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Thread: TVK 77 Ear Candy

  1. #16
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    The Little Decisions

    The Virtual Kingdom template has limits that lead to decisions based in esoteric differences, yet I still ponder. One of these decisions was to double faery heretic and halfling rogue for spearhead assignments. With the mechanical changes to paladin the kingdom benefit weighed heavy on which races should carry the lamp of shared spells. What we end up with is an old school halfling mystic fresh from the factory. Hmm.

    I'd have loved to put the durability of heretic on the halfer, but we required an elf at the frontier capable of Nightmare casting, complimenting the work of the faery rogue and elf sage in the 8-track division. The halfling mystic falls into one of the durability category of builds; not spectacular, but a good mudder. And so it goes that I've traditionally had a "mudder" division since evolving the idea in TVK.

    Thus the streaming division is loaded with peripheral strengths, free building and credit bonuses, including our halfling mystic. If any division was closest to my style it's here. Being in many long wars I've always cherished the never-ending-rain type of builds.

    Insofar as paladin spread I'd have liked to have assigned an avian. They have 2 very useful racial spells and their speed compliments their potential stability. The decision to go with faery was roundabout, but ultimately based in who benefits the most from guild efficiency. The same logic applies to the halfling paladin, but the benefits are much more inline with paladin ethos. Town Watch is a really solid tool to share, and soldier to dragon slaying strength is ergo. I have experience here and the halfer 2/2 soldier will be a workhorse. I'd like to have access to Fanaticism via avian paladin to share wherever necessary, but my awareness of the acre bias in age 77 mechanics makes t/m balance a higher priority. Paladins can use a lot of mana and runes so there is a hidden economy, a level of complexity, in paladin strategy.

    Concerning the play testing I was doing with dwarf undead, I'm apparently forced to shelve the plan till I'm contacted by support. The fact that I'd like to join certain kingdoms with lax requirements is immaterial. The problem is in their connections. If the best kingdoms come knocking, there can't be diplomatic interference. This is why I'm out of the game currently.

    My challenge is to experiment with dwarf undead vs raw unadulterated kingdom protocol. Regardless of a player/kingdom knowing who I am or what I'm doing, there can't be artificial competition provided or excluded by CFs, with rare exceptions. Certainly no CFs for kingdoms of reputable prowess; that's exactly the mission. Kingdoms of no consequence or small friendlies can be CFd.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 31-07-2018 at 03:28.
    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

  2. #17
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    A Funny Thing Called Strategy

    There are plenty of known players who can tell you I'm not only mechanically inept, but that upon observation, I barely pay attention to them. The way I play is to get the gist of whatever and employ it to my satisfaction. I've no idea what the power charts tell me or suggested build strats.

    Analogy time. - I drive an underpowered 4 cylinder nondescript sedan to work everyday. In order to get into traffic flow I generally need to come off the ramp between 75-80 mph. I don't require a Ferrari of any measure to accomplish the task, but it helps not to have a phone-zombie in a narcissistic haze plodding on at 35 mph in front of me.

    The fact is that a lot of what makes sense in Utopia never occurs to many who play. For someone to "not care" but then desire CFs to protect them speaks to a deficit that can't be qualified as anything but poor strategy. To not care but additionally not be hurt? It is occupational slavery. The point being, if everyone else has to share a kingdom with a player who won't defend themselves but also want to be protected then they diminish the whole. These are tantamount to multis who would see the kingdom languish in the interest of their actual kingdom well being. At least we could respect them as goal seeking cheaters if they were multis. What if they're not? And what if there are a lot of them? What if there are so many that there's a defined barrier between top warring and whoring kingdoms? Rhetorical...
    (As a note to my former kingdom, this isn't critical of the monarchy; he waited to see if anyone would retaliate and they did not. And so...)

    What am I trying to say? Look for yourself.

    And it's not just here. In our world I can be critical, but being fair let's just be observant. Today at the grocery store a store clerk is helping a guy look through his cart in the 3-way aisle entry/exit to the business. At no point did either suggest they move their operation to a low traffic area.

    At the light of the intersection I had to honk to get the driver before me to abide the green arrow. This happens a lot and I mean several times per day.

    At work I'm in charge of inventory auditing, but had to cover other areas for those vacationing last week. Inventory should maintain itself by observing the fundamentals of the work environment. You guessed it; it does not. The work habits of the common laborer goes sideways, like taking your hands off the steering wheel of a poorly aligned car.

    Suffice to say, I've gathered evidence that poor workmanship and apathy are rampant. It's here where any mechanical deficits I have lay at the feet of superfluous gaming. It's not that I don't realize my weaknesses, but that employing mechanical prowess is overkill. It is a Ferrari behind a 35 mph phone-zombie on the on-ramp.

    Any player can, at their whim, train thieves and study great kingdoms from stem to stern. You can look at builds, snatch news, ask them about their diplo or assume it based on relative peace. You can watch the homes pump progression and science banking navigation, how to random, who to random etc. Even munkbot provides the tools to figure out tpa/wpa.

    Strategy for me has been a discipline of sympathy and empathy. I can't block the rest of humanity for my petty need for personal interaction in a metropolitan traffic situation. I can't spend my time impressing a boss with speed while screwing the customer. Strategy is sensing the bottlenecks and understanding alternatives. It's about knowing you are always taking the initiative even when you appear to be reacting. Knowing reacting isn't a sin if you get the results you want. Strategy is showing mercy to an enemy that can one day be a friend. And it's just good character.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 01-08-2018 at 00:14.
    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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    Comfort Builds

    Things are a bit different age to age so what's comfortable one age might be bothersome the next. In TVK I like to at least try to accommodate some comfort builds, at least to my mind.

    I use to not be a fan of avian war hero, but I've noticed some of the basic virtues have some warm amber glow. let's get to War Spoils right off the bat. Since avian can now be ambushed this is nice from a casual observation. More from a logistical-tactical point of view, avians can navigate to be virtually unambushable...but, they have to wait for acres to begin building. Now as an avian paladin, after running an orc paladin, I realized that self casting all those great spells depended on guild percentage. It's very obvious, duh, but now we're talking about a personality in full play rather than some marginal doppleganger of a paladin.

    As an orc paladin, once the enemy began to raze, my abilities were no longer magnificent. When I applied the same personality to avian I began to create that levy effect I've mentioned. My buildings were coming in more often despite the same build time because my returns(army in/out) were in a compacted time window. So applied logic dictates, an observant avian war hero using War Spoils can begin building before an avian paladin. We always have to be environmentally aware when we use War Spoils, but avian provides the shortest window unmodified.

    The question was, should it be humans or avians? Warriors or war heroes? Though humans have tremendous science, they still have a magic deficit. We still want to give good things for comfort and Pitfalls is a nice offensive weapon for avians. They can use it when ambushing much more often, and unlike humans which might benefit from guilds to cast Quick Feet, avians are fundamentally faster.

    For me, the dwarf undead fits into these comfort builds. It's not going to compete in science, but there are some basic abilities that I'm fond of. Reduced losses and plague immunity will always get my attention, particularly reduced defensive losses. Free building in 6-8 ticks is significant in the field. Some people underestimate buildings or use opposite logic and build nothing. I'm well aware of aid/trade and I'll bite if I'm aware of attackers on full life support. So will others.

    Now let's get to where the rubber meets the road and the 7/5 elite at 30% offensive/defensive losses. Brushing aside sciences and bonuses, this is the premier offensive elite if rendered to zero spec status. When we're talking about Night Strike, Nightmares, Propaganda and ambushes the elite status and 5 defense points become invaluable. Sure it's not a great opener, but you talk about the one elite that hangs in there vs all 3 types of Utopian pressure and you see why the dwarf race augmented by undead personality makes me comfortable.

    So you can raze a dwarf, but they can rebuild for free. You can cast Nightmares at a dwarf and they have a 7/5 elite when the smoke clears. It's not miracles, but these are the tools a veteran like myself desires over kingdom synergy.

    When I started my dwarf undead experimentally, I knew certain people in kingdom were running a different strat. Now the thing is, I could've run the same strat and still be playing. This is no boast: the strat was tried and true, used by Emeriti in their crowning. It would've been exceptional for dwarf; again you can start the age exploring, and dwarves build for free and can cast Builders Boon for 6 day turnaround. Remember, that's 6 to 10 more days of productivity over other builds at 20% higher yield. The more I grew the faster, and outpacing everything but the kingdoms who mind. I never had to take a hit by random.

    When I experiment it's to learn more than what I think I need to learn. There are surprises along the way and the struggle is paramount. This may seem an unhinged point of view, but I already never attack unprovoked. It's necessary to see Utopia through each tier under duress to truly gauge the strength of the field. The best will be up top by most measures, but the outstanding individuals can be hidden anywhere.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 01-08-2018 at 01:21.
    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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    A Sober Perspective

    Railing against chain wave concepts isn't my intent. It's that chain waves can be a major symptom of kingdoms lacking perception and combat IQ. The reason I noticed this flaw in many kingdoms strategic makeup? D&D. I know, it's always D&D. But really, let's talk.

    Besides being in the Utopian world out of war, there's a simple connection in war to D&D: There are multiple opponents on each side with differing abilities.

    In D&D we might attack 3 guys as the center of interest, but we sure wouldn't ignore the rest. In our last campaign I played a dwarf earth warden; a defender class. Essentially I'd engage as many enemies as possible to keep them away from our mages(controllers) and healers(leaders). Doesn't this parallel paladins and t/ms? Besides controllers, defenders and leaders there were strikers. That'd be campers, killers and rovers in Utopia.

    Utopia is one long major encounter for an age. We aren't forgetting chain waves, but we have to keep their utility in perspective. Many kingdoms exert themselves wave after wave, at predictable intervals, leaving themselves open to crippling counter measures. We should be aware of the field, how it's laid out and what true threats the enemy presents.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 02-08-2018 at 05:48.
    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.bing.com/videos/search?q=...+say&FORM=VDRE

  5. #20
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    EAR CANDY

    The Virtual Kingdom ~ Age 77 slight mod

    *8-track

    Avian War Hero ~*Turntablism
    Elf Heretic ~*Reggaeton
    Elf Sage ~ Deep House
    Faery Rogue ~*Electric Blues
    Dwarf Undead ~ Crust Punk

    CD

    Elf Mystic ~*Baroque
    Faery Heretic ~ Lo-fi
    Halfling Rogue ~ Salsa
    Human Warrior ~*Renaissance
    Orc Tactician ~ Bubblegum Pop

    Cassette

    Avian Paladin ~ Acid Jazz
    Dwarf Tactician ~ Honky Tonk
    Dwarf Undead ~*Qawwali
    Halfling Paladin ~ Jingles
    Orc Paladin ~ Opera

    Vinyl

    Elf Mystic ~ Chillwave
    Faery Heretic ~ Ska
    Halfling Rogue ~ Trance
    Human Warrior ~*Avant-Garde
    Orc Tactician ~ Doo Wop

    Streaming

    Avian War Hero ~ Dirty South
    Dwarf Undead ~ Goth
    Faery Sage ~ Bebop
    Halfling Mystic ~ Ambient*
    Human Sage ~ Shoegaze

    The modified version here is a spell efficiency strat.
    The moves include:

    Avian Tactician to Paladin to reap Fanaticism and Greater Protection shared spells.

    Dwarf Sage to Tactician to grant Fanaticism, Clear Sight and overall speed to the core.

    Faery Paladin to Sage which has both marginal benefits and deficits.

    We could switch the halfer mystic to sage and faery sage to mystic, depending on who benefits the most from various building efficiencies and overall performance. My instincts tell me the builds are in better defensive position as it stands. The faery +1 stealth/tick leads me to believe it's better served with overall science vs narrow capability. Besides which I've run a very successful faery sage attacker so I'm not worried about the backup plan should things go sideways. I know faery mystic rolls off the tongue rather easily, so it's really just a matter of player enthusiasm here.

    While I'm not completely optimistic about avian paladin, the ability to spread Fanaticism and Greater Protection to anyone in kingdom is of notable value. By moving tactician to a race other than avian we reduce the number of potential casts the avian paladin may have for Fanaticism.

    This version has a paladin racial spell array including:

    Aggression
    Fanaticism
    Greater Protection
    Reflect Magic
    Town Watch
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 01-08-2018 at 23:48.
    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.bing.com/videos/search?q=...+say&FORM=VDRE

  6. #21
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    Philosophical Weight

    When it comes to decisions like how many and what race of paladin, TVK faces the question with defined limits. In most any other kingdom the decisions, not just on paladin, but the entire field up to 25 is wide open. If you belong to a lawful alliance you can push these boundaries further.

    Let's start with a philosophy of reliability, using the paladin as a centering point. In all honesty the dwarf is the best platform for paladin. If I wasn't attempting to gather as many useful racial spells then the dwarf makes the most sense. Dwarves are the most durable in the characteristics which make a good paladin.

    Ironically, you'll see the majority of Strategy Forum post are questions about build. Sure these could all be naive players, but the bulk of those answering and debating these questions means that build counts. So far so good. It's when we see players trivialize being razed or having unbuilt acres that makes this a swamp of jabbering nonsense. - It's really that no one wants to fund rebuilding. - And that equals dwarf, when we have a build that benefits greatly from its own health to the health of others.

    Here's the scenario. The paladin is casting spells on itself and sharing spells with kingdom. The enemy sees this and razes the paladin, eliminating some towers and guilds, watch towers etc. In most cases this will hobble the paladin for some time if the kingdom doesn't appreciate the value a paladin brings to the kingdom. The duration of paladins casts will be shorter, the rune cache lower and will have higher vulnerability to theft. Funding rebuilds is expensive and harder to cast Builders Boon if the guild percentage is low. You're now looking at 16 ticks to rebuild at a cost. The dwarf is looking at 8 for free at the worst.

    That's when we focus on paladin. What we should understand is where dwarf has value. Undead is one of the personalities that has obvious benefits for heavy hitters and frequent hitters like orc and avian. The premise in using dwarf as an undead platform has to do with the combination of free building and military sustain. Push comes to shove, dwarves can operate an elite army sans specs. Where the other races will sustain offense, the dwarf sustains both offense and defense. The basic resistances of elites to Night Strikes and Nightmares begs the residual troop type have both decent offense and defense, because your acres are likely in jeopardy. Free building, even when fat, allows dwarves to keep up with their acres without extraneous use of theft or aid. Preserving tpa for the right moves and defenses should be accounted. What we have in dwarf undead is the most complete system of overall sustain in a build that will take punishment. The basic defense figures to reduce enemy taps as well by absorbing higher troop counts to break.

    What the philosophy in TVK does is demonstrate the importance of kingdom components; it justifies the zone by administering purpose. There's interlocking objectives like the dwarf undead defending the paladin and the greater core defending the dwarf undead. Because when we set the enemy at less than ideal proximity to dwarf undead we create a serious problem that mechanically is a basic truth.

    In the short time I experimented with dwarf undead my province was struck several times. Waved by 3 different kingdoms in the spans of a day, my province was hit 6 times by separate provinces incapable of double tapping. The damage never caused a hiccup as I continued 200% wages and making gold, training and casting self spells. Now my monarch had to CF these waves because our prevailing kingdom was getting crushed. However, my point is that this quick succession of attacks by different kingdoms each exhibited a recognition of threat yet my province was fully capable of going to war. I only got to retaliate one of the six because of the CF dilemma.

    I'd imagine the majority of attacks against me were undead, but my retaliation could include anyone from the opposing kingdom. This is when I was looking for human sages. You could see them, bristling in high nwpa, yet breakable. My smaller yet more durable army vs the human ideal. From a campaign perspective I seek them out. Not because I'm mean, but because we know their value per acre and capability.

    CHAINING ERRORS

    In many a war I've run into the odd instruction that we need to beat some guy down to said number of acres. We all try to obey orders while our provinces squander offense vs a wholly breakable and wilting enemy out of nw range. We squander time in the ticks our armies are wasted avoiding Meteors while enemy t/ms stride to total unbreakability.

    These ridiculous focuses almost never, and I mean never, pan out. I'm sure there's a reason and we never talk about it. Wave captains and their "offense reducing brilliance" actually reduce our kingdoms total offense rather than reduce the offense of 1 enemy. This is truly lack of prep and a disaster in t/m control measures. The t/ms are to assure the prospective enemy will have one foot on a banana peel while the attackers make sure the other foot's in the grave. You might begin to understand my grip on Amnesia if you're really going to control an enemy core, reduce them to resource and consume them to fuel the battle vs enemy t/ms. If you face the likes of Freeakstyle and don't undertake a complete dismantling of pillboxed provinces, you'll simply be worn down in predictable fashion. Again, this isn't me saying this is how you beat who, it's about what will cause you to lose a war guaranteed.

    Amnesia isn't an obvious tool because everyone has a notion of science depth. For the progressive thinker I'm looking at provinces that move scientists. Amnesia is more about petrification, stagnation and making malleable builds brittle. It lingers and it can't be sloughed by Mystic Vortex. Some say yada spell is more valuable, but that's contextual to the aim. How many times have I seen mana/rune exhaustion vs the fireball target who only requires meager gold to continue attacking? Plus, it's usually an attacker/nuisance that could've been zone fed before all our relevant attackers were reduced to smithereens. These aren't really threats in the basic sense, but are akin to cargo cult targets: we waste resources trying to contain a myth of a threat, when the actual threat is the ever strengthening t/ms.

    Meanwhile this infuriating adherence to chain waving continues without targeting the economic heart of the enemy. There has to be some balance,.. but to look at a faery with 400k runes and simply quip "we can't break them". We can't break them anymore, because we were trying to get the much more dangerous glass jawed orc down to 60 acres on 50% wages.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 02-08-2018 at 16:58.
    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.bing.com/videos/search?q=...+say&FORM=VDRE

  7. #22
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    Micro Knots

    The Micronarch:

    One of my greatest learning moments in an epic war was my monarch, of a formidable kingdom, trying to navigate my armies through his micro. It was a disaster and a turning point in a long war. What this monarch wasn't perceiving was the telegraphing of his every move. While he was checking nw and range and computation rabbit holes, the enemy was razing and Night Striking my army. This was my second army, as my first was sent out vs some forgettable target.

    Suddenly I was in the critical position of needing to attack some t/m who was eating our lunch.

    - Now, my back story is that I was a core attacker who joined this kingdom because they needed players. They felt they couldn't compete for a crown that age so made some poor diplomatic decisions. They shared no details, including intel, with the core. -

    I was running a little bit of relay taps because we were facing a notoriously good war kingdom. Well, when the smoke cleared the "kingdom wave faithful" were grounded and essentially rendered ineffective.( I just so happen to have been hitting the targets, just in relay using stored intel. Yeah, I followed orders.) Our t/ms didn't establish unbreakable despite a great size advantage, and the enemy did. Long story short, the attack bounced and then the monarch said I didn't send enough, which was everything I had left and based on the intel he provided.

    The perplexing part of this is that I had the offense well within reach of the enemy with my previous army. The attack would've been fully effective and immediate so the enemy counter micro would be negligible. Had our kingdom health status been revealed I could have exerted pressure on their secondary strength: their chained attackers.

    I could go conspiracy theory and write this off as savvy fake warring, but we still have all the characteristics of how not to micro. Micromanaging by a single entity, like a monarch, is ok out of war. In war, micro should be allocated in the name of timing and initiative. This is addressed in TVK because I've suffered more bounces and poor field management by wave captains and monarchs with logistical OCD. Politics play here to, which shortens kingdom lifespan. The division system, obvious statement here.

    Given the freedom to target and gather my own intel I could've made a significant difference in what ultimately was an embarrassing loss. It'd be nice to know how our t/ms failed to establish UB and do so silently while the rest of us(me) were grinding on with less than 20% built acres on a 5500 acre frontier.

    So this gets us to...

    Dealing With Aces - Acing Is Microing

    It's kind of funny because you run into province-aces at some inopportune times; which they've surmised to wreak havoc. Province-Aces tend to be players who've planned their encounters or have exceptional instincts for gang bang protection, meter control, gains formula, activity surveillance, offense/defense balance, and think more than one move ahead.

    Even I've been caught off guard by a province-ace, when I go to counter and find the enemy's been running circles around some kingdom mates after I do a mundane retal. Anyways, at this point you let aces handle aces. Call the boys off and let the games begin. As long as I'm around I'll be happy to match blades with the aces. An ace once faced will attempt to widen the conflict by hitting off target. I like to hold them to the fire, even when they phone-a-friend.

    In war, the quality of a province-ace can be hidden by strict orders in their kingdom. Often they're stymied by helicopter monarchs, but they still show signs we should account. Build savvy will be higher than the common attacker, and they'll casually ambush and grab intel outside the standard intel run. This is stuff guys are supposed to share in kingdom: you tell people when and who took your intel. You tell people your ops, even if nobody can MV, and let them know who cast.

    Many times at the end of lost wars I'll see in the war forum, "your t/ms were better than ours". Yeah. So why weren't you feeding the core this information when the moment was upon you? Making good players better by silent shame in the crappy job you've done isn't the answer. Look, I build garbage and apparently shouldn't do good. You can turn that stoic self mutilation into relaxed bedlam. Did you know I can bounce a guy with leftover troops? What if all of us did? You sometimes have to be forthcoming so that brutal people can do what must be done.

    Province-Aces can come in many forms, just like the destructor.

    To summarize, it's not my intention to make life harder for monarchs or leaders. You have followers so give them what they want. If you have players that take initiative and know what they're doing, allow them to lead small contingents to achieve goals. If they aren't leaders let them be rovers and campers by giving them a piece of the yard to watch. Bottom line, most of your players want to be huddled into waves and be told what to do. They will be as effective as you expect and everybody is happy.

    Amnesia

    If you don't know how to use Amnesia then let me explain my philosophy on the use of force overall. Killer instinct aside, you don't stretch or overuse your strength. When you use ops or sabotage or march you'll notice diminishing gains. You don't want to squander resources for little gain or strategic traction. You might not always max gain, but you should consider the logistics when you have the power. You'll likely regret it when you don't.

    Back in the 70s the Dallas Cowboys use to run what was called the Flex Defense. It was developed to counter option blocking(google it). In Utopia players have learned to move scientists for various offensive, defensive and nw advantages. Amnesia is best used when players "flex" their scientists. In pro football, teams learned to hike the ball while the Cowboys defense was flexing. They evolved, we can to.

    PS I hate to overexplain stuff like spell usage, but the dark history of the Nightmares spell forces me to. A scientific flex isn't the only time you use Amnesia, it's a spell you use to keep the enemy from progressing in science. And I'm not talking about when the flex is in motion, but anytime within reason to create scientific setbacks.

    Nightmares

    Nightmares have been smeared tactically into some chain psychosis to the point kingdoms would eschew the use unless it was a wave session: basically every organized kingdom I've ever been in :D. Thank goodness I've operated independently enough to see this staggering fallacy. The detractors will cry about having to check defense all the time or we only wave twice a day. And this is exactly why I know when to steal your runes and Lightning Strike when I'm out of stealth. Yes, with the runes I just stole. Your defense is calculable by the returns and announced via the magic of communication.

    You can use Nightmares to crap on tpa, and/or army home. You don't have to full scale invade anyone. You can take what sculpts the kingdom best. You might've cast Nightmares to reduce an enemies offense so they can't break a t/m. You don't need 10 attackers to jump the guy after the fact. Confusing opportunity with need, or overusing the product when you have maximum alternatives can limit your effectiveness.

    I've used Nightmares as an individual, as a type of hybrid attacker. My best iteration of this practice was as an elf cleric, but there's plenty of flexibility in the heretic build to serve a number of races. And I learned it from someone else. I marveled at the effectiveness of this lone province in Aggression Is The Liquor; he was a crabby, quiet kingdom mate. Otherwise known as an Ace.

    Guard Stations

    Phew, I almost forgot; guard station(GS) logic is from the same school of thought as Nightmares waving. I've had fellow players actually get angry because I've had GS in my build strat. Why?

    Because without a real notion for strategy the angry person will recite that "GS is a kingdom strat! If you build GS the enemy will avoid you and concentrate elsewhere!"

    They think I'm greedy.

    For someone like myself, who never attacks unprovoked, I think it's fair to say I don't approach the game for pure self preservation. I might be nonconformist but let's get to the little things nobody talks about again.

    Remember when I said I run fat provinces, and that I'll engage pumped provinces without blinking? And how I'll run zone-relay to establish a nw salient/buffer zone? When these prolific attackers with their awesome offenses get chained, who do you think offers them life support in a timely manner? Yes. Time after time, war after war, all day and night because I'll maintain furious activity and acre fluidity I distribute a great deal of aid to our chained provinces, thus sparing our t/ms resources so they can concentrate on winning the top.

    By the way; when I have run heavy attackers in the tradition of killers(high offense TG) I was expected to break the big targets, yet the proverbial 7 tacticians in kingdom weren't forthcoming with intel, and when I was chained and economically pulverized there were no support members. Basically we have to face the fact that a lot of Utopia is occupied by people who aren't self aware. I'm sorry, but this is your wakeup call.

    These chained provinces are victims of the chain-wave, yet fingers get pointed at the guy who's holding the center. And the fundemental knowledge that being victim to a classic pincer never sinks in. These are people who drive cars, probably make more money than me and have otherwise sophisticated lives..yet, they can't turn numbers into shapes: they aren't intuitive thinkers, but mechanical. The machine has to exist for them to perfect it, but who builds the original? The intuitive thinker with fat provinces that don't worry about the mechanics builds the machine. Pardon my ego.

    Yet it's not that intuitive thinking is about being original as much as interpreting design from an unrelated source and applying that design to a relatable source. Consider Steve Jobs, starting with what's intuitive and engineering towards that, rather than engineering and trying to figure out how to make it intuitive.

    The majority of players are mathematically biased because Utopia is a math based game. The intuitive players, like myself, don't delve into the dizzying world of numerical alchemy; I play test with my limited grasp. If it works then I know that all you mechanical thinkers can perfect the design. But I digress...

    The point of GS is 'pockets of resistance' on the individual scale and 'funneling' on a sub-core scale. If you're a student of war you'll know that minefield and artillery batteries are used in concert. One compliments the other. It's hard to clear a minefield while being shelled and it's hard to overrun an artillery battery going through a minefield.

    Interpreting this in Utopia, we can have attackers of prolific offense loaded with Training Grounds and science biased towards gains and breaking stuff. We can also have attackers who run interference for those loaded with offense by creating zones, being hard to displace and having residual economy.

    Let's be real. If these heavy attackers were properly dispatched by leadership, they would be max gaining the enemy t/ms en masse and practically ignore the enemy attacking core. There would be no chaining because targeting would be self evident: the hardest to break is the target within max plus offensive wherewithal. Sure they'd still end up in the gutter, but the enemies potential unbreakables would be shattered. Most guys can't stomach the mutilation this would incur, unless the enemy was naive enough to chain instead of counter max. And this is semi-joking. We all have some game sense to understand that progression is more palatable than rash charges into glass doors.

    GS are there for splendid uses of strategy, not bad province-good province idolatry. The Japanese Zero was a magnificent fighter that pilots loved, but it was so lightly armored it was prone to explode when hit. We humble pilots with our boring armor are here to protect your interests, not argue about how we should all be puffs of smoke.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 03-08-2018 at 15:25.
    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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  8. #23
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    Combat Group

    In mentioning combat groups and not clarifying objectives, there may be a tendency for the reader to forget that the division system flexibility can constitute real initiative. It should come as no surprise that an enemy will clock return times and activity regardless 24/7 overall activity.

    The combat group can be used to target areas of resistance. Coordination is essential, but can be masked as a mundane operation to achieve top anchoring points. We've yet to talk about liberal use of Nightmares and Night Strikes, but I'll present a scenario here:

    *1. 8-track - combat group option v
    2.*
    3. Vinyl - combat group focus point >
    4.
    5. CD - combat group option ^

    In this combat group we want heretics, rogues, human warriors and orc tacs. The remaining sage, mystics, war heroes and undead in these 3 divisions can carry on with assaults on an objective basis in their given GMT.

    The heretics and rogues concentrate fire on particular enemy targets that are vulnerable to Nightmares and Night Strikes. We want the defenses as low as sensibly achievable without squandering resources.

    What we're really doing is lowering vulnerable defenses for acreage yield because our orcs and humans are targeting t/ms for massacre or raze with their 1st general. We require an acre yield from the Nightmares/Night Strike targets to offer acre stability and zone integrity with the remaining 3 generals.

    All attacks can be timed +/- to return each province to their designated division GMT.

    So for example:

    CD
    Orc Tactician: massacre t/m #1
    Human Warrior: raze t/m #1

    Remaining 3 generals trad march, max gains Nightmares/Night Strike targets

    Vinyl
    Orc Tactician: massacre t/m #2
    Human Warrior: raze t/m #2

    Remaining 3 generals trad march, max gains Nightmares/Night Strike targets

    The avian war heroes, dwarf undead will be in the process of clearing the zone per division objectives, which should but not always coincide with the actions of the temporary combat group. Ergo, massacre and raze vs targets of the mystics and the sage which may've already been laying the groundwork vs enemy core/vulnerable t/ms.

    The reason we max gains vs the Nightmares/Night Strike targets vs cross-chaining is to address the likelihood of enemy resistance. If enemy resistance is poor due to surprise etc, then cross-chaining can be most beneficial in uniform zone establishment. We don't want our heavy attackers overshooting the nw zone, but definitely require them to protect their interests in continuing as healthy provinces.

    Obviously, we can double massacre or raze. Much depends on the defense of the t/m and residual defense of the enemy core in nw vicinity. The human warrior offers the flexibility of Conquest if the t/m targets defense is higher than reasonable. Night Strikes vs t/ms is also an option. It's why we micro. Don't forget paladin support in Fanaticism and Scientific Insight and avian war hero Pitfalls.

    These are examples, as your directory of generals may be weighted on level of breakability; targets may be unusual due to enemy kingdom strat, etc. We shouldn't forget our openers:

    Mystic Vortex: can be cast from divisions not just combat group

    Tornadoes/Blizzard//Arson/Greater Arson

    Lightning Strike//Assassinate Wizards

    And other ops/sabotage. Depending on ease of breaking and ability to replenish, mana/runes//thieves/stealth can be exerted by attackers to augment a complete objective.

    Divisional forces can prioritize to defend our longest army out and/or nearest enemy army in. Classically, the avian war heroes would be rovers and dwarf undead campers to strike armies home or bust up coordinating efforts based in enemy nw alignments.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 04-08-2018 at 19:13.
    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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  9. #24
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    Good Players

    One reason I play independently most ages is because my personality is biased toward downhill running. The stifling wave system drives me up the wall when I recognize a solid enemy player being let off the hook by actually ineffective warring.

    When I'm in a free-for-all kingdom then we can get down to business. In premium kingdoms, which are few to none, you can be a rover or camper and lock up with the difference makers. Trying to explain to me that rigidity in a chain wave against an also-ran enemy is the best doesn't cut it based on years of witnessing the failures over and over.

    You really need to let your players that can read the field off the chain. Mistrust that the player in question is going to act in ways that don't serve the whole means you're either paranoid or they aren't that good. Fact is, somebody has to do it till the kingdom is so refined it's hard to tell who's better than who. This ain't cocky me, it's that I'm wired to engage.

    Simply, you use average enemy players for resources and you get brutal with good players. Now don't get me wrong: good players like the action and feel they can prevail. But you see, just like combat aces, we have to get naive players in the pipe so they can gain the experience necessary. You deal with bloody noses and bounce back from chaining.

    When I present any of these starry eyed methods to you, understand that I'm in flack as a way of being. When you establish a zone and the enemy knows it, or senses the bullets are bouncing off of you, they bring their lunch to take you down. This is what I'm building for. And I want the flack to free up ailing kingdom mates. Sadly, many times kingdom mates don't dig out while the getting's good.

    All you can do is light the spark. You can't give the oxygen of epiphany to light the flame.

    The divisions were designed for micro to allow these type of enemy operatives to be dealt with sternly. You get a look at what makes them good. You might lose, but the knowledge potential is game changing. In great kingdoms they'll not be apparent but you can, by divining, narrow it down. This means taking offensive initiative. If they show themselves it'll be at your flank; your vulnerability. If you mimic flypaper like I do, this is what you're looking for. It's a radar ping ~ you've found the sub.

    The reason weight of numbers is often less than effective goes to why most players are average, no offense. But let's cut to the chase. Say the kingdom targets some avian with a good nwpa and hard to break. Basically we never Snatch News to see the t/ms pumping this fella. And when the offensive begins, everybody is coming out with peanuts. - Maybe one player will mention the enemy player is online, but a much rarer player will notice the enemy faery paladin is also online. Wonder what that aid to the avian was for right after I set off Shadow Light? Average players might MV, but might not. And they always forget to Lightning Strike the faery paladin, if they notice the activity asterisk at all.

    This is why you require experience, but more importantly, curiosity. It's hard to invent. The hope is that losing is a motivator to get better and not an excuse to cry for CFs during utopia school, er, being aggressed by superior opposition.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 04-08-2018 at 21:12.
    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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  10. #25
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    Not CFing

    I'm generally an attacker, and I'll be the first to admit your best and most active players should be t/ms. I'd even go so far as saying I've seen best results from this: #1 best player as rogue in war kingdoms. If that player also enjoys rogue then what's not to love? If the best player has to be something else, hopefully it's a t/m. Why not me? I'm a slob at building. I can ham-hand a t/m or supermage build, but my nuances are in mixed operations. If I'm effective it's because I probe the enemy for weakness.

    You require excellent t/m play and the first iteration of this isn't in build, but in action. Particularly when you go unfriendly up to hostile from enemy randoms/reprisals/waves you customarily should probe 1st. I'll reemphasize the use of Mystic Vortex as an intel tool. You'll want to know "why so serious?" and it's usually because they've got confidence in their pocket. Before grabbing mass intel and setting off alarms you'll want to MV to see what spells they're using. Narrow your initial intel to one province, preferably offline, but online if necessary. Choose a good example based in outward appearance: good attacker type, nwpa, chain placement.

    The meter is a Utopian system of law and we sacrifice humbly with wisdom and intellect to that system, even when we are better than the waving kingdom. Mystic Vortex is your first move. Once you've learned what you need to learn you pour on the ops and sabotage. We're also looking for resource depletion: stealing and destroying.

    Fading ops are fine before war because the enemy expenditure in defensive Mystic Vortex is desirable. Still, the assault on science and troops can commence. Attacking by way of heavy attacker is done in the interest of hurting enemy near unbreakables. For this you'll want the orcs to get the highest meter efficiency possible. Cast Nightmares at enemy core to lower their tpa so our common attackers can rob resources.

    But you'll know the drill based in our use of resource spread to minimize mass theft. You don't Lightning Strike the enemy, who might have Reflect Magic up, when you have 300k runes stocked. As a division we magazine feed the caster. Reminding you our orc tacticians have RM and CS, so rune distribution can be risk management on a bell curve.

    Lots of ops/sabotage are available in unfriendly. If we go unfriendly we do it against the enemy at hand, even if they phone-a-friend. Optional targeting remains. For instance, the phone-a-friend might be rich in easily stolen resources we can expend against the primary.

    Fools Gold
    Amnesia
    Riots
    Greed

    Grab full intel to see their science distribution, build, news etc. Do not offer CF. If our attacking core need to train thieves then hop to. And as a reminder, do not offer CF. Allow your enemy to contact you and politely come to an agreement. Offer them to stop attacking and you will stop ops, but don't offer CF. If the enemy wants a CF then they most often should offer it to us. Why? Because if they can't just walk away and require a mechanical crutch, be assured another kingdom will wave immediately. They are untrustworthy based in their predation. Doesn't mean they aren't nice people, but they play for position. We do our part to assure they and their friends are aware that we won't accept CF unless their baby alliance also offer CF.

    Does that sound like paranoia or experience? Regardless, the meter is the gold standard of diplomacy. Let the enemy linger in hostile until we can conclude the relationship through cool off or war. If it goes to war and we are hopelessly overmatched, tear off a portion of their kingdom and utterly destroy them. 5 to 1 is generally a good account. We want the highest reliably breakable, preferencing t/ms and gut their wpa. I don't practice province killing, but I've no problem with leaving them a decrepit shell worthy of heart wrenching pity. If you don't feel guilty when it's done, you're doing it wrong. - that's a joke :) it's funny because it's true.

    All is fair, in and out of war. The reputation of TVK isn't in size or honor charts, but in the willingness to go as deep as rules allow. If they choose to exercise multis or allies then let the record show what it takes to get TVK to unlock its grip. And always be friendly. Don't argue. Let them know we mean no harm and they can GTOW if they cease aggession.

    This is how we carry on as a new kingdom. As we become refined enough to earn respect or fear we can be more diplomatic. The first lessons are about seeing formidable kingdoms at full strength so we can observe their tactics for posterity.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 05-08-2018 at 13:49.
    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 !
    ________
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  11. #26
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    Diplomacy

    I'm not going to reflect on diplomacy as much as the reality of environment. People think in twisted ways that don't correlate to common sense.

    I'm talking about the things enemy kingdoms say that actually only occur to someone who talks to themselves.
    Like this:

    "If you don't want war, you don't retaliate."

    See, this personality doesn't deserve a sane response. If those war leaders are reading this, let me address your sanity. It bewilders me why such leaders believe a pumped province is in any shape to attack my army at home. It's a long list of pumped attackers bleeding nw when they screw around with my fat province. I'm not expecting players to figure out it's me, but to understand retaliation is the standard by which survival of the fittest is arranged. I'm not a herd animal, I'm a predator and my play style is flypaper.

    War begins when the final changes are out every age. We're already at war, lol.

    And the next are kingdoms that claim:

    "We don't care. We'll farm you all age."

    If you didn't care, then you wouldn't run arranged kingdom strats and wave precisely at 9am. They care. And the "I don't care" thing doesn't win points because I do care and those words have power. When someone says they don't care they are planting their flag in apathy which is the abyss. They have no foundation. Thus, I wouldn't accept CF from a kingdom that doesn't care.

    How about kingdoms that send messages about our leader being an idiot? It's our idiot, and you can't have 'm.

    ~ These are all terms of disrespect. Now I'm going to leapfrog traditional righteousness and suggest to you that you earn fear. If disrespect is the starting point of our relationship then fear is the logical conclusion. This is why some people I know have abandoned kingdoms to go guerilla on such aggressors. Respect is not an alternative, so we have to invoke fear. Abandoning a kingdom to go on tunnel vision missions against an enemy may seem extreme. At the end of the reprisals there was indeed a truce. ~

    It's just a game, but remember this:

    "And then I realized... like I was shot... like I was shot with a diamond... a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought, my God... the genius of that! The genius! The will to do that! Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we, because they could stand that these were not monsters, these were men... trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love... but they had the strength... the strength... to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men, our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral... and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling... without passion... without judgment... without judgment! Because it's judgment that defeats us."

    Love that quote.

    Oftentimes I've been in retaliatory exchanges with other kingdoms for competitive fun. As soon as they require war prep, all they have to do is ask for a mutual stop. I never hit unprovoked and I don't hold grudges. Did you know I've never asked someone to spare my province while I prepare for war? Because it's not how I'm wired. It doesn't even occur to me. Personally, I think we should grant each other the curtesy of respite, so if someone asks me to stop retal that's enough. No need for CFs. The opponent may need to hold army home and switch builds for waving. I respect that requirement.

    It's good to leave diplomacy to diplomats, I think you've gathered. For me, CFs have no utility. I see nothing gained unless a friendly wants to prevent accidental randoming. Even here, I've had friends random my province and consider it fun.

    The intuitive leap lesson of the day: I use a lot of "me" and "I" in these posts. And I remind you: "If I had ten divisions of those men, our troubles here would be over very quickly." The leap is 'we'. If you apply 'we' and amplify to 25 provinces.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 06-08-2018 at 09:50.
    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

  12. #27
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    Metropolis

    The cultural vision of of The Virtual Kingdom is of metropolitan persuasion. The GMT ellipse evokes a city that never sleeps. The infrastructure is refined and kingdom behavior is economically biased rather than aggressive. While the game itself is driven by war culturally, The Virtual Kingdom is ultimately aimed at players who desire a rich interactive experience. While it may seem I come off as aggressive, it's because establishing a sustaining culture requires a foundation of toughness. There's a buy in period to achieve the level of trust and mutual respect in kingdom unity.
    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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  13. #28
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    Amen, to the buy-in period.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by RattleHead View Post
    Amen, to the buy-in period.
    Yes, it takes time for all parties involved to learn each others tendencies.

    Created my new test province today. I'll be back in the field shortly.
    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. #30
    Forum Addict RattleHead's Avatar
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    oo i thought i felt a disturbance

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