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#1
What a fun game, taking over the Alchemist from The Wise One on turn 23. I won't bore with all of the details, but I will give you some highlights of how UM developed this kingdom so that I stepped in to a very enviable position. I then spent 12 turns developing armies and information and invasions to declare the Rex on turn 35. Two notes - Revelation is awesome and don't ignore Mithril.

          1     AL     Vball Michael             49,022      65,844
          2     AN     Lord Garth                54,015      77,359
          3     DE     Windstar                  25,748      38,574
          4     LY     Brek                      18,036      35,412
          5     GN     Harry O                   12,924      20,343

UM likes to develop his kingdoms pretty thoroughly, especially the economy for mage kingdoms and he did so in this game pretty darn well. By turn 5, he had taken his region and had 7 Power 3 wizards working on his capital that he had moved to the city in Zamora. Alchemist was making 44,000 food and 117,000 gold. Also had a wizard tower and 200 mithril workers. 

By turn 10, the Alchemist had 10 wizards (ESO) and 3 were at P5. Labs were producing 300 gunpowder and the 550 mithril workers were bringing in the mithril. The Capital had added a granary and a port and a citadel and production was about 113,000 food and 263,000 gold (pretty nice for turn 10 and only 1 medium-sized region). Influence was almost 20, but the Alchemist had attracted no visitors up to this time.

On turn 15, the Alchemist had 9 wizards at 6 and 1 wizard at 5 and most were already protected by simulacrums. Capital had added a thieves guild, a castle and a temple. All troops had long ago been eliminated, so upkeep was only for Zamora. The kingdom had a nice accumulation of gunpowder and mithril but had not used any yet. 

Turn 20 saw half the wizards at level 9 and the other half almost there. The King had become Eternal the previous turn (5,000 mithril used), and we still had no troops and production was similar to turn 10. 

Finally, on turns 21-23, the Alchemist started to prepare for invading. All wizards were level 9, numerous centurions were hired, some gunpowder was sold for cash, and the first troops were recruited. For Alchemists, that means 1 iron golem, then Shambling Mounds, then Gelatinous Cubes, on down the Summon Monster list (but mostly limited to 3 for the tough guys). Secret passages were now in place and then The Wise One had to go answer some calls in real life, so he shouted out for someone to step in. I took that opportunity and, as you might imagine, was pretty pleased with the kingdom I inherited. In fairness, there had been no actions by any opponent against the AL, so that certainly helps as it seems many kingdoms were engaged in battles elsewhere.

Turns 24-27 I continued to just develop the kingdom, Summoning 9 or 10 very tough creatures each turn, with the intention of having 4 teleporting, invisible, 10-man armies each worth over 50,000. I added enough Centurions to round out the leadership, and continued to develop the capital with Forge, Forum, Apothecary and Watch Towers. I cast Revelation on LI and LY as they had built no Legendary Castles and were nearby, and were likely not to have high level wizards. At the end of 26, I had my 40 troops with the 10 Power 9 wizards, and 5 Princes ready to move. On turn 27, invaded the LI region of Sword Coast with Princes and invisible groups.

Turns 28-30, I took Sword Coast with invisible armies hitting towns and Princes taking villages, then they all met at the LI capital city and after 4 meteor strikes, took the city militarily with 1% damage. Most battles cost me about .4% damage. Did Revelations on DE and GN when I had time and eventually had tight control in Sword and the LI was eliminated. I used mithril to build a Plow and it appeared at my cap, right where I wanted it. I moved troops home to reorganize and decide what to do next. Production was about 300,000 food and 388,000 gold. Alchemist was in 4th place on stats, about where the kingdom had been at each reporting. The Ancient Ones were solidly in front on points, with the FT, LY, AL, DE and LI following behind. I also created a Crystal of Seeing so I could look at occasional PCs without wasting a P9 wizard. 

Turns 31-33, I invaded the Lycans in Zanthia and then Krynn. There was one scary moment when my army group of 15 landed at his capital and was surprised to find his 1LY there with 41 brigades. Oops, should have stuck to the invisible army strategy. I escaped with 40% damage, but teleported to Krynn so he could not follow. He took only 7% damage and next turn his group was 58 brigades at his capital. All 3 of my level 9 spells had fizzled due to his magic resistance (better plan against LY is to throw things like Valor that don't get affected by his resistance). Another funny incident was when that running-away group teleported to a Lycan town in Krynn only to find that the Gnome had moved 5 princes there, presumably to invade Krynn himself. I captured 2 and sent the other 3 home. By the end of 33, I had all of Zanthia except the LY capital and enough of Krynn to be just 1 village or so short of control. So, on turn 33, I sent 4 invisible groups plus 2 princes to the Demon Princes region of Mythgar and left 3 princes in Krynn to clean up the last villages. I had also started building a couple of castles and greater castles per turn, and even ended up with a few legendaries just in case the game went all the way to turn 40. 

When I took Krynn on turn 34 and about 55% of Mythgar (with invisible groups at the remaining PCs), it was clear that turn 35 would be the end. While the Alchemist did win by Rex, I did so by avoiding the scary Ancient Ones who had a ton of legendary castles and lots of high wizards and 3 regions. What I don't know is why nobody EVER attacked the Alchemist. The first time a group or an emissary ever showed up at an Alchemist pop center was on turn 35. 

Congratulations to the finishers, with only 5 who survived to the end, and especially to the AN who was on track to win by points. I would be interested to know about the drops, sometimes even while controlling a region or two with tight control. 

Learnings: mithril is important - Eternal King, Plow of the Prophet and Crystal of Seeing. Gunpowder seemed less important, though, like ships, it was useful for Gold sometimes and I also used it to refresh troops a few times with fireworks. Be careful of which magic you use against magic-resistant kingdoms (focus on enhancing your own troops then). Use the strengths of your chosen kingdom, rather than a set pattern no matter which kingdom you play (I tend to fail at this, developing all my kingdoms similarly even though they are very different). And finally, get lucky and have nobody interfere with you while you develop, and maybe encourage it with trades or scare tactics.
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#2
This was a game defined by drops. 

I think it was around T20 or so when kingdoms started dropping like flies.   The Deathknights in Nyvaria were barely hanging on and his region got gobbled up by the Fairy Folk of Untamed and the Rangers of Diamond but he would last a couple of more turns.  Then the Giants of Zanthia got bounced by the Lycans of Krynn.  And then the Elf of Darkover just .. dropped.

As the Ancient ones in Triumvia I took advantage and spread into Darkover but wound up butting heads with the Ranger and then the Free Traders out of Pellinor.  Then the Ranger just stopped and went after the Lizard king down in Sword and doubled teamed him with the Lycans.  Then the Ranger dropped.  Around the same time the DE of Mythigar went after the Fairies and the Fairies dropped.   

With the Ranger gone I moved emissaries in and went after Diamond while still dealing with the Free Traders who wound up showing up at my capitol with about 23 brigades a P9,.P6, P3 and a few arties.  We had a particularly bloody battle where I routed him, he lost his wizards and I took his artifacts.   The Free Traders and the Lizard man would drop on the same turn.

By now I had already taken Diamond and the DE took Nyvaria but with Pellinor now open I hurried in for my fourth region.  The Gnome, led by a new player was quiet in the Crown Islands and the Lycans were fighting the Alchemist of Zamora.  The DE had the same idea as me and we began to bump heads in Pellinor. 

At one point my 36 brig Army landed on the 1DE 50 brig army on the same turn it became clear to me that the LY were no longer a factor in this game and the AL was going after his fifth region: Mythigar.  The DE lost control of the region and the AL was a few pops from a win.  I really wanted that battle with the DE and thought I could have won but it would serve no purpose so I used Ancient Intervention and hoped the DE would go back to Mythigar with those troops and fight off the AL.  I also cast Revelation on the AL that same turn and tried to move my forces closer to the AL's position.  But it was too late.  The next turn the AL took Mythigar and the game.  As it turns out, the biggest drop of all was Uncle Mike's who apparently built the AL into a powerhouse, dropped, and left it to Vball. But it was Vball who closed the deal and managed to bring home the win. Congrats to Vball!

The Ancient Ones have always been a solid position. You can't go wrong with good troops, good traits and three friggin' kings! But now with Immortality they have are even better. I'm surprised I don't see them in more games.


Lord Garth
2022 First Runner up Alamaze Champion.
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#3
Interesting game drops ruined it 100%.
The Lycans never saw peace, and were constantly at war with an invasion by the giants on turn 5. Having brokered a treaty for a short term peace with them and tried to move north, only to have the giants break the peace a turn early leaving me way out of position. This forced me to leave the Gnome alone with just his capital (So damn close!!) and had lost any edge a military kingdom has over a mage. Forced to return home I was able to destroy the Giants after some extracted fighting only to then have the gnome retake their region and snag my capital which I had been forced to move north due. to back and forth pc trading with the giants (nicely done by the way!), and then Lizards start invading, followed by the Al.
Pretty hard to contend with 11 lvl 9 mages and quickly lost my regions in the end.
I want to give Gnomes a big shout out you played well!
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#4
Sorry about dropping in this on, folks. I missed two turns in a row (not deliberately) just as the DE attacked me and I was pretty screwed after that. Totally my fault, it was a busy time and somehow I thought I had entered turns and hadn't. Wasn't cheesed off at the DE or anything like that - just bad timing and bad luck. Congrats to the winners.
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