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Thread: Feelings ~ TVK 71

  1. #16
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    TVK 71 Age of Compensation

    The Virtual Kingdom is a template with particular rules in place to explore both limits and possibilities. By limiting the wiggle room in racial and personality choice the endeavor is to spark player ingenuity. We want the most from the kingdoms we occupy, but tunnel vision and presumption can sometimes lead to failure.

    Oftentimes leaders will assume a direction that the kingdom may not be able to accomplish. Environments can change and a kingdom may find itself faced with challenges the strat was not designed to meet. In knowing this, the age 71 Virtual Kingdom features more compensating builds than in ages past.

    We all know the avian cleric is an exceptional build this age, but depriving orcs of sustain and the greater protection spell seemed an unnecessary sacrifice. Greater protection is a redundant spell for avian and they do suffer a -10% in the gains department. What's is gained is a more balanced attacking core that makes for higher overall offense and defensive potential. The reality that avians can practically run full elites hasn't gone unnoticed on my part, but I also didn't want avians that "range out" given their intended purpose.

    One reason you don't see orcs stacked with warrior in The Virtual Kingdom 71 is because it's pretty much a given that the higher offense attackers can break t/ms somewhat easier than in ages past. Thus, more attention was given to overall core speed and defensive prowess.

    There are two undead war heroes as a nod to player choice and undeniable utility, but my instincts led me to reserve one undead as sage. Again, this is a compensatory build with an eye for the tougher opponents that will exploit undead weaknesses. Certain builds will be chopped down in war so we owe it to ourselves to create situations where the enemy must think about who they target. We want the enemy to waste resources in finding the weaknesses if possible.

    Parts of the kingdom do indeed stack features that might be less spectacular on a different race. The first question I ask when building dwarves is "gold dragon?" If the answer is "oh crap!" then you might be wise to strat otherwise. We want the dwarves to be integral to economy and armed conflict. Free builds is a critically important feature not just to dwarves but kingdom flexibility. We don't want enemies to be able to answer the dragon question in 5 seconds. Elf tactician and elf cleric both feature compensation in their build. The cool part is that these odd elf builds can find themselves standing through long war.

    While I find rogue the most dominating personality of the age I chose to regard them more as targets. I could've easily incorporated rogue as a 4 banger personality but I chose cleric because I've withstood the onslaught of sabotage as an elf cleric and come through. This is as much a romantic choice and not quite strategically sound on the surface. That said, I can say that elf cleric out of war is a sturdy build. I've seen many waves and rocketed off the turn(my turn). Rogue is absolute gold this age so it is a better decision for most, just not me. I like to look at attackers as an attacker at heart. If that doesn't make sense, roll an elf cleric and find the sweetspots like I have. GS, WT, elites and a fascination for challenge pretty much got me anywhere I wanted to go.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 14-04-2017 at 22:43.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Correct me then, instead of being a dick about it.
    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
    ________
    Weed bowls

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR4vE9xL3yk

  2. #17
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    ...Age of Compensation continued

    The apparent sacrifices in The Virtual Kingdom are not unlike the build commitments regarding crown competitive kingdoms. Obviously I'm not saying it's equal, but a primer in efficient study. What are some of the characteristics it takes to crown? Well it depends on how you plan to do it and what particular chart positions you're trying to best.

    - A war kingdom seeking to achieve #1 chart status may choose a camouflage build as not to warn other kingdoms of its strategic prowess. This also involves a degree of chart navigation because a competing war kingdom in full war regalia would outmatched the camouflaged kingdom on paper. Further, diplomacy is more complicated because your competitors will want to keep track of each other. Serving CFs may clue in a little birdy that owes a favor.

    - Conversely, a war kingdom built to perfection is hard pressed to build war records on kingdoms caught off guard. Even fake tagging can't hide a build bristling with a lean pincer strat. Where wars use to come in amicable abundance we've seen enough reduction in the server population to force some tough decisions on war kingdoms. These lead to the complexities of dealing with top whoring kingdoms, or can. - If you decide to stay small you at least gain the opportunity to war the camouflaged kingdom, as it were. Competitive war circles should picture themselves as sportsman and handle diplomacy on this basis. The lean builds are similar to the weight divisions we see in boxing, dog fighting, MMA etc. If this is what BSA stood for I could get behind it, but I'm afraid that essence hasn't been emphasized in my understanding of the alliance. In my eyes BSA should be as much a sanctioning body as a defensive mechanism promoting the war doctrine that most chart competitive kingdoms abide. The strength of the alliance would be in granting as fair an exchange between two chart bearing kingdoms by minimizing outside interference. The upper reaches of war kingdoms don't require these services because their backs are against the whoring charts with CFs in hand(in a vacuum). That is to say with the exception of some unwanted company, but I digress.

    - Whoring kingdoms must be efficient. Thus, they face some peculiar challenges the rest of us are unfamiliar with. I look at whoring kingdoms as race cars. They are build for minimum drag and power-to-nw ratios. So we see Emeriti going with the bonk-you-on-the-head build of avian which mildly surprised me because these guys usually see something the rest of us don't. I'm pretty sure they still do, but the mechanical glut that avian provides is undeniable. Let's just say in previous ages clever things were top kingdom territory. The overall point though is that top kingdoms must make decisions like a racing team, or a target shooting expert. I'm no race fan, but I get the oval. I am familiar with reloading and therefor somewhat familiar with target, game and defensive shooting elements. Ballistic coefficiency, sectional density, burn rate and powder ratios, aspects of accuracy...in other words the idea that all provinces start at 400 acres is very much alive in whoring culture. You make the most of the same chemistry everyone else has. It's important to look at them in that respect as to not underestimate their knowledge. They aren't just pushing the envelope, they're competing to achieve it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Correct me then, instead of being a dick about it.
    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
    ________
    Weed bowls

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR4vE9xL3yk

  3. #18
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    Being an Ugly Target

    It requires mention here that optimized builds might always seem the right decision, and that'd be wrong in most cases. I'm talking about the types of kingdoms that would be part in a Virtual Kingdom merge. Optimum builds across the entire kingdom make sense if you can apply those efficiencies in the majority of situations. This means you have loyal friends outside your kingdom, solid diplomacy skills and scripted reactions to adverse conditions.

    Since we can't rely on being great as a deterrence we must study the art of being an ugly target. By definition, an undead sage is an ugly target. There is little to be gained by hitting them that can't be gained elsewhere at lower risk.

    When you're looking at province sizes and nw and unfamiliar with the explore pool, it's time to pull the tarp and get to conditioning. First, look at a top kingdom by going to their kingdom page and pressing the nw tab and the acre tab. The best times to look at them is all the time. How a top kingdom equalizes acreage and nw is important in understanding how they achieve reliable results, age in and age out.

    The most obvious protrusion is what are known as cows. When you see these giants you can compare them with other top kingdoms. Basing your estimates on size, number, race, honor etc you can begin to guess the diplomatic playground. As you look down the list of provinces you'll often note stages of nw and acres associated with the race and intended purpose. These kingdoms are designed to flow acres up like the roots of a tree. These roots are your likely encounters insofar as top kingdom interests. I digress only to show you that the system isn't based in bullying as much as the efficient use of pool mechanics and strength of kingdom.

    In understanding the basics of top kingdom design, the reach, ability to retal etc; of one province to another is navigated. These kingdoms pay attention to more details than I can list and know mechanics that I'm unfamiliar with, but we can learn from how they're aligned by acres and nw.

    It's one thing to be a province that's an ugly target but this is a kingdom. We can't expect a t/m to make themselves ugly targets but we can surround them to some utilitarian degree to make them so. A smart player seeing an elf mystic loaded with scientists might be inclined to abduct. If he sees a similarly sized undead sage kingdom mate in his range it's like seeing a baby with a wet saggy diaper: cute from here.

    The duty of the kingdom is to at least protect itself if not progress to crown contention. The pool is not some weird bully tool, it's there to connect the dots and sculpt the kingdom. If it's gone past you, the beauty of any build that can offend with conviction but also retal with debilitating authority and absorb punishment is an ugly target. To harp on the idea, undead sage sustains offense, spreads plague, retains scientists, can cast amnesia in unfriendly. Symbiotically, if your enemy forces hostile your rogues can AW to make casting easier for everyone.

    I would go on, but I don't think I need to present each scenario to make a point. Retaliation and particularly the ability to retaliate is one sign of a muturing kingdom. It can be your first ticket to the game of diplomacy.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 13-04-2017 at 17:58.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Correct me then, instead of being a dick about it.
    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
    ________
    Weed bowls

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR4vE9xL3yk

  4. #19
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    Optimum Build Traps

    (Mickey: Nobody brings a fella the size of you unless they're trying to say something without talking, right boy?)

    This is in reference to what I was saying about ugly targets. Even a bad kingdom can make a glossy kingdom page. What we see in initial performance doesn't necessarily translate to game reality. We had this in D&D where some players would boast in forum that they were using their optimized damage builds in actually campaigns. This clued me in that they were being coddled because their vulnerabilities were apparent to the savvy player in a tough campaign with a good DM. So it is in Utopia.

    When you're starting an arranged war or randoming, one of the first things to note is the type of attacks you're distributing and sustaining. Just think about it. Abduction is a pretty hefty part of the game; massacre, plunder...

    If we were all trad marching a number of us would be food for the big kingdoms. We understand this in the lower tier, yet we oftentimes strategize and build for acres. This is good in and of itself because acreage is the lever of most every mechanic. But we all know the bigger fish scenario, so this is a false position.

    Let me reflect on sage for you. Obviously sage was nerfed because of its top end; in other words, the magnificent turbocharging effect made top kingdoms kind of untouchable. If you can wrap your head around absolute mechanical ceilings and how dominant this capability is, you can understand the nerf. But this nerf didn't crush the bottom end. Not completely.

    Sage being nerfed effected t/ms more so than attacker and attacker hybrids. It's now a personality of opportunity in t/m circles, not a main gun. We miss the point if we only see things from a mundane numerical percentage jotted down in the personality description.

    What we are looking for is the dam effect. I'm not saying sage is superior, but that you look at your logistical strengths in what you retain vs what you loose. Behold scientist retention. As example, an avian doesn't have a dam effect as it were, but a tide effect: It brings more, faster. Avian resource retention is augmented by ambush immunity: a passive dam effect. Avian speed is a tide effect. Avian sage is legit.

    When you look at t/ms, and the honor they are capable of accumulating, this is a dam effect based in naturally high defenses due to typical racial virtues. They're still vulnerable to predators and thus we need to see our t/ms as precious.
    so when we build kingdoms we have the option of looking at these systems of retention and not just huge offensive numbers. Why you ask? Because we can't live in a fantasy world where only one kingdom hits us.

    The realist in the trenches is aware of the accumulated effects of both random and intentional attacks from multiple opponents from different kingdoms. Just because we don't like multis doesn't mean we shouldn't be prepared for their antics. Same thing with kingdoms of questionable reputation. Sometimes you just suddenly sustain attacks on your unbreakables prelude to war with a slippery crown chaser. It happens and you plan for it.

    Builds that include integral dam effect are more desirable than single target killers because that is the actual game we're playing. This doesn't mean we have zero killer types. On the contrary; The Virtual Kingdom reflects in many ways my game perception. I like having access to every capability for every contingency. The problem I see are kingdoms throwing themselves under the bus at the beginning of the age because they don't understand fluidity of defense in a chaotic world.

    Again, I won't beat this one to death but remind you that as a player I'm among the lower tier outside the rating scale. I've been up top to see how they do their thing; at least what they're willing to share :) There is a difference. Diplomacy is a huge advantage in kingdom building. A kingdom that can choose its wars and fight them with relatively long preparation is completely alien in the lower tier. This doesn't mean those kingdoms are soft. Not by a long shot. They are better than us in many ways, but we don't achieve their results by copying them, necessarily.

    Know where you are. I call it "being out in the field". Dress appropriately for your environment.

    1- Meter to gains.
    2- Fixed defenses.
    3- Retributive prowess.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 15-04-2017 at 00:45.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Correct me then, instead of being a dick about it.
    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
    ________
    Weed bowls

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR4vE9xL3yk

  5. #20
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    Leadership Council Array

    In this Virtual Kingdom it was suggested each division include one member of council. If council is new to you I'm offering an example as it applies to this template.

    1-Chancellor for Kingdom Diplomacy: This position oversees and negotiates mechanical CFs, notices, and tracks CF expiration and rhetorical details.

    2-Chancellor for Kingdom Logistics: This council member reviews kingdom assets and projections. These include science and honor distribution, cost/time estimates for kingdom sculpting, and costs associated with slaying and tanking dragons.

    3-Global Strategic Advisor: This advisor monitors the Utopian world, assessing threats and opportunities. The work includes reviewing such details as kingdom potential strengths, weaknesses, and advisory in keeping up with the Jones's.

    4-Global Intelligence Advisor: This advisor reviews intel gathered by the breadth of the kingdom Snatch News and more intricate details concerning topical kingdom business.

    5-Kingdom Tactical Advisor: Conductor of the elliptical wave. While divisions are encouraged to initiate their own tactics, it's up to the KTA to navigate the whole in a symphony of execution. Similar to a wave commander with the complexities of 24/7 engagement.

    The way to look at council is in it's progress. Nobody is going to be good at council until effort is put forward to improve. The idea is to promote an environment of communication. As experience is gained the council will learn better ways to convey the importance of certain situations and adapt to adversity. We want to preserve the intimacy of the divisions while enjoying a fluidity in kingdom locomotion.

    It takes time to be able to digest information correctly and to act on that information correctly. The first steps aren't about the latest wiz-bang bot or com link, it's about building a kingdom of reputable causation.

    I'm a firm believer in honorable play as a lever for challenge and fun. So it was in D&D and so it is in Utopia. Playing evil characters has no end game; no true satisfaction. The unity of honor makes games most interesting and the challenges abound in a world of Goliath's. I'm a stalwart player because I play by the challenge idioms I bestow on myself. I embrace the challenges and therefor fear no encounter in the game. For me, I enjoy resources, honor and acres just like everyone else, but the willingness to accept being PK'd over capitulation makes for more fun. I'm not foolhardy and will accept when I'm beaten, but we need to see it first. I encourage you to be courageous and not angry. Enjoy your battles that hold little hope, in the interest of learning from a superior player/kingdom. Adapt and become stronger.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 22-04-2017 at 09:31.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Correct me then, instead of being a dick about it.
    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
    ________
    Weed bowls

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR4vE9xL3yk

  6. #21
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    Culture of Council

    A little organization can go a long way with 5 players discussing kingdom business.

    Advice: Attempt to do business on irc and assign channels for various kingdom purposes. One big reason to be present on this antiquated system is that you can mingle with the Utopian community. While it's generally quiet, I've found posting can break the ice. I've yet to be concerned about privacy and there are other forms of communication to be used in the event of secret necessity. It is good to get to know your neighbors..especially the dangerous ones.

    Advice: Beware of trolls. Don't feed a troll unless your intent is to bait them with false weakness. Some of the Utopian community are certified geniuses and some are clinical psychotics. Some are both. The point I'm making is to never underestimate the intellect of your contemporary. Even your bait may be obvious to them and they can bite.

    Advice: Speak one at a time. State facts and later add commentary as befitting.

    Advice: Stay topical in council and have a secondary channel to discuss details with other council and kingdom members when the situation arises.

    Advice: keep your focus on the subject at hand but keep your eyes open on peripheral conversations(in other channels) so you have a breadth of understanding of what is going on.

    Advice: I don't use phones, but the spoken word can be a huge time saver. I highly recommend the more sophisticated conversations be done by voice and distilled to chat as the ideas take shape.

    Advice: A council member should be chosen as an arbiter to keep council under control. If someone needs to open their manifesto then it should be granted a second channel to satisfy the need to be heard. This is done so the speakers words can be seen in their entirety without derailing the business at hand. It is not our place to ignore rants that may have significant impact on kingdom welfare. Warnings, paranoia and preaching should be given respectful attention so that none of us grow too big for our britches.

    Advice: Conducting waves in a time efficient manner is imperative to the compromises of real life. Idle conversation is to be held in secondary channels. Those who have done their part in the initial wave sequence will be accessible in a standby channel for further engagements.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 21-04-2017 at 23:17.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Correct me then, instead of being a dick about it.
    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
    ________
    Weed bowls

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR4vE9xL3yk

  7. #22
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    The Kingdom Entity

    Some of the responsibilities among the council seem daunting. It's clear that running a kingdom from the position of monarch can be simple or unfathomably complex. Simple monarching is based in a faith that most of your guys will do the right thing. I've been with monarchs who have absolute power but essentially burn out because they micromanage all that they can.

    The essence of council is to root the kingdom into one entity with five independent arms. There are players who could intellectually handle some of the council roles without a hitch. This isn't about the intellectual in that we can't exclude true leaders in the interest of analytical prowess.

    When I was in The Faery Circle we had players who were well able to handle some very complex situations; as we have in Utopia. These players were sometimes shy and didn't want leadership positions. I'm at absolute ease with this and finally getting to my point about council:

    You can tap the genius of anyone in the kingdom and sometimes outside the kingdom.

    Just because the Chancellor for Kingdom Logistics is responsible for submitting valuable information doesn't mean they have to be the source. Ask the guys in your division for help. Ask players in the kingdom. Ask players beyond The Virtual Kingdom.

    Again, this isn't about miracles. The initial stages of council will be learning. Who do you correspond with? How do you distill useful information? How do you convey the importance of particular factors without minimizing others?

    There's no fault in failure with effort until people allow their immaturity to rule their resolve. Patience is a dying art, so investigate this virtue and remember the definition.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Correct me then, instead of being a dick about it.
    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
    ________
    Weed bowls

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR4vE9xL3yk

  8. #23
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    Revisiting Optimum Build Traps

    For those who might not quite understand the build trap scenario or dam effect, I'll attempt to illustrate some earned knowledge over years of gaming.

    In D&D each player in my group had particular strengths and some weaknesses. Our archer-ranger was the best single target assassin in the group. The player was just phenomenal in his innate navigational perception. His character was built for speed, range, stealth and firepower and he not only achieved those but magnified the definition. What separates his ability was his precognition in vectoring the theater of conflict. What that means is he digested escape routes, flanks, speed to destination coordinates, ranges and firing arcs instantaneously. THIS: he is a player who can use what are commonly known as "optimum builds".

    Anybody can run an orc warrior or undead tac of the past ages and feed the notion of optimization. You know the routine; I have big attacks, I do this, I do that, yada yada yada. Despite this, how many break from the crowd? Precisely. You have the most potential but show the least progress right in line with the ranking archives. Since most of us aren't archer-rangers we are sentenced the mediocrity of also-ran status. But why?

    Again, universal gaming offers a look outside the walls of convention. We need to see who we are in comparison to what the archer-ranger is. In D&D there was also the two-weapon ranger who fought mostly in melee. They cranked out the most horrendous damage; more than the archer. You're smart so you guessed it. Why not play melee ranger(rhetorical)? Because the archer-ranger was damn near untouchable. His preservation of health, his range, and his speed dynamics were huge game changers.

    Damage to damage ratios against a given enemy can fail. It's nice to be able to smash, but we are in a game of bigger stronger smashers. We were in D&D to. What of giants and dragons? Yes, we had to find other means to achieve survival. While the archer-ranger was largely a playeresque phenomena it demonstrates the savvy nature we wish to define ourselves.

    And now his friends, and the girth of the dam effect. In D&D, Champions, etc there were certain powers that attracted players like myself. I'm a proponent of universal effects, both defensively and offensively. In Champions there was a power called Damage Reduction; it reduced a flat percentage of any amount of damage sustained applied after your natural defense was broken.

    You understand why I enjoy running clerics of any race? Because those who choose warrior are not my archer-ranger friend, as it were, in most cases. You might begin to see why I have faith in undead sage. The defenses are applicable against any enemy of any size all the time. So called meager gains must be computed in the context of the downdraft inflicted on builds that are defined by the nw and acre system: t/ms are contextual unbreakable, not universal.

    Why not have a whole core of what I like? Because I'm not a fool. My grasp of universal dam effect defenses was accompanied by a group of RPGers who all have better jobs than me, achieved higher academic levels and frankly live well. So The Virtual Kingdom is arrayed in my "best RPG" estimate with my bias because I'm still a little kid on the inside.

    But besides that, the game is not defined by defense...or offense. Just because I'm able to hold more resources than I lose doesn't build on the dynamic of Utopia. I look at the optimized builds as the fangs of a maw, with the most hardened builds being the molars.

    Revisisting the D&D comparison, we all had different builds. Mine was based in huge durability and area effect offense. So while the archer-ranger was moving around the battlefield with alacrity I stationed myself in the heart of the enemy numbers; cut off from the rest of the party, I was my strongest in the depths of enemy multitudes. Being surrounded and dog-piled was my euphoria. It is what I wanted most; if you know me, not in an angry way. This was my shangrila.
    I'm telling you because, as a player, I want you to understand my motives. This is what makes me build what I build, personally. I wouldn't pretend everyone wants the same as I wouldn't expect our D&D party to be as successful under one regime.

    The secret is not simply in the balance or the bias, but in getting players in the definition of themselves for optimum effect. You'll note I suggest certain provinces run interference for others. The difference in the game can be as impactful as a blindsided crash. The dictation of pace and unpredictability can't always be achieved through known efficiencies because the enemy knows what is efficient. You know what I mean? What people may not know are the pillars on which these gains and efficiencies are founded upon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Correct me then, instead of being a dick about it.
    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
    ________
    Weed bowls

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR4vE9xL3yk

  9. #24
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    Province Management

    You'll notice I almost never post numbers. This isn't because I'm trying to hide secrets or fear for my strats being laughed off the forum. My math skills are limited so I don't do formal ratios or even pay attention to elites per acre or measure specs. Although being criticized for my strats the peculiar part is that they work for me.

    Influences by metaphor govern a lot of what I do. I'll explain one:

    In considering a guard dog I reviewed several books and a few videos to see protection dogs at work and get an idea of all the caveats. To the point, I watched the dogs motion as it went for the bite and how it reacted once it achieved a full mouth bite.

    The mark(the guy in the bite suit), after taking the brunt of the dogs impact, swung the dog around to try to force a release. I watched this in slow motion since dogs can move furiously, belying initial perception. When the dog had leverage with it's front and/or back legs it would maximize its tearing force to and fro. When the mark was swinging the dog it relaxed it's body while maintaining a death grip. A dog is a fairly simple predator. It has teeth for the work.

    So, when I'm talking about optimum builds we must understand what they do; why they are optimum by community standards. When I'm talking about why they fail it's the lack of constant leverage. Now I'm not saying they fail in every circumstance, but that what the community tends to value doesn't serve in the totality of leverage.

    Weakneses and strengths evolve through every encounter. I'm not talking per war, I'm talking per tick. This in itself is reason to take a closer look at the traditional wave and what the alternatives can be. Most of what I say concerns a single province, but we must extend our vision from the actions of a lone province to how we adjust in symbiosis.

    Consider when you are chained. If the chain is slow you can maximize the use of tpa and wpa. If you're hard chained quickly and violently you should still consider your micro in the scheme of the big picture. How do you contribute? When the dust settles the player is left with a few remnants and it's wise to consider what remnants you will hang onto.

    I myself am very bullish on wpa, but it hardly serves if you can't steal runes to fuel your endeavors. Sure, you can be razed and massacred, but just remember that you're still in play to coerce actions by your enemy. One focus I have is to not be a drain on my kingdom. I attempt to act independently when I'm out of the critical picture, but I still try to muddy the waters. While I fight the survival rigamarole I also attempt to shank bigger provinces to keep them clamoring.

    Prior to chaining I've oftentimes already laid the foundations for a chain stall; if orders aren't so strict as to leave your flanks wide open. A chain stall is the active form of nw shelf establishment. If you need a reminder, I'm referring to the kingdom strat you see many top kingdom build inherently. The secret to chain stalling is in what you give and what you take. The basic tactic is to give ground to larger enemy provinces but ambush if possible. The taking is in striking near nw provinces for trad march. The idea here is to surrender acres to the bigs, yet kill elites to augment your tops unbreakability. You trad march provinces in or near the nw below you to establish nw range. Sometimes I'll relay my taps to have a consistent acre feed to hold onto defense, thus nw. Good kingdoms may try to crash the relay but they have to break off from the wave to engage. Isolation is the key if you're the type of player that invokes a constant leverage concept. Regardless of the success of the enemy chain you can rest assured your doing your best to maintain your status as beneficial. The drawback is that you have armies all over the place and some kingdoms frown on this as not having the offense to break a huge defense. But understand that in large part this is due to other kingdom mates incapability to engage.

    To wrap your head around micro that serves the macro you must look at the bigger picture. The fact is I've achieved chain stalls against good kingdoms, so this isn't crap born in the inactivity of the ghetto. Another thing to consider is that we are talking about maximum leverage. If every province is doing the same thing we lose leverage. How? In defensive stopping ammunition, like hollow tip 45s, we achieve stopping power by the leverage induced by the hollow point mushrooming in the wound cavity. Solid or round tip ammunition has a tendency to over penetrate, or in our case hitting the same hole repeatedly.

    In order to achieve maximum leverage we need to have something to sink our teeth into until there is nothing left to grab. To fully understand this we can't simply look at acres and basic nw, but honor, scientists, wages, trade balance...
    The Virtual Kingdom design is predicated on available leverage. No, it's not perfect. That'd be delusional. What I'm saying is, the way the attackers attack, the way the t/ms op/sabotage is coming from all directions, not just one or two.

    When you're seeking leverage in one category it'll sometimes compromise leverage in another. In this way you should be planning ahead of the curve to reestablish strength in an area that can become flaccid. A perfect example would be tpa. We can't do much about wpa, but we can train thieves as we go and retain spec credits. Did I mention the enemies runes become more valuable the lower your wpa? You know this so stage 2 thinking invites the idea of taking runes away from your enemy. Constant leverage. Oh, and meteors don't kill thieves ;)

    Think about these things, even if some seem naive to a veteran. When I've been told something I do won't work my reply is to stop me. Even if the math against me is sound the idea at its core is to invoke action outside normal practices. Make enemy opportunities traps or turn them into traps as you adapt to an ever changing environment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Correct me then, instead of being a dick about it.
    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
    ________
    Weed bowls

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR4vE9xL3yk

  10. #25
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    It's Not Brain Mergery

    This age, it's important to look at the kingdom trend of low province numbers with massive province size. In essence these kingdoms are running cows without a core: In war tier language, big provinces/banks without the traditional attacker array. The fact that the acre pool is more concentrated is one factor, but we can guess the benefit of abreviated command structure is a relief to these weary old players.

    These kingdoms are huge for their province numbers basically because the players are familiar with the mechanics and the understanding of the diplomatic world. They don't just enjoy the whoring game, they realize the threat of being breakable in a chaotic world. So besides the mechanics or the drama associated, why do it this way?

    Because it's easier.

    I'm not arguing for divisions as a better way for everyone, the division system gets downtrodden kingdoms to a higher performance level than centralized leadership. Don't take that as the leader isn't in charge, it's that the mind numbing structural process is abbreviated. The division is far more nimble than the typical lower tier kingdom.

    The Analogy of Bolt-Action Rifles ~ The Weatherby Mark V

    The Mark V’s one-piece forged bolt has three sets of three lugs for nine total which, unlike traditional lug designs, do not extend beyond the body’s diameter. Although smaller in size than the lugs of a two-lug (or dual-opposed) bolt, the combined engagement area of the Mark V’s bolt is greater, resulting in additional strength. The lug configuration also enables a shorter, 54-degree bolt lift, as opposed to 90 degrees on a two-lug design, or even 60 degrees for bolts with three large lugs. In addition to faster bolt cycling, it provides greater bolt-to-scope clearance. ~ the end

    Now it might seem odd to some of you that I make the mechanical comparison of a rifle action to the organizational arrangement of a kingdom. We want the time between decision and action to be reduced. In our case it's to accomplish intricate, adaptive, coordinated efforts without the slag of overkill or neglect. We want redundant strength within the kingdom by leveraging the cross-section of obtainable resources from our competitors. We also base our defense in the ability to protect our resources both passively via mechanics and actively by strategic initiative.

    These things are so much easier without fear. If you only knew the days spent with kingdom mates, worried about the opponent size or reputation. All the enemy does is demonstrate some strength and guys curl up. What if we knew what we could do, right now? How fast we could coordinate a dismantling strike in a nw sector to establish a nw shelf? You wouldn't be thinking about "how scary the monster". I'm always curious to see the enemy do it because it's a learning opportunity.

    In D&D the way out was the way through in many cases. You stick your head in the meat grinder and the monster cranks that SoB and you got to be ready to do or die. I never understood the fear; the embarrassment. Believe me, it's a much easier life to find out who's tougher than staying in the hallway whimpering. This doesn't mean we do things with barbaric fatalism. No. We do our best and we embrace the concentrated focus of winning. Losing happens, but don't lose without a fight.

    The division system means nothing to kingdoms that are already pro. You have to start somewhere. In here we do it within our 5. And the other divisions do it within their 5. Take your 4 best guys and get together. As demonstrated by these low province, high acreage kingdoms; it's the quality of your guys. They started at 400 acres, just like you and me.

    7 --Make Exploring Great Again-- (x:xx) Rastov 88,969 acres

    13 3000K OFF WILL RAZE RETAL ALL (x:xx) Linst 59,856 acres
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 29-04-2017 at 04:31.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Correct me then, instead of being a dick about it.
    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
    ________
    Weed bowls

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR4vE9xL3yk

  11. #26
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    Those Top Feed Strats

    Avian tactician
    Avian tactician
    Avian tactician
    Dwarf heretic*
    Dwarf war hero
    Dwarf war hero
    Elf heretic
    Elf mystic
    Elf mystic
    Elf sage
    Faery heretic
    Faery rogue
    Faery sage
    Halfling mystic
    Halfling rogue
    Halfling rogue
    Human cleric
    Human cleric
    Human cleric
    Orc warrior
    Orc warrior
    Orc warrior
    Undead sage
    Undead sage
    Undead war hero

    The strat above is simply a Virtual Kingdom version of a top feed bias. I'm not an advocate of top interferences, just a stalwart retaliator. There's some insanity you can do with stacking specs if you're into fatalistic chart shaping, but I'm not familiar with them and wouldn't consider it for this template. I think halfling is one of those freakzillas.

    As you can imagine, the strat isn't built for longevity. It's built for the orcs to reach deep and feed down to the humans and into the speed of the avian tacs. Undead are the free floaters.

    The faery compliment is arrayed across 2 caster and op types. This is to leverage the most damage with the least effort after the elf and halflings have done their high penetration work. The dwarves are the additional free floaters.

    Free floaters are clean up and reinforcement.

    Part of the design here is to conserve meter, which goes back to who you use to retal what. I'll repeat, that an enemy may scoff at your resistance, but this is akin to "never mind the man behind the curtain". You're still fragile and completely breakable. The aim here is to reach amicable peace while retaining your reputation as friendly and deadgame.

    Once you get an opening for wpa then pour it on with the fader/instant stuff like amnesia and nightmare. You want to think about assassinating wizards as a conduit. The same with mass. The race to achieve vulnerability on the 3 fronts of our proverbial triangle are on. Just remember what is castable in what level of relation.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 30-04-2017 at 21:48.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Correct me then, instead of being a dick about it.
    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
    ________
    Weed bowls

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR4vE9xL3yk

  12. #27
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    The Knowledge of Persain & The 3rd Way

    *Pasted below is Persains version of TVK. I want you to note the deeper focus on unbreakability in the elves and, in his own words, his reasoning behind this incomparable strat. Persain is adept at knowing what will work in the wheelhouse of each persona/race and pragmatic about utility:


    coolio final changes are out i can add to this.


    Like i did last time trying to slot everyone together i'd go

    x3 Orc cleric
    x3 undead war hero
    x3 Efl tact
    x3 human warrior
    x3 avain sage
    x3 dwarf rouge
    x3 faery heretic
    x3 halfer mystics
    +1 elf mystic

    Reasoning
    -Orc needs the sustain this age so they get cleric over avain
    -Avain still needs "a bit more" to really match the other attackers so we're making them "Strong overall" with sage. (hard to fireball+peasent regen is nice too)
    -orc/undead/elf/human/avain should all have similar attack times or the build space to run rax and match.
    -dwarf gets rogue because the +BE helps their TD, and they can go pure leet to have a high def that allows them to op attackers yet still hit out as needed for easy acres once tpa drops
    - Halfling, The extra pop space lets halfers have high wpa for ms AND enough tpa to op
    -Faery, in contrast feary has lower tpa (0 losses so its fine) and a bit lower wpa to NM but gets+damage so yay heretic...its likely that a feary starts adding acres mid-late war and transition from NM->tog
    - The extra elf mystics lands MS on "super hard" targets, and is a pure mage so its running 35% WT to counter the supertheif (whereas halfers are probably just TD)

    * Me again ~ In conclusion, I'd like to emphasize the major trait I depend on is fearlessness. All the strats and planning aside, it's the willingness of the kingdom to close ranks when the going gets tough that results in staying power. It goes further. Replacing fear with curiousity can make you a student of the game. It'll improve your perception and hone intuition.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Correct me then, instead of being a dick about it.
    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
    ________
    Weed bowls

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR4vE9xL3yk

  13. #28
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    The Price Gun

    Somewhat off topic but relevant to my personal playing style is the challenge idiom.

    To understand a moral code when you have no moral compass can be difficult. The Bible devotes a couple chapters to the matter and it seemingly doesn't work to define good. Thus, The New Testament is about love and forgiveness.

    So how does one project strength if they don't attack unprovoked by their own volition?

    It's the price.

    The price is such: for every 1 attack sustained, 3 should be administered for correction.

    1- to compensate for what was lost.
    2- for the time it takes to recover in a game that sees the unfettered progress perpetually.
    3- for the crime of attacking unprovoked.

    Now I don't follow these mindlessly. I'm fairly happy letting things go in many cases. For instance, this late in the age some characters are just looking for sparring partners.

    But if it's a competitive environment or the criminal in question proves inhospitable then the price is invoked. The important thing here is fearlessness. The tally of attacks sustained and countered have little to do with progress. My roleplaying aspect in this is that my people expect to be avenged and there is no honor in a life spent kneeling to your enemies. Simply put, I'm not put off by being razekilled at all.

    Short but to the point.

    Other challenge idioms I abide is to retaliate against the strongest enemy if there are more than one. Exception to the rule is a baiting attempt which earns equal treatment to a larger opponent. Suffice to say, my motive is to then make most of my acres in war.

    I shun bots to increase the level of challenge. This means I use more stealth and operate with less strategic information than bot equipped opponents.

    I shun advanced com systems to also increase the level of challenge. Relying on alarms and activity to compete against kingdoms that do use advanced com is indeed challenging.

    I don't offer CF before any action unless the kingdom in question asks for a CF and is deemed friendly. There are exceptions. One is to not offer CF to the previous age crown winners, as this is tantamount to giving the age away. As unrealistic as this may be, to submit to a champion without a fight is not my way. They may offer me a CF which I will ideally consider a sign of submission. This may seem like veiled pragmatism but it's not in the conventional sense. The ideal trumps pragmatism in matters of game competition. In other words, to fight a great champion is preferred. The caveat here is that my intentions are not to ruin a kingdoms age as a spoiler. If we are honestly capable of war then we don't accept the CF. If we aren't competing we can accept the CF as a token of honorable submission, as both our kingdoms are headed in our own direction. Mutual respect thing.

    All in all it equates to playing the game in a stripped down state. Intuition comes to the fore and attention is payed to the remaining clues.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 18-05-2017 at 23:58.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Correct me then, instead of being a dick about it.
    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
    ________
    Weed bowls

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR4vE9xL3yk

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