The baby guild has been playing in a very slow game. We have been avoiding Monqi because we figured the kids would not be able to beat him without a lot of assistance from the rest of us.
So Monqi found us. He joined a two man civ to defend it against a 10 man civ containing multiple members from various guilds. Kicking my butt in the caravan game was not enough.
Unfortunately, he slept in and so missed the battle. The kids had to work for it, but they carried the day and were immediately sent to bed. I returned from the bedtime ritual to find the kids' troops getting slaughtered, and comments that appeared to be mocking the cows of doom.
I reacted poorly to the situation. At the time I felt I was playing yet another set of folks trying to beat me by trying to exploit the kids. Needless to say, parents don't react well to that situation, and I clearly over reacted. I am sorry.
I can honestly say, the global chat was pretty funny once I got my head screwed on right.
It didn't help that Monqi brought a monster minigame with him, built Call-to-arms, and poached Gladiator when we retreated our troops to open a slot for an adult stack and was in all ways a royal pain to defeat. Other than being skinned up, he used no civbucks to do it. We did rely on civbucks to counter the trap. He definitely proved that we can't let the kids attack him without adult supervision.
Monqi has stopped competing for Caravan and I fear I have created an atmosphere telling folks not to attack the kids. I am very sorry for doing that. The kids play with adults, and the only special treatment I ask for is not to get nasty. The timing was unfortunate, had we known Monqi was coming, we would have prepared for it, win or lose.
The attack...err... surprise defense was not intentional, and had I realized the unfortunate timing, we probably would have retreated rather than civbuck up.
So, one more apology, and please don't let my behavior make you any less aggressive.
I don't have much to be aggressive with anymore. I totally get it, I would have probably reacted in the same way in the same situation with the same information. Chat is always a bit of a risk, too, and we were just joking around. It's not always easy to gauge intent without facial and tonal cues, especially when you throw in speed reading posts while trying to beat a monster minigame and different cultural backgrounds (I've recently moved to a another country and nobody understands what I'm talking about, even though we all speak English). By the same measure it's not always easy to tell when what you are saying is pissing someone off!
I'll get back to the caravans and try and replace some of my losses with cold hard cash.
After all that...the kids all went on to get their Mona Lisa's in this game,
-- The Baby Guild is now officially registered in conclave as Cows of Doooooom.
-- The Australian legion never spent another CivBuck.
-- The Weather Goddess changed the weather once after that, but given it was during the return leg of a weekend road trip, we all agreed it was better she left the weather duties up to others less qualified, but... more focussed.
-- We all had a brief ceremony for your passing into the Darkness.
-- An unnaffilliated player couldn't understand why cows kept flying to France for truffle festivals (in fighter planes), or why truffle festivals always seemed to occur whenever he invaded France.
-- There was a brief period where the game turned into a Fenris (team) magnet although Fenris (not team) joined as well.
-- Ursa Minor proved that having two weeks to accumulate hammers is a reasonable approximation for infinity.
-- The Weather Godlet helped build 5 consecutive Great Wonders as a Mother's day present.
-- My 'friends' ended the game on me 3 minutes before I was about to win a civbuck contest. just remember that when asking why the Cows of Doooooom haven't hosted a guild game yet. :P
And I still feel guilty for calling on the powers civbucks and click me's to satisfy the cows' innexorable quest for the ultimate truffle.
Details to follow..
In the Beginning
This game began as all Cows of Dooooom games start.
I was busy trying to coordinate with all the adults when a convenient time to schedule the next game should be. The result of the coordination efforts invariably results in a date two months in advance. In the interim... The kids start a new game and start inviting everyone on their friends list.
So, for anyone who wishes to play with the Cows of Dooooom or have a child who wishes to join Cows of Dooooom, here is the offical proceedure:
Let me know...
I will let you know the next time the kids start up a game...
Be aware, the kids' civ tends to fill up fast once word gets around that the Cows are out...
Understand that the kids do not play 24/7... Preventing the kids from Meritocracying out is one of the challenges in the game
This time, the kids joined a slow paced and sleepy little game. Monqi was there but not many other folks. This was a perfect little game for the kids to take their time and do whatever they wanted. Monqi kept hopping civs to farm barbarians, so we didn't farm any shrimp because we didn't want to run the risk of having to farm a Monqi at the same time.
The Cows rapidly grew larger than all the other civs in the game. We had the Nazgul and Vl'Hurg team captains already while the team Chaos team captain was sitting as an independent with Brutus and someone I really need to give a name, waiting for slots to open so they could join as well.
Monqi and I fought fierce caravan battles with me ending up on the losing end of the stick. We had to twist Nazgul Hunter's arm to use the game to farm civBucks and all was a happy, peaceful equilibrium...
Until Monqi ended his life as a perpetually homeless nation and settled into a civ....
Before the Battle
I told the kids that they could attack somebody if they wanted to. I told them they weren't allowed to attack Monqi, or the small team of Fenris players that had joined the game.
I figured they could beat any of the other civs without human supervision, or at least keep the battle going until the adults showed up. They picked the next largest civ available, because they don't like fighting battles if nobody else is going to show up. I split my accumulated hammers between them and my son built boats (90) while my daughter built snow ponies. (170).
They chose France as the target. Upon reviewing the civ, there appeared to be a player in civ who might give the kids a challenge, so I had the kids vote in Gladiator just in case. At that point, they headed off to sleep.
After watching Nazgul lock wonders left and right, I figured I should try building rather than taking a locked wonder just to see how it felt. I locked Stonehenge and it felt goooooooood... until I realized I now wished I would be online for the kids' invasion of France.
I admit it... I worried about the battle for the next 20 hours. I called the kids when the battle was scheduled to start to make sure they were online. They were online, but the clock had slipped 3 hours overnight. The good news was that I would get to be online for the battle...
The bad news was that the kids would have to go to bed halfway through the battle.
As expected, only one player accounted for all of France's troops. He put up a reasonable opposition but he was playing his production against three. In addition, I had 40 extra boats I had aquired in the market at rock bottom prices. They were quite serviceable after I patched up the holes.
Merry got to general the troops and once we ate through France's mobile flank, the super heroic boats and ponies were taking multiple consecutive shots causing France to retreat. The kids and I retreated off to bed shortly after, but the battle was still active leaving the Weather Goddess and Nazgul Hunter online in case of emergency.
I retruned in time to see the kids' heroic stacks getting popped yet again. There was a nice little conversation going on in team chat about just who made the classic mistake of counting chickens before the eggs had hatched. I think I would have preferred a conversation about how to become queen to stop the heroic slaughter but I gather this is what happens when you have nothing but girls in the chat room. :P
I logged into Merry's account and immediately fortified all the troops to buy time to figure out what happened, and to buy us time to figure out how to fix it.
I don't feel guilty about logging into my kids' accounts for things like that. I don't 'play' their accounts, but I do treat them like friends who have shared their password with me. There have been recent discussions on codes of conduct for Guild Games. some of that discussion has spilled into Tavern. We have had those disscusions here on the Forum multiple times. The conversations can easily be broken out into a proffesional code of conduct (guild games), collegiate code of conduct (Tavern) and casual code of conduct. (Forum).
At this point, Monqi could fairly be classified as a proffessional calliber player using a casual game code of conduct. The forum, and I assume the game, used to be full of players like that. I felt I was the last one to adhere to that code when I finally gave it up. I will be posting more on these topics in another thread at some point...
but not now.
The Time of Turmoil
We were now completely disorganized. I was unable to get back to my account as I needed to fight the battle out of Merry's account. I also had to figure out where the additional troops had come from. The Weather Goddess was also asking to repeal Gladiator so that she could field troops. We had foddered all of the slots because, well, those little single stacks of superheroic troops really add up. I think they also reduce cross shots and they reduce causalties if they get hit.
Of course, if you suddenely need to inject a new troop type and are in Gladiator, that can represent a bit of a problem. Nazgul are at a disadvantage when it comes to chaos (are you listening Treebeard?). They always revert to a 'most efficient' solution rather than a 'most effective' solution. The opponents had muscled up with snow troops, so the Weather Goddess built 100 cavalry planning to switch the weather to fog. Unfortunately, she did not have a fog horse for fodder, she had a snow pony. I would gladly have paid her for 200 snow ponies on Monday instead of waiting for 100 fog horses on Tuesday.
But the hammers were gone. The fog horses were all dressed up, but had no place to go. Hence the periodic requests to repeal Gladiator. Now I had to explain why we shouldn't repeal Gladiatior in addition to working on my mini-game, reading the forum and figuring out what the next step should be. I held my breathe and just hoped a fodder pony would die.
The fodder ponies were not dieing, but the rest of our troops were. I placed the troops on fortified and went through the process of voting for the kids and myself, before returning to Merry's account to run the battle. The Weather Goddes had added her horses, but we were still outmanned. In fact, we were worse off now, than we were before the cavalry joined.
I started the process to vote Gladiators back in.
Monqi had taken it.
We were now doomed.
We were about to retreat when the Australian legion logged in.
Up until now, it had been a fair fight. Monqi had beaten us fair and square. It was unfortunate that the kids' heroic troops got hit while on heroic, but that was our mistake. We built the wrong trops in the confusion. I gave Monqi Gladiator in the confusion. I locked the stupid Stonehenge which we were about to lose. In hindsight, I look back on that battle and wish I had retreated at that point. We had made the wrong decisions and we should have tipped our cap and moved on and scheduled the next battle for a time when Moscow was not sleeping... but we didn't.
We had made the Australian legion promise she wouldn't spend civbucks in this game, and she was good to her word. Now we asked her to spend them. 170 men at arms later, the tide of battle had turned...
Until Monqi built Call-to-Arms...
No matter, the weather changed to rain and the battle changed again...
Until Monqi upgraded his Militia to Phalanxes...
All in favor of saying 'I never want to fight this guy in another battle ever again', say aye...
Time of Reason
It was time to stop being out manouvered. I fortified all the troops and we adopted a strategy.
Nazgul Hunter and Weather Goddess were going to maze their way to Iron Crafting. Weather Goddess would then CivBuck Legions and change the weather to fog. I would simultaneously build up the battle bonus while Monqi's continued to dwindle. My addiction to wall spam traces back to this moment.
I also realized I had over-reacted to the global chat at this time as well. Its much better when you can laugh at jokes rather than get upset at them. Global chat was full of French farmers complaining about Cows wandering through verdant French fields and destroying thier orchards. Monqi had felt honor bound to prevent it but over slept so what was intended to be an evenly matched old school pitched battle (no civbucks, no wall spam) became a dastardly sneak attack countered by a blatant abuse of legal game breaking tools.
Once the legions arrived under the cover of Fog, the outcome was sealed. The French stayed on the field until I realized they had felt guilty for fighting the kids. I asked them to retreat rather than get slaughtered and they soon did. But I felt compelled to help France from that point on.
It is important to note. We don't ask for special treatment for the Cows of Doooom. They can hold their own playing with adults and do. The tech races against the team of Fenris players coming up will illustrate that. We try to find situations where the kids can control their own destiny for themselves (such as shrimp farming), but we and they, don't want folks not to compete just because kids are in the game. This situation was unfortunate, because it started out as a situation that the kids could handle, but morphed into one requiring adult assistance while we were unprepared for it. The mistake was ours, not Monqi's.
We want folks to fear Cows of Doooom because the cows hang out with bears, not because they are kids.
The Nazgul Paradigm has everyone mazing except for the two bears that amass hammers and shield the team. After collecting hammers for a week, there was nobody to shield us from. Ursa Major opted to leave the game as there weren’t even any era civs to attack.
Ursa Minor remained as a mostly silent account logging in just long enough to ensure he was not needed and buy a couple more great builders before heading off to more hotly contested games.
The team of Fenris players managed to lock the Pyramids. This was the grain of sand to Ursa Minor’s oyster, the pea under all the mattresses. Ursa Minor felt the cows deserved nice roomy pyramids to roam around in. The 25% production might have had something to do with it as well.
Ursa Minor started a grass roots movement amongst the cows for Lebensraum. By the time I logged in, the kids were asking me for permission to attack somebody. We agreed that cows deserved big pointy structures made out of stone and picked a time convenient for Ursa Minor. Pippin’s boats were of no use, and Merry fielded her snow ponies. The Weather Goddess contributed her fog horses. Other than that, it would be Ursa Minor against four players from team Fenris because the best time for cows, is not the best time for bears.
Of course, I had just stated elsewhere that we would leave the team of Fenris players alone, but what was I to do. When bears (and cows) are hungry, you have got to feed them.
I did give a warning on global chat that the attack was coming at that it would be an adult on adult battle.
Okay, so I don’t really know what happened in the battle. I had details relayed to me via chat, but it is often difficult to tell because Ursa Minor is never comfortable, even when possessing 2:1 or better odds so I don’t know the relative strengths. He was chatting with Pippin, and we learned the meaning of the Russian term URA! Let’s just say you don’t want to hear that term if you are competing against Nazgul or Cows of Doooom.
The Australian legion did not field any troops, but Monqi did… well, sort of. The team of Fenris players had decided to go get some French truffles of their own. Their attack of France would occur an hour before our invasion.
Being a slow game, I had acquired a number of boats and defensive units that were never going to be of much use to me. I gave them to Monqi. Technically, the cows sailed to France for the truffle festival in 40+ triremes. They brought almost 20 bronze crafted shepherds and a few long bows to keep the wolves at bay. These super heroic troops were not to return having been left behind to fertilize the fields for subsequent truffle festivals… but they did their job.
It was nice to have Monqi be a thorn in some other general’s backside for a change. Ursa Minor was giving a running count of how many civbucks Monqi was saving him by taking bites out of the invaders. Many URAs were uttered. Monqi was also forcing the invaders to commit to offensive troops, which would die very quickly is forced to defend against our invasion.
By the time Ursa Minor went all Mongol Horde in our battle, the 1000 different mobile units chased the opposition from the field in almost no time.
The cows were happy with their new living quarters.
Merry Steps up
The battle locked Pyramids. The next step was to lock the Library of Alexandria. We had a tech advantage so the evening was spent doing mazes to reach University. The two kids, Goddess, Godlet, Nazgul Hunter, Australian legion and I all parked in university meant it took less than an hour to Maze University.
We were discussing the possibility of building Oxford since nobody could steal it away from us. The Weather Goddess was having an internal dilemma deciding which was more important… having the Godlet pick up dirty socks from behind the couch or completing Oxford University. But Merry piped up on chat asking if it was alright if she finished oxford.
She was Queen and was able to contribute more than one great person. She had the three people needed so she wanted to do it. This is an advantage that comes from playing with kids. They like to help. The Weather Goddess was concerned about sucking three great people away from Merry, but Merry only collects the great people so that she can help when needed. Fortunately, that trait also makes it easy to keep the kids promoted.
Pop Quiz, what is the most important Ministry in the game if you plan to take over a civ?
Well, I can’t tell you, because I am going to use it against team Nazgul in the first guild game the Cows of Doom play….
Oh, alright, I told them already, and they didn’t believe me, so I can tell you too.
The culture ministry is the most important office. It is the only office that has the power to guarantee a promotion. It is also the only office that offers unlimited promotions where the cost does not go up geometrically. The great people hoarders think 20 Great people is an accomplishment. I am used to acquiring 20 great people in the first 24 hours. That is 7 promotions if non-expiring wonders are available, and that is just the first day’s great person haul.
We ended the Evening’s festivities early because the Weather Goddess and Godlet were off on a weekend excursion. We opted for the Nazgul tech path rather than the military or Era tech path. That means we opted for the techs that would open up Metallurgy so that we could do 3K mazes rather than targeting the next tech to open an era, or targeting the next tech that would unlock an additional military unit.
We had a bear with a military larger than the rest of the world. No other civs could research the techs we could research. The game was small and slow paced. We had a comfortable lead.
I sent the kids off to bed, and none of us logged in until the afternoon the following day. The game had changed overnight. The team of Fenris players had swollen. They also had a spinoff civ to cycle event wonders if needed. The gam e entered a competitive phase as the Fenris players had caught up in all the techs but 2. They had even taken an era tech while we were away. They were also 90% complete on the next era tech which we also happened to need.
The tech races had begun, and we were going to have to run them without the Weather Goddess.
The Cows of Doooom strike again
The game world was dead, but the team of Fenris players would trickle the next era tech if nothing was done. Unfortunately for them, because they were trying to trickle it, something would be done.
One advantage of the Nazgul approach to teching is that nobody ever knows how much tech you have. If you park yourself on an era tech, everybody sees and knows. If someone in that group of everyone has a mean streak, you might find yourself wasting a lot of beakers.
I rallied the cows and the three of us quickly accumulated the tech needed for the era because we all had 12 hours of maze moves accumulated in addition to the tech we already had accumulated. This is not the first time the kids and I have logged in and acted alone. It is very fun because the kids end up driving most of the action. It is slower paced, but the kids really enjoy making things happen for daddy.
Even Merry was busy doing mazes although, ‘Wait for me Pippin’ was a common phrase.
Last time we buried Gary and his multies after the entire game feared the cows of doom let the world down. This time, we stole the tech era from the other team when they were at 94%. Must admit, we waited a while to claim the tech in order to maximize the number of burned beakers for the other team.
No, the kids weren’t the player with the mean streak.
Russians like tanks.
Having taken the era tech and used all of our moves, the kids headed off to do kid things and I headed off to do it with them. We didn’t return till the evening. Ursa Minor was online long enough to ask for another battle. As the game recently saw an influx of Fenris teammates, it seemed like a reasonable request. This go round might actually cost Ursa Minor some civbucks. Besides, they had locked the Colossus of Rhodes on us, and we wanted it back.
Ursa Minor left us with one simple statement… ‘And remember, Russians like Tanks’.
Well shoot, Russians might like tanks, but I despise them. Give me a rusty tin can with a long sharp object and a horse to ride into attack any day. Tanks are large, noisy, polluters which ultimately waste hammers in the worst of ways. Besides, we had 1000 mobile units and Leonardo’s workshop. Those 1000 troops would compress down to fewer than 400 troops causing us to lose 600 strength. We would get some of that back because tanks are more efficient than Snow ponies without Leonardo but cows like four legged creatures, and ponies like all the pastures we built, tanks just carve huge ruts in the sod.
The topic was moot at the moment because Tanks were a long way away, and the Fenris folks were logging in and out like banshees. They were working click me spam like there was no tomorrow. They jumped out ahead in the race to the next tech and their progress was easily tracked.
This was a concern because without the Weather Goddess, there was a real possibility that they could catch the kids in fame by winning the next 5 tech eras. Also, once the weekend was over, the kids and I would not be active for long stretches of time meaning the other team could continue to outpace us throughout the eras.
At best, if we lost the tech races over the next 24 hours, the kids would be permanently buried in the effort to keep pace with what was now a highly competitive team.
Nazgullin with the cows.
Nazgul Hunter was online, as was Treebeard. Treebeard had been with us since the beginning but had been unable to join us because we had max population. He founded a second civilization to counter the potential wonder cycling threat posed by the other team. He rapidly bloated with Ents who arrived to provide secondary support for the Cows of Dooooom.
But for now, it was just Nazgul Hunter, Treebeard the kids and I. The other team didn’t have a chance. Between Treebeard’s friends, Nazgul Hunter’s friends, and the clickme page, we began rolling mazes. We started the race for the next era tech at 5% while the Fenris players were at 60%. They had 3-4 players logging in and out. We had 2 adults and two kids.
The friends pulled us to 60% by the time they reached 70%. Contrary to public opinion, Treebeard does not have an infinite number of friends and ran out of links. By now, both Merry and I had said… ‘Wait for me Pippin’ many times.
Treebeard was offering to sell us science, but it was more fun to run the race. Wall spam needs to be nerfed. There should be a limit on the number of awards that can be claimed on any given day. That cannot be hard to implement. However, racing through mazes fuelled by wall spam is a fun game in its own right. Both sides were playing it, and you could watch the race on the world page… Well, we could watch it because they were mazing in the era tech, while we were mazing in a different tech.
We hit a dead spot for a while and it appeared we would lose the race as they were leading 80% to 70% and the paces had leveled off. Treebeard found a spam mine somewhere but that only managed to keep us even until our wall spams kicked in.
All four of us had the spam timer roll over just when times were looking most dire. This race was going to end well after all. One wall spam request was the equivalent of 13 clickme’s (10 for me, 3 for my teammates). They are a big deal.
We reached 100% when they reached 90%.
We popped the tech when they got to 95%.... hehehe
It’s just a game right?
Current score was cows 2 –others nothing. But the next race was just beginning as we were into the Steam/Print/Gunpowder trio. The other team now had access to 3K mazes, and we had burned all of our clickme spam to get there.
Two additional races spawned at the same time. The first was important as it was a Voyage of Discovery. Both sides were at 0 tech, so it was a race to see who could make it worthwhile first. The second was less important, as it was a highest swap value competition.
Nazgul Hunter jumped on it posting a 125, but one of the other team began single swapping. The player was hoping to get the puzzle prize with a x6 bonus. This is an old conversation from before ShuShu times. In theory, an Individual can optimize their culture harvests for swaps by single swapping till a x5 bonus then do x5 swapping to close out the puzzle. In practice, you need a clean board, no interference, and no mistakes. 6 swap doubles become more efficient once you have teammate(s). That is where the conversation ended back in August. I have seen this conversation resurrect twice in the last two weeks.
In this game, it meant the kids were getting tons of great people as I was averaging 50 six swap doubles a day, and 150 on the two days I won the great person auctions. My teammates were doing the same.
The other team was banking their swaps to win puzzle competitions. They were not winning the double swap contests because we always had someone with enough swaps to post 200 double swaps. But they could win the highest puzzle swap value contest. Especially since the Nazgul Hunter and I had cleared our massive swap queues while waiting for the next clickme to pop up.
Once I saw them attacking the Nazgul Hunter’s score, I started to single swap to close the board before they could get to the 6 bonus. I ran out of moves. I told Nazgul hunter, and she ran out of moves. We started mining the clickme for puzzle swaps! It was nip and tuck but we managed to close the board just before the other player got to the 6 bonus.
At this point, the first account went inactive and a new account logged in. The new account began employing the exact same strategy. Was this a Multi-Account? Does it matter that this account was in clear violation of Facebook terms of service? I don’t really care. The account wasn’t used to overwhelm. The account wasn’t used to ruin the game. The account did not alter the game in any way. I don’t care whether there was one person or two close friends playing the account, it is just not worth getting upset about.
I do wonder if this account plays in guild games. If it doesn’t, I wonder if links from this account were used in guild games. I definitely wonder if this account remained silent in tavern as I defended it. I wonder if the account has a friend or teammate in tavern that I was defending it from. This account reminds me of a recent vote we had here in the land of North Neanderthalia. The only reason someone can be certain about things like this, is because they are blissfully ignorant… to the fact that friends and teammates are doing it.
It cost Nazgul Hunter a civbuck but I don’t think it ruined the game for her. Maybe they had a multi-account; maybe they just had a teammate leveraging a gaming account.
We were leveraging a bear.
Cows 2 – Others 1
Merry Steps up --- again
The race to VOD was evenly matched. Our dowries all popped, and I had 12 great scientists, so we quickly got all active players to the VOD threshold. The other team was close behind. Pippin, Nazgul Hunter and I all placed a great person into the voyage and were about to discuss with Merry how to get her gold to buy the needed great people when we built the Voyage of Discovery.
Merry had already acquired the necessary great people and was just waiting for us to say we were ready.
So, let’s run through this.
-- The nine year old (her birthday was still a week off) listened to chat.
-- The nine year old knew she was going to have to fill in the extra slots
-- The nine year old knew not to build it until everyone was ready
-- The nine year old knew what ‘it’ was and what ‘it’ needed
--The nine year old knew how to prepare for it
-- The nine year old just did it.
Playing with kids can be just like playing with Nazgul, who knew?
Actually, folks who have played with the kids know. Kids are actually easier to coordinate than adults in a lot of ways. They are task oriented. They are very attentive (well, they need to be called by name… especially the Godlet). They are less inclined to insist on doing something just because it is how they do things. They are less inclined to ignore somebody because they don’t understand them. And they are very focused on and concerned about not upsetting fellow teammates.
Most importantly, they just like to play with friends and have fun.
VOD gave us the tech needed for Steam Power.
Cows 3 – others 1
The mazes from the VOD meant we researched Printing press at roughly the same time the other team researched Steam Power.
Cows 4 – others 1
I believe the Australian legion logged in at some point. Her maze bonuses from us coupled with VOD and subsequent maze moves meant we completed Gunpowder before the other team was even close to Printing Press.
Cows 5 – others 1
The other team began logging off for the night once we popped gunpowder.
Russians Like Planes Too
I logged in the morning of the battle to find a full house. In fact, we even had a new team member brought in by the Nazgul Hunter to fill the slot opened by someone (other than the Godlet) who finally meritocracied out of our maxed civ.
The tech path was still unclear. Russians like tanks but Cows don’t. The other team played our hand for us a bit. The race for techs meant we researched gunpowder, which is a very bad thing to do when attacking because it reduces your attack efficiency, while making it cheaper for the other side to research. But we did it.
We already talked about Leonardo having a thing for Snow ponies, but what if the other side builds it away? Not really a problem as I could build Leonardo 2 or 3 times myself, but still, wouldn’t tanks just be cheaper? Better yet, why not just lock Leonardo?
This made the decision easy. Flight locks Leonardo and you need tanks to get to flight. The folks online had enough for the tanks, and we spent the next 45 minutes doing 5K mazes for flight. It was a shame to see Flight go, because there were really good mazes there. We reached sufficient tech for flight 2 minutes before battle. We had made the correct choice because the other team had indeed stolen Leonardo a few minutes earlier. We stole it back and then locked it, just as the battle clock ticked down for the first shot.
Retaking Leonardo made me king. That meant I got to general the battle. The existing troops (mostly tanks and some riflemen) were roughly an even match for the opposing troops. I had hammers so I built 70 planes for their efficiency and 20 Catapults because I felt they could easily stay super heroic in the fog, and provide some stance flexibility. This gave us a nice opportunity to show off battle tactics, as we had superior force, but not 2:1 superiority.
The opposition was not blindly stance dancing, which made things interesting, as I would switch from trying to get a second shot on heroic troops to just taking a second shot whenever they conceded one, and not risking taking hits on my heroic troops.
Ursa Minor flew in his spare hammers and the hundreds of fighters easily gave us 2:1 odds and again changed the type of battle because we could now try for unlimited consecutive shots, if we worked momentum correctly. But that was getting challenging with planes flying in, weather changing and the opposition not adhering to a predictable stance pattern.
I don’t remember the details fully, but I seem to remember the opposition becoming more adventurous as trading 2 shots for 1 was not a viable long term strategy. I was doing the usual reverse stance dance to get set up for the second shot when the weather turned to snow on the first shot. Since half our strength was in snow planes and all of their strength was in fog, this massively altered the odds of the battle. Unfortunately, it now meant we needed to defend the weather or we wouldn’t even get a second shot because the loss in strength resulting from a reversion to fog would overwhelm the next round.
It turns out the Weather Goddess was trying to control the weather while weaving in and out of traffic. We agreed that she should leave the weather up to folks who weren’t currently traveling at 70 miles per hour.
The opposition clearly saw the opportunity as well. They had all of their troops on heroic. I set all of my troops to heroic. It was going to be bloody. With one second left to go, the weather changed to fog and immediately back to snow (clicky-clicky-clicky-click). A stack of heroic mobile troops evaporated, and the battle was over…
Or was it?
Much ado about nothing
The other side made a show about not conceding on global chat. They popped a call to arms which killed some troops, but not the tanks and planes that were winning the battle. They continued to field fodder. We had to explain to some members on our chat that this was not a stupid thing to do as it delays the battle clock and eats into Ursa Minor’s battle bonus. In fact, we would have done the same thing to Monqi if all our players were online. Instead I had to withstand 30 minutes of damage to fortified troops I could not refield to buy time for us to do mazes and spend civbucks.
It was nice to have the other side chatting. At one point they threatened to pull a rabbit out of the hat and I countered by threatening to pull a bear out of the hat.
This raises another code of conduct question… yep, I went there.
Telling us they were retreating but not conceding was either an honorable warning not to make the same mistake we made against Monqi, or a weak attempt at lying. The same action has different ethical ramifications depending on why they made the statements.
I think they knew they had no chance if we made no mistakes, but were waiting and watching on the off chance that we did. They built one CTA, but didn’t bother cycling more because it was relatively unimportant. Their biggest hope was to achieve a massive battle bonus while we let ours lapse. Their big battle bonus never panned out. Mine actually went up, and ursa minor’s… well, he was slumming it in the 200’s and easily reinstated it with 5 minutes left to go in the battle.
An alternative was also true I believe. They wanted me to pull a bear out of the hat. Other members of team Fenris had a battle waging against Ursa Minor in a different game. They wanted to pull his attention into our game, to weaken him in the other game. I really like this strategy. Everybody knows to attack enemies when they are already getting attacked in the game. How many folks spend time coordinating attacks across games? Anybody think the developers envisioned that kind of tactic? Does anybody think coordinating attacks with your own account in different games is a form of multi-accounting?
None of that bothers me. If they never meant to put up a fight; If they didn’t try to get a 500 minigame bonus; if they really were just calling my mother a hamster and accusing my father of smelling of elderberry, well then that is just lying. We think we saw at least one Norwegian trying to cycle mini-maps, so we don’t think it was a lie, but it is a good example of how ‘intent’ not ‘action’, distinguishes between honorable and dishonorable behavior.
It’s the little things in life that matter
Once the battle ended, the game was essentially over. We had proven two adults and two kids could out tech the other team. We now had the Weather Goddess coming back and a new Vl’Hurg teammate. In fact, I am sure the Godlet could even have been coerced into doing a maze or two if needed. By now, we were solidly 4 techs ahead, and critically, had single tech paths to era techs the other team needed 2 or more for.
Adult battles wreak havoc on the kid accounts because of all the tech researches and wonder construction that take place as well as the battle medal demotions. This problem is now compounded because team players are used to exploiting battle victories to slingshot ahead.
Playing with the Cows is not about winning. It is not about getting the kids a win. It is about playing WITH the kids. I could play their accounts when they are asleep to promote them, but it is not about that. Until this game, the Weather Goddess didn’t even know the Godlet’s password. She had to learn it to prevent him from being meritocracied a SECOND time because he began two-timing us with a new facebook game involving cars.
There were also other factors making this a stressful time and I just couldn’t coordinate it all.
So I pulled a Strider.
This was the second Strider I pulled this game so I had one hour diplomacy. The kids all promoted up, and everyone else stopped focusing on the game. What with all the threats to quit the game that week, folks were sensitive about someone quitting their civ. I explained about the meritocracy and the need to watch Joachim Noah break his ankle, and that the kids were going to need their teammates to work with them until I got back.
I still got a lot of ‘Daddy should I?’ questions but I told them to ask the folks on chat and I think that helped remind folks that the kids were there. All of the kids are well behaved. They do not interrupt when adults are talking. They need to be drawn out. There were no horse stories this game, no coming home to the kids cracking up because Sam was joking around with them. No waking up to the kids asking me about former US colonies. Part of that is because spring is different than fall, but part is because the kids have gotten too good at recruiting. The Cows now win first, and chat second.
It is fun, just not as fun.
Last edited by ShuShu62; 05-24-2012 at 02:34 PM.
The Fenris team started going grey after 36 hours. There was no longer any competition and conversation turned to Mona Lisas. Hollywood is the key to all Mona Lisa victories. You need the double fame but there are multiple paths to Hollywood. These are the basic ways I have seen Mona Lisas acquired.
1) Thoroughly trounce everyone in the game from day 1.
2) Play a Mona Lisa Strategy.
3) Play a farm game
4) Play a Mona Lisa Game
The recent guild game was the first type. You start the game without any intent of winning a Mona Lisa, just winning the game. But your efforts are so successful that when the dust settles, members of the winning team have over 1000 fame. You don’t plan for this, you just play well and it happens. The biggest threat to this type of victory is battles. All the other eras track well with tech pace unless you are facing a gold guild. But battles can result in anywhere from 0 to Many eras handed out per day. The guild game resulted in Mona Lisas because the dominant team only allowed one day’s worth of era battles to occur. We were in our current position because only the 5 size civ battles generated eras.
The second type is typified by a small team operating on a strategy like the one the Professor outlined. Beeline to Hollywood and then claim all eras. This strategy will intentionally burn tech eras, to enable other eras to be won after Hollywood is built. The small civ will consist of defensive troops and will use those troops to defend any large civ being attacked by a non-era civ. This strategy is all about deferring eras until fame is doubled.
Mona Lisa is generally a secondary benefit derived from a farm game, not the primary objective. You win Mona Lisa games because you are alone or almost alone. Yes you win most of the eras, but you get much of your farm by winning contests. The professor recently commented that he was in an inactive farm game that has earned him 90 civbucks since he quit playing. That was 90 fame also. Imagine how much that was cranking out when he was actively working the clocks. The game we were playing was averaging me 4 civbucks a day and that was just from most productive xxx competitions.
The last type is the prevalent type in this era of guild on guild games. One guild rallies all the members to win Mona Lisas for teammates who do not have them yet. The strategy is to leverage the full power of a coordinated guild against fragmented pieces of other guilds. Additional players are called in for additional firepower is needed. If a group of Nazgul is in the game… you negotiate with them and enlist them in the effort. Ultimately, this type of Mona Lisa game is determined before it even begins because you keep adding accounts to the game until you have what is needed to overwhelm everyone else. Most of the game is spent feeding the players you are helping resources so that they can win all the medals and eras.
This raises yet another code of conduct question…
uhuh… I am going there again.
Are Mona Lisa Games Multi-Account games?
My answer is yes.
Of course, consensus is that I am a fool for saying so.
Consensus in the tavern also believes that logical fallacies are themselves fallacies, and that Aristotle was dumber than a high school student. Since those were the same type of folks who made him drink the hemlock way back when, I have opted to stay clear of tavern consensus from now on.
If you believe a multi-account is any account that violates Facebook Terms of Service, just understand that you have friends and teammates who are multi-accounters. If you believe as long as any behavior tied to a single person is good clean fun, I bet I can use that good clean fun to piss you off pretty quickly.
The argument over the meaning of a Multi-Account is rife with slippery slope fallacies. The truth is that there has never been a great deal of consensus around where good clean competition ends and unfair abuse of game mechanics begins. There is general acceptance that a person who plays without preset teammates, without skins, without civbucks and without wall spam is a single account because he has no inputs into the output of the game beyond the skills he brings with him. It gets fuzzy immediately after that.
There was a time, when you could find a large number of vocal players insisting that any other style of play was ‘Multi-Accounting’ or gaining an unfair advantage. Skins and Civbucks leveraged things your account won in prior games, and thus did not belong in the game your account was currently playing. Wall spam not only leverages what your account did in a different game, but also only worked if another account assisted you and was thus ‘Multi-Accounting’. Teammates, or guild play, involved players who were not trying to win the game themselves, but opted instead to play for a concept that does not exist outside of guild games… a team win.
The tavern has long forgotten that these were all mainstream objections to the way folks in the tavern like to play the game. Search the forum for threads by Churd if you want a strong steady voice other than mine on this. Click the civbucks link in my suggested threads if you need to be reminded that many folks consider folks spending civbucks (won or purchased) to be satan’s spawn. Click the ‘Are Guilds bad to Civworld’ if you need to be reminded that not everybody thinks watching an endless stream of new players joining a game to snatch victory from defeat is really, really fun to play against.
The truth is, acceptable behavior from the tavern perspective, is only acceptable now, because everyone else quit because of that behavior. I am not blaming tavern players for the demise of the game, I think tavern players are the only reason the game still exists.
I find it ironic to see tavern folks getting sanctimonious over ethical game play however.
1) There is consensus that spawning 20 clone accounts, logging them in and playing them is cheating.
2) There is consensus that spawning 20 clone accounts, logging them in, transferring all of their resources and then quitting the game is still cheating.
3) I even agree that spawning 1 clone account, logging it in, transferring all resources and then quitting the game is cheating.
4) I would even go so far as to say that asking a friend to join the game, transferring all resources, and then quitting the game is cheating.
Pardon me? Did someone say something?
I realize some of you might be thinking ‘duh, what’s your point?’.
Let’s run the conversation from the other side of the slippery slope.
1) Selling a teammate all of my beakers expecting to get twice as much back after Confucious doubles them is just good business. (we even did it for non-teammates to keep them out of the auction… cartels baby)
2) Selling a teammate all of my beakers expecting them to get twice the bang I would get after Confucious doubles them is still good business.
3) Selling a teammate all of my beakers because I am logging off and we need the science minister to be flexible is still good business
4) Selling a teammate all of my resources because I am logging off and never returning because a family issue requires my time is just doing my best not to abandon my teammates… right?
Hmmmm… step 4 looks a lot like cheating… oh wait.
5) My friend invited me to join a game because I hadn’t logged in for a while; I shortly ended up having to leave the game and so transferred my resources.
In both cases, I was invited, I transferred resources, I left. Many of you feel that both actions are the same and so the ethics are the same. Many of you feel that the intents were completely different, so the ethics are completely different. People in the second camp can understand why the folks in the first camp feel the way they do, but disagree. People in the first camp just think the folks in the second camp are just stupid.
American politics was summarized to me as ‘Liberals think conservatives are ignorant, Conservatives think liberals are dumb’
It is not limited to American politics.
The Mona Lisa Slide
The other stuff was easy. This part is hard. I do not know why I am uncomfortable with blindly transferring resources to folks, even my kids, just so they can get Mona Lisa’s. I do know that it ultimately slides back to the classic subservient account serving a master account model that is almost universally frowned on. But I am not sure where it changes from friends helping friends to crimes against humanity.
Whatever the reasons, folks agreed to let the kids play it out, rather than push their accounts over the top by selling them everything from everyone. I had to twist Nazgul Hunter’s arm a few times, but it all worked out in the end.
It actually turned out quite nicely. The team Chaos wing needed to come up with creative solutions to help. In classic Treebeard style…
they attacked us.
It was a great idea. Team chaos had to race to complete the techs they wanted to give us before the clock ran out, and the kids got to field troops and win a battle medal… without having to worry about Monqi.
Heck, we even got to tease Ursa Minor about stealing candy from babies when he took the Weather Godlet’s promotion in the second battle. (We forgot to translate the memo into Russian).
The final day of the game was Mother’s day. The Weather Goddess leveraged mother’s day to shame the Godlet into playing his own darn account. We leveraged his presence to run off 6 straight eras, all with him as king and all requiring him to place the last great person. He is the player who pushed all three kids over 1000 fame.
That left us with one era to go. The Godlet returned to his new love and I was kind of hoping to keep the game alive long enough to farm a Cows of Dooom sponsored guild game out of it. But it was not to be. The Chaos wing was determined to end it. They drove the markets up, and my teammates drove them right back down again, winning the final era with gold…
…3 Minutes before I would have won another civbucks contest.