The Adventures of Peregrin Took
I have had a surprisingly large amount of experience moving households as I have had to do it twice in roughly two years now.
There is the initial packing phase, which I am not allowed to do, because grabbing everything you see and throwing it into large plastic bags is apparently not how it is done. I am trusted to take things apart, but only as long as I promise to return them to their original state upon reaching the new place of residence. I learned that the neighborhood children will work for popsicles and descend upon basic IKEA shelving as a swarm of locust descending upon a field of wheat. Say what you will about hording, but there is something to be said for having 3 sets of wrenches, 2 crescent wrenches, some vice grips and a box of frozen treats handy when the locust arrive.
There is a beast of burden phase where I am trusted with the thousand trips to and from the various transport vehicles bearing loads of varying weights and sizes. Stacking said loads in the vehicles and in the new storage facility… err, home… is also my responsibility during this phase. The locust also come in handy for this phase, but their wings can’t bear much weight.
There is an unpacking phase, but I am a male. This means I am not to be trusted with unpacking the newly erected stacks of stuff because I am genetically incapable of understanding where anything not pertaining to electronics belongs. I am thus only allowed to unpack and arrange the man-cave. It also means that the electronics were the only functional items in the house as we fell asleep the first night. (note: include my back as one of the non-functional items in the house that night)
I unpacked the man cave and then got to rotate it 180 degrees once the new lair … err big green comfy couch… was delivered. I got to move a refrigerator and disconnect an oven hood that was shorting out the electronics, but other than that, my back and I were not to be trusted with any unsupervised labor. Since my wife spent the ensuing days creating order out of chaos in ways that can only be considered miraculous, the only task left for me when I came home each night was to rub sore feet.
That left one hand free to play civ World
An idle hand does the devil’s work
I was in a dead zone. The next baby guild game was a week off as the Weather Goddess was going to lead it, and both sets of kids… have I mentioned the baby guild is always looking to recruit more kids?... were slated for spring break that week.
I figured that would be just enough time to join a game to run some battles and see if I remembered how to cycle wonders at some point. There was one ancient era game available so I joined it and immediately invited Merry and Pippin to join me. I did not invite anyone else (Sam, Strider) because I figured we were going to quit the game as soon as the official baby guild game started.
That game ended up being this game: http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread...t-strike-twice. Treebeard had built the game and set a minimum fame level thus excluding Merry and Pippin from it. He also invited civ tavern because he said he wanted a little competition. He forgot to mention that he invited all of team chaos forming Chaos A, Chaos B and Chaos C into the game with Chaos A and B bloating to maximum populations.
Not sure how much competition that afforded Treebeard, but it definitely generated a fair amount of chaos as every battle after the first night degenerated into a world war because the Chaos civs would coordinate against all the other civs who banded together in order to counter the behemoth. That kind of game is actually fun if you are in the right mind set. I must admit to a predisposition for attacking behemoths in hopeless but valorous attempts to buck fate, but it is also fun to be a small cog inside a massive machine as it rolls along in what is actually more a social than competitive enterprise.
Given my need to be free to focus on foot rubs and moving large objects, being inside the maelstrom rather than on its spear tip was perfect for me.
Merry and Pippin begin their journey
Every time I invite them into a game, CivWorld puts them into a different game. Someone apparently complained about letting families play together and insisted on breaking up the Baby Guild because it is just too powerful… Actually, given the recruiting power of children, that last statement is not that far off.
I realize now, that I need to get the babies fame. It would be nice if civWorld would tell me that they fail to meet the fame minimum when I am inviting them. But I guess I can just figure that out for myself in the future.
I understood this now, so I had the kids invite me to their game. It was a slow game in the Baroque period. We set about just collecting gold and preparing to start building event wonders of all types. The kids didn’t ask to attack anybody so we set off on our peaceful journey.
Our biggest concern was limited to how many cow pastures Merry would be able to build and the inevitable escalation in the number of cow pastures as Pippin was compelled to build them also.
Foot rubs and large objects were still safe.
Some Shrimpses are dangerous
Those familiar with this thread: http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread...hlight=Onassis understand the reference. We had already popped Renaissance and industrial revolution 1.5 times when a 10 man civ decided to farm us for the one fame point we offered. That civ was about to realize that some shrimpses are indeed dangerous.
Once the era civ declared on us, I told the kids to stop selling hammers and buy them any time they dropped below a certain price. We were the second richest civ in the game (hobbits do a good job raising gold), so they always had enough gold to buy hammers.
This game was a real throw back because everything was extremely expensive. A hammer for 400 was a bargain, and great people rarely dipped below 10K. Ad in a slow game with harvests and trickle diminished and you had a market maker’s paradise.
I had to keep reminding the kids not to build any troops until the battle, and they quietly collected hammers and bought cheap troops. When the battle arrived, the 10 man civ fielded no general. My daughter fielded 150 snow ponies, and my son a similar sized force. I only supplied fodder, and the kids rapidly flanked and slaughtered the opposing force.
The free techs and era instantly made us a competitive civ for all but the runaway civ. I told the kids they could declare war on a couple civs. So they picked a couple shrimp to farm…
And then they opted to farm the civ who thought they were farming us… hehehe.
Last edited by ShuShu62; 04-10-2012 at 09:14 AM.
Farming the farmer
The babies got some people’s attention. One player joined our humble civilization. Pippin called me at work to ask if I knew the person and Merry asked if it was Sauron and whether we needed to bury him. Such is the impact of one bad apple in the barrel. What was originally meant as a game mechanic to encourage social interaction now sows the seeds of distrust even in children.
It was not Sauron, and despite the submissive doormat being in the game, it was not Mr. Yuck either. Unfortunately, that player did not chat much. If he had, he might have realized just how good a choice he had made when he joined our civ. But no matter, this was a game the kids were controlling so we might have some fun battles or do some late game miracle working, but we were not going to aggressively compete for first place.
The 10 man civ also paid attention to us. Given that all of our cities were very colorful with all the inefficient merchants, artists, scientists, farmers and workers running around, they had to be wondering how they lost that earlier battle. They fielded 50 crossbows and large stacks of phalanxes for their next battle against us. Unfortunately, they did not protect their flanks so Merry’s affinity for unicorns…err… horses… got a large double bonus. My son was happy with his large stack of Men with Long Pointy Sticks… err Men at Arms. I had to provide some legions and catapults to offset the weather bonus, but otherwise I was still third in line for the battle medal.
Merry and Pippin were now in the top 25 after the battle and climbing.
We grow again
Shortly after the kids finished farming the 10 player civ for another era they headed off to bed. The Weather Goddess logged in later that evening and asked me why I was picking on noobs in a slow game. I mentioned that the game was not full of noobs and not to blame me; it was my kids who were picking on larger civs in this game… hehehe.
I invited her to join us as the game was very slow and a good civbuck farming opportunity. I even offered to Renaissance and Industrial revolution her palace up for her. In fact, there was a maze competition just waiting for her to claim.
The event wonders cost increased by a great person when the weather goddess joined us, so I immediately had to renege on my offer to upgrade her palace twice. Now, imagine someone who is used to living in mansions stopping by to visit their child’s college dorm room. The Weather Goddess took one look at our shabby state of tech affairs and promptly set about restoring the world to its proper order.
7 completed mazes later, the Weather Goddess had jumped us up to the 3K mazes and won the maze competition (1 maze would have been sufficient). She then asked if she could friend the babies and invite the Baby Nazgul to join us.
I typed a message to Merry and Pippin on Nation Chat because babies go to school at ungodly hours down here in the Bible belt. I indicated the Weather Goddess was a friend and that the Baby Nazgul would also be joining and was also a friend. This was important as Pippin has been known to strip out Interior ministry medals with the slightest provocation.
By the time I went to bed, the babies were now a force to be reckoned with, the rest of the game just didn’t know it yet.
Babies – a rose by any other name
‘Babies’ is a dangerous word.
Especially when your children are at an age where being called a baby is a serious insult. At my age, I can take Saruman’s insult calling me a baby in this game: http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread...ies-ride-again and go all Rubber and Glue on him because I am mature and grown up, and bigger than he is, and…. Err… where was I?
The Baby Nazgul is old enough to know that being called a baby by a team full of geezers is a term of respect. … and possibly jealousy.
Actual babies have no problem being called babies, because they are, well, babies and don’t understand what you are calling them anyway.
My children are not babies, but I call them babies because they will always be my babies. My wife and I have explained to them that if they want to stop being called babies, they have to provide us with actual real babies to take their place. They are too young to do that yet, so they have learned to live with it.
But, when someone referred to them in game as Babies, wellllll… I had to explain to them that they are famous by that name now and they will be the civworld babies until… okay, you get the idea. My son was oblivious to it because he only reads chat when I tell him too or when Sam is flipping his facebook logos through Star Wars images for him. My daughter was cool with the whole being famous thing, so they let me off the hook, and gave me special dispensation to continue referring to them as babies.
They really are awesome little babies… hobbits.
So much for a nice slow game…
I returned home to find Merry busy chatting away with the Weather Goddess and the Baby Nazgul. Apparently, there was a very compelling story about horses occurring and cows were busy taking over both Merry and Pippin’s nations.
With both the Weather Goddess and the Baby Nazgul pounding away at tech, we were now ready to forge ahead in military techs. The Weather Goddess was poised to get my son tanks within the next 24 hours, as promised, but there was just one problem. The baby guild’s military combines to form the equivalent of roughly one half of one Heavy Russian Nazgul Artillery Unit. Military tech lead or no, we were in no shape to take on the runaway civ.
I quickly searched for a shiny object to get her attention off of the ultimate target for the time being, and settled on the Library of Alexandria. The second strongest military civ in the game had locked the Library of Alexandria and was about to pay for that success.
We had now transitioned from a nice slow game to kill time into the Baby Guild game that we were unable to make a reality because all of the kids were using their vacations to travel. But unlike the template those games follow where the babies recruit so much fire power from the start of the game that the ultimate result is determined before the game is begun, this Baby Guild game was coming from a long way back, and had not recruited many players.
The Weather Goddess was concerned about demoting the kids, but I promised her that as long as Pippin remained prince or higher, there was no way for her to catch him. I also pointed out that the kids had perpetual farming operations going so they were promoting themselves back to the top of the heap every night.
I promised her that if she worried about winning the game, I would make sure Pippin won the civBucks.
Nazgul Beaker Geekers are Spoiled
They rush off to research all of the techs in the book over the span of three or four days and never worry about having to protect that research because they are backed up by Heavy Russian Nazgul Artillery. Also, they are used to researching the latest tech and seeing numerically superior stacks of the latest tech magically materialize when it comes time for the battle.
As mentioned earlier, the Baby Guild is not Heavy Russian Nazgul Artillery. The baby guild does not generate massive new stacks of hammers to squander on the latest new toy. The baby guild is more like a swarm of ants exploiting opponent weaknesses and reveling in revenge of the spearman opportunities.
I assigned Merry and Pippin the task of raising 10K hammers in 24hours and declared that if I could raise 15000 hammers in that time frame, we should be good. That seemed reasonable to everybody. But once I started mentioning how we had to do it without tanks… you could see the ‘but that’s not how Nazgul roll’ expressions on their faces… Well, okay, I might be imagining that.
I mean, I did mention it a lot, because, well, telling a Nazgul beaker geeker not to research military techs is like pulling up on a thoroughbred’s reigns just as it is about to separate itself from the pack down the back stretch.
But the civ we were attacking was larger and had production specialists in it. It had been accumulating hammers and had a significant military strength lead on us. They were defending and had large stacks of mobile forces to avoid flanking, and strong reserves of Phalanxes and Crossbows. Our saving grace was that we could build Leonardo, and steal Himeji from them (if needed). Leonardo meant that we needed many cheap units rather than fewer expensive units. Leonardo’s Workshop made Merry’s stack of 150 snow ponies more powerful that the opponents, 100 cavalry or 250 snow ponies. Leonardo was was going to turn our stack of 500 Men At Arms, in the rain into an unstoppable force. It is nice to have a Weather Goddess on your side… to quote Baby Nazgul, ‘I didn’’t know MAA’s fought in anything but rain’.
I don’t know whether it was my constant apologies for stopping the research juggernaut, the reliance on an 8 and 9 year old to raise 40% of the required hammers for the effort or the fact that my son was getting the hammer dowries because his production bonus was better than mine, but the Weather Goddess called in support.
Two Heavy Russian Nazgul Artillery units would arrive in theater before the battle began.
Last edited by ShuShu62; 04-12-2012 at 09:12 AM.
Who is the top ranked player in the world?
As in all competitions, there are many ways to decide who the best player is. But most professional leagues have only one ranking system. CivWorld is no different. In our world, the ranking system is fame. True, it is a brute force measure that has many flaws that will not stand the test of time. But for now, a player’s fame is a pretty good indication of the threat they represent, and it is the only measuring stick we have.
By recruiting in the two Heavy Russian Nazgul Artillery units, the Weather Goddess now had the top 3 ranked players in the world, trying to get my kids the win. I mentioned that to my kids. Merry immediately realized how unique that is. In fact, I hadn’t quite viewed it in that light until then.
Name one global endeavor where kids can play with the elite participants in the field and not have to pay for the privilege. Not only did the kids not have to pay, they got to interact directly with these top players. In fact, until the kids left for the beach, they were holding their own in the civ as contributing members. They aren’t ready for guild games by any stretch of the imagination, but they were good teammates.
My wife was not as impressed. She asked why I wasn’t one of the top ranked players in the world… Behind every great man… She was a little more impressed once I said I wasn’t good enough. When your spouse gages the skill of others by the benchmark you set, you are in a good relationship, especially when that dynamic works both ways.
The whole, ‘the kids are playing with folks from around the world’ is kind of cool too. But with one Niece from china, another from Colombia and two cousins flitting around Nepal and Thailand, the whole global perspective thing is already well ingrained. Heck, the kids had two little Russian speakers from Moldova visiting on the last day of the game, so even seeing Cyrillic on the team chat wasn’t new to them. CivWorld is a global community that engenders cooperation between folks from many different timezones. It is not unique in this, but it does help make the world a little smaller in its own way. (P.S. It is kind of fun to BabelFish what Heavy Russian Nazgul Artillery have to say about Amerikantskis)
Pippin was completely oblivious to the ramifications. He was just wondering when he was going to get to build tanks.
The Battle Array
We popped an econ era before the battle. That pushed the age into the industrial era, where my 24 harvests generated and extra 2K harvests. Both my son and I exceeded our targets while my daughter had to recycle all of her cows to meet her target.
The enemy popped gunpowder before the battle which I am sure they thought was a good thing. But since we had the Weather Goddess, they would have been better served by Phalanxes, because 550 Men At Arms were now free to take the field. We had fodder cannons in the ranged slots and 170 fortified snow ponies to shield the other horses which included cavalry and 25 heroic knights.
The Baby Nazgul had suggested tanks at one point because ponies die so quickly and mobile units get more shots than other unit types. We were all unanimous going into the battle however because, a victory would get us gunpowder, saving us the cost to research it. That said, the Baby Nazgul set a precedent that would continue throughout the game. She was right… and prophetic… and, well mostly.
I addressed the conversation in the Battle Mechanics Thread: http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread...ttle-Mechanics.
There was a secret weapon available, but since we had superior strength and the opposition had not fielded its full army, we did not use it, holding it in reserve for when/if they did fully take the field, or at least force them to spend the expensive great people to remove it.
The enemy did not have Himeji so we did not have to steal it. The enemy did have Leonardo, but we didn’t have to build it to win the battle, so we held off. Why pay for the Workshop when you get the Wonder for free?
I had a mini game bonus of 150% which is about the best I can do, while the Baby Nazgul set the mini game bonus for the kids’ troops at 31% (i.e. 10% of her score… you do the math)
Apparently, one of the hammer heads logged in for the opposition as all the troops were now fielded. We started the battle off with a secret weapon and now had over 2:1 superiority by the time the first shot came. The enemy was not logged in for the battle. And thus began the fight with fortified rifleman and normal stance mobile units.
The enemy got the first shot none-the-less predictably hitting our fortified snow ponies. I set my knights in the rain to heroic giving us almost 3-1 advantage. The knights then got hit by a second shot. I feel comfortable in saying that the knights’ got hit rather than the shielding snow ponies was just bad dice. But I have no idea why troops with so much numerical superiority and even some stance momentum, did not get a second shot. My only guess is that my 150% minigame bonus decayed so fast on the 270 MAAs that we had negative momentum. We got hit a third consecutive time.
We traded shots after that. I am convinced it was my minigame bonus, and I will never go into a battle with a bonus that high and no way to reset it again. The kids stayed at 31% the entire battle. The Baby Nazgul had no troops on the field, but she had a powerful presence, as did the Weather Goddess and her rain.
Trading shots was bad. We were losing 7 fortified snow ponies with every hit, while they were losing 3 fortified rifles. I was still trying to decide why our dominant odds were not getting multiple shots. I was tempted to build Leonardo, but as we already had superior odds, I was not convinced improving the odds further would help. I was starting to plan out how to acquire another 20 knights when a stack of 100 knights magically appeared along with a request to finish another secret weapon. This was followed shortly by ‘See, this is why I am spoiled’ on team chat.
I started to type out a request to hold off on the secret weapon because it is expensive, has limited benefit, runs the risk of opening a Call to arms, and I would rather have it in case an opposing general showed up. I also wanted to type a request to stop dancing the knights because it would force us to trade shots. Ultimately I decided, that if the world’s top ranked player asked me to build a secret weapon… I was bloody well going to build the secret weapon…. I did unflip his stance however.
Low and behold, the addition of the knights made 2 things happen. We stopped trading shots, and we started pounding their mobile units. Chalk two up for the baby Nazgul, there was a bias to mobile units shooting, and hitting mobile units is a key to victory.
The second secret weapon did in fact bring up a Call to Arms, but with no opposing general, it was not a big deal. The battle was rolling along smoothly. So smoothly that all of the Nazgul were busy crushing somebody in a different game when two generals logged in and popped the Call-to-Arms, changed the weather and starting changing stances.
The sight of 280 gaps in you line is a tragic thing to witness, but there was no time to mourn them. I had to call back the weather goddess to reset the weather. A couple meteorological events occurred but the opposition quickly realized the battle would be fought in rain. They very effectively changed their stances, without dancing, to maximize their strength. I could set some MAA’s to shielded heroic, but that was not enough to overcome the deficit. The opposing general’s knew what they were doing.
The Call-to-arms had opened another Secret Weapon, and there were regular calls to build it from my senior teammate, but the opposing generals were reinforcing their Secret Weapon immune troops. They were very good. After hitting them with two CTA’s already, a third would merely be bouncing rubble. I managed to draw out as many reinforcements from the enemy as I could… and then I built Leonardo’s workshop. This immediately returned us to a 2:1 advantage.
The opposing general’s now went all heroic reducing our odds to a slight advantage. There were a couple more calls for secret weapon that I ignored on the off chance that a giant stack of rifles was preparing to materialize. I also was unflipping the knight dance a couple times a round now. I tried to explain, that with the other side at all heroic, the battle was almost over, but I was busy using retreats, stance flipping and stance unflipping to get second shots so I was a little busy. The opposing generals only stuck around for a couple double hits before making the correct choice and retreating.
We had won, now all I had to do was explain to the top player in the world why I didn’t listen to him while he was trying to win a game for my son.
The Oldest Nazgul
A Russian translation for ‘Oldest’ is leader. It is not surprising that the top ranked player in the world would also be considered the ‘Oldest’, but in truth, one of team Nazgul’s strengths is that they don’t have a leader. They have a strategy and they have specialties. At any point in any game, they will yield control of the entire team over to the individual best suited for the task. Once the task is completed, they all spin off to pursue they own personal agendas.
They make no unilateral decisions, and all team members respond quickly to any proposal or question.
The Weather Goddess is a Beaker Geeker, but I have seen her raise a stack of 70 legions upon request. She raised almost 200K gold in this game. The Baby Nazgul is also a Beeker Geeker, and yet, she posted a minigame bonus of 310%. The oldest Nazgul would appear to be a dyed in the wool Hammer Head given his Heavy Russian Nazgul Artillery credentials but he is the one who taunted me in this thread http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread...mpetitive+Game for my overreliance on hammers. He is the primary reason I switched from being a griefer, to being a miracle worker.
So, when it became time to present myself before the leader and explain that I intentionally disregarded his requests for a Secret Weapon and constantly reversed the stance choices he made for his own troops, his response was…
Congratulations on your successful battle.
Pippin’s walk in the woods
I am not sure whether it was winning the battle, popping an econ era after the battle, my son cracking the top 10 in the game or the recent appearance of Heavy Russian Nazgul Artillery into the game. But the runaway civ started showing more activity than it had in evenings past. We had gotten their attention.
That meant that I could no longer schedule farming expeditions for the kids during off hours as the top civ might intercede in the battle.
Unfortunately, Pippin headed out into the woods on the last unplanned farming expedition when he was set upon by a pack of wolves from the opposing civilization. This would not have ended well for Pippin had it not been for the presence of two Russian Bears who also happened to be in the woods that day. We shall call them Ursa Major, and Ursa Minor.
I picture Pippin, completely unaware of the massive snarling bears standing behind him, brandishing his sword and yelling at the wolves as they ran away. Pippin went on to farm the promotion and the Heavy Russian Nazgul Artillery got new names.
Ursa Major even replaced his facebook picture with a bear for a while.
Ursa Minor confirmed my earlier assessment that the runaway civ was not going to be easy to beat. One of the players was ex-nazgul, and there were some massive production bonuses operating in the civ.
I do not think our two bears could have defeated all of the wolves in the woods that day, but the wolves dispersed none-the-less. I expressed the opinion that the wolves had retreated more out of fear of Ursa Minor than out of fear of Ursa Minor’s troops.
Ursa Minor confided that he was having difficulty understanding my English. I, always the helpful one, said that most English speakers have difficulty understanding my English, so not to worry.
The Weather Goddess typed ‘Frightening’ in Cyrrillic.
I finally managed to get BabelFish to translate what I had said into Russian, to which Ursa Minor responded… ‘ahhhh, you say what Weather Goddess say’… and Weather Goddess added… ‘All the time’.
My paragraph about the wolves and bears also seemed irrelevant to civWorld so I translated that as well. And just for kicks, I translated it back. The final translation read something like: ‘Pippin with wolves not happy to be but wolves with bears not happy so wolves with bears choose not to be.’
The kids were now on their beach trip. This is actually a real shame, as part of the fun of getting the Weather Godlet his game was involving him in the process. He had to earn his way to the top. He had help, but he was not an idle passenger for the trip.
This game was also much more in doubt as our civilization was still digging itself out of a hole rather than leading from the start.
I logged in the kids’ accounts to cast votes, and field troops for the farming battles, so they still bubbled up each night, but beyond that, the kids were dead accounts.
The result was the Nazgul machine swung into full gear. Ursa Minor invited one more Nazgul into the game and other than one or two tech eras that first night after we took the Library of Alexandria, the Nazguls worked mazes for all other tech eras. They leveraged wall postings, but only one set a day. All Voyages of Discovery were leveraged as were all Golden Ages.
I am sure it appears to the outside observer as if they are gaining an unfair advantage. Civbucks definitely contributed the military strength. Civbucks definitely provided some maze moves. Wall posts definitely contributed to some maze moves. But the number one factor was 6 people grinding mazes and popping +2 moves to everyone. There were occasions where a suite of 50 move mazes would gridlock the process until a dowry or voyage of discovery popped up, but the 16-20 move mazes were essentially self-perpetuating.
By the time the kids returned from the beach, the runaway civ was now the falling behind civ and Pippin had cracked the top 5.
The last 24 hours of the game were incredibly hectic.
--- The new house is still mostly packed in boxes
--- My father was in town for the weekend
--- My father was in town to deliver my brother for a prolonged stay of healing
--- My daughter was having two girls over for an oft-cancelled sleep-over
--- My wife was really getting pissed at civ world.
I got a chance to log in for brief periods when my wife was napping, and the girls were busy raising digital horses.
I logged in for a conversation about how to promote Pippin. I again promised that as long as they did not demote Pippen below Prince for any eras, nobody on our team could catch him. The Baby Nazgul pointed out… except with Hollywood. I should point out, that Pippin’s 50 fame lead from the start, still had him as the team leader with just a couple medal farming battles. Even with Nazgul operating unfettered for over 24 hours. It is very difficult for anyone ‘in civ’ to catch a fellow teammate with a lead if that teammate puts up even the smallest fight. At this point, I was Pippin’s only real threat, and only if we got Mass Media.
Since my son was not really into raising digital ponies, I had him log in and tried to get him to interact.
Pippin announces his return
I was upstairs helping my wife sleep while my son was downstairs. It took a while, but I got Pippin to read the chat so the sounds of footsteps running to the stairs followed by a question stopped… that is, until a very urgent set of footsteps headed for the stairs at the same time a set of ‘Oh Darn’, ‘what just happened?’ comments appeared on the team chat.
My son was crest fallen and started to explain that he was finishing ‘another’ maze and he closed out the tech. I told him it was okay, and to go back to his computer and ask folks what he should do next. I also told folks that’s what they get when playing with 8-year olds who do tech mazes. Yes, Nazgul can laugh, and they can forgive.
Let’s take a minute though. My son was playing with top players in the game. My son was doing tech mazes with them. My son knew not to close out a tech without getting permission first. My son knew he had hurt his team by doing it. That is pretty advanced stuff. Even on most teams, that would place my son ahead of some of the players on the team who either squander maze moves or don’t coordinate their efforts. It stood out in this game, because, every Nazgul does that without having to communicate.
The Nazgul moved on, and my son tried to ask for directions. This is where the kids’ absence hurt. It took a while for the machine to slow down a bit and wait for him to catch up with what to do. Even so, I had to guide him as the other teammates were more focused on mazes than on the child the mazes were serving. I am convinced this would not have happened, if the kids had been online and chatting when the last three players joined.
The maze move slaughter was barely a blip on the radar as the team charged forward to Mass Media, demoting Pippin almost to serf in the process. I was trying to coordinate a promotion for my son by selling him beakers, but plans were being made. Fortunately, the Baby Nazgul was more direct and said we needed to promote Pippin. The plans immediately changed and my son and I were already transferring beakers.
Pippin popped into third with the era and promotion.
Conversation then shifted to building Hollywood. The great people were getting expensive. Great artists were going for close to 50K a pop. Even with 200K, I was not going to be able to afford many of those. I started chatting about how I was going to puzzle swap to get the artist, the sound of excited footsteps clamored up the stairs. ‘Daddy! I have a great artist, should I build Hollywood?’
Pippin won the cultural medal and was now King.
I was getting all proud parent-like about my son coughing up a 50K great person when the Baby Nazgul pointed out that the Great Artist came with the beaker badge for Mass Media. This advanced tech stuff is all virgin territory for me. I think of Communism as a late era tech so mass Media is a rare event and the internet is just a myth that I had heard about but never really saw reached, much less used until I started hanging out with the Weather Goddess.
It took about an hour of mazing to get internet and then the game was over, in more ways than one.
Once team Nazgul reaches internet, the maze move bonus means that they will never run out of maze moves. They will continue to complete mazes and finish off techs without the need for VODs, civbucks or 5 move links. They will do it based solely on skill, speed and experience. Once they hit globalization, I was accumulating maze moves faster than I could spend them.
If you are in any game where team Nazgul reaches Internet, you have fewer than two hours to end the game before they research every available tech.
Pippin locks up first
Not only did Internet put Pipin into second place, but it made me cultural minister. I had 8 great people and 200K gold. I promptly filled in every available slot but one on each wonder and we began the wonder dance.
Oxford came first because, well, team Nazgul likes the color blue.
Pippin was now in first.
I lost the culture ministry, but I had purposely left World Bank, so that I could try and reclaim the ministry if I lost it. World Bank was next and I did reclaim the ministry. I can’t remember what came after that but I had to stop because there was only one era left, and Pippin wanted to see a battle with rocket launchers. Team Nazgul was very happy to oblige him.
Nobody could catch Pippin from outside the civ. I was a threat for Pippin who had been demoted to duke during the wonder dance, but Ursa Minor was going to demote me when the battle ended so Pippin’s civBucks were assured.
I was no longer needed.
I left to take the sleepover girls home.
I returned to see Pippin chatting with Ursa Minor and the battle well in hand. I spent a few rounds explaining how the battle was operating to my dad. I also noticed that the Baby Nazgul appeared to be right again as mobile troops were taking more than their fair share of shots although given the troop mix, all types were taking shots, so it could have just been a statistical outlier.
At one point Pippin exclaimed ‘Cool, the Rocket Launchers are shooting’. He was very excited by the whole thing.
I left the ongoing battle to go shopping with my wife.
We had just reached the grocery store when we got a call from Pippin.
Daddy, YOU got the civBucks.
You have no idea what a horrible thing to hear that was. Anybody else on the team getting the civBucks would have been fine. Merry had first place until a teammate took it from her and she was very happy. But me… that was different.
I couldn’t wait to get home and figure out what happened. I even misread the results during that effort. I spent the entire night unable to fall asleep replaying the day in an effort to understand what happened and how I should have prevented it.
It took me a while, but in hindsight, the solution was brutally obvious. ..
--- I beat Pippin because I was still king when the last era occurred.
--- I was still king because Ursa Minor did not demote me.
--- Ursa Minor did not demote me because the techs to get rocket launchers demoted Ursa Minor before the battle
--- I could easily have prevented it by pulling a ‘Strider’ the instant Pippin was guaranteed to beat all external members.
The civ no longer needed me. So much so that I stopped playing once the civ no longer needed me. If I wasn’t playing, there was no point to stay in the civ…. Okay, I need to stop typing about this now, because it still bothers me.
Ursa Minor left a standing invitation to do it again. This is an invitation I plan to take him up on as soon as we can do it to get one of his kids the win. Playing with and for children is great. And has a broad range of appeal among the top players in civWorld.
Not every game plays the same, and not every interaction between children and the adults is the same. I am sure this was never intended, but civWorld is one of those rare games where children can play with adults on equal footing.
True, their equal footing will be the footing of the adults they are playing with and true, they will not often surpass the adults they are playing with without a little help, but they will be able to contribute. They can play without having to play with children’s rules.
And children have tremendous recruiting power. My son started up another game, without me as I am still suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He followed the Weather Goddess into a game in which she was playing with some fellow Nazgul. She is now playing for team Pippin, and having to explain that team Pippin is not ready to attack team Nazgul.
I am planning to ask if I can join the Weather Godlet in his current venture (and pull in the kids too) as soon as this story is over.
I doubt there will ever be more than a handful of children who play this game, which is a shame given the adult attitude the children bring to enjoying a game because it is fun as opposed to the childish attitude many adults bring to the game because it is about ‘not losing’.
On Beating Nazgul
The weather Goddess is very sensitive to the thought that team Nazgul is viewed as a bunch of civ World bullies. It is true that they are overwhelming, and it is true that they leverage every exploit available. But their core strength is their enjoyment of the game, which means they are online a lot, and their enjoyment of each other… which means they are online a lot and work well together.
They leverage any legal exploit that exists, less to ensure that they win, but more to keep themselves occupied. They do not do anything other teams do not do, and they do not use exploits other players do not exploit, but they are very, very good at it. And they enjoy it.
Anybody can tell you that you can’t get into a battle of wills with a two year old. You have other things to focus on; the two year old does not. In a similar way, the Nazgul enjoy what they do, and they win because of it, not the other way around. Every competitive endeavor has this dedicated core. The Nazgul are ours.
So… if you are going to try and beat the Nazgul at their game… I would not hold your breath. However, there are legitimate tricks that can be learned from the miscreants of civWorld (i.e. not the clones, but what the clones do) that the Nazgul, and most teams, are not used to protecting themselves from that I would be tempted to use against them… if I didn’t like them so much…
Love this game story, very accurate. I wish I had your talent for attention to details.
Only one point though: civbucks for maze moves do not happen. City-set-up and IM harvests, sure (oh, and weather). But we spend our civbucks wisely, and maze moves and puzzle swaps are not a wise purchase in the long term.
I should clarify. You harvest science to get maze moves. The science you get from harvesting is minimal when compared to the science you get from the resulting maze moves. Thats my blindspot. Other than harvests and weather, I keep forgetting there was anything else to spend civbucks on.
Originally Posted by wwjdfakb
Yes, he doesn't appreciate it when you change the stance of his troops. I rarely use the Normal stance, and I know he has a preference for it. I try to conserve my units as much as possible, taking large hits on Heroic units on occasion, but primarily my goal is to lose as few units as possible in a battle and still win the battle. It may be why I've had so many 6+ hour battles, but I usually have units to fight the later battles as well. The Heavy Russian Nazgul Artillery is a monster at production though and losses on Normal, are just that, normal losses.
Glad to see you showing up here more.
We are definitely going to have a chat about that in a later podcast. We will need to twist Robin's arm when it comes time to talk about battle Mechanics. I can see many good reasons for you to wage 6 hour battles the way you do, and the results speak for themselves... but conserving troops by making them suffer 6 hours of fortified attrition is certainly not one of them.
It is funny... Yes, the Nazgul are monsters... but in this case, YOU are the Russian. Ruthless grinding attrition until the enemy collapses from the strain. Never get involved in a land war with TroyD is a lesson well taken to heart.
Let's just define 'Monster' shall we...
It was a slow game (24 harvests in 72 hours)...
The hammer roll call came out after 48 hours... Ursa Minor (the interior minister) called out 38K.
18 hours later, Ursa Minor called out 96K
(for perspective... I went from 0K to 20K in that time frame aided largely by interior ministry harvests)