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Kingdom Specific Strategy
Sorry this took so long, is the Alamaze credit still available?

The Elves go nowhere fast.  (fixed, sorry)

One of the things I enjoy most about Alamaze is the variety of kingdom choice, but it does seem like some are more successful than others. Having now seen the result of dozens of completed Maelstrom games, its clear that one of the least successful is the Elf. The best Elf showing in Maelstrom to date was a 4th place finish with 46,000 status (yes, it was me, that's why I'm writing about elves).  So, lets take a look.

Covert: The Elves start with a level 6 agent, and an extra level 3, but are limited in their maximum level to 11 (14 with successful missions). Their agents are 10% less likely to be caught during missions and their starting agent train costs are reduced to 4000 (-20%).  These abilities place them above average in covert capability.

Political: Elves have the base (lowest) political core which is boosted by a couple of nice abilities.  They can buy a seat at the council at a reduced price, and start with +2 influence. They also usurp control and maintain the status quo of PCs at an increased ability (+15). Overall this leads to an above average political capacity, particularly early on in the game when orders are in short supply.

Group abilities: The elf troops are powerful, their reinforcement schedule is decent, and their food and gold consumption is minimal. Versus PCs, the Elf is second only to the Red Dragon for damage output. And while they rank only fifth in strength versus other groups, you would not want to battle them with equal number in the woods for they outweigh even the mighty Reds in terms of damage output with +30% and the archers trait (defense is still an issue, you might decide to choose RD in that scenario). Healing and archers contribute to this formidable army. But, lacking any of the military type traits like military tradition, heroic, stalwart or even adventurers, the Elf troops and their leaders require much training. The elven companions are very limited as well, requiring PC recruitment for large groups. Elves move very quickly and evade in the forest, however, a useful talent for small groups of untrained elves. Overall, I rate their military capacity above average, perhaps good.
Wizard cost and spells: The cost of raising Elf wizards is only 1000 more than the wizard kingdoms, and equal to the necromancer at 8000 gold. This might lead some to incorrectly label them a wizard kingdom. However, the Elf lacks some very important spells inherent in the magic power of a wizard kingdom. They are completely without the capacity to summon undead, an important addition to any good wizard army due to their fear factor. Their acquisition of hidden ore and fertile fields is on par with non-magical kingdoms, as are teleport and invisible groups. While the late-game-changers are not completely out of their range (crack the sky and summon demon both at 8) other important spells such as summon death (7), dome of invulnerability (6) and meteor strike (6) lie near or at the maximum of their normal capacity. The one strength of the Elven wizard arsenal is bounty, which they acquire at level 5, matched only by the wizard kingdoms.  Even without the powerful wizard spells, however, low cost wizards with a decent spell book always give good flexibility.  Their magic capability is top quartile for certain (well, almost).

So, how do you play the elves? You can probably go toe to toe with your particular games most powerful groups (right painted?) but I don't recommend focusing all your effort on building a massive group. Other kingdoms will do it faster, cheaper and easier, leaving you in fourth place. Hence, my recommendation by the title of this blerb... The Elves go nowhere fast... I suspect the reason the Elves have done so poorly of late is that they need time to build almost as much as the wizard kingdoms need time, maybe even more. Time to raise wizards, train troops and leaders and flesh out a decent political core. Sometimes you have time, sometimes you don't. The biggest problem with the Elves, especially for new players, is that none of their assets is so great that you can focus on it to the exclusion of all else.  Wizard kingdoms can do nothing but raise wizards for 20 turns and have a shot at the title, military kingdoms can do the same with groups.  The DE can do well without a single group or even a wizard.  And while you definitely diminish your chances by focusing too hard on one thing, this is especially true with the elves, they need all the clubs in the bag.

In my Elf game I focused hard on building a powerful military. I suspect it was the strongest in the game, I built it for 20 plus turns and it did take down what was likely the other most powerful military, but it was unable to finish the job. After a few battles against formidable wizards in massive groups it was left decimated while the army it defeated grew back in a matter of half a dozen turns. Building the most powerful Elf military takes an amount of game time that allows others to raise max-level wizards and crush you with summon death, demonic visions, and the like. Too much time.

In my next Elf game, I will attempt a more balanced strategy focused on a mid to late game incursion, this will require building status without conquest to stay near the top, in the event a first place finish is not possible. Tactically, I suspect that with their massive value vs PC and healing the Elf troops would make excellent guerrilla warriors. With low-cost wizards and bounty, they can afford to sit and build a while, if left alone.  Sometimes it is good to be attacked early, however.  Based on my experience, no one begrudges you (ie. targets you as a threat) taking your neighbors region as long as they were the ones who attacked you first.  It is a good way to stay in the top half of status to take the region of and eliminate your attacker without expanding further than the second region.
If you see any other errors, please let me know.  I corrected a few.
(08-10-2020, 06:47 PM)Senior Tactician Wrote: If you see any other errors, please let me know.  I corrected a few.

Good effort, appreciated. 

Yes, the Elves, Dark Elves, Rangers, and others are considered "balanced" kingdoms.  So a ruler there should not necessarily try to focus on one dimension, rather not be weak anywhere, and they are well suited as such to adjust to the situation at hand.
Nice write up!
(08-11-2020, 04:59 PM)Pine Needle Wrote: Nice write up!

Thanks man, really bored, if we don't get a game going soon I'll have to do another one Smile
It seems to me the one disadvantage the Elves have in Maelstrom is the lack of an Oakendell. There are no regions that are mostly trees, so they've got no way to shelter and grow.

I was worried about Pellinor as a region, being weak and in the middle to begin a game is not ideal.
I took only things for customization that would help UN: agent, wizard, palantir.
I took advantage of The extra 10k council bid, and jumped in. Figured I would have gold with the agents training.
I know some people like to raise the agent costs, but I wanted the gold, so I dropped them. With merchants in the Sea and people loving to train cheap agents, by the time I took Pellinor, I was making over 125,000 gold per turn (On turn five!). Got bounty rolling just as summer set in, and when spring sprang, the food should have been plentiful. However, bounty fizzled, alot. I kept one wizard at it tho.
Soon looked like the Dwarf, who had just crushed the Warlock, and had grabbed Stormgate, was on his way to a quick victory. So I figured someone had to stop him, and I assassinated his leader at STormgate. I learned a huge lesson this turn. The value of counter espionage. i lost two level 16+ agents, and I was shocked. I had to rethink the strategy of using agents. Back to training more...
Around T10, I had plenty of agents, had kept my troops busy with artifact finding, had located the Darkelf cap in Nyvaria and Gnome cap in Untamed so I could track them, and wizards were cranking.
I was reconning the two caps, Stormgate, and any other close pops each turn that I was looking to take over. Influence was at 20, and I was bestowing titles left and right. I did not, at that point, realize how much of a military power the UN could be. I started in on Mythgar to contain the Dwarf at some point soon after, but he defended with a nice sized army and by making great castles, which he soon began turning into legendary. All of my princes were useless after. As I was recruiting lots of Zamorans, he was raising defenses. It was here that wizards really helped my cause. Wind storm combined with valor and fear, and I was able to take the great castles. Enough recruiting, and a wizard high enough to cast crack the sky, and I was able to take the legendary ones.
Mythgar was mine, but only because the AN had maintained a great deal of continuous pressure on the DW the entire time.
Slight backtrack, I had never removed the one wizard from bounty, and finally it had paid off. I believe it failed seven times before turn 20. I had been building Pellinor defenses up as much as possible, and had watch towers on the entire region. When the DW moved emissaries in, I early kidnapped them.
How I won: I was very fortunate that the Gnome attacked into Nyvaria. As that battle drug out, it left Untamed wide open for a blitz attack. I saw the GN armies in Nyvaria, and hit Untamed.
I knew heading towards turn 40 that I could win with lions share, but wanted Stormgate and the Rex. Think I teleported to Stormgate to find Draugr and IL both there. Or maybe IL, it has been a few months. One minor miscalculation by the IL was my last stoke of luck. He had my army dead to rights, but it escaped destruction and took the village instead. Back to the city on T40, battle with weakened IL after my agents took his wizards, and the lions share victory.
Loved taking agent related customization.
Loved the seemingly limitless amounts of gold.
Don’t underestimate the wizards, they are crucial to the end game.
Level 21 agents can still be killed, they are not indestructible.
A kingdom against you with no agents is a kingdom defenseless.
Bounty rules.
Strategy is great, but there is still a crap ton of luck to winning a game.
Nice write up Uncle.  I think this was the game where we cut a deal early on and I did 2 early bounty's for you?  You played it very well.
Actually that was me there protecting Stormgate with the DA.  Nice write-up though.  I'm playing the underworld now, for the first time, in a confederation game against an interesting array of characters.  I am wrestling with the raise/lower tactic myself.  Only two other kingdoms in my game have decent agent capability, so lowering the cost would benefit me much more than them as a whole, but I suspect raising it would be more likely to make enemies vulnerable.  I guess it also depends on how long this kind of game lasts, which I am also not sure.
(08-14-2020, 06:58 AM)Wookie Panz Wrote: Nice write up Uncle.  I think this was the game where we cut a deal early on and I did 2 early bounty's for you?  You played it very well.

It was Wookie, and those helped alot.  
BTW Ry Vor dont worry about game credit, you work hard enough for us all as is.

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