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Game #111 was the second Anonymous (no diplomacy) game started, but the first completed.

So now, finally, let's here how this variant changed the game, both good and bad. Let's hear from the players who didn't complete the game as well. Here are those that did:

1 Ranger mastered by Thalion II
2 Troll Uprising guided by Acererak
3 Witchlord commanded by Bluefile2
4 Warlock led by Lord Moontree
5 Dark Elf as performed by Harry O
7 Underworld captained by Lord Thanatos
DEMON PRINCES END-OF-GAME REPORT

I stormed out of the gates strongly, taking Arcania on T3 and simultaneously moving on Southern Sands. My SVC was control of two regions and substantial in a third region, with a number of other requirements, including three artifacts.

I basically mistimed my taking of Southern Sands by one turn (I took it one turn too early, in all honesty), which made me a target one turn earlier than I wanted to move. My plan had been to move into Synisvania in strength, but (I'm guessing at least partially) as a result of my taking of Southern Sands, the Ranger player was prepared for me, and declared me an enemy and pre-emptively invaded me in Arcania.

In addition to that difficulty, despite taking two regions and doing a number of 978 orders, I recovered only one artifact from neutral pop centers, and failed utterly at finding any unusual sightings. This was very frustrating, and put any possibility of a blitzkrieg victory out of my grasp.

I was defending very well against the RA invasion, but I took a chance on one turn and declined to Ward my King. This turned out to be a CRUCIAL error, as that was the turn RA (I assume) slept and assassinated my King. I've never had this happen to me before, so I didn't know how devastating it was.

Things got worse, however, when my Demon Prince was promoted to Regent, and I assumed he retained his Demon Prince immunity to sleep. This seemed intuitive, but unfortunately it was wrong. So my Regent was also slept and assassinated the next turn.

What followed was a desperate and at times comical attempt to outguess the Ranger agent or agents, and it seemed like every single turn, I guessed wrong.

After my initial King was assassinated, I also "broke morale" and ended up paying less attention to this game than others, and as a result, I had more blown orders than any other game I've played to date. I lost two more regents to capture or assassination, and the only think keeping me going was the fact that Demon Prince influence cannot go below 11.

Even so, RA abruptly shifted from attacking Arcania, to attacking Southern Sands, which I was unable to respond to due to my lower influence. He quickly booted me from control and then took control of Southern Sands himself.

At this point, I was past T12, and I needed the service level slot for another game. So after setting up some standing orders hitting RA and (a bit earlier) declaring TR an ally in an effort to swing the game toward the RA's major rival, I dropped the game. Turns out I couldn't even set up the standing orders correctly, as I blew two orders and prevented myself from doing some more effective harm to RA.

None of this was anything personal or any offense taken against RA... I just wanted to punish my invader and assist his rival as a matter of principle. Smile

Anyway, I had a great time with this game, even though I didn't finish it. I learned a lot, and honestly think I had the possibility of obtaining a record-speed win if a few things had broken my way. As it stands, I commend RA for (I assume) winning the game. Again, he totally took me apart and outguessed me at every turn. Well done!
In space no one can hear you scream. And so too, in Anonymous Alamaze games.

With the Ranger in a game with no diplomacy, what to do? Can’t communicate with the Sorcerer nor the Black to make arrangements, so I made some assumptions about typical starts for everyone. Had to be sure the Sorcerer was minimized as quickly as possible.

Turn 1 – Enamor Synisvania, divine towns, groups search for pop centers and start looking for artifacts – typical stuff, no surprises. If there was any chance the Sorcerer was going to play nice, his Baron at Almaren dispelled that notion.

Turn 2 – Denigrate the Sorcerer in Synisvania. Without being able to go over the Sorcerer Baron at QW, I relocated my top emmie to a town and worked to minimize what the Sorcerer would be able to do in the region. The city was still Human at the end of the turn and the Baron had not taken an action – his group must be showing up later than turn 1, most likely on turn 2. Since the denigrate worked, it would be unlikely that any diplomacy spell would work.
To keep the Sorcerer down, there would have to be lots of denigrating, so getting on the High Council to help with the influence was a must – so I planned to keep a low bid going every turn for the next 4 months, kind of surprised that I got it right away, but the influence would help since my king would be otherwise occupied.
Emissaries that relocated to towns discovered which were neutral and which were not – DA, SO. The Sorcerer town was good to know, and I decided to stay away from PCs owned by any other kingdom to keep from antagonizing any other player. I don’t think I thought about those PCs at all during the game.

Turn 3 – Denigrate the Sorcerer in Synisvania. Regions 5 (WA!), 6 (DA) and 8 (DE) come under control, no surprise on 6 & 8, but a little surprised to see Amberland go to the Warlock rather than the Giant. I must have been close in Synisvania (5 towns, 4 villages) but didn’t get the region. Recon the SO town that was discovered on Turn 2 – good news, it’s his capital. I was at a neutral village with a group and had a couple other PC locations, but wanted to get the region and be less of a target for the DA, BL, WA and/or DE.

Turn 4 – Denigrate the Sorcerer in Synisvania. Must have been very close on regional control, since taking the Village swung the region. The Dwarf takes region 3 as well on turn 4. Getting control of the region on turn 4 with, you guessed it – the Sorcerer a declared enemy should have made it pretty tough for the Sorcerer to do anything in the region at all, for good measure I try to sleep the SO king that was discovered on turn 3’s recon – success! Ready to make a run at Almaren, so I move a group with a power 3 and two P1s there and find a Sorcerer small division with a P4, P1, Adept.

Turn 5 – Denigrate the Sorcerer in Synisvania. I like the matchup against the Sorcerer group at QW. Combat will be great for me if it happens, so I attack and have 2 P1s to protect my leaders/wizards (I use 1 v the known group and another against another SO group that might or might not be there (just a WAG), and choose to Diplomacy the city with the P3. SO uses Wall of Flame to stop the attack and moves off, clearly the best option at this point.
The Witchlord claims the Mists, and the Troll gets Torvale. Some interesting Ally/Enemy declarations this turn. The Giant declares the Warlock an enemy and the Demon Prince an ally – looks like a plan and an invitation. The Demon Prince however has declared the Black his enemy – better than declaring me an enemy, but looks like he may be heading east. I’ll divine his PCs in Arcania next turn.

Turn 6 – Denigrate the Sorcerer in Synisvania, learning that he is already Hostile in the region. At this point I’m feeling pretty good that the Sorcerer isn’t a threat in the region, in fact I expect that he’s trying to advance somewhere else as there hasn’t been political activity to speak of in Synisvania. The Elf finally gets Oakendell, but holy crap – the Demon has taken the Sands for a second region on turn 6! Turn 6!
This is a huge problem on a couple of levels – huge resources for the Demon is bad for everyone else. With regions 8 and 10, Synisvania has got to be next on his list.

Turn 7 – Need some defense against the Demon, so declare him an enemy. The Warlock and the Dwarf have done the same, hopefully they will think about pressuring him as well. I’m able to enamor region 8 and move into the region with emissaries – hopefully he’s in the Sands and I can make some quick gains to move some of those resources from him to me. I decide to continue to raise wizards rather than move militarily into 8. The Underworld gains control of Runnimede.

Turn 8 – Denigrate the Demon in 9, don’t want him coming in while I’m over there. Move a group to VO (6 RA/3 VE, P4/P3/P3, Dragon Slayer), have pretty good early success with the emmies I’ve moved into Arcania.

Turn 9 – Ugh. Demonic denigration and chilling darkness in Arcania do not bode well for this campaign. Three shield spells means that I take Triesa without much difficulty, move to another town in region 8. Political success is fleeting, with a Count incarcerated and not much other movement. At this point I have the city and one town in 8, not much to slow down the DE.
Runnimede goes uncontrolled.

Turn 10 – More of a push into Arcania – but looking at the results it’s pretty clear the Demon is doing a much better job defending than I am doing attacking. More demonic denigrations, a failed parley, and a DE division at Triesa means this attack is going nowhere fast. I declare the BL an ally on the chance that this will invite cooperation/encouragement, even if it is blind. It occurs to me that I’m doing this later than I should have.
My best hope at this point is to turn the moves in Arcania into a significant feint and pivot to Region 10.
One big bright spot – I have maxed out an Agent – time to give him that ring of invisibility and turn him loose!

Turn 11 – I move to the town I had started with in region 10 and divine the DE PCs in the Sands none too soon as the DE levels 3 demonic denigrations against me in Arcania. I send the Black some food and gold to try and cement any kind of alliance. The divination shows the city (which I’d already been reconning), 7 towns and 6 villages owned by the DE. I think my gift to the BL might have been for naught. The agent w/the ring is successful in bringing down the Demon king. This is the biggest weakness for the Demon Prince, and why some players promote an emmie to a regular prince – so that they can become regent and keep the Demon Princes in the field. Start moving groups towards the Sands and raise those wizards (P4/3/3/3/3/1 now). I lose VO to the DE group, and am down to a single town in region 8, which has been VERY well defended by the Demon Prince.

Turn 12 – Move 7 emmies and 2 groups into the Sands. Take another shot at the DE king/regent with the now level 17 agent. Great success, the Agent is now level 18 and the DE is down 2 Demon Princes.

Turn 13 – Confirmation that the BL is out of the game, no help in the Sands. (GI, RD & SO are out by now as well). However the Troll picks up Runnimede for HIS second region. Nothing I can do about that though. I have good success in region 10, making it go neutral – a huge bonus for continued emmie actions. Orders are full with political, group and wizard actions – no room to use a level 18 agent! Vanasheen’s defenses are up to 41k at this point – much more and taking it will be very painful. Surprisingly, it is still the Demon capital.

Turn 14 – Continued movement in the Sands, the Demon D is now arriving – 1 demonic denigration and group movements. But the region is neutral and I enamor while the DE denigrates. Change things up a little and have the big Agent take out a DE wizard.
The DE declare the TR an ally – not good news.

Turn 15 – at this point the AN/BL/GI/RD/SO are showing as withdrawn. Two demonic denigrations in the Sands, but our persistence has paid off and we get control of the region! We supplant the DE with 2 regions, but the Troll still has 2 and as the third kingdom to have 2 regions so far in the game, I’m hoping the target on our back is not too large. I’m feeling good about the Sands with plenty of politicals, a big (11 RA/2 VE P4/3/3) at Vanasheen (def almost 48k now)with 3 Warlords and worth 62k+ against PCs. This will be a big battle next turn.
Back to the DE regent (still at XV), the assassination by the Agent 19 was actually expected at this point. This puts the DE down 3 Demon Princes. A second agent has maxed at level 12, I will move the ring to him and have 2 agents 15+ now.

Turn 16 – three more shields and the DE capital falls. Costs 3 brigade and a Power 3 wizard, but it looks like the Sands will be held and we can turn our attention back to Arcania after moving on the last DE PCs in region 10.

Turn 17 – Move to VO, the new DE capital, enamor Arcania and start moving emmies in. Both Agents come up empty, but I’m not going to complain about that. the 2TR shows up at a town in Arcania – this is not good news.

Turn 18 – We take the DE capital, capturing and executing the regent. This looks like a back breaker for the Demon Prince. Continue to clean up 10 and work region 8. Discover that the Troll group is carrying the Troll Slayer! Boys, have I got a mission for you.

Turn 19 – Both shots at stealing Troll Slayer fail! With a 15 and a 17! Ugh. Feeling good about the Demon, and the TR having two regions, I teleport a ranger army (P6 baby) to PI and divine TR town locations – all 17 of them! He’s got a presence in Oakendell, Torvale, Runnimede and now Arcania!
The Troll must be worried about me as well, his Army Group moves to Alamaren. Continue to work against DE pop centers in 8 and 10.

Turn 20 – at this point AN/BL/DW/EL/GI/GN/RD/SO are out, leaving DA/DE/RA/TR/UN/WA/WI
OK, new strategy – move the ring of invisibility back to the Agent 15 and take 2 more shots at the Troll Slayer. Success!
Tempering that is the Troll gaining control of Oakendell. Regions 3 and 8 go neutral. The group takes Avalon and teleports to OB while emmies move in to some of the TR towns.
Feeling good about regions 8, 9 and 10 and in position to have both cities in region 4, my SVC is looking to be within reach!
The Troll fails his victory check.

Turn 21 – We take Meridon and the Troll loses control of region 4, as well as losing control of region 7. We pick up region 8 for our third region. There won’t be any time to spare now. Our group in Torvale moves to the Troll capital, man what a lot of prisoners there (20+)!

Turn 22 – lots of kingdoms out – AN/BL/DE/DW/EL/GI/GN/RD/SO (9!)
This is it, we have the TR capital in front of us, both cities and emmies at 3 towns in region 4. The SVC is for 4+ Substantial or better (8,9,10,4), higher wiz that the TR (I have a 6), Agent 7+ (I have 2 nice agents), and 4 artifacts, 2 of which must be weapon (dragon slayer, troll slayer, ring inviso & palantir).
Everything goes off well and the victory is won!

Lots of fun, very impressed with the Demon defense and the Troll’s control of the western 1/3 of the map!
How about a breakdown of all the players in the game? I'd love to see who was playing certain kingdoms (especially that silly dwarf) before they dropped. I'll post my glorious path to 3rd place sometime this week when I can sit down and do a proper job.
What a great account and reckoning, mighty Thalion! Harken unto his telling, lords of Alamaze. There are many gems in the story told to use to your own advantage!
(11-19-2013, 07:26 PM)bluefile2 Wrote: [ -> ]How about a breakdown of all the players in the game? I'd love to see who was playing certain kingdoms (especially that silly dwarf) before they dropped. I'll post my glorious path to 3rd place sometime this week when I can sit down and do a proper job.

Well I was that silly Dwarf. After realizing that in no way I could contact the Red, we duked it out in the TM until turn 9 or so when he gave up. I really used the heck out of the UN setting agent training to 2,000 and had a decent batch of them when I foolishly decided to attack the WI in the Mists. Thinking I could "send word" to the EL by declaring him an ally while declaring the WI an enemy I went and tried it. Of course the next turn the EL drops (even while still owning his region), so I knew I was a dead Dwarf. Most of my artifacts came from the WI (thanks!), but at the end I knew I was hosed so I drove down to Evanon with my largest group holding 4 arties. I figured I would let you and the WA duke it out for them - if you wanted to. I wonder whatever happened to that group and its prizes?
I will say that the anonymous format is interesting, but not for me. I found the complete lack of communication aggravating and frankly not much fun. I was one of the "lucky" players to have another king fighting over their home region from turn 1 with no way to work out a deal with my enemy or try and get help from an ally.
Good game to everyone!

Lord Brogan
(11-20-2013, 12:16 AM)MrTed Wrote: [ -> ]Lord Brogan

Confused, are you MrTed, or Lord Brogan?
"Lots of fun, very impressed with the Demon defense and the Troll’s control of the western 1/3 of the map!" . . . Thalion II

The game concluded with the UN in control of Runnimede! The TR left an opponent alive and able to recover. I believe he failed at his victory condition because he lost control of Cradia (to UN) and Avalon (to RA) on the turn he attempted his victory check.

I believed that with the UN having no means of communicating with allies but no chance of others ganging up on it it was capable of performing well.

The game began with GN and UN fighting for control of Runnimede. Just as I beat him for control of the region, both the GI and TR arrived. I couldn't face either with my groups, but at least only one of them could prevail against the other. The TR won this conflict and eliminated the GI while gaining control of the region.

Now I was prepared to utilize my agents against the TR emissaries/wizards/group leaders. Every order failed... Early kidnaps were successful but every agent stumbled on the way out and ended up dead. My assassination attempts failed miserably. I remained successful in out maneuvering the GN - essentially assisting the TR in the process, but that was okay to me. The GN then dropped as well.

The damn TR eventually took my capital as he did Cradia, but I was prepared with my backup capital in the Sea of Terror protected by 10 strength 16 fleets. I spent lavishly on wizards and recruited troops to train to veterans.

I returned to Cradia with 5 brigades containing a P5, P4 and P3. I parlayed Cradia and increased census, moved to TR town and repeated my spells until I again controlled the region.

Meanwhile my capital now contained five or so Barons or higher and my HP divined the location of Oakendale towns and villages (TR now controlled region 1 only). Four agents were now level 16 and I was prepared to try again pumelling the TR with my agents.

I did learn of RA groups at PI and OB, which I left alone because he had left my village unmolested in Synisvania early in the contest. I did steal his Ring of Protection because I thought it would look good on my best agent. Had I learned of the Ring of Invisibility I am certain I would have been unable to constrain my eagerness to possess such a pretty bauble.

Overall I believe the UN got off to a good start by controlling Runnimede and felt comfortable I could have eventually eliminated the GN. Of course, the presence of the GI and TR was a problem. I waited for one player to eliminate the other (which worked well) and began my agent campaign against the victor -- which met with continued, unmitigated failures.

As the contest ended I again controlled Runnimede, was Tolerant in region 1 and Friendly in both 4 and 7 with a teleporting group capable of taking any city/pop center controlled by the TR. He could no longer match my mobility and I was eager to renew the conflict. I am pleased that none of the four players who attacked my position ultimately won the contest. Two were eliminated and the third came ever so close, but failed nevertheless.

I very much like the anonymous contests because it removes the four or more player alliances. I knew the strong military kingdoms would naturally do well and so purposefully selected a kingdom that would not traditionally start fast. The UN played quite well and with a modicum of success in my early agent actions, the agents would have gained levels and my opponent would have been slowly bled of assets. Alas, my plan did not work out. But I remain convinced the UN will perform just fine in anonymous contests.
(11-20-2013, 12:16 AM)MrTed Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-19-2013, 07:26 PM)bluefile2 Wrote: [ -> ]How about a breakdown of all the players in the game? I'd love to see who was playing certain kingdoms (especially that silly dwarf) before they dropped. I'll post my glorious path to 3rd place sometime this week when I can sit down and do a proper job.

Well I was that silly Dwarf. After realizing that in no way I could contact the Red, we duked it out in the TM until turn 9 or so when he gave up. I really used the heck out of the UN setting agent training to 2,000 and had a decent batch of them when I foolishly decided to attack the WI in the Mists. Thinking I could "send word" to the EL by declaring him an ally while declaring the WI an enemy I went and tried it. Of course the next turn the EL drops (even while still owning his region), so I knew I was a dead Dwarf. Most of my artifacts came from the WI (thanks!), but at the end I knew I was hosed so I drove down to Evanon with my largest group holding 4 arties. I figured I would let you and the WA duke it out for them - if you wanted to. I wonder whatever happened to that group and its prizes?
I will say that the anonymous format is interesting, but not for me. I found the complete lack of communication aggravating and frankly not much fun. I was one of the "lucky" players to have another king fighting over their home region from turn 1 with no way to work out a deal with my enemy or try and get help from an ally.
Good game to everyone!

Lord Brogan

Senior Brogan!!
Good to hear from you. To those tuning into this thread late, I was the WI in 111. After having a game or two go south bu provoking or for some unknown reason angering a neighbor, I wanted to try the turtle mode and shore up defenses to see how that plan worked. It seemed to work well in 108 for KevDusi's SO kingdom, and as this was my first time playing a magic kingdom, I figured it was worth a shot. So my game plan was to snap up my region, disband all my tropps, raise wizards, and find artifacts. Right away I picked a few rings of protection, and the ring of power or whatever ring raises up a wiz level by 1. By turn 9 or 10, I hit my ESO, had a good thing going in the mists and figured that it might be time to expand a bit. So spent 2 turns enamoring 1 and divining all pop centers. I also found the UN cap and watched that EVERY turn to see if he ever made a move in region 2. I had lucked out by scoring Major skeletons on both UN and EL incase either one made a move. Never pulled the trigger on either one. Just as I was ready to jump into 1, a horde of extra noisy dwarven emissaries(Emm) thrash into my region. Pretty sure every DW Emm had announced himself upon arrival, so the element of surprise was mostly lost. I lost a few PC's in the initial invasion turns. Then I found the political beauty of having a set of high ranking wizards to defend a region. For good measure, I denigrated the unwelcomed DW about 5 times via wizards and my King Adonis. While this was going on, I was also using a few high level agents 11-13ish to pick off Dwarven barons, counts, govs, agents, ect. Quite fun! The DW was successful in stealing 2 of my rings and killing my prince, which was kind of a bummer. I used my HP's to divine their locations which lead my to his pesty level 13 agent hidden in one of my villages, and also his capital, a village sitting in the water. After evicting the DW from region 2, for not paying rent, it was decided it was in the Witchlord's best interest to take over/blow up region 3. Excited to put my P 6/6/4/4/3/2 on the offensive, I mustered some troops and put the patrols to work in 3. I had a hard time deciding between plague, demonic vision, blowing up villages... I decided to hit with Demonic visions first and hit the 1DW. Then for the fist few turns, I blew up some random villages before finding out that his cap was at AP or AR in the water. I reconned it after hitting the cap with 4 destroy villages spells, and disappointed that it was still standing. after having blasted away 14,000 points of defense, it still had something like 20,000 value.... Well played there Lord Brogan. A 500 gold recon could have redirected 4 uses of P6 wizards. So a few turns before the end of the game, I planned a grand attack on DU (which was neutral...?) I recruited 2 brigs of whites into my P6/6/2 group and wanted to merge with my other army with P4/4/3. I pooched up my 4/4/3 movement order by putting in DY instead of DV (thanks 1983 data entry system!!!!!!) so I ended up there with my 2 brig group of whites and my high level wizards. At this exact same turn, DA showed up with 20+ brigades and P4/4 ..... F@)(*#!@)(#@#(* hell....... It would have been awesome to nuke his P4's and take min damage, but since I pooched my orders, I had my leaders and whites wiped out. kinda sucked. Insta teleported my 6's back to the cap to raise them up to 7's and regroup. I was substantial in 3 when the game ended, not sure how much DA had. Pretty sure that DA picked up some of the arties that DW stole from me as I found the ring of power in his 3DA. 2 attempts to steal it back with a level 13 failed. I was enamoring and divining 6 to attack DA when the game ended. I think that was most of the high/lowlights of my first appearance on the podium.

As a sidenote, it was very disappointing to see so many players drop early on. Almost made me lose interest in the game as I knew other players were tearing through empty regions. Thankfully Brogan kept me engaged with targets! Lets be friends next time LB Smile
(11-20-2013, 12:18 AM)HeadHoncho Wrote: [ -> ]
(11-20-2013, 12:16 AM)MrTed Wrote: [ -> ]Lord Brogan

Confused, are you MrTed, or Lord Brogan?

Definitely Lord Brogan. MrTed is an old friend that I convinced (coerced) into coming back to the game. He was over the house and never logged his account off - bad Ted! I will see to his punishment shortly.
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