Do you need help in multiplayer 1v1?

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The Black Sword
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Joined: October 13th, 2008, 4:35 pm

Re: Do you need help in multiplayer 1v1?

Post by The Black Sword »

When I get some time that isn't set aside for PYRAMID, I'll try to look at that Cynsaun game.

In the meantime, here's what was going through my head while I played the first PYRAMID final game with Mint.
Replay to be found here.
Pregame: I chose the Rogue leader because we were playing Arcanclave. Leaders can get involved in this map but given its size they don't have a huge impact with their fighting role. However keep swapping is a constant threat for the opponent and with 6mp and skirmisher, Rogue is the best at this.

Given starting ToD was dusk, I expected the first real attacks to come through during the next night. Realistically, first day rushes should be easy to defend against, there isn't enough time to prepare properly. With that in mind I decided to make my recruit chaotic heavy so I would strike at the first real chance available. After thinking about what sort of trick unit I wanted I decided to try out woses. I was P1 so I could hide them well and there seemed to be some good spots in the centre, I've never seen an ambush with 2 woses before so I didn't think he'd expect that. This went well with my chaotic recruit, which would be weak during the day, hopefully luring Mint's units closer to the hidden woses.
As for the rest of the recruits; I wanted a lvl 0 since they can be quite useful on this map, especially if you manage to take your opponents keep, also putting cheap pressure on the many pathways here, so I went with the goblin. Grunt and Adept are standard chaotic units. To fill out I went with bat for scout, mainly so I would have the gold to fit in the saurian skirmisher and thief to add extra power to my night-time assault. I was missing a good lawful unit to sit on vills during the day but I prefer playing offensively and anyway, grunts do well on vills.

On to the game:

Turn 2: The two woses are recruited in the centre, leaving me with very little gold to collect all my 13 vills. I go with my cheapest units; grunts, bats and goblins to collect them all as fast as possible. I also want to get as many units on the field as possible so Mint doesn't start wondering where the rest of my gold is. Technically the bats weren't entirely necessary but I've been bitten before playing this map with no scouts so I buy two scouts to get the back villages here as standard now.

Mint's turn seems pretty standard, though he evidently doesn't share my philosophy on the scouts. He gets lots of cheap units to grab all the villages efficiently.

Turn 3: Taking vills. Rogue goes to the centre, both to collect a vill and because I want the opportunity to back up the woses with my leader if I can. Eventually I aim to go north though to threaten the keep stealing.

Turn 4: I finish the vill collecting and move forward as much as possible to put pressure on Mint while staying out of attack range. Unfortunately he's made the unusual move of moving his fencer far forward in the centre, scuppering my plans for hiding the two woses on 25,25 and 27,24. Still I have 1 well positioned wose and hopefully I can attract his units into attacking my vills so I can use the other. On the plus side his lawful units make this reasonably likely. I buy another grunt to help out the drastically undermanned south.

Turn 5: Mint's scouts now appear on the sides and he's pushed his units up in the centre, but my second wose is still not in range. I just leave my grunts on the village and try to set up a counter that looks strong enough that Mint believes it but weak enough that he might attack. Impossible task really, he's not going to attack there without any real village busters, maybe my leader should have gone north straight away. The centre adept is good anyway though, with so many units already invested in the centre, that's where I'll have to attack, so I'll need at least two adepts to take out vill holders.

I try to set up good pillaging units with the bats in the north and south and the skirm, to keep the rest of his units occupied while I attack the centre.
Turn 6: His position in the centre didn't change much, still just in range of the one wose. With this being the last turn of day this is my last chance to spring the trap really and luckily the wose gets 2/2 on the spear and I manage to get a single kill out of all of these shenanigans!

The rest of my units push up to support and I buy my second adept in preparation for the night attack. I now outnumber him 7-4 in the centre but it's quite easy for him to reinforce there so the attack might not work too well. I have a good unit composition I think though.

The leader now certainly has no use in the centre so starts heading north, where my units are still positioning themselves for maximum pillaging pressure.

Meanwhile in the south, Mint made a pretty big mistake by leaving his village open to my bat. In fact I was half wondering if a wose was going to pop out and surprise the flappy down there, since I had only seen about 70g worth of units so far. That lake makes flyers very hard to deal with if you let them through. The two grunts sit on villages as his units come forward and I buy a goblin to sit on the back village which I know his wolf will threaten next turn. Unfortunately I forget the fact that he's slow; should have just bought a grunt. I'm slightly worried about him trying a keep steal down there, but hopefully I'll have time to spam units if he does and my bat should give me plenty of warning.

Turn 7: Need to recuit two units in the south to cover my back village to make up for that goblin mistake. I went for thief instead of the extra adept because he can get back to the front quicker, has simialr raw power vs the wolf and would use the xp well. Elsewhere everyone pushes themselves forward, either for attack or pillaging and the bat goes to hide in that lake I talked about, threatening another vill. He's bought an extra unit in the north making pillaging quite unlikely, but that's still ok with me, my 3 lvl 1s and 2 lvl 0s holding up 5 lvl 1s means my advantage in the centre is a bit better, he didn't recruit any more grunts there, or whatever other unit he has to deal with my woses.

Turn 8: Things start to get interesting. Mint has pushed forward in the north while still doing a pretty good job of keeping my pillaging in check. I didn't really like his grunt vs grunt action though, that guy was doing an ok job holding up 2 units of mine, now he got unlucky and is in trouble. Sending the bat and skirm forward here may have been a mistake by me, but skirm gives pretty good retal to anyone attacking him there. It puts him on the backfoot again and I'm confident of stealing at least 1 vill out of it.

I don't like Mint's defense of the centre. He left a lot of units on nice ground for me to get my full hits in on him and actually was pretty lucky I didn't do more damage and left my wose a bit vulneruble. No easy choices there but I think giving up 18,26 vill and leaving a tough grunt on 20,22 vill where the second adept can't reach would have been better.

In the south, my bat has managed to steal another village, keep his leader tied up, totally ruining any chance of keep steal and hold his wolf too. Good Flappy :).
Probably bad positioning of his fencer there too, allowing my grunt to hit him and he can't take any villages. I have to recruit another unit to push him out of the south though, leaving his 3 units holding back 3 of mine, stealing back my bat's tempo.

Turn 9: Mint traps my bat and damages my skirm in the north so that begins to look like a mistake. In hindsight I'd say it was. Fortunately my goblin can finish off his grunt there to make up for it while everyone else moves forward. I'm also getting increasingly confident that he has no real wose counter or I would have seen it already. So I recruit one in the north to push him back during the coming day and maybe give me the opportunity of this keep steal. At least the in trouble skirm and bat will keep his units in the back to help with that.
I'm not sure why Mint left his poacher free to finish in the centre but my wose is happy to do the job for him. Meanwhile I again get to do some good damage to units on flat terrain and protect my adepts fairly well. I'm not sure if there were any good options left at this point though, but surely sending the poacher back further to heal would have been better. I recruit another grunt in the centre there in case Mint gets any ideas of stealing my villages and to reinforce eventually.

Flappy flies away in the south while Mint has to recruit yet another unit back there to retake the village. I also get super lucky with a 2/2 from my grunt on his fencer. At this stage Mint needs some luck to get back into the game I think, but it's not happening for him. It was a very low risk move for me in any case though. My grunt is probably going to have to go heal up during day anyway, the longer I could make his fencer do so the better. For the same reason my grunt hits his spear as he runs away in the south.

Turn 10: Mint allows my bat to escape in the north when he could have trapped it, allowing my wose to commence operation Saving Private Flappy.

His counterpart in the south, who has been upgraded to sargeant, stays out of range of the two wolves but in range of the vills over the lake.

Mint also leaves the 15,12 vill open to my goblin which he didn't need to do IIRC. My saur bites the bullet and steals the back village. Even if he dies, he'll get some gold and draw units back there allowing flappy to escape and maybe even a keep steal.

Centre has finally pretty much fallen apart, Mint loses a grunt, fencer and a village

Moving my grunt forward in the south was pretty stupid, he should have just went back and healed. I just wanted to keep the pressure on him though. It doesn't matter much anyway, the position is pretty much lost by this stage and Mint surrenders slightly after.

I think the victory came from a better recruit list and a number of small mistakes which built up from Mint. He didn't really have an answer for the woses at day, while night was my power phase. So he would probably have been better off trying a Grunt/DA mirror than the mix he went for here.
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Re: Do you need help in multiplayer 1v1?

Post by UnwiseOwl »

Whoa. It's great to get inside your head and see what you were thinking at the critical junctures.
Keep it us, TBS, this is gold.
Maintainer of the Imperial Era and the campaigns Dreams of Urduk, Epic of Vaniyera, Up from Slavery, Fall of Silvium, Alfhelm the Wise and Gali's Contract.
But perhaps 'maintainer' is too strong a word.
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Re: Do you need help in multiplayer 1v1?

Post by Horus2 »

This is a beautiful piece of article, thank you for presenting your thoughts to us. :)
I watched the replay... wish i could add anything, but i can't. I like how both your leaders were expecting a sideswitch, standard thing or not, although your picks and playstyle were indeed better, thus earning your victory. The Wose and Vampire Bat were very clever choice, but i felt you indubitably had too much force on mid to lure troops deep enough, especially with the presence of the Rogue - it was an overkill.

Keep your good shape till the next match. :D
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Joined: October 15th, 2009, 9:52 pm

Re: Do you need help in multiplayer 1v1?

Post by Huumy »

Sry I've been busy this week. At monday (tomorrow) it's time to look at the replay The Black Sword send :)
"And the girl that you want is directly out in front, And she’s waving her caboose at you, You sneeze achoo, She calls you out and boom!"
The offspring, trolling you since forever.
The Black Sword
Posts: 373
Joined: October 13th, 2008, 4:35 pm

Re: Do you need help in multiplayer 1v1?

Post by The Black Sword »

These things take a lot longer to do than I thought! I had to rush this a bit, and run off now, but here's my thoughts on the PYRA final final game.
Pregame: Another big map, Crescent Lake, this one with even less possibilities to use your leader for fighting, since you need at least 2 moves to defend your villages, meanwhile the gold from your 11 vills is doing nothing. So I decided to go with the saurian oracle as leader, who I've gotten quite fond of over the tournament. He's 6MP and while he can't get involved much in the fighting you can move him out 1 turn from the keep, save some healing turns and move straight back. That's the theory anyway, in practice I never seem to fight close enough to my keep to use him!

Turn 1: Starting ToD was morning which meant the first proper attack would be the next day, so I decided to go for a primarily day force. In addition I wanted an ulf who's always handy and with the last 12g left I went with grunt for some night abilities. I wasn't too happy with my day units tbh. I remembered playing this map before as p2 and with such low starting gold I was cav rushed and had a very difficult time coming back. So I tried something similar this time with cavs myself, then I needed pierce, in the form of a bowman, some element damage from the burner and fencer is always handy. I was trying to fit in something like drake fighter here, but I couldn't manage to find a combination I liked that also included ulf+cav.

Turn 2: I realised again how little gold I had and I began to think I wouln't have the units for a proper first day attack. In particular, I just didn't have the gold to get the number of cavs I wanted to and still claim my vills. In the end I went for cheap units to maximise vill grabbing while still timed such that I can reach his vills for day.

Turn 3: Now recruiting on the right side, I decided I wouldn't be able to hit his vills properly at day here. Instead I'd try units like cavs and fencers so I can at least put pressure on his villages and force him to use a similar no. of units to defend. Other units are too slow and don't take damage well.

Turn 4: Grab vills, speed forward, buy another annoying fencer for the left. In hindsight, perhaps double fencer then cav would have been a better recruit order there, so everything reachs at the same time. I can't quite remember why I went cav first, probably to scout what he has, which is important too, especillay in PYRA.

Turn 5: Cavs scout up both sides. I find grunt and bat on the right. Chaotic, fairly weak units, maybe the day attack stands a chance after all. Cav positions himself to keep pressure on 33,10 village. His allies try to catch up in time. Left side isn't so nice. An assassin to poison my fencers and a Drake fighter I won't be able to shift. At least there's another bat though. On the one hand bat's can put a lot of pressure on your opponent quite cheaply but in this case, P2 is very rushable here and needs as many good units in place early to defend, I'm not sure the bats were the best choice of scouts.
As was pointed out afterwards Drake Fighters work well against all my units so perhaps I should have been more scared. But grunts and ulfs at night and bowman at day do reasonably well against them, so I was happy enough that if I could keep the fight on my terms, he couldn't just spam them and win. In any case, nothing to do on the left but move forward and hope opportunity presents itself. I actually didn't take one of my back villages with the fencer recruited last turn so he could reach the front for day at the same time as the others. It can be retaken by a slower unit next turn. I start buying grunts since at this stage, it'll be night by the time my recruits do something.

Turn 6: Mint was kind enough to leave the 33,10 village for my cav. I was half afraid of some kind of trap here, but the cav had fairly good sight and I didn't think he would have the gold for it. Everything else moves up and gets ready to hit the grunt on the vill next turn. 4 units should be good enough, it all depends on the counter attackers he has in range.

Another drake fighter appears on the left but I can threaten four villages with my 3 units, so I should be able to get something. Only his assassin can do much damage to me, so I tried to make sure he has to move to flat to poison me and that my fencers can support the cav. I continue to go with grunts to try follow up this pillaging with a night attack on his drake fighters.

Looking at Mint's next turn. He poisons and traps my cav and covers his vills as expected but he leaves his assassin open to both fencers which was a mistake. He also sends both of his lawful units recruited last turn to reinforce the left. If either of those had stayed right I probably wouldn't have attacked his grunt here. On the other hand I didn't get lucky attacking the grunt. You should probably expect me to use 4 units to kill him and in exchange his merman steals my village. I'll keep an eye on those two the next few turns to see how important they are on the left. He's losing some ToD though, he has to buy more lawfuls on the left, and none of the 4 are too useful this turn(day) and he has no chaotics to defend left vs grunt rush coming. Sending one to each side and buying a grunt for left, bowman for right I think I prefer.

Turn 7: In anycase I attack the grunt on the right. I can attack him with little fear of retal, I can't quite remember the plan, probably to attack with 3 units and see what he looks like. I need to be careful of the pillaging merman, but my leader will probably be switching back over now to this side and I might be able to recruit units(ulf?) to clear him from the vill, using my retreating units to trap him. That's very risky though. On the left we'll finish the assassin with our 3 units and threaten four villages with the 2 fencers also. Probably we'll have to trade the injured cav for the assassin though, if he kills the cav he can't possibly defend all his vills.

Fortunately for me, quite a lucky turn. The 2 fencers manage to kill the assassin so the cav goes to steal a vill. He'll probably still die and the village will be retaken by the bat though, so only an extra 3g. Right is more important though, the 3 units manage to kill the grunt, so I don't have to make any hard decisions and I block the fish from stealing my vill. I complete my night attack component on the left with another grunt and an ulf.

Turn 8: Stuff went as expected in Mint's turn. I steal a vill with 1 fencer and but the other on 70% def where he can threaten a lot of vills. Meanwhile the night force moves up. One grunt spots Mint's fencer threatening my vill, so slows down a bit to hold it. Unfortunately I missed that he was quick and hence could reach the 26,26 village on my right. I should have sent my Leader over there and I could have defended that easily, instead of buying an extra bow for the left, now planning for lawful units.

On the right I move a fencer to block the fish and can hold 24,21 next turn vs his pillaging fencer, not realising he can reach the other vill too. Meanwhile he only had his bat to cover his grunt village with and all of his counter attackers are ranged. So I kill the bat with two bowman, who he will take a lot of retal from if he attacks and take the vill with the cav, who's only vulneruble from two slots. He would need 5/6 with the bowmen to kill which is pretty unlikely, and the cav can heal and run away quickly if he's injured. At this stage I have a bit of a kill advantage, 2 vills held and a night attack coming in on the left which should be very difficult to handy. It's already looking very good for me.

Turn 9: He could have trapped one of my bowman on the right. It wouldn't be so bad since he could sit on the village and cover everyone else's retreat though(In fact I did this anyway, rather than let poison kill him as I retreated, maybe trap one guy and poison a different one?). On the left he killed one of my fencers and put the xp in a nice drake. Attacking my grunt with the other drake was a bad idea I think though. I can trap him this turn and make a sandwich of him next turn at night.

Fairly standard turn for me this time then. Fencer takes the vill on the left to maximise threat to other village this turn. I retreat everything else on the right in the face of newly recruited grunts and get surprised by his fencer threatening my village. So my leader buys 3 more bowman(probably close to exactly 39g) to continue the momentum of my left attack into day and then runs over right where reinforcements are badly needed, tbh, it was a bad idea to delay so long I think. Better to shore up the right than overkill the left.

I need to be careful to put off his levelling drake as long as possible. I think my income advantage should win it for me now, but if he levels at the right time he could stop that.

Turn 10: The drakes don't have any safe villages to heal on the right and I think retreating the injured guy might have been better. I have enough units over there to quite possibly kill both exposed drakes and take both exposed vills. I plan to ulf one the drakes but the ctk wasn't high enough for me so I soften him up with a grunt first. In the end I get two drakes, 1 vill, and can take the other next turn. I definetly thing he should have retreated those drakes. He's losing the villages anyway, better to hold on to his units. I buy an ulf on the right, as the only unit who can reliably dispacth the pesky fencer.

Turn 11: Ulf gets unlucky on the right and dies to the fencer unfortunately, but my cav manages to finish him so he can't heal. Maybe I should have went with the cav first, but the ctk was already reasonable I think and I didn't think 1 possible hit beforehand from the cav would have improved it much. I had positioned the cav last turn to retake the vill after the ulf killed him I think, so I was hoping to save 6g. Damn that fencer has cost me a lot of money!

That does give me an idea though … my fencer moves to pull the exact same trick on him, moving across the north bridge to pillage his undefended right.

I probably should have retreated the bowman from the right village, was hoping for ¼ from the grunts but no such luck, he gets 2/2 from the first guy and probably should have tried to finish with the second grunt instead of going for the fencer I think. Instead my bowma just manages to survive his assassin and bowman. I recruit a bowman in the hopes of being able to push his units back at day.

It's mostly consolidation and healing in the north, though I leave a grunt a bit open. To attack him however he'd have to take a lot of retal and leave a village open for me, so I thought it worth it. I possibly should have covered the ulf behind him better from the bat though. I was expecting him to use the bat to soften up the grunt so that he could be sure his drake would level instead of chancing the 50/50. Bat for injured ulf isn't so bad though.

Turn 12: Take the villages open to me, up to 15/22 now, finish that bat, cover my bows and recruit more lawful unts for the left, though they're looking a bit late now.

At this stage however Mint fails to kill my villaged grunt and rolls the dice on a very risky lvling opportunity for his drake. When this fails and I begin clearing up next turn he surrenders.

Essentially: my initial rush was very important here, maybe P2 has to time ToD right to defend it properly. After looking over there might have been some things he could have done differently, I'm not sure how much it would have changed though.
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