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#130 - Experienced Steel
#1
This was a game for experienced players only, and most of them stuck it through to the end. It was won by Jumping Fist (seems many are these days), running the Stone Giants by The Rex: controlling four regions, on Turn 31.

As a longer game, this one had ups and downs for many kingdoms. Let's hear from some of the players on their experience.
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#2
I played the Underworld because I had enjoyed using agents to harass an enemy in a previous game.

The experience as UN leader was everything I expected. I would skip everything in the turn report and scroll right to the agent actions and rejoice or grit my teeth as my agents attempted their dirty deeds. (mostly, I rejoiced.)

The Underworld seems to be a Kingdom well suited to earning second place. You can build a heap of status points with captives and artifacts, but to get the actual knockout blows required for a win seemed beyond the military might attainable.

Given that this was an experienced player, REX-ONLY, game I figured most players were going to be in it right to the end, and so it was going to go the distance and the UN would have a good chance at a points victory.

Early on, the GN and I made a deal to split region 7 and I took the PC's in the ocean. My strategy was to remain mostly at peace with everyone, setting up villages and the occasional town all over the map. I wasn't planning to take control of any region. I wanted the fear of UN assassinations to keep the controlling powers from booting me out of their regions. Also, if I was spread out, I could not be brought down by a regional invasion and anyone attacking me was going to have to face retaliation from my agents around the board. It meant that nibbling at me wouldn't be worth the risk and anyone taking me on had to do so with serious intent and potency. And maybe a couple of allies.

That strategy worked. The only people who attacked my PC's were people I attacked first, so it seems that fear of UN agents is a real deterrent.

I spent a lot of money developing agents and by the end of the game had 3 L-19s, an L-17 and an L-14. That'st not mentioning 5 other agents who died above L-10. My agents seemed pretty good. I tried to make sure I didn't give them jobs above their pay grade and supported them with sleep spells and they tended to succeed or at least survive.

My first war was a joint attack with the GN and BL against the WI in R2, at about T6.

The attack went well enough and we knocked him down to, I think, 2 PCs after he had controlled the region. The lack of military prowess by the UN and GN reared it's head and we had a few problems taking those last settlements. The BL couldn't help because his military was concentrated in the south.

At about this time, the DW came to the party and threatened me with annihilation if I went to war with him. Given the total mismatch of militaries, I agreed to a 10 turn NAP. I told the GN that he and the BL would have to handle the DW and I would concentrate on finishing off the WI.

The WI decided to stick it out despite a horribly blown position. He used his P-7 Ry Vor to target my PC's for destruction and continued to harass me throughout the game even after he had no PCs or Emissaries left because RyVor could blow things up long distance for free.

Without any viable WI targets I moved against the DE. I knew he had been hurt by the SO earlier so I made a deal with the SO. We hit Arcania side by side, but not actively helping each other.

The DE was also under attack by AN, so he was ground down in due time to just a few PC's. I suspect SO did most of the work since I was just grabbing villages in keeping with my strategy of having lots of spread out villages.

At this point GN and BL had knocked back the DW and GN was ready for another invasion. I made peace with the DE after gaining 4 villages and a town from him and took up the fight in Torvale.

I didn't contribute much, except some denigrations, and other support type stuff like wards on the GN and taking a few villages, but I was able to get some cool loot out of the deal, stealing a bunch of AN artifacts.

When the game ended I was right behind the GN on points, so I got 3rd place.

I should mention that one of the things that helped me was the DA and EL abandoned their games early with their capitals on the water. No one went after them once they stopped issuing orders, but the mighty UN military was able to capture some high value targets by sacking the two capitals.
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A note about wizard killing...

The WI kept the game interesting the whole way through because he bore me a serious grudge.

Early on, I killed 2 (I think?) wizards of his by sabotaging his fleet while the wizards' brigade was at a water square village.

I gather the rules have since been changed and leaders/wizards are safe from this kind of game exploit nowadays.

The WI was annoyed however and was using destroy PC spells on me. (A total of about 7 successfully throughout the game.) I was surprised when the GN and BL told me that the WI wasn't targeting them because THEY had taken the bulk of his PCs.

Then the GN told me that he had assassinated the WI leader twice using a ring of invisibility and a regent killer artifact and that the WI probably thought it was me who had done it.

So, combined with my Wizard killing earlier, I guess I got all the annoyance.

I'm talking about this because of some difficulties I had with the mechanics of the game in this period. Without nobles or PC's the WI had a lot of orders to spend on splitting groups and transfers, so he kept changing the ID number of the group RyVor was in. Assassinating him early on proved impossible, even with up to date recons, since the assassination order took place after the transfer orders. I didn't even try once I saw the trick he was using.

Later I DID kill Ry Vor but I had to send 4 high level agents, to cover each possible group number he could be hiding under.

It seems odd to me in story terms that my agent would know Ry Vor was in an area and find a WI group with a wizard named Ry Vor in it, but not kill that Ry Vor because his group was traveling under a different name...

I think the assassinate Wizard order should just need a location, a name and a kingdom, with the 5-square search radius about the location. The Wizards all have different first letters anyway.
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Congratulations to Jumping Fist for a well played game.

Thanks to The Deliverer for his help. I don't mean in game, since we only cooperated at the start a little and at the end loosely. I mean help in that I constantly sent him emails about scenarios and outcomes and clarifying orders etc and he gave great advice and was generous with his time.
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Nominations...

Chancellor: The Deliverer, as cited above.
Infamous: Lord Thanatos, the town destroyer.
Iron-Willed: Daredevil, who at first refused to make peace with me when he was down to (I think) one last town and who finally did make peace with me only because it meant he could hurt the SO more by concentrating his efforts on his oldest enemy.
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#3
Nice write-up, Jumbie.

I was the Dwarves in this game, and got off to a good start. My diplomacy style is not well understood and breeds suspicion of foul intent, in that I don't offer "Game Long NAP".

So the Dark Elf (then #1 ranked player Thalion) declared me an enemy fairly early, and the Witchlord was on the verge of the same. The DA never did anything aggressive, but did make me have a concern about my southern border.

Around turn 6 I had to decide about where to go as the Mountains were secure for the time being. I had wanted to use the portal to go to Runnimede, but it just seemed a bridge too far. Then I was up to speed on the Eastern Steppes matters as well, so that was tempting. But I took the nearer bridge, the Horn Bridge into the Mists to aid the Witchlord, against his multiple attackers. I believe I had intel that the DA was occupied otherwise. And I wanted to try this new strategy of being to get from the Mountains into the Mists without fleets. The WI supplied lots of locations in the Mists, and was already adamant about killing the Underworld, who I somewhat sheepishly made an agreement with - to not take his PC's in the Mists in exchange for his agents not targeting me.

So it was the GN (previous #1 player the Deliverer) that I got the upper hand on there, and still offered him a chance to save a lot of little stinky Gnomish lives in exchange for leaving the Mists forever, an offer he found offensive, but, ultimately he did leave and lost several high nobles and brigades before that conclusion sank in.

The Black Dragon did something nasty to me, and I had nobles take his holdings in the Mists, and assassinated a few of his nobles, or executed them on taking his PC's.

At this point, the Giant (new or soon to be new #1 player Jumping Fist) threw his weight into the Mountains while the Black Dragon brought his military to bear in The Mists. My Dwarves did well in several battles with the Giants, but ultimately I was ground down taking on those two. So by turn 24 or so, the Dwarves went from a potentially leading position to not really a factor.

I congratulate all the players who hung in and made this a 31 turn contest of experienced players, and to Jumping Fist who racks up yet another win.
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#4
GAME END STATUS POINTS
PLACE KINGDOM PLAYER RESULTS-31 GRAND TOTAL
1 GI Jumpingfist 27150 32035
2 GN The Deliverer 6420 11319
3 UN Jumbie 6980 11314
4 AN Hamlet 4200 10694
5 BL Wynand 6050 9363
6 RD Lord Brogan 5245 7995
7 SO Iriani 1875 5179
8 WI Lord Thanatos 1500 3416
9 WA DuPont 2010 3317
10 DW The Gray Mouser 700 2775
11 TR Vball Michael 400 1844
13 DE Daredevil 400 1400

(GI). When I got my set-up I noticed right away my GI was heavily shift towards the north west. As usual with the GI position I had a lot of pre game negotiations. I contacted the Elf and told him my 5 kingdom brigades could land on Lorethane by turn 2. I offered him a choice to help me gather information about northern mist PCs as he moves out of that region or I invade Oakendale. He felt I was threatening him and would not comply. Not wanting to kill yet another Elf I offered for him to have control of Oakendale and I gain substantial. No dice. I then turned to the my natural enemy the Witch lord in the northern mist explaining my plan to take him out but since the Elf was to afraid to fight with LT I figured I may as well make a deal with him instead. So we agreed to full game NAP and no alliances with Gnome or Underworld. Worked out for me as the Underworld had turned down my wanting a long term NAP. At the same time I made an alliance with the Warlock that he get all of R5 initially and I would back fill to get substantial after I finish my fight with the Elf. I also contacted the Troll to see if he would like a piece of Oakendale. This was more just to keep the TR happy and not want to invade R1 later. Since he wanted more villages I was to get control but basically be a 50/50 split.

Now ready to start. As advertised all my kingdom brigades were in R1 at the end of T1. I had divined EL PCs and TR divined towns. Instead of hitting the city I brought my entire army with a couple ogres to the EL capital. Took capital then city. TR got his slow green butt into the fight and took the EL village and would start moving on other PC in Region. After failing to 171 my starting R1 town the EL stopped and was not heard from again. The same turn I took control of R1 I also moved my military I to Amberland to take a village and town, part of the back fill plan. I had gained a second priestess during the elf war and was able to do a bit of artifact hunting prior to heading to the next war.

The same turn I moved I to Amberland the WI and Darkelf had launched an attack on my ally the WA. WA told me and I voiced my unhappiness, but I do not think DA and WI realized where my groups actually were. I could do nothing to the WI because of our NAP but could take it out on the DA. I moved my army into the Amberland mountain range bordering the DA homeland the same turn as the actual attack took place. Seemed all those around the Eastern Steppes had no problems with me invading the DA in fact most were happy to see it happen and even provided me additional intel. I called I the TR again figuring he was three turns away to help out if he was willing. To my surprise the TR would be able to hit some of the boarder villages within two turns. I only had one goal to knock out the DA and did not want to get a second region so fully planned to have the TR take this region while I do some of the heavy lifting knocking over DA PCs. After about 5 turns the DA was effectively done but had cost me my ESO on T10 in the process. Also the WA had been beaten down while I was fighting the DA. WA was down to 3 mages and just doing his thing. I did not need to help him but he was there if needed.

TR and I still would never attack each other, but kind of separated. He had ranger blood on his mind and I wanted to cleanup what was left of the DA and get my ESO by T15. It was important because it contained two more kingdom brigades. At this point I had no enemies and a large military so off to kill a Dwarf R3. I saw the BL in region so worked a deal to both go after PCs. I messed up a few combine orders that allowed the DW to have some favorable battle results. In the final battle for his capital I had my groups combined and slaughter the DW army group. I lost no kingdom brigades and the DW lost all but a couple brigades. During this time I had traded most my holding in R6 to secure R3 assets from SO and RD. Oh incase the DW wanted to know that was the GN that killed his king as well. Seems that GN was doing a good job getting the UN into possible trouble

After T25 or so I was just sitting on Evanon with my main group 210k vs PC w/ gem of plains waiting for someone to attack. I owned two regions R1, R3, and could take R5 anytime I wanted. I just needed a 4th region. The SO had dropped, I will move on R9 asap. I tried to win T30 but R9 towns had been so battle ridden that a city 5 towns and a village were not enough to take the region. So I claimed on T31 after getting 4 more villages.

I was hoping with three regions the BL could claim a spot as well. But great job for GN and UN to both accumulate so many status points.

Nominations:
Chancellor - The Deliverer - Even though we had no alliances was always willing to give his take and advise on this game and others.

Iron Willed - LT and DuPont I think both deserve this award. If I have to choose one I would take DuPont, because I was impressed that twice he was able to get control of his region if only for a brief time while always fighting a new enemy.

Infamous - The Deliverer - bringing the Fight to WI in R2 in the early game when some were just getting there first region. Certainly impressed me.

This game had two drops of players with good positions. Early on RA owning his own region that the SO would gobble up to be the only pure Mage not in a early battle with multiple kingdoms. Then the SO on T29 leaving two controlled regions up for grabs. Game may have ended the same due to a deal I had with SO for T35 but still more players leaving viable positions.
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#5
When did SO drop out? I didn't see a notice in the turn report...
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#6
(08-10-2014, 07:55 PM)Jumbie Wrote: When did SO drop out? I didn't see a notice in the turn report...

I didn't notice anything on the reports, either.
-The Deliverer
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#7
(08-10-2014, 08:01 PM)kevindusi Wrote:
(08-10-2014, 07:55 PM)Jumbie Wrote: When did SO drop out? I didn't see a notice in the turn report...

I didn't notice anything on the reports, either.

I figure around turn 29.
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#8
Some nice write-ups. One of the more interesting games and thanks for those posting about the diplomacy - some of that is only learned after years.

There really is nothing formal in Rules or processing on announcing drops. And some players (generally those leaving for good) don't give any indication. And sometimes players sensing an end of game don't drop, just to not disturb things, or maybe get end game status points. I honestly don't have a problem with any of that, but do insist on early drops notifying support for a standby. I think now an early drop is before turn 10, instead of turn 12.
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#9
Wow, Jumpingfist has been wining HUGE. I can't wait to get the game details from Grasshopper so that I can finish Valhalla and post all the incredible details.
 Lord Diamond

Please do not take any of my comments as a personal insult or as a criticism of the game 'Alamaze', which I very much enjoy. Rather, I hope that my personal insight and unique perspective may, in some way, help make 'Alamaze' more fun, a more successful financial venture, or simply more sustainable as a long-term project. Anyone who reads this post should feel completely free to ignore, disregard, scorn, implement, improve, dispute, or otherwise comment upon its content.





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#10
(TR) I really enjoyed this game, but I always felt like I was in slow motion and way behind everyone else. I finished near the bottom Sad.
As the GI mentioned in his write-up, I s-l-o-w-l-y followed him up into the forests and then s-l-o-w-l-y followed him over to Eastern. Then I tangled with the SO and he did all of his fights just right. I have some new respect for big wizards wiping out big portions of troll armies. Anyway, he did a great job and I ended up with pretty much no armies at around turn 27. Was preparing to drop, but the Giant won a well-deseved win. Grats to Jumping.
Chancellor to Jumpingfist, who led with solid strategy and flexibility.
Infamous to the SO for a series of awesome destructive attacks.
Iron-willed to UN and here's why - I agree with his write-up about the UN being well positioned to take 2nd or 3rd and very difficult to actually win with 4 regions, but he kept plugging away at prisoners and artifacts to stay in the running.
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