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  1. #1
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    Age 88 ~ The Virtual Kingdom ~

    ASSAULT
    =
    Avian: war hero
    Dwarf: mystic
    Gnome: rogue
    Human: artisan
    Undead: raider

    SPEARHEAD
    =
    Avian: tactician
    Dwarf: cleric
    Elf: mystic
    Faery: mystic
    Orc: warrior

    HQ
    =
    Faery: cleric
    Faery: heretic
    Dwarf: artisan
    Human: raider
    Undead: tactician

    SPEARHEAD
    =
    Avian: war hero
    Elf: cleric
    Faery: rogue
    Gnome: rogue
    Orc: tactician

    ASSAULT
    =
    Gnome: heretic
    Elf: heretic
    Human: artisan
    Orc: warrior
    Undead: raider

    A slight shuffle from the Revised kingdom; these are more OCD satisfaction of completion moves. I’m sure they’ll have their fans. They’re the ones you draft because they want to play.

    It started with me imagining the hyper-op resistant dwarf: artisan, which forced me to move heretic to gnome, tac to the hapless undead, and finally, raider to human. So all in all the kingdom appears happier. The undead tac lies beneath the wings of angels in the HQ division, loaded with passive economy.

    Additionally, war hero was moved exclusively to avian to stack heroes inspiration and -25 training time. Warrior was moved exclusively to orc to bolster kingdom nw reach.

    Comments welcome. I hope you all enjoy age 88.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 20-09-2020 at 00:13.
    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 !
    ________
    Weed bowls

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  2. #2
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    Spearhead
    2 Avian Warrior
    1 Gnome Raider
    1 Human Cleric
    1 Orc Warrior
    1 Orc Tactician
    1 Undead War Hero

    Assault1
    1 Avian Artisan
    1 Dwarf Heretic
    1 Gnome Raider
    1 Human Cleric
    1 Orc Tactician
    1 Undead War Hero

    Assault2
    1 Dwarf Artisan
    1 Dwarf Heretic
    1 Gnome Raider
    1 Human Cleric
    1 Orc Tactician
    1 Undead War Hero

    HQ
    2 Elf Rogue
    1 Faery Rogue
    2 Faery Mystic
    1 Elf Mystic


    Breakdown:
    Elf propping for ds is likely easier when needed than faery elites so they get more Rogue action

    pretty straightforward, i feel like really only the Avian Artisan is 'outside the box' and even then when you look at Avian as a 'land-saving' race with its bonuses(uses no stables, and less rax) so maybe BE fits in with that after all.

    i could break that spearhead into 2 but i think i like the idea of focussing them all on one victim too

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    ^^^^^ All gnomes

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    4 rogue
    4 mystic
    2 heretic
    2 artisan
    4 cleric
    3 raider
    3 tact
    4 warrior
    2 war hero

    Tacts are looking at holding some homes, hitting with war spoils, popping up fast.
    Most core slots matching the meta defense, and pushing all else on offense.
    Mystic will run closer to core. Heretic and rogue pushing defense.
    Raider can potentially run as low as 6 ospa, high TD, be focused on swh.
    Hope you can arrange wars and take a dragon advantage by paying for less elites. You pay significantly less wages on low elite counts. Any attacker focused prov will run as low epa as possible. Push enemy peons hard, spread greed, riots. Push their wages to 100 while you keep a steady 200. Lower their BE, bliz on important provs, overwhelm them with peasants, income, wages.

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    Beautiful work, guys.

    Iím always in need of alternative perspectives to help with the mission. One, you both know Iím an infant in processing math. Two, since Iím not playing it helps to have players in the field who know the evolution in real time.

    @ RattleHead: Great advice on the elf and avian. Artisan is a great fit for avian. Iím glad you pointed out the elf prop angle. Iím far less experienced as a t/m player so I appreciate the input. This is quality micro.

    @ Bananamancer2000: Impressive macro. Youíre leadership and knowledge of engine building doesnít just create efficiency; your kingdoms have character.
    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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    Resistance Defensive Stack(Faery: Cleric)

    This is a personal point. I’m not a math guy, but I do have a wheelhouse.

    Over the years I’ve played many paper & pencil games. While I’d run a variety of builds game to game, my play style shined through “no sell” punishment absorbing mechanics. It’s not for everyone, but for me, it’s when I’m at my best.

    Since I didn’t play Utopia to compete for crowns I played for challenge. Once I ran a human: cleric who was so dominant that I killed the province after a war. It was like a tornado that required constant acreage to maintain its life. A pure devouring build that was inappropriate in the kingdom I played.
    After the war I was asked to raze acres. The build was too unstable at a standstill and required a constant state of fat to avoid overpopulation, so I scuttled it. I replaced it with an orc: mystic sort of as insurance against outrageous fortune.

    In the last 5 weeks of an age I joined Jerks in an age off for them and rolled with an elf: cleric. After the first 2 weeks of getting up
    to size the build solidified into yet another zero fear campaigner. In full core combat against top 10 war built orcs it felt like the terminator. I’d even prep one enemy with nightmares for a teammate while engaging another target independently. I love to feel the power, but I always need to be fighting “up”. My desire ends when the challenges dissipate.

    This age. This Faery: Cleric, is to me, the shiniest build in a long time. I’m not sure if there are players out there with a similar wheelhouse. I just know I’d be intolerable in kingdom so I can’t play this build myself. Ceasefire is heartbreaking for me in these forms. So, if anyone out there reading this is running faery: cleric, please share your experiences so I can live vicariously through you.

    Thank you.
    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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    Classical vs Jazz

    Most kingdoms follow a classical style of kingdom strat. They basically have a conductor and play what they’re told and how.
    This is why I see the breadth of utopian strategy as cultural and not as based in logistical proof. Proof is not what you had at the beginning, it’s what you have at the end.

    I’ve compared the vast landscape of kingdoms as practicing a cargo cult. They have a preconceived notion about how a kingdom should be built, operated and what amounts to strategy aka chain waves. We can only assume these patterns were based in a mildly accurate observation and got handed down like a bad rumor.

    Why do I say this?

    Essentially because none of these pattern kingdoms could compete with a top kingdom on even ground because they never really studied how the thing works. Lots of players are highly adept at math, but that only helps in what you culturally believe. You butt heads with the vast majority of other kingdoms who practice the same cargo cult and this leads to the false belief in method. Anyone who doesn’t chain or have a mono racial core is misunderstood to the point of seeming ignorance.

    Indeed, I’ve been in kingdoms where the entire active roster had no idea how they lost a war. They site the common “activity” or how many watch towers were built.

    The problem with classical is that if you aren’t great and the conductor is limited you make crappy music. You will always make crappy music because you never stray from the classical manifesto.

    So how do we know jazz works?

    Because we have the anomaly known as retirement kingdoms, or ghettos. While one might wonder how many retirement kingdoms have crowned you have to remind yourself what “retirement” means. Let’s more look at how many have been in the top 10 without effort.

    The illusion of organization becomes clear in that once true classical players decide to play for fun they are quite formidable in their
    laziness. You think they want war? Do you think they really want to go through the motions? No. They know what works with as little effort as possible. Even they may not admit to themselves, if they played like they did in retirement with the fire they had when competing they might crown an embarrassingly number of times.

    But that’s jazz from top down.

    I want to talk about from down to up. The fire you have to compete can just as easily be honed from bottom up. You won’t have the luxury of diplomacy induced home pump so you force yourself to adapt.

    So I went one age solo in a kingdom shell. All the decisions on how to proceed we’re mine alone. Imagine a kingdom of six provinces outnumbered me easily. I was exchanging attacks with 4 of the top 6 land kingdoms. Every other kingdom on my way up was a threat. A kingdom of 15 provinces might be a joke to you, but they were not to me. I had to take every kingdom in the game
    seriously.

    What’s missing is sympathetic perception. When unlike players join a kingdom and decide they will all ultimately be themselves they are not divided, they simply need to understand their kingdoms rhythm. For instance, in a rather huge kingdom I riddled an enemy with nightmare until he was in max range of a fellow player. I explained to the fellow player I prepared that cooked province for him and I would go after someone else to knock them further from max from both of us. That’s the spark.

    If I in my wheelhouse sympathize with my kingdom mates needs and desires I can provide many riches. It’s like a solo run in jazz where I do my thing and hand it off for you to do yours. If you make a mistake I’ll do my best to turn that mistake into improv. By expressive pattern and exploring the breadth of our build we can influence others to grasp the strength of intuitive style. I need saving to and it’s great when a teammate has the epiphany of teamwork.

    It’s not about better it’s the environment you flourish in.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 26-09-2020 at 04:10.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Correct me then, instead of being a dick about it.
    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
    ________
    Weed bowls

    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=...+say&FORM=VDRE

  8. #8
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    Situational Awareness

    Is not just in the moment, it’s also in the planning.

    Analogy Time

    When I was in my 20s I did part time security and got fairly interested in firearms. Young naive enthusiasm had me reading articles about stopping power and self defense philosophy. I then had the pleasure of running across a more experienced guard
    carrying a snub .38 on his belt, who explained in simple terms why. Being young and stubborn I listened to him, but didn’t hear him.

    I later browsed and commented on firearms forums, but decided I’d look at some of the comments sections in the law enforcement
    subcategories. I ran across a most interesting article about fight or flight response as related to prison guard duty. The author of the article pointed out tactics prisoners practiced to disarm guards. At the same time I had some understanding of malfunctions in autoloaders caused by limp wristing, which is exasperated in autos with shorter slides.

    I learned that more shots exchanged strike the hands because adrenaline causing tunnel vision and simplified reactions result in an effort to stop the danger. I contemplated that in a live situation you can’t guarantee you will have a firm grip to curb malfunctions or wrestle for the weapon.

    Statistics support things happen up close. So my epiphany became this: a hamerless snubby on the belt and a full size auto on the shoulder. What I want may not be what someone else wants, but the selling points were speed from the leather, fast sight acquisition, higher weapon retention and simplicity of operation. The full size auto is better in a tactical situation where one would be taking the initiative: the yellow, orange, red system.

    Nonlethal options should be encouraged as pepper spray can be great for dispersing gang situations or working around corners. Stun guns where drugs may be involved. Batons for a situation involving both. These days, flashlights can be efficient in blinding effect.

    So in utopia I reflect on effectiveness in a plethora of scenarios: what works in friendly, unfriendly, hostile and war and where particular builds are strongest. Attackers burn meter so you have to contemplate the worth of going unfriendly vs one opponent when that kingdom can effect almost your entire kingdom with meteors.

    You might be harassed by a stronger kingdom, so do you have the Fools Gold or Amnesia to tactically respond? Lots of heavy kingdoms will feed you the line about resistance being the wrong move, but I know what they really mean. If I continue to bombard
    them with mortality inducing ops they will be forced to survive. That’s the level we both need to be at to achieve lasting peace or total war. To kneel before aggressive offense is unacceptable to me. This is a game, so play it. Don’t pretend you’re a 4D chess player accepting cfs if you can’t make your enemies pay in their preconceived moment of triumph. I deflated that balloon uncountable times. It’s because I prepared to be in that situation ;)
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 26-09-2020 at 16:23.
    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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    Honor Plinko

    One of the hidden strengths of the multi-racial/persona kingdom strats is the offense to defense ratios. When I was in The Faery Circle the inherent high defense of faery played toward a lower tap enemy volume. Iím sure honor kingdom players are acutely aware of the dynamic, but the ghetto world may not be.

    In seeing wars unravel you can almost track victory by honor. Many ghettos get a false sense of accomplishment because theyíre winning an acre race and their t/ms feel cozy enough. This is sad because they will follow a lack of strategic literacy with statements like they ďdonít care about honorĒ. My friend, I care about victory and thus care about honor; at least as the defining gauge in progress. If your honor is stagnant or leaking you better trace that leak. You need to see whoís saving stealth, mana and runes because those guys are sandbagging you.

    It is no mistake that many smarter kingdoms play opossum through prelude to mid-war. Well I poke the matrix when I sense BS and you can tell by reaction how honor aware your enemy is by poking an honor cache. And itís not necessarily the honor, itís that theyíre hitting and not being hit back. This is either by numbing kingdom ignorance or near unbreakability of the enemy. You have to ring the alarm because everything depends on it.

    Now, the hidden strength of multi-tiered racial/persona is the root system of feeding honor to well protected provinces. Unlike mono racial cores with a smattering of t/ms this virtual kingdom offers stages of defense with an array of builds from glass cannon attackers to semi-tough hybrids to super mages and cows.

    Honor systems like roots or whoring land kingdoms work on a principle of nutrient security. Nobody gets chained and lands with tons of honor; it flows to those who hit early. Those who hit early are usually your glass cannons so they canít retain the honor efficiently. So you play a game of reverse plinko where you navigate hits based in subsequent honor retention. The flow will continue back and forth, but itís in the strategic economy of hits(both military and ops) by retention level that will pool honor.

    You have to ask yourself why land kingdoms have astronomically huge cows and attackers at meager war kingdom sizes. That principle is land based as well. If a land kingdom outsizes itself it will relatively starve amongst its competitors due to cf meta. Unlike the complex build I present as the virtual kingdom, land whoring kingdoms are built for low drag nw/acre efficiency. Itís funny to me because a lot of mid tier players get concerned about nwpa when theyíre completely surrounded by threats of every shape and size. This is why I build for capability. Iím fine with being outside the nw ideal if I have a formidable toolbox.

    The ability to fight up means you are a threat to land kingdoms. You canít defend yourself, but you can make them look elsewhere. Builds that depend on narrow efficiencies are highly vulnerable and obvious targets for larger kingdoms. If you build your entire t/m core on narrow nw principles youíll be swallowing your pride quite a bit. It works great in a planned war against quaint opposition but to feel victory against a true challenger will escape you.

    You see, even large opponents have to account for variable offenses/defenses. They might know to break off the fangs of your kingdom but the might and breadth of a full array of every ability in the game can be a crowbar of retribution. Fools gold is just a crack in the door. Your kingdom can do everything, itís just a matter of dialing in the combination.
    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. #10
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    Divisional t/ms

    In my critique of common kingdom doctrine, one of the most glaring is the separation of t/ms from core objectives. In my opinion, this chasm leads to a sort of narcissistic byproduct:

    1) t/ms decide when war is over and usually before they are train wrecked.
    2) crying about cf out of war because their builds are vulnerable to bottom feeders.
    3) strategies are t/m centric which flies in the face of kingdom optimization.

    It seems many players will go to great lengths to harness the epitome of efficiency in static logistics, but are comically poor at tactical execution. We don’t build the best orc warrior build in the known world to eat chains with tone deaf onlookers in kingdom, but that’s exactly what happens.

    To actually be strategic is to learn from the past. We know they’re gunning for the biggest offense in our kingdom in war. We know this because this is every war, is it not? Even if it’s not “every” war it is on a priority list of ways to not get our head torn off. Good kingdoms look at other stuff to, but we know orc warrior offense matters.

    My solution is to designate certain provincial builds as spearhead. That is, builds designed to break the pound for pound hardest target. We group by ability to break through as priority. If that spearhead designated province lacks defense(orc)it is a matter of kingdom importance to protect that province through incredible acts of violence: thus the assault divisions. But even in the spearhead divisions I’ve placed potential utility assault provinces.

    And as divisions these provinces work in close communication with each other. There’s no bureaucracy between the t/ms and attackers. We don’t wait for a gaggle of t/ms to complete a run to get the action started. These are joint operations, able to adjust on a dime when flack and enemy interference occurs in real time. The reason the divisions exist is to truncate the plan to action initiative. We can’t have our mystic trying to cast meteors while an enemy rogue strikes them with impunity. You get hands on that rogue right now. The same compassion for heavy attackers matters.

    Real world wars are shortened by the side that achieves air superiority. Attackers will indeed be subject to bombardment, but to accept it as unsolvable is throwing strategic opportunity away for no reason. If you challenge yourself to close that gap you will achieve both formidable t/ms and formidable attackers late in wars.

    Think about this when your trying to slay a dragon or fund one late in a war. You need economy and you don’t get it from aid reliant provinces walking the edge of being province killed. Raise all boats and you will be protected through your charitable contribution to teamwork. Use your enemies as fuel and mitigate the dangers they present both through raw capability and nw/acre scope.
    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. #11
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    Diplomacy for the Undiplomatic

    Generally I want nothing I haven’t earned so I’m not one to diplo from the standpoint of achieving advantages. I play in truth, but I hardly expect that from competitors. This is, after all, a game and deceit is a valuable tool.

    My rule of thumb is that most trying situations cause one to think “is this stupidity or evil?” And the solution is to assume evil and react as if it’s stupidity. I choose not to react with anger or preconceived notions of superiority so I present myself to my enemies as gentle. And even if I did react to them as if they deserved to be called “stupid“, I’m sandbagging; just as they are.

    (Sandbagging is a strategy of lowering the expectations of a company or an individual's strengths and core competencies, in order to produce relatively greater-than-anticipated results.)

    I’m not into word smithing as an art, but many in this games past were excellent. These days it hardly takes on the magnitude of bygone ages, but never hurts to meditate on these simple skills.

    In real life I practiced this when I was a rent-a-cop. It is not unheard of, in gangland, for a loudmouth to distract you while a predator works the flanks. And you get a sense for true predators: people who are quicker than you, or take advantage of “small window” opportunity. This doesn’t mean the loudmouth doesn’t present a threat, it means you have to pay sharp attention to situation orange.

    In game terms, always assume the loudmouth is part of an alliance. You know, like when you get into war commitments and randoms attempt to draw you into UF. This is why I’m old school about wars. I’d much rather bump into a war than prep for one. War preppers are notoriously accompanied by critical randoms. Never try to fool an old paranoid football safety. I see a lot of randoms prelude to war vs some of the mighty war kingdoms. These guys are good enough on their own, but love of crowns can polute ones integrity.
    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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    How it’s Made: grumpy old men

    In the last post I endeavored to explain how certain war kingdoms get ahead. My grumpiness is not with them. My grumpiness is in the chalk white innocence of the leaders in my kingdom(Z).

    I’m too much an introvert to even begin to desire leadership. I feel that folks should be tuned into the action and make wise decisions that bolster the kingdom. I don’t mind someone blabbing about it as long as I can tune out the excess. I will always praise and feel an indebtedness, at Catholic guilt levels, for any player who exemplifies teamwork.

    The real problem is when a random or multiple randoms come from outside of proposed war and they directly target top control. Guess who knows? Because I rock top control as an attacker most of the time. - I get there through kicking ass, so I’m familiar with taking control, hanging onto control, and strategically retreating from a control position. Name 10 players you’ve seen stall a chain attempt against them. That’s how much I know about top control. I know how to build fat, I know how to circumnavigate nw/tap clusters and collapse enemy nw salients.

    When a monarch basically ignores the fact that the random hits either make us breakable by the war kingdom core, or push us out of max vs their pathetic t/ms we shouldn’t be obligated to war. Agreed war is hot garbage with a broken dumpster lid. Not only this, but these monarchs think by ordering me to hit some non sequitur target which will result in a catastrophic chain is “just how war goes”. You blessed fools, I’m not just my offense. In the zero sum game I’m economy, nw, honor, position and a defensive mechanism for our top t/ms. Unless this guy agreed in secret to leave t/ms alone mutually, we have a major strategic blind spot.

    It’s already tough enough to convince a leader to engage the enemy t/ms(these ones can effect every province in the war) vs some overpumped glass cannon attacker with a 6 ounce gas tank(these ones can effect 4 provinces). They’ll exhaust mana, stealth and rune caches on some potato bag orc rather than crash mystics and rogues.

    While I’m coming off like an ass, I want you to know I accept that. At the same time I’d like every leader who doesn’t like what I said to use the freaking nw and acre button/tab/what-have-you on matching kingdom pages. This’ll enlighten you on the nw mountains you need to level. When we pretend we’ll have the offense to break an unblemished faery t/m “later” in the war, you know this guy is leading you to misery. I’m sorry, but it had to be said.

    I want the whole of utopia to get better, not just be a game where good players migrate to become mindless drones in a rated kingdom. That’s right. I’ve seen lots of brilliant players migrate up and loose their individual sparkle to join the drone hives of competition oriented kingdoms. For success lol. Believe me; you can succeed without central command. Those are just egocentrics with OCD. Sure they’re good, but I’d be good to if I was driven to control players. I don’t want to. I want you to embrace good decision making through awareness.

    It makes me grumpy when we can’t shed sloped brow apathy for exhilarating curiosity.
    Last edited by StratOcastle; 18-10-2020 at 01:31.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Correct me then, instead of being a dick about it.
    love that thick mahogany back with no belly carve or anything...pure thick wood ! The thing ROCK is made of !
    ________
    Weed bowls

    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=...+say&FORM=VDRE

  13. #13
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    An update for you Strat0, since you aren't in game to see.
    Final role call was:

    20 Gnome:
    2 Artisan
    4 cleric
    2 warrior
    1 war hero
    3 mystic
    1 raider
    4 rogue
    3 heretic

    5 Faery:
    5 Mystic

    We couldn't go with full gnome due to lacking Chastity and Pitfalls, I really like the faery mystic attacking this age. We are still 25 reflect magic. I also would like to have seen faery cleric, wouldn't mind having some elves in the mix either, but what can you do :)

  14. #14
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    Hello again, Bananamancer2000.

    I’m truly enjoying how Avenger has added some complexities to these recent changes. And like you, my wheels get turning with what gnome brings to the table. I had to include a gnome cleric in the 89 proposed draft. They lost reflect magic but it’s still too menacing as a combative province to ignore. I’m really missing reflect magic for gnome rogue. The thing is, they are qualified rogues by virtue of resilience and the ability to put hard numbers behind rogue requirements. By the same token they hold the coveted population bonus that makes aping top kingdom home strats so mesmerizing.

    The 89 proposed faery nerfing is still a lovely machine. While I’d have enjoyed fielding 3 faery rogue, I had to consider faery as a backstop for kingdom ops/sabotage integrity. Amnesia and fools gold are two kinds of diplomacy I’ve had great luck with out of war. I wanted a cleric, but the dichotomy of the virtual kingdom forces kingdom first compromises. You’re 5 faery mystic array says a lot about things I probably missed due to not playing.

    Your gnome strat is impressive. We share an understanding of offensive and defensive economy. When you render your enemy to an “army out“ one trick pony you dominate.
    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. #15
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    Love your posts :)

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