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5376 - Holiday Alliance
#1
Heart 
After 31 turns of destruction, this one is in the books. 

To the victors go the spoils and the bragging rights, and in this holiday-themed-team-game that goes to team Dasher.

Team 1 - Rellgard (UN)/Brek (AN)/Pine Needle (AM) - Blitzen
Team 2 - VBall (DW)/Strylian (SO)/Canticar (RA) - Vixen
Team 3 - Draugr (IL)/The Painted Man (NE)/The Illustrious Wookie (DU) - Dasher
Team 4 - Strongwill (RD)/Uncledarkseid (BL)/HabeusCorpus (EL) - Rudolph

Final points tally:
                           Game End Status Points

        Place Kingdom    Player                Results-31  Grand Total

          1     NE     The Painted Man           44,990      65,772
          2     IL     Draugr                    22,916      36,595
          3     DU     Wookie Panz               15,792      24,151
          4     UN     Rellgar                   24,332      43,123
          5     AN     Brek                      21,267      35,664
          6     EL     HabeusCorpus              11,312      19,632
          7     DW     Vball Michael              7,100      19,238
          8     SO     Strylian                   9,266      17,876
          9     RD     Strongwill                 7,400      15,625
         10     AM     Pine Needle                4,605      11,097

Ending regions for the 7 and the victory:
                                    Regional        Reaction        Controlling
           Region                   Influence       Level           Kingdom

        The Crown Islands (1)       Unestablished   Hostile         Ancient Ones(T)
        Darkover (2)                Tight Control   Suspicious      Necromancer(T)
        The Diamond Coast (3)       Unestablished   Suspicious      Sorcerer(T)
        Krynn (4)                   Unestablished   Tolerant        Illusionist(T)
        Triumvia (5)                Unestablished   Hostile         Underworld
        Zanthia (6)                 Unestablished   Hostile         NA
        Nyvaria (7)                 Control         Friendly        Necromancer
        The Sword Coast (8)         Minor           Tolerant        Druid(T)
        Pellinor (9)                Unestablished   Suspicious      Elven(T)
        Zamora (10)                 Tight Control   Loyal           Necromancer(T)
        Mythgar (11)                Tight Control   Friendly        Necromancer(T)
        The Untamed Lands (12)      Tight Control   Tolerant        Necromancer(T)
        Stormgate (13)              Unestablished   Hostile         NA

Full write-up to follow.
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#2
I firmly believe that these games are won on the strength of the communication as much as the strength of play. I was lucky enough to have two very good players that like to chat almost as much as I do. There were days where I'd hit a meeting at work and by the time I was out of it, I'd have a dozen emails waiting for me talking about strategy, current moves, how to name email threads after Star Wars movies, and why Wookie hates shopping. I never worried about whether we'd let something slip through. I only count a couple of minor errors that made it through all of us before we hit ready, and several times where someone pointed out a "better way" to do something...

Anyways... some of this won't be 100% accurate but I'm not the type to flip through each old result to get things exact, so feel free to correct me if I get anything too wrong.

So going into it I wanted to try to play a game with Draugr as it had been since 2nd cycle days that we'd worked together and after watching him run the table as DU I had some thoughts as to ways that we could do something different. We enlisted Wookie as our third as, again, teamwork is key and we'd both had great experiences there. We almost immediately agreed that it would be entirely too much fun to play 3 wizard kingdoms. Due to the draft order we were concerned about where we'd end up from a regions perspective and did end up a bit more spread out with us ending in Krynn (IL - Draugr), Sword Coast (DU - Wookie), and Zamora (NE - me).

Immediately we put goals in place to have groups that could teleport invisibly by turn 10 and tailored ESOs and customization around that for each kingdom. I was going to be our military "heavy", so I ended up taking an adept, the renowned standard, governor, and influence. Early turns were almost entirely building economy, with us racing to bounty and then building up capitals, wizard ranks, etc. As soon as able, I set standing orders with a group to recruit 3 goblin brigades a turn. They are dirt cheap and great for eliminating groups because of the chaos effect they have. When I maxed out I switched to orcs. A little more expensive, but again the benefits (in this case, valor) were huge and with that group we needed every benefit we could.

On turn 12, we blew up Stormgate. Another goal was to wipe regions off the map. While RD finished the job at Cornucopia, we did the heavy lifting at Stormgate. It was unfortunate that EL had just moved his capital there. The RD/BL/EL team had squared off against RA/DW/SO, so this likely helped to give an early edge to the DW coalition.

Around the same time, AN/AM/UN invaded IL and DU territories. Being so far south (almost everything X row and below) my NE position was shielded. Because we didn't like that, we blew up most of Zanthia over the next few turns. Turn 14 in particular was when we proved out the NE military theory by destroying two AM armies. Two AM full armies faced off against the NE juggernaut, which was 32 brigades at that point (including 20 goblins) in the mountains of Zanthia. After a summon death and two lopsided battles, both Amazon groups were destroyed (again, goblin chaos ability is brutal), which included a lot of elite amazon and mammoth troops, so a big loss for him. My group ended up stronger for it and also confiscated the Amazon reknowned standard. Now I had two!!

The next few turns was a seesaw battle in Krynn and the Sword Coast while we re-took what had been lost to the initial invasion. UN tried to invade Zamora but did a horrible job and was sent packing in short order. By the time we looked up on turn 19, we noticed that RA/DW/SO had picked up a head of steam and the rest of us were playing catch-up. They had 5 regions and the other three teams combined had two. It was time to take the fight to them, and Darkover was nice that time of year, so we headed up that way. As the dragons had been razing villages it made the job much easier. NE troops were able to take the city and combined resources helped us get a legendary castle there in a few turns. We then moved on the DW capital at NU, which they had pumped up to an impressive amount of defense (>100k) without even buying a castle. We sent small groups in first to lay down some meteors while the big NE group added a few more orcs, and then the NE group came and finished the job. More resource collaboration and another legendary castle.

Odds were evening up and we essentially had our 3 home regions, Darkover, and Nyvaria. We paid a quick visit to the UN capital to make sure he stayed in his hole (spoiler alert: he did) and turned our eyes towards a win. AN had made his home all but impregnable and we suspected SO would be a tough ask as well. That left the options of Triumvia and UN's hole (pass), Pellinor which was pretty well locked down by EL again, Mythgar and Untamed. The last two had several things removed by dragons (and SO meteors I think) and so were more appealing. AN had again invaded Krynn so IL went back to clean that up. Testament to his abilities, when asked if he wanted any support from DU or NE, Draugr replied with something along the lines of "nah, got this." And he did. DU had firmed up his hold on his region such that we didn't think it could be taken in the next two turns, so we mapped out the win via Mythgar and Untamed. The big NE group took two fortified positions in Untamed and the city in Mythgar. DU and IL took other towns in Mythgar and allowed NE emissaries to come in after to clean up control. DU put the finishing touches on things by razing the final BL pop center and knocking him out on the last turn.

Somewhere in there we took the RA capital and knocked him out of the game. Darkover ended with only two PCs.

I know I'm missing stuff and almost certainly not giving as much credit to Draugr and Wookie as I should. From my perspective, they bore the brunt of all the attacks that hit our regions and despite that remained completely selfless in regards to putting the team first. We talked about things, made decisions as a group, and always asked each other how we could help. Without that, I'm sure the game would still be going. My job was to be the heavy and it worked out pretty well, but really over-inflates my contribution in relation to the rest of the team. Everyone did their part, and did it well. I'd happily join up with one or both in a future game.

Still upset about the village that the Amazons destroyed in Zamora, but the Ancient Ones made up for it by increasing medium home prices with the construction of a legendary castle.

Great game, all!
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#3
Fun facts
By my count a total of 54 PC were pillaged/burned to the ground. 2 full regions completely wiped out.

Team dasher took at least 1 capital PC from each of the other 3 teams.

We found one hidden capital trying to place a sanctuary on it and another by warding emmies that got early kidnapped.

At one point both the DU and IL were down to one PC

Dan hates shopping
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#4
That was a very nice job on the write up by my teammates.  I'm a lucky guy to get to play with these two power house guys.  They did most of the planning and it was a fine job indeed. 
My main job was to guard the bread basket.  DU had a nice food supply right from the start with the grove and then we built on that, helping to keep the larger armies fed.  Fortunately the dead guys don't eat much.  I also built a flying great bat army and it was very handy to cover big distances and take villages.

You need to do more than just play well in a team game.  You need to communicate and share.  That includes the good and the bad and unity is the key.  You should be very much like one very good player with three positions.  I think we did that about as well as I have ever seen it done.

As the boys hinted, several times my gaming was interrupted by mandatory shopping trips with wifey.  Now who would not rather be working on Alamaze turns instead of shopping?

Thanks everyone for three months of fun.
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#5
Would love to hear perspectives from the other teams. Pine Needle gave us a little on the actual game-post, and we all know the dragons were blowing stuff up just about from the very beginning... but I'd personally love to hear how the war went in the east as we didn't see much of it until turn 20 or so. Would also like to hear from Blitzen what their impressions were. I know Brek and I have compared some notes offline after the game ended, but for those not involved it would be potentially valuable.

Some quick tidbits of my own that people should consider:
As Draugr mentioned, we got lucky on a couple of capital finds. Wards are a "new" way to track down a hidden capital. Have your guys getting kidnapped? You can narrow it down using targeted ward spells.
I didn't think about the benefits of a greater mage tower until this game. Protection from death in combat? That's a game changer. You can now stare down a big group from your brigade and use magic to its fullest effect. Unfortunately, we were on the receiving end of this and it resulted in our only wizard death of the game.
Goblins goblins goblins. My new favorite companion. They increase the retreat threshold of the group you're fighting against by 5% per brigade over 3, I think. So a full 20 brigades increases that retreat threshold by 85%. Planning an organized withdrawal to minimize casualties? Think you'll start running away at 15% losses? Nope; that's now 100%, meaning your group and any leaders/wizards are likely dead. Total game changer.

What else?
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#6
(03-06-2020, 02:05 PM)The Painted Man Wrote: Would love to hear perspectives from the other teams. Pine Needle gave us a little on the actual game-post, and we all know the dragons were blowing stuff up just about from the very beginning... but I'd personally love to hear how the war went in the east as we didn't see much of it until turn 20 or so. Would also like to hear from Blitzen what their impressions were. I know Brek and I have compared some notes offline after the game ended, but for those not involved it would be potentially valuable.

Some quick tidbits of my own that people should consider:
As Draugr mentioned, we got lucky on a couple of capital finds. Wards are a "new" way to track down a hidden capital. Have your guys getting kidnapped? You can narrow it down using targeted ward spells.
I didn't think about the benefits of a greater mage tower until this game. Protection from death in combat? That's a game changer. You can now stare down a big group from your brigade and use magic to its fullest effect. Unfortunately, we were on the receiving end of this and it resulted in our only wizard death of the game.
Goblins goblins goblins. My new favorite companion. They increase the retreat threshold of the group you're fighting against by 5% per brigade over 3, I think. So a full 20 brigades increases that retreat threshold by 85%. Planning an organized withdrawal to minimize casualties? Think you'll start running away at 15% losses? Nope; that's now 100%, meaning your group and any leaders/wizards are likely dead. Total game changer.

What else?

You didn't mention orcs.
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#7
(03-06-2020, 02:46 PM)Wookie Panz Wrote: You didn't mention orcs.

Orcs.
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#8
Nice write ups
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#9
You all summed up most of it. I played the UN, I knew we didnt have much of a chance against a team with the 2 best players and a third that's a top player and very good team player. If we could bring the game to 40 turns, we had a good chance of winning with points.

I few corrections, I never planned on taking Zamora, it was just a distraction to pull some heat off my allies in the north.

That was me that killed an IL wizard using the great wizard tower. I was able to do 100% offence at a 50% bonus without any orders on defence because of secret passages. Never saw anymore enemy groups there again.

Our team was in position and had already launched our final end game push the last turn. If you didnt win when you did, you probably would not have. We were to late.

The AM groups where taken out, due to group configuration, they where caught in rearranging there leaders and wizards. Bad timing for our AM.

There was good communication in our team for the most part, but there where a few turns that we dropped the ball and a few times I messed up gifts. That could have made a difference in our push a turn or 2 to late.

I figured you found UN capital with triangulation, but I had expected it to be found and was ready for an attack on it, as you experienced.

It was a fun game and no one quit, I thank everyone for that.

I think it's a record for the most pcs destroyed in a game?
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#10
Ok. Our team. We knew this was an impossible task to start, but we wanted a learning game, and fun. The fun part wasn’t so much, sucks being a whipping post.

We started bad, it’s my fault my communications blew early and often. I had wanted to go after the Allstars and had prepped the first 3-4 for it. I had patrols in all three starting regions searching pops. My team (and correctly so), pointed out that our initial regions and settings placed us as a no brainer to go against VBall. I didn’t really want to at first because we seem to always fight, and later I didn’t want to because I was getting my teeth kicked out. Smile

EL did well recapturing his region, me and uncledarkseid thought the dragons would be taken out quicker than most so we started killing everything we could. Smile Then it just seemed fun to kill!!!!!

Vball’s team played well, they anticipated well and showed up at pops we were at, we had military engagements and destruction.

Overall good game: congrats to the superstars with their charts and probabilities. And congrats to VBall and company, I think you guys did a great job. Smile
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