Guide to ANL (A New Land)

Share and discuss strategies for playing the game, and get help and tips from other players.

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Re: Guide to ANL (A New Land)

Post by gavenkoa » August 26th, 2015, 8:58 pm

My strategy for v1.12:

Code: Select all

1st turn:  1 Mage for killing Giant Spider and liberation of LVL2 units, 1 Peasant to start build economy
2nd turn: 1 Peasant for better economy
I built only villages, and didn't do any research.
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Re: Guide to ANL (A New Land)

Post by Argothair » December 17th, 2016, 7:19 pm

After many years, I've been going back to A New Land for some more fun, and I'm having trouble with the moat strategy. I've beaten the scenario without cheating by holing up in the two mushroom caves to the east/west, and another time by rushing one of the enemy castles, but I've never been able to get past turn 15 or so while building a moat. I really like the game; it's very clever and well-thought-out and exciting, but I am confused about how some parts of it are supposed to work, and that's what I'm complaining about here in this post.

Basicsally, I can't figure out how to establish a Zone of Control (ZOC) that will keep enemies on the outside of my moat before the enemies have already crossed over the moat and gotten inside my forests. Zombies and Goblins start showing up in my peripheral vision on turn 5, and they're usually crossing my moat around turn 7 -- pretty early; the scenario doesn't give you that much time to build up a defense.

Meanwhile, the earliest turn you can possibly put an Elven Fighter into position to guard your forests is on turn 8 -- you need turn 1 to recruit a Peasant, turn 2 to build a University, turns 3 through 6 for Diplomacy, turn 7 to recruit the Elves, and turn 8 to move the Elves into place. Even then, I usually can't afford more than a couple of Elves -- I need about 5 peasants per player to build the Moat (40 Gold), plus the expenses of laying about 4 Water tiles and 10 Forest tiles (26 Gold), plus a couple of Peasants to go kill the spiders and rescue the Lvl 2 units (16 Gold). With 100 Gold starting income plus an average of 3 Gold/turn income from Villages for seven turns, that leaves me with only 100 + 21 - 40 - 26 - 16 = 39 Gold: enough to buy 2 or 3 Fighters. Usually I can't afford to build an extra castle hex to recruit the third fighter on turn 8 anyway. So now, best-case scenario on turn 8, I have my leader, 2 Elven Fighters, my rescued Level 2 unit, and one peasant that got promoted to Spearman by killing a Spider: five units that can establish a ZOC. But there's at least 8 spots that need to be guarded, and the goblins/zombies will slip through whatever cracks I leave and sit in my forest hexes, where I then have to try to kill them at even odds -- very difficult to do without bringing units out of position and leaving *more* holes in the moat. Turn 9 isn't going to be much better, because at most I'm recruiting 1 more Elven Fighter.

Research isn't much better than Diplomacy -- you can get a Spearman into position to guard the forests on turn 7 (since your Leader can recruit the Spearman on the same turn that your Mage finishes researching) -- but then you have to spend 20 Gold on a Mage early on to do the research, slowing down your progress on the Peasants you need to build the moat, and the Mage/Spearmen aren't as good at defending as the Elvish Fighter would be.

Another problem I have is that it's really hard for me to get a return on my investments. Like, a Mine costs 25 Gold to build, plus an 8 Gold peasant to operate, and generates 6 Gold per turn -- which means that if you build a Mine on turn 2 (the earliest possible build), you won't break even on the cost until turn 8 (you spend 33 Gold on turn 2, and then gain 6 Gold each on turns 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 for a total of 36 Gold). You can make the mine more profitable by doing research, but research costs 7 Gold to build the University plus 20 Gold to build the Mage, and until you have more than 6 Mines (which is not even close to realistic with your 100 starting Gold), you're better off just building an extra mine instead...the research only gives you +1 Gold per Mine, so if you have 4 Mines, the research gives you +3 Gold / turn or maybe 4 Gold / turn, but an extra Mine would be worth +6 Gold/turn. So the research costs about 80% as much as a mine (27 Gold vs. 33 Gold) but pays about 50% or 60% as much -- so the research is even worse than the mine as an investment. Same thing with Villages -- they cost 15 Gold and pay off at 2 Gold/turn, for an 8-turn delay in when you break even. Farming is the "best" investment, because it costs you an 8 Gold Peasant and pays 1.5 Gold / turn, so you break even "only" 6 turns after you start Farming...but if you rely on Farming to power your economy, you'll run out of Grassland pretty quickly, and then you'll have to switch to a three-turn farming cycle (Make Grassland -> Plant Farm -> Harvest Crops), which pays only 1 Gold/turn on average, so then you break even 8 turns after you recruit a new farmer Peasant.

So basically there is no way to get investments to pay off before turn 8...but by turn 8, invaders are already coming deep into your territory and threatening to ruin your buildings. How do you solve that? Do you just have to play a perfect game with no mistakes, get pretty good luck in the battles, and exploit little one-off tricks like how you can have a Mage shoot at some zombies while doing research? Or is there some broader strategic point that I'm missing? I hear stories on this thread about how people recruited Dwarves and played with only 3 players and stuff like that, and I just have to wonder if I'm even playing the same game -- the game seems way too harsh and unforgiving to me to allow you do any of that kind of experimentation without getting crushed immediately.

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Re: Guide to ANL (A New Land)

Post by Velensk » December 17th, 2016, 9:12 pm

If you provide a replay then it'd be easier to give advice on it.

The basic form though, is that you shouldn't have difficulty establishing a baseline defense by turn 8. You may not have ZoC but if you have a wall with no holes in it, they won't be getting through anyway.
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Re: Guide to ANL (A New Land)

Post by vasya » February 26th, 2018, 4:33 am

What is the absolute record for this game? Turn at which you kill all enemy (AI) leaders? This can be earlier than turn 25..

My personal record is turn 17. No add-ons, no cheats. No reloads on battle loss, but I _did_ reload if I forget something in early turns (before battles). At turn 16, 3/4 enemy leaders were dead (the last one managed to stand 1 turn more). Auto-save for that win attached below (don't forget to enable "Show replay").

If you have invented any way to win _before_ turn 17, please let me know, I think it may be very interesting. Thx and hf!
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