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 Explaining turn #1

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PostSubject: Explaining turn #1   Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:01 pm

This looks familiar

The first two posts of this turn should look EXTREMELY familiar. They are the exact same thing we saw with sample player #1. Dresthor and Mesnoth have started very close together and most likely have related tribes to deal with. This is purposeful for several reasons.

Generally players who start close to each other will still have different starts, but I wanted to show how the actions of a player can completely alter the game from the EXACT same starting location, people, and setup.

The other reason for it is that while the first turns are going to be spent dealing with the environment, with the game master, bargaining for good costs, debating details on proposals, and learning how your people generally react to life . . . later in the game you WILL deal with the other players. Their actions will effect you, they may try to merge into your civilization and form a pantheon, try to convert away your worshippers, or even try to outright destroy you.
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PostSubject: Re: Explaining turn #1   Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:25 pm

The Conversation

The first thing we see with Mesnoth is that this is an experienced player who had dealt with the game master before. There is an assumption of familiarity there, and the player is familiar with some advanced concepts. He's also apparently not done well during the last game and wants to set himself up well this time through.

The second thing we see is that Mesnoth isn't content with a vague location. The west coast of africa is a broad area. In this time period it includes the fertile sahara plains, patches of forest, swamp, rainforest, and of course the niger river and it's delta regions. While Drethnor was content to wander following first the lions and then the cattle in a nomadic fasion Mesnoth wants to position himself specifically and settle down.

He's chosen the Inner Niger Delta on the Niger River. It's an area with vast potential. While it doesn't have a lot of easy access to iron or bronze it has excellent conditions for farming. There is Pearl Millet, Yams, wild african rice, and oil palm just to name a few resources. Not to mention easy access to industrial clay and river rocks. Closer to the coast (if he can claim it) the lower delta also has rich reserves of oil and natural gas. It's a very good area. In this time period of course things will be a bit different than he expects, the upper delta is new formed and wetter than it will be, there is more rainfall and better growing conditions, but as the great sahara plain dries into the vast sahara desert he may face a few challenges still.

His free action is also very different from Drethors. Both players are dealing with the same two basic problems, but in very different ways. The problems are the fact that they don't have enough points, and their people don't give them enough information. These are problems all players are going to have to find ways to deal with. Lets compare the two strategies real quick.

Drethnor's eyes are fast moving mobile dread vultures. They are weapons and spies that move fast and breed over time. His area of coverage is going to grow fast, and if the climate gets bad his people and his birds can simply go elsewhere. A few thousand years from now they may end up along the nile or in asia, they might even move north into europe as the glaciers melt.

Mesnor on the other hand has gotten full coverage over a 10-20 mile square area, but that area won't grow until he can get out another crystal, in five hundred years, and even then he's going to need to figure out how to move a one ton block over a long distance.

Rather than his eyes coming with sharp talons and an ability to travel he's managed to alter his costs significantly. Within his small radius he gets most actions done 25% cheaper than anyone else. But he got that bonus as a direct trade off for trapping himself within a 10-20 mile square CAGE. Outside his radius his power has been severely limited. Outside his small area of vision he's got to pay EXTRA to do anything! Furthermore most if not all of his miracles are going to be limited to the same small space.

Another thing that is different about Mesnor is that he agreed to an ongoing cost. He reserved 1 point every turn to power his vision. In the short run that means he got the vision for free while Drethnor paid 10 points for his birds, but in the long run he'll be paying a lot more! He's gambling that the bonus' hes getting from his strategy will make up for the ongoing cost turn after turn. Given a 25% discount he may be right!

Both players are off to a very good start, but their strategies are completely different. Drethnor is all about mobility, while Mesnoth is all about location, location, location. We'll see how the two compare as the game progresses.
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Explaining turn #1
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