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5445 Goes to the Reptiles
#1
          1     LI     The Painted Man           38,640      47,509
          2     WA     Wookie Panz               29,322      37,131
          3     AT     Canticar                  20,356      27,696
          4     RD     Vball Michael             12,130      23,666
          5     NE     Acererak                  15,620      21,494
          6     RA     Windstar                   9,582      14,548
          7     TY     Brek                       9,016      14,384
          8     AN     AlatarTBW                  5,110       8,389
          9     DU     ColdSpell                  4,300       7,504
         10     SA     DuPont                     3,900       6,600
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#2
Great job by Painted to take the LI to victory. My RD was close twice, but 5 different kingdoms did a good job of stopping me. I had some epic battles and a lot of fun.
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#3
Ugh - well, I must say, I’m glad to see THIS one behind me. First of all, congrats to the podium placers, even though I pretty much hate them all. Big Grin There was some good gameplay in this one, just none by me!
I decided to take the SA, though I hadn’t played them in a while because they are so shitty. Remembering that they were expensive, I took the Untamed Lands because I felt the summer production, as well as the major city and the low recruiting fees, would help mitigate the cost. Not really, it turned out.
Right away, I started having trouble. Somebody slept one of my people who were trying to take the city on turn 2. Fortunately, it didn’t stop me from taking it the next turn as I simply used both people to usurp, having turned it neutral the turn before. I was surrounded by the TY, AT, and GN, all of whom were capable of it. I suspected the AT, but as he and I always seem to wind up tangling, I was determined to try and go in a different direction this time. I got the region on turn 3, but even with all of the PCs in the region, the SA is just too expensive - you have to instantly start expanding or you have only enough money to pay costs - you can build up anything. By lucky chance, I have found the wandering wizard in Mythgar with a stray recon. I decided I’d attack the GN as I didn’t want them to grow into a long term magical threat and hoped the AT would get mixed up in something else. Two things happened - first of all, it seems the RD also wanted to take out the GN and I got there a turn after he did. He was sieging the GN capital - the main SA, RD, and GN armies all wound up on the same place. I really didn’t see the advantage of attacking - I had 15 brigades to the RD’s 11, but I just ordered a defend and moved off to the city. BTW, I did not realize that only the holder of the PC can save it with a defend - I thought that me doing this would break the RD siege, but that turns out not to be the case. The next turn, the RD followed me to the city - having sieged the capital, that, of course, was there the GN capital moved for. I’d have gone somewhere else if I’d have realized that. I wasn’t sure of the RD was going to attack me or not - at this point, the GN actually dropped - I decided the best bet was to leave the region to him and find other pastures. I defended on a Hold at All Costs - I figured that with me having more brigades, plus the defense advantage of this would be the best choice, It wasn’t - the RD wiped out my group and only took 14% damage. I don’t consider this to be an acceptable outcome, btw, and it just highlights how shitty the SA is. As expensive as those troops are, they should be worth more than that in a fight. But at least it solved the problem of me paying them.
The AT invaded me that same turn, of course. Silly me for turning my back on them, and it was a well-played invasion. Realizing I was toast, I built a sanctuary so I couldn’t be knocked out of the game and did my best to become a guerilla force. With the few resources I had left, I dedicated myself to ankle-biting the AT, though I don’t think I gave him much heartburn. I had two small groups that could take villages, but then one wound up in a spot with a TY group, who used them for target practice, and then I was down to one. In the end, I had decided to move back into Mythgar to take a village and get out of my sanctuary so the AT would not be able to keep hitting capital villages, but my game ended outside of a village with a LI army - so I would have probably been toast again! So, yeah, crappy choices by me, crappy kingdom, and good gameplay by my neighbors had me deservedly winning the booby-prize on this one. Congrats again to the winners, especially Caliclar who did a masterful job.
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#4
Congratulations to Painted Man in the victory.  I would enjoy seeing some write ups from the other players.   I'll start the ball rolling with how things looked from my position of WA in region 1, Crown Coast.
As a magic  position I was content to sit and build up for quite awhile and I really could have used 3 more turns.  I had one of the better collections of relics that I have encountered. I found the Elkar p2 encounter fairly early.  Then the stone of all minds for cheap wizard training.  Much to my surprise I also found the Plow.  The Gem of the Plains was also in the area but I had to search down the key and go after it around turn 10.  That was about the time I started recruiting.  With bounty and the plow by the time I saw RD getting his 3rd area, Krynn, on turn 14  I was getting over a million food per turn income.
Vball with RD was moving too fast and would get an early win if not stopped.  Fortunately I had scouted Krynn and there were enough PC within range to break control.  I managed to break RD control of Krynn on turn 17 and take his capital, in Zanthia, and it's collection of prisoners on the same turn.  RD took Stormgate and declared for the rex win and would have won but for the loss of Krynn.
The following turn, 18 saw my patrol of 2 - p5 wizards facing off against a RD army at Cornucopia, the village in the Srorm Gate region.  The city had been destroyed so control of the village gave control of the region.  My patrol could not get past the RD army and they could hurt me or leave without losing the village.  We had a classic standoff, 2 wizards against a Red Dragon army!
My army group went back to Krynn to take out the City at JB while big Red moved his main force back to the former capital that I had just left in Zanthia.  I located his new capital at the city of Destiny's End and moved on it.
Upon my arrival at Destiny's End RD had smartly moved his capital again - back to it's starting point.  He had vacated Cornucopia so my patrol meteored it and left but I made a major mistake.  I failed to check the defensive value of the village and it was about 5300.  My meteor only  destroyed 4000.  Painted Man's Lizards had just taken their third region and moved into the smouldering village with a brigade.  
At games end I nearly had control of Zanthia for a 3rd region but there was no way I could have stopped Painted Man and LI, even if I had succeeded in destroying Cornucopia. 
Well done by LI.  RD put up a heck of a fight and even though I had a very nice army I doubt I could have stood up to him in the plains and avoided those fights.  He was facing several other foes at the end who had been thrashed but not destroyed.
RD continues to be impressive in how quickly it can take out several regions.  Kingdoms that require development are hard pressed to keep up.
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#5
Allow me to start with two comments:
1) DuPont, I love you.
2) Neener neener.

I went into this game wanting to play a kingdom I hadn't previously played, and the LI fit the bill by the time it got around to choosing. Looking at them initially, I saw a ton of potential. Lots of wizards, troops that aren't awful, companions slightly above "meh"... overall very flexible and seem like they could be played any number of ways. Knowing RD was relatively close I looked for a water town and was lucky enough to have one in my region. That became my capital and I started to increase gold and food production there via standing order each turn so that I'd have an economic base safe from flying lizards that were less (lizard)manly than I was.

I was still trying to figure out which way I wanted to play them when I was rudely invaded by the Nomad and then shortly thereafter by the Druid. The Nomad ignored his hereditary strengths and decided to wage a naval war as we both had water capitals. It turned out that he had done a better job of cranking his production at his capital, while I had done a better job of building boats. The first combat he attacked me, even though he had less boats of lower quality (typical Nomad overconfidence) and after that I chased him back to his capital. My troops took the long way around, stopping at his city and one of his towns (which allowed me to get some good troop upgrades) before once again jumping on our yachts to step on the Nomad's dingy. His troops were split between his capital and a town of mine that the Druid also had an army at. I sank his troops, took his capital, and moved on his only remaining village (where he had cranked the defenses up via a motte and bailey). I got the regional info that the Druid had also spanked him in combat, so I knew he was pretty much done. Took his ferocious village and moved my troops back up to the Sword Coast, now the proud owner of (virtually) everything in Zamora, but having lost control of the Sword Coast due to that pesky Druid.

I stopped to recruit and then got notified that DU had moved some emissaries into my city, so marched all my troops over and was met by two smaller Druid groups (both 9 brigade armies). As testament to the strength of LI troops, I won both battles against the DU and still had enough in the tank to take the city... and ended up stronger for it via a lot of troop upgrades. I think DU was expecting fewer troops, but the 4 brigades of fun (and hidden) vet/elite chameleons I had with me definitely turned the tide. Love those guys. I hung around at the city, as did DU, and the following turn he either sacrificed troops or goofed orders as both groups were surprised and destroyed by my 1LI. At this point I had lost a handful of emissaries as I forgot DU got an automatic recon (rookie move on my part) so I had to actually ward and use troops to mop up region #2.

By now I was convinced I had missed the boat. No, not the one the Nomad scuttled against my navy. This one was metaphorical. My initial plan was to head into Zanthia as I knew RD would be sprinting for a win and by this time had 3 regions and was likely at Stormgate or, more appropriately, at its village as TY had already razed the city. Just in case, I moved everything I could within range of Mythgar (closer for my troops) and put my tired ole priestess to use again. By way of miracle, DU/WA did enough in Krynn to keep RD from winning that turn, and TY did enough the following turn in Pellinor to forestall the RD machine while I moved emissaries and groups. By now, I had flipped control of Mythgar for my third region and was going to walk up to Zanthia as I had originally planned, but noticed that WA had a very capable group at PJ, the RD capital. No thanks. Oh, wait... that little village in Stormgate. I could go there with a group! Teleported there with 2 brigades of LI reinforcements at the same time that WA teleported out, and was set to take the village and my fourth and final region. No surprises on the final turn and here we are.

Learning moments:
Every sea battle. Smile Fortunately, I was expecting to need a navy so I built one up early, but it was still very instructive to have a bunch of different battles to look at.
That darn Druid auto-recon. I lost a lot of good dudes to that. Sad He was sleeping and killing my guys right and left.
I still can't decide if pushing for p3s or doing standing orders to improve production is a better use of resources. I did the latter here and was left with a bunch of lower level wizards.

I think LI may be shooting up the charts of my favorite kingdoms. Super flexible and a LOT of potential firepower. Good wizards (and a lot of them). I ended the game with 11 wizards, though only two higher than p3 (p4, p6). Made for some tough maneuvering with groups, but a lot of free recons. Troops are durable and companions aren't horrible... and all are relatively affordable.

I was set for two very fun battles if I didn't get the win - one my 1LI with all the fixins against a big RD group and one against SA... and I just love spanking DuPont.

Good game, all!
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#6
(04-28-2020, 03:48 PM)The Painted Man Wrote: Allow me to start with two comments:
1) DuPont, I love you.
2) Neener neener.

I went into this game wanting to play a kingdom I hadn't previously played, and the LI fit the bill by the time it got around to choosing. Looking at them initially, I saw a ton of potential. Lots of wizards, troops that aren't awful, companions slightly above "meh"... overall very flexible and seem like they could be played any number of ways. Knowing RD was relatively close I looked for a water town and was lucky enough to have one in my region. That became my capital and I started to increase gold and food production there via standing order each turn so that I'd have an economic base safe from flying lizards that were less (lizard)manly than I was.

I was still trying to figure out which way I wanted to play them when I was rudely invaded by the Nomad and then shortly thereafter by the Druid. The Nomad ignored his hereditary strengths and decided to wage a naval war as we both had water capitals. It turned out that he had done a better job of cranking his production at his capital, while I had done a better job of building boats. The first combat he attacked me, even though he had less boats of lower quality (typical Nomad overconfidence) and after that I chased him back to his capital. My troops took the long way around, stopping at his city and one of his towns (which allowed me to get some good troop upgrades) before once again jumping on our yachts to step on the Nomad's dingy. His troops were split between his capital and a town of mine that the Druid also had an army at. I sank his troops, took his capital, and moved on his only remaining village (where he had cranked the defenses up via a motte and bailey). I got the regional info that the Druid had also spanked him in combat, so I knew he was pretty much done. Took his ferocious village and moved my troops back up to the Sword Coast, now the proud owner of (virtually) everything in Zamora, but having lost control of the Sword Coast due to that pesky Druid.

I stopped to recruit and then got notified that DU had moved some emissaries into my city, so marched all my troops over and was met by two smaller Druid groups (both 9 brigade armies). As testament to the strength of LI troops, I won both battles against the DU and still had enough in the tank to take the city... and ended up stronger for it via a lot of troop upgrades. I think DU was expecting fewer troops, but the 4 brigades of fun (and hidden) vet/elite chameleons I had with me definitely turned the tide. Love those guys. I hung around at the city, as did DU, and the following turn he either sacrificed troops or goofed orders as both groups were surprised and destroyed by my 1LI. At this point I had lost a handful of emissaries as I forgot DU got an automatic recon (rookie move on my part) so I had to actually ward and use troops to mop up region #2.

By now I was convinced I had missed the boat. No, not the one the Nomad scuttled against my navy. This one was metaphorical. My initial plan was to head into Zanthia as I knew RD would be sprinting for a win and by this time had 3 regions and was likely at Stormgate or, more appropriately, at its village as TY had already razed the city. Just in case, I moved everything I could within range of Mythgar (closer for my troops) and put my tired ole priestess to use again. By way of miracle, DU/WA did enough in Krynn to keep RD from winning that turn, and TY did enough the following turn in Pellinor to forestall the RD machine while I moved emissaries and groups. By now, I had flipped control of Mythgar for my third region and was going to walk up to Zanthia as I had originally planned, but noticed that WA had a very capable group at PJ, the RD capital. No thanks. Oh, wait... that little village in Stormgate. I could go there with a group! Teleported there with 2 brigades of LI reinforcements at the same time that WA teleported out, and was set to take the village and my fourth and final region. No surprises on the final turn and here we are.

Learning moments:
Every sea battle. Smile Fortunately, I was expecting to need a navy so I built one up early, but it was still very instructive to have a bunch of different battles to look at.
That darn Druid auto-recon. I lost a lot of good dudes to that. Sad He was sleeping and killing my guys right and left.
I still can't decide if pushing for p3s or doing standing orders to improve production is a better use of resources. I did the latter here and was left with a bunch of lower level wizards.

I think LI may be shooting up the charts of my favorite kingdoms. Super flexible and a LOT of potential firepower. Good wizards (and a lot of them). I ended the game with 11 wizards, though only two higher than p3 (p4, p6). Made for some tough maneuvering with groups, but a lot of free recons. Troops are durable and companions aren't horrible... and all are relatively affordable.

I was set for two very fun battles if I didn't get the win - one my 1LI with all the fixins against a big RD group and one against SA... and I just love spanking DuPont.

Good game, all!

Very nice write up Mr. Painted one
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#7
Yes, thanks Lords for the after-action reports.  Always helpful to the player base.

From my perspective, the design intention has been to make all (presently) 24 kingdoms play differently.  I want the skill of the player to determine the winner, taking into account many factors, including knowledge of the other players around him and those kingdoms, as well as his kingdom's own strengths and weaknesses.  (I forget if Sun Tzu got that from me or the other way around.) 

I would say, the Sacred Order is probably second best to the Red Dragons in the plains.  Not at all good in some other terrains, being heavy in cavalry so you need to get to the charge phase, so developing Wind Storm capability is pretty big along with even considering Flash Flood.  Also, you have to utilize the Devout trait - for example, using both kinds of angels.  Multiple high priestesses.  And yes, you cannot overbuild the size of your force with them because they are expensive, but you move them and their companions to veteran and elite fairly easily and your leaders moving to marshal and warlord, they should be formidable.  But don't pick them in a heavy mountain or forest region or try to get 20+ brigades before turn 20.

The Red Dragons are the flavor of the day, though they were way out of favor a few months ago, and nothing has changed in the design.  I believe even the Champion of Alamaze was taken out with his Red Dragons pretty early by the Amazons several months back.  But yes, if you have Red Dragons in your game, you have to keep your eye on them - they are best equipped (even without being able to recruit before turn 4) to have that blitz win.

I also agree that the Lizard Kingdom is very versatile and fun to try.  No serious drawbacks, if not the best at anything in particular, so they go into the balanced kingdom category like Elves and others.  The economy is probably their biggest issue.  The Nomads also are fun and fast and are devout.

I've been pleased to see the Halflings making a dent of late.  Thanks to the players that have tried them.

Of course with all the customization options, you can tailor your kingdom more to your playing style.

I encourage players to take new kingdoms each time and try different regions.
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#8
Trouble is SA is not 2nd to only RD in the plains because they can be flanked. SA gets poor mans flanking they can flank anyone except those with rider trait but can be flanked by flying and rider trait kingdoms. The RA for example has them beat and spells and likely military when adding in flanking. The AM gets a +20 in the plains and all hell breaks loose if it in summer plus have bonuses to make more food to carry a bigger army plus flanking.
I would view the SA more like the DW you mind thinks they are a military kingdom but you will have a better chance to win using a political approach.
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#9
(04-28-2020, 09:21 PM)Draugr Wrote: Trouble is SA is not 2nd to only RD in the plains because they can be flanked.  SA gets poor mans flanking they can flank anyone except those with rider trait but can be flanked by flying and rider trait kingdoms.   The RA for example has them beat and spells and likely military when adding in flanking.   The AM gets a +20 in the plains and all hell breaks loose if it in summer plus have bonuses to make more food to carry a bigger army plus flanking.  
I would view the SA more like the DW you mind thinks they are a military kingdom but you will have a better chance to win using a political approach.

Can EL and SA flank each other in combat? Both have flanking and neither have riders.

Now, back to celebrating this win!
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#10
(04-28-2020, 09:21 PM)Draugr Wrote: Trouble is SA is not 2nd to only RD in the plains because they can be flanked.  SA gets poor mans flanking they can flank anyone except those with rider trait but can be flanked by flying and rider trait kingdoms.   The RA for example has them beat and spells and likely military when adding in flanking.   The AM gets a +20 in the plains and all hell breaks loose if it in summer plus have bonuses to make more food to carry a bigger army plus flanking.  
I would view the SA more like the DW you mind thinks they are a military kingdom but you will have a better chance to win using a political approach.

As you know, adjustments are made with each update.  2nd Cycle was around for 23 years without much change, but since what we call The Resurgence in 2015, we've had The Choosing and Maelstrom with lots of changes.  We've seen the difference in how kingdoms are doing between The Choosing and Maelstrom, and I admit, not everything is perfect with every kingdom.  When you do the design, you just have to project mentally how its going to be for each kingdom and each region.  The goal is that each kingdom has an equal chance to win, despite having dozens of differences.  Not trying to be defensive but seriously, does any other game have this number of moving parts?

We've seen just in Maelstrom the early rush for Devout kingdoms, the collapse of the Red Dragons, the fall of the Dark Elves, no one taking the Halflings, and now kind of a reversal in many of those as players refine their strategies.  In the playtest for Maelstrom, I was told by about half the playtesters their kingdom would starve to death, now we hear a player can get to a million food (should be called supplies) a month.

As an aside, I did get an email from Grim Finger (Suspense and Decision) so he seems good, and shared the HW map, and it made me think, I don't believe they have ever updated that game.
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