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Thread: ~ Beerfest: Age 75 Virtual Kingdom ~

  1. #16
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    Hello, guys.

    I'll continue with some other stuff that's not as reliable, but have used in the past.
    I keep getting caught in social situations at the cigar lounge, which is where I write most of my tripe :)

    And thank you for your input.
    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

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  2. #17
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    Tactical

    In RPGs, paper & pencil wasn't all about magic item accumulation, level and hit points. Some of us had casual interest in history and military doctrine. A long while ago a friend of mine gave me a soviet war doctrine manual; it was a military perspective on soviet logistics, strategies and tactics. The most interesting outcome in reading the manual was that it enlightened me on the US war perspective.

    My familiarity with firearms allowed me to draw an understanding of the posture and expectations of both soviet and US doctrine. We're best served in knowing the operational differences in sidearms and rifles. From caliber to action to fit and finish we can begin to understand the support platforms: why this pistol, why this rifle.

    My overall assessment was that the US was built for the initiative and the soviets were built to react. Soviet doctrine was best served by a pattern of durability, survivability and firepower. The US was patterned much like blitzkrieg with focus on communication, accuracy and speed.

    AS APPLIED TO UTOPIA

    Many kingdoms focus on the offensive potential of enemies and less about the defensive potential. One aspect drawn from US doctrine was the flanking sweep in that units would sweep an arc from edge to edge with the intent of narrowing the enemy into pockets that could then be subject to pincer maneuvers. In Utopia we might interpret this as engaging the highest offenses and highest defenses simultaneously rather than pounding down every big offense first.
    This philosophy was apparent in Freeakstyle though they may not have even known it had military lineage.

    The Utopian world has wpa, tpa, offensive and defensive troops. Thus, at this point you might see why we've spent time illustrating the triangle principal. We can start looking at the post regarding the 5:20 kingdom breakdown and regard the sweep in the divisional array. This doesn't mean we don't incorporate aspect of soviet doctrine; we need only look at Freeakstyles winning ways to see both adaptations.

    It's my opinion much of the Utopian culture has stagnated in mechanical traditions rather than actually finding apex utility of a given tactic.

    Nightmare waves are one of those bizarre dictums in Utopia. Many a player will state as fact that NM is a wave spell. I can tell you from personal experience both in using NM and getting hit with NM that this is one of the most misguided myths in game. NM is woefully limited by the masses because they aren't looking at what the spell does.

    In the last war we were in I finally saw it: the opposing side had activity limits, but one of their t/ms struck me with NM anyway. And you know what happened? A few others jumped in at various hours through the night and eventually enough attackers were online and I found myself completely wrecked well below 200 acres.

    I've used NM as a self utility spell for a while, though I've not run a t/m for some time. You might want to open your mind to what we've been talking about: that's a lot. Ok, let's talk about NM and the possibilities.

    What if you're a dark elf heretic rover or camper? What if you cast NM on a perspective attacker ready to march in the chain wave? We don't always have to use NM as prelude to a trad march. We can reduce an enemies offense to reduce taps or prevent them from hitting our big defensive provinces.

    Well..work is about to begin, so I'll see you later.

    Another experiment I'm working on is the Amnesia-Nightmare Recoilless Howitzer. Things like ETs work vs rogues, but when there's a crack in coverage the rogue effect is full blast. My intent for this combo is to mute effects and soften enemy punches.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 21-02-2018 at 15:34.
    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.bing.com/videos/search?q=...+say&FORM=VDRE

  3. #18
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    Spy vs Spy

    I've probably already emphasized the value of thieves. Utopia isn't the only game where the aspect of stealth and sabotage can change the way we approach our strategy. In D&D the strength and durability of fighters is foremost in our minds: we envision slaying dragons through violent confrontation. In Starfleet Battles there are dreadnoughts brissling with an array of weapons and powerful shields. Bushido incorporated an honor system that encouraged fanatical bravery and displays of heroics.

    In each of these games there was also the feature of the rogue. In D&D there was the infamous backstabbing, in Starfleet Battles we had the cloaking device, electronic counter measures and electronic counter counter measures. Then in Bushido there was the ninja who operated with no honor.

    In Utopia we can go further than simplistic Nightstrikes and Greater Arson. One of those aspects is the practical blinding of the enemy. Some tactician based cores may be familiar with the effect, and many rogues, but often I've noted little attention is payed to the inability to gather intel by the hapless kingdoms I've occupied.

    I've been in kingdoms with no less than 7 tacs and been asked to gather intel as a cleric or warrior. This is one of my great pet peeves. The expenditure of theft defense to gather intel for lazy tacs is more self defeating than inactivity.

    Work begins.I'll see you later :)

    Does that seem exaggerated? When you squander resources unnecessarily and ignore 30% of your strategic virtues your nw and acres are poor equivilent to actual value. When this happened in the real world a German army was destroyed at Stalingrad. So this isn't real life, but the incoherence with essential mechanics can result in consistent failure for your kingdom.

    To task is the battle for each aspect of game dominion. With regard to dragons we look at the cost benefits analysis. The dragon, like most options in the game, strengthen or weaken the triangle:

    Again, the triangle is ~

    -------------^
    ----------Troops
    ----< Magic * Theft >

    * What supports or causes decay to these aspects. In war these aspects are relative to your enemy(usually) and out of war relative to the Utopian sphere. For instance, in game a tac has access to Clear Sight and the ability to gather intel with 1 thief resulting in sustain(>). A faery paladin can stack Magic Aura, Magic Shield, Divine Shield, Scientific Insight and Reflect Magic(<).

    A pure unbreakable is rare indeed. What most of us really mean is virtually unbreakable. When one aspect is reliably breakable the other two can be made breakable also. This is not why but how dragons can be detrimental unless funding can be done without catastrophic failure in a particular aspect.

    Theft domination can lead to Assassinate Wizards and zero sum peasant advantage through Kidnapping. It's not that thieving is the most important, it's that it is the most neglected in the majority of Utopian kingdoms. Part of this is thieves are a soldier that has to be paid for because we don't get theft credits. This is exactly how the correlation with dragon funding becomes a detriment. An option is to look at dragon funding from the position of thieving gold, training back lost thieves and the excess goes toward the dragon. This concern is diminished if your kingdom already has the advantage in this aspect.

    The less theft advantage your kingdom has the more you should be attentive to Snatch News. It's the best way to draw a dotted line between enemy positions of strength, where they come from and where they're going. Cross reference with kingdom pages and note nw differences.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 22-02-2018 at 21:50.
    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.bing.com/videos/search?q=...+say&FORM=VDRE

  4. #19
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    Potential and Performance

    One of the funniest personality types in Utopia are the random aces. In top kingdoms these guys don't suffer the slapstick fate they often experience in casual war kingdoms. This is out of pure respect, it's just that gaudy honor/science/offense on attackers usually lights up enemies radar like the Vegas strip.

    My respect for these glory hounds is such that interference tactics in the division system were partially designed to protect them. In knowing a few of these archetypes there are nuances in how they might react to enemy endeavors to grab all that's precious to them in war. My interest is in keeping players happy.

    What I don't want are players to have preconceived notions about what a good attacker is supposed to be. The idea that our "best attacker" got taken out early in war isn't the mindset conducive to winning. This calamity is bad both on our side and our conception of enemy strength. This can result in poor targeting as we may ignore highly capable enemy provinces in war. We might also underestimate players in our kingdom that think in the theater of campaigning rather than individual victories.

    Like our new friend in forum running an undead dark elf, the function of sustainable conversions might be missed. A player that understands position is a valuable asset. Big offense is definitely important but it is a raw and highly visible commodity the enemy will consistently aim to stop in every war. Part of our understanding of core dynamics is in what an unchecked province can mutate into.

    When in war I'm of the opinion we should have our mitts on every enemy province to some degree. Many kingdoms may think they've contained the enemy core by chaining only to find hybrids creating havoc late in the game. Sleeper aspects like dark elf conversions, dwarf build speed + economy and dryad training time can seemingly sprout up out of nowhere. While the enemy orc war hero may be relegated to the pits we can't forget to watch the provinces that thrive untouched.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 03-03-2018 at 22:10.
    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.bing.com/videos/search?q=...+say&FORM=VDRE

  5. #20
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    Game Related

    I've encountered players that have imagined both province and kingdom in different ways that add character to their styles. One imparticular imagined their province as a character like you might play in D&D.

    A few versions of a kingdoms reimagined have occurred to me related to games I've played in the past.

    Top Secret was a spy game that included one of the best combat systems I've seen in RPGs. You could study martial arts and become proficient in hand to hand combat, from wrestling to boxing and knife fighting. The cool part was they would categorize limbs and you could choose strikes and blocks for each limb.

    Thus, my thoughts ran to a Muay Thai way of thinking for the division system. Two arms, two legs and head to configure martial forms. Even still you might include grappling and submission.

    In Starfleet Battles you can run individual ships or several, depending on the scenario. There were base stations, star bases, planetary colonies...Anyways, we had allocation sheets for power distribution and ship templates called SSD sheets that illustrated the raw traits of each ship from weapons banks, shield power, maneuverability rating, hull integrity and several others. This was very similar to the raw strategic breakdown we have in Utopia. Dreadnoughts, carriers, destroyers, frigates, specialized ships like the Romulan Mauler to modularized designs like the battle tugs that could be converted from troop carriers to mine layers. All were echoes of the province template we use.

    Champions was a superhero game where you built your character from scratch based in an allotted point system. You could have mind controllers, bricks like the hulk, invisible guys with death rays. Basically you could build whatever you could imagine within the power base of the world. Yes, power absorption to!

    If anyone is familiar with being in a band, you can apply these philosophies as well.

    I'm just trying to say there are more ways to approach the way we address the game than what we do. Chess, poker, what have you.

    Edit:

    Peasant Magic ~ The trials of war can force you to brainstorm out of desperation. We all know homes pump and strats, and this subject brought up an idea from Palem. He was curious about a Dungeon strat. Essentially the idea was shot down in its splendor.

    I've found that when you are subject to constant Chastity ops and shelling that alternative means can be difficult. Aid is unreliable and depends on the resources of fellow kingdom members. So I build extra Dungeons to augment the needs and desires of self reliance at the expense of my enemies. Part of the zero sum game of not hurting yourself.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 04-03-2018 at 19:36.
    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.bing.com/videos/search?q=...+say&FORM=VDRE

  6. #21
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    Retirement & Time Off

    A great number of players will retire from the game with the majority of a mind for never returning. I for one know something of nostalgia and choose to see the game as something I'll return to whenever I take time off. Provided the game sustains for years we should be welcoming to returning players. Part of this is understanding what they use to know and how the game is played now.

    We should be gentle to both the rare new player and the returning veteran. We do this by not forcing agendas that are alien to their way of being. If they aren't in the right place we should put effort into getting them to a kingdom that fits their lifestyle.

    The Virtual Kingdom template is designed for enthusiasts, but doesn't force the whole of the kingdom into rigid molds.
    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.bing.com/videos/search?q=...+say&FORM=VDRE

  7. #22
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    When to say When

    Since my challenge idioms include only retaliating and never attacking unprovoked I can talk on the subject of when to offer CF. IMHO you don't offer CF without retaliation. This is a game and it's a game of competition - yet, I've sat with my army home and watched enemies take intel and hit my whole army. Why?

    Well for me it's about overcoming significant odds. Exiting our last war my province was under incredible pressure from several kingdoms running abduction and trad march. My intent was to abandon my province eowcf but we had several provinces that'd been chained. My experience has taught me that a lot of players go almost totally inactive during eowcf so I knew I'd be providing aid the last day despite warning players that it's harder late then early. But I digress...

    In completing my retaliations I informed my monarch I was ready to leave, but it was imperative for me to even the score with every kingdom that had invaded my province. The reason I'm not jumping on every kingdom that attacked ours is because different players have differing views on the subject.
    Many worry about retaliating powerful kingdoms, but these are the most important to retal in my opinion. It's funny because in waiting my 24 ticks to abandon province I noted a number of counter attacks. The prevailing mindset of these aggressor kingdoms might be that "we" are afraid or feel incapable of matching their aggression. That would be a mistake, and it's important for small kingdoms to understand this.

    I'll repeat myself, not because I'm forgetful, but to let this sink in: I've been alone in a kingdom shell and only accepted CF or only offered CF to a worthy challenger. I've never offered a CF to a kingdom that disrespected mine, ever. There is no amount of pressure, be it PK or total shelling of all resources that I'd offer a CF to a disrespectful opponent. My opponents have included top warring and whoring kingdoms: Divinity, Green, Emeriti, BeastBlood, Sleepy, Pew Pew and a plethora of considerable challengers from every tier.

    First things first. Moral high ground is where I stand. If I'm not the one to start trouble then reprisals are mine to inflict at my leisure. I'm not cruel or completely foolhardy. In my recent bout of retaliations I matched blades with the number 1 honor kingdom. When they went into the meter I showed them that I would cast Fools Gold, that I could disrupt their wave formation and that I'd remain focussed. They'll always tell you they didn't even notice, but then why do they counter and burn meter? I know all the reasons.

    If you want to be good at diplomacy in the lower tier then you should understand that personal integrity is the key. If you're worried about your resources: scientists, honor, army, acres....you will stink at diplo. It's very simple. If you're going for resources your goal should be no shorter than being the best: number one. If that isn't your goal you're just part of a forgettable food chain. For me, the end of aggression happened on my terms. I decided based in my satisfaction with my retaliation. It should be that we grant CFs at the behest of enemies asking. At no point should you take the role of beggar. I've absolutely no problem with earning respect. I play to meet challenges and have no desire to chart on the backs of frightened, small, disorganized kingdoms. It isn't my opinion that this is wrong, it's that it does nothing for me.

    War is different because war is diplomacy. Be it that my side is defeated it's my compassion for my fellow kingdom mates that motivates a desire to WD. Sometimes kingdom mates might misunderstand: if I have lots of acres they might think I want to WD because I'm a glory hound. And if I want to WD when I'm chained, massacred and clinging to life they might think I can't take it. These aren't the metrics I follow.

    If we are winning a war I recommend never asking the opponent to WD unless they show signs of fatal disillusionment. That is, they show massive inactivity or randoming out. The goal here is to retain our fragile player base. In war I will avoid PKing opponents or driving them down to depressing levels. I'd rather WD and give the defeated kingdom the war win bonus to rebuild rather than crush them. This is the other side of Utopia being a game and showing compassion to kingdoms that have their own challenges. I've often ignored orders(sorry monarchs) to continue beating down tiny enemies; even if I'm in the same condition. I'll offer an enemy respite to get back on their feet. I'm not concerned with forgone conclusions because I'm challenging myself. In my kingdoms interest I'll defend them, but won't invoke bloodthirsty tactics unless the enemy wants it that way. I can enjoy black humor just like the next guy and if it's a war of cruelty for comedy sake I'll accommodate :)

    This has been a lot of "I" and "me", but it's because so many lower tier kingdoms are self destructive without the inkling of how. Tactical mistakes are a given. We can screw the meter, send dragons early, target the wrong provinces and build useless strats, but we shouldn't be in the practice of experiencing fear of loss. Many small kingdoms don't see that the order of battle might well suit the aggressor kingdom. I try to demonstrate how you can turn that on its head and make the enemy work for victory or fail. Poor strategies by naive kingdoms allow good kingdoms to predictably farm honor, science, and good chain alignment. All the while the poor kingdom is looking at the acres and pat themselves on their collective backs. This happens so often in so many kingdoms I sometimes wonder if Utopia is a government test to see if they can drive me crazier than I already am.

    I'm wanting small and casual kingdoms to learn dignity and start building strats pre age. I want these same kingdoms to start innovating new ways of warring and handling hostile like a roach infestation. In real life we might be fine curling up in a whimpering ball at the sign of aggression, but in game we should demonstrate a demeanor of poise and maturity.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 14-03-2018 at 21:53.
    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.bing.com/videos/search?q=...+say&FORM=VDRE

  8. #23
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    Further Thoughts

    I've often encountered kingdoms that say if we don't want war not to retaliate. Well screw them. They aren't the thought police and if anything this type of statement is the exact ammunition to institute the long hostile gambit. I'm fairly happy to accommodate universal victim status to any kingdom that thinks aggression should be met with capitulation. Again, this is exciting to me: I enjoy the tough odds and doing things that bring out regret when kingdoms act disrespectfully.

    When you're kicking ass on a big organized kingdom that intends to farm you the key is concentration on provinces they need intact all age. Regardless of resources spent and lost you quarter off a segment of the huge kingdom and crush it. Think of it as cutting off an elephants trunk or some other cruel and terrible practice. Without respect we sometimes must resort to fear. People will always promise revenge despite being the bully. Don't be dissuaded. Let them know their chart is in your hands. You can abandon and strike from the outside. We all have significant power even vs multi abusers. Try not to communicate rudely. Be respectful even though your tactics may be savage.

    I'll emphasize, you should plan your kingdom strat beginning of age to top feed if you're small and/or casual. Top feed strats aren't so good in war, but we aren't charting anyways. Spells and sabotage you imagine only good in war can be used when the meter is in your favor. Use them to augment the sparing use of marches.

    We want to get to a point where the big kingdoms offers CF or we both walk away. I'm as good as my word and can be trusted to honor a cessation of hostilities. If my retaliation isn't countered then I will not continue an aggressive stance. I've no interest in hitting into war or taking advantage of the former enemy exiting a war. We can offer a CF if the big kingdom asks us for a CF.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 14-03-2018 at 22:27.
    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.bing.com/videos/search?q=...+say&FORM=VDRE

  9. #24
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    Final Thoughts

    Utopia, the game itself, is a very playable game unto itself. Sadly, the community has cacooned itself under the pretenses of "necessary" tools and com systems. I'm often approached as a fool because the argument is "why not do it this way, because it's easier?"

    You see the problem is more sinister than the children really understand. My exposure to this wiz-bang age of instant statistics is tempered by my intimate knowledge of the age before computers. Did you know in my industry that we worked faster and more accurately than we do now? Statisticians will always argue non-truths with data based in proving their interests. They can't argue something you know and live. Well, they can to you because we can't share experiences telepathically, and youth is more inclined to believe in their environment. You grew up with virtual reality, I grew up with reality.

    Let's put it this way; when our systems fail at work I notice the current generation stops working. There is no understanding of the work without the tools that guide them. Workers of my generation can pick up with the added complication that we have to record things for you, but we go on. But before that, we didn't have to record the information in the complex way we do now. Our actions were instantaneous, as in, the human brain with systems we honed long ago that were very simple. So there was no computer to fail, no IT guys to suck money from the bottom line. We basically created a world where to explain some guys job is to fawn about paperlessness and instant statistics.

    These things have their place if you're controlling minds. I mean truthfully, in utility, it's not that big a deal if you're moving anything. The statistical relevance is overemphasized because that's where intelligent bastards knew the rabbit hole goes the deepest. As long as the populace is convinced that data in all its forms is relevant to something you will have customers standing in line to buy it: not just monetarily but ideologically.

    This pattern amuses me because in real life and in Utopia I've stood outside the toxic realm of data addiction. Am I less than a player who uses bots and instant messagers? No. I've got instinct and I perceive the game organically from here, looking at the data with naked eyes. I feel war. I know how it dances. At work I know the laziness of those who fail to do things properly. They lean on the system with a molasses like apathy, incapable of free thought for lack of will.

    We have to practice our inherent enlightenment and not simply plug into the next crutch at every turn.
    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.bing.com/videos/search?q=...+say&FORM=VDRE

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