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Unclemike's Corner
This thread will be used by Unclemike to post rulings, changes, and findings. They shall be considered Alamaze Gospel until changed by Unclemike himself.
 Lord Diamond

Please do not take any of my comments as a personal insult or as a criticism of the game 'Alamaze', which I very much enjoy. Rather, I hope that my personal insight and unique perspective may, in some way, help make 'Alamaze' more fun, a more successful financial venture, or simply more sustainable as a long-term project. Anyone who reads this post should feel completely free to ignore, disregard, scorn, implement, improve, dispute, or otherwise comment upon its content.


Effective 03/20/2015:

New Order: Create Sanctuary (order #455)
  Column A: specify king/queen/regent/consul abbreviation
  Column B: specify a kingdom-controlled pc location (map coordinate)
  Column C: specify sanctuary location (map coordinate)
  cost: 10,000 food and 10,000 gold
  (counts as a sole action for your ruler)

Use this order to create a sanctuary to prevent your kingdom from being eliminated from the game which normally occurs when your kingdom loses its last population center.

This order will create a new pc on the map for use only by your kingdom (like a secret hideaway for the royals). The specified sanctuary location (Column C) must be within 5 areas of a kingdom-owned pc (Column B) and the area must be free of any pc's or encounters. You may not create a sanctuary in an area that another kingdom has chosen for their sanctuary. The sanctuary itself will physically exist on the map, is immune to attack, provides 0 food, 0 gold, and has 0 census to prevent a kingdom from losing control of a region if you happen to create one in their area.

You cannot explicitly relocate your capital to or from a sanctuary with Order #355. Your capital will automatically relocate there when you lose your last pc. However you must create a sanctuary before you lose your last pc or you will be eliminated from the game. If your capital is inside a sanctuary, it will automatically relocate to a kingdom-owned pc once your kingdom acquires one by some means.

If your kingdom has any alternate capital locations setup with Order #495, those locations will be checked prior to moving your capital from a sanctuary to a kingdom-owned pc (if you happen to acquire more than one pc on the recovery turn). Otherwise, the highest defensive valued pc will be chosen during the automatic relocation of your capital.

Your capital will not relocate to a kingdom-owned pc that has a non-allied group blocking it so your capital may end up relocating to your sanctuary even if your kingdom owns other pc's than the one that was attacked. Once the non-allied group moves away from a kingdom-owned pc, your capital may automatically relocate there from the sanctuary as normal.

Non-allied groups may end movement on the same area as a sanctuary but it will have no effect in blocking a capital from relocating there. Once your capital has relocated to a sanctuary, any emissaries, agents, priestesses, prisoners, and/or artifacts residing at the sanctuary are still targetable for effects/spells (so they may be slept, assassinated, kidnapped, bribed, stolen, ...etc.).

Only one sanctuary may be created for your kingdom and you may change its location at any time by reissuing this order with a new location. If you change the sanctuary's location then your previous sanctuary pc will be destroyed on the map. When your capital relocates from a sanctuary to a kingdom-owned pc, your kingdom will be reimbursed with 10,000 food and 10,000 gold (the cost of creating a sanctuary) with these amounts being reported under Trade on your kingdom turn report.

Agents (including ravens, palantirs, and crystals of seeing) will report a normal recon of a sanctuary area however divines from priestesses or consuls with Order #750 will not display any sanctuary locations (same for the wizard spell #751). A wizard's locate character spell #855 will work normally and will provide the sanctuary as the targeted character's location.

Agents may train with Order #500 as normally inside a sanctuary however agents may not transfer artifacts with Order #910 to a sanctuary nor may they sabotage its defenses or steal its food/gold. In addition, agents may not poison the capital's food storage with Order #615 but may poison the food supply of any groups located in a sanctuary. Agents may guard prisoners with Order #299 that may be located in a sanctuary.

Emissaries, agents, and priestesses may not move to a sanctuary with Order #350 (nor gate with Order #351) even by your own kingdom. If your capital is inside a sanctuary, emissary titles may be issued with Order #390 as normally. Prisoners may escape from a sanctuary with Order #385.

Groups (inactive or otherwise) may receive scheduled reinforcements (turn 5, 10, 15, ...etc.) while inside a sanctuary. Groups may not recruit troops with Order #560 inside a sanctuary nor may they train troops with Order #550. However, special troops that are acquired with Order #565 may be summoned inside a sanctuary regardless of terrain as normally per 565 rules. Groups issued to rest with Order #745 gain 8% morale while inside the safe confines of a sanctuary.

Sanctuaries may not be taxed with Order #240. Orders that improve or lower a pc's statistics with Order #600 have no effect on a sanctuary including any spell effects like plague, famine, or hidden ore. Destroy pc spells (Spells #155,156,157) have no effect on a sanctuary. You may place a dome with Spell #135 on a sanctuary but it will provide no benefit since sanctuaries cannot be attacked.

Effective 04/28/2015:

If an excessive number of orders are ever specified for your turn, the program will eliminate the highest numbered order(s) until the influence limit is reached. If an excessive number of standing orders are active for your kingdom, the program will NOT eliminate them and the only manner of reducing your standing orders is directly with order # 50. This is relevant whenever a kingdom loses control of a region which may result in having extra standing orders active for your kingdom.

I've updated the server to process the new turn frequencies. Since players sometimes start new game threads, please specify one of the following turn frequencies for your new game:
  • 4-4-6 (2x week then 1x week)
  • M-W-F (3x week)
  • M-H    (2x week)
  • T-F     (2x week)
  • W-Sat (2x week)
  • H-Sun (2x week)
  • Weekly (1x week)
Weekly may run on any day of the week but 4-4-6 is currently limited to only M-F-Tues. There are no restrictions on the game variant/turn frequency combinations so if you wish to run a Steel game once a week on Sundays or a Titan game on M-W-F, you're good to go!

------------------------ (Dec 31 2016 update) ------------------------

Ready enabled games are another selection to choose from than the above turn frequency schedule. A game may either have one of the above turn frequencies or the new ready enabled format. In a ready game, the players choose what turn interval they want, for example from 20 minutes to 72 hours (in minute increments). Just keep in mind that there will be some delay in sending out emails if multiple games are due at the same time so you may want to consider that when deciding your game's turn interval. Other than that, have fun!

I've mentioned this before but some may have forgotten: Beware of certain artifacts like the Ring of Power or Ring of Spells which adds +1 to the highest leveled wizard in your group which may end up ruining your orders if you're not careful. Always specify the wizard's initials to avoid any mishaps. Transferring figures, combining groups, deaths from battle, or another may end up switching the artifact to another wizard after the event so always specify initials rather than levels for the group's wizards.

Even the magic research order may cause a mishap. For example, if your group has:

   Diroxa (Power-6+)  <-- 5th level wizard without the artifact
   Kaz (Power-5)
   Quenzek (Power-5)

and you issued three magic research orders in the turn (which are randomly executed), Kax may level first (making him 6th level and the highest wizard after the event) which in turn propagates the artifact to him (making him 7th level). That will cause Diroxa to drop to 5th level so if you issued the 799 with wizard levels instead of initials, Diroxa's will fail since he's no longer 6th level.

So to avoid any mishaps with your orders, always specify initials for all the wizards in the group with the artifact or you'll risk an order failing on you.

Now that 3rd Cycle is here, I'll start posting under this thread some of the relevant facts or tips.

Brigade Advancement (Green, Regular, Veteran, Elite)

Promotion to the next rank isn't just about heading into battle or causing damage to your foe. There are a few other criteria to consider as the following:

1) Your group must be bloodied (sustain 5+% casualties to itself) in order to qualify for brigade promotion.

2) If your group combat strength vs. opponent (group or popcenter) is 500% or greater then reaching Elite is not possible but the other experience levels have a chance.

3) When attacking a village, only Green and Regular brigades have a chance at advancement.

4) When trying to reach Elite, the pc defense (or opposing group combat value) must be greater than 12,000 or no advancement is possible.

5) A battle must last until at least the 4th round (1st storm vs pc or 1st charge vs groups) or there is no chance for advancement.

Group vs group combat phases (10 total):
long range missile
short range missile
magic (stage 1)
charge (stage 1)
charge (stage 2)
magic (stage 2)
melee (stage 1)
melee (stage 2)
combined (stage 1)
combined (stage 2)

For group vs pc, combat stages (15 stages):
long range missile
short range missile
storm (stages 1-12)

There used to be a weapon artifact stage in both types of battles but it was taken out due to the revision of weapon artifacts (see next post).

So in order for your brigades to qualify for advancement, the battle must last until the 4th round (beginning of 1st storm for pc battles or beginning of 1st charge for group vs group battles). This ruling may change your strategy when playing a particular kingdom in a game.

For example, if you attack a pc with a large group, you'll reduce the chances of your leaders/wizards from dying due to the low casualty rate but you'll do so at the sacrifice of your brigades not being bloodied enough to qualify for advancement (or only have a small chance of advancing). On the other hand, if you attack with a medium sized group that's fairly close to your opponent's combat value, the battle will last long enough (till 4th round) to qualify for advancement but at the greater risk to your leaders/wizards since the combat could be bloody.

So if you're playing a kingdom with decent leaders (like the Ranger), you may want to consider which you prefer: protect your figures with a large group overwhelming all opposition or attack with a smaller sized group to advance your brigades. If you're playing a kingdom with numerous or expendable troops (like the Tyrant) then you may want to consider risking your leaders/wizards for the sake of advancing your brigades to qualify for the better companion troop types.

Undead status. Also consider converting your leaders/wizards to undead status with the Nazgul spell for leaders (#877 listed under the Magic menu-tab, spell category Miscellaneous) and Wraith/Lich spells for wizards (#870/871 same category) which will make your leaders/wizards immune from dying in combat. Then you can go all out with smaller sized groups, get your troops bloodied, and have fun without worry about losing your leaders/wizards in battle. Achieving the highest training level for your brigades at Elite may be worth it!

For 3rd Cycle, the "free" artifacts that are acquired through Kingdom Customization (Order #11) do not count towards your Early Strategic Objective or Secret Victory Condition requirements. You also won't gain any status points for them (see the artifact section of your kingdom report which lists them as zero points). Since some of the unique items in order 11 are also encounters on the map, you may have two of the same (e.g., two Valyerian Steel). Either may be stolen or destroyed at the Fire of the Void location but only the items that have greater than zero points actually count towards your ESO/SVC.

For 3rd Cycle divinations (and some spells), if you see something like:

  "A portion of my divination had a fog, as if something was obscured from me."

This indicates that a popcenter is hidden or invisible in the region and the priestess/wizard is unable to discern its exact location.

This is just a reminder that if you don't receive your kingdom turn via email, you can always retrieve your turn online at the new website (

Login as normal and select the appropriate game on the Home page's dropdown list (even for a 2nd Cycle game). Then click on the Kingdom Reports button (bottom right corner). No need to request Support to resend your turn anymore. There is a known intermittent problem with our email service (which may be phased out at some point in the future) so check for your turn online before sending us an email.

This reminder may be more for the newer players but your group's combat strength will vary from time to time. The biggest reason for the variance is due to terrain, especially for an archer/missile or cavalry/charge heavy group.

If your kingdom does NOT have the Archer trait and your group has a lot of missile troops like War Machines, your combat values may vary quite a bit if your group is in the plains compared to forest/mountain terrain. So don't go by your group's combat values in the plains to be the same as when you move your group into a forest area. Those long range missile (LRM) values will drop considerably in unfavorable terrain as well as your overall combat strength.

Charge (cavalry) combat values take a hit in forest/mountain/swamp terrain so if your group has a lot of mounted troops like the Sacred Order kingdom, your combat values will take a hit compared to a group that consists mainly of infantry troops.

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