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Topic Subject: The 2009 Singles Tournament News Station (TNS)
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posted 08-06-09 09:12 AM EDT (US)   
TNS will bring you all the news and updates regarding the 2009 PBEM Singles Tournament. Next to schedule and current standings, we will also bring you interviews, previews, and game analysis! Find everything you want to know right here!

** Tournament maps
** Tournament Rules, sign up, and questions
** Round 1 poll results
** Round 1 all match results
** Round 1 Final ranking

MAIN HEADLINES

Ladieeeees and gentlemen, welcome to Tournament News Station, your station for all news regarding the upcoming Tournament!

Feel free to send news to swolte at gmail.com, and our reporter may put it on. This may be interesting in game events. If you can take a screenshot of an interesting situation, that would be great!

THE SCHEDULE:
(Will be updated at least once a week)



Maps used for the first round:
Map1: Rocky Divide (by KillKenny)
Map2: Colors of Black and White (By Dreaming)
Map3: Mountain of the Gods (By LordDuck)

Second round (final 16)
- Blackheart and Goodfella's War (by King David)

Third round (final 8)
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Warfare (by Rheno)

Semi final (final 4)
- The Road to Hell (by Nyarlathotep)

Final (final 2)
- Too much water (by Timelord)


Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008

[This message has been edited by Swolte (edited 02-12-2010 @ 09:34 PM).]

Replies:
posted 09-27-09 11:39 PM EDT (US)     121 / 244  
Amazing, the second round will be hard-fought.
(If Flander's predictions are correct, right? or, are these the final pairs?).
I'll have to follow at least 5 games! It is good to see several consistent players of the PBEM community advancing to the second round.
Keep up the good work!

Use a password in your PBEM games, and contact the Game Password Keepers.
posted 09-27-09 11:39 PM EDT (US)     122 / 244  
*** Breaking news ***
Ladies and gentlemen, breaking news as Sapphoenix decided to surrender her forces to PawelS. Check out the story of this match here!


Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008
posted 09-28-09 01:46 AM EDT (US)     123 / 244  
My oh my! I'm so lost in my standing with Xalarun. Yikes! *cross-eyed*

Sapphoenix is losing every single PBEM (almost!), but loving it!
posted 09-28-09 10:43 AM EDT (US)     124 / 244  
Did you hear, did you hear, I got a raving review from Roger on my book. He said it was sheer poetry and you’d have to be a flounder to not love it. Oh this is good news indeed, and I’ve barely just finished the title page.

(that’s not what he said) *shakes head in disbelief* Whatever you say Master

With Pawel’s victory there are 64 combinations remaining. What are the some of the other player's chances now?

Players clinging to their last chance
Albinscott – 3 out of 64
Troy Locker - 1 out of 32 (if he loses to Charx)
Toth – 2 out of 32 (after winning his last game)

Poll Predictions based off the first 39 games completed
Best Picker percentage – JamesEde 83.3% (25 out of 30)
Best Picker most winners – Cranberry 31 out of 39 (79.5%)
Worst Staffers – Timelord and Enginerd with 27 and 28 respectively out of 39 (~70%)
Go for Broke Underdog Picker - Spiceant, voted for himself to win 3 games and then lost all 3
Better than a Coin Toss Picker – Charx and Torso with 22 and 23 out of 32 (~66%)
Average Pollster – 75% accuracy (what’s up with those two staffers bringing the average down )

[This message has been edited by Enginerd (edited 09-28-2009 @ 10:46 AM).]

posted 09-28-09 03:15 PM EDT (US)     125 / 244  
Is it all TNS for today? I'm disappointed...

A proud member of the Unofficial Patch team.
Creator of the AoW1 Mod.
posted 09-28-09 07:15 PM EDT (US)     126 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS, your newstation for everything related to the PBEM Tournament! Apologies for the late broadcast, we have some big news we wanted to have confirmed. Swolte will announce the three judges who will be determining the remaining games, and obviously, discuss tournament progress.

Swolte, welcome to the show!
Thank you. Yes, concerning progress we are entering the final stages of the first round before we continue into the second. There are six games left in the running. I have listed them here:

Pending games - seemingly decided
- Game11 Rocky (Charx-TroyLocker)
- Game45 Mountain (Luke811-JamesEde)

Pending games - judges' decision
- Game37 Mountain (Black_D1-ZombieEater)
- Game7 Rocky (Toth-Black_D1)
- Game5 Rocky (Morgul666-Orangeknite1)
- Game35 Mountain (Orangeknite1-Smuki)

Now, two of these games seem pretty much decided if some of the logs are correct, so it won't be hard to have these games end. In fact, I may just ask players to decide for themselves if they think the situation is already a done deal. This will save the judges some time to open up and study the...

Hold on... I am getting some news. *beep*beep* It seems, ladies and gentlemen, that the match between Troy and Charx has been decided already!!

However... *beep*beep* Troy's comments are somewhat ambiguous, though. I take that back but we will keep you updated!

Apologies, Swolte, please continue.
Oh, that is good news then. The media here is truly on the ball! That was a game to watch between two good players for me personally and I would have hated to see that match end in a judges' decision.

The next bracket has games which may be tough calls. The game between Black_D1 and ZombieEater, for example, is only at day 15, but should hopefully be enough to get an idea of playing style, strategy and success against indies. It is unfortunate that it seems both players haven't even battled each other by then, which is not uncommon on the Mountain map. The game by Toth and Black_D1 is on a similar day, but at least there seems to be some offensive movement but both players haven't had any battles of significance. The game that worries me the most when it comes to deciding is that one between Morgul and Organknite1 which is on day 9 only! The match between Smuki and Orangeknite on the Mountain map is also going slow, and will be a tricky one to decide.

There have been some mild protests about 'killing' the games in this manner. What are your thoughts on that?
Well, I don't think it's harsh. I mean, from a practical point of view it is even inevitable. For example, we have seen that a game on the Mountain map can last 50 days to end. Now if players aren't even able to get to day 15 after 5 weeks of tournament, then should we wait another 2 months for them to end? Furthermore, the decision rules were made known before people signed up. I do understand it isn't the most ideal way of settling games, and it may cause some upsets. It's just that I don't see many alternatives. If there are better ideas, I'd be happy to hear suggestions!

Another reason to keep going is what I would call 'tournament momentum'. There are people who have been done their games for over 2 weeks now. Also, if there are periods where there is little happening, people lose interest. You know, get busy, holidays, or a life...
;-)
Morgul suggested to have players write their masterplans? What did you think of that?
I think that is a very good idea and easy to implement. So yes, players will be allowed a few sentences to elaborate on their strategy, just in case the judges are missing things.

Now, can we reveal the judges?
Yes, since, with the Swiss system, games can affect so many players we thought it best to choose people who are simply not partaking in the tournament.

Ok, ladies and gentlemen, the judges to decide remaining games are, in random order...

ROGERRABID!!

GREENMONSTER!!

FROMAGE67!!

Yes, so I am extremely pleased that Greenmonster, Rogerrabid, and Fromage67 were all willing to do help out, unconditionally *cough*cough*. Not only are these well respected people, but also very experienced players with a degree of insight into the games that far surpasses the average.

Their results will be mailed to Chowguy and myself. The intention is to keep the results of the judges unanimous and only report who won the game based on these three votes. These decisions will be final and once made there will be no appeal.

Ok, thank you for coming to the show! This was TNS for you today, ladies and gentlemen!


Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008
posted 09-29-09 10:00 AM EDT (US)     127 / 244  
Charx Wins over Troy, 5 games left, possile combinations for Round 1 ending = 32

Who gets to play Swolte in Round 2
Swolte (6) seeded 6th vs the someone seeded 11th – 6 Combinations out of 32 and his partner could be, James, ZE, Smuki, Naeco, Black_d1 depending on how all the tiebreaker and shuffling works out
Swolte (7) vs someone (10) – 14 just as messed up combinations as above
Swolte (8) vs Naeco (9) – 10 combinations
Swolte (9) vs Enginerd (8) – 2 out of 32 combinations

What about all those tiebreakers
Number of tiebreakers at 16-17 place = 7 out of 32 combinations
Winner of the tiebreakers:
Troylocker – 1
Black_D1 – 2
LordDuck – 4
Ways Morgul loses the tie breaker - 5
Ways that Lord Duck advances = 20 out of 32
Morgul advances (even with a loss to OK) = 26 out of 32
Mr Lifford advances = 31 out of 32
Number of tiebreaker possiblitilies eliminated with a JamesEde win over Luke = 5 elimanted, only 2 possible left
posted 09-29-09 10:44 AM EDT (US)     128 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS. We have breaking news as the match between Charx and Troy is finally official. As seemed to be the case before, Troy had to give way to Charx in this game. Charx advances to the second round and it looks Troy will have a year to get back into shape for the next tournament. Check out the match here!

On today's show, we will have an interview with one of the favourites for the title. He has already beaten Torso, Toth and Badborre!

Please welcome...

COSTA!!
Costa, please take a seat. Welcome to the show! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Costa When I "studied" at the university, two of my friends played this game all the time. Rorschach and Troy Locker...
I decided to give it a try, and was hooked right away.
In the start I played some singleplayer, but realized soon that I needed some more challenge. The solution was pbem. I can see my first pbem thread in the forum is dated beginning of 2002.
What do you like specifically about AoW?

Costa I like the turnbased playing. To have all the time I need to think of what is the best move. My brain is quite a slow worker...
If you had the power to change one thing in the game, what would it be? And why?

Costa I would definetely change the music. Maybe Billy Talent could be approppriate...
Have you ever cheated in a game?

Costa No, never in a pbem. It would take the fun away for me.
You seem more like a player. Have you ever considered making maps, or even mods?

Costa I am definetely only a player. I have opened the editor to try once, but gave up after 15 minutes.... It takes too much time, and I don't think I would be good at it either. I am very impressed of all the detailed and good maps out there.
What are some of your favourite maps, and why?

Costa Gotta say Creek of Aberil and Dannys Sock. Balanced, small and fun 1on1 maps.
Concerning the tournament, how did you manage to get into the second rounds?

Costa Well I feel kinda lucky that I have three wins. My playing has been quite average so far, but I am sharping up and are doing some more preparation for the second rounds. I allways check the editor to decide for a strategy. Then I play the first turns until I find the start I feel is the best.
Are you looking forward to your matches in the second round?

Costa I am really looking forward to the Blackheart and Goodfellas match. At the moment I don't really know which starting position I prefer. I have no preferences in players to meet. I hope Troy will go further though.
Ok, good luck in future matches and thank you for this interview! Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS for you today!


Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008
posted 09-30-09 07:28 AM EDT (US)     129 / 244  
sorry to post here..
but i don't really understand all this.
I don't understand the points and such.. :/
don't even know if I go to the 2nd round with just one win..

What tastes like chicken? Precious ? Yes !
Chicken does, but so does turkey. It means they are all
against us, how else would explain such an inconsistency ?

You ,you're against me, at least I know that.

The universe smiles wicked, hungry smile at us, but through bars, mind you.
posted 09-30-09 09:41 AM EDT (US)     130 / 244  
Master, Master, I think the Round 1 of the tourney is ending?

It matters not, I could have told you who would advance weeks ago, wait, I thought I did tell you weeks ago.

Master, your predictions changed every week.

( But of course, gotta keep my fans guessing and interested. I couldn’t REALLY tell them how it would all end up.

Master, but this time Round 1 really is ending, and there are 5 games left running, well, maybe only 4 as James is about to declare victory over Luke in their match and that will eliminate Luke from round 2. What’s going to happen to the other four games?

Don’t you remember what my good servant Swolte said. There is a panel of three respected wizards that will evaluate the final games and they will decide the winners of the game. I don’t know why they didn’t ask me, Flander, the Great Wizard, author of a best selling book.

*whisper* maybe they were afraid you’d say, “Yes” *whisper* Master, how would you have time for that, you must finish your book (that was a close one, I don't think he heard me)

Quite right, quite right my dear boy. But this is interesting, 4 games remaining to be decided, two on the Mountain of the Gods map and two on the Rocky Mountain map. Interesting… very interesting. Let’s see…. The average length of time to finish the Mountain of the Gods game was 24 turns, and the two games left are just about at turn 15, so still a little early. Let’s see…. Yes, yes…. Of the 15 games there were two disqualifications, leaving 13 games and with James winning that will give 7 victories for Ne’Khan and 4 for A’Shir. Well, this is easy. Orangeknite and Black_d1 will both win since they’re playing A’Shir, that will give us 7 matches for Ne’Khan and 6 for A’Shir. Perfect, no need to see the turns. Those other three wizards will certainly take their time and study the positions and listen to the comments from the players and make some kind of decision but it will not matter in the end, you will see.

*shakes head in disbelief* (Here he goes again) Master, (no… don’t do it….don’t ask the next question) What about the other games? (I told you not to ask…. Now you asked for it)

Oh, yes, yes.. the other two games on the Rocky Mountain map. Well… you see… this game has taken about the same amount of time, about 25 turns (except for that marathon match of Cranberry’s) yes, 25 turns and the two games remaining are once again on about turn 15. So still a little early but it seems that at about this time in the match the momentum has already shifted and is leaning towards one player.

Master, so who will win?

Well, obviously Black_D1 and Orangeknite will win. You see, Lord Ember has already won 7 of the 15 matches and Lord Drake has only won 5, so with two more victories to Lord Drake that will even it up at 7 apiece, and then the one disqualification makes 15 games. See, makes perfect sense.

Wasn’t there another late disqualifications so there are only 13 games?

Details, details, it will be as I say.

Master, so how will the wizards doing the judging know what they’re supposed to do.

Don’t tell me you forgot to remind Swolte about it. I can’t do everything… well... maybe I could… yes… I think I can do everything and anything…. I am a best selling author, or will be… yes… I think I’ll go have a little chat my tourney lackey… My tourney has been going so well lately… I must remind my servants what they need to do… yes… yes… I could use a break from my book anyways, it was soooo hard coming up with a title and now I have to start on Chapter 1, I’m so worn out. *Flander wanders off*

*shakes head in disbelief* This book thing has gone to his head, now he thinks everyone is his servant. I guess I better follow him to make sure he doesn’t get distracted again, or blows himself up. Well, at least round 1 will end soon. I sure hope those final players can get in another turn or two before Swolte pulls the plug on them. They better hurry up though, it could happen at any moment.
posted 10-01-09 01:11 PM EDT (US)     131 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS! As of today, October the 1st, ongoing games in the first round are frozen and players have been requested to send their turns, passwords, and masterplans (when applicable) for evaluation by our judges.

For those who haven't checked it out, please take a look at the analysis by Charx from his game with Troy here!

There is breaking news as the game between Orangknite and Smuki has already been decided as Orangeknite deemed his position worthy of surrender. Please find the game here! Congratulations to SMUKI with his victory!

Swolte is very busy so could not make it to the show in person at this moment. He did let me know that the following games have already been sent to the judges for evaluation:
- Game45 Mountain (Luke811-JamesEde)
- Game5 Rocky (Morgul666-Orangeknite1)

The following games will follow, shortly:
- Game37 Mountain (Black_D1-ZombieEater)
- Game7 Rocky (Toth-Black_D1)

TNS will keep you updated on tournament developments. Keep tuning in later today or tomorrow!


Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008
posted 10-02-09 05:09 PM EDT (US)     132 / 244  
(Waiting impatiently for today's show...)

A proud member of the Unofficial Patch team.
Creator of the AoW1 Mod.
posted 10-02-09 09:32 PM EDT (US)     133 / 244  
Hmmmmm let's see....

Chance of Pawel playing Enginerd in round 2.... 50%


posted 10-03-09 12:26 PM EDT (US)     134 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS! We have breaking news as the last games on the tournament have been decided!

The judges have handed in their results, and outcomes were quite clear for game5 (Morgul666-Orangeknite1), game45 (Luke811-JamesEde), and game37 (Black_D1-ZombieEater)! The judges decided that Morgul666, JamesEde, and ZombieEater were the winners of those matches.

Significantly more trouble was deciding Game7 on the Rocky Mountains between Toth and Black_D1. After all scores were added, the judges were, again, in total agreement. Toth was voted the winner by three votes to one.

Though the game is officially over, we'll watch with interest whether the players will continue...

But, ladies and gentlemen, we all know what this really means... the games for round have finally finished. As I speak, preparations are being made for the end-of-round-one ceremony where the final 16 will be officially announced!

Stay tuned!!


Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008

[This message has been edited by Swolte (edited 10-03-2009 @ 03:52 PM).]

posted 10-03-09 08:30 PM EDT (US)     135 / 244  
I'd rather wait for the announcement than doing the weird calculation of Flander


Tired of manually receiving/sending your PBEM turns everyday ? Try out Dave's PBEM Wrapper!
posted 10-04-09 00:08 AM EDT (US)     136 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS, your show for all tournament news. The big ceremony has just ended and Swolte is getting ready to take his seat. In the meantime, you can see the header post being updated with all the scores filled out!

Swolte, welcome to the show. You must be exhausted from your speech!
*still sweating* Yes, well, not really, hehe. I tried to keep it short.

The ceremony was flawless in its execution, except for the penguin parade. The smaller penguin looked a bit out of place. What was up with that?
Yes, that was a last-minute resort. We obviously wanted all the penguins to be of the exact same height, but there was a problem. We had to improvise. I hope it didn't distract too much.

Not at all, it all seem to have worked out. Congratulations with ending the first round! Has it met your expectations?
I am happy to say that things went exactly as planned. Well, at least those things that you can plan. There was lots of skepticism as to whether the first round with a total of 45 games could be brought to a successful and timely end. However, the map selection, tweaked design, as well as timing rules ensured that most games were finished. Only 4 games we had to force to an end, which is less than 10% of the total amount of games! And luckily there was only one game which was actually hard to decide who was going to win. This was the game between Toth and Black_d1, from what I understood from the judges. Also, as you see in the ranking, there are no tiebreakers at the 16/17th place which is a huge relief. It's much more clear now that people with two wins are through, and those that didn't will have to wait till next year.
Things could be much worse!

How did the judging go?
Greenmonster, Roger, and Fromage67 were all excellent and I am grateful for their time. They got back to us within a day, and provided strong reasons for why they thought one player should win over another. Obviously, in the case of Toth's and Black_D1's game, it is hard to objectively weight all possible options for success for each player in a complex game like this, and so decisions were probably made from their intuitions and experience with the game. In the end, it was good to see that there was such high agreement amongst the judges. Another thing that went better than expected.

So, we now know the final 16. When will the official playing schedule be revealed.
Soon, very soon. It depends on progress on the BH&GF map. There has been some concerning feedback and so there are a number of tweaks made to balance things out. Obviously, we cannot have people giving balance advice or tweaking the map when our Wizard positions in the maps are known. So, we first want to release the map.

So, what can we expect the coming days?
Ok, I'll give you a bit of a timeline. Please note that it is an estimated timeline, so things may be a bit slower or faster.

Today: We have announced the final ranking with the final 16.

Sunday: We will finalize and release the BH&GF map. I have just received the last feedback, so this will happen on that day for sure. After a randomization of player position (who plays Blackheart), we will announce the official playing schedule. This will tell you who plays who and what Wizard! It's already possible to figure out by yourself who you are playing but the exact calculation can be somewhat complex.

Monday: We will release a questionnaire and poll to all contestants. I will try and send out all the games for the second round as well. For that whole week, the timing rules are not in effect, so people can have some more time to study the map and adjust their strategy on the newly released one.

We'll see how it goes. These are obvious busy days! Good luck with the organizing and we'll see you on the show soon! Thank you, Swolte.
Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS for you today! Please tune in tomorrow for more news!


Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008

[This message has been edited by Swolte (edited 10-04-2009 @ 10:54 AM).]

posted 10-04-09 03:14 AM EDT (US)     137 / 244  
Only 4 games we had to force to an end, which is less than 90% of the total amount of games!
It's even less than 9%

A proud member of the Unofficial Patch team.
Creator of the AoW1 Mod.
posted 10-04-09 01:49 PM EDT (US)     138 / 244  
Thanks for the great tourney, guys. I'm a little sad that I lost two games on decision, but I understand. our games were progressing slowly, managing at best 1 turn per day, but often 1 turn per 2 days. I blame time travel. My opponents were from the future (IE Europe), so we had a tough time coordinating, especially when there were email problems.

In any case, it was great fun and the maps were wonderful. Good luck to Zombie in the next round, and thanks to you all.
posted 10-04-09 03:56 PM EDT (US)     139 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS! Today we have Swolte on the show to talk about the Blackheart and Goodfella map. Swolte, welcome, so, has the map been released?
Thank you! Yes, it has, players can get the final version here.
As you can see in the update descriptions, there have been a number of changes. Some can have an impact on strategies that were already planned, so I would strongly advice restudying the map.

What were the motivations for the changes?
Well, test-games revealed that BH's mobility may pose a significant advantage if played out well. He has easy access to transports, is superior on water, and Explorer gives him a lot of speed. Moreover, GF's has little means to maneuver and combat BH on water. The changes were mostly meant to strengthen Goodfella.

What were some of the most important changes?
Well, I don't want to reveal strategy too much at this stage, but we have strengthened the starting position of Goodfella and we have also allowed structures and avenues that will provide Goodfella with some more options. Don't get me wrong, GF wasn't weak at all! He has superior magic skills, as well as the possibility to better build and enchant strong units for direct battle.
The map is really fun in this way. Each Wizard has its own strengths and weaknesses!

Were there any bugs fixed?
Yes, I think we found them all. There were several emails from various players that helped with this process. Some of the most common ones were the hero events (we simply removed them) and a misplaced spawn coordinate for tower defenders in the South East.

So, will there be any changes from this point onwards? What if I think GF is too strong!?
No, this map is pretty much final. We are just doing the randomization which is telling us who plays who and what Wizard. Tweaking the map would not be a good thing at this point. Unless, unless.... unless someone finds a bug, or a REALLY, REALLY obvious balancing issue everyone would agree on. But I honestly doubt that.

Ok, thanks so much for this interview. I guess we will await the final schedule... *exciting*!!


Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008
posted 10-04-09 06:18 PM EDT (US)     140 / 244  
*yawn, stretches and thinks to himself* (Master sure has been busy with his book lately, sure has been making things nice for me. I haven’t had to run any errands lately. I wonder what today will bring)

Let’s see…. Chapter 14…. How to summon a frog, no that isn’t very exciting. Let’s see…. Enioch, better than Inioch… no, that doesn’t sound right either… I know…. Round 2 – Let the Battles Begin!…. Oh yes… I do like the sound of that.

(hey, not bad, well, it’s not terrible like the last 13 chapters) Master, how is your book coming?

Wonderfully my dear boy, you’re just in time. I’ll give you a preview of my next chapter. It’s all about Round 2. Here, here, see all the games that will be played.



In this chapter I’m going to tell everyone how I picked their starting races. Oh, it was sooo much fun. I haven’t had this much fun since… well that time with Karissa, no that wasn’t much fun, I lost my hat in the flames…. Yes yes… it was as much fun as that time with Meandor… wait, no, that wasn’t much fun, it took a week to get that bog smell out of my hat… well, it was just plain fun.

Master, what was fun?

Picking the starting races for the players.

Master, I thought it was supposed to be random and that Swolte asked Albaron to do the randomizing.

Why that’s preposterous, everyone knows it’s my tourney and I pick who plays and who wins and what race they get to play. I’ve seen it all backwards and forwards so many times. Why do you keep forgetting?

Sorry Master



As I was saying. Here… here… in this first match with Cranberry and LordDuck…. You see Cran-ber-ry has 3 syllables in his name and so does Good-fel-la while Blackheart has only two. So you see, Cranberry gets to play Goodfella and Lord Duck, with only two syllables, gets to play Blackheart.

*shakes head in disbelief* Er.. um… ok

Oh… oh… here’s one…. Swolte vs Naeco… you see…. Naeco has 5 letters in his name and was seeded 9th, you see there are 5 letters in ninth, and there are five letters in Black and in Heart so Naeco gets to play Black-Heart. It’s so obvious once I explain it.

But, I’m not finished, no indeed. There is the game with Timelord and ZombieEater, oh, this one is most exciting, you see zombies… are a scourge from the undead, much the same way pirates are a scourge of the seas, so you see, Zombie Eater will eat the scourge of the sea so ZombieEater gets to play Goodfella.

(do I dare tell him that Swolte is playing Blackheart and so is ZombieEater... no I think I’ll just let it slide) Yes, Master.

Oh , this one was most fun indeed… you see Enginerd is playing Blackheart. Hehehehehe oh yes indeed, what fun it was to pick Blackheart for him

Why is that Master?

Well… you see… Enginerd spent the last two weeks playtesting Goodfella making sure the balance was just right, he figured out 47 ways to play Goodfella, it almost made a chapter in my book. Well, you see…. How could I possibly let him play Goodfella after all that work. Yes, indeed, oh this is soooo much fun.

Wasn’t he playtesting with Timelord who was playing Blackheart, and isn’t Timelord playing Goodfella now?

Did you say something…. Now…. In the game with Morgul and Oleg, you see, Oleg sounds like Dog and we all know that Pirates are referred to as Dogs so Oleg gets to play Blackheart.

Master, Oleg doesn’t sound like dog and he's playing as Goodfella

Details, details…. Oh, Oh, now if you look at the game with Costa. You see, his name sounds like Coast, in fact it nearly has all the same letters and that means he plays Blackheart because there is a lot of coast for Blackheart to deal with.

Oh, and then the game with Smuki and James, you see Smuki sounds a little bit like “smack” which is the sound the water makes when it splashes up against the boats, so Smuki gets to play Blackheart.

Yes, yes, indeed, and finally let's look at Vovy and Charx , well, obviously Vovy will play Blackheart.

(How is it obvious that Vovy will play BlackHeart? Could it have something to do with syllables, or letters in a name, or… wait…. I think I see it, “Char” is a type of burned wood which is “black” but if it is Char-“X” then the “char” is crossed out or not there so it isn’t “char” so he isn’t “black” which means Vovy must be black and he plays Blackheart. What am I saying, that sounds like Flander Logic Oh no, I’m losing my mind if I’m starting to think like him) *shakes head in disbelief* Yes Master, it makes perfect sense

Yes, you see perfect sense. Almost as much sense as who is going to win but I won’t tell you about that today, that comes later in chapter 22, now I must get back to my book.
posted 10-04-09 06:49 PM EDT (US)     141 / 244  
So... who do I get???

On a second thought I should keep my baby boy for home school. Following this lunatic is no good for him.


Tired of manually receiving/sending your PBEM turns everyday ? Try out Dave's PBEM Wrapper!
posted 10-04-09 06:58 PM EDT (US)     142 / 244  
Flanders is right in one thing (at least, I mean, ehhh...): "costa" is coast in Portuguese
posted 10-05-09 11:31 AM EDT (US)     143 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, weclome to TNS! Its a special day as round2 has officially begun! We are ready to get started on the Blackheart and Goodfella's war. On today's show, we will have Swolte and Enginerd, who will come a bit later. Swolte is already here, welcome to the show, Swolte. So, we see turn threads, but...
Thank you, yes! The turn-threads have been made, and everyone playing Blackheart should have a turn in his/her emailbox right now. If you haven't received a turn, please do contact me as soon as possible! I must say, sending out 8 games is a lot better than the 45 from the last round. Have to get all the numbers and emails right, and to not forget to put 'surrender off'... then, when you set up your own game, it automatically starts. But of course, I should remain focused, and play it another day.
Anyway, it's very exciting to finally start the second round!

Have you started thinking about your match with Naeco yet?
I haven't given the match against Naeco much thought, but I fear I will need to soon. He's definitely a very skilled opponent, as we have seen from the match with PawelS, so it won't be an easy game at all. I predict that whomever wins this game will make it quite far into the tournament!

So, are there any reminders for contestants?
Yes, two very important ones.

Thy shalt not forget to password protect!
Well, I don't think I need to reiterate how important this one is. Especially in the second rounds, try not to forget this. Perhaps we can do a mnemonic exercise? Ok, are you ready? Lets relax and loosen up somewhat. Yes, now, when you are listening to this show! Try to imagine yourself playing your turn in the future. It will be the first time you will open it. You will be Blackheart, or Goodfella. You will feel some anticipation. Imagine the Wizard coming down from the skies... there will be an event popping up... You will look at all your units, size up the nearest defenders... Now, at some point you will be selecting your spells to research. Do you have attack spells? What summons are there? Do you need to cancel automatically selected research? Perhaps THIS is a perfect moment to BURN password protecting into your memory! And immediately PASSWORD PROTECT! Don't hesitate, DO IT!!

Thy shalt mind the boat bug!
The BH&GF map contains a lot of water-transports for BH's position. The more experienced players are familiar with the boat bug which occurs on maps like this. The bug causes the game to crash to desktop, and will generate a restart, which can be extremely annoying in Tournament games. It happens when non-swimming units are in a stack with a boat.

The solution is very simple: DO NOT RIGHT-CLICK! So, you can select and deselect units, but just try and use the left mouse button. As soon as you 'right-click' however, you will have a big chance that your game will crash.

Ok, that should work... When will the timing rules be in effect?
Not until next week, meaning Monday the 12th of October. So, let me repeat this for everyone: you do not have to do your turns for another week. The reason for this is that we have had some changes to the map, and we thought it fair if players have some time to study the map at their convenience. Also, its been a crazy busy week for the organizers, so we could use a bit of a breather. For those who want to, just like in round 1, there is the opportunity to already start playing. I do expect people to already do a couple of turns.

Perhaps Cranberry will finish his match today.
Haha, yes, who knows? I mean, there is only so much studying you can do...
Another reason is that I don't expect this round to last too long for a number of reasons. First, players only have one game at a time now, whereas in round 1 they had three. Second, there are simply fewer games, and so fewer changes of games getting sluggish. Third, we are left with more experienced (and probably more motivated) players. It can be expected that these are more reliable and timely with turns. I also havent had reports of holidays... summer is over, luckily!
;-)
Ok, well, that should take some pressure off. However, next week we will have the timing rules in effect. what happens to warnings that have already been collected? We have MrLifford88 who has two warnings. According to the rules, if he forgets to log only once, he is automatically out of the tournament!
Good question. The answers means good news for MrLifford. All official warnings and reminders that have been collected will be swiped clean for the second round - so, it does seem Costa may actually need to work for his victory, somewhat.
;-)
Ladies and gentlemen, Enginerd just came in. Enginerd, welcome to the show, please take a seat! So, first of all, congratulations on reaching the second round. Are you ready for your match against PawelS?

Enginerd I sure hope so, of the many times that Pawel and I have met on the field of battle I think I've come out on the losing side just about every time. Most of the games have been FFA's and we haven't played a lot of 1v1 so this will certainly be interesting. I haven't played as many Shadow Magic 1v1 games as I have the AoW1 and this will really test my skills. I picked Pawel early on to be one of the stronger players in the tourney, it will be an honor to knock him out. I've tried to prepare well with a thorough review of the map, I did spend most of my time working through the Goodfella side so I think I know what to expect. Problem is there are several different ways to approach the map so I won't know which way Pawel will choose to go (he'll probably surprise me and thump on me). This makes for an exciting map with no "one right way" to approach it.
Being one of the organizers, what is your experience of the tournament so far? Has the Swiss system worked as expected?

Enginerd I think it's been going great. It is difficult to put all these players together in all these matches and have it come out fair. I think we did a good job of ensuring that the top 16 are all solid players. I have a hard time seeing anyone there that souldn't be there. Sure, we've got some solid players that didn't make it but of the top 16 there are 16 solid players. Yes, some are stronger than others and some had easier roads than others (and I was one of them) but they are all top notch players and will give us some good exciting games through the next rounds. The Swiss style system we used did what we thought it would do, it helped us rank the players, avoided a lot of awful tiebreaker situations with a round robin bracketed start and allowed players to play a variety of new players. I'm glad we gave it a try, we'll see how we can improve upon it next year. There have been a lot of things behind the scenes that we've learned, many of them quite technical but we're evaluating starting picks, ranking/tiebreakers, brackets and other things. Yes, we're quite pleased so far, but want to do even better next year.
You had an announcement to make regarding polls and questionnaires?

Enginerd Yes, a new poll and questionaire is being sent out later today. The questionaire is important, we're looking for feedback on several things. The questionaire info will be shared with all the tourney organizers, we'll use some info for material for the TNS reports, make some changes to how we're doing things, all in the effort to have an even better tourney so please give us your feedback. Also, for the polls, this time we're asking everyone to predict the winners of not just Round 2 but all the way to the finals. Once again an excel spreadsheet with macros and a word document will be sent out, either form can be filled out and then sent to me. We want everyone to predict who will win and then we'll let you know how everyone did as the tourney progresses. Later this week we'll be telling you about how the round 1 predictions turned out, it was quite interesting. We want every forum member to participate, even if you didn't play in round 1 so we'll upload the forms and make them available to everyone, they'll be in the downloads section with the forms from Round 1. Make your predictions before it's too late, you've got until Friday!

What actually happens with those predictions? Some people say Wizards of questionable stature use them to feign insight into the future...

Enginerd What did I do with all those predictions? .... well... I tabulated the results... analyzed them.... over analyzed them.... got confused analyzing them.... and then gave up trying to understand them all, it took someone with a lot more brain power and magic to make sense of them. It will probably be the same with the round 2 polls but I'll give it my best shot :-p

Well, thank you both for coming to the show! Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS for you today! I am wishing the final 16 much luck in their games! The second round has begun!!


Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008
posted 10-05-09 12:06 PM EDT (US)     144 / 244  
AAHH!!! The Boat bug!!
I know that one very well!!
It happened to me various times already - I´m glad to learn that it´s a renowned one! I thought, I´d be the only one who´d have it (maybe due to extremly poor-performing PC, sigh )
and in fact, it happened to me also again in my testgame on this map so indeed - be careful, don´t try to EVEN SELECT a non-swimming unit from a boat(or baloon)-stack which is located over water - the game will crush INSTANTLY and BRUTALLY!!!

but I wouldn´t call the fact, that summer´s (almost) over a lucky happenstance...

ah, and - lastley, ahem, ...I still have no clue about these damn tiebreakers are all about that are being mentioned all the while ... but I guess I don´t have to

Good luck to all contestants, May the best one get the second rank behind me

Author of the following maps for AOWSM:
Version 1.4: DEMONWARS II (Transcendence & Immortalis)
Version 1.3: (also playable in 1.4) Gates to another World 1.4
><-><-><- Planning replaces coincidence by error. -><-><-><-

[This message has been edited by morgul666 (edited 10-05-2009 @ 12:07 PM).]

posted 10-05-09 01:06 PM EDT (US)     145 / 244  
About the boat-bug, left-click also causes the crash.

The best method - has worked for me always - is:
If you have the boat near the shore, i.e., next to a land hex and you can only move certain units to land, select the entire stack and click on the land hex you want to move. At this point, the boat is automatically deselected. After this, just left-click the units that cannot move and move the others to land.

If in water and you want to move a swimming/flying/floating unit out, right-click that unit to just select that unit and move it.

If in water and you want to move the entire stack minus a swimming/flying/floating unit, select the stack and left click the unit to exclude it and move the boat.

Hope this helps!

2009 1v1-Mapmaking Champion, Former PBEM Singles Champion, Proud contributor to the UPatch 1.4 and 1.5 effort
War of the Twins- 1 vs 1 PBEM map, Too Much Water - 1 vs 1 PBEM map, winner of 2009 1vs1 Mapmaking Challenge
My Dragon Age development blog
posted 10-05-09 01:20 PM EDT (US)     146 / 244  
@TL - yes, that helps

Poll and Questionaire forms have been emailed to all tourney participants. Everyone else can download them from the Misc Downloads Section, here. We want every forum member to participate, check it out.
posted 10-06-09 11:19 AM EDT (US)     147 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS.

We have a short special on pirate training today. Swolte's tips weren't as accurate and precise, so we at the TNS staff did some tests to check what actually causes the boat bug.

First of all, pirates, the boat bug occurs not only in PBEM's but on single player maps as well. This may have been obvious to people playing single player, but to a Multi-player group, like our staff, it was quite a revelation. It made testing the bug a lot easier.

Second, the boat bug doesn't occur by selecting and deselecting per se. If your troops are on water with a boat, you can select and deselect all you like. Right click, left click. The game won't crash.

Third, the crucial factor is movement, or selecting a movement path! If a movement path is selected outside the boat on water, for example, to only move a swashbuckler, it is fine no matter how you select. However, the game allows you to select land-based units for movement on water as well.

See image below.

Left-click now is crash!

So, in order to get to this situation we selected the Frostling by simply right-clicking it. You can also left-click the boat to deselect it, and left-click deselect everything but the Frostling unit.
Once your in this situation you will crash if you:
- Left click to move the Frostling unit.
- Left click to select only the boat.
- Left click a swimmer (with this) and then move.

See how the boat is deselected. It's like an illegal movement!

To get out of this situation, right click on a neutral hex, and select units properly, before moving.

Another dangerous situation occurs when you have set the movement path and just selected swimmers to move out (in this case the slither). See below.


Left-click now is crash! (note where the 'wand' cursor is)

Simply selecting any land unit now by left clicking will crash the game! Note this only occurs when the movement path is already set like in the picture.

So make sure to when you set a movement path to just select and move swimmers/flyers when they need to disembark in a boat with land-units.

Or simpler: first mindfully (de)select everything. Then, second, set movement path. Then, third, move.
(first setting movement path and then selecting is dangerous...)

So, I am sure this short tutorial is not exhaustive and there are more things to keep in mind. We will send out a pirate training map for all BH players on which you can see for yourself, and perhaps discover some more conditions under which it occurs. Please let us know, asap!

To close off today's training, please go here and learn how to 'properly' talk like pirate!

Ladies and gentlemen, this was the TNS special pirate training!


Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008

[This message has been edited by Swolte (edited 10-06-2009 @ 08:14 PM).]

posted 10-06-09 06:50 PM EDT (US)     148 / 244  
Nice report! Now I understand the 'boat bug' much better than I thought I did. Thanks to Swolte!

Sapphoenix is losing every single PBEM (almost!), but loving it!
posted 10-06-09 10:20 PM EDT (US)     149 / 244  
What’s this… all these letters arriving… they must be from my fans.

No Master, These are the questionnaires and Round 2 Polls. You’ve already received about 10 of them.

I do so love fan mail, I sure hope I get more, I see you spending hours and hours reading through all that mail for me. Yes, fan mail is so much fun.

Yes, Master but what about the results of the round 1 polls?

Who wants to hear about that? Round 1 is over. What benefit would it be to tell them that consensus from all the polls correctly picked 34 out of the 42 games (with three games tied)? Would it matter if I told them that Cranberry picked the most games correctly with 36 out of 45 (probably had something to do with him being the only one who thought he would win a game)? Or what about JamesEde, he had the best percentage at 86% (30 out of 35 correct)? Hehehehehe I guess he benefited from turning in his questionnaire after several games had ended so he couldn’t guess incorrectly on Cranberry’s games, hehehehehe. Well, what use is it to tell everyone about the Round 1 polls?

Master, you could tell them how Timelord only guessed 31 out of 45 correctly, or that there were only 13 people who sent in the forms.

It isn’t good enough, it won’t even make a chapter in my book. Now, let me show you my rough draft of the next chapter. I was thinking of calling it “A walk through the Bog” but I settled on “Round 1 – Who got an Easy Draw”. Yes, I think that makes more sense.

Er, um, Master, isn’t it pretty well known that Enginerd had one of the easiest draws, facing Vicbrother and Orangeknite, oh and Zerge who got disqualified?

Yes, yes of course he got a lucky draw, as did Morgul and Timelord but no one wants to hear about how Timelord beat up on some newbies. What is really exciting is all the different ways to look at how hard it was getting into Round 2. You see, that story is so much more exciting and I will tell you all about it.

Master, doesn’t that mess up the title of your next chapter?

Nonsense! Now look at these scrolls here, I’ve put the data together many different ways, looking at the original poll predictions and how things actually came out. You see, there is much to learn about this.


Master, what can we learn, Albinscott still had a very hard schedule?

Well of course he did. The polls predicted him to have the 2nd most difficult schedule and in the end he had the hardest, based on the end rankings of all of his opponents. Yes, quite interesting.

I see, it looks like Cranberry was supposed to have a very difficult schedule but since he won all his games he actually ended up with an average difficulty.

Precisely my boy, you’re catching on. However, if we look at the second scroll we see another way to look at it. Here we show the players who faced opponents that made it into the second round. It is very interesting to see that Swolte and Naeco both faced 3 opponents that made it into the second round. They also both managed to win two of those games. It could be said that they had the most difficult schedule. We also see Albinscott again with a very hard schedule as all his opponents made it into the next round. Troy Locker faced the same fate.

Yes, Master, and it looks like Oleg and Pawel also had difficult schedules. Looks like they had to beat someone who advanced as well. Most interesting and quite an accomplishment.

Yes, yes, of course it is. That’s why it will make a much more exciting chapter in my book. Now, about that fan mail…

Yes Master, you already have about 10 polls and questionnaires here and there are just over 48 hours left to get more responses. Everyone was sent the forms as you requested.

Did you tell them that we would call forth fireballs from the heavens if they failed to respond?

*shakes head in disbelief* er, um, Master? Er, um, No Master, we didn’t do that.

What! How will we ever get more responses if we don’t threaten them with fireballs from the sky?

We could always just ask nicely, Master.

*shakes head in disbelief* Oh, like THAT will work, powerful wizards with best sellings books don’t just ASK nicely. When will you ever learn. Come on, lets go get Karissa to help us, I do so love her fireballs.
posted 10-07-09 12:55 PM EDT (US)     150 / 244  
Welcome to the show, ladies and gentlemen! Today we will discuss the map balance from games in the previous rounds. Swolte, welcome to the show, what do you have for us?
Thank you! And, let's get right into it! The first image I have for you shows us the range and average speed of the maps.



On average all tournament maps took about 21 turns to finish. We aimed at maps designed that would take about 20-25 turns (a bit more than a turn/day on average for a tournament is reasonable to finish a round in one month) so this went perfectly according to plan. We are probably a bit on the low side due to the Colors map, which had a couple of games finish on the first day due to 'accidents'.

Ok, so this information is useful for tournament mapmakers: design maps that finish around 20-25 turns.
Yes, indeed! But it is not just information that is useful for mapmakers, actually. If you give these numbers some thought it can even influence your actual playing strategy. I mean, if you see that the overwhelming majority of games end between 20-25 turns, what does that tell you about strategy? Or better, the investment in type of strategies... Keep in mind that a game ENDING between 20-25 turns probably means that decisive battles are around day 20 or so.
Knowing this, should you invest in level-4 units from the start if it takes you 12 turns to build Sanctuary, Masters guild, and the lvl4 unit itself? Not to mention the 4 days of travel the lvl unit needs to travel to where the action is. And, think about research: researching expensive skills like Explorer sounds attractive, but if it takes 16 days to research, the game would be over before you could really benefit from it! This may be useful in larger maps, but on these small tournament maps, you have to think hard about these decisions.

It also depends a lot on playing style and the map itself, right?
Yes, obviously, but we do try and design the maps in a way that the game is over between day 20-25. But each player and map is different indeed, that's why there is variability. If we can take a look at the maps here, we can clearly see that the Colors of Black and White map is taking the least amount of time. On average about 13 days, and that is very short! Perhaps even too short.
There are many reasons for this:
1) the biggest obviously being players starting without a wizard tower and getting themselves killed taking risks with their Wizard. This happened quite a lot, and to the best.
2) the map plays very direct. Players can meet each other very quickly depending on which starting location they choose. The teleports also allow for very quick and suprising contact!
3) the special win condition. Players could indeed go straight for the middle and try and get the four Wizard towers. This put some urgency on the match - players need to attack each other fast before one takes over the middle.

All these reasons combined made for a very fast game!

What about the other two maps. Why is the Mountain of the Gods faster than the Rocky Divide?
Well, it probably isn't, really. The difference in 'days-finished' is too small to reliably say whether the Mountain map is truly faster. The Mountain of the Gods map plays very different. In fact, it may take a few days before players meet, so you would expect it to take longer. They can very easily turtle as their are no competing resources. This is a crucial design difference between the maps which is important to understand for mapmakers. The Rocky Divide allows for much faster contact between players but on the other hand, the elaborate underground level with additional Wizard Towers makes it difficult to finish off a Wizard quickly.
What is interesting from a designer perspective - mapmakers pay attention! On the Mountain map, you don't HAVE to attack each other, or beat each other to invaluable resources. You can simply stay on your side and conquer everything 'on your side' before attacking the opponent. There are a lot of independent resources to conquer and keep yourself busy with. The many chokepoints in the map, and relatively protected capitol would allow for a strong defensive position. Especially if your opponent has the same idea, it is possible (perhaps not smart) to play quite defensively.
The Rocky Divide map is very different by its design as it is like a race! There is no reason to 'wait around' long on the surface as there isn't too much to conquer. So, players go bug each other much sooner. More crucially, the resources in the underground will need to be conquered as soon as possible, and before the opponent reaches them! I mean, if Oleg123 gets to the incarnates faster than I do, I won't be able to have them, ever. The same goes for the big city in the south east! In a way, you could say that the 'balance design' is asymmetrical. An interesting design choice for a map and some people obviously like these types of maps more than others.
But, yes, to get back to the original question: the Rocky Divide map should play faster, but because this map is very dynamic (i.e., there are more ways to run to or from) and because there are more Wizard towers for Wizard, it evens out.

Why didn't players go for the big tower-city in the south-west in Rocky Divide? From logs, it seems most players went for the recruitment site with the incarnate?
Hmmm, I really don't know... I would love to know, though! If players can react to this show, that would be great. I mean, we do have a full city-size city with Wizard tower and *almost* lvl4 capacity. Perhaps people didn't notice because it was on random? Or, perhaps it is the idea I set out before - recruits are simply faster put in the game and it takes a while to benefit from cities when it comes to building. However, this is a pretty darn good city, regardless.

So, yes, listeners! If you have an idea why that city wasn't sought after, please let us know! Ok, Swolte, you have a next image?
Yes, on this image we can see the balance of the maps.



So, it seems that there is a huge advantage for Black in the Colors map! Why?!

Not so fast! If we are being statistically smart about this, we cannot come to that conclusion. I mean, we would have to test to what extent this difference could be due to pure chance. If the maps are as balanced as a coinflip, it still doesn't mean that when I throw my coin up in the air 14 times, it will land heads exactly 7 times... It could be perfectly normal for it to be heads 5 times and tails 9 times. Or, how 'normal' is that for 14 tries?
So, you can perform a Chi-square test to assess this question and the test tells me that, Chi-Square (1) = 1.143, p = .285, even if players were perfectly divided with even strength amongst the sides, its reasonable to say the difference we found could very well be due to chance. One way to think about it is that there is a 28.5% chance that we could be wrong about this difference. It's still not bad... Suppose we had more games played on the map (i.e., a 100 coin-flips), we could probably say with more decent reliability if it is 50%, or not...

Now, if we carefully assume there IS a small advantage to this map for Black, it could, perhaps, be due to White starting first. A lot of people lost on the first or second day. Obviously, the player who plays first in a turn based game, can also lose first. The player second in row cannot die anymore as he/she has an instant victory.

What about the other maps?
Well, that difference really doesn't mean much, statistically. It could have just as well been to the other side. It's easy to come up with post-hoc reasonings as to why it is.
But it doesn't mean the result isn't interesting. I mean, for people who expected large differences, or differences in other directions, it may be very meaningful!

Take the Rocky Divide map. Some people were expecting an advantage for Lord Drake because of the Flyers and stronger special building. However, the map's stats are tilted in Ember's favour! So, it does seem that these critics should be silenced by this data, somewhat. I think the explanation for this result lies in the fact that Hydra's aren't very mobile and bad in FC plays a factor. Also, Lord Ember's Knights and Herbalist strategies are just very good, and up to par with the more vulnerable Flyers in such a small map. Not to mention there are a lot of random villages and factors involved in this play.
Now, the Mountain of the Gods map was a bit of a surprise for me, personally. I would have expected Ne'khan to come out much more favorable for various reasons. We had accidentally used a slightly older version of the map that didn't have certain changes. However, I think I underestimated the crucial importance of waterway dominance. Together with the starting position and stronger initial naval capacity, Ash'ir could make a strong fist as well. So in the end, it balanced out quite well.
Also, in general, unbalances would have to be really strong for it to really affect play and throw off a deadly strategy.

Ok, thanks so much for the interview. That was long! Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS for you today!


Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008

[This message has been edited by Swolte (edited 10-07-2009 @ 02:22 PM).]

posted 10-07-09 02:03 PM EDT (US)     151 / 244  
I think the main reason of Ne-Khan's advantage on the Mountain map are the starting wizard skills. With the abundance of units in recruitment structures (and indies to seduce), Survivalist is very useful, while Constructor doesn't help much. Maybe it was the reason why I won my game against Naeco.

A proud member of the Unofficial Patch team.
Creator of the AoW1 Mod.
posted 10-07-09 02:15 PM EDT (US)     152 / 244  
IMHO, the South-Western city in Divide is too heavily guarded. It features too many shooters - Frostlings' ones, on their natural terrain, with their fearsome freezing distant attacks. I think I could take them out with refugees and all that is found in the nearby recruitment site, but who knows what loses would be taken there. And then my opponent's army could just pop near this this beautiful, but poorly protected city... I would not like that.

Spell check failed - not enough mana
posted 10-07-09 08:28 PM EDT (US)     153 / 244  
I totally agree with both PawelS and Oleg123 analysis.
posted 10-08-09 06:17 AM EDT (US)     154 / 244  
I don't have much analytical powers myself but the reason I didn't go for the towered city in Rocky Divide is simply because I didn't know it existed! I never look at the maps before the tournament, which I think I should have. A lesson for me.

Sapphoenix is losing every single PBEM (almost!), but loving it!
posted 10-08-09 09:56 AM EDT (US)     155 / 244  

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS, your newstation for everything tournament related! A few days have passed and already we can see certain games have begun. The timing rules aren't in effect yet, so people are taking it easy. I have made a list of the players and their starting habits.
--------------------------------------------------------
Early starters:
(3) Smuki, 10-05-09 PM + JamesEde, 10-8-09 + Smuki, 10-8-09
(1) Morgul666, 10-05-09 PM
(4) Enginerd, 10-05-09 PM + PawelS, 10-06-09 AM + Enginerd, 10-08-09 AM + PawelS, 10-08-09
(2) Lordduck, 10-07-09 AM + Cranberry, 10-07-09 PM
(1) Costa, 10-07-09 PM
(1) Vovy, 10-08-09
--------------------------------------------------------

So, what we can see here that Smuki was the winner. He did his turn the fastest and his game with JamesEde is already underway for three days now. Morgul is a quick second, followed by Enginerd, who all played their turns on the day they were originally sent out.
On the second day of the Round2, PawelS completed a game round in his game with Enginerd. So far, Game52 seems ahead of the rest with now a total of two days completed!
Yesterday Lordduck started his game, and was promptly followed by Cranberry. Costa and Vovy recently started their games, and are now waiting for MrLifford, and Charx.

Next are the slow starters.
--------------------------------------------------------
Slow starters:
ZombieEater
Swolte
JamesEde
Oleg123
MrLifford88
--------------------------------------------------------

These are the people who are insecure about their strategies, or simply very busy. ;-) We'll hope they start soon so others can get started as well. The rest of the Goodfella players, we don't know much about. They had no choice, as the Blackheart players in their games still have to make a move!
--------------------------------------------------------
Unknown (waiting for turn):
Charx
Timelord
Naeco
--------------------------------------------------------

So, we have a special guest on TNS today. Please welcome Blackheart himself.
He volunteered for a song!

Arrr, mateys... - clears throat -

Fifteen men on a dead man's chest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Drink and the devil had done for the rest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.


- Spits on floor -
Arrr...

Well, um, that was... great.

Okey... Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS for you today! Please remember to return your poll forms, as well as the questionnaire!


Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008
posted 10-08-09 12:31 PM EDT (US)     156 / 244  
HaHaaa, great song For a second, I felt like in my current Monkey Island adventure, lol
oh.
I´m also Bleakheart in my current game now that I´m thinking about it!!
If that´s not a good omen then what is??!!

Author of the following maps for AOWSM:
Version 1.4: DEMONWARS II (Transcendence & Immortalis)
Version 1.3: (also playable in 1.4) Gates to another World 1.4
><-><-><- Planning replaces coincidence by error. -><-><-><-
posted 10-09-09 11:19 AM EDT (US)     157 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS, your show for all tournament news! On todays show we have a special guest, please welcome the mapmaker of Blackheart and Goodfella's War, the famous, KING DAVID!!!


King David, welcome to the show. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

King David I don’t play any computer games aside from AoW and constraints on my available time for that diminish as the years go by :-D. I got into the series back in the days of Windows 98 and AOW1. I suddenly got the urge to play some Warlords, with which I enjoyed some good hotseat games with friends in grad school back in the day. That was the first Warlords, btw. I bought a copy of Warlords 3 Darklords Rising, but it wouldn’t run on Windows 98 and I couldn’t get a shell to keep it going, so I started looking online for a similar game and came across the demo for AOW 1. That was a great game and I ended up getting a copy on ebay. I loved the feel of it. I looked at the forum a little and downloaded some maps, but didn’t get active at all until AOW2 WT came out. It’s tough to go back to AOW1 graphics-wise, but I miss elements of that game, like storm altars :-D

I don’t remember what got me started with making maps, but I do know that as soon as I tried it, I knew I liked it. I am no good at drawing or painting by hand, but for some reason, probably owing to the limited set of available tools, which gives me a platform from which to begin, I was able to come up with some cool creations. That’s what got me started making maps and I always envisioned contributing some cool ones to the forum, as I knew from the small amount of time I had spent at the AOW1 forum, that user-made maps were always in demand.

Why are you not in the tournament?

King David One reason only: not enough free time to make the commitment to the intended pace. I am glad I was able to contribute by making a map. When the contest opened, I took it as an opportunity to make a new map, which I had not done in some time. The limit on size (small) and players (two) made it possible. Anything larger and I wouldn’t have attempted it. I would have loved to have been able to play in the tournament.

You are most known as one of the best mapmakers. What are some of the maps you have made you are most proud of, and why? And also, what makes a map a King David map?

King David My first map was Race to Death and it was given a very positive reception. I’m proud of the fact that it was among the first AOW2 maps that gave a good jump to the PBEM community. I have never tried on-line gaming and much prefer the manageable pace of PBEM and the relationships you develop with fellow players over time. I am proud of how the Race to Death series became part of the standard fare on the PBEM circuit. That’s what gave me the initiative to update it with so many versions.

Another of my favorite maps is This Land Is My Land. I tried to update it once, but couldn’t figure out how to do it. I may try again when v1.5 comes out. There were some great PBEM moments on that map, and I remember starting a surprise game and thread for the original group who played the first R2D pbem (Flitter, Hocus Pocus, Rorschach and three more who deserve to be remembered but I’ll have to go back and check). There is something about that map that I think makes it memorable. I always pay homage to it in my in-game pbem messages regarding the map or world. I always call it This Land.

Personal traits go into the memorable maps. I don’t know what makes a KD map, but I know that it is different from a Swolte or Greenmonster or Groll map. I probably have my own style of painting, and my own way of envisioning how a game might unfold with regard to map design. I try to think about resource, city and terrain placement, how many players there will be, what dynamic I am looking for. Of course, this is pretty much the opposite of how Race to Death came to be, but it’s more how I approach it years later. I do like the chaotic aspect of R2D, though, and think it ends up being fairly winnable from any side.

In your opinion, what makes a good tournament map?

King David Balance is a tough thing to agree on and there are just as many valid points of view as there are styles of play. Personally, I think that there are too many variables that go into achieving perfect balance. There are obvious ways to screw up balance, but aside from those, I don’t worry anymore about mirrored maps or “perfect-balance-oriented” designs, but rather begin by thinking about racial advantages and disadvantages. I try to incorporate those with regard to terrain, diplomacy, skills, etc. I think a good tournament map should be designed from those principals. The principal goal for me will always be that the map be fun to play. A bit of uncertainty as to who might have the advantage at the outset is good for the atmosphere. That type of map is more oriented toward matching playing styles and experience, whereas a mirrored map, for example, is more of a math contest. Not so much fun, imo.

What can you tell us about the mapmaking process for BH&GF war?

King David Some years ago, Swolte commented on one of my maps (I don’t remember if it was in a review, thread, or email) that he had really liked it but hoped that I would do something “different” next time. I thought about that and realized that my maps had always had some centralized element to gameplay, so I remembered that and decided that this was a good chance to do something a bit different. I’ve always appreciated Greenmonster’s maps because he designs them in very unconventional ways. I decided to try to incorporate some of what I’ve learned from him. So that’s were BH&GF begins… As for the story line, I just wanted to give a bit to get the game going and maybe give it a little flavor, but I really prefer the story to develop during the game, according to players decision. Since it’s designed specifically for pbem, the story should develop in the game threads.

As for character design, I pretty much just make up my characters as I go. I’ll give a little more thought to the Wizard’s names, races, skill-sets, etc., but I make the other characters up as I go.

As for strategic design, I usually have an idea as to what I want the map to be. Since this one was designed specifically for human players, I decided to use water as the primary terrain for one of the wizards. I’d always wanted to do that, but it doesn’t normally make for good map design because the AI doesn’t use boats. The decision to use the cavern level for the other Wizard made sense as well, as it would create useful terrain and racial barriers between the two wizards.

For each side (BH and GF's) what advice would you give players?

King David I have no idea what advice I would give players. I never even made it all the way to the end while testing. I think I got up to day 15 or so, testing all of the triggers and events, and it seemed pretty even to me. I look forward to playing some PBEMs on it someday.

Thank you for the interview. Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS for you today. Tomorrow will feature the first results from the poll and questionnaire...


Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008
posted 10-09-09 01:33 PM EDT (US)     158 / 244  
I don’t know what makes a KD map
There are two characteristic elements that I encountered in every KD's map that I played: signs at the edges of the map and references to "halfwits"

A proud member of the Unofficial Patch team.
Creator of the AoW1 Mod.
posted 10-09-09 03:44 PM EDT (US)     159 / 244  
...and the 'wild west' language as I like to call it.

Great interview!
Btw, when will the Four Queens map get released? That was another interesting water-based map.

2009 1v1-Mapmaking Champion, Former PBEM Singles Champion, Proud contributor to the UPatch 1.4 and 1.5 effort
War of the Twins- 1 vs 1 PBEM map, Too Much Water - 1 vs 1 PBEM map, winner of 2009 1vs1 Mapmaking Challenge
My Dragon Age development blog
posted 10-09-09 07:53 PM EDT (US)     160 / 244  
...Btw, when will the Four Queens map get released? That was another interesting water-based map.
I don't remember there were any water on Four Queens map or were we playing different versions of it
In my game with Torso, Idealistos and another one-time PBEM-er, we had Tigran, Frostling, Human and Draco.

Anyway, it's true that BH&GF is different from other KD's maps in design. Unit placements, hero stats or language is still the game


Tired of manually receiving/sending your PBEM turns everyday ? Try out Dave's PBEM Wrapper!
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