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The Choosing 1st Full-On
I was hoping to make the point that the Red Dragon is not helpless but rather that the new 3rd Cycle rules and special abilities for kingdoms makes playing a position like the Gnomes that much better Smile

But the RD did catch me off guard in this game. The reason is that being surrounded by magic kingdoms (SO in 4, IL in 8) who both wanted NAP's, I sent the RD a note for us to fight in Runnimede so I wouldn't get bored. I didn't get a response back which I took as disinterest and the fact that we both were very busy getting The Choosing ready for launch (for those who don't know, the Gray Mouser is Ry Vor), so I didn't bother with any of the three options that I mentioned earlier.

I took the typical opening move that 9/10 people would take when playing the GN and used my groups, agents, and wizards for searching pc's. When I got my turn 1 results back, I noticed that the RD is at my doorstep ready for combat. Which I welcome but he's going against my original, non-beefy group since I didn't bother with option 3 (doh!).

After a few calculations, I estimate that my group will take about 20% damage (not enough to kill off a brigade) since the battle won't last past the archer phase so they'll survive the upcoming battle. The part that bothers me though is that I can't recruit Westmen or summon Rock Golems now because my groups are spread out over the place and it'll take a turn or two just to get them back into position.

The RD is giving me a challenge in this game which I want though the Gnomes will never surrender!!

Well, if the Gnomes get out with 20% casualties, that will be a good day for them.  Recently I am seeing 20% casualties just in retreat phases. 

So the Gnome was talking about fighting the Red Dragon around turn 4, not turn 2.  Hmmm.  Could make a difference.

(03-27-2016, 12:49 AM)The Gray Mouser Wrote: Well, if the Gnomes get out with 20% casualties, that will be a good day for them.  Recently I am seeing 20% casualties just in retreat phases. 

So the Gnome was talking about fighting the Red Dragon around turn 4, not turn 2.  Hmmm.  Could make a difference.

Please don't leave Runnimede. My gnomes will fall asleep if you do. Attack, I'd say! Let's have those battles every turn.

(03-27-2016, 12:56 AM)unclemike Wrote:
(03-27-2016, 12:49 AM)The Gray Mouser Wrote: Well, if the Gnomes get out with 20% casualties, that will be a good day for them.  Recently I am seeing 20% casualties just in retreat phases. 

So the Gnome was talking about fighting the Red Dragon around turn 4, not turn 2.  Hmmm.  Could make a difference.

Please don't leave Runnimede. My gnomes will fall asleep if you do. Attack, I'd say! Let's have those battles every turn.

Careful what you wish for....

This blusterous Gnome.  Evil Meanie.  Somehow I doubt the Gnome has assembled a force such as he would project if he had The Project Group Spell. 

We shall see what we shall see, but to me, the question is whether to combine now at the Gnome Capital, or at Cradia. 

My patrol of Red Dragons circling over his capital, using their trait advantage reveal the little one is paying a lot of attention to his foul agents.  We may have to pillage that facility.  But maybe after Cradia.  Could go either way. 

BTW, Cradia is neutral after T2, but Evil Meanie is using Stir Unrest I assume, and turned the place rebelled from Human control. Unless I get some sleep spell on his Duke there, he may take it on Turn 3. The provider of a Sleep Spell is unknown, which I believe, is known to most.

What? The mighty RD is already calling for aid for a sleep spell? It's only turn 3. The evil gnome would appreciate it if no one helped the RD. Trying out an alternative strategy to see if it'll work and allow the GN to survive longer. My little gnomes are taking a pounding so far but it's for the greater good. Took a gamble last turn and successfully denigrated the RD on turn 2. A somewhat rare tactic this early in the game with a low probability but it paid off. Already considering how to handle his turn 5 reinforcements. Having as many as 6 RD brigades flying around Runnimede won't be pretty. If certain die rolls continue to favor the GN (and no one helps the RD), it'll mean that the GN can make a comeback victory against the RD and survive in the long run...

(Red Dragon)
We are trying to train our diplomats, but it's an uphill battle.  They are born undiplomatic.  Anyway, our Royal Fool revealed where we are located and it worked out great at the court banquet, Influence up 0.3 from this performance:

So we are reaching out to all our com padres from other locals.  Let's make a deal.  Write us at 

Your friendly Red Dragon is trying to establish if an argument can be made that they are indeed viable in 3rd Cycle.  Most posts here indicate they are not.  I couldn't completely follow the Evil Meanie's plea to not solicit any diplomacy as a condition of his plan.  Indeed, I played the RD once in a 2nd Cycle Anonymous game (no diplomacy) and was crushed.  One improvement is in 3rd Cycle, the defense rating, which is the most important, is somewhat revealed by the ratings in the group section ("Average", "Good", "Renowned", etc.).  Let's say Renowned is about 3x the defense of Average.  So a Tornado that does 6k in an early phase to an Average defense group, does about 2k to a Renowned group.  A Red Dragon group with at least one Wyvern brigade pretty much brushes that off.

In the two early skirmishes, the 1st Gnome did an Organized Withdrawal (can't realistically argue they shouldn't), and so took about 20% and then after pursued, 30% damage.  So not a great success for the Dragons, but did increase leadership, although both engagements were just below the blooded level to advance brigades.

Because there was perception the RD were clipped a bit, the main thrust of diplomacy didn't begin until T4, other than in Runnimede and The Talking Mountains.  Now at T4, its all even as to recruiting potential, and I wonder how many kingdoms really do heavy recruiting turns 1-3 and can support it, unless in a team game, meaning I am not convinced that is a big difference in the mental ranking of kingdoms.  So I don't think it's a big deal.   Not being able to effectively take a city early was a bigger concern.  So the RD is a different kind of position, especially in a diplomacy game.  Not for the squeamish.  You have to be a bit assertive.  Basically, none of the 10 non-dispersed kingdoms want Red Dragons in "their" region, and you have to play to that, or you just have too big an economic disadvantage.

I want to acknowledge our cousins the Black Dragons, controlled by Warlords Champion Lord Thanatos, took control of Amberland on Turn 3.  So, just saying, good players can get good things done, and it doesn't appear all dragons are disadvantaged in 3rd Cycle, if any are. 

At this point I would say it is pretty striking how different an experience it is playing the Red Dragons from most any non-dispersed kingdom, and I would imagine the Tyrant and Pirate might feel the same. 

Well the reason why I asked no one to help is because we are exploring the viability of the RD going one-to-one against another like the GN and whether the RD can hold up against them or not. I say the RD is at a disadvantage and the reasons why are due to the inability to recruit early on as well as trying to support expensive RD troops without a solid economic base.

In fact, that's the alternative plan that I'm attempting to accomplish in this game where the attrition of not feeding/paying expensive troops will be the RD's downfall. Unless you had some success in regions 3 or 8, you have to be hurting a bit economic-wise. Combine that with the fact that winter is coming and your troops are in for some hurt early on. So unless you get help from others (which will prove that the RD can't stand on its own), the RD is at a distinct disadvantage in the first ten turns or so of the game. As the GN, I can attest that I'm not receiving aid from others so this is a good test between the two kingdoms.

And that's with the RD having the advantage. Actually, after thinking about it, the only viable opening move for the RD is to invade Runnimede with everything that he has early on or he may not do well in the game. The reason why is that even though the RD's capital has an equal chance of being in regions 3, 7, 8, only Runnimede is where the RD may gain the advantage compared to the other two regions. Taking pc's in 3 isn't good because of winter which forces you to conquer twice as many pc's than you would have to in the south. Trying to take on the IL/RA in 8 won't be easy since they're both formable foes compared to fighting the easier mark of HA/GN (not to mention the fact that Arcania has two cities of which the RD can't prevent from being taken). So that leaves region 7 as the best chance for the RD to do well in a game.

Since I made the mistake of not following my own advice for the GN, I'm a bit behind so I'm trying the alternative "attrition" strategy instead to see if that works against the RD. Turn 4 is here but are you able to recruit anything as the RD? Unless you had some successes in 3 or 8, I know your group in 7 won't be able to recruit while the GN may do so for the past 4 turns with either pc, wizard summoning, or now companion recruiting. Your RD is still stuck with your initial turn 0 troops as far as I can tell and those troops are expensive to maintain of where the attrition strategy when combined with winter may be effective against the RD. So unless someone sends you food/gold (which again proves that the RD can't stand on their own), this alternative plan for the GN may actually work and allow them to catch up if they fall behind.

If I remember correctly, the RD troops are the most expensive troop type in the game and when combined with turn 5 reinforcements comes out to about 28,000 food/gold per turn. Paying close to 30,000 food and gold each turn will slow down any kingdom. With winter, that's going to be tough to maintain if the RD didn't invade region 7 as an opening move (really, the only opening move for the RD). My kingdom's battle report on turn 3 shows that the 1RD gained a marshal so it's possible to recruit phoenix brigades but they're expensive as heck at 10,000 food and 15,000 gold each.

So again, if the RD doesn't receive help from others as with a sleep spell for the city or giving them extra food/gold, the RD is at a distinct disadvantage compared to others and that's with the RD getting a jump on the GN back on turn 1. As the GN, I'm not doing anything special other than denigrating and I'm starting to catch up in the game. So as long as the RD doesn't receive help from others, we'll know for certain that the RD isn't up to snuff in 3rd Cycle and this brief case study of sorts will indicate that they need a tweak or two to make them more competitive...

I do not think the R7 is the only viable target for the RD. I would likely try to make a deal with multiple Kingdoms as Rick said no body really wants the RD hanging around so use that to your advantage. Ask for a share of the region or perhaps a few regions. For attacking I would likely avoid the stronger Mage kingdoms mastery plus types. It is just to easy for them to get Domes up. The HA still seems like a great target though. R5 also I think a good target SA or BL both kingdoms that one could try and go toe to toe with. The SA being a military kingdom that actually would prefer to build most likely than fight out the gate or the BL like the little brother of the RD that prefers to study in school than get in the ring and fight. The RD could have all there groups in R5 after turn 1 in most cases and in a diplomacy game could even work deals to keep there current PCs or add a couple.
I still think not being able to recruit is a huge deal breaker though for them as a kingdom. Besides the waiting until T4 limit there is the fact that they effectively have a limit to there troop numbers where not only do all the other kingdoms not have this limit they can recruit 4 types of humans each giving them new bonuses. Basically the dragons recruits are similar giving them what they already have except for Pheonix.
I know you guys do not want to change things but could add dragon riders as a human troop only dragons can recruit with all the same rules as other 560 types except they can fly (ride). Make them a maximum of 2x the number of other flying brigades in the group. Would fight basically as all averages, making there mounts stronger more than themselves adding much

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