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Game #114 - Steel
Mauler, The Eternal Eye of the Witchlord, Wins!

Congratulations to Mauler, who has claimed victory (seven different conditions to his secret victory) as the Witchlord on turn 21.

Tell us now stories of valor and deception. How did your kingdom contribute to the campaign? And your nominations for the Valhalla Peer Recognitions.
Finish order and points?
(01-10-2014, 06:56 PM)Jumbie Wrote: Finish order and points?

1 WI Mauler 6990 9019
2 WA Vball Michael 6539 9867
3 BL Iatronas 2699 4458
4 GN Keeope 2376 4137
5 DE Lord Yorlik 1881 3175
6 DW Hamlet 924 2024
7 RA The Gray Mouser 180 1865
9 GI biogeek 866 1652
10 AN DuPont 677 1610
11 TR Canticar 289 1540
13 SO Hazaar 0 234
The Ancient Ones ambassador paced nervously across within the study of the newly minted High Lord. While his masters have always instilled an aura of calm, the man that he had come to see exuded little other than malice. He was wrenched from his reverie by the sharp crack as the bolts to the study were magically opened and the door swung wide to reveal the grim smile of the Master of the Eternal Eye.
"Ambassador, there was a matter that you wished to discuss?" he said with a tone in his voice that could almost pass as civility.
"Yes, Lor...I mean, High Lord. My masters asked for an account of your bringing order to the realm."
"Ah... Well, given their... contribution, I can hardly begrudge them such a chronicle. I suppose that we should begin our story not even two years ago..."

On the shores of the Sea of Terror stood the assembled armies of the Lord of the Eternal Eye. His armies contained the steely-eyed veterans of his Northern campaigns as well as creatures summoned from the across the realm, if not from beyond the grave. Opposite him were the towering Giants with their ogre thralls. Elemental power coursing through bodies that were born in the very mountains themselves. Supporting their flank were the armies of the Eldritch Warlock. That a mortal man could earn the respect of such a primal force was a testament to the knowledge and power of this wizard. The leaders stood poised to release death and destruction of a scale that had not been seen in an age. As the Eternal Eye surveyed his opponents he saw the raw power that they wielded and an idea dawned. An idea of how these great forces might be joined into a fighting force that would shake the very fountains of the realm. With a great bolt of energy that lit up the sky, a parlay was called and the leaders met to gauge each other's strength...

As the winter ice finally melted and the sea of terror was once again navigable, the Eternal Eye prepared his forces for their next conquest. Chaos had seized the Steppes and even as Dragons raged across the skies and armies of intrepid Rangers, shadowy Darkelves, doughy Dwarves, and mysterious Sorcerer groups fought for supremacy, the coalition began marching to war. Meanwhile, the Elves saw the end of their time in this age and boarded ships to cross the seas. Taking advantage of their absence, Oakendell was flooded by forces of the Witchlord, Trolls, Ancient Ones, and Underworld. The Eternal Eye seeing a potential war on two fronts ceded the region to his opponents keeping only the ancient halls of Lorethane and their arcane lore for himself. As the months rolled on in the East, Kingdom after kingdom abandoned, or was eliminated in, the fight for the Steppes. The Giants knocked over the Darkelven capital and brought down the walls of Gurisek, while the Warlock led an assault on the Sorcerer's holdings in the South. Finally, after much bloodshed the Steppes were free and firmly in the grasp of the coalition. The Giant force was an enormous field army that no force could challenge. The Warlock emanated a maelstrom of raw magical power having plundered or stolen no less than 14 artifacts (unbeknown to his allies *grin*). And the Witchlord had finally brought order to the untamed East.
It is the mantle of "the Tamer of the Chaos" that finally brought the Witchlord to the Ancient Ones attention. Up until this point in the "war of the realms", the Ancient Ones considered the Eternal Eye simply another upstart warlord. Seeing the effectiveness of the Witchlords campaign in bringing peace and order to the North and East, they decided to give the Witchlord a palantir to extend his reach to all the corners of the realm as well as the arcane knowledge to bend the people of the realm to his will.

"There you have it ambassador. The story that you crave." Hearing the tone in the Highlord's voice that clearly signaled an end to their audience the ambassador gave a hurried thanks and made his way back to his inn. Once back in his room a voice from the shadows said "Well?" The ambassador turned, and calmly said "He believes that we merely helped him to achieve victory in the war." Stepping into the light, a smile broke on the Consul's patrician face and he said "Of course. That is what they have always believed. Sic semper erat, et sic semper erit. Thus has it always been, and thus shall it ever be."

A very fun and hair raising game. Getting involved in a war with half of the kingdoms on the board was a first. The diplomatic climate in this game was a quickly changing landscape and I was glad to thread the needle through the storm. I had a great rapport with pretty much everyone in the game even when we didn't see eye to eternal eye Wink Thanks to everyone for the challenge of a hard fought victory and I look forward to our next game together.

Chancellor: I had great dealings with most everyone, but I would have to single out Biogeek, vballmichael, Titus, and DuPont for this award. Great communication and hugely helpful.
Iron-willed: This is secondhand, but I hear that the RD got roughed-up by the DE/BL all over the board. Personally, the Gray Mouser was my most persistent threat.
Infamous: Vballmichael was blowing up towns and villages while wielding the wand of lightning, while wearing the crown of ansu, while brandishing the ring of power, while polishing the stone of all minds... you get the idea. Needless to say, I was glad that we were pals in this game. I mean really... 14 artifacts... come on!
I played the AN in this game. Starting off, I talked first to the TR to see if we could work together. It looked like we could, so we agreed to split Torvale with him getting control. I was happy with this because for my ESO I only needed one substantial and one significant. I figured if I wasn't controlling regions, I would look like less than a threat and could 'sneak up' on my SVC (which required two controlled regions and another substantial one (along with some other stuff that was all doable).

We took control of Torvale without opposition and then, as previously agreed, we went after the EL. He went down pretty easily – quit after a couple turns of being hit on. Then the first complication arose – the WI also started to show up in Oakendell with the UN in tow. To some extent, I thought they were poaching – we were the ones who knocked out the EL – but the WI made the case that they had invested a fair amount into moving into the region and wouldn't pull back without some of the spoils. I was getting the significant I'd need for my ESO, so I reluctantly agreed, even though this meant I was having to let the UN take over a couple of PCs that I'd already secured. I was thinking that if it came close to me getting my ESO, the TR would throw a couple of PCs my way to tip me where I needed to go (and in fact, he's offered to do this unsolicited by me).

Now I needed a new place to go and I chose Runnimede. The GN was controlling the region and I divined all of his PCs. I moved in with a massive invasion that involved every one of his PCs except for his capital and the city. Now here's where things got interesting.

I'd expected that the GN would fight back (of course). I even though that the UN (who was allied with him) would help him out. What I did NOT expect was that the UN would break the agreement that split Oakendell and move into my PCs there. I sent messages to the WI complaining about what I saw as a broken treaty and then directly to the UN. There was a bunch of back and forth, but at the end of the day, the UN felt that by me attacking his ally, he was free to break our agreement. I didn't and don't agree with his interpretation and immediately threw all other plans in the air and decided to focus single-mindedly on pounding him into dust. I expressed to the UN player that I wouldn't carry a grudge from game to game (because that's really petty) but in the context of this game, he was my eternal enemy for being an oathbreaker.

The TR also moved into Runnimede which was a big help and we soon knocked the GN out of control. I expected the counter-attack into Torvale and wasn't surprised that they enlisted more allies – the DE and the BL in this case. There was the usual back and forth – the TR lost control of Torvale. I would have probably been a bit more efficient in my moves, but I was putting a priority on finding and crushing UN forces.

Thanks to the WA and a timely artifact loan, I got my ESO which was a big help. I'd lost one of my consuls doing a HP order (and would eventually lose another the same way – in each case, it was the first time I used them to do that. I know the rate is supposed to be 10% but in this game, it was 50% death for using a consul as a HP.)

Eventually, I got tried of the game. The UN was going down, though he had a well-defended capital that was producing a lot – but then he had to drop because in real life, I understand he was deployed. I really do wish him well and my hat's off to him, but I was sorry he dropped because I wanted to finish crushing him for his oath-breaking. I contacted the WI to see if he was close to his ESO and he was except he needed a couple more artifacts. I offered up one of mine (and he was able to secure a couple of others, I understand). Had he not been close, I would have talked to the WA and seen if he was close. I didn't have any beef with the GN (I attacked him, after all) but I had no interest in seeing the BL or the DE win.

So that's it! As cheesed off as I was about the UN's actions, once the game is over, it's over. Looking forward to starting the next one!
Ok, so here I was in my second incarnation in this world, and somehow I was a wielder of major elemental magics, like Warlock stuff. Immediately upon surfacing in this world, I was summoned to a meeting with other serious powers (WI and GI). I liked what I heard and we agreed to team up to put this world back in order. I also had a game-long artifact partnership with the Dwarf and partnership with the Troll when needed. The Giant and I split our region, with me having control, and then I just started leveling wizards. Then all these fights broke out all around me (DE and BL attacked the RD, GI and WI attacked the DA and the SO some, and the AN and TR went after the EL). I just sort of floated in the middle and raised wizards and worked with the Dwarf to find artifacts. Key was the Troll finding the Stone of All Minds in the 3rd or 4th turn and trading it to me for a weapon artifact. Also key was the Dwarven position up there for finding so many unusual sightings (he even found that little guy who joins your kingdom as a level 2 mage). Anyway, I got bored so I looked around and saw that Synisvania needed better leadership. I had heard that the Rangers beat their peasants and had only ugly women (or maybe it was close and included my enemy the SO). Anyway, I went there planning to take the region in 2 turns. Then my inexperience almost killed me. First, 3 of my groups were patrols. Guess what, you can't do the diplomacy spell with a patrol. Oops. Also, I did 2 destroy town spells on his capitol (burning it to the ground), but forgot that would hurt my reaction, so then all of my emissaries failed. Oops again. Anyway, I had the City and two towns, and then just eliminated the rest of the towns and villages over the next 5 turns (RA capitol 3 or 4 times), leaving me about 12 levels below Hostile in that region. The DW army helped with the SO capitol, and the GI and WI had done some harm to the RA and SO in the ES. We had basically wiped out the RA and SO but I was still about two turns from being able to declare victory because of my idiocy (I mean learning curve). But I don't begrudge my ally the win. He was an awesome partner the whole game, taking the lead on strategy and alliance. By the way, the RA, who should have known when he was beaten, then showed in Amberland and took some things from me just in time to keep me from declaring a couple of turns ago - nice job Smile.
I did end up with 14 artifacts (Crown, Horn, 2 crystals, palantir, 2 rings of protection, stone of all minds, great axe, ring of power, dragon slayer, ancient annihilator - that dagger killed quite a few RA and SO emissaries, ruler eliminator, and the ring of invis - stole that from RA right near the end), with help from the DW and the TR. And I ended with a P-9 (one cool spell), a P-8 and 2 P-7s.
Votes: Chancellor - gotta be Mauler, though I also got awesome early advice from Iatronus from his previous experience with the WA that got me off to a strong start
Iron-willed - have to give that to the RA who just kept at it
Infamous - I like Mauler's vote for the crazy WA, but I will go with the Troll, who took on 4 opponents just to distract folks from the real action Smile
I really enjoyed this game, thanks to all.
I took one of the last positions left in this game, although I looked forward to the Ranger position I had not played before. Two neophytes were the Sorcerer and the Dark Elf, so I reached out to them on turn 0, although my invitations to mentor, etc, were met luke-warm, I would judge. In fact, the Dark Elf became the first to attack me, taking my PC in The Eastern Steppes. I deemed this to mean my guidance was not required. The Sorcerer and I had an interesting early phase deal: I sent him gold to raise his Power 2 to Power 3, in exchange for him conducting two Strengthen Walls spells on Almaren, as well of course of the Sorcerer not seeking Almaren for himself.

That deal was conducted as contracted, and that was truly the last I ever heard from the Sorcerer. So much for my mentoring in Game 114.

As I turned my attention to my other wayward pupil the Dark Elf, recouping my PC in the Steppes, and looking elsewhere in the region, I realized the area had just been transformed into a gold rush of sorts. There were now Dwarves, Giants, Warlocks and Witchlord emissaries and forces at work. Seeking a new diplomatic outlet, I came to an arrangement with the Giant, which again, was followed to the letter, and then my erstwhile compatriot gleefully joined in the attack on my position initiated by the Warlock, Dwarves, Witchlord, as well as the previously mentioned Dark Elves, now about ready to sail away forever off their Eastern Shore.

Early on I had an agreement with the Demon Prince / Black Dragon alliance. The Red Dragon was irritated that I would not join him against them, nor would the Witchlord as he told me, and he thought less of both of us for this. Really, through the first year, I heard little of Witchlord activity, except for him having a few villages in The Eastern Steppes.

Mind you, my main objective in this game was mentoring, which then allowed me to do the artifact hunting for which the Ranger has some cache. This proved a most frustrating endeavor as my High Priestesses seemed to mock me, divining artifacts I held in my hand, and when not doing so, dying so young.

By turn 15 at latest, I had my five active enemies, and suddenly I had lots of emissaries dying, or captured and not escaping, artifacts disappearing by the turn. Before HP the 5th passed on, she divined towns in Amberland, and my military, which had suffered no significant setback, moved west, taking Zarathon and Evanon, freeing Amberland from wicked Warlock control. When the game concluded, my next move would have been into Oakendell, with a few warlords, 10 Ranger brigades, a Power 5, 4, and 3.

Overall, I was disappointed on the diplomacy and artifact hunting fronts, but was pleased to have battled on with some verve against the five kingdoms that finished at the top. I would like to have seen if I could have pulled off the whole relocation from east to west.
Playing the Black Dragons was a lot of fun in this game. By turn three I had a solid alliance with the DE and a successful NAP with the Ranger, so I easily secured the Southern Sands. I love the mobility of the Black, I was able to cover every hex in Southern Sands by turn two just by flying over it.

The DE and I discussed targets and the RD came up. As my natural enemy, he was an obvious target as well as we knew his dependence on food/gold support. It took a bit to divine the Towns and Villages of the RD and position for the attack. I also made sure to ask the Warlock for safe places to land in Amberland. The Warlock also gave us a staging PC to move emissaries through to head north.

The Red Dragon assault originally was going to be limited to wiping him out of Runnimede, but then he taunted me via e-mail goading me to move northward instead. So the DE/GN/UN took his Runnimede PCs while I played pat-a-cake with the RD military. Fortuitously, he decided to move into the Eastern Steppes the turn I moved northward. On T9, I showed up at his capital with 5 BL + 9 WY brigades. I decided to siege and try to get him to out-recruit his food/gold production while we took his PCs. The pivotal turn came when both the RD army and the DW army showed up to break the siege. In a stroke of diplomatic luck, the DW and I came to an agreement not to fight thus leaving the field. By the end of the siege (and a few skirmishes), I had 1 BL + 15 WY. I then bounced his capital a few times and he quit.

The Demon Prince emissary corps was amazing. He could cover nearly every RD PC in both Runnimede and TM. The ability of the DE to move into a PC even if an army is there is powerful.

As we finished the RD, the Gnome asked the DE if we would consider helping against the Troll. We were really out of position (three of the BL/DE armies in TM). We were going to say no, but then the TR moved an Army and Army Group onto my town in Arcania. Both of us were nervous because he had 25 brigades, 2 P-3, and three Marshalls there. At that point, we decided to realign to defend ourselves and move to position against the TR/AN alliance (primarily the TR). To his credit, after I asked the TR about his intentions, he did move back into Runnimede instead of Arcania as he said he would.

The TR and I discovered a Chaos spell bug that reinvigorated his army. My army was 3 BL + 30 WY, his was 10 TR + 12 OR. He cast a Chaos spell and I was unable to retreat, and I lost 900 creatures to his 22300 (down to 10 brigades). However, I had a Warlord - and in all fairness I decided to report it to Cipher who reran the fight. This left the TR with 21 brigades instead.

The last turn, I had taken the TR capital with my army of 3 BL + 34 WY and ended with a value vs PC of 160K.

Many thanks to the Demon Princes who was a loyal ally throughout - supporting me during the "foodless times" and using regional spells ad nauseum. Also thanks to the High Council who let my standing order for Influence raises dominate the issues towards the end of the game without people voting against me (I ended at 25 despite raising many emissaries to Baron+)! Lastly, thanks to all of the friends in the game who warned the DE and I about the RD trying to coerce someone to attack us.

In this game, I learned the value of #691, having a strong ally and protected borders is wonderful, how truly awesome it is to recruit 12 brigades of Wyverns in one turn, and that it sucks not planning for your reinforcements (and losing them).
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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