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5342 Fall Unto Steel
#1
Ok, I won in game 33 and think I was very lucky. I learned a lot, made a bunch of mistakes, but think I got some new player deference and was able to pull it off late. I think NE was about to make a move.

I started off very slow. I played more than 20 years ago in the snail mail era, and knew I needed to take my region, but didn't really think about mountains being explorable with eagles and plains with groups. I think everyone got their region before me, and maybe this was some new player hands off stuff, as no one attacked me.

I did find a bunch of artifacts, the bonus level 2 wizard, 2 weapons, crystal of seeing and staff of denigration. All of these were important to my later strength and giving me a warlord maybe just after the Ranger.

I traded my sea town in Sword Coast to the Gnome for the Pirate village in my region. (3 way trade.) Yeah- newb mistake. That town would later be my last step to victory.

So I got my region, and started casting bounty, just because someone said it was so valuable. I negotiated with the HA for three bounty spells in Untamed Lands, which allowed me to send a group there and recruit at half cost. HA had Stormgate and an early lead, so seemed flush with gold. I thought he'd become a target, and did, mixing it up for the rest of the game with the Ranger. That gold gave me a chance to get my ISO with a 7th level wizard.

The DW dropped early, causing a vacuum that both the HA and Ranger tried to fill, and right about then- turn 9 or so, the PI dropped based on a dispute about a trade, so I looked to Zamora to fill that vacuum.

PI had built up Python Cove very nicely, so I combined groups and attacked a Gnome town in Zamora, then moved on that city. 

Another mistake I made was moving my capital several times in the first 10 turns. From when I played so long ago, I remember this was important, but secret passages didn't exist them. That would have been more cost effective.

By this time, I got my ISO and had a big arm group with forged weapons and armor. I was paying them so much I thought I needed to use them soon and often. I moved on the minor city in Sword Coast which I thought was owned by the Gnome, but the UN owned it, and I quickly retreated.

I knew that the IL and NO were fighting, so I thought I could teleport up there and beat both those weakened kingdoms for the win. I took Bronze Canyon easily, and destroyed a NO army with negligible losses, the located the towns and villages in Diamond Coast. I moved my capital to that city, then groups to Sword Coast. At this point... BAM!!!!!

The Illusionist slept and assassinated 5+ of my emis and agents on turn 22. I totally didn't see it coming. At this point, I totally got lucky and found the IL capital ( he destroyed a small group that found it.) So for the rest of the game I thought about teleporting there and trying to take it (70k+ gold, hidden. Very nice town). But I didn't know if it would be worth it, and certainly wouldn't help me win if I did take it with heavy losses.

About this time, the AN moved on my two regions politically and took it all. The only reason I survived was the great PI city of Python Cove and my remote holdings in Diamond Coast (which the IL were taking, one by one, but since he only had spectres and phantoms, took a couple of turns to knock down each castle). I think I was at war with everyone now as I attacked the HA and took Stormgate as a safer capital (legendary castle easily fell to my monster group).

So now in the mid 20s the bleeding was stopped with the IL, my capital was safe in Stormgate, and I was able to counterattack the AN- one big move was catching 3 10+ agents in a village  I raised, then killed all three. I got a couple of counts, too. So he took my PCs, but I didn't lost anything but the income, and was able to start taking it back. The staff of denigration allowed me 2 enamor/denigrates so I wasn't totally outdone by those counsels.

Finally, he seemed to call off the dogs and I was able to retake Mythgar. Everything was gone in Diamond Coast, but I eschewed attacking the IL capital hoping the IL and the NE would fight. Around 29 I saw a path to victory by taking that great Gnome sea town in Sword Coast (that I traded in turn 1).

I was friendly there (from my first move blocked by the UN), so sent a bunch of hidden emis to Zamora and Sword on 32, and 33, then 3 armies to Sword on 33. Attacked, usurped, tried to make sure my math was good, and hoped the NE wouldn't go for Stormgate on 32 or 33.

On 34 I got the turn back and the whole fleet attacking the Gnome died, 12 brigades, 2 warlords, my level 7. At least the artifacts got sent home.

I was in a bad place, too, because all that fighting meant my wizards (only one level 7 who just died) were way behind by now. Had the result stood, I would have hunkered down at Stormgate or Python Cove and hoped to get to 40.

But that didn't happen. Really lucky the PI dropped.

That was a lot of fun. (Some of the turn #s up there might be slightly off.)

Good game, and it was fun to participate on the board, too. Operation Rangerspank lol. Nice emi names, too, HA King.
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#2
(12-21-2019, 10:34 PM)Pine Needle Wrote: Ok, I won in game 33 and think I was very lucky. I learned a lot, made a bunch of mistakes, but think I got some new player deference and was able to pull it off late. I think NE was about to make a move.

I started off very slow. I played more than 20 years ago in the snail mail era, and knew I needed to take my region, but didn't really think about mountains being explorable with eagles and plains with groups. I think everyone got their region before me, and maybe this was some new player hands off stuff, as no one attacked me.

I did find a bunch of artifacts, the bonus level 2 wizard, 2 weapons, crystal of seeing and staff of denigration. All of these were important to my later strength and giving me a warlord maybe just after the Ranger.

I traded my sea town in Sword Coast to the Gnome for the Pirate village in my region. (3 way trade.) Yeah- newb mistake. That town would later be my last step to victory.

So I got my region, and started casting bounty, just because someone said it was so valuable. I negotiated with the HA for three bounty spells in Untamed Lands, which allowed me to send a group there and recruit at half cost. HA had Stormgate and an early lead, so seemed flush with gold. I thought he'd become a target, and did, mixing it up for the rest of the game with the Ranger. That gold gave me a chance to get my ISO with a 7th level wizard.

The DW dropped early, causing a vacuum that both the HA and Ranger tried to fill, and right about then- turn 9 or so, the PI dropped based on a dispute about a trade, so I looked to Zamora to fill that vacuum.

PI had built up Python Cove very nicely, so I combined groups and attacked a Gnome town in Zamora, then moved on that city. 

Another mistake I made was moving my capital several times in the first 10 turns. From when I played so long ago, I remember this was important, but secret passages didn't exist them. That would have been more cost effective.

By this time, I got my ISO and had a big arm group with forged weapons and armor. I was paying them so much I thought I needed to use them soon and often. I moved on the minor city in Sword Coast which I thought was owned by the Gnome, but the UN owned it, and I quickly retreated.

I knew that the IL and NO were fighting, so I thought I could teleport up there and beat both those weakened kingdoms for the win. I took Bronze Canyon easily, and destroyed a NO army with negligible losses, the located the towns and villages in Diamond Coast. I moved my capital to that city, then groups to Sword Coast. At this point... BAM!!!!!

The Illusionist slept and assassinated 5+ of my emis and agents on turn 22. I totally didn't see it coming. At this point, I totally got lucky and found the IL capital ( he destroyed a small group that found it.) So for the rest of the game I thought about teleporting there and trying to take it (70k+ gold, hidden. Very nice town). But I didn't know if it would be worth it, and certainly wouldn't help me win if I did take it with heavy losses.

About this time, the AN moved on my two regions politically and took it all. The only reason I survived was the great PI city of Python Cove and my remote holdings in Diamond Coast (which the IL were taking, one by one, but since he only had spectres and phantoms, took a couple of turns to knock down each castle). I think I was at war with everyone now as I attacked the HA and took Stormgate as a safer capital (legendary castle easily fell to my monster group).

So now in the mid 20s the bleeding was stopped with the IL, my capital was safe in Stormgate, and I was able to counterattack the AN- one big move was catching 3 10+ agents in a village  I raised, then killed all three. I got a couple of counts, too. So he took my PCs, but I didn't lost anything but the income, and was able to start taking it back. The staff of denigration allowed me 2 enamor/denigrates so I wasn't totally outdone by those counsels.

Finally, he seemed to call off the dogs and I was able to retake Mythgar. Everything was gone in Diamond Coast, but I eschewed attacking the IL capital hoping the IL and the NE would fight. Around 29 I saw a path to victory by taking that great Gnome sea town in Sword Coast (that I traded in turn 1).

I was friendly there (from my first move blocked by the UN), so sent a bunch of hidden emis to Zamora and Sword on 32, and 33, then 3 armies to Sword on 33. Attacked, usurped, tried to make sure my math was good, and hoped the NE wouldn't go for Stormgate on 32 or 33.

On 34 I got the turn back and the whole fleet attacking the Gnome died, 12 brigades, 2 warlords, my level 7. At least the artifacts got sent home.

I was in a bad place, too, because all that fighting meant my wizards (only one level 7 who just died) were way behind by now. Had the result stood, I would have hunkered down at Stormgate or Python Cove and hoped to get to 40.

But that didn't happen. Really lucky the PI dropped.

That was a lot of fun. (Some of the turn #s up there might be slightly off.)

Good game, and it was fun to participate on the board, too. Operation Rangerspank lol. Nice emi names, too, HA King.

Very nice write up.  Well done.
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#3
Congrats Pine Needle on a See Saw Battle. As the Ranger, I had a plan from turn 1. I intended to take my region (Triumvia) and then move to the south east corner so I could move on Stormgate without ever showing up in someone else's region. Plans are a good thing. Sometimes they actually go as planned. This was not one of those times. The Dwarf Lord had a town in my region. It was on the Water. He refused to vacate it and was building up fleets in the sea. I knew he intended to hit me early by his actions. I used a couple of turns to build up 12 fleets and then landed my army there. Luck and Fortune were with me as he had a force there and had just moved his capital there on that turn. I took the town with no losses, captured his King, and a few others.

I didn't want to go to war with the Dwarf so I tried to offer his region to a few Kingdoms. The HA I thought would take me up on the offer, but he refused. That was because he moved on Stormgate. Instead of going to war with the HA over Stormgate, I decided to finish off the Dwarf by myself. I moved Emmi's and my Army and took the region in 2 turns. While cleaning up the last few PC's for Tight Control, I notice the HA had taken one village and he had moved a Division to a town in order to take it as well, but one of my Armies landed on that town on the same turn. I was left with no choice but to attack his division as punishment. He refused to put the work in to finish off the Dwarf, and then he took Stormgate which was my target. After forcing me to finish off the Dwarf on my own, he tried to still go after some PC's as freebies and I couldn't let that stand. This sort of seal my fate and that of the HA. He was in a better position, and he seemed to be a step ahead of me often.

I knew I could not win, but I was determined to not let the HA win. I tried to move on his region, but he had turned his towns into Legendary castles and the Army I had sent was not strong enough for that. He took all my towns on the water in Triumvia and again made them greater castles so I couldn't touch them politically. For the rest of the game we traded PC's in Triumvia and Zanthia. Politically he did far better than I, but Militarily, he couldn't match me. One of the favorite moments was when I took the Zanthian City back from him when it had a defense of 245K. I don't think he believed I was that strong militarily. He now knew I could take all the towns and cities and he wouldn't be able to take them back. The problem was that we were at turn 31 and I wouldn't have time to do more than take back my two regions.

Alas, the WA won the game on turn 33. The HA would have been the victor, but I feel some small amount of Pride in preventing his victory. The Painted Man (HA) was a fierce and skilled oppenent, and he taught me so much. I truly enjoyed this game and look forward to many others.

I wanted so badly to use your agents and weaken the HA, but I couldn't. First it was pride, then it was a lack of Gold, and lastly, I rarely new his Emissary names and locations. I was playing catch up and using what agents I had defensively.

A good game by all and so much fun.

Ashgar, Lord of the Pub Crawl (Rangers)
Ashgar the Bloodthirsty. 

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

Time will tell.................
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#4
I think everyone was surprised to hear/see a HA army group on Stormgate on Turn 5(?) AND telling the AN to gtfo.
El Painted Mano: “Roar!”
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#5
Roar, I say. Roar.
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#6
You mean,
Baaaa baaaaa..
lol
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#7
From the desk of the unconquerable Halfling:

Some very mixed feelings about this game. Definitely had some miscues and learned some fun lessons at the end, but overall this was a fun game and an enjoyable character/kingdom to play.

I started two games at virtually the same time - both as Halfling because I have a bit of an obsession (though not as bad as Strylian with the DW) - and was determined to play them differently because playing multiple games the same way just gets boring. So for this one, coming out of the Untamed Lands I was determined to play a more warlike Halfling. Spoiler alert: This is only marginally effective.

I started well, getting the region early and setting standing orders to crank production in the two hidden villages. One was in Nyvaria, so I got lucky with some off-season production. I moved my group out to do some companion recruiting as soon as I could and then moved our stubby legs towards Stormgate, only to find the pesky AN in the way. He postured, I postured, and in the end he conceded the city/region and my troops were able to take it. I wasn't aware that the duplicitous Ranger was eyeing it at the same time, but now I'm even happier to throw a "neener neener" his way about it. Around now I had to hire out and see if anyone would be willing to do a bounty spell or four on my behalf (for a price). WA was able to do it at an astronomical price, but pinching those pennies for a few turns paid dividends as doubling food production in my hidden village in the region paved the way to castles down the road. Ry Vor, if you're reading this.... why on earth does it take a Halfing Power-8 to cast bounty? That was a shock when I finally sorted it out.

So... I "built up" my group, trying to sort out where to head next. The Ranger was offering free pop centers in Zanthia, so I figured I'd make a stop or two in there while sorting out my battle plan. Turns out he wasn't really serious about it, because when we met up at some meaningless town in the region, he took it as an excuse to attack and then tried to be extra sneaky and get my wizards too. Well, remember how I was looking for the "next big thing"? Found it, and it wore tights. So, took my big group and decided to do a tour of Zanthia and Triumvia, all expenses paid by the townspeople my troops were killing. Several turns later (and a couple poorly executed retreat orders by my troops vs. his), Mr. Ranger figured out that I had built up Untamed and had managed to lead his big group all the way to the wrong side of Triumvia while my emissaries did their thing in Zanthia and Triumvia. Unfortunately, during this time a call to arms had gone out and I had more attention than I wanted. The Warlock showed up with a very impressive group at both Stormgate and Cornucopia (my capital) and freed both from tyranical Halfling rule. The Warlock group took Stormgate (somewhere around 225k defense) with 10% losses. That was my signal that I would require luck (that I didn't get) to take the gold in this one. The Ancient Ones fought what turned out to be a delaying tactic against the Warlock which he ultimately was able to deal with.

The last few turns were once again me leading the Ranger troops around, sacking his capital (only to have him re-sack it), and watching him bounce off of my village on the last turn. That made up for a lot of Halfling pride. Our cities may fall, but our villages stand firm against Ranger oppression. I had stripped the Ranger of his two regions and now called them my own, had set plans in motion for my fourth region (would have been two turns out at the least), and yet was super happy to see the returning playing Pine Needle claim the win. Always awesome for the new guy to rock it!

Proud moments:
Out-blustering the AN over Stormgate.
Taking the Ranger capital with my mighty militant midgets.
Reading the forum postings when the Ranger sorted out that I had zero intent to engage in pitched battle but was using a big group as a carrot for his troops.

Learning moments:
Don't build legendary castles if you can't go back and re-take them. Smile I should have known this from another game... but apparently forgot.
When you're winning, it's tempting to hang on to prisoners. Unless you have a hidden capital, don't. They can end up being recycled when your capital falls.
Not everyone loves Halflings.

Pro tip:
Use fear instead of valor when attacking high-defense PCs. More bang for your buck.

Thanks all for a great game. Congrats again to Pine Needle, as well as to Strongwill for his original podium spot. Valhalla may reflect otherwise, but we'll know it should be him (and hopefully if this is considered for next year's championship we'll give him credit).

Fearsomely yours,
The Halfling
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#8
Well, Painted One, that might be in contention for the all-time "bestest" write-up. 

Thank you for proving the Halflings.  Whew. 

On the spells, yes, there was an intention to make a lot more differentiation in who gets what and when.  And especially among the wizard kingdoms, where they specialize more rather than just get everything sooner.
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#9
Gentlemen,
It was a great game!
I learned a lot and even more, I had fun. the early kidnap orders and the UN agent really make for a interesting game. Im not sure if the UN had the early orders when Phil ran the game, but im glad the kingdom has it now.
Further more. I think PT/NE be given 3rd in Valhalla, to not podium on a bug when he clearly had 3rd is not fair to him for a game well played.
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#10
(12-23-2019, 11:00 PM)Agent Orange Wrote: Gentlemen,
It was a great game!
I learned a lot and even more, I had fun. the early kidnap orders and the UN agent really make for a interesting game. Im not sure if the UN had the early orders when Phil ran the game, but im glad the kingdom has it now.
Further more. I think PT/NE be given 3rd in Valhalla, to not podium on a bug when he clearly had 3rd is not fair to him for a game well played.

Thanks buddy.  I waited a couple of turns to late or we might still be playing :Smile  I had no answer for your agent activity :Smile good game.
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