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What ESO Do You Pick?
#1
I was thinking about the E.S.O. today and wondered what other's thoughts were on what they pick. I generally pick the same things and thought I'd share. First of all, I always go for the greater reward. I suppose going for the lesser can give you a bit of insurance, but I literally have never done that. So with that in mind:
Territorial:
I always pick Control a Region for this. I think back when there were more kingdoms than regions, there were times I would pick one of the others, but in Malestorm, this is a no brainer. If you do not control your region sometime between turn 10 and 15, you are probably sunk. And as this is the '2' pointer, that means all the rest can be '1' pointers.
Political:
There can be a bit of variation here. I almost never set my ESO before turn 3 and if I have gotten onto the HC by then, I will pick HC and 15 influence. If I am not, I will pick 3+ Dukes. Because you start as suspicious in nearly every region, Friendly in 3 will require a bit of gold, even in a team game where your allies will have caused you to reach Tolerant. And there's no real advantage to enamoring your allies regions as opposed to gaining Dukes or higher. There is no need to consider the 2 point options. If you cannot control a region, you are very unlikely to be able to achieve those.
Adventure:
I go for Control 2 artifacts. The Underworld could get 4 prisoners, but getting 2 artifacts is much easier. Gaining a Warlord is totally out of your control as you might get bad luck in your leader rolls, so that's a bad choice even for the most military of kingdoms. A kingdom could get 4 artifacts from unusual encounters but, again, it's much easier to control a region. And 7 prisoners is likely to cause you to go to war with somebody if you are the Underworld and are kidnapping that many people.
Development:
I generally go with PC > 35k gold or defense. With forts, it's very easy to get that and it's something you should do, anyway. I do mix it up a bit here, though. If I'm the PI or AT, I'll likely pick the 7+ fleets in 2 seas option as long as I have a clear path to build in 2 seas. As the UN, I might take the 3 7+ agents. As a magic kingdom, I might take the 3 4+ wizards. Partly, this is to 'force' me to make those goals. But, again, as a military kingdom, I will NOT pick the 6+ Generals or 3+ Marshals. That is NOT something you can control and early on I got burned by that. Back when the UN was actually dispersed, I would pick the 3 10+ agents for their 2 point option, but there's no need with every kingdom starting in their home region.

So - wondering if anybody else has any other thoughts?
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#2
It's always welcomed when experienced players share their thoughts on strategy.  Thanks, DuPont.

Not to make too many excuses, but the way Maelstrom came into development at least a year after I had stopped on the design kind of took me by surprise.

I've written about many of the things I would like to revise, and certainly customization, ESO, Rex victory being five regions, and refining the PC Improvements are among those.

Specifically to the topic of ESO, yeah, I wouldn't disagree with your assessment. 

As there are no dispersed kingdoms, the two point head start of formerly dispersed has to be removed.  Control of a region is pretty much expected now with no dispersed kingdoms and 13 regions instead of 10.  I also agree that while players should always do the kingdom customization on turn 1, I would not do the ESO until turn 3.  And on those notes, I think choosing the customization options is more thought provoking than the ESO choices at present.  The major ESO might go to six points, among other things.

Reducing control of a region to one ESO point was a thought, but kind of to your point of sort of forcing yourself to stay on strategic target like raising wizards for a mage kingdom, I think we want players to be sure to fight for their home region.  I feel most players like to have the time to build their kingdom a bit, to develop, and I do think Maelstrom is better at providing that style than we had before. 

I find it interesting following the drafts in Maelstrom.  It's worked out better than I expected in how kind of unpredictable it is, even in choosing draft position, where both #1 and #12 might be taken early, and the last position taken is somewhere in the middle, though I think an argument could be made that is actually the sweet spot.   For example, if you pick #8, you will have a choice of at least five regions, or probably around the 2nd kingdom, or have maybe the fifth or so kingdom taken in the second round. We see a slight preference for certain regions, but that is OK even if it emerges more strongly as then you would need to pick very early, and so have one of the last choices for kingdoms. 

I always enjoy the strategy discussions (duh).
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#3
(06-06-2020, 10:56 PM)DuPont Wrote: Territorial:
I always pick Control a Region for this. I think back when there were more kingdoms than regions, there were times I would pick one of the others, but in Malestorm, this is a no brainer. If you do not control your region sometime between turn 10 and 15, you are probably sunk. And as this is the '2' pointer, that means all the rest can be '1' pointers.
Political:
There can be a bit of variation here. I almost never set my ESO before turn 3 and if I have gotten onto the HC by then, I will pick HC and 15 influence. 
Development:
I generally go with PC > 35k gold or defense. With forts, it's very easy to get that and it's something you should do, anyway. 

Regional control is a no brainer. The PC> one is too, you're going to do that with your capital most likely anyway.

The piece of advice about HC and waiting until turn 3 is very helpful. Thanks for that.

I don't have anything to add but I appreciate this advice.
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#4
E.S.O. can be a bit different in a confederations or team game where you can use several positions to help each other.  I have seen 4 artifacts done fairly easily.  It is also a bit harder to be assured of control of a region but in a team game friendly in three regions is just about automatic.  I don't think anyone does a minor E.S.O.
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#5
I usually go to 2 2-pointers and a 1. The region control is obvious. The second 2 pointer depends on kingdom, 3P5s for a wizard kingdom, or 17+ influence and 2 princes. I usually go with 2 artifacts as the 1 point option. I also never sent the goals before turn 3.

What rewards do people generally choose? I almost always go with the 2 barons, but it varies bases on kingdom for the other options.
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#6
(06-07-2020, 10:44 PM)Eregnon Wrote: I usually go to 2 2-pointers and a 1. The region control is obvious. The second 2 pointer depends on kingdom, 3P5s for a wizard kingdom, or 17+ influence and 2 princes. I usually go with 2 artifacts as the 1 point option. I also never sent the goals before turn 3.

What rewards do people generally choose? I almost always go with the 2 barons, but it varies bases on kingdom for the other options.
Again, it depends on the kingdom. With a wizard kingdom, I take two adepts, a power 1 and a baron or general depending on what I most need. With many other kingdoms, I'll take 2 barons, 2 adepts and a general or brigade. With the RD, I will take two brigades and a baron or general. I very rarely will take a level 4 agent. Oh, with the DE or AN, I will take the DP or Consul and then probably two adepts.
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#7
those RD brigades... whoa
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#8
I always wait until turn 3 to declare ESO, mostly because orders.  For me 17 influence and 2x princes is the no brainer.  I usually work my influence up to max as fast as I can anyway.  And something about Dukes and Counts messes with my desire for organization.  For regional control, I check my neighbors first, if I'm not worried about them, I choose control a region.  If I am, I'll choose 35+K defense or gold.  2 artifacts is usually pretty easy for a point, as is 3x level 7 agents.

When the time comes for rewards, I'll check the game again (and my gold production), if the game is going slow, or the gold is flowing fast, I pick wizards for sure, sometimes 3x.  If gold is low or the game is fast, I'll choose politicals and gold, the idea being wizards are slow to develop and need gold.  I'd consider a brigade if RD or the kingdom has healing trait.  The thing about a brigade is that there are very few that are worth 20k gold.  A paladin brigade is better than most kingdom names, and costs much less than 20k.  I think probably the ESO reward for a single point should award 2x brigades, except maybe for RD.  Even the really nice brigades like RA, SA, EL, maybe AM (very strong brigades with healing) probably aren't worth 20k, especially if you are already recruiting stormgate guard or even paladins, for example.  You'd have to be engaging in max recruiting already to want a kingdom name over the 20k gold, I think.  My 2 cents, anyway.
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