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Reflecting on Game 100 - The First Alamaze Classic Game
#7
It had been 17 or 18 years since my last game of Alamaze in which I finished 2nd as the Ancient Ones. I was very excited about Rick bringing Alamaze back and about playing the incredibly versatile Demon Princes. They didn’t disappoint and I will never look at them the same way and without just a bit of trepidation.

I spent most of the first half of the game using my Demon Princes to summon skeletons while two of my patrols flitted around the map investigating the many unusual sightings that my high priestesses and agents reported. While I could say that I had a master plan, I believe that I was mostly just waiting for one of my enemies to attack me first. It was always ‘I’ll attack someone just as soon as my wizard reaches a certain level’ or ‘as soon as I get that one last artifact’. Well, eventually, I had my wizards where they needed to be and I had all the artifacts that I could find.

My Secret Victory condition was that I must be Substantial in four regions, be on the High Council, have greater gold production than the Ancient Ones, and have at least one wizard artifact and two other artifacts. I could have claimed it a turn earlier and not requesting it almost cost me!

TREATIES AND DEALINGS WITH OTHER KINGDOMS

ANCIENT ONES – I captured the Ancient One’s town in Arcania early in the game and then pretty much ignored him until he joined with the Witchlord who was attacking my ally the Black Dragon. At that point I decided it was finally time that I moved. While my nobles had annoyed him a bit, the real first battle was when my invisible 3DE attacked his water capital. I had built up 10 16-quality fleets in the Sea of Mystery and they proved very useful here.

BLACK DRAGON – I allied with the Black Dragon early in the game. Not only did this secure my largest border, but it also gave me a powerful neighbor to work with. I heavily financed his armies after he became embroiled in a 4-way war and his continued efforts prevented my rivals from winning the game. In return, he gave me Avalon which helped me win the game.

DARKELF - I agreed not to attack the Darkelf early because he was new to Alamaze and had requested my help getting started; this treaty almost caused me not to win the game later on when I had just about talked myself out of the fourth region I needed. This was probably my ‘one too many’ NAP since he was no threat to me from the beginning. I don’t regret it, but I did learn from it.

DWARF – I had no diplomatic contact with the Dwarf and had no dealings with him until I invaded the Talking Mountains late in the game.

ELF - The most fruitful friendship I had was with the Elf. His advice early on was very useful, but his generous (and entirely unexpected) gift of the location for the ‘Stone of All Minds’ was to prove the keystone to my victory. The Stone was a major factor in my ability to promote my wizards beyond 5th level, which gave my armies the reach and versatility they needed to achieve my SVO. It would have been a very different game without that great treasure for sure! He also helped me get my SVO by giving me a village in Torvale.

GIANT – The Giant never returned any of my messages. For the longest time, I assumed this meant that he was planning to attack me. I’m not sure what happened to him.

GNOME – I didn’t have a treaty with the Gnome and my initial communications with him were fairly annoying. I had planned to attack him at one point, but backed off when I learned that the Black Dragon and Elf were doing the same.

RANGER – I did have a NAP with the Ranger from early on, but we never had much contact after that.

RED DRAGON – I didn’t have any contact with the Red Dragon until I attacked his capital of Zabzanka during my initial assault on the Talking Mountains.

SORCERER – The Sorcerer was another one that I had no communication with until my assault on the Talking Mountains. I didn’t even realize he was there until I popped into his pcs that I had believed to be Dwarven. My one battle with him was on the last turn of the game at the Dwarven capital where my huge 1DE ambushed and slaughtered an army of wights and captured the Sword of Alvinitar and the Shield of Hector.

TROLL – I was allied with the Troll primarily to assist him with eliminating the Ancient Ones. He proved to be a gracious and generous ally and I will certainly look forward to working with him again.

UNDERWORLD - I didn’t have an official NAP with the Underworld, but I was happy to leave him alone in return for not having to worry about his agents.

WARLOCK – The Warlock and I tentatively agreed to leave pone another alone early in the game, but I became concerned (and paranoid) after he failed to reply to my requests for a formal treaty. In his mind he thought we had a gentleman’s agreement, but in my mind I was completely certain that he was planning to attack me. I almost attacked him on turn ten and was prepared to move with the Black Dragon in a complete and devastating assault. Just before we launched, it looked like the Dwarf, Ranger, Troll, and Giant were all at war with him. We didn’t want to join that gangbang so the Black turned to Avalon and I backed away and continued to build up.

On turn 22 my 1DE was at Zabzanka along with the 2WA. The 2WA had a P-7, P-5, and P-4 along with the Last Herd of Winged Stallions and the Axe of Farin. I ambushed his army and completely obliterated it. AI teleported my armies invisibly to the Amberland cities while moving Demon Princes and nobles to most of the pcs. I was set to pretty much destroy him (at least it looked that way from my angle. I have no idea how he viewed the situation) when our diplomatic conversation started back up. In return for Meridon and enough pcs in Amberland to give my substantial influence, I ceded a number of pcs in Arcania, gave him his artifacts back, and moved everything from Amberland up to the Talking Mountains. Not having to fight for what I needed allowed me to declare victory just in time.

WITCHLORD - My treaty with the Witchlord is well documented elsewhere in the forums, so I’ll just say that it was an unsatisfactory one for both parties. It will serve as a ‘lesson learned’ for both of us as when negotiate treaties in future games.

ARTIFACTS, WIZARDS, HIGH PRIESTESEES AND UNUSUAL SIGHTINGS

My favorite aspect of Alamaze was always the unusual sightings and I focused heavily on them in this game. My second favorite has been my wizards and they were certainly not neglected either. In fact, I ended the game with a P7 (P-8 with Ring), P7, P6, P6, P5, P4, and a lowly P2 whose sole duty was to ward my king.

I investigated eleven unusual sightings this game, not counting portals; In addition to the artifacts that I ended the game with I also found three Staffs and the Orb of Anti-Magic. The Key of the Staff was a gift from the Troll. I gave the Orb of Anti-Magic to the Black Dragon, who immediately had it stolen by the Witchlord.

I had incredibly bad luck with my High Priestesses. I hired or captured a total of 12 and managed to get just 24 divinations out of them, total, before they died. While they averaged just two divinations a piece, I did have one paragon of health who didn’t perish until her fourth divination.

STATUS AT THE END

I ended the game with:
- 10 artifacts worth 4,000 status points
- -- STONE OF ALL MINDS (from US)
- -- GREAT AXE OF HURBLIND (from US)
- -- ELAN, FLAMING SWORD OF THE NORTH (from US with Staff)
- -- SWORD OF ALVINITAR (battle prize from SO)
- -- RING OF POWER (from US with Staff)
- -- DEMON BANE (From US)
- -- SHIELD OF HECTOR (battle prize from SO)
- -- PALANTIR REDJAK (from pc)
- -- STAFF OF THE GREAT ORATOR (from US with Staff)
- -- GEM OF PLANES (from US with Staff)
- 4 cities, 15 towns, and 12 villages
- Census of 894, 932, Food production of 104,098, and Gold production of 286,545.
- A treasury of 25, 930 Food and 297,973 Gold.
- 9 Demon Prince brigades and 35 skeleton brigades
- 1DE with 3 Warlords and worth 140,450 vs. population centers + 2 smaller groups
- a P7 (P-8 with Ring of power), P7, P6, P6, P5, P4, P2
- All four of my Demon Princes
- 9 prisoners, included a Sorcerer Duke and a Red Dragon L-8.

This game was a lot of fun and even the drama made it more interesting and exciting. Congratulations to the Elf, Morgan Kane, who will share the rule of Alamaze with me as Vice-Emperor. Wizards above P-2 (except for Demon Prince and Elven) are banned and all armies must be reduced to division size and transferred to Imperial command. What the new Alamaze lacks in joy and laughter will more than be made up for in pain and fear. Many will not survive my rule, but all can continue to serve in my undead legions.
 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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RE: Reflecting on Game 100 - The First Alamaze Classic Game - by Lord Diamond - 07-14-2013, 07:58 PM

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