Scenario Design

FINGER'S TRIGGERS

Fingers is a regular at the AoW Forum at the Valley of Wonders. His original posting "those killer stacks..." which is also archived here contains ideas about teleporters and using them for triggered events. I thought I ask him to write up a little something on his "experiments" to give us a clearer picture of what he meant. The following is written by him. (I've included the link to his original webpage of this at the bottom of this page.)Thanks a lot, Fingers for sharing!

Creating scenarios in which stories are enmeshed with an actual unfolding of events is a challenge. Since there is as yet no straightforward means in the AoW editor of tying the progress of players' conquests to what we might call "extraneous acts" on the part of God (the conniving mapmaker), matters of timing may be haphazard. To some extent, this is just fine, as no player will enjoy a map more than once if they're pigeonholed into a rigid strategy by predictable contraptions. But it is hard to forgo a desire to give them something in the way of solid, logical consequences for their actions. After all, doesn't it just make sense for havoc to be unleashed on some far flung corner of the map after, and only after, their galumphing, high-level hero has overwhelmed a tiny kingdom of orcs, and gotten to be very fat in the head? Massive invasions, or merely the release of several independents, if brought about in a clever, hidden manner, can add much puzzlement for the player, and grief to be sure. But these effects are worthy when incorporated into dynamic stories. To this end, we do have some options.

If one quite dislikes fiddling, then the following example of a trigger may be of no help. A more robust AoW sequel is the last best hope, and I can only encourage you to send Triumph an e-mail letting them know you are really, really anxious for better methods. Don't mention Fingers!

Here it goes then. This is a trigger that works fairly well for granting a computer player a friendly city and resources upon a human player's capture of an objective. Sorry it's drawn up anatomically. The grand storytelling has been left up to you.



DIAGRAM 1

Triggers diagram 1

As the human player (A) approaches its quest objective, a hidden teleportation of "area guarding" independents (B) to a hex in the nearby cavern frees the computer player's stack (C) to move through an alternate series of telportals, and take a friendly city. This is ensured by (B)'s suseptibility to fire damage, and (C)'s inability to traverse water.




DIAGRAM 2

Trigger diagram 2

Teleportal (1) leads to the cavern near (A)'s quest objective on the surface. Most crucial, is the single hex of water allowing the teleportation of stack (B), consisting of independent frogs set on "guard area", while not (C), the computer player's land bound hero and wraiths. Because independents and computer players both have the ability to map out areas beyond teleportals non-visually, (B) moves to attack as (A) comes within range near its objective, and (C), sensing freedom, passes through teleportal (3) to (B)'s intitial hex. As stack (B) does battle with (A), the intervening water prevents C)'s transit to the cavern, and the fiery path through teleportal (2) must is followed. Hey, they're from Hell.




DIAGRAM 3

Trigger diagram 3

The fire hex of unlimited duration at the destination of teleportal (2) prevents (B) from straying through the sequence, but does not present a problem for (C) after (B) has moved away from position through (1). The computer players's Undead hero and wraiths suffer no damage from fire. Set on "auto", they will not then hesitate to leap through (3) and (2) for the friendly city.




In addition to stacks' terrain limitations, this technique exploits the inability of the AI to transport into combat, as the human player is able*. Independent stacks and those of the computer player will materialize right on top of their own kind, even if the destination hex already has a stack of eight, but neither will attempt transit where a differing side occupys. Very important to remember, otherwise the whole sequence caves in on itself! Teleportal (3)'s destination must be the hex occupied by (B).

*Updated 19/05/2002:
Further tests have shown that computer controlled players WILL teleport directly onto a hex occupied by another player. - Fingers

Ed Note: Indeed, if the stack on the hex is weaker than the AI, the AI will teleport into battle. The way to get around this is to make sure that that stack is stronger than the AI. It has been observed that AI has a tendency to be 'cowardly'. In playing Hunters of Blood II where teleporters are used to transport AI into player territories, an eight stack of archers will stop most things, the AI just playing safe, will take a lot of time building a huge force before actual confrontation. Test and observe, sometimes the AI will do things that one doesn't expect, and won't go according to our plans. - BCH

Don't you wish it was easier than this???
Be sure to send Blue some of your ideas, so we may all benefit!
:-) Fingers

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