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Thread: HatWalk ~ The Virtual Kingdom, Age 76 ~

  1. #31
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    Stepping into Zones

    The idea of nw/acre zones isn't without influences along my way in gaming. I've explained before the dwarf warden I played in D&D was an area effect based attacker. These thing always have inticacies but my main battle guns were the area effect attacks. This was better understood, by the royal me, because I had previously read a little on Soviet War Doctrine. And it wasn't that I learned zones from Soviet War Doctrine, it's that I drew from their strategy what NATO was doing without ever reading about their tactics. The Soviet War Machine always expected us to strike first. If you start from standard issue handguns all the way to ICBMs you'll notice a pattern in the developments of each side. We had speed, accuracy and communication. Soviets had firepower, durability and navigation. I'm simplistically using the word "navigation" to explain a method the Soviets reportedly used to move against the area pushing the most firepower. If you put these elements together you'll note the evidence suggest the Soviets expected to have communications cut and thus navigated through tactics and used their apparent strength in firepower to engage.

    So the way zones work in TVK is based in relative enemy nw/acres. This is the default system for players lacking the instinct to separate threats subjectively; yes, not objectively. Each division draws off a nw area that intersects the nw area of the next division at center radius. Each division sweeps furthest flank to furthest flank, thus forcing the enemy into max of the following zone. The zones fluctuate with nw/acre loss/gain and are live, organic representations, but always center radius, to center, to center radius.

    This is a simplistic explanation. Everything can be mathed out from province power ranking to individual player performance. I prefer to slur these things toward an instinctive feel, but I'd imagine some of the spread sheet disciples would love to dissect a kingdom by esoteric variables. if that hasn't made sense yet; zones are a foundation strategy, but pinpointing troublemakers is micro. For instance, we can't ignore the active shared spell casting faery or the most resilient orc anyone's seen. Stoic robotic strategies, no matter how good, require manual override tweaks because great competition requires adaptation.

    Basically this is an adaptation of a ground theater concept where attack choppers support mechanized divisions. The rest is fundamental assault founded in German ww2 squad tactics. These consist of flanking, closing range, cover fire and finally, eliminating the objective. We approach these flanks as military(troops/forts/modifiers) defense, tpa and wpa in Utopia. This way of thinking can help you to assess the relative strength of an enemy position.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 28-05-2018 at 04:09.
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  2. #32
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    Division Multiplication Rock

    In addition to the nw/acre zone flank2flank sweep you'll note that I've described divisions insofar as their intended purpose. This is to reinforce the kingdom latitude of performance based in province strengths and weaknesses: where to push your zone by depth and breadth. So if a spearhead division, or provinces with spearhead aspects, perceive an enemy stall position in an assault divisions zone it can be objectified as a primary target. This'd be the infamous faery or high order bocan. This also schools the piranha where the meat is. We can use formulations that include honor, or just eyeball a stinkbutt enemy for what they are and poke holes in them.

    The zones are always there to remind you that obsessive focus can come at a price. Zones remind us to wackamole the chained enemy and scrape off a top defensive province the enemy wants unbreakable. This plays a pragmatic truth in that most well bred war kingdoms want a sterling top and a resilient bottom. They build for it through their kingdom strat. This is known as a pincer or clamp. TVK is based in the culture of all personalities and all races so we have to first come to terms with the likelihood that a solid war kingdom will want to exercise a clamp. We on the other hand concentrate on breaking the bolt that hold the clamp together.

    This salient tactic is best demonstrated in the Battle of Kursk, in flow. While these were fixed positions the battle was won by reinforcements. Thus, to understand speed, economy, durability, communication, accuracy, firepower and navigation is to understand what we're doing here. Firepower where? Vs the enemy firepower, but we match strength to weakness and sweep flanks like an integrated Soviet-NATO entity of the highest quality we can muster. The enemy will do the same. The use of divisions is to abbreviate the speed of adaptation. It doesn't mean you win, it means you met the objectives until they were overtaken or we failed. Failure offers a template to correction.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 29-05-2018 at 17:18.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
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    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
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  3. #33
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    The Triangle

    I've described Utopian offenses and defenses as trianglular aspects:

    Thieves per Acre plus modifiers

    Wizards per Acre plus modifiers

    Offense/Defense per Acre plus modifiers

    When organizing a kingdom these aspects help us understand our raw capability. Timing, initiative and logistical support effects the strength of the aspects in certain ways. A heretic has balance in durability and effectiveness, but also depends on emphasis. We might have a mystic who can break any enemy, but without runes and mana these guns are silenced.

    Heavy attackers can be perceived as open field tanks; able to take great swaths of land but not capable of holding land with ample resistance by themselves. Heretics along with associated races can be seen as ground support aircraft. The attacker types like human and dwarf are akin to infantry; able to hold land and defend it to a degree. Higher order t/ms can hold land as a generality and aren't specialized in taking it. So t/ms are considered when we translate aspects of air superiority. As in war, like WW2, we see air superiority play the most significant role in the axis inability to hold land. Even though the Soviet war machine was taking land back through ground mechanization, it was the stalemate in the air that forced the outcome.

    Thus, whoring kingdoms are designed to take acreage but aren't necessarily build for winning wars. Warring kingdoms tend to have a much higher ratio of t/ms to secure what they have and slowly build on.

    Far from war, but at the beginning of the age, we design kingdoms with these aspects in mind. The details in war being the superiority of technology, the expertise of troops and numerical logistics play into the question of formidability. As mentioned before, diplomacy can be a game changer in this race.

    We look around and regard our competitors from these scales. These scales are in constant flux of progress and setbacks. When we engage an enemy it's important to not only make sure each enemy province is breakable in at least one aspect, but that we have the logistical backing to break them. The challenge aspect also plays in the event a province or provinces are currently unbreakable. This leads to the study of how to break an unbreakable. In watching top war I've seen the liberal use of Conquest to preserve a level of breakability. We can look to the heretic to lay down a barrage in order to wear down a virtual unbreakable. When you achieve a breakthrough you'll want to dig into the aspects that forge these tough targets with the intent of opening other aspects of the triangle.
    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 !
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  4. #34
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    The Avian

    Avian as a race is one of the most intriguing to me because they're ideally suited to a role that gets lost in translation. I've long held the belief that avian players share one trait with US Marines: you know you're one before you become one. Or, avian should only be played by players that love avian.

    Genuine avian players are few but easy for avian enthusiasts to spot. I've seen a few in ghettos and some, that play in stronger kingdoms, are the most vocal when I've assembled The Virtual Kingdom. They have strong feelings about the personality that best serves their particular style. Noobies Don't Bite was a kingdom I recall having both solid avian and halfer talent. For one of the decidedly casual war kingdoms they played with wonderful brutality and earned my respect in these two capacities.

    Stealing The Wind ~ It's one thing to face another avian in war, and another to be an avian tac facing an enemy avian tac. When I've been in this situation my endeavor is to win the speed battle and I've used arson to achieve a rax margin over my foe. These are some of the most exciting battles within the war. As fellow avians know, it's the ability to land uniques inside the turnaround time of enemy attackers that separates avians from attacker to hunter-attacker. To achieve back to back uniques inside the uniques of an enemy avian tac is focal to core domination. It may seem a distraction from the total war, but once the turn is made it can dictate the success or failure of core supremacy. The activity requirements are very high since ambush is almost integral to the build. This is only the beginning.

    Avian are to Attackers what Faery are to T/Ms ~ An avian in rhythm is able to diversify their march as faery sabotage and cast. When marching you can regulate land intake by running massacre, raze, even plunder to screw an enemy provided aid. We're talking about land regulation because we're really talking about tpa and wpa. This varitable rainbow of destruction is seldom seen because most avian cores aren't privy to full avian capability and resricted to wave systems that beg lockstep unity.

    Solving the Dwarf Puzzle ~ At the farther end of avian capability is the engagement of dwarves. Dwarf strength is in their ability to build between waves for free. While other attacker races can brutalize dwarves it's the avian that can actually keep dwarves build options in the pipe and out of production. When we look for economic alternatives to competing against dwarves we must consider the avian to deliver the Waterloo event.

    The Attackers Attacker ~ Other races are designed for aspects of attacking. Orcs are akin to heavy, open field tanks and dryad like heavy artillery. They can break t/ms and have lots of torque in crushing other attacker types. The avian is designed from spell array to racial abilities to smash enemy cores and do the job in totality. Massacres lead to thieving ability and stealing runes and gold. Raze can drop the speed and overall offensive ability of heavy attackers. And avians can do these things in the luxury of abbreviated unique turnaround.

    I'd not be wise to advocate an entire core of avians; there just aren't that many players who can pull the activity or understand the rhythm in working between uniques. When you find these players and they ask to play avian, it's my opinion that you let them. Sure, everyone might need guidance on the global strategy a kingdom is pursuing. In those cases, provide the information so the avian can deliver the goods.

    PS: I'm not trying to sell avians, it's that I've always felt like Snoopy vs The Red Baron when I run them. Here's to hoping you do to.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 30-05-2018 at 03:22.
    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 !
    ________
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  5. #35
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    TVK with Faery Tactician

    HatWalk ~ The Virtual Kingdom, Age 76 ~

    *Expeditionary North:

    Dark Elf ~ paladin: Montera*
    Halfling ~ sage: Capuchon*
    Orc ~ undead: Fez

    *East:

    Faery ~ rogue: Chullo*
    Dark Elf ~ mystic: Turban*
    Dwarf ~ warrior: Homburg*
    Halfling ~ heretic: Vueltiao*
    Orc ~ tactician: Sombrero

    *Northeastern:

    Dryad ~ undead: Gat
    Elf ~ sage: Chengziguan*

    *Central:

    Avian ~ war hero: Stetson
    Dryad ~ paladin: Pith Helmet
    Elf ~ mystic: Top Hat
    Faery ~ tactician: Tantour
    Halfling ~ rogue: Bowler

    *Southwestern:

    Bocan ~ war hero: Porkpie
    Elf ~ heretic: Rastacap

    *West:

    Avian ~ tactician: Glengarry*
    Bocan ~ heretic: Beret*
    Faery ~ mystic: Salakot*
    Bocan ~ rogue: Ushanka
    Human ~ warrior: Balmoral Bonnet*

    *Expeditionary South:

    Dark Elf ~ undead: Bicorne*
    Dwarf ~ paladin: Shako*
    Human ~ sage: Tricorne

    Since we have a back2back war brewing between BeastBlood and Hipmunks, two impressive kingdoms, we can barrow a little to ape the critical elements they both share. In our case we can't mimic a bunch of failsafe elves, but we can provide the faery tactician. I'd like feedback on how effective the casting goes, but I'll assume it's viable since these two kingdoms are wrought with knowledgable players. Faery becomes more evenly distributed, but we lose speed on dryad. The elf heretic makes an appearance in this alignment.

    The dryad tac was switched to paladin

    The elf paladin was switched to heretic

    The faery heretic was switched to tac

    The bocan and faery rogues switch east to west

    The central and west division swap GMT
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 31-05-2018 at 21:00.
    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 !
    ________
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  6. #36
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    Know Your Clamps

    When you see kingdom pages it should be fairly simple, but saying things out loud might convey the essence of threat level. Let's look at BeastBlood and Hipmunks:

    Hipmunks has 5 Avians and 6 Orc (UD/Paly mix), 7 elves (mystic/heretic and one WH), 3 halfer (rogues) and 3 Fae (tact and two paly)
    BB has 12 Avians (Paly + 1 UD), 8 elves (mystic/heretic and one WH), 3 halfer (rogue), 2 Fae (tact and a paly).

    It's through the elves where we see economy of teeth, or spearhead characteristics. Depth of elves in a kingdom yields high cast probability, lower rune consumption, great spell resistance and cheap, high defense.

    You might have the notion to Nightstrike, or after Assassinate Wizards, cast Nightmares but the caveat lies in faery shared spells and halfer rogue timetable regarding stealth. Avians provide a system by which your gains are not secured by defense but by tide. Avians natural speed, like atmospheric pressures, creates a backlog effect in gains bolstered by credit and birthrate bonus. In the case of Hipmunks, there's a sacrifice of speed for chipping unbreakables and damage depth with orcs.

    So you can see the limits of TVK characterized by the racial and personality limits. The TVK kingdom page is interested in hogging the center. Pages like BeastBlood and Hipmunks immediately inform you they are prepared to secure their top province unbreakability which requires a complex understanding of the traps in play. Both kingdoms are wrought with redundancy in key areas to offer a logistical truth. If that truth fails they can withdraw without loosing critical kingdom functions.

    For instance, the perspective on taking out a faery tac requires a deft finger on the kingdom pulse. These types of provinces have a duality in that focusing on a province that appears as nothing but a Clear Sight caster is also a resource magnet. In simple terms, probe hard to see the reaction, but do not overcommit.

    The paladin counts are daunting because you're not just dealing with 20% lower losses, but Wrathful Smite. This is only the beginning of a casting ability that is designed to stall enemy cores from gobbling up acres unfettered.

    In seeing the layering of crossfire and veritable interlocking plates of these two kingdoms my hope is to impress upon the reader the importance of micro vs this impressive macro. You can't ignore other singles that are mirrored like faery paladin and elf war hero. Respect the kingdom array and the minds that designed them, but don't fear them. Be curious. ;)
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 01-06-2018 at 02:57.
    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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  7. #37
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    Why Did I Post This?

    Originally Posted by Sheister
    yeh.... what are you talking about Palem?

    (My answer, not as an impolite gesture. This is a demonstration of going against what logistically shouldn't happen:)

    ** The kingdom of TFC **
    Total land exchanged: -3,753 (731/909)
    +809 Vortex Math (29/20) me

    Because faeries are a dream to some and a nightmare to others.

    ^ Ok, so I posted this because the players in the fantastic kingdoms listed above generally have a deep belief in the strat they're running. When they express their thoughts on mistakes they made it's based in certain aspects beyond their control. These kingdoms also reap the pump benefits I mentioned before. Everything is logistically perfect, even if we hear self deprecating rhetoric.

    But why? Because when you face these challenges and defeat them anyways, you know that the builds are part of the equation and not all encompassing. I've been in those places; in the kingdoms of pristine mechanics. It's not where I learned to overcome tough opposition, it was outside of them as an opponent.

    These are the kingdoms that will walk you down. I'm warning you because they are tough, but can give you false confidence, like not having Nightmare. I like Nightmare, but I know it's a tool, not a strategy. These kingdoms have their battle arrays sorted out. Now see, I've been vanguard and have spearheaded into these situations, but the strategy failed. These guys that buy into waves and don't know how to look at the immediate foreground; it's disheartening to them. Despite some logistical weight, there are things that happen because you try, and others because you can.

    To be a good attacking faery in TFC isn't that impressive. What you're looking at is a learning curve in the example above. It's my first time playing an attacker faery which steered me toward further experimentation. For me, the greatest accomplishment was that I was the largest faery in the kingdom after war and no one randomed me after war protection. You're probably thinking I was just lucky, and to a degree you'd be right. I'm here to tell you there was zero reluctance on my part to retal.

    The lesson is if you can attack with a faery and make it stick then you can attack with anything. This isn't silly tricks, this is locking horns with heavy attacker races and by force of wherewithal abiding positive acres.

    And where did the practice come from to be able to run my first faery attacker and come out smelling like a rose? I remind you to look again; those attacks were being answered by counter attacks. It's not a situation where my province was ignored and scarfed acres on the down low. - It comes from the challenge idioms of never attacking unprovoked.

    Here's an excerpt from post #26:

    Compounding my situation, I've run a pure retal doctrine. Let's see what that means:
    - My province doesn't attack unless provoked.
    - My province often takes the first hit with my army home equalling heavy losses.
    - My province doesn't steal or cast unprovoked.
    - My retaliation is based in who's the most formidable target.
    - My prerogative is to spare apparently new players of retal.

    Now I'm not recommending whole kingdoms sit around like dodo birds waiting to be waved into oblivion. I'm pointing out that by dictating my own disadvantages there has been enlightenment in managing violent situations against superior opposition. Thus when we look at near perfect kingdoms builds like those of prime warring and whoring kingdoms they are interesting puzzles.

    By not attacking first I was controlling my environment to be prepared. By not attacking first my opponents were superior by design. I learned how to learn. This is only one way. I'm sure that a less painful path would yield comparable results. Be creative ;)
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 01-06-2018 at 20:34.
    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

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  8. #38
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    Leadership

    There's always a cliché attached to anything common, but mysterious. In our instance, let's look at leadership by committee. It's not supposed to work, but it begs research since we're here.

    The problem in Utopia is lots of kings with similar problems in recruiting and player expectations. If these kings are good, bad or average doesn't reflect on their competence, unless you go full elitist on me and talk about certain successful kingdoms. Not everyone is blessed with charismatic talents, but we can seek to act with maturity and responsibility. Taking ownership in Utopia is not about one guy accepting blame for idiot moves by fringe players, it's about doing your best within the context of game level pragmatism.

    I'm no leader. I'm simply a player who doesn't enjoy managing panicky or overly aggressive players. When I say overly aggressive I'm generally referring to bullying types, which also are often panicky when the shoe's on the other foot. I'm not the one who can stomach reminding players to distribute resources, for others to welcome resources and balance budgets so attackers can breakout through aid when chained. It's all the little reminders that invoke my resting ***** face. The other thing is that I'm no mechanic. I'm pure "feel" and that makes orders difficult to render because then I'd have to remind people of all the little things that invoke my resting ***** face again.

    So I'd imagine most leaders have patience in areas that wear on me, but also lack the freedom of thought that I enjoy. Therefor we should consider compromises of idealism for pragmatism. This was always the endeavor of the division system. You may be a hardheaded monarch, but you can't deny your recruiting efforts are a freaking disaster. See it as a demotion if you like, but division school is where you get to run with your best guys. So if you pair down to 4 other players that satisfy your expectations, you join TVK as a division leader and member of council.

    From here on, you recruit to your division as other division leaders may recruit to theirs; if someone retires or hates TVK. When hard headed players meet things don't always go well, but you have a division to prove your point. Natural leaders might emerge and maybe others get jealous. Still, by following the doctrine of divisional play and division culture we conclude these are failsafes as states rights are intended to be. Just like state rights, the kingdom fails if state rights aren't recognized. You see how it works? We must engineer play between working parts; a portion of chaos to equal order. You demonstrate through performance and forge opportunity.

    As I understand it we can have 2 stewards and a monarch now, which is a welcome mechanic to a 3 GMT mainline kingdom.

    While my submissions of TVK are muses, it might be necessary for me to remind the reader that this is only a perspective. Your kingdom could be anything you want. You could stick with this template, go 10 t/ms and 15 attackers. You could consolidate divisions to 5 to 8 players. The possibilities are enormous.

    PS

    The funny thing is not knowing if we're dumber than we think we are. Off topic, I was watching some guitar instructional videos by a dutchie and it occurred to me these people might be on the next evolutionary scale. By comparison I felt as if I were a small, heavy boned ape with technology to mask my archaic genus. All of this, TVK, could be regarded as an old mutt playing with a red ball. Hmm. It's ok; like an old mutt that doesn't know he's naked I will continue the journey.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 02-06-2018 at 22:53.
    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

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  9. #39
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    The Smaller Kingdom Argument

    The Virtual Kingdom answers the Smaller Kingdom Argument as gracefully as possible without invasive mechanics. As pointed out above in post #38, with all due respect, some monarchs are asking the devs to lower kingdom size in regard to maximum provinces per kingdom. The argument goes back and forth between kingdoms that have a wealth of recruits and the many that don't.

    Now I'm not blaming or making fun of small kingdom struggles. In fact I'm trying to help without ruining the game for the 25ers. I'm quite at home in kingdoms that are much smaller than the 13 to 20 province level I've seen in The Suggestions Forum. This basically comes down to how you react to being outgunned. You must look in the mirror and ask yourselves if you're too hardheaded. If you are then you just have to live with your circumstance...and that's good.

    So we don't have anything resembling The Virtual Kingdom except in the top kingdoms. How you ask? As the game shrinks, these good players have a deep rooted reputation and enjoy the competition. I recognize their names and their lineage: they have earned respect. Therefor, they tend to be welcome in a way that casually resembles the more structured Virtual Kingdom method. They don't require the structure because they have crowns to silence doubt and everyone broadly knows the top kingdom system.

    The Virtual Kingdom still is not a real kingdom and this can be traced directly to a ghetto mentality signature: hard headedness.

    The initial notion is, "if we merge with another kingdom they'll want to run everything." - The fear of cultural extinction.

    This is absolutely a real fear and I've seen it destroy kingdoms because no cultural preservation was negotiated. So we had one kingdom struggling to survive, and the quick solution was to invite players from a kingdom that was dissolving by end of age. The hardheaded monarch of the hosting kingdom gave zero thought to the consequences of taking on a proud group of players who'd forged a fine reputation in the warring tier. Obviously things went sideways and both kingdoms are just an obscure memory.

    We could simply go with the idea that top kingdoms are populated with smarter, more gentrified players. It hurts to admit that ghetto mentality is akin to less developed thinkers who still hang on to basic animalistic behavior. We need to be alpha in our group. We run from superior predators and feed on the small and weak. We don't evolve.

    The Virtual Kingdom offers a structural mechanism; a missing link in evolution. I'm attempting to rebuild a broken step for ghettos to get them in the frame of mind to enlightenment. That step is civilization or the ability to live together with marginal compromises and flourishing gains. You are invited to reduce the instinct to dominate in the interest of delegating. When we're culturally civilized we don't need the structure because we practice mutual respect.

    25 province kingdoms that can compete are there for the taking. The option has been there for many ages. The Virtual Kingdom template is the materialization of the first meaningful step toward not even thinking about kingdom province reductions. The validity of the reduced kingdom province levels is relevant only to the hardheaded. The hardheaded should be at peace without the need to go to 25. If you're fairly reasonable then getting to 25 through a series of cultural recognition merges is a reality. All it requires is communication and mutual respect.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 03-06-2018 at 16:49.
    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

  10. #40
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    Give & Take

    The Virtual Kingdom is a cross sectional template and demonstrates the breadth of capabilities available in Utopia. I'm partial to the kingdom array for cultural reasons and try to get the most strategic leverage possible. As an excercise we could reduce the races and personalities one by one. Another way would be to reduce the array to 5 races and 5 personalities to see what you have and what you've left out.

    Once you've got a rough draft of your kingdom, begin looking at kingdoms in the top 20 and think about how your draft matches the kingdoms in question. The builds aren't fixed. In other words, you're only taking a picture of a fluid, ever moving system.

    A Traffic Analogy ~

    When I leave for work I start much earlier because I travel across town. When crossing downtown Columbus there's a bottleneck single lane. There are groups of traffic on the way, generally held together by drivers who abide law over traffic flow. There are speeders who gamble against patrols and race from one traffic group to the next, hoping to weave through.

    When I drive I attempt to drive in the clearing between traffic groups. Some speeders will tail me because they think I'm forging a path through the next traffic group. Its only when I slow to a nominal speed that they get the message and race ahead. I've gotten use to seeing the trouble makers who seem on a mission to stimey the overall objective. I attempt to stay a full lane over from trucks and never pass trucks in the onramp access lane.

    My reaction times are no better than anyone else. I want to get to work safely and not be a burden to drivers who may actually be speeding for pregnant wives or need a beer to get over their day.

    In Utopia ~

    Plan ahead by observing the world around you. Come to grips with the activity, tools and wherewithal of the players you share space with. Understand that some kingdoms have tunnel vision and interference is hazardous to your kingdom health. Other kingdoms make a living off of bringing misery to the masses. Measure deterrence and determination with an eye toward kingdom well being.

    Ok, now take a look at 5 provinces you might have in a division. If you random, is it wise to hit the same kingdom twice or do you random two different kingdoms? How many provinces come into play if you go unfriendly and do you have an understanding in your kingdom of how to handle the meter? Are your resources like runes and gold vulnerable? Do your attackers have good randoming instincts?

    The questions above are for everyone. In a way, these questions are more for the core player than the monarch. And these questions don't have one right answer; these are questions we ask ourselves like we might in a chess game. While Utopia is a constant action game, the decisions are often like chess. So what does that tell us? That each decision we make can invoke the turn of another. Indicision can invoke a turn as easily as decisiveness. Your moves can have a ripple effect because all kingdoms are in play simultaneously. Chess is similar in that your moves are watched by others. Brilliant moves earn names in chess. Brilliant kingdoms become renown.

    Many of the great offensives in modern war begin with the actions of a very few. These movements, your movements don't have to be slow but they should be methodical. When I've retaliated a top kingdom it is done knowing that the crown may be won by an inch or a mile. While I welcome the competition my intent is to keep my counter attacks in the spirit of play.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 07-06-2018 at 20:40.
    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

  11. #41
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    Hi strato, you clearly have too much time to write stuff you should start playing again ;-)
    We do avian and dwarf paladins this age which are fun against undead

    Didnt manage any divisions but full race/pers spread in another attempt at tvk... Some nice individual combos but havent thought much about synergy effects

    Fast birdies with pointy beaks
    Avian paladin, works in bunches and probably on its own as well, really hard to kill with low losses nice spells and attack speed
    Avian war hero, 3 hits or more per day gives lots spec credits, and the conversions fill up the elite ranks, hospitals needed but offence should be able to survive if orcs supply soldiers
    Avian warrior, higher max offence sorely needed on the avian

    Attacking Buffsquad to the rescue, spreading cs rm gp ds fana is mf like the plague
    Faery tactician
    Faery paladin
    Faery warrior

    Conversions and health boosters for gain happy orcs, also soldier factory
    Orc war hero
    Orc paladin
    Orc undead

    Are humans good for anything anymore? :-) other than econ we get some intel and science
    Human tactician
    Human sage

    High offence but unbearable attack crawl
    Dryad tactician
    Dryad warrior, should have maximum offence for the few seconds of war it can survive

    Tanky dorfs, if u only have 3 mystics a full tm might have been better but we should be able to do attacker ms and fb
    Dwarf war hero
    Dwarf sage, classic combo for later age
    Dwarf mystic A/m

    Elves are doing good work in TM roles this age very tough to control a bunch of them at high def and strong wpa/tpa if they have a size advantage
    Elf mystic
    Elf heretic
    Elf rogue

    NM/NS squad can help with the breaking of stuff
    Dark elf mystic
    Dark elf heretic
    Bocan heretic
    Bogan rogue
    Halfling rogue a/T
    Halfling sage A/t

    Very strong TMs but possibly too few attackers? some of the TMs can help out with hitting. It would be natural for DEs to be a/M but in a long war the wpa suffers from too much incoming land together with the natural losses of spending all mana on offence spells so better off being full mages with enough tpa to stop at least 1/10 aw... Halflings with cheap thieves sound better for attacking thieves, nice synergy with orc free draft with high power soldiers and aggression.
    Last edited by Twily; 08-06-2018 at 12:30.

  12. #42
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    Hello Twily. Took the words out of my mouth. I was just breezing through and yes, for one, elves have to be seen in concert with faery tac to see the big picture: you get CS on an elf and the enemy has a tough way to MV the CS. This resistance gets the most from the spec defense. When we look at elves from a troop perspective we see a 7/8 that's far less vulnerable than a troop yields that may be higher, like dryad at 10/6 or dark elf at 8/8.

    I've got more to say, but it pales in comparison to enjoying the strat and conversation you provided. I'm usually writing this stuff at the cigar lounge after work. Life is moving faster while I'm moving slower. Like most hardcore players I'm sure I'll be back at some point.
    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

  13. #43
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    Zone Position vs Unbreakables

    One of the greatest misunderstandings in zone tactics is how it positions the core vs chain alignment. The problem with typical chain alignment is that it leaves formidable offenses in constant jeopardy of total collapse. Until enemies are rendered to low gains per tap we can't expect to engage unbeakables in a telling fashion within a minimum WD period.

    Essentially what we're approaching is a max gains initiative with select focus where enemy hard targets present difficulties. This is akin to a military sweep across enemy mobile forces which isolates hardened pockets. Oftentimes a classic clamp strategy by enemies involves making a choice between high loss engagement of enemy "unbreakables" aka hard to break targets, or taking on the core. The classic result is the enemy reinvigorating and salvaging high offense in the core while honor farming and increasing the unbreakability of the t/ms.

    In division tactics we are honoring both, but the overall strategy is maintaing a higher overall logistical health. Max gains, run properly, mimic chaining on a wider scale. There will always be chained provinces on both sides, but the philosophy differs in that we are attempting to retain a higher ratio of resouce rich provinces than the enemy. In war we know offenses will dissipate and wpa/tpa will be strained. We know the high retain enemy attackers will raze from the bottom. This is why it's important to understand how and why the ops(amnesia/nightmare etc.) spread is an augmentation to quelling enemy core effect. Decent kingdoms are too whiley to go into war with vulnerability to the prevailing t/m compliment. Thus, the siege of unbreakables in war has to be by design.

    We perfect strategic practices by blending zone, max, cross-chaining, damage and fading ops. The zone will self regulate gains so that holding enemy core provinces down is similar to wackamole. The reason we cast and sabotage in the round is because we already know that the enemy bottom clamp is designed to make the enemy t/ms job easier. Self regulating gains through zone tactics byproduct is a matter of stabilizing wpa and tpa in our core. It isn't t/m proof, but dampens enemy farm efforts while consolidating our provinces to make spearhead pushes into the enemy t/m compliment.

    When our provinces are chained we clamp(clamp & clear the low nw/acre zone) the enemy bottom core. We should endeavor to "give" the enemy the clamp they desire but force nw/acre spread as far as possible from their t/m top. While these tactics may seem unduly cruel in war, I'm a believer in total war. The fundemental is based in what we know about the TVK template: we can't muster the number of top t/m provinces as a purpose built kingdom. By abiding the zone we continuously reestablish the middle hold. The exceptions to the rule is the purpose of the division micro tactics.

    To understand this, the enemy bottom will retain offense which will be used to raze our bigger provinces. It's difficult to render attacker offenses inert, so this has to be honored as the go-to tactic of enemy chained. Our core is attempting a similar objective with the target being the enemy t/ms. What we're doing is preserving a higher overall economy to withstand the incursions of the enemy core without catastrophic losses that result in the enemy establishing total unbreakability. By gathering a higher yield of in range provinces we can engage enemy t/ms through numerical superiority. The clock is always ticking so the essential strategy is economy based vs enemies with superior combative macro.

    Honor gnip gnop(it's a game) is important to the overall strategy. The way it works in Utopia is a flow from low defense to high defense provinces. In predictably fast wars, say warring a land whoring kingdom, the exchanges must be forecast sooner than later. This can be demonstrated by example. Enemy orc hits one of our avians, we hit the orc with a dwarf(a higher defense province). The enemy hits our dwarf with a human etc and we hit the human with a dark elf/bocan/halfer etc. Thus, the honor exchange now becomes a t/m battle. We can turn to our higher damage lower penetration t/ms to compete while consolidating the zone. This doesn't amount to winning, it is how the competition plays out. Our spearhead provinces are fewer than a classic war kingdom so we have to expect a concentration by the enemy against these provinces.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 11-06-2018 at 22:46.
    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

  14. #44
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    Build Strats & Economy

    For some informative videos regarding WW2 history look up TIK. A lot of the information can be good for strategic translation in Utopia.

    I've mentioned before how I'm committed to never attack unprovoked outside of war, and how I combat these aggressors. I've mentioned that my preferred targets are super-pumped going for abduction, but I've not yet mentioned one of my target preferences in war: trade deficit.

    ... Because my regard for economy and timing supersedes my admiration for army mass. Sure, army mass is incredibly important and dictates one of the fundamental gauges in top war. This isn't exactly what it looks like. We now dig into builds and science distribution. I also want you to begin to appreciate what exactly zone tactics do to the greater strategic theater.

    I'm sure players like Madchess could guide science distribution much more efficiently than I could. Most of my mechanics, including science, are very figurative but functionally reliable. For instance, I run my science broadly with a nod toward housing. The rest is pretty even depending on the abduction environment. The reason I run a broad, even science strat is because 1) I use everything from combative casting to decent production. 2) Part of my challenge idiom is to not manipulate scientists. Thus, I sacrifice my ability to manipulate my scientists positions to force myself to adapt by other means. - the point here is that I would run across enemy provinces with science distributed in top-heavy formations that emphasized their strengths and i would attempt to best them with a static formation to hone my skills otherwise. The first age scientists were available I experimented with moving scientists and it's a marvelous addition to the game. So we aren't doing what I would do, we're trying to do what suits your role in TVK.

    Ok. The reason for me digressing on what I was doing was to point out that it worked despite being at a disadvantage. My survivability as a self propelled attacker often lasts much longer than my kingdom mates because my strat is broad and includes economic virtue. This doesn't mean every attacker should be balanced, but that the working parts of zone tactics should. Those who have spearhead aspects should probably go with top-heavy science distribution,....with Madchess's mechanical tweaks in mind(see the Strategy forum for details).

    Economically, the zone occupation should have decent tick to tick production with an eye toward enemy stockpiles. Stockpiling is ideal, but not pragmatically feasible. Why? Well, because that's exactly what I'm looking for to bolster my economy so I expect the enemy to think likewise. In war, we are looking for more acres and we want them evenly distributed. The zone is created to maintain production yield and relieve aid pressure on t/ms. Conversely, we are compacting enemy cores with attention to total reduction. This is why we have the spell and sabotage distribution presented in earlier posts. The healthier the zone, the more likely we are able to dig our chained out while stymying enemies. Enemies with trade deficits force a greater drain on the total kingdom effort.

    As a reminder, the inherent build characteristics of TVK means enemy kingdoms will likely have top advantage. Just like good offense, we take what the defense gives us. The struggle is to beat kingdoms at their own game. They will have economy, but we want that economy to be narrow field; most likely in the t/m displacement. We on the other hand want broad economic capability.

    In traditional chain formation it's difficult to maintain acceptable economy because the constant threat of disaster looms over formidable attackers. They must take land and dilute their paripheral offense/defenses(tpa/wpa) to stay afloat. They are then not only subject to t/m honor hawks but threats from enemy chained who've retained peripheral capability. Why? Because chains are slow in distilling enemy cores into manageable size, both in acreage and paripheral control tactics. I myself have razed bigs, stolen their resources and cast debilitating spells to help the war effort while chained. It's not until the damage is done that enemies counter raze and massacre my province. In chain alignments the cores trade blows with slow reductions in offense, plunging economies and dwindling peasant populations. When you press the nw tab on the kingdom page you'll have enemy attackers in max range until the core battle is resolved. In this model, with both kingdoms using similar tactics, it's the most active kingdom winning.

    In zone based tactics the zone presents itself. If the zone can't be cleared we have a clear indication to WD before we suffer needless losses. This isn't a rule that is unbreakable, simply an indicator of status, just as honor yield.

    Build Strats

    Build strats are a constant motion entity. Most of my builds are somewhat fat with decidedly defensive and production emphasis. In short, I build my attacker types to maintain a zone. This isn't how every attacker or t/m should be built. In fact, we should build for our purpose. Killers should build to knock a t/m into core reach with the knowledge they'll be chained. Provinces like mine are built to dig out our chained provinces through attacks and aid while stalling enemy chain endeavors. The option remains, if my province can break a t/m I'm prepared to be chained. Raze is always a threat so the totality of kingdom economy should be maintained to rebuild. At no time should enemies that raze be ignored: If not the enemy province that razes, then an appropriate substitute. We're in the business of economy and we want that advantage in our court. It's my practice to have a small cache of resources at hand to keep troops paid, peasants fed and runes to take part in the blanket. I train thieves and keep guilds and WT going. Again, if my province experiences enemy ops and sabotage, I want them coming from enemy t/ms not the enemy core.

    So if I'm running some weird strat, how do I handle enemy purpose built attackers? This is a matter of experience and one of the reasons I'm advocating divisions and thus micro. When I use to run a cleric and I faced tacticians my attention was on timing and relay tapping. When I was made to switch from running avian tac to undead cleric my experiments led me to spreading my generals over a tick array. I wanted fluidity in acre gains, build spread to mute raze effect and optimize opportunity attacks. By constant acre intake my losses to abandonment were obscured and I was able to ambush tacs to speed up my armies. The durability of cleric, or in our case paladin and undead, plays into the tactic. I was also running zone to reduce enemy gains and turn those max gains into glancing blows. Mind you, the enemy may attempt to match tactics, but experience pays dividends. You see the enemy in the round with armies in and out, moving your attacks through time limiters and alternatives like ambush, massacre, abduction. Again, this isn't a kingdom wide tactic, it's used to create zone supremacy. In essence I was an attacker killer and knew my best path to late war t/m breaking was through controlling the economic reigns in my sector. You need to micro this because I'm talking about top kingdom war activity over long periods. Most players simply can't endure the round the clock attention necessary to do what very few can. While relay tapping has risks I should inform the reader I was using relay taps while running a faery sage in The Faery Circle, so the actual offense necessary to break enemies is based in the lowest offensive race the game offers. You would not be disappointed in how this worked when I ran an orc cleric vs a trio of dwarf and human attackers.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 18-06-2018 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.bing.com/videos/search?q=...+say&FORM=VDRE

  15. #45
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    Recognizing Skill

    Because the great majority of kingdoms practice chaining as their main war tactic it's difficult for attackers to gain experience in adaptive micro. With most attackers doing their business twice a day under orders it's not surprising to see the depth of mechanical literacy is in the t/m population, and mostly near the top. Yes, there are some spectacular characters in the ghetto who are every bit top material, but probably enjoy their freedom.

    When I started playing Utopia seriously, it wasn't a slow growing experience. I've been a paper & pencil gamer for years. It was a crappy relationship that ended where I was able to revisit the intrigue of Utopia unfettered. What knowledge/wisdom I had accumulated from table top gaming came into play: I know that repitition is the secret to uncovering mechanics, just as boxers work with the jumprope and rhythm bag. Attacking offers context in how the tick and meter works, which are vital to games "in motion" vs turn based. I immediately recognized Avian as the first tool of repitition, but also found the design has great appeal to advanced attacker micro. That is to say, you have more opportunity to succeed and fail with avian in a given time spread than any other build. Avian tac was the obvious template. The speed of avian tac slows down the game in a manner that allows you to experience more scenarios with the padding of recovery time.

    After seeing the majority of attacker mechanics through avian tac I then moved to slower builds with higher offense and this requires skill adaptation because the opportunities are fewer. More offense is contextual because you also become a target and must master chaining skills. You'll notice a lot of attackers aren't adept to chain mechanics and may release too many troops or become totally aid dependent. Many are oblivious to the max and nw situations because their entire experience is in receiving orders and not taking the initiative. This is the peculiar circumstance where being a minority avian allows innovation. Since you're going faster than the wave, many monarchs won't have the time or notion to hold you to strict formations. The monarch might lament allowing an avian unless your goal is kingdom based and you aren't trying to move up the ladder.

    This is about being a good player. The t/m aspects in Utopia are similar to avian because your opportunities present themselves with high rapidity. Additionally, t/ms are in a more concentrated skill environment where accumulated honor and science are pivotal to top control. Their builds must be pristine and their timing crystalline to optimize their advantages or risk losing the edge. You'll note the highest order of t/m topography evolves from mechanical mastery to diplomatic meta.

    When we engage kingdoms through random we should strive to be perceptive. Many war kingdoms will challenge your t/ms with abduction and claim some kind of explanation like "we're looking for war". What they really mean is they want easy victory or no reprisals. In the learning process we should embrace these challenges with the sole purpose of learning. See what they do. See how they wave. See how they build and cast a blanket. Before we can be honest with ourselves about resource accumulation like acres, honor and science we must see how we lose them, why we lose them. See for yourself how good a well oiled machine can chain and if our chains are formidable. See how effective the superior enemies t/ms operate and grab intel to put numbers behind the skill level. You can begin to see how these kingdoms arrange diplomacy through CF to isolate quivery little unorganized kingdoms.

    As stated before, I've gone on solo ventures and joined micro-kingdoms because the collateral losses are negligible. In these very small kingdoms you find more likeminded players who don't fear the logistical weight of any kingdom in the game. Oftentimes we would grow to the size of top kingdom provinces and experience the engagement of players who were among the best. By exposure to the best players you can pick up on some of the merits of their strategies. This is to understand that much of the game leverage is outside of war, so you have to be sound in your approach to diplomacy and perseverance. You learn how to build with the constant randoming that accomidates being in a micro-kingdom. You learn to CF from advantage rather than hoping kingdoms leave you alone. Nobody leaves you alone until they discover their efforts are self mutilating. You will be labelled a pest and told they didn't notice the damage you've inflicted. This is not to be ignored, but also not to be taken as truth. What you're really doing is testing the grid, probing for weakness. When we see tendencies in microcosm we can begin to unfold the riddle of mechanics and meta.

    I was told relay tactics wouldn't work in top warring, but they did. I was told that there were easy solutions to combat my efforts, but they were no better than the efforts from lesser kingdoms. Does this mean they're wrong? No. This simply means it worked when I used relay. Now, am I looking to be right or am I looking for the counter to render my province useless? Exactly. I want them to show me because I can learn from the experience. I've gamed for about 40 years and victory has been mine in many environments. Sure, I enjoy winning but it's not what motivates me. Maturity allows me to recognize that a lot of players haven't won enough, so I write the TVK post with no regard for secrets. I want more players to experience winning meaningfully, against worthy adversaries. I will always trade resources and prestige for knowledge, but it's to help players who do cherish resources and prestige.

    PS A bit off topic, but integral to kingdom health and morale: the division system.
    While there are multiple benefits to merging small kingdom cores, one that I haven't touched on is trolls and multis. The curse of kingdoms from top to bottom are the stray trolls that argue, screw the meter and spend their time reaping misery from the inside.

    The division system is one of the best ways I can think of to reduce the occupation of trolls in your kingdom. There might be growing pains, learning to work with different kingdoms toward a unified vision, but you've done your best to eliminate players that don't buy in to the idea of unity to maximize fun.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 19-06-2018 at 22:09.
    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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