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5302 MayDay Goes to Amazon
This game has ended on Turn 17. Here are the final standings:
          1     AM     Vball Michael             28,355      33,334
          2     CI     Diamond Cutter            16,204      19,999
          3     UN     DuPont                    16,302      19,874
          4     AT     The Painted Man           15,348      19,495
          5     RD     Ashgar                    11,190      14,015
          6     IL     Strylian                   9,192      11,738
          7     BL     Son of Conan               7,600      10,237
          8     AN     Brek                       6,992       9,185
          9     DW     Canticar                   4,400       6,725
Great job by Vball for hanging on despite half the other players moving to try and prevent it. I honestly thought he'd been stopped, but it seems he still had enough gas in the tank to pull across the line. I will admit to being disappointed; I was having a lot of fun in this game. With a large region, I was never short of cash and always had enough to do whatever I wanted. There were three towns and two villages in The Tempest, which gave me a safe area in case of military attack and as one of them was at NN, I was also able to use it to support a fleet in the Waves of Azure in addition to one in the Sea of the Forgotten thanks to a deal with the IL and a starting town on the shore. I did face an early attack from the DW, who did not seem to want peace, but he spent most of his time sieging Imril, only to have to turn around when the RD jumped him from being and I took it back one turn later. Thanks to finding the twins and using my ESO, I had a total of 10 wizards, so I was working on becoming a magical power as well as a covert one. I did not plan to attack anybody, but when the call to arms to stop the AM came, I figured I should at least try for Stormgate. I took the village with an invisible group and moved people into the city, here the AN was also. I thought the AM only had a castle, but it turned out to be a Greater Castle, so there would be no flipping the city that way. I was also keeping an eye on the CI as I could hardly blame him if he sought to expand westward. Alas, all speculation as the game is over. Contrats again to Vball and also to Diamond Cutter who built the CI into a powerhouse.
Wow, 500 points between 2nd and 4th.  Condolences to The Painted Man. 

Congratulations to the seldom seen Diamond Cutter, netting a silver with the Cimmerians.  I knew they could do it.
Painted man gets to keep his chivalry
(07-29-2019, 03:07 PM)Draugr Wrote: Painted man gets to keep his chivalry

I'm an amazingly chivalrous person, sir. And totally forgot a couple of orders that would have taken me into 3rd. Not intentional, but definitely amusing in the grand scheme.
Nice going guys.  VBall I think this is a new record for quickest win?  Uncle Mike had an 18 turn win as I recall.
Congrats to VBall. I was having fun with this game and hated to see it end so soon. I literally fought no one in this game. I did send an invisible army to Nyvaria but didn’t attack anything because I thought six on one was a bit much. Silly me. Although I did chastise the Amazons from my seat far away on the High Counsel. Apparently it was not enough.
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
Ok, here is my write-up and I will use spaces and punctuation. Not sure why I did the weird all-one-word thing but it just seemed like fast-talking women might be funny. It was for a moment, but then it got more irritating to me (a former lawyer and english teacher) than it did to all of you folks. And yes, I am also a former accountant. All retired now. Anyway, folks have asked how it happened so fast, so here are the lessons.

Lesson 1:  How to Take Stormgate
Stormgate is huge. Great production, not a negative food, and the village makes like 20,000 food. Plus, with some research, DuPont and I found that 50% of the Maelstrom winners took and held Stormgate to help them develop and win. Though I didn't know that, I did have a feeling that there was a correlation between taking Stormgate and winning. So, I picked Nyvaria (one of the three regions closest) and took a strong military.
I was a little surprised when I got the Amazon set-up, that my total troop value would be about 21,300 if I put them all together and at least 1 brigade was not close. I figured Stormgate would be about 30,000 so I had to improve my army quickly. I was fortunate to get my capital in the water; thus I had 5 ships. The two artifacts I learned about were strong but too far away.
On turn 1, I recruited 2 paladins and 2 zamorans and used my kingdom specs to add a green AM brigade and promote an AM to veteran and took Renowned Standard (Power 2 Valor effect) and Stallions (+5% morale). Groups 1 and 2 moved toward Stormgate. I was willing to be a little slow taking Nyvaria since my plan was to have 2 regions quickly. On turn 2, I trained the paladins and recruited 2 nyvarians and had my first two groups cross the water with 5 ships and combine troops once there. My value was 60k in terrain and only 38k vs PC (just enough to siege the 30k defense at Stormgate). Also was able to get my best leaders into the main group.
Then I sieged on turns 3, 4 and 5 so I took that region on turn 5 and moved my army to the Stormgate village. I won't bore you on the homefront, but I was also able to take over Nyvaria on turn 5. 

Lesson 2: Keep the Momentum Going
If you have 2 regions on turn 5, you are going to be a target, so keep moving. I chose the Ranger for two reasons. One, he irritated me by contesting me for Stormgate. Two, there is a nice land-bridge to Pellinor so I did not have to risk all of my troops crossing the waters again. I had wiped a small RA group at Stormgate (including some nice leaders) and was already busy with patrols scouring his territory. So happy I got to take Dusi Harbor at NR on turn 6 and I started a slow invasion of Pellinor. I did not want it too quickly, as 3 regions would definitely make a target. I have found that adding Stormgate does not necessarily draw enemies to you, but a 3rd region surely would. I spent the next few turns building titles, raising agents, and slowly contesting the RA for Pellinor. In the meantime, I used my priestess to find all PCs in tightly controlled regions by that kingdom (so 1 order gets you the hidden city, all towns and all villages - might miss one if the owner has missed one). This gives intel for the entire game on how those PCs change hands. And I knew I would need a 4th region quickly once I took a 3rd. By this time, I had added some nice Veteran Stormgate Guards to my 1AM and I headed south into Pellinor as I had found all PCs. Turn 12 was the crucial turn where I had taken much of the region but then met the RA army group at his capital. His 12 brigades were no match for my 21 brigades, many of which were Veteran. I wiped his group, including a Warlord, Marshal, Commander, 2 Power 2's, and all 12 brigades. I took 33% damage and then took another 21% loss from taking his capital, but it was oh so worth it and fun. I also retrieved my missing Princes with that attack. I did take Pellinor with that move but kept missing my ESO (first I lost a couple of princes then a couple of agents), but eventually got it on turn 13. I immediately headed south since Mythgar was the most in-range target so I could finish the game by turn 15.

Lesson 3:  Assess, Reassess and Have a Plan B
I had spent some time watching the ebb and flow of ownership of PCs in numerous regions and occasionally peeked in on some. Mythgar appeared my best target, with the BL mostly engaged in Untamed with the LI. But, knowing battle plans only exist until one meets the enemy, I made some back-up plans. I hired a crapload of governors and positioned them to invade Untamed and some to invade Diamond Coast if needed. Thank goodness, because when Turn 13 ran, it was communication time. The very loud Atlantians raised the war banner and 6 kingdoms responded. In fairness, some responded with a squeak, but it was still a lot to defend. The AT and the BL kept me from winning on turn 15, and other kingdoms did enough to make me focus some defense up north. For instance, I built a Major Castle in Stormgate on turn 15, the very turn enemy emissaries moved in. I built some other castles at key locations and kept my governors in some PCs ready to defend or rush into Diamond or Untamed. As it turns out, Mythgar was double defended by the AT and the BL as I found out when 6 of my emissaries were slept, and that was more sleeping than the BL could do alone. So, I pivoted and flooded Untamed Lands just as the BL brought much of his power back to Mythgar.

Lesson 4:  You Will Make Mistakes
I made several. For instance, did you notice how many different troops I recruited? That was fun, but when some got promoted and then some of those got promoted, I suddenly learned that you can lose promotion to Elite if you don't have an available slot. I had to quicky send off some troops to other groups to avoid that going forward. I also was strapped for orders, so sometimes I would land somewhere and not have the overwhelming military vs PC that I hoped for. Also, I failed my ESO three times because I put my princes and agents in danger too early while I still needed them for the ESO. Attention to all of these little details is just huge. 
Other kingdoms learned lessons also. For instance, no kingdom ever declared me an enemy prior to turn 15. Nobody had invaded Pellinor, Nyvaria or Stormgate prior to the AT raising the war flag on turn 13, meaning no real attacks on me until turn 15. Also, I believe 3 kingdoms sent multiple emissaries to Stormgate even though it had a Major Castle. At one point, the RA tried to Diplomacize one of my towns. When I ran the numbers, it did not look like a successful maneuver. Use those Excel tools that are floating around.

Lesson 5:  Whining Can Help
In a game with Forum chatter every 3 turns, the AT call to arms was huge and did delay my win from turn 15 to turn 17. Also, my letting folks know that I had 6 opponents and was clearly stopped may have dissuaded some of those opponents from doing things the next turn when I really was not stopped and was declaring the win. Never trust an Amazon, but in fairness, all of what I said was true as there were 6 enemies who each took some sort of action against me in turns 14 through 17. 

In conclusion, I had a great time and really enjoyed the Forum banter every 3 turns even though my own banter became quite annoying. I was a little sad that nobody offered to publish my amazing Amazonian poetry, but who can account for taste? And to answer the other question, yes, this was the fastest win by 1 turn over UM's crushing 18-turn win, but it should have been over in 15 if people would just be quiet (points to AT).

Congrats to all on a great game, and especially to the AT for saving the win (at least for a bit), and to the CI and UN for their podium appearances.
Excellent Write Up Vball. Thank you for sharing your experience. I feel as if I am always making some mistakes and knowing that even experienced players do from time to time.

Congrats again on a great win.
Ashgar the Bloodthirsty. 

My blood, your blood, what difference does it make!  

Time will tell.................
"I was also keeping an eye on the CI as I could hardly blame him if he sought to expand westward."

I was likely going to attack the Crown Islands next. I would've been one turn too late if I attacked Nyvaria just to keep the game going but contemplated doing it early on. Diamond Coast was fairly impregnable but my other Region was vulnerable.

Good Game everyone.
Great write-up, Vball, and good game to all. This was definitely a learning experience on my side as I wanted to test what economics could do for a kingdom and how to maximize that. As we went through the draft, AT seemed a good blend to do that. My goal was to make an awesome capital so that, in theory, I was pretty insulated in the case of an invasion. Standing orders off the bat to increase food and gold production (which also gives a nice census bump) and wizards casting fertile fields and hidden ore kept my production on the climb. Just as I was getting set to expand, AN provided me with a chance to test my defense by invading me. He knocked me out of control but, courtesy of increased census, it was only a one turn issue. Between military and agents I captured the bulk of what he had sent into the region. The rest he was willing to pull back out. The real pain of it was that I was itching to invade Mythgar. Like really itching. The turn he invaded I had enamored up to friendly and had most of my emissaries at my capital set to jump on over. Unfortunately, I had to scrap that temporarily and beat him back out. At that point I was faced with the decision of chasing him back into his region and having a protracted war against AN or suing for peace and having a (somewhat) more secure border as I didn't see him trying again. I chose the latter and was once again preparing to invade Mythgar when my preparatory recons showed entirely too many AM emissaries in the region (and knowing he already had 3 regions). So, I got to turn invasion into defense and learned a few things. First, double-taxing pop centers as you are being attacked doesn't seem too useful. I watched BL do that a bunch in both regions he was defending and all it seemed to do was kick emissaries back to his capital. Second, the beauty of early standing orders for production. By the end of the game, I could hold my 'home region' with just my starting capital and the city. While neither were proof against a major military attack, it did give me some added security. Finally, I got to learn frustration in the form of watching people say "hey, this guy is about to potentially win, but he's being attacked by a lot of people so I'll be nice". The silent periods were awful. I'm far from a 'win at all costs' player at this point (some would argue that's how I used to play), but it amazed me that chivalry stood stronger than a desire to keep the game going.

VBall played the game nearly perfectly from what I could tell (despite his claims at mistakes) and definitely deserved the win. For all my grumbling, BL did a lot when stretched thin and I feel deserves acknowledgment for that. I did not get to experience much of the rest of the board - another mistake for staying far too secure in my region - other than some comical back and forth with Strylian and DuPont.

Kudos to all for a well-played game. May you all attack the next person in your game when (s)he gets to three regions.

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