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Decoding Game #103, a Steel Game with Lots of Chatter
#11
I played the Sorcerers in 103.

Early on, I agreed to non-aggression with the Demons (unclemike) and the Red Dragons (kevindusi), and worked out a deal for the sharing of Synisvania with the Rangers (Jumbie). Jumbie originally approached me and offered me control of Synisvania in exchange for the city of Almaren. Unfortunately, my ESO required that I have a city, a wizard artifact, and the most powerful wizard in the game, so I had no intention of giving up the city right next door. I declined his offer and wished him luck, and then he countered with the exact opposite offer, whereby I get the city and he get control of the region. I accepted. Later on, unclemike reportedly told Jumbie what an awful deal he got, while the Warlocks (DuPont) indicated in the forums that I got an awful deal. Like in politics, if everyone thinks they got a bad deal, it was probably a fair one, so I have no regrets on that count.

The development of my wizards was the most interesting part of the game for me. Since I knew I'd be limited to relatively few PCs early on, I quickly developed three Power-3s to sit at my capital casting Hidden Ore, Strengthen Wall, and later on Fertile Fields. By the end, this was my capital:

REG AREA NAME TYPE DEFENSE CENSUS FOOD GOLD OTHER
9 TZ MOORS OF BASCAR TOWN 55,047 37,420 14,050 42,228 NA

After developing three quick Power-3s, I picked one and pushed it as high as I could get it. On turn 10, I advanced my top wizard to a Power-7. If only the rest of my ESO had gone according to plan... I had used a High Priestess to locate a WIZARD artifact for my ESO, then raced to the middle of the map to search it out on turn 10, only to discover that it required a key (GEM OF THE PLANES). As my third game ever, and my second game in the last twenty years, I am a noob in many ways. While I read much of the Oracle that was present online, I actively avoided some spoilers like spell lists and artifact lists. I like to figure things out on my own. And boy did I! I never did find a WIZARD artifact for my ESO, although I did investigate six unusual sightings, picking up the Sword of Alvinitar and two Rings of Protection, as well as finding a dimensional portal, a volcano which could be used to destroy an artifact, and a free Power-2 wizard.

Early conflict came from the Dwarves (Yellowbeard). He took a town of mine in Talking Mountains while gaining control of the region and I didn't bother contesting it. Can you blame a guy for taking a town while attempting to take control of his home region? Not really. Then, his army shows up at my second town in the Talking Mountains. I sent him a message saying that if he attacked the town, he would be gaining an enemy. He laid siege to the town and sent a message that he didn't like to be threatened. Fair enough! My biggest regret in this game was that I was unable to fully repay him for his acts of aggression. And since I don't carry things with me from game to game, the opportunity is forever lost.

Some conflict also came from the Red Dragons, when he violated our non-aggression pact and took one of my villages in The Eastern Steppes. I sent him an email reminding him of our pact and he apologized, saying he lost track of things while camping in real life. Fair enough. He agreed to stay out of Synisvania until turn 15 as recompense, except to possibly hunt down the Dark Elves capital there, with whom he was at war. I agreed, as it afforded my Ranger friend a little extra breathing room.

Regarding the Warlocks, Red Dragons, and Dwarves attacking the Dark Elves, I regret not helping him out. It doesn't feel good to be on the receiving end of situations like that and I would discover later on that my neutrality afforded me no protection. I know that it isn't the optimal playing strategy, but I have a guttural dislike for big alliances and multiple kingdoms preying on a single one. Even if it means I'll never win a game, I've decided to continue to avoid them and come to the defense of kingdoms like the Dark Elves in future games.

Probably the most excitement was when a huge Troll army showed up at my city of Almaren. Thank goodness for Dome of Invulnerability and lucky Kill Wizard spells (and the Power-3 wizard that I gave a standing order to Summon Monsters at my city early on). When the Troll army was joined by a Warlock army containing a Power-5 wizard at my capital, I though my game was over. I was relying on two 33% chances to kill the Power-5 wizard to keep my Dome from being dispelled. Luck was on my side, as I not only killed the Power-5, but a Power-3 too. Despite driving these two armies away from my city and capital empty-handed, I had almost every other PC stripped away by Dwarven and Warlock emissaries. After the assault, I was left with my capital, my city, and one village in Arcania.

It was only in the last few turns of the game that I was strong enough to go on the offensive. I took back two PCs in Synisvania from the Warlocks and two PCs in the Eastern Steppes from the Dwarves before game end. In addition, it was a fun coup to use Summon Demon to assassinate the Warlock king on the final turn. Between expanding influence, killing the WA king, and someone else cursing the WA king, I gained 7.27 influence on the final turn. Pretty neat!

On turn 18, while spying HQ and discovering all the juicy Warlock info, I also spied DU and IV, looking for the Dwarves. What I discovered was that an RD Baron had just relocated to IV. I figured that the DW were going to impose additional tribute on the city so that the RD could take it over. I thought it might seal his SVC, but we had a non-aggression pact that required a one turn notice to break. Despite the early mistake, the RD honored our agreement and didn't pile on when the WA/DW/TR came after me in Synisvania, and I could not in good conscience sleep the RD Baron or direct anyone else to do so. Such is life.


Congrats on your victory, kevindusi.
To those that I worked with, namely Jumbie and unclemike (near the end), it was a pleasure. I wish our efforts had been more fruitful.
To DuPont, I enjoyed having you as a natural enemy. I hope to see you in a future game, whether it be as an ally or an enemy.
Silent One
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#12
Now I feel bad. I got the KEY to the Gem of the planes on turn 10! I thought I had told you about it. I remember asking my friendly kingdoms if they knew where I could use the key. I must have missed you.

I change my mind. THIS is now my biggest regret in the game. As my most trusted ally, I would have been happy to see you with the Gem...

BTW, I issued a curse order on the WA king in the final turn, but I got this message: THE POWER-5 WIZARD TIRIAN IS WORRIED THAT A TYPE OF ASTRAL INTERFERENCE WEAKENED HIS CURSE SPELL, RENDERING IT INEFFECTIVE!

so I'm not sure that I hit him with the curse. Did someone else cast one too? Dupont, did you have a ward going or was that just the 25% failure chance kicking in?
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#13
(07-03-2013, 11:17 AM)Jumbie Wrote: Now I feel bad. I got the KEY to the Gem of the planes on turn 10! I thought I had told you about it. I remember asking my friendly kingdoms if they knew where I could use the key. I must have missed you.

I change my mind. THIS is now my biggest regret in the game. As my most trusted ally, I would have been happy to see you with the Gem...

Haha!

No worries, Jumbie. I think that describes our game in a nutshell. Smile
Silent One
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#14
This being the first time playing the Elves, I decided to focus on gaining Oakendell and building up my wizards.

I talked to the TR early and we worked out a NAP whereby if I conceded a few towns and villages he would focus his attention elsewhere. It turned out the NAP lasted the whole game.

I also talked to the first WI player( and later on his standby) and hashed out a similar deal.

My only real scare came around turn 4 or so when I landed on a GI village that was adjacent to Viperhead, which I had reconned the same turn. Turns out the 1GI army was there and I knew he wouldn't be happy with me.

So after failing to 171 the village with my 1EL, I retreated into Oakendell fearing the GI would intercept me. I moved to a village and raised one wizard to a pow 2. I also moved a patrol there and raised one of the wizards in the patrol to pow 2.

As a precaution I reconned, with a lvl 4 agent, the location where my groups were. Sure enough, next turn I was facing off with the 1GI. My only hope was my patrol with a power 2. My army had 2 pow2's as well. The 1GI had a power 2, and an adept.

Fearing the GI would cast Chaos, I had all 3 power 2's cast slay wizard at his highest wizard and defended at a 1. I got lucky and slew his pow2 and withdrew with light losses.

I moved my 1EL into Amberland to retrieve Giantslayer(I'd divined the location the previous turn), and had my patrol pursue the 1GI.

As I retrieved the Giantslayer, the 1GI failed to parlay Lorethane from me. My patrol also slew his adept in the 1GI.

At this point I figured I was ahead of the game with regard to taking on the GI and offered peace. He accepted and we had NAP that lasted the rest of the game.

That pretty much left me to my own devices and I spent the game using 4 lvl 4 or higher agents reconning for unusual sightings every turn. You can cover a lot of ground with that many agents. I ended up with artifacts worth 2600 status points and placed 2nd.

Towards the end the DW and I agreed to split the Mists since the standby WI player dropped rather early.

That's basically it. It was a fun, but rather quiet game for me.

Good game from everyone. I must say, despite the forum exchanges, I worked with both the TR and GI, and found both true to their word.

Loric
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#15
(07-03-2013, 11:49 AM)Loric Wrote: This being the first time playing the Elves, I decided to focus on gaining Oakendell and building up my wizards.

I talked to the TR early and we worked out a NAP whereby if I conceded a few towns and villages he would focus his attention elsewhere. It turned out the NAP lasted the whole game.

I also talked to the first WI player( and later on his standby) and hashed out a similar deal.

My only real scare came around turn 4 or so when I landed on a GI village that was adjacent to Viperhead, which I had reconned the same turn. Turns out the 1GI army was there and I knew he wouldn't be happy with me.

So after failing to 171 the village with my 1EL, I retreated into Oakendell fearing the GI would intercept me. I moved to a village and raised one wizard to a pow 2. I also moved a patrol there and raised one of the wizards in the patrol to pow 2.

As a precaution I reconned, with a lvl 4 agent, the location where my groups were. Sure enough, next turn I was facing off with the 1GI. My only hope was my patrol with a power 2. My army had 2 pow2's as well. The 1GI had a power 2, and an adept.

Fearing the GI would cast Chaos, I had all 3 power 2's cast slay wizard at his highest wizard and defended at a 1. I got lucky and slew his pow2 and withdrew with light losses.

I moved my 1EL into Amberland to retrieve Giantslayer(I'd divined the location the previous turn), and had my patrol pursue the 1GI.

As I retrieved the Giantslayer, the 1GI failed to parlay Lorethane from me. My patrol also slew his adept in the 1GI.

At this point I figured I was ahead of the game with regard to taking on the GI and offered peace. He accepted and we had NAP that lasted the rest of the game.

That pretty much left me to my own devices and I spent the game using 4 lvl 4 or higher agents reconning for unusual sightings every turn. You can cover a lot of ground with that many agents. I ended up with artifacts worth 2600 status points and placed 2nd.

Towards the end the DW and I agreed to split the Mists since the standby WI player dropped rather early.

That's basically it. It was a fun, but rather quiet game for me.

Good game from everyone. I must say, despite the forum exchanges, I worked with both the TR and GI, and found both true to their word.

Loric

Interesting path of relative non-aggression, Loric. Congratulations on your second place finish and that horde of artifacts.
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#16
Hi everyone,

I just closed escrow on my house a few days ago, so have not had the proper time to chronicle the TR kingdom awesomeness. I will try to get to that in a few days. In the meantime, I would love to hear from Unclemike and his thought process during the game. Seriously. I dumb luck reconned his capital early in the game so we watched him raise 30+ skeletons or more and then he didnt attack my PC when he landed on it with his army group. confusing....? Jumibe, I truly wish that our groups had met up, as I think I would have gotten the much better end of that exchange. Rollin around with 15-19 brigs, P3 P3 P1 good leaders and 150ish morale for most of the game, I dont think the RA could have handled that. And really good job to Paway with the Dome spell. My alamaze rust had COMPLETELY forgotten about that, so I never factored that in. Anyways, thats my quick recap. I'll do an in depth one later.
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#17
(07-03-2013, 11:17 AM)Jumbie Wrote: BTW, I issued a curse order on the WA king in the final turn, but I got this message: THE POWER-5 WIZARD TIRIAN IS WORRIED THAT A TYPE OF ASTRAL INTERFERENCE WEAKENED HIS CURSE SPELL, RENDERING IT INEFFECTIVE!

so I'm not sure that I hit him with the curse. Did someone else cast one too? Dupont, did you have a ward going or was that just the 25% failure chance kicking in?
No, a curse didn't hit me, but I lost control of Amberland and lost a point of influence that way. Insult to injury.
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#18
(07-03-2013, 01:29 PM)DuPont Wrote: No, a curse didn't hit me, but I lost control of Amberland and lost a point of influence that way. Insult to injury.

Ah, I just assumed Jumbie's curse was successful.

I suspect you losing control of Amberland was unclemike's doing...
Silent One
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#19
This was my first game back to alamaze in 20 some years. I was pretty excited to see it come back, and oddly enough, one of my old allies Dave Beitz (HAWK) is back as well. Our 2nd game as a team, he was the Urik and I was the DW, was very fun and we ended up placing 1st and 2nd. That is the main reason I chose the DW this time around because I remember doing well way back then.

Right off the bat, my first thoughts are to talk to my neighbors. My biggest concern is the RD, because I know 3 is a standard target for the big dumb wyrms. Before I could reach out to the RD, he had sent me an email. After some negotiations we agreed he could have a few PCs in 3 and we'd have a NAP. That NAP quickly turned into an alliance that lasted the entire game.

I tried to find the DA information to talk with him, but could not find it. I spoke with the WI and we agreed we'd leave each other alone.

I noticed early with some recons that the WA owned zarathon, which is close to me, so I reached out to talk to him as well. Victor was a great guy and easy to talk to. At this point, I thought it would be a good idea to bring the WA and RD together and talk about a 3-way (get out of the gutter). We all quickly agreed that this would be a strong alliance, my political and economical might, plus the RD's military, and the WA's magic.

My first encounter with another kingdom was the SO. At the time, it was my view that if you stumble across a PC owned by another kingdom in your region, it's kind of expected you take it. I even asked my allies and they re-iterated this is not an act of war, but expected behavior. I took his first town and we didn't talk so I thought nothing of it. Later my military moved to another town in 3 that I didn't know was also SO and he immediately sent me a fairly threatening note. Take this town and you die!!! Not exact words, but close enough Wink. I got a little defensive "Nobody threatens me damnit!" and took his town anyway. I think better communication on my part could have helped here, but I'm curious what others think. If you are taking the region, divine towns, and move a Prince, lets say, to a town only to discover it's another kingdoms, what do you do?

So next, our sexy alliance, RD/WA/DW, decide we will move down the eastern side of the map, with the DA our first logical target. The RD moved in with military, I sent emmies in and the WA helped with sleeps/wards. It was over fairly quickly. He had a few groups running around, but no PCS, and the RD dismantled his capital a few differnt times. I feel bad for the guy as he was overwhelmed, but I think the lesson for him here is, communicate early and often! People could not reach him and he did not reach out. That equals target.

Next target, Synisvania. To Kevin's (RD) credit, he had a NAP with the SO and told us right off the bat he would not break it. He would instead move into the southern sands and leave synisvania to the WA and I. Fair enough. We took a few turns to recon and enamor the region, divine PCs, etc.. Then we moved in. I sent in a flood of emmies, only to find out that the TR was already there in force. I took a handful of RA and SO PCs, but wasted quite a bit of time and gold landing in multiple TR PCs. I found out the AN was in 10, the TR was already at the city and in several PCS in 9, and the WA was in 9. So I decided to pull out as it was too crowded. Kevin was kicking ass in 10 and didn't need any help, and Victor (WA) had plenty of help in 9 with the TR and even AN I think. I reconsidered my move south and decided to look at either the Mists as my next target, or Amberland.

I chose the mists, and spent another couple turns enamoring and divining after being unable to contact the WI. I moved a wave of emmies in there and landed in some EL PCs. Ugh... The EL and I talked and agreed on a split of the mists. I took my share and then decided, ok, amberland it is. Here I come GIANT! Victor had a NAP with the giant, so he couldn't help. He just offered me a list of his towns so I could avoid them and I divined the rest. Shortly after deciding that, the big TR/GI scandal raises it's ugly head and I hear that amberland is about to be the most popular region in the game. Trolls, Giants, Red dragons, oh my. My thoughts turned to Runnimede. It's far away, but the gnomes are disgusting little people and they needed to pay. It was shortly after that I heard from Kevin that he's a couple turns away from winning. The three of us had agreed early that a win by any one of us, was a win for us all, so we were very excited for him and the team!

As Loric did, I also focused on artifacts and ended up with 5 total. Great axe of farin, 2 rings of protection, the last herd of the winged something or other,

Lessons learned:
1. Triple check your orders. I made so many typos that delayed gaining regions, missed PC opportunities, etc..
2. Late game, military and magical might is much greater than political power. I started too late on growing the slow ass DW army and magical ability.
3. Communicate more often, even with kingdoms across the map. I wasted a lot of turns and resources on plans that never panned out because I ignored the fact there are 10-12 other kingdoms on this map that may be looking at the same target. Regions 9, 5, and 2 were all potential targets for me that didn't pan out.
4. Strong allies are important. I was very lucky to be working with Kevin and Victor. We ran ideas by each other every turn, and I learned quite a bit from them.
5. Don't disregard agents. I basically completely ignored my agents. Late in the game, I was the victim of a few assasinations and gold thefts. The sting of some of these moves were pretty big so I need to pay closer attention to that piece of the game next time.


Props to Valterri. Although very quiet throughout the game, I think if the game lasted a little bit longer, I would have been in the middle of it. He had 2 army groups and some very high lvl wizards stomping around in 6, and already mentioned my extremely fat but also very intelligent and handsome king Korall was the next target of his evil magics.


To sum up this game, I made a lot of mistakes, learned a lot, met a lot of great players, and had a blast!
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#20
Game Details


Attached Files
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 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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