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Game #107 - Team Game won by Guardians of Truth - Ry Vor - 12-26-2013

Game #107 was very difficult for a number of kingdoms. It was the first of the public (non-private) team games (2nd Cycle of Magic) completed. It was won by the team Guardians of Truth (Ranger, Ancient One, and Dwarf) on turn 28, Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to Truth! A number of kingdoms dropped by the wayside before turn 15.
It seems the teams that coordinated most closely fared much better than those that did not.

Here we may learn of the trials and tribulations in one of the only team games to date. Spill your guts!

RE: Game #107 - Team Game won by Guardians of Truth - The Gray Mouser - 12-26-2013

I was the Black Dragons, with two formidable teammates who ruled the Underworld and the Witchlord. Things went downhill from turn 1.

I mistakenly entered a Raise Influence order on turn 1 instead of Enamoring the Southern Sands. I was short gold on turn 2 and my emissaries couldn't take Vanasheen. I arranged a trade/gift with the Underworld that didn't go through because he didn't notice a Ranger group at one of his PC's which attacked and caused the trade to fail. It took about six turns to get done what should have been done on turn 2 or 3.

I had an informal agreement with the Ranger, and we didn't mess with one another. I had virtually no contact with the Dwarves or Ancient Ones.

Soon I was facing a two front war with the Red Dragons rampant in the west supported by the Gnomes, who shared Runnimede although with the Red having control, and the Sorcerer from the east. I had some forrays into Synisvania with marginal success, but ultimately it was a beatdown. The Underworld resigned early, the Witchlord had his own difficulties, and by turn 18 or so I was merely a nuisance, or perhaps a distraction to The Secret Society.

Near the end I had divined Red Dragon villages, as I was now in Runnimede, with the Southern Sands overrun by enemies. I was impressed with both the number and varied regions of his villages, and thought the Rex of the Red might win by secret victory.

I recommend him for Infamous standing, not so much for any smack talk or poetry, but for the best example of Red Power I have seen so far.

RE: Game #107 - Team Game won by Guardians of Truth - Lord Diamond - 12-26-2013

My Secret Society had a 2-part NAP with the Guardians of Truth towards the end of the game. The first part was that none would attempt an individual victory. The second was a NAP with a 3-turn cancellation clause. We invoked the cancellation clause after most of the other players dropped, but the Guardians attacked a turn early and managed to snag the team victory.

While this will make much more cautious with our NAPs in the future, namely who we NAP with, we must congratulate them for their excellent play. It should be noted that had we also betrayed the NAP the same turn, there is no way that they would have had 7-regions. We had nobles, agents, and wizards in place to make certain they did not have control on the next turn. There are no hard feelings in any case. It's a game, after all.

We spent most of the game attempting to eliminate the BL-UN-WI. That, and retrieving artifacts. Well, the Gnome and the Sorcerer retrieved artifacts while I watched with envy! By the end of the game we had 21 of them, worth a total of 7400 status points. I can't tell you how many times we divined various Portals while trying to find the Key to the Ring of Power. We had the location of the Ring, but the key was beyond our reach.

My Red Dragons lost all their wizards along the way, which made me very sad. Although militarily strong, I also had a boatload of agents and nobles.

The SO did end up with a P-10 wizard, thanks to the Ring of Spells he lifted from an inattentive Warlock, so that was pretty cool even if he didn't get the spell list for it. He was one turn away from destroying a bunch of towns and villages; missing that opportunity is perhaps the biggest tragedy of the Guardians declaring victory when they did!

The Gnome went a little crazy with 'Hidden Ore' spells. One town produced over 37k and he even had a village producing 16k. He seemed to enjoy it, however. He is most upset that his Seven Gnome Governors (Doc, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, Happy, Grumpy, and DDoc (he has a stutter) didn't get to do much.

RE: Game #107 - Team Game won by Guardians of Truth - kevindusi - 12-26-2013

And now time for The Guardians of Truth to give their own version of the Truth.

First, allow us to say that this was definitely an interesting competition for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which was the initial diplomacy. Sharing regions with two of the members of the Secret Society made it a necessity to come to terms with them early out of the gates, and deals were made to the effect of the Dwarf getting control of the Talking Mountains (and the city therein) and the Sorcerer getting a similar deal in Synisvania (control and the city). As the Ranger, I made a short-term NAP with the Black - I believe for 6 turns - that ended up with us largely ignoring one another. The Ancient One, played by Wynand, made deals of his own - early on with the Underworld and then with the Troll. What was interesting about the Troll deal was that the Cult of Chaos (DA/DE/TR) did not seem to communicate too well with one another, and when the Ranger and Ancient One attempted to move on Arcania the Troll did not respond until showing up in Ranger territory several turns later. Meanwhile, the Darkelf had invaded the Mountains, which the Dwarf (Helix) had not successfully taken control of yet due to some miscues coordinating (or not coordinating, as it were) with the Red over the PC split.

Around this time, the Demon Prince dropped due to some 'outside the game' issues and was inactive for a couple of turns, which obviously allowed the Guardians to make a lot more headway in Arcania. Frustration took its toll then on the remaining Cult of Chaos members as the Darkelf did not see a viable way to continue without teammates (the TR was still MIA). The Troll lasted a few turns longer and then dropped out as well.

Now things were getting hectic with a bit of a power vacuum in Arcania and the Steppes, the BL/UN/WI struggling to hold back the RD/SO/GN, and The Order of Justice starting to look at our holdings as more appealing than their own. Conflict ensued, the Warlock ended up dropping out while holding a very viable position and we took advantage of that to have the Ranger swarm in to 5 while the Giant was lumbering around in The Mountains (which the Dwarf STILL did not have control of) and the Steppes. The Ancient One moved to Oakendale, had some minor success there, and the frustrated Giant and Elf dropped, citing the fact that playing 2 v 3 simply was not fun.

At this point, the Red triggered the 3 turn warning regarding the expiration of our NAP and the mad dash for pop centers ensued. Having sat next to the Giant group that laid siege to Zabzanka for 2 turns, the Red was in position to take that city and then move on Gurisek (which the Giant had also just taken). The Ancient One picked up the bulk of 1 and the Ranger managed to pick up a goodly chunk of the Mists in a very tight race with the Red (we both usurped control of the same pop centers in a couple of locations and those ended up going 2:1 in favor of the Ranger). The siege of Viperhead was set to conclude on turn 28 while a lost-looking Dwarf stumbled upon Zabzanka (now controlled by the RD) on turn 27. On turn 28, the last turn of non-aggression, the Dwarf was finally able to conclude business on the deal made early in the game with the Red that The Talking Mountains, and the city therein, would go to the Dwarf. It was a lengthy affair to finally put that deal to rest. Coupled with the finalized siege on Viperhead giving the Ranger control of the Mists... the Guardians were able to claim a narrow win on the same turn that the Society were - very non-aggressively - declaring us enemies and moving into our pop centers.

Congrats to all that stuck it out in a game that was fun at times and frustrating at others. Going forward I would say that this format can be a lot of fun, but that it is very important to have solid teammates that you are comfortable communicating with. This, more than most things, heavily impacted our team in game 107.

RE: Game #107 - Team Game won by Guardians of Truth - Lord Diamond - 12-26-2013

We didn't intentionally move on a single Guardian pc. When we had divined and reconned them, they were all held by other kingdoms. If they landed on one of your pcs, they didn't take further action. Nor did our nobles take action against any pc with an AN/TR/DW flag.

That was an interesting interpretation by the Dwarf. I will keep that in mind moving forward. Smile

The SO did do some last turn declarations, but neither the RD nor GN declared your team enemies. That would have been the next turn.

I think this format would be a lot more fun with just four teams instead of five.

RE: Game #107 - Team Game won by Guardians of Truth - DuPont - 12-26-2013

I played this game as the GI and had two great teammates in the EL and WA. Our early goal was to secure Oakendell for the EL and Amberland for the WA with me going after the WI in the Mists. He got me good on turn two by showing up at Viperhead to kill my wizards meaning I had to siege the city. I really think the EL/GI/WA is not a fair combo for the WI because he's got a hostile team surrounding him, but we took advantage of it. We'd managed to get the neutral team onto our side as that would have been the only thing to make the difference, I think. The UN did his best to help the WI, but he had his own problems elsewhere. I eventually managed to take the Mists and then with a big fleet, I crushed the remaining WI towns and capital in the Sea of Terror. At this point, we felt the best option was to attack the other 'good' team as we had an agreement with the neutrals and the AN/RA/DW team looked to be doing well. The DW seemed to be the vulnerable player - my plan was to knock her out as fast as I could while my allies were tying up the AN/RA and then moving against the RA. It took a turn or two longer than I wanted because of bungled orders, but I felt we were in a good position. There were three strong teams with the two good teams in conflict and the Neutral team able to sit back and let things play to their advantage. Plus, a couple of 'evil' teams were still around to mix things up.
Unfortunately, our WA player had a personal problem and had to drop all his games. We asked for a replacement for the position as it was quite viable, but for some reason that I still do not understand, we were not accommodated in this. This made me very unhappy and I expressed this. The final straw was a couple of turns later when the game was delayed a day for another player's personal issue. I didn't object to that at all - I am all in favor of such things - but I just didn't consider the way our team had been treated was fair. With our WA position lost to us, the EL/GI had no chance to win - all we would be able to do was throw it to one of the other teams and I just didn't feel like spending several turns doing that. My position was quite viable - had lots of gold, troops and emissaries, but I just threw in my cards in disgust - something I never do and didn't feel very good about, but it was the right thing in this game.
Nothing against the winning team, but I consider it a hollow victory. I would have loved to have seen how things would have played out if we'd gotten a WA player - I think it could have been epic (and I am in no way suggesting the WA/AN/DW teams still would not have won - they might well have).
I'll never play this format again. I won't be held hostage to a drop that cannot be replaced.

RE: Game #107 - Team Game won by Guardians of Truth - Cargus10 - 12-26-2013

Well, must clear up something - I was the EL in this game, and the second hold up DuPont mentions was, in fact, due to me - my dad (who is 93) had a bit of a crisis and I was away from the computer for some hours near the turn deadline. So we kind of DID get accommodated there. DuPont didn't know it was me, nor did anyone else, and I hadn't realized it was an issue with. Mea culpa Sad

Anyhow, as the EL, I had a very difficult time early on. 2EL started on the Mists "island", which was expected, but 3EL started in the Sea or Terror. Moving onto land, I got intercepted by a large UN fleet and "glub" went my group. Meanwhile the WI caught 2EL. So by turn 3 or so, I had lost all but 3 commanders and 2 wizards. But, Oakendell was secured and things were moving alonge well as DuPont mentioned, despite my hideously bad agent luck (apparently this is a curse, as it follows me from game to game). Losing the WA the day before a critical turn was due really hurt, but recovery would have been possible - his position was quite strong. Yet the "no replacements after turn 6" rule is apparently sacrosanct, and things went rapidly downhill. I agree that it would have been an epic battle, but that's just not the way it was to go.

I can't deny I enjoyed most of the game, but like DuPont, I won't be playing this format again.

RE: Game #107 - Team Game won by Guardians of Truth - davekuyk - 12-27-2013

Reading these reports myself, and I'm sure others, would like to hear why the "no replacements after turn 6" rule is in place.

RE: Game #107 - Team Game won by Guardians of Truth - Lord Diamond - 01-08-2014

We still need the status points for this game. Thanks.

RE: Game #107 - Team Game won by Guardians of Truth - Lord Diamond - 01-10-2014

Rick? Cipher? Can we please get the final standings for this one?