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Game 5454 April Showers Bring Steel Flowers
#1
Victory By Rex Is The Necromancer Kingdom!
                           Game End Status Points

        Place Kingdom    Player                Results-33  Grand Total

          1     NE     Pine Needle               40,184      56,304
          2     AN     uncledarkseid             30,892      47,635
          3     UN     Eregnon the Black         24,291      42,843
          4     DW     Brek                      24,867      42,435
          5     IL     Windstar                  18,500      32,100
          6     SO     AlatarTBW                 15,368      29,569
          7     RD     Strylian                  13,200      25,250
          8     WA     ColdSpell                  7,400      17,666

5454 Lord Zanvar the Overseer Lord of the (un)Undead

At pick 12, there were only 4 regions left, Mythgar, Crown, Krynn and Diamond Coast. I’d played Mythgar before as the WA, so that was an option, but got crushed there as the GN by RD. RD would go last, likely in Krynn, so I chose Diamond Coast to stay away from the Red. 

I planned on the standard Wizard development, and didn’t expect an early attack from Nyvaria with a brand new player there as the DA.

Started exploring and found the Elven town in my region and arranged a trade for my village with him and a bounty spell before turn 10.

So right away the Painted Man EL starts picking a fight with the Red on the message board. It was entertaining, but did he mean it??

Magic 8 ball says yes! The Elves really did want to pick a fight with the Red Dragons despite not having a border.

So that meant both my borders seemed peaceful, and I could raise wizards and undead and whatnot. I really like the Orc special ability so starting recruiting them on turn 4, and took region on turn 5. Here was a mistake, or miscalculation. I only had level 3’s at this point, was spending food on armies, and winter was coming. And I owed the Elf a bounty.

Winter was tough, and my wizard education suffered. My troops were orcs and wargs eating normal levels of food. I might go with cheaper undead next time. (Duh, Necromancer. That’s why you choose that kingdom). As someone said, the troops are crappy, but you could have a lot of them, and 4 undead armies can take a lot of towns while dodging a more powerful group of quality brigades. I had two skeleton brigades and 6 zombies the whole game, so really neglected this.

I moved my capital to a sea minor city which also made my undead babies feel safe. The 18k gold from my navy really was key to this game especially before turn 20, and one thing which totally annoyed me was getting reinforcements which I’d have to sale to land losing a turn of merchant fleet. My wizard tower was there, so I usually had a group there leveling wizards. I didn’t want brigades in that patrol for defense purposes.

Finally got a power 5 on turn 9 and sent him to Darkover to pay off the bounty. I also found the Altar of Holy Ancients so starting looking for artifacts. Had a very nice collection by the end of the game- Crown of Anzu, Green Dragons, rods of fire and lightening, Anglakel and two smaller weapons etc. No Plow though.

I sent this nice note to the Elves celebrating completion of my obligation:
Very gracious and pointed. As a small acknowledgment, my minister of aesthetics has recommended incorporating green into our flag when we conquer your kingdom and turn your children into undead slaves. The Red, too, as there should be something to remember him other than a lingering odor. Something like the flag of the mythical nation of Libya, but with a skull in the middle, of course.
--NE

I started my own bounty program, and on turn 12 Nyvaria went uncontrolled, so someone was going after the DA. I began to investigate to see if I could help out. On turn 14, the WA moved a Duke, Count and Baron into Bronze Canyon and took control of Nyvaria. Don’t worry DA! Help is on the way.
I slept and kidnapped all three on turn 15 and moved my 65k army to Bronze Canyon on turn 16. Took it on turn 17 with 3.4% losses, and my level 6. That was really the biggest setback I had all game.

Whipped the 2WA the next turn, and was going to do the same with the 1WA but he cast a fire wall and I had not determined attack. I believe that was my only group to group battle all game.

The EL traded the Plow to AN right around now, so it looked like the war with the Red wasn’t going well. I’d took a Red village in Darkover earlier which he retook, so we didn’t have the best history. My sea capital was heartening though. 

I think in here the DW made a move on Pellinor and Stormgate. I think this was key for my victory as UN, SA and who knows else got into it with the Dwarves for the rest of the game. He also took Untamed Lands from the WA. The EL dropped so things got very quiet on the message board.

I had two regions and started a plan for 4. I divined Untamed Lands and readied to aid the beleaguered Warlock. I reconned Stormgate and saw the 2DW with 22 brigades, forged everything and 3 warlords. Plus the DW is immune to fear and NE does not have valor spell. Whoa! Crappy troops will bounce of that like linebackers off Tecmo Bo Jackson. WA took back Untamed Lands or DW would have won on turn 25.

The Underworld also seemed to go after the DW here, so he had his hands full.

Another setback was my harebrained idea to steal two artifacts from this group- lost a level 14 and 4 levels from my other high agent. I only discovery later he had a level 13 on counterespionage.

I moved on Untamed Lands but didn’t want to take control, while I divined Pellinor. I took Blackfyre from the DW and forged up my two army groups. Discovered that my innate fear did work on the PC despite DW ownership, and also took the WA capital but didn’t capture his king.
Started moving hidden emmis into Pellinor 2 or 3 per turn.

WA had a couple of big armies but didn’t move to take Blackfyre back with its legendary castle. This would have been a pain as I needed my armies for Pellinor. I think WA was recruiting trolls in the mountains and all the warfare might have diminished his groups’ morale by then. Anyway, he didn’t really attack except for a division moving into Nyvaria and taking a village a turn. That was fine, I sent a couple governors to follow behind the group.
WA also had lots of Zamorans in his armies. I thought that was weird. Foreshadowing!

On turn 30 the status points came out and I was in fourth by a small margin. AN and UN looked strong, and UN looked like he might be getting ready for a victory attempt. DW still had lots of points but looked beaten down region wise. The AN was torching SO villages every turn but I wasn’t sure he was going for regions.

I did the math and planned to Rex on 32. Missed it by a hair because DW had a castle at SQ and my dogshit army would have bounced. I had 2 huge groups which would have taken it easy, but darn. SQ was where the DW had his counterespionage level 13. I don’t know the percentage of pop I had but it was very close.

So the cat was out of the bag, and I readied for one more attempt on turn 33. I’d received a notice that a DW emi was going to take back the minor city in Pellinor, but I was going to take a town with the same pop and a village. I hoped it would be enough. I was sure the Red would show up in Diamond on 34 and the whole thing would come tumbling down. I had a huge economy by now and was just hoping to build a bunch of legendary castles and great temples and win on points.

Then I reentered my turn and built 2 fortresses, 3 bazaars and cast 3 census spells in Pellinor. I thought this was more than 30k in pop gain. Did the math again and thought I had at least a 25k pop margin, so even though it killed me to use a level 6 on raise census.

Well, folks, that was the difference, as I took Pellinor militarily, lost it politically as the DW rebelled the city and a town with an emi I hadn’t detected… BUT! That town had been depleted by the WA recruiting Zamorans so it only had 20k census.

I looked at the post Mike wrote about this and was worried because he said regions can change three times, military, political and “at the end” of the turn, and I was afraid my victory check would be before the “end” of the turn, but it’s not.

So I took Pellinor and won because of the level 6 casting raise census. The end.

Lots of fun. Got lucky really only battling one player. I need to work on group construction as I ended up with a couple of “dog’s breakfast” groups filled with 10 types of brigades blocking promotion. Partially this is due to Zombies starting out green unlike other summoned types, but I need to plan better, and could have used the NE summons better.

Can't wait to hear others tales!
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#2
Congratulations Pineneedle, I knew you could win one. I always saw that you learned something every turn you played.
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#3
I played the UN for the first time ever, and decided to settle in the Crown Islands. I had the RD in Krynn, SA in Truimvia and EL in Darkover.

You know how they say, "Don't piss off the Underworld?" Well on turn 1, the SA managed to do just that by having his group stop at my village in the Islands. He took it next turn, and so the UN was well and truly pissed off. I guess he figured it would take me awhile to raise my agents and be a real threat, but he ended up taking his region the same turn I took mine - turn 5. I then started doing recons - I had 2 palantirs and 3L1 wizards, plus 3 Red Elks to give my agents some range. I spotted his Prince and Duke in the city, but that seemed a little too obvious a target. I also spotted a baron and a L4 agent that doing recons - obviously looking for my capital, so he would have to go. I kidnapped them both.

I saw his Prince and Duke move to a village at HF, which also had a L4 fanatic of his that was again doing recons. I had a group within range, so I decided to sleep the Fanatic and Prince and move my group there to take the village. Unfortunately I messed up the sleep orders. I kidnapped the fanatic, but the Prince had moved on. I hadn't gotten any reports on emmys moving in, but I looked at my map and realized the village was exactly 7 squares from my city at AA, so it wasn't difficult to guess where they went. I slept both and moved in my Prince. I assumed he would stir unrest with the Duke, so the next turn I did an early kidnap on him, and found out that yes indeed, he was still asleep from last turn. My Prince did a SQ, and I ended up arresting his Prince when he tried to rebel the city.

While all this was going on, the RD and EL were fighting each other back and forth across Triumvia, which was odd to say the least. I think I might have caught one of their groups with a Cold Darkness.

The SA and I battled back and forth for a while - it didn't help his cause that he was missing every other turn over a 6 turn span. I ended up kidnapping quite a few of his emms, including his king, but he stayed in until I kidnapped his last regent.

By the way, the rules say the SA is 33% resistant to death spells and effects. Don't you believe it. Over the course of 2 games, I've thrown 6 death effects at SA troops and emmies, and every single one of them bounced. The resistance is way closer to 100%.

So turn 24 rolled around, I had control of Triumvia, was leading on points, but noticed the DW was coming on strong. In fact, he had 3 regions and scored way more points on that turn than I did. I decided to make a big political move into Zanthia with a Prince and 6 barons, and drove the region neutral on turn 26.

By this point, the EL had dropped, and I suddenly noticed RD diplos moving into Zanthia, along with his groups. My army group ran into his army at KH, where I had gone to recruit Hill Giants and he was probably after PH. I debated long and hard between throwing demonic visions on the region or summon death against him, and finally decided on the latter. This was probably a mistake, as he came after me in Zanthia. It looks like he and the DW had a tacit agreement to leave each other alone. I did end up taking the region for 1 turn, but couldn't hold it.

On that same turn, I moved my army group to Destiny's End. It was the DW capital and had a legendary castle, but I felt with my wizards and fear causing troops I had a good shot at taking it. I was wrong. Very, very wrong. My group got clobbered, and I retreated to the mountains to recruit troops and lick my wounds. It was there I got intercepted by a DW army group. His morale was pretty low as I had hit him with 2 demonic visions, but his troops waltzed through my wall of flame like it wasn't there. We ended up fighting 2 battles, one in the mountains and one in the woods. He undoubtedly lost more troops than I did, as I hit him with summon death both times, but he had way more to begin with. After our last battle, the game ended. I edged the DW out of a podium spot by virtue of having stolen the Morning star of Torag from him on the very last turn.

Another item of note - the RD found my hidden capital with one of his patrols. I moved to the city in the ocean before he got there, but I'm wondering - did he find it using the search for PC move, or did he just happen to land on it?

Also, for the DW, did my wall of flame spells do anything at all? From the magic description, it doesn't sound like they did much.

So an enjoyable game with lots of action. Congrats to Pine Needle on the win.
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#4
So this was a fun game, as always. I played the SA and proceeded to bugger them up in a royal way. I mentioned in a previous game that I think they are a leading candidate for most shitty kingdom but I figured I'd give them another try and see what I could do. Well, I can't blame this result on the SA being shitty - it was all me!

I started with a town in the Crown Islands as well as a capital in the Tempest - a water capital, how nice! It was also within range of Stormgate, so I moved on the village with the plan to block the city afterward until I could take it one way or the other. On the way out of the Crown Islands, though, I randomly landed on an UN village. I had already been thinking they might make a good opponent - in one of the smallest regions, I gambled that I would be able to find their capital in short order, so I took it, hoping I might snag somebody.

Well, I lost my gamble - the UN capital was literally in the last place I looked. And Eregon outguessed and outplayed me at every turn. He's listed most of the examples above so I won't repeat them but he played a fantastic game. His capital was still vulnerable when I found it and I thought about trying to put together a group to assault it - I did build a fleet - but I figured he would just be able to use a combination of Dome and then building forts before I could take it, so I never really made the effort. I dropped a turn or two before the end but it was really fun even though I did so badly. Congrats to everybody espectually Eregon!
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