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Lightning win by Brek
#21
(04-07-2020, 10:10 AM)Ry Vor Wrote:
(04-06-2020, 04:36 PM)Senior Tactician Wrote:
(04-06-2020, 04:26 PM)Pine Needle Wrote: By the time I looked up, it was too late. I was really 2 turns from being able to do anything about the Red, which is at least three turns too late. Nice job, Brek.

I loved the Pirates. Lots of gold, and fleets, and agents. When UN lowered agent prices, I actually made money raising agents, and I'm sure UN did very well, too.

I consciously avoided taking the RD town in my region to avoid his ire, but I guess some ire was needed.

I patrolled seas 5 times total, 4 totally to be a dick (and gold), and once when it was close between the $20k and mercantile, and lost 4 of 5 sea battles, so not sure how good that pirate sea battle booty bonus is.

Went after the Druid in turn 11 or 12. I thought attacking in summer would be a surprise. Was doing ok, but I couldn't find his capital after 30? recons. Agent 4 finds hidden capitals, right?

Finally, the AT village in the Sorrows was like the One Ring. I had to have it... wanted to pull the trigger but didn't want to stop fighting the DU for a turn or two. I think the tactic to leave a group there was really smart- DU couldn't take it, and kept bountying the region, so you had this floating gem of summer producing food in winter. And gold from the fleet. Like I said, I wanted it.

Nice game, everyone, and stay healthy IRL.

Thou shalt not covet thy Altantians sea village!  I worked very hard for that thing!  My second group started out in the south of Krynn.  SO, it was either sit there and raise a wizard until I could teleport, a long dangerous trip through druid and ranger territory, or, as it turns out, circumnavigate the sea of sorrows until I found a village from which I could build a fleet. I think it wasn't until turn 4 when I stumbled across a druid village with a bunch of apes guarding it.  I was barely able to take out the apes and the village with my starting 2AT (with one added brigade of green westmen).  Finally the lost Atlantians made it to sea, only to be attacked by pirates on a peacefull merchant mission! (luckly, I showed those pirates who was boss Wink  I was going to later upgrade to a town so I could build a castle and port, but you may have noticed, the game did not last very long.

Since a port is kind of supposed to be a big thing, with coastal PC's already getting bonuses, but with the logic being to build fleets quickly to recover the cost early, when we do an update, the port will change probably in a couple ways, but one will be to retrofit your ships: to upgrade the quality of your existing fleet, rather than just your future fleets.

With the 50% bonus to food and gold a lot of us have been delaying the port for a bit to get the food and gold improved BEFORE the bonus kicks in as it is a one time thing.
What would players think about having the port give a bonus for all time like the plow does?  That way you could build it early and get the multipliers working and continue to improve production with 600 orders or hidden ore and fertile fields.
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#22
Just to expound a bit upon my point of the Red Dragon menace, the differences in the kingdoms are why I think Alamaze has been around for now 35 years. Ahem. 

You play them all differently, but you have to be aware of the biggest threat.  In Second Cycle, I intended the Witchlord to be the biggest menace: that if there was not a coalition to oppose him, he would win, obviously like LOTR (before the movies, though).  But I don't think that actually happened.  Each iteration of Alamaze has had its most popular, and its most successful kingdoms, and I still owe a couple kingdoms (Halflings come first to mind) a few modifications.

In 1st Cycle, the Westmen, Paladins and Dwarves were the most preferred.   We still have Dwarves, though I remember Dwarven players then issuing ten 600 orders a turn to build gold and defense.  That didn't seem right.  

In 2nd Cycle (long time ago), The Giants were dominant.  Then, like the dinosaurs, an asteroid took out the Giants.  Also, in a moment of weakness, I went with a friend's suggestion to create the Swampmen, perhaps my biggest failure.  The transition from me to Phil running Alamaze in large part had to do with the wretched Swampmen.  Steve was running the games while i was pursuing my career and I would check in, and in those days there were file cabinets, with paper files, and folders of requests to be in a game with a certain one of 15 possible kingdoms in a 15 player game.  This was the heyday, the halogen days after the Dragon Magazine review, so as many as 1000 positions active.  We had a rented apartment and a staff of six to make everything go.

Steve was not very diligent.  Turns were being run sporadically, often a week late.  This was when a turn was $7.50 and players would wait by their mailboxes for the day's delivery.  I don't know if you have seen the movie, The Shining, with Jack Nicholson, when his wife sees hundreds of typed pages of just, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy", creepy.  That was what it was like when I looked in the file cabinet and saw seven games with 14 players, waiting to be created, some for weeks, all for lack of a Swampman player in each.  I don't think I really have a temper issue, but I confess I confronted my well paid manager about this situation, pretty directly.  Steve just said, "No one wants to be the Swampman."   I said back, "Steve, you are the Swampman in each of those games.  Get them rolling."

Anyway, Steve didn't really come around, and Phil loved Alamaze - we would talk for hours on little aspects of the game - and an arrangement was made.  His son Patrick came  down with a truck and after a day of teaching how to start and run games, he was off to North Carolina with five computers, five printers, hundreds of maps and rulebooks.  Understand this was when it took a computer about two hours to process a turn, and about the same time to print it, if you didn't have a paper jam.

OK, sorry for that.  Then in 3rd Cycle: The Choosing, the Dark Elves were at the top, loaded with the new concept of kingdom traits.  The High Elves had fallen into some disfavor replaced by the Druid, who did quite well, and continues so (conspicuously, which is not a good long-term plan as regards ongoing Alamaze development) but now with two choices for each region, pleasingly there was a balance.  The Witchlord had been replaced by the Necromancer, who I expected to be a bit more dominant but wasn't, really.   Now we also had Amazons and Nomads, The Tyrant of Gor, the Sacred Order and others. 

Maelstrom of course is a pride.  Now, requiring though the new map, any kingdom can be in any region.  This puts a bit of pressure on the designer.  I don't know that another game has attempted this.   

Rather than ramble on, I would just say, based on this thread and some other recent results, the strategies are evolving.  In the beginning, the focus was to secure your region.  Now some players are assuming their region will be there for the taking, as all other players are only attending to their own capital region, and these avant-garde players are instead inventing new blitz invasions.  Jus' sayin'.     Open for comments.
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#23
Very nice summary.  It stands to reason the RD is perfect for a blitz attack.  His starting assets are of incredible mobility and strength.  With this last win, the RD now has the highest win rate, and that's not even including the win Dupont would have had if he wanted it bad enough to remember to claim it Wink

4 wins in 18 games beating out the AN with 4 wins in 23 games.  (AN still has more podiums though, as the RD rarely places if he doesn't win.)

It certainly depends on who your neighbors are though, and what kingdoms they play.  While the RD was on track to blitz still another game I am playing, he ran up against a couple of tenacious players, some impressive armies, and is now kind of on the defensive.
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#24
Just a thought, but if you decided the RD is a bit overpowered, one very small change that could be interesting is to reduce his movement to a maximum of 6 units instead of 8.  From the older Alamaze versions, agents and emissaries were clipped from 10 to 7, and its substantial.  But the dragons 8 squares stayed the same, and its a pretty massive advantage.  Even flying specters can only go 7.  Also, the BL is among the worst finishers, so I think it is safe to say that the 8-square movement is not a game-changer.... it would just be a very small change to clip his wings a bit.

It makes sense that one dragon is powerful but slower, while the other dragon is weaker but faster.  Providing an interesting choice between the two.  I would like to play the black because of his poor showings but its hard to justify the choice of the Black over the Red, unless you just admit you want to do it for the challenge.  The black has no important traits that the red doesn't have (tracking), and is absent two more important ones (rich, stalwart).  His wizards are one tier better, that's it.  I didn't check the spell lists (the RD gets hidden ore at 2, does the BL?), but I don't see a kingdom with such high mobility over-spending on wizards anyway.  Just some low-levels to windstorm and protect leaders/wizards.
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#25
(04-07-2020, 12:49 PM)Senior Tactician Wrote: Just a thought, but if you decided the RD is a bit overpowered, one very small change that could be interesting is to reduce his movement to a maximum of 6 units instead of 8.  From the older Alamaze versions, agents and emissaries were clipped from 10 to 7, and its substantial.  But the dragons 8 squares stayed the same, and its a pretty massive advantage.  Even flying specters can only go 7.  Also, the BL is among the worst finishers, so I think it is safe to say that the 8-square movement is not a game-changer.... it would just be a very small change to clip his wings a bit.

It makes sense that one dragon is powerful but slower, while the other dragon is weaker but faster.  Providing an interesting choice between the two.  I would like to play the black because of his poor showings but its hard to justify the choice of the Black over the Red, unless you just admit you want to do it for the challenge.  The black has no important traits that the red doesn't have (tracking), and is absent two more important ones (rich, stalwart).  His wizards are one tier better, that's it.  I didn't check the spell lists (the RD gets hidden ore at 2, does the BL?), but I don't see a kingdom with such high mobility over-spending on wizards anyway.  Just some low-levels to windstorm and protect leaders/wizards.

That could be a bit much.   But perhaps less starting gold so they cannot just make up for short comings so easy.   Currently RD starts with 115k gold.  Other rich kingdom only get 85K.  So RD is getting a 30k bump on top of already being Rich.   So remove the 30k bump and the free 2 points ESO.  May start to see some change.   Seems small but the military cost and the need for a p3 early would help make the RD make some harder early choices
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#26
Funny story about the Swampmen. Do you wake in the night sweaty and frightened... “The Swampmen are back! Noooooooo!”
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#27
(04-07-2020, 01:34 PM)Draugr Wrote:
(04-07-2020, 12:49 PM)Senior Tactician Wrote: Just a thought, but if you decided the RD is a bit overpowered, one very small change that could be interesting is to reduce his movement to a maximum of 6 units instead of 8.  From the older Alamaze versions, agents and emissaries were clipped from 10 to 7, and its substantial.  But the dragons 8 squares stayed the same, and its a pretty massive advantage.  Even flying specters can only go 7.  Also, the BL is among the worst finishers, so I think it is safe to say that the 8-square movement is not a game-changer.... it would just be a very small change to clip his wings a bit.

It makes sense that one dragon is powerful but slower, while the other dragon is weaker but faster.  Providing an interesting choice between the two.  I would like to play the black because of his poor showings but its hard to justify the choice of the Black over the Red, unless you just admit you want to do it for the challenge.  The black has no important traits that the red doesn't have (tracking), and is absent two more important ones (rich, stalwart).  His wizards are one tier better, that's it.  I didn't check the spell lists (the RD gets hidden ore at 2, does the BL?), but I don't see a kingdom with such high mobility over-spending on wizards anyway.  Just some low-levels to windstorm and protect leaders/wizards.

That could be a bit much.   But perhaps less starting gold so they cannot just make up for short comings so easy.   Currently RD starts with 115k gold.  Other rich kingdom only get 85K.  So RD is getting a 30k bump on top of already being Rich.   So remove the 30k bump and the free 2 points ESO.  May start to see some change.   Seems small but the military cost and the need for a p3 early would help make the RD make some harder early choices

All good points by both of you to be considered.  I kind of like the Red Dragon to limit to 7 areas where the black remains at 8, and also removing Rich from the Red Dragon.  Meanwhile, I haven't really lost the idea that the Red Dragon should be scary, especially early, as the Underworld tends to be in the mid-game, and later, the mage kingdoms.  Also pleasing though is some military kingdoms like the Amazons and Rangers are doing pretty well.  Of course, the main story is the specialty kingdoms: AN, DE, PI, UN have been doing well.  Also I appreciate players taking on the challenge of playing underutilized kingdoms.
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#28
(04-08-2020, 03:47 PM)Pine Needle Wrote: Funny story about the Swampmen. Do you wake in the night sweaty and frightened... “The Swampmen are back! Noooooooo!”

It really was like that scene in The Shining.  Editorial remark: probably the scariest movie shot entirely in day time.  And in reflection, Jack Nicholson may actually be under-appreciated as an actor, given his range.

Like some other former kingdoms, Westmen, Paladins, others, the Swampmen are now a recruitable companion type, although they are not generally heavily recruited.  The previous map had more swamp than the current one.  I think the Swampmen will get more like a 100% bonus in the swamp next time around.
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#29
(04-09-2020, 09:27 AM)Ry Vor Wrote:
(04-08-2020, 03:47 PM)Pine Needle Wrote: Funny story about the Swampmen. Do you wake in the night sweaty and frightened... “The Swampmen are back! Noooooooo!”

It really was like that scene in The Shining.  Editorial remark: probably the scariest movie shot entirely in day time.  And in reflection, Jack Nicholson may actually be under-appreciated as an actor, given his range.

Like some other former kingdoms, Westmen, Paladins, others, the Swampmen are now a recruitable companion type, although they are not generally heavily recruited.  The previous map had more swamp than the current one.  I think the Swampmen will get more like a 100% bonus in the swamp next time around.

Or give swampies a little fear in all terrain and they will get used more for sure.
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#30
Yep! Congrats Brek on a well played game. They should be feared, and the magical restrictions are great and necessary.
Rich and the hoard are alot for them, but they eat sooo much. Tough call
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