner and in a region with a major city.  OOOH!  I actually thought around mid-game I might win this one.

Back to the beginning, the Tyrant was next door in Mythgar, with no major city.  The tactics book by Clausewitz says the Tyrant with no major city has to attack the Druid next door before he gets powerful and take that big city.  So, I read that chapter.  It played out, and I have to say I laid the table as good as I could.  One obvious thing is by about the crucial battle around turn 9 or so my army had 5 veteran Apes.  You might not think much of that, until they rip your throat out in the forest, as in where the major city in the Untamed Lands is.  I think my army by this time was invisible as well at 10 brigades.  Anyway, the Apes give (I hear this will change sometime soon) give +10% attack and defense in the forest, per brigade.  So we have that +50%.  And the Tyrant is battle magic susceptible, ouch with an Earthquake and Tornado, I think I stunned a Tyrant marshal as well, so that's -15% to his attack and defense.  Ah.  It was glorious from the Druid perspective, I think 13 Tyrant brigades eliminated.  The rest was mop up.  I don't think this terrain is a good matchup for the Tyrant against a suspicious Druid.

But, the Lizard King, who seemed to always have 16+ brigades seemed to be up to me to delay.  He gained the Untamed, while I took Mythgar away.  I saw he had some ungodly number of brigades, and as he surmised previously, due in part to the Tyrant pillaging as his main tactic my eco base was not so great, and additionally for the Lizardly One it was now easy to control The Untamed Lands. 

I couldn't quite get back on balance from whipping the Tyrant and reacting to the Scaly King in force.  I assumed, as many fallen kings do, that someone somewhere would attack the Lizard and my last turn, which effectively, was everyone's last turn is worth a comment I think.  I had 7 good brigades and three Power 5 Druid wizards, and two Warlords.  He had like 16 brigades also several Elite, and a P3 and P2, I don't think a Warlord.  He was at the city which I intended to retake the following turn and thought he couldn't gain control of the region even if he took the city.

So, Tacticians of Alamaze, what would you issue for tactic and have your three P5's do?  You are sending a 10 brigade army to the city on the way for next turn. 

I reasoned even if he took the minor city in Mythgar, it wasn't enough to take the region - I almost had control.  I would keep my force of P5's there, reinforced with another Lord Commander and 10 brigades and hope for some northern kingdom cavalry to the rescue somewhere. 

I had the P3 cast Wall of Flame and the two P5's each kill the Lizard P3 and P2 for strategic reasons.  Well, this Wookie instant Teleported in the P7 we had heard about, and my group retreated before the Wall of Flame was cast.  I've made that mistake before.  So one of my P5's was now failing to kill a newly arrived P7, did off the P2, but the Lizard King took the city and his other nobles got enough usurpation to just take the region. 

Clever moves by Wookie, and good to get a clean kill as it were on T18.

My sources on the inside say the next revision for Maelstrom likely will have the Rex be control of 5 regions instead of 4, given we now have 13 regions instead of 10.  And previously mentioned are changes to better protect Stormgate including no land access and starting with a castle.  But Stormgate was always intended as a strategic focus and players in other games should note once it is controlled, that player must be addressed quickly, even if just a diversion.

Well played, Wookie of the Stars.  Congrats to Brek and Airetar for their podium.

Nice write up Sir Mouser.  It's always fun to get to see things from the other perspective.  I figured I had to win that last battle and had to take several pc in Mythgar.  That was why I put my army group in Pellinor in intercept mode.  No matter which one you went for I had you covered and I sent Princes to the several and barons to the villages.  Between having the crystal and the Palantir looking at 4 pc every turn and having agents trailing your 2 army groups I was likely seeing the regions better than you were?  I only had 5 pols but managed to get them to the right spots several times.  Your moving your capital back to Mythgar prevented my taking another pc  with a prince.
In our final battle I did have 2 warlords and a marshal and the sword of narsil so over 90k verses a pc.  I was betting you would throw up a wall of fire so I had to pick option 3 to stay in the fight and have a chance at taking the minor city back.  I had the regeneration order going for the lizard troops and finished with all of them with very little damage.  Self healing is just one more reason to take LI, as if we needed another!  
I kind of feel bad taking the fight to the most peaceful character in the game but the path was obvious.  Thanks for the good fight.
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#8
My Avatar The Gray Mouser plays because it is fun, but also to be sure to be in touch with how things are going, especially in new releases, or if trying to verify a supposition in the current model.  I don't want that taken the wrong way, I'm not saying The Gray Mouser is a great player, just explaining to some that might think, is it fair for him to play?  As Wookie said, I generally don't attack a whole lot, mainly just testing balance and whether (for example) in Maelstrom mage kingdoms are too strong or too weak.  Generally I find my design shortcomings by getting the short end of the stick in them in actual play.  I am not that devious, so I usually have to have the insidious exploits "explained" to me first hand from the sharp end of the stick.  So for those that go way back to 1st and 2nd Cycle, we don't have armies drowning anymore, or teleporting invisible army groups that are undetectable.  In this game, it made me make a note that the Ape special ability is too strong, and that I want to review all Companion abilities and generally make them less powerful as single brigades, but that the special abilities are useful.  So Hill Giants in the future might not be the strongest brigade because there are not a 1000 hill giants, but that they will make the whole army Stalwart, rather than a percentage of the army, that kind of thing.

Always trying to make Alamaze better, though we like to think its a high bar.  And I want to make a simpler, less daunting game to approach, but Alamaze always gets a bit more sophisticated as we add stuff and don't really subtract anything.

Mike has said sometime in the Summer he wants to get back to Alamaze, and we are in Summer now, so I want to organize stuff for the next evolution.
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#9
Congratulations to Wookie! Well Played. I am only sad as it was starting getting interesting down in my area. From the draft when Son of Conan chose the Atlantians in the same sea as my Pirates I knew it was going to be a fight. I drew first blood by taking a town in the Sword Coast but on the Sorrows. When The Atlantians took it back I kidnapped his Princess.

Then the Red Dragon came down into The Sword Coast. Not wanting to get caught on land I continued to go after that town which switched hands between myself and the Atlantians a half a dozen times. I concentrated on raising my mages and my agents and literally kidnapped or assassinated as many Atlantian and Red Dragon Emms as I could find.

After the red Dragon was pushed out of Zanthia by the Amazons and the Amazons can down into the Sword Coast I just replaced the Red Dragons with the Amazons and went to kidnapping. I also had an army of teleporting rock golems I was just finishing up summoning that I was going to use to teleport and take AT and Am towns. ut then suddenly it was all over. :-( A ton of fun though.
Live your life, so that when your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes, they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.

Sing Your Death Song And Die Like A Warrior Going Home.
Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief
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