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Wakshaani

The out Of Character Meta-Thread

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I'm boned.

 

I've spent three days looking at the map, my records, and I'v ejust flat-out got *nothing*.

 

My original plan was to go slow, build a rock-solid power base, then ooze two tentacles foreward... one through Mexico, one through Texas, to gradually gather up some territory. With the Cyberpapacy keeping the NorthEastern US in check, Barak Khah on teh west coast and chewing up California, my southern stragey would have been the third bite that would split teh country up neatly between us.

 

This week, the Living land drops in Texas. And in Mexico. *And* has California all wrapped up in a bow.

 

Dallas Texas has as much population as my entire empire *combined*, and Mexico City is triple, or even quadruple, that.

 

With those prizes gone, there's nothing left for me to do. I'm in a DISTANT fifth place, not even remotely close to fourth, and I flat-out have nowhere left to expand to.

 

I got *nothing*.

 

The energy levels we're getting are nearly five times as much as I expected, allowing for a huge blitzkreig I didn't plan for, and the Core Earth defense are falling much faster. My go-slow approach is BEYOND doomed at this stage.

 

I have utterly no idea how to proceed.

 

It's been killing me for four days now.

 

I got *nuthin*.

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Try to see it from a positive view point. The first game of Diplomacy online is legendary now. The early years of the neverending game which still is a post-game and the source of the world of Magira are legendary now. And this game has potential for legend too. And don't forget this is not only about Poss and Land grab. This is also about telling stories and you already have told great ones. Also it is about stormers, eternity shards and knowledge. As far as I can judge from the PMs you have got some interesting leads there.

 

My experience from Diplomacy is that rarely those players with an early lead win the game. There always comes the point when those are attacked by the other players and those players with less land grab gain ground.

 

Right now I am unsure who the leading player is. I am certainly in for the count but the Living Land and the Ganges Empire also qualify. Nobody knows from the Core Earth map how many Mixed zones there are. I would assume Mobius has to deal with a lot of them because of the high population count. But if he managed to turn most of India into dominant, size can be very deceiving: 1 billion people - arrgh.

 

And still, nobody knows anything about Marketplace:confused: Obviously Hellsreach knows his game.

Edited by Stormchild

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Another factor which narrows the gap is the nifty value chart. Whilst I don't know the formula (though I've been trying to calculate it) I'd expect that a population zone of 10 million (val 35) would only give ~17% more energy than a population zone of 1 million people (val 30) - not 900% more! So it's still well worth grabbing less populated areas which should fall more easily and still provide a tidy income.

 

And mixed zones... In some regions I'd KILL for mixed zones! (oh wait...). :)

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In some ways it's also better to have a small empire, as it allows you to focus all of your forces in one area and (I would assume) more easily make dominant zones. You also don't have to worry about butting heads with people, as I am soon going to come up against Barukh Kah AND Pharoah Mobius if things continue as they are now.

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To be honest I didn't really have any strategy. I landed in England because I didn't want to land in America and did not want to argue with another high lord for India...and thought it would be amusing to drop a bridge in slough.

 

After securing England (damned Scots) my france invasion got stymied by resistance at the chunnel, so i dropped a bridge into Spain (mainly cos I am currently doing a touring holiday of Spain and thought it would help my geography). America was an afterthought really...when the Cyberpapacy invasion slowed down.

 

The Blitzkrieg approach definately benefits from the higher than expected possibility rewards each week. With as much of the globe covered by invading forces it is a wonder that core earth can offer any resistance at all. They must be swamped with refugees and running low on all kinds of resources.

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To be honest I didn't really have any strategy. I landed in England because I didn't want to land in America and did not want to argue with another high lord for India...and thought it would be amusing to drop a bridge in slough.

 

Btw did you chose slough because of Terry Pratchet's Good Omen or is there another reason?

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Cuba welcomes all refugees fleeing the Americas! Don't mind the stories of night predators and people waking up bloodless. All Yankee Propaganda, I assure you.

 

...

 

*cough*

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There. Orders launched, but I'm not a huge fan of 'em this week. Still just sort of positioning and twidling of thumbs.

 

But at least I got to stick a few Possibilities in the bank (Darkness Device) this week! Last week I had to pull a few out to pay for everything. Stupid Iceland invasion.

 

How about the rest of y'all? Everyone else saving possibilities, or are you spending them as fast as you get 'em?

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Can anyone tell me how to import a Google Earth file to Google Maps directly? The only way I can seem to find involves hosting it on another site first.

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In Google Earth save it just like any other file. Right click on the file you want to be saved. Use "Save place under..." (or something in that sense, I don't know how the buttons are called in english as I use the german version).

 

It saves in the Google Earth format .kmz

Then open Google Maps, hit the Edit button. Then click Import. The message box "Import kml" opens which not only handles kml but also kmz.

The only problem I had with that is that Google Maps is unable to load homemade icons. They have to be hosted on a web page first. Thank you Dyschunky for hosting my icons.

 

The biggest problem is that Google Maps is unwieldly. Reaction time is too slow, refresh is a nightmare, you cannot sort it in subfolders (at least I could not find out anything like that), you cannot mark more than one entry and when you have too much entries, it opens a new page and places the new info there. To sort this you have to take each entry and place it (which is not as easy as it sounds).

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Well I am from Blighty and Slough is just down the road really...and really not the greatest place.

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Ready and imported, thanks for the tip. I knew that I had seen an import command but somehow couldn't remember where it was.

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Well I am from Blighty and Slough is just down the road really...and really not the greatest place.

Nothing a few lizards, some overgrown houseplants and a deep mist wouldn't fix, eh?

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Nothing a few lizards, some overgrown houseplants and a deep mist wouldn't fix, eh?

 

Really, couldn't *every* place use that, tho?

 

Lord knows a few dinosaurs would spice up saturday nights around here. :)

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Really, couldn't *every* place use that, tho?

 

Lord knows a few dinosaurs would spice up saturday nights around here. :)

 

What did the youths in Slough do before the invasion on Saturday nights? And what are they doing now? Celebrate with edeinos? Hunting parties? Intoxicate with Lanala parties?

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What did the youths in Slough do before the invasion on Saturday nights?

 

Knife each other.

 

And what are they doing now?

 

Knife each other with JOY!

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Sorry guys, but it's going to take me a couple of days to process all your orders, so it'll be a couple of days before I can get this week's updates out to you. Please don't modify your maps until after I've sent you the week 8 update. This week's bonus was pretty good, and next week's will be even better, so work on your realm threads.

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No worries, especially after I got mine in so dang late.

 

Gives me time to work on stuff tomorrow (My day off) for writing foo.

 

Awful curious what all those Stormers are up to, tho! Lil' roaches need a good shoein', they do!

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No problem. I was already thinking about proposing to postpone the next turn for 1 week. We are obviously reaching a critical point now where everything gets very complicated. It took me nearly a day altogether to patch my orders together. But now, I have everything sorted so it is probably easier next time. I sorted my armies, zones, stelae, planned armies, planned zones, plannes stelae, special ops and miscallaneous in different folders in Google Earth. Sadly it is not possible to create subfolders in Google maps. I am already at 3 pages in Google maps and boy this program is slow. Now I can switch on and off different folders in Google earth which makes planning much easier.

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That's fine, as I got mine in late as well unfortunately (sorry about that, I've been working almost every day, including weekends). I've got some more ideas for my realm thread, so I'll throw some more stuff up over the next few weeks, gotta win me those rewards ;)

 

I've also got the feeling we're reaching a very important point here.

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I fear the brute force approach to the Living Land invasion is leaving the great Saar in the dark as to the secret machinations of the storm nights. Oh well I am sure he will find out some way or another....

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Congratulations to Dyschunky, who playing Pharoah Mobius has collected enough P-energy and destructive energy (from crashing the moon into the Earth,) to integrate himself with his Darkness Device and make himself the Torg! All you who have enough resources to flee the planet should do so now.

 

Normally I would have let you all have a week or two to try and stop Mobius' moon magnet, but this game has become too large to be easily played, all the players have complained to me that it's taking too much time, and my wife is expecting next week, so I was going to have to call for a break anyway. And the rest of you should have been interfering with Mobius' exponential expansion before now. So I think that it's best to congratulate everyone on their fantastic play for this first version of the High Lords' game, and we can devote our time to the rest of the summer and making a second version of this game which will have to be easier to plan, play and execute.

 

Thanks for a great game, guys! Now I can talk about all the things that I've been thinking about for the past two months while I could see everything that was going on, but didn't want to interfere with your individual strategies. I'll also post about the mechanics that I used to calculate the results of various actions, over on the High Lords' Rules thread.

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Congratulations Dyschunky.

 

This was much faster than expected. I haven't even begun to set my plans for becoming Torg into motion. I was still feeling to be in the early stages of expansion. I hope the next game will begin soon as I was really enjoying it like no other game in the last years. I am a bit sad that this has ended so early but also a bit reliefed as it was already taking away too much time that I did not have available. I had expected that my work would slow down a bit during the holiday season instead it has increased a lot. I am overdue two weeks now to write about the battles that happened but found no time for it.

 

All the best and congratulations to your wife for the upcoming birth.

Edited by Stormchild

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This was a very successful first playtest because all seven realms used different strategies to further their interests. I think that Mobius won because he invaded a country large enough to fulfill all his energy needs, and was far enough away from any other High Lord that he didn't rub borders with anyone else, and he knew when to stop expanding and consolidate his gains.

 

In comparison, Marketplace wasn't getting 100% of the energy it could, Orrorsh expanded too slowly, and the Star Sphere expanded too fast without making sure their zones would stay Dominant. Malraux bowed out of controlling the Cyberpapacy after week 2, and so it ran on neutral after that. The Living Land and Aysle were butting up right against one another by week 2, but either could have won if they had just known when to stop expanding. The simplest reason why Mobius won is that he won the first week's bonus, that told him that he needed 1000 points of P-energy to win. So instead of doubting the strategies that didn't win them the game, the High Lords can blame me for giving two players a strategic advantage over the others. I made myself a liar for saying that the game wasn't a race, and then I went and made it so because I didn't want to spend a year running this game. If Mobius hadn't decided to win this week, next week's updates would have included the 1000 point finish line information for everyone, and then the race could have been won by almost anyone.

 

I'll also break down some of the other differences between the realms:

 

Most P-energy collected: Nile Empire. Least P-energy collected: Marketplace.

There you have it, that's how the game was won ultimately. A better version of this game would require more than one way to win the game, but a workable version would need a lot more than that.

 

A notable mention must be made of the Cyberpapacy, which had no orders after week 2, but had 500 points of P-energy collected by week 8. If Malraux had only expanded for a week or two more, I probably could have declared him Torg in absentia by now. I wanted the game to be playable even if a High Lord couldn't post every week, and a gaping loophole from that is that it was a winning strategy to do nothing at all. Those of you who spent hours agonizing over your strategies and Google Maps might be ready to throw something at your screen right about now.

 

Largest realm: Star Sphere. Smallest realm: Cyberpapacy.

 

Highest ratio of Dominant zones: Aysle. Lowest ratio of Dominant zones: Star Sphere.

 

Fewest troops lost: Marketplace. Most troops lost: Aysle.

Marketplace's invisible invasion was a winning strategy (though a traitor was about to blow the lid off it,) and 3327 would be proud of the profit ratio from it. Aysle made impressive gains, but at the cost of having to fight the armies of a dozen well-equipped nations backed up against one another, and it met its' match in Rome.

 

Zone with the highest population: Marketplace. Zone with the lowest population: Orrorsh.

China, even only collecting 75% of it's energy, is the motherlode. Iceland, on the other hand, must involve a strategy so evil that I cannot even imagine it.

 

Realm most interfered with: Living Land. Realm least interfered with: Nile Empire.

Something about the Living Land just made players want to get in its way, possibly because its particular axiom set would give it advantages if the realms ever started to war against each other. It was also the only realm that the Storm Knights successfully uprooted a stelae from, with devastating consequences. The Nile, though it was the fastest growing realm for the first month of the game, had no interference or investigation from any other High Lord, except when they suddenly invaded Vietnam and interrupted an Aysle operation to smuggle a traitor out of Marketplace. So Mobius won with everyone's help, guys.

 

Pulling the tiger by it's tail award: Living Land & Orrorsh.

When they saw that the Cyberpapacy wasn't expanding any more, they just couldn't resist invading the United States, and spent more on armies and stelae than they got out of the zones they invaded. The Gaunt Man in particular, should remember the lesson of 1942: don't awake the sleeping giant. Aysle was warned away from Russia. It looked like Mobius was going to move into China, and China was ready to slap him for it, too.

 

Attention to detail award: Aysle.

Only Aysle had extensive writeups for all of it's locations in the first month, before there became too many to think about. It didn't help his game any, but I learned more about Europe than about any other part of the world during the past two months, the population densities of various third-world countries aside. It demonstrates how valuable it is to have players from around the world contribute to a game about locations around the world: they are sensitive to the geography in ways that can't be understood halfway around the globe.

 

Honourable mention goes to Nile Empire, where Mobius had veritable rogues' gallery working for him.

 

Only High Lord to acquire an eternity shard: the Faceless King.

He didn't get a chance to use it for anything, but with all the looking around that everyone did, only the Faceless Kind actually found an eternity shard, and it could have changed everything. Where were all the other eternity shards? The Storm Knights got most of them, and with all those extra possibilities you couldn't catch them after that.

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