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Author Topic: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Finished, Na'Ba victorious  (Read 26517 times)

E. Albright

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Started
« Reply #315 on: May 19, 2022, 12:43:05 pm »

5-6 bane venom charms. Do you know how many people died of plague in my army?

1 person.

You lost a lot more troops and mages in combat that you would have w/o BVCs (you only killed 3 of the bearers, BTW). Every HP I could take off your troops & mages outside of combat made it much more likely I could actually kill them when we fought. E.g., one more tick of poison from Foul Vapors would have killed the Malikah (and all the giants relying on her Barrel of Air) leading your UW offensive, which I note you turned back. I think you missed the point of them entirely: they were meant to weaken your armies and mages so I'd actually have a chance of inflicting meaningful casualties in pitched battles, not to make them rot to death outside of combat. W/o them you'd've steamrolled me with no meaningful losses. See e.g. the (lack of) difficulty w/which you took my first UW fort. As it was, I crippled your army's bulk (if not its leaders) and deprived you of a lot of fort-crackers on the front. I was always playing a stalling game - you could have killed me (as in, wiped me off the map, not just pushed my back to where we were when we quit) 15-20 turns earlier if you'd've actually tried instead of waiting until there was next to zero risk for you to do so, which was w/o question why I was so frustrated with how you were playing a few pages back. Toying with me while you told everyone else that I was a meaningful threat was par for the course w/your public-facing diplomacy this whole game.

I'll say it again: you won when you convinced all three of your other neighbors to utterly avoid any conflict with you. When I attacked you, you had 29 provinces and 7 forts - I had 1920 provinces and 3 forts. I took three garbage UW province for 6-8 turns, and one middling wasteland for 1-2 turns. Those 2324 provinces were the height of my expansion. I could possibly have stood a chance against you had I attacked Mictlan or Ind instead, but that would have most likely just accelerated the rate at which you attacked me. This is where I don't see any sign that the outcome was changed by Valanis's higher average distance b/tw provinces (aka "non-wrapping topography", as that's what it really is - I could make a NSEW-wrapped map with the same precise layout as Valanis, just with the provinces mapped onto a different image). Bay12 Dominions games are generally slow-paced and cautious, with players being quite willing to try out new things and nations they're not familiar with. You were not doing any of that - you picked probably the strongest nation you could, and optimized its play. Your smashing C'tis (then the biggest nation on the map) entirely to the point of them going AI on turn 23 while suffering no meaningful losses or even setbacks sums that up pretty well. It was much the same when I tried to fight you, and by the sounds of it likewise Abysia. The only way anyone else even might have won given how you approached this game was if we all ganged up on you before you consolidated your first kill, but you diplomacied your way out of that. A more densely connected map, with less obstructing water and no dedicated underworld, would have just made it easier for you to cloud trapeze thugs and SCs down on any army that threatened you. You killed off one of your neighbors and cajoled or intimidated 3/4s the others into not opposing you (and I had to start long before I was prepared to fight you) - it's not likely Ind or Phlegra would have shared enough of a border for them to have changed that calculus, nor the outcome.

I do wonder if things would have been different if I'd've gone with a rainbow resist bless like I almost did. (10fr/10sr/10cr/15pr/2mr/swift/3def/1reivig/mntsurv/6undying/3HP) would have probably fared better than my (10shockres/7def/swiftness/coldmove) against the giant elves you dropped on my unstealthy raider every time I tried to fight you. Ah, well. Live and learn. The foremost lesson unfortunately being "don't try a nation you've never played in MP before, whose playstyle you're not comfortable with, if you're playing people you don't know who aren't necessarily approaching the game as a friendly, casual affair like most of the other players". Or more simply, make sure you know what game you're playing before you start.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2022, 12:45:41 pm by E. Albright »
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EuchreJack

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Finished, Na'Ba victorious
« Reply #316 on: May 19, 2022, 07:43:04 pm »

...to this day, I still don't understand MA Mictlan.

I also didn't put in the stress test time that I usually do.  Otherwise I would have understood the Astral gap in my nation, and planned around that.
I was all like, "Wow, my nation has Astral! I don't need to worry about that in Pretender design!"
...then noticed max Astral is 3.  And to make things worse, the Astral 3 casters can't use all the Astral Boosters (the Starshine Skullcap being most insulting).
So for boosting purposes, I really only had Astral 2.  Hence the midgame 90 degree turn to prioritize blood.

Criptfeind

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Finished, Na'Ba victorious
« Reply #317 on: May 23, 2022, 09:49:50 am »

Alright, I told myself not to respond because what's the point, but I'm clearly a weak person and can't just leave this laying down. I think I disagree with a lot of what you said E. Albright.

You lost a lot more troops and mages in combat that you would have w/o BVCs (you only killed 3 of the bearers, BTW). Every HP I could take off your troops & mages outside of combat made it much more likely I could actually kill them when we fought. E.g., one more tick of poison from Foul Vapors would have killed the Malikah (and all the giants relying on her Barrel of Air) leading your UW offensive, which I note you turned back. I think you missed the point of them entirely: they were meant to weaken your armies and mages so I'd actually have a chance of inflicting meaningful casualties in pitched battles, not to make them rot to death outside of combat. W/o them you'd've steamrolled me with no meaningful losses. See e.g. the (lack of) difficulty w/which you took my first UW fort. As it was, I crippled your army's bulk (if not its leaders) and deprived you of a lot of fort-crackers on the front. I was always playing a stalling game - you could have killed me (as in, wiped me off the map, not just pushed my back to where we were when we quit) 15-20 turns earlier if you'd've actually tried instead of waiting until there was next to zero risk for you to do so, which was w/o question why I was so frustrated with how you were playing a few pages back. Toying with me while you told everyone else that I was a meaningful threat was par for the course w/your public-facing diplomacy this whole game.

This is an understandable reason to attempt to use bvcs, but there are two big issues with it that I have. First is that you never fought my diseased army with a strategy that mostly relied on doing small amounts of damage. In the storming of your fort, the largest cause of death for my units was your gifts from the heavens communion, which obviously didn't care at all about the disease.

Spoiler: the fight in question (click to show/hide)

A lot of other kills by your units in this fight were wolves from howl, especially your cubes. Conversely, you didn't gifts of heaven the wolves pretty much at all though a combination of the fact that they are low hp, scattered, and the big one is howl went up super late on my side, like turn 5 or so, so by then then gifts communion had pretty much already wiped itself out and there were only a few scattered gifts dropped afterwards, so those 59 kills were all real kills, leaving only 42 unaccounted for. The reality is between very high base prot and mistform your mundane troops were almost totally unable to kill my dudes even with them at half health. Sure, there were some lucky strikes that might have been turned into a kill via the plague, and my friendly fire probably killed a healthy chunk of plague victims, and although I'm not totally sure how the cubes digestion actually works we can assume that some of the people killed by the cubes died because of the plague (although a fair number of them got instantly yoinked and their health probably didn't matter). Only 42 guys could even possibly have died because of the plague, and realistically it didn't matter for all of them, only some. So the claim that I lost a lot more then I would have can sorta already be discarded. But lets move onto the second issue.

The second issue is that it doesn't matter. Those units don't matter. The limitation of my capability to bring siege to your underwater forts is not the number of troops I have because your underwater fortress are underwater. The limitation on my ability to bring siege to your underwater forts is the cost in gems and mage turns to make underwater gear for my mages and barrels of air for my units. Killing those extra 42 dudes at best added a turn to how much it'd take to siege your other land fortress, a very minor victory for how large of an expense in death gems it was. That entire army above the waves is almost irrelevant to the status of the siege of your below the water fortresses because to the limit of my capability to bring troops underwater I can simply bring up more troops from my reserves. Certainly at least the survivors are enough to fill out any gaps in the roster. If you were a land nation then you'd have more of a point tbh and even those 42 troops could be said to matter. But you're not so they really don't.

Also as a small aside, I turned back because Mictlan abandoned his siege of your fort when Phlegra attacked him, and it was too much of a spring board for you to counter raid back the water provinces or even launch full scale assaults. Besieging someone, especially their important fortresses like their capital, should not be done when your flanks are insecure and if I let you have that island it would make my flanks extremely insecure.

As for feeling like I was toying with you or being insincere about my war with you, I'm sorry you feel that way. But the reality is that underwater nations naturally have a large advantage to fighting underwater, it became clear relatively soon in our fight that it was unlikely you would be capable of killing me, but the advantage you enjoyed on the defense was sufficient to the point where I don't think it was ever (even to the last turn of the game) a forgone conclusion that I would be capable of killing you. I think there were ways you could have won the fighting underwater and my fear of those ways is why I was taking so long to fight you as I slowly amassed counters and tried to secure myself so my push into you wouldn't crumble with a single lost fight.

I'll say it again: you won when you convinced all three of your other neighbors to utterly avoid any conflict with you. When I attacked you, you had 29 provinces and 7 forts - I had 1920 provinces and 3 forts. I took three garbage UW province for 6-8 turns, and one middling wasteland for 1-2 turns. Those 2324 provinces were the height of my expansion. I could possibly have stood a chance against you had I attacked Mictlan or Ind instead, but that would have most likely just accelerated the rate at which you attacked me.

This doesn't really matter but there was no possible reasonable acceleration of the speed of my assault on you. If you had attacked other people I'm not sure what I would have done. Possibly started to eat my neighbors? Or maybe I would have stagnated? I often struggle with picking a target out after the first war, you made it very easy this game, but more then once I've stagnated though unwillingness to fight people when I should.

This is where I don't see any sign that the outcome was changed by Valanis's higher average distance b/tw provinces (aka "non-wrapping topography", as that's what it really is - I could make a NSEW-wrapped map with the same precise layout as Valanis, just with the provinces mapped onto a different image).

...

The only way anyone else even might have won given how you approached this game was if we all ganged up on you before you consolidated your first kill, but you diplomacied your way out of that. A more densely connected map, with less obstructing water and no dedicated underworld, would have just made it easier for you to cloud trapeze thugs and SCs down on any army that threatened you. You killed off one of your neighbors and cajoled or intimidated 3/4s the others into not opposing you (and I had to start long before I was prepared to fight you) - it's not likely Ind or Phlegra would have shared enough of a border for them to have changed that calculus, nor the outcome.

This seems like an obviously wrong statement to the point like I feel like I must be misunderstanding you. With the lack of wrap I had almost no neighbors to the south (a single tile province connection with Agartha) and absolutely no neighbors to the west. With a wrapping map I would have maybe had a smallish (thus not attractive for a war) border with Phlegra to the south west and a very large border with Ind to the west, especially once I killed and ate C'tis. C'tis would have had a big border with Ind and maybe a border with Phlegra. The whole thing about a non wrap around map is that there's edge that you can conquer along and thus increase your territory without increasing your frontage. That's obviously impossible to do short of conquering all the way around in a wrapping map.

As for cloud trapizing people down on top of armies. As far as the actual reach of the spell and coverage I had full capability to do that to everyone I fought in all the provinces I fought them in throughout the entirety of this game. A wrapping map couldn't have have possibly made it more possible because it was already at maximum possibility in every province I fought in. The limitation wasn't my reach, but my access to gear which obviously would have been what actually mattered if I was attacked by even more people at once.

Also when I said I don't like Valanis and mentioned the underworld and the sea it's not because of how they impact movement and closeness, but simply because of the nation balance. A giant interconnected underworld like this is way too strong for cave loving nations, and a single sea with good access to most places and not enough room for 2 water nations is way too strong for a water nation. Well, water nations are basically sorta broken and unbalanced no matter how the sea looks, so tbh my favorite take on water on a map is probably maps that don't support them in their seas :P.

Bay12 Dominions games are generally slow-paced and cautious, with players being quite willing to try out new things and nations they're not familiar with. You were not doing any of that - you picked probably the strongest nation you could, and optimized its play. Your smashing C'tis (then the biggest nation on the map) entirely to the point of them going AI on turn 23 while suffering no meaningful losses or even setbacks sums that up pretty well. It was much the same when I tried to fight you, and by the sounds of it likewise Abysia.

This is a lot of assumptions about me and frankly some hypocrisy out of you. Yeah. I killed and ate C'tis in the early mid game. And yeah, I never really struggled in fighting anyone.

This wasn't because I "picked probably the strongest nation you could". That would have been probably Ys. Nor did I "optimized its play". I don't even know fully what an optimized Na'ba looks like, but I know it's not what I did, either in nation design or gameplay. Fighting you was explicitly an abandonment of the optimal gameplay path this game. Fighting underwater is hell for land nations and I felt like no one but me really had the capability or willpower to do it, in a sense it was my penance for picking such a strong nation when I was unaware of the general skill level of this game. And yes, if I knew where so many of the other players in this game were at, I wouldn't have picked Na'ba, but you sure as hell shouldn't have picked Ys vs most of these players so what's your excuse?

Furthmore playing this Na'ba sure as hell is me trying out new things and a nation I'm not familiar with, I have played Na'ba before, once, directly previous to this game, but that game was very special in the sense that because I started on a stupid tiny island my expansion ended turn 5 and by turn 7 I was in a war with a neighbor 3x my size for pretty much the rest of the game, that game was so extremely different that it really had no relationship to any normal dominions game and certainly my build in that game was extremely different then in this one. This is the first game I've ever made a Sahir (of either type) or constructed a fort as Na'ba for that matter.

And over all I wanted to play a (real) game of Na'ba because I've had a pretty heavy focus on sorcery and army buffing nations thus far in my dominions games. I've had pretty much zero experience with thug based nations or nations with a heavy elemental/evocation theme (and I didn't get much of either of those from my first Na'ba game). This game absolutely was experimental for me.


I do wonder if things would have been different if I'd've gone with a rainbow resist bless like I almost did. (10fr/10sr/10cr/15pr/2mr/swift/3def/1reivig/mntsurv/6undying/3HP) would have probably fared better than my (10shockres/7def/swiftness/coldmove) against the giant elves you dropped on my unstealthy raider every time I tried to fight you. Ah, well. Live and learn. The foremost lesson unfortunately being "don't try a nation you've never played in MP before, whose playstyle you're not comfortable with, if you're playing people you don't know who aren't necessarily approaching the game as a friendly, casual affair like most of the other players". Or more simply, make sure you know what game you're playing before you start.

I know you're not going to be willing to hear me say this, but I'd be remiss if I didn't try. This is a fair lesson but it's not the primary lesson you should learn from this. If you went with a standard elf resist bless that might have helped you a bit, but it really wouldn't have changed this game. Your primary problem this game wasn't your bless (which would have made the biggest difference when using your sacred troops to fight me, which you never did) but rather your lack of flexibility, imagination, and frankly commitment to the war. You attacked me with about half a dozen thugs geared more or less identically. You started by giving them salt, which didn't help really, when I used poison to kill them you gave them poison resist, when I killed them with other things you gave up and stopped innovating. You never supported these things in any way or used any trick or trap with them. You never (until the very last thug) played around with their kit much. You briefly experimented with charged body and breath of winter (I saw with my scouts) but never actually used these spells against me. There's so god damn much you could have done to be competitive in the raiding war between us but you never did any of it. There's no bless that would have allowed you to do anything significant with just half a dozen thugs that never switch it up and never do anything new. No matter how hard they are to kill, I would have found and deployed a cost effective way of killing them, and then you'd be in this same situation if you didn't innovate from there.

...to this day, I still don't understand MA Mictlan.

I also didn't put in the stress test time that I usually do.  Otherwise I would have understood the Astral gap in my nation, and planned around that.
I was all like, "Wow, my nation has Astral! I don't need to worry about that in Pretender design!"
...then noticed max Astral is 3.  And to make things worse, the Astral 3 casters can't use all the Astral Boosters (the Starshine Skullcap being most insulting).
So for boosting purposes, I really only had Astral 2.  Hence the midgame 90 degree turn to prioritize blood.

I've never played MA Mictlan and I've never played against a successful MA mictlan, but my totally uniformed off the cuff feeling on them is that they'd work really well with a bless focused on making the eagle warriors super killy. Since they are cheap, recruit anywhere, and can fly, you can throw them into the enemy army to be guided blender missiles, fly in, kill, die and and with the right bless you should be able to kill fast enough that it's cost effective. Include a path into blood to spam out Civateteos until you get the blood income to support mass Rain of Jaguars (or Bind Jaguar Fiends earlier) since I think the Ozelotls want the same blender bless as Eagle warriors.

Astral 3 on guys that can't wear hats sucks because it locks you out of mass mind hunt, but I'm not totally sure if you want to go big astral god. Astral 3 IS enough to do most of the battlefield astral work you need, Will of the Fates is at astral 4 (easy to get to with any flying snake) and all you really need as far as big astral. Things like master enslave, arcane nexus, and rings of sorcery/wizard are honestly sorta greed options compared to just getting better sacred blenders I think. Of course I can't blame people for going greed. I took astral 6 on my god this game just to make the rings and eventually cast the big spells and it didn't pay off at all.
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EuchreJack

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Finished, Na'Ba victorious
« Reply #318 on: May 23, 2022, 01:24:04 pm »

Regarding Astral: Presumably, every player needs to be able to cast Wish eventually, and they need a long term plan to get there.

Criptfeind

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Finished, Na'Ba victorious
« Reply #319 on: May 23, 2022, 02:18:19 pm »

I can't tell if you're joking or not  :P

But in case you're being serious of course not everyone needs to be able to cast wish. Wish is super duper late game and taking a god to cast it is hugely greedy. It can for sure be worth it in the super late game but it's so late that I doubt it's something done in most games that aren't high player count. Might be more reasonable to count on casting wish if you're a water nation I guess since they can often afford to be more greedy, I suppose Pelagia is basically made for wishing since they are dominant underwater and can cultivate pearls.
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E. Albright

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Finished, Na'Ba victorious
« Reply #320 on: May 27, 2022, 07:42:35 pm »

And yes, if I knew where so many of the other players in this game were at, I wouldn't have picked Na'ba, but you sure as hell shouldn't have picked Ys vs most of these players so what's your excuse?

My excuse? I've played exactly 1 MP game of Dom5 and it's been like 36mo - maybe 42. I'm bad with elf nations and have never played one competitively. So I was playing a nation of a type I'm bad with, that I didn't know how to play, outside my comfort zone, when I was very out-of-practice. As I said repeatedly, you dropped a lot of hypotheticals about this being Ys's game to lose, but you were always talking about someone else playing a different game even as you insisted you were talking about me. Which, I'll add, you're still doing. It's weird: you persistently insult me, insinuate I'm dishonest & duplicitous, and say I was incompetent, foolish, and hopelessly doomed, but also can't help but then pivot and talk about how powerful my situation was and how I could have easily countered your offensives with my OP nation. I'm at once both very weak and very strong, depending on which would make you look better in that particular sentence. Funny, that.

You, OTOH, were punching down on a bunch of people who spent the pre-game talking about how infrequently they play and how they were unsure of their nations. If you didn't know we're out-of-practice amateur Dominions players, it's hard not to conclude it wasn't b/c you didn't want to know. It's quite rich for you to invoke hypocrisy here - and that's even without considering the insinuated aspersions you've been casting at me this whole game while complaining I was being uncivil and snide.

This is a lot of assumptions about me and frankly some hypocrisy out of you. Yeah. I killed and ate C'tis in the early mid game. And yeah, I never really struggled in fighting anyone.

This wasn't because I "picked probably the strongest nation you could". That would have been probably Ys. Nor did I "optimized its play". I don't even know fully what an optimized Na'ba looks like, but I know it's not what I did, either in nation design or gameplay.

We were at war for 23 turns IIRC. For probably 21 or 22 of those, you attacked 2-5 of my border provinces (i.e., most or all of them) with random basic commanders who immediately retreated, la Dom3 scouting. And every time any army or raider showed its face, you tailored a thug or SC with specific gear to neutralize whatever they faced but then stealth away w/o facing retaliation. Don't tell me you weren't trying to play optimally, and certainly don't tell me that extremely successfully adapting to face new threats proves you weren't. I haven't played a game that felt like this in at least 12y, maybe more. It felt like a CBM game, in the worst possible way.

I'd also add that you were VERY capable of stepping up your conquest. All you'd've had to do was deploy 3-5 thugs or 2-3 SCs at once instead of counting coup by killing off armies with single unsupported mages (this self-imposed handicap seemed odd, but makes more sense since you've now stated you wanted to use this game as thugging practice). You also could have engaged in any sort of raiding or other warfare short of conquest to cripple my economy, yet you didn't - you sat back and turtled until you could curbstomp me at no risk to yourself. Again: it's hard to conclude you weren't toying with us, and that you weren't doing so very knowingly and intentionally - especially since you're also insisting that you were playing sub-optimally. Those two claims are at odds with each other. It looks A LOT like you imposed a specific handicap on yourself, and then min-maxed to a T within the constraint that all heavy lifting would be done by thugs.

Further: Ys would have been FAR easier to counter than Na'Ba. Na'Ba has out-of-the-box ethereal glamoured flying stealthy MR18 shock/fire-res F3A3E1?1 full-slot giants (which I feel comfortable calling supercombatants in the old sense of the word), and recruit-anywhere glamoured stealthy MR17 fire-res F2A2E1?1 full-slot giants. The only weakness Na'Ba has is that its elites have iron and/or salt vulnerability, and that's not much of a vulnerability. Ys has shortcomings galore: ridiculously cap-centric, with much weaker mages who cost roughly as much (plus a lot of resources underwater and no stealth + low magic paths on cav), low magic diversity, outright bad outlying forts, mediocre nat'l troops that cost a lot of resources for EA-tech gear in MA (but can only be found UW or on coasts), spellsong to slow down their best mages, etc. It's also notable that Ys cannot cloud trapeze out of its capital or any of its UW forts, which would make the kind of instant-retaliation shenanigans you used to flatten every army you faced (and almost every raider) significantly more difficult to do turn after turn after turn. Not impossible, ofc, but far more difficult.

This seems like an obviously wrong statement to the point like I feel like I must be misunderstanding you. With the lack of wrap I had almost no neighbors to the south (a single tile province connection with Agartha) and absolutely no neighbors to the west. With a wrapping map I would have maybe had a smallish (thus not attractive for a war) border with Phlegra to the south west and a very large border with Ind to the west, especially once I killed and ate C'tis. C'tis would have had a big border with Ind and maybe a border with Phlegra. The whole thing about a non wrap around map is that there's edge that you can conquer along and thus increase your territory without increasing your frontage. That's obviously impossible to do short of conquering all the way around in a wrapping map.

You're falling into the trap of thinking of the image as the map, not the graph of province nodes. Your "neighborless borders" aren't borders, they're the innermost part of your nation (as in, the nodes in the subgraph you control that are furthest from subgraphs you don't control). Again: I could map Valanis's graph nodes onto a different (and "wraparound") map image, and it wouldn't change anything except perhaps the player's psychological reaction to the graph's (aesthetic) topography. Given how many (and how strongly) people seem to react to the aesthetics, though, that probably would matter, even if it shouldn't.

And if you're discounting size-1 borders as being irrelevant - which you do here WRT Agartha - the possibility of Ind or Phlegra sharing (or more likely, almost sharing) a small border with you would have also been irrelevant, especially since they'd've been more vulnerable to other nations according to the logic you're using to make this claim. The main reason there were nations on the map you didn't share borders with at the end is b/c we were all playing conservative games (a large factor in that was you obliterating C'tis early and almost immediately at no cost to yourself) and didn't eat our neighbors quickly enough to reduce the number of players on the map. As you demonstrated very ably, if another nation really wanted to (and felt it could) go to war with you, it could have negotiated passage with its neighbors as you did with Mictlan. If all it took for them to be shut down was diplomacy (as with Mictlan, I think - did they ever even attack you? They claimed they were going to when Abysia and I did but it didn't seem like they did) or one or two supercombatants tailored to slaughter armies singlehandedly but slip away w/o retaliation, all that having more nations' borders close to your nation's heart would have meant was shorter supply lines and ritual ranges.

(As a side note that means very little: it's weird how the above-quoted comment suggests you don't know the layout of the other side of the map given the public discussions of how Ind & Agartha were at war. Phlegra was on the north shore and Ind was on the south.)

Oh, and re: borders and frontage, you absolutely can expand w/o increasing them on "wrapped" maps. For all of the following, assume NSEW wrap on all sides:

Frontage increased:
Code: [Select]
XXOO -> XXOO
XXOO -> XXXO
XXOO -> XXOO
XXOO -> XXOO
XXXO -> XXXO

Frontage maintained:
Code: [Select]
XXOO -> XXOO
XXXO -> XXXO
XXOO -> XXXO
XXOO -> XXOO
XXXO -> XXXO

Frontage reduced:
Code: [Select]
XXOO -> XXOO
XXXO -> XXXO
XXXO -> XXXO
XXOO -> XXXO
XXXO -> XXXO

Conquering a province that has more connections to provinces you don't control than to ones you control will increase your front. Conquering one w/the same amount will maintain it. Conquering one w/fewer will reduce it. All of this is true on maps that are "wrapped" and "unwrapped". The issue isn't the image file, it's the average number of connections between provinces. Densely connected maps will take more conquests to create "internal" provinces that are only connected to your own provinces b/c each province you hold will have more (avg) connections per province to "block off", not b/c the map's image file is or isn't "wrapped". This is graph theory, not geography.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2022, 09:57:01 pm by E. Albright »
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Criptfeind

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Finished, Na'Ba victorious
« Reply #321 on: May 27, 2022, 11:16:43 pm »

You're falling into the trap of thinking of the image as the map, not the graph of province nodes. Your "neighborless borders" aren't borders, they're the innermost part of your nation (as in, the nodes in the subgraph you control that are furthest from subgraphs you don't control). Again: I could map Valanis's graph nodes onto a different (and "wraparound") map image, and it wouldn't change anything except perhaps the player's psychological reaction to the graph's (aesthetic) topography. Given how many (and how strongly) people seem to react to the aesthetics, though, that probably would matter, even if it shouldn't.

Right, I think I'm getting what you're saying and it's hurting my head a little bit to try to think of the map as a series of nodes and connections and how that would look warped to wrap around but it makes more sense what you're saying and I was mistaken in my understanding before. I'm not actually sure if it's true. This is really in the "That doesn't seem right but I don't have the wherewithal to disagree" territory so I'll just agree with you with a note that the edge, whether it's an edge on a non wrapping map or a section of map with low connectivity to other specific sections (IE: We could say the C'tis section has distant connectivity to the Phlegra section) is a problem (imo and feel this game demonstrated it) and the reason why it exists is because when the node connections were laid out they were laid out for a non wrapping map, you just don't get such distance in wrapping maps, if it's possible or not (obviously would be with work) it's not how people intuitively connect nodes in a wrapping map but is how they do so in a non wrapping one. Which is why non wrapping maps have problems. Obfuscating it via saying it's not necessarily a property of wrap vs non wrap is just ignoring how it's how pretty much all non wrap maps are made and not how pretty much all wrap maps are made.

This is graph theory, not geography.
Your theory falls apart when it meets Geography :P. I mean, you are right, and I was wrong, conquering a full wrap isn't the only way to not increase frontage. But a conquest in dominions isn't a single straightforward taking of a single entity on a grid, it's taking multiple connected entities in one primary direction, this will cause a bulge unless you're so significantly larger then who you're conquering that you border them on two sides (which realistically requires you be about 3 times larger then them.) So, yeah, in a wrapping map you don't HAVE to increase frontage if you've already eaten 2 other players and then eat a third small player. Although that's not a super realistic scenario a lot of the time, and even when it happens it often means you've loosing a fairly safe flank vs a weak enemy for a tougher flank against what's likely one or more stronger enemies.

(as with Mictlan, I think - did they ever even attack you? They claimed they were going to when Abysia and I did but it didn't seem like they did)

(As a side note that means very little: it's weird how the above-quoted comment suggests you don't know the layout of the other side of the map given the public discussions of how Ind & Agartha were at war. Phlegra was on the north shore and Ind was on the south.)

Mictlan did attack me! They launched a number of ritual summon and mages flying in attacks on my provinces, pretty much all of which splattered against 6pd because they were sending in the mages to support the ritual summons but the summons died in the magic phase and the mages died in the normal battle phase. They also did a little bit of a more surviving attack if I recall after I gave them a little bit of advice on how the different battle phases work, but that died to Malikah retaliation. Then they sent their god in, took a province, and offered peace in exchange for that province and a mutual war against you (to ensure that we stayed at peace).

And my scouting was embarrassingly bad this game! Despite having recruit anywhere scouts! The way I had very fine control with my expenses between being able to make literally as many desert warriors as I want per turn and have many lab provinces that I can fine tune mage production with by turning hermit production on and off made me not want to have excess money and scout spending always felt like a bit of a waste. Not to mention the theoretical capacity to pump out a huge number of scouts instantly meant it felt like I didn't NEED to make scouts, I could get them when I need them, in theory, but since the far side of the map was so far away that meant I didn't have a steady stream of scouts heading there... Then you combine that with the fact that both Abyssia and Phlegra did a LOT of patrolling in various random provinces and you end up with a situation where I made few scouts and many of the ones I did made died.

Still, I did get some scouts out east, I wasn't that clueless. It's not trivially easy to conceptualize how the map would look if it was made to wrap because of the underground, basically can't do it with the underground how it is really probably since it takes up so much space for so few provinces, but in general the idea is that Phlegra is to the north east, thus I can get to them via going south west (and I'm in the south west so I'd be near them) Ind is in the East so I can get to them via going west (and I'm the west so I'm near them)

It's terribly made but you can see in this imagination I'd have a large border with Phlegra and Ind. Not really sure how it'd possibly work out in practice. Certainly I'd have more of a border with more people though in a traditional wrapping map. C'tis lack of a border with Phlegra is sorta like how the US is actually mostly south of most of Europe, C'tis is actually more southern then you'd think!

My excuse? I've played exactly 1 MP game of Dom5 and it's been like 36mo - maybe 42. I'm bad with elf nations and have never played one competitively. So I was playing a nation of a type I'm bad with, that I didn't know how to play, outside my comfort zone, when I was very out-of-practice.

...

You, OTOH, were punching down on a bunch of people who spent the pre-game talking about how infrequently they play and how they were unsure of their nations. If you didn't know we're out-of-practice amateur Dominions players, it's hard not to conclude it wasn't b/c you didn't want to know. It's quite rich for you to invoke hypocrisy here - and that's even without considering the insinuated aspersions you've been casting at me this whole game while complaining I was being uncivil and snide.

And yet you played a lot better then some of the other players in this game. There was a little bit of talk of being bad or rusty, especially from C'tis and Abysia, but many of you seemed quite confident in your public and (early game) private diplomacy/chat. To be frank, if you were a representation of everyone in this game I would have been quite happy to play Na'ba to the best of my ability. Of course, you aren't, and ultimately I wasn't really that happy with that aspect of the game. But how should I make that determination? And also, you and Phlegra both played okay it seemed, I don't have any regrets about my choices when it comes to you two. And I think if I didn't kill some people in this game very easily, they would have died just as easily to one of you two too be honest. Frankly, that's what happened to Mictlan.

As I said repeatedly, you dropped a lot of hypotheticals about this being Ys's game to lose, but you were always talking about someone else playing a different game even as you insisted you were talking about me. Which, I'll add, you're still doing. It's weird: you persistently insult me, insinuate I'm dishonest & duplicitous, and say I was incompetent, foolish, and hopelessly doomed, but also can't help but then pivot and talk about how powerful my situation was and how I could have easily countered your offensives with my OP nation. I'm at once both very weak and very strong, depending on which would make you look better in that particular sentence. Funny, that.

I'm not trying to insult you, although I probably am managing to do so, I find discussion with you pretty frustrating and maddening at times, so it wouldn't surprise me if I'm be somewhat caustic at times. I'll try to slow it down, but at the same time I think you're reading a lot more into what I'm saying then I am saying, and you're conflating my opinion of your opportunities and the game state during the fog of war of the game vs this post game dissection. Obviously in game I'm going to assume the worst, and post game I'm going to defend those assumptions, but post game I can also make statements on where I think my enemies messed up, which would be hilariously arrogant and asking to get my ass kicked in game if I made such statements during the game.

So, to go down the list. Dishonest and Duplicitous? Yes. Your statements at the start of our war about... many topics I could count as both of those. You outright called me a liar about a topic (my size) that I was demonstrably (and did demonstrate) not lying about. I essentially stopped replying to that discussion because I felt like it had devolved into you basically throwing out nonsense and it had (privately) become clear it wasn't working for you and it didn't matter. This isn't necessarily an insult, many people conduct diplomacy via dishonesty. I think it's an accurate label for how you handled diplomacy in some cases in this game.

Incompetent, Foolish, and Hopelessly Doomed? I don't think I was that harsh. Do you want me to attempt to point out what I see as your mistakes? Or leave you to wallow in self pity for not taking a stat resists bless? If you want my specific thoughts on how you could have better conducted this thug war, I can work on putting them together. My intentions weren't to insult you here, but point out genuine flaws in your approach, or at least point out they exist when you seemed to miss them (and thus have no chance to learn from them.) I have no doubt that in giving advice I can give it insultingly at times, but that's not my intention.

How powerful your situation was, and how you could have countered my offenses with your op nation (to be clear, Na'ba is an op nation as well. I don't know which one is MORE op, but on this map I think Ys has a pretty hefty geographical advantage.) Well. That's true too, I think you had a great situation early on and yes you could have stopped my offense. The fact that you didn't is because of what I think are some flaws in your gameplay (At least, stopping the offense, I don't know your situation THAT well to tell if you really squandered your capability to beat me in war.) I don't see the contradiction between these two ideas.

We were at war for 23 turns IIRC. For probably 21 or 22 of those, you attacked 2-5 of my border provinces (i.e., most or all of them) with random basic commanders who immediately retreated, la Dom3 scouting. And every time any army or raider showed its face, you tailored a thug or SC with specific gear to neutralize whatever they faced but then stealth away w/o facing retaliation. Don't tell me you weren't trying to play optimally, and certainly don't tell me that extremely successfully adapting to face new threats proves you weren't. I haven't played a game that felt like this in at least 12y, maybe more. It felt like a CBM game, in the worst possible way.

I'm not sure if this is an insult or a complement but I'll say thank you either way. But I'll reiterate, the way I played sub optimally this game was in deciding to fight Ys. That doesn't mean that the way I conducted that war was an attempt to play sub optimally.

I'd also add that you were VERY capable of stepping up your conquest. All you'd've had to do was deploy 3-5 thugs or 2-3 SCs at once instead of counting coup by killing off armies with single unsupported mages (this self-imposed handicap seemed odd, but makes more sense since you've now stated you wanted to use this game as thugging practice). You also could have engaged in any sort of raiding or other warfare short of conquest to cripple my economy, yet you didn't - you sat back and turtled until you could curbstomp me at no risk to yourself.

I made the determination that sending out heavily geared extremely expensive thugs to far away lands where they were liable to be slain to temporarily raid provinces that I didn't have the capability to keep to not be worthwhile. The end of the war between us would be when I knocked over your capital, raiding your provinces really wouldn't speed that process up, and it was a slow enough process that I didn't want to get in a raiding war in your lands. If you were a land nation I think I would have raided you much more extensively, but as it was it just really wasn't worthwhile for me to do much raiding. You might have noticed how I had a Sahir die a really ignoble death underwater at one point, which was one of the few provinces of yours I tried to raid underwater.

Again: it's hard to conclude you weren't toying with us, and that you weren't doing so very knowingly and intentionally - especially since you're also insisting that you were playing sub-optimally. Those two claims are at odds with each other. It looks A LOT like you imposed a specific handicap on yourself, and then min-maxed to a T within the constraint that all heavy lifting would be done by thugs.

Well, yes, I played to the best of my abilities within the constraint of fighting you. The constraint wasn't to use thugs though (although I did enjoy using them). It's simply that no one offered situations where other solutions were required. You only attacked me with thugs of your own that were easy to counter thug, and the "armies" that attacked me... Well, from you they only consisted of a pile of mercenaries with no mage support, essentially no different then a mobile pd dump, of course I killed them with the equivalent of a pd raider. If you had supported them with mages that could have stopped a thug from killing them, I would have used something else. Same story with Abysia (harder for him since he was so fire magic focused of course which isn't great vs thugs made of magical fire.)

Further: Ys would have been FAR easier to counter than Na'Ba. Na'Ba has out-of-the-box ethereal glamoured flying stealthy MR18 shock/fire-res F3A3E1?1 full-slot giants (which I feel comfortable calling supercombatants in the old sense of the word), and recruit-anywhere glamoured stealthy MR17 fire-res F2A2E1?1 full-slot giants. The only weakness Na'Ba has is that its elites have iron and/or salt vulnerability, and that's not much of a vulnerability. Ys has shortcomings galore: ridiculously cap-centric, with much weaker mages who cost roughly as much (plus a lot of resources underwater and no stealth + low magic paths on cav), low magic diversity, outright bad outlying forts, mediocre nat'l troops that cost a lot of resources for EA-tech gear in MA (but can only be found UW or on coasts), spellsong to slow down their best mages, etc. It's also notable that Ys cannot cloud trapeze out of its capital or any of its UW forts, which would make the kind of instant-retaliation shenanigans you used to flatten every army you faced (and almost every raider) significantly more difficult to do turn after turn after turn. Not impossible, ofc, but far more difficult.

And that's not even the strong part of Na'ba! What about high magic diversity via summons and a decent path for blood boot strapping leading to a super broken blood summon (even by the standards of national blood summons)!

But really, yes, you can talk about Na'bas strength and Ys weaknesses. I'd disagree on some points (Well, I don't know what you mean by "the old sense" of supercombatants, but I wouldn't say they are good ones. And I think spell singer is generally a positive trait.). And I could do the reverse. But let me ask you seriously, do you not think that Ys is a top tier nation? At or near the same level as Na'ba? People aren't going to agree on everything, and that's fine, but I do think that is the case. If you disagree that's fine, but I don't think I'm going to agree with you, so sorta a pointless conversation, and probably makes all the other conversations key'd off it pointless as well. Like my opinion on your situation, my opinion on your early diplomacy, my opinion on the hypocrisy of calling someone out for playing a strong nation when you're playing Ys on Valanis. All these thoughts that I've said on these topics only make sense if you think of Ys as a very strong nation, if you don't, and we can't agree on that, then we'll never agree on those areas.

Edit: It's late and this took me a long time to make, so I might have missed stuff, if there's something you wanted me to reply too or acknowledge but I didn't feel free to point it out.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2022, 11:25:17 pm by Criptfeind »
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EuchreJack

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Finished, Na'Ba victorious
« Reply #322 on: May 28, 2022, 08:30:12 am »

Sounds like there are several unresolved issues in this peace treaty.

Care for a rematch?

I've been having fun with EA Lanka.

Il Palazzo

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Finished, Na'Ba victorious
« Reply #323 on: May 29, 2022, 11:15:42 am »

Hey, I'm down for an EA game myself. As long as people promise not to pick Ubar. After trying them in SP I find them too much of a meme.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2022, 11:20:51 am by Il Palazzo »
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MCreeper

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Finished, Na'Ba victorious
« Reply #324 on: May 29, 2022, 09:46:25 pm »

I'll pass. Not so much because of situation of still dubious stability, as much as because i don't wanna.   :P
This match may have reinforced my opinion, that if someone says something about "diplomacy is the most important skill in the game" before the game, then you need to kill him first no matter what, because otherwise everyone WILL give him the game. Though i wasn't there to see it and am not very eager to read you all's detailing text walls.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2022, 09:50:25 pm by MCreeper »
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Il Palazzo

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Finished, Na'Ba victorious
« Reply #325 on: May 30, 2022, 04:24:16 am »

Maybe some other time then. Probably for the best, too.

As for diplomacy. You know. The only thing that stops a guy who thinks diplomacy is the most important skill in the game is another guy who thinks diplomacy is the most important skill in the game. :P
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Karlito

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Finished, Na'Ba victorious
« Reply #326 on: May 30, 2022, 03:48:46 pm »

Haven't played Dominions in well over a year, but I'd have more time for a match now :D.
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ThtblovesDF

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Finished, Na'Ba victorious
« Reply #327 on: June 15, 2022, 04:40:25 am »

I got no skills, but would enjoy joining a future game.
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Azthor

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Finished, Na'Ba victorious
« Reply #328 on: June 16, 2022, 10:54:07 pm »

I'd be up for a match as well.
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EuchreJack

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 05 - Finished, Na'Ba victorious
« Reply #329 on: June 17, 2022, 08:41:33 am »

Hm, somebodynot me should create a new thread for sign ups.
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