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Topic Subject: The 2010 Singles Tournament News Station (TNS)
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posted 07-31-10 08:35 PM EDT (US)   
TNS will bring you all the news and updates regarding the 2010 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!

** History: TNS 2009 Tournament
** Tournament map testing
** Sign-up and Tournament Rules
** Final Standings Round-1
** The maps used for this tournament


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

Feel free to send news to 'swolte at', and our reporter may put it on.


Sea of Sand (Torso vs Costa)
Sea of Sand (Swolte vs Zelenenkiy)
Sea of Sand (Enginerd vs TheCake)
Sea of Sand (Unnapu vs Morgul666)
Sea of Sand (Oleg123 vs Charx)
Sea of Sand (HenrySix vs TravisII)
Sea of Sand (Vovy vs LordDuck)
Sea of Sand (Zrcalo vs Timelord)
Elementmo (Swolte vs TheCake)
Elementmo (Vovy vs Travis)
Elementmo (Oleg vs Timelord)
Elementmo (Costa vs Morgul)
Finals (Timelord vs TravisII)
Semi-Finals (TravisII vs TheCake)
Semi-Finals (Timelord vs Costa)

Scrolls updated 11/14

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 Timelord (edited 02-12-2011 @ 01:46 PM).]

posted 08-01-10 11:55 AM EDT (US)     1 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Tournament News Station, or TNS! We will bring you all the news regarding the upcoming 2010 singles PBEM tournament!
Although it is still a while away, preparations have begun and so this is the reason we have this early broadcast. On today's show, we will have Swolte discuss some of the planning of this years tournament. Swolte, welcome!
Thank you, good to be here again.
Recovered from your loss in last years' final, hehe?
Oh please, do you have to start with that...
No, but I did want to ask about the 2010 tournament! I see you have already asked to recruit maptesters. What is the plan there, and when can we expect the tournament to start?
Well, first of all, we are started quite late and we should ideally have begun maptesting already. We have, actually, begun, but not in a very systematic manner.

These would be the steps and timelines I have in mind. And yes, they are ambitious...

* Begin August - Propose 1st round map candidates. Start maptesting essential maps for first rounds.
* Mid August - Open recruitment for everyone. Rules and regulations. Assemble Tournament support team.
* Begin September - Finalize map selection 1st rounds, and possible next rounds as well. Start Tournament 1st rounds.

That doesn't leave a lot of time for maptesting, actually. Aren't you concerned about that?
We won't start the tournament before there is a certain level of comfort about the maps with the myself and the tournament team (tbd). I think we can get a lot of good feedback in a short time. Also, we know much better what to look for in maps to make them tournament-ready. The 2009 tournament had a lot of discussion on map unbalances and these experiences have sharpened our tweaking abilities. Last, I really believe the maps are of a better starting quality. The previous tournament required quite some drastic surgery to certain maps but I predict that won't be the case as much now.
How firm is the beginning of September start date?
Not firm. It largely depends on whether we can get the maps tournament-ready. There are other factors that may delay the tournament as well, but on those I hope to elaborate later (still have to talk to TS).
Interesting, well, how are the maps being decided?
Well, I hope to make a proposal ASAP and discuss it with Enginerd (or whomever is helping out). Of course the maps who were in the top three are guaranteed to be used. Since 3rd and 4th place were shared, already four maps are certain of being used:
- Enginerd's Battle of Enioch (but won't be first round)
- Charx' Hope's End
- Swolte's The Sea of Sand and iBobs' UpNUnder

So, we will first see in which of the rounds these maps fit best. Then, we will look at all the remaining maps to see if they are suitable. Of course, we will start with maps that had high scores and interesting comments from the map judges. It will also help if authors have uploaded their map, so more people have played it since and could have clues to its quality.
Once we have a proposal for which maps to use, I will contact the author of the map with a proposed tournament-version and offer to work together on some changes.
What type of changes will there be?
Mostly, three types of changes. First, from experience, most big changes will involve making the map play faster and more on direct player-vs-player. For practical reasons, a tournament map should have its decisive moments not too late or else it is undoable to organize and play a tournament. Second are simple mistakes, this often involves changes with defenders not being placed or events that do not work. Last year, there was an incredible amount of mistakes and so we have to be equally vigilant. I have also discouraged and warned of map events this year so I suspect there will be less. Third, there are changes to the balance of the maps. Especially tweaks that reduce biases in harvesting abilities (dominate, resurrect, control animal, etc...) have had the most devastating impact on map balance. But there are also balance changes to terrain and sites that allow for equal expansion speed and/or access to differ resources.

Well, thanks for this interview, Swolte! Dear viewers, thanks for watching the first TNS of this 2010 edition of the singles PBEM tournament!

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 08-14-10 07:14 PM EDT (US)     2 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS, where we will report on the 2010 PBEM which has now officially opened it recruitment. If you are interested in joining, please sign up here. On todays show, we'll have Swolte discuss the opening and balancing of the maps planned for the first rounds.
Swolte, welcome, are you excited that the sign up has opened. I see you have enlisted yourself already?
Yes, I am very excited. We have some very interesting and fun maps prepared and I am sure we'll be able to report on some amazing games.
How many people are you expecting to sign up, and when exactly do you hope to start.
As I was hinting in the previous interview, Triumph Studios will soon rerelease the AoW games on Steam and this may actually bring in quite a few new players. Or perhaps some old veterans with renewed interest, who knows? I am willing to delay the start-date of the tournament somewhat (up to the 7th of September) for this. So yes, this means we may have a few more new people than usual.
Furthermore, I believe last year's tournament was quite a big success and I hope that a lot of people were kicking themselves because they hadn't signed up. I also expect more members to sign up than last year. So, all in all, I think we can expect some 40 people!
You already mentioned the influx of a lot of new players. Will this bring the level of the tournament down?
Well, newbies have two sides. On the one hand, we need new players to keep the community alive and vibrant. They are absolutely essential! Including them is a great opportunity. Take last year, for example, Cranberry is a good example of a new player who stuck around and can now be seen in the PBEM forums! He wasn't strong enough to survive subsequent rounds (past round 1) last year, but I am sure that his play has improved.
What I am most worried about with newbies is that they simply do not realize the commitment it takes and think it is just something fun to try. The PBEM tournament requires your everyday attention. Signing up is a serious committment and I don't care if you are running for senator or have some exams. Communicate if you are busy, and if you can't take the intensity, don't sign up! I really dislike disqualifying new players because they don't play fast enough and don't communicate according to the rules. I feel they lose interest in the entire game as well, and that is never a good thing.
You didn't really answer the question...
Oh right, about bringing the level down... well, it will weed out after the first rounds anyway. Personally, I don't mind being up against weak players in the beginning. Its like a warm-up. Then again, one should also never underestimate unknown, but incredibly inventive, players you meet the first round.
Like Oleg, yes, we remember that. How is the testing going for maps of the first round?
Yes, it looks like the maps for the first round are going to be:
- UpNUnder (iBobs)
- HopesEnd (Charx)
- Oceania (Puncturebox)
As you can see in the preparation thread, things are extremely busy. We should be very thankful to the testers, who are helping to ensure that there aren't very large balance issues. I have accumulated an enormous documentation with improvements implemented for each map.
Yes, I am sure we'll have a chance to discuss these, perhaps with the authors, in a separate episode! In general, what are most of the changes aimed at?
Most changes are aimed at making the maps play faster. This is something I hammer on quite a lot, as many of you know, but ironically, it is my own map, the Sea of Sand, that needed a lot of modifications in that respect. Charx and iBobs are quite involved with the balancing for their own maps. All the maps for the first round are asymmetrical and so it does require quite some tweaking. Its good to have the mapmakers be so involved. Puncturebox didn't have the time, so I am mostly doing the tweaks on that map. Of course, in all cases, the maptesters themselves provide detailed and excellent feedback of which most gets implemented.
Ok, great, good luck with the maptesting. Will you be needing any more testers?
Yes, always! We need to start determining what the maps for the remaining rounds will be. Also, although at least three testgames are played on each map, we may still have doubts about how a map can play out.
Great, ok, thank you so much, Swolte. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being here with us today at TNS!

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 08-16-10 09:16 AM EDT (US)     3 / 267  
Ooh cool, a new series of TNS started

Proud mapmaker for the UPatch team
One gas to rule them all, One gas to find them
One gas to bring them all and with the Spice we bind them
Creator of the following maps: RenaissanceEarth, RoadToHell, YeOfLittleFaith, FrostbiteDelirium, Stormy Seas
Co-creator for: CityDwellers
together with TravisII
posted 08-16-10 11:45 PM EDT (US)     4 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this special TNS report! The sign up has only been open for a few days, and already 17 people are contending!

Of course, both our former finalists for the 2008 and 2009 tournament are going to try to keep or reclaim their titles: Costa and Swolte. They will be amongst the top favourites, without a doubt.

However, we have some other powerhouses that have signed up as well that may be able to stop these two. Timelord can be dubbed the best player to never have won a tournament like this. Will he succeed now? Or is it someone else? Interestingly, last year Timelord was asked which player he feared the most and he named: Henrysix. Ladies and gentlemen, that fear may become true as this year Henrysix will be contending!
It is also rumored that PawelS may be amongst the favourites for the title as well. He has made a good impression in the 2009 tournament and it looks like his skills have only improved!

We have some new contestants as well. Castanieda, Thorgal Unnapu, and Gryffone are players who have been at heavengames for several years and will now put their skills to the test in a tournament. We haven't seen them very competitive yet on 1v1 maps but maybe we can we expect surprises from them. Never underestimate their years of experience! Time will tell...

Euandor, Nyarlathotep, Albinscott, Bluebaby and Zeldafreak are relatively new at PBEM at this site, but they may hold some surprises. Albinscott specifically, may be one to keep an eye on. It was calculated he had the toughest schedule in last years tournament and only barely failed to make the cutoff to the second rounds, putting up some impressive fights.
Oleg123 is also relatively new to here, but he is known to be a killer! In the previous tournament he caused some great upsets but was defeated by Morgul666 in the first rounds. Perhaps they will meet again, as Morgul is contending as well. Morgul666, in turn, is probably hoping that JamesEde signs up so he can avenge his loss in the subsequent round.

We also have a celebrity sign-up! The Stranger, renowned for the famous mod, also enters the battle field. Many fear it can only hurt his reputation, but even that will be interesting to see!

Ladies and gents, it seems like we already have an interesting bunch! But now, over to the commercials. This was your TNS for 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 08-17-2010 @ 09:00 AM).]

posted 08-17-10 10:37 PM EDT (US)     5 / 267  
"Signing up is a serious committment and I don't care if you are running for senator..."

Is that directed at me? Just get this thing up and running before the next Canadian election and I'll be fine.

posted 08-17-10 10:41 PM EDT (US)     6 / 267  
Actually it wasn't. Recently bought a TV and so there is all this election stuff on CNN blaring in the background.

Glad it applies to at least someone, though.

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 08-17-10 11:12 PM EDT (US)     7 / 267  
Just read through this. It's great news that AOW will be available on Steam. That will definitely bring in more players! Will they be releasing on other sites too - like Direct2Drive and GOG? GOG has a huge fan base for the classic games and I think AOW will do well there.

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 08-20-10 04:05 AM EDT (US)     8 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS, your best newstation for the upcoming PBEM tournament! On today's show, we'll have Swolte discuss some of the maps that will be used for the first rounds. The tournament versions of these maps will be uploaded a week before the tournament starts so everyone can provide feedback. If you need an earlier peek, simply sign up as a tester, as you need more, right, Swolte?

Yes, we always need more. I have been working very hard on maps for the subsequent rounds. I am glad that Albaron has agreed to work with me to see if we can get his map, 'The experiment', tournament-ready. The maps for the first round can still use some testing, as well. Every day there is feedback streaming in, so many thanks to the testers!

So, I guess we already know, but its now official that these maps are going to be used for the first round:
- Hope's End - by Charx
- UpNUnder - by iBobs
- Oceania - by Puncturebox

Is this correct and why are these maps chosen for the first rounds?

Yes, this is correct. Overall, what you'll notice is that most of the maps for the first round are not symmetrical. This was done intentionally because asymmetrical maps are very hard to balance. Since a loss in the first rounds isn't necesarily fatal to your tournament progress, we decided to put the symmetrical maps in subsequent rounds. So if there are major balance issues, the effect won't have to be that detrimental. Another reason is that in the later rounds we'll see maps being played 'sudden death' and by very good players. We'll need maps which are really well balanced and often it is just 'safer' to go with simple symmetrical maps there.

Can you tell us about each of the maps for the first round, and why particularly this combination of maps was included?

Sure, one objective was to have all three maps play very different from each other. This was to bring out the different qualities in players in the first rounds.

Oceania by Puncturebox, for example, is a very hard map to plan a strategy on beforehand. It relies on the ability of a player to be adaptive and inventive because all the villages are set to random. The strategy you go with has to be dependent on what you find along the way. Players also have little control over what to expect... Concealment strategies? Frost Whitches? Balloons? It's all going to have to be determined by good scouting and inference.
Another element is that the mapspace is very small and designed to almost push players into each other. There is simply no room to dabble or exchange polite remarks. Even the most turtlish of players will HAVE to meet early and fight over resources and cities, as there is simply no other way to go.
The map is also controversial, as it will feature Dracs verses Humans when it comes to starting cities. In my opinion, this is a classic matchup that we saw earlier as well in Rocky Divide and where we'll see whether the choice of Knights/Herbalist can go against Hydra/Flyer (if it ever gets to building them). The Dracs have a natural defense, but will need to play a bit smarter to get a foothold on the surface lands.

Because players have no control over much of the maps content and its design forces players in each others arms very early and aggressively, I predict this map will be the least popular. As an organizer, it is very practical to have such a fast playing map in the tournament. Especially in the first rounds it is crucial as it allows games to end fast so players will also be able to be faster with their other games. So I like it a lot...

What about UpNUnder by iBobs?

This map from iBobs is different in several ways. First, there is just an incredibly fun and original backstory which gives it a very unique atmosphere. Second, this map is also fast but not as crazy fast as Oceania. It rely less on adapting to unexpected events and allows for quite some planning. If players want to dabble and explore the interesting surroundings, they can do so. I do predict that if two experts are pitted against each other, the game would be over quite fast as you can be at each other's throat quite soon. I have seen some testgames which looked like they contained very interesting matches and so I look forward to seeing the map played. Last, and most important, this map is somewhat symmetrical and this makes it diffent from the other ones from an organizer's perspective. Next to some minor issues, this was probably the easiest map to get balanced. I am still tweaking things with iBobs to make it even better!

What about Hopes End by Charx?

Completely different from the others, and probably anything you've ever played. First, it is probably amongst the most asymmetrical maps to be on a tournament. Each side really requires a completely different style of play. It's also incredibly difficult to balance, especially since one side relies more on harvesting than the other. Had it not been in the top 3, I had probably saved myself the headache using this map... However, after a lot of testgames and emails back and forth with Charx I am more confident the map is balanced! He is also an experienced player, which helps. The list of balance tweaks from the testgames is also quite large now, making the map better and better! Second, its very original in terms of gameplay in that one player has no real active Wizard. It simply has an AoW1 leader-type of game where the game is lost if a particular hero, Gruumsh, dies. The map is also a bit more serious when it comes to atmosphere. Whereas UpNUnder is like a Shrek movie, this is more like... well, something more serious! Last, this map is a chessboard. Games can take a bit long as the map is designed in ways to be able to play slow. One player, actually, is invested into having the map take longer. Despite some of my early criticism, I think the map will be amongst the favourites played at this tournament. I am getting many compliments on this work from various testers for Charx.

So yes, in sum, we have maps ranging in speed from extremely fast to a bit slow. Some maps will rely more on planning than others. The atmopsheres are ranging from serious to quite fun, and the gameplay is very special in some and more traditional in others! The balancing is still progressing, so in that respects maps will probably only get better.
When can we have a look?!
Hopefully soon. At least a week before the tournament starts!
Ok, Swolte, thanks for the visit. Ladies and gents, 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 08-24-10 00:34 AM EDT (US)     9 / 267  
Ladied and gentlemen, welcome to TNS update! The amount of contestants has nearly doubled since last week. We now have a total of 32 contestants and the number seems to be growing. Already more people signed up than last year! This is promising to be a great tournament!

New contestants, and also new to the site, are Zelenenkiy, TheCake, Triii, and Wizardspike. We have no idea what to expect from these players, but I am sure the rest will make no mistake underestimating them. Perhaps one of them can cause an upset!

Badborre_dk was new in the 2009 tournament, and didn't make it through to the second rounds. This year, he is back with a vengeance and is likely hunting for his first victory! Someone who also had an unfortunate tournament last year is Torso. He was actually dubbed as one of the favorites but didn't manage to make it through round 1. Early on, he practically killed himself on the deadly 'colors' map. With the pressure on, he won one game, but lost his other game against costa. He did not get enough points to get through to the next round. As we all know, Costa ended up winning the entire tournament. It sounds like this year can only go better for Torso!

We also see that Troy Locker has signed up. Last year, a poll indicated Troy to be THE favorite to win the tournament. Years ago, he featured in a legendary battle against Waterfly - regarded as one of the best players ever. Troy, being the underdog, had Waterfly cornered in an impossible position. Only through an incredible combination of luck and brilliance was Waterfly able to turn the tides, but Troy left a strong impression. Last year he didn't manage to win from Vovy and Charx in the first rounds, despite putting up some tough fights. He was a bit rusty then, but that may be different now...

Vovy ended up being one of the 2009 tournaments big surprises! Everyone mistook him for a newby, but he was exposed as an online champion in the russian league! Vovy was unbeaten in the first rounds, and showed that his victory over Troy was no luck by defeating Charx in the second round. He seemed unstoppable until Timelord was able to put a halt to his row of victories in a great match (+ video!)! It's clear he is a great contender, and perhaps he is capable to make it to the final 4!

Another favourite who signed up is JamesEde. Despite all expectations, he sailed through the first rounds, and made it to the final 4 beating SMUki and Morgul666 in the process! He won last years 'best logger' which had us all wait in eagerness for his logs. He was eventually stopped by Costa here. Will he be able to pull this off again, and go even further?

SMUki and Charx are also contending this year, and seem eager to test their skills! Both of these players made it through to the second rounds last year which was quite an accomplishment in itself! TravisII is another interesting contestant. He hasn't signed up before, in fact, we don't see him around here a lot. However, if you scroll lower, we see someone who is quite proficient at AoW1. Will these skills transfer? We'll see, but upon signing up he said "Hmm I guess I will get my butt kicked.".

Hmmm, no words of bravery and confidence, ladies and gents...

iBobs and Lorduck are also signed up. Just like Charx, iBobs is providing a tournament map which should be advantage playing, however, reports have leaked that he does get beaten on it quite often. Lordduck succeeded into going through to quarter finals rounds last year, but was stopped by Swolte in a gruelling match of which a video was made.

All in all, some interesting matches ahead!

Ladies and gents, this was your TNS for 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 08-29-10 10:51 PM EDT (US)     10 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS! The past few days knew only one new sign-up, which was Endurell, who brought the total up to 33! On today's show, we'll have Swolte to discuss tournament progress as well as some tips for newbies who are signing up. Swolte, welcome, how is the organizing going?
Thank you, its going well. I hope to release the first mappack tomorrow. This will definitely contain the maps that will be used in the first round in their final form. There will still be room for changes but players would need to come with very good arguments and speak from experience will we comply, as we have studied many testgames on these maps and the maps are quite ready. Obviously, if there is are mistakes, we can always fix it (but I doubt there are mistakes at this point).
Elementmo by Unselord will also be used in the tournament for any of the subsequent rounds, probably the semi's. Maptesting has just begun. It ranked 8th in the mapmaking competition and it's a nice straightforward map with lots of options for players. Should be a lot of fun. The map was already balanced quite well, so I didn't have to make too many changes. I am currently working with Albaron on his map...
Ok, ok, but more on that later. It sounds like it is worth an episode on its own. Now, last week you had to 'disqualify' a new player from entering the competition. What was that about?
Yes, this person admitted having an illegal version, and on this site we have a strict policy about that.
Well, isn't this a bit harsh?
Maybe, it's global Heavengames policy, and as a Seraph I have to enforce it! If I don', it sets a precedent and HG's reputation as a site can be negatively impacted. Perhaps not AoWHeaven directly, but there are other Heavens who do rely more on Game Developers visiting, or wanting them to visit. Having a good reputation is also good for advertisement revenue, of course. We used to be even tougher about it when Developers from TS regularly visited the forums, now players just get a warning.
What about newbies in general. Should they all sign up.
Yes and no! Yes, if they are serious, know the game, and read all the instructions. No, if they don't do any of those things! Of course we need newbies, or else we cannot grow as a community, so we will try and help newbies out as much as we can.
What are you worried about...
Well, first is that are scared away by the competitive multiplayer atmosphere. A tournament is great, however, do keep in mind that a tournament is not the best way to make new friends because the stakes are quite high and its competitive. No one will easily walk you through, or give you some tips along the way. So, if you want a nice introduction to multi-player, do not join a tournament. Second, is reliability. This tournament means a huge commitment. For months, you will be expected to play a turn at least once every two days. That is a LOT, and if your lifestyle doesn't permit this, or you 'just want to give it a try', you just better not sign up.
Any tips?
Newbies may want to familiarize themselves a bit more with the game in a more leisurely way. Sign up as a substitute on the forums for PBEM, or join a starting (random) game. Then you know a bit what you're getting yourself into. You will also get the hang of most of the technical aspects that have to do with sending a turn and such. People may need to get into how to send off their turns, manually or automatically. Or how to set a password. And familairize themselves with the houserules, of course!
Thanks Swolte, that should cover it! We expect an update soon, where many of the tournament editions of maps will be released! 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
posted 09-01-10 09:15 AM EDT (US)     11 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, breaking news as the maps to be used for the first rounds have been uploaded! Go get them here, now!!

It seems it won't be long before the tournament starts, rumors say it may be as early as next Sunday when Swolte has announced the sign-up to be closed. Wow, did I just say sign up is closing!!? If you haven't signed up, now is your last chance!!

More news to come, 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 09-01-2010 @ 09:24 AM).]

posted 09-02-10 02:45 PM EDT (US)     12 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, big news as Enginerd has signed up for the tournament as well. It seemed uncertain whether he was able to, but he has finally caved in.
Enginerd was responsible for some of the most exciting matches in the previous tournament, and Costa was the only one who could stop him!

My sources tell me that organization is debating whether the first rounds should have safeguards in the randomization so that former finalists (semi and final) won't be grouped against each other in the first rounds.

Your opinions are much appreciated! (Of course, Swolte wants this...).

Ladies and gentlemen, we at TNS wish you a productive day! More to come later!

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 09-02-10 03:50 PM EDT (US)     13 / 267  
My sources tell me that organization is debating whether the first rounds should have safeguards in the randomization so that former finalists (semi and final) won't be grouped against each other in the first rounds.
It certainly makes sense to me.
posted 09-02-10 06:41 PM EDT (US)     14 / 267  
On behalf of all the terrible players out there, I demand that you all knock out each other in the very first round :P
posted 09-04-10 03:29 AM EDT (US)     15 / 267  
Upload the maps on 01.09. and start the competition on 05.09.? - A Swolte action? I want to file objections!

UpNUnder is bearing too much of a random character with its current settings of spawning random units. It can happen that one player receives several high level units while the other player receives only low level units. For a tourney this is unbearable! In my view random spawning events have no place in a tourney as they only constitute gambling. The spawning must be arranged that such a random unbalance cannot happen.

[This message has been edited by Bluebaby (edited 09-04-2010 @ 03:34 AM).]

posted 09-04-10 03:53 AM EDT (US)     16 / 267  
well, I haven´t checked any of the tourney maps yet but if what Bluebaby says is true regarding the random spawns then I have to totally agree.
randomness in general should be avoided in tourney maps if you want to avoid comments like "bad luck was on my side" etc... afterwards...
And in addition to that it´s simply not fair.

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 09-04-10 11:55 AM EDT (US)     17 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, TNS here with **Breaking News** as JamesEde has withdrawn himself from the tournament! The former semi-finalist and winner of the 2009 best logger award will not be attending this year. We're sure to get him in for an interview soon to see what happened! Good news followed shortly as Naeco WILL be able to contend! What developments, ladies and gentlemen!

On the show today we'll have Swolte, the main organizer. Swolte, welcome, some consternation has arisen outside the TNS building. You had mentioned that the maps would be uploaded a week before the tournament starts, however, if we start on the 5th of September its not been a week, exactly! What do you have to say about that?! It doesn't sound fair.

The reason is that we have a long weekend (labor day) and so it is very helpful, timewise, to be able to start the tournament then. I would like to ask the understanding of the contestants for this.
We all have working jobs as well during the week. It takes a lot of time to set up 50+ PBEM games, send out questionnaires, as well as make all the forum posts. Sunday and Monday are simply too ideal as I can get some help from Enginerd, Naeco, and Timelord as well.

Well, does that justify the players having insufficient time to look over the maps? There are complaints about the UpNUnder map regarding random spawns!

Yes, good point. Its a personal decision, and I hope that one day extra won't make that much of a difference.

Regarding the spawns, this was one of my largest concerns as well for this map. However, we have to keep in mind there is a degree of randomness in all games: what spells you get from the start, what units in campsites/recruit sites, what defending spells in vaults, etc... I think we all agree that with a tournament we don't want such randomness too be all-decisive.

Now, I have actually addressed the issue of the spawns quite early with iBobs. Even before any official testgame was played! The randomness of awards was greatly reduced.

It is still possible that one player gets a better deal than another, but this difference is not too game-breaking. I have now adjusted it somewhat further. The lvl-4 spawns have been deleted so that those very extreme differences with lvl-1 and lvl-4's will NEVER occur (even though the chance was pretty low). In addition, I have adjusted the spawn so that:
Weak reward gives one unit: (Level 1 or 2 or 2).
Moderate reward gives one unit: (Level 2 or 2 or 3).
Strong reward gives one unit: (Level 2 or 3 or 3).

So, now it is even more unlikely you will get a large unit-strength differences in rewards. Of course there will be instances where there are discrepancies, but those are in the range of getting lucky with spirits rewards, recruits, etc... not gamebreaking. Just see them as scripted spirit quest rewards!

I am hesitant to completely revise this system since these rewards-events are such an integral part of the map, and I don't want iBobs to be too angry with me when he's back from holiday... ;-) Also, these events were deemed OK by the mapmaking judges (after all, it won third place...).

Also, as iBobs pointed out in our discussions on map gameplay, the unit rewards (or reward, as it is often only one unit) appear at the far back and will most likely have a defensive impact. Last, in none of the test-games did it seem the random spawn being a deciding factor. The games seemed very fun, went up and down (or under), and were decided by skillful and decisive maneuvering.

Well, thank you for explaining and being on the show. Perhaps those changes will take away some of the fears. Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS!

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 09-04-2010 @ 04:53 PM).]

posted 09-05-10 01:03 AM EDT (US)     18 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS. Your best newstation for everything related to the PBEM Tournament. It will be a matter of days/hours now before we start...
On todays show, we have Enginerd, one of the tournament organizers. Enginerd, welcome to the show! Please take a seat! Can you first tell us a bit more about yourself for those of you who do not know you!?

Enginerd I started playing AoW1 solo way back when and then I stopped for a year or two, got tired with the game. Then, I started playing AoW1 again (bored with my other games) and this time I ventured out onto the internet. Quick search brought me to HeavenGames and then I followed the forums for a month or so. I was still a little wary of the whole internet thing but then a 1v1 tourney was being organized and I decided to take the plunge. I signed up, got crushed in my 2nd game and was hooked on PBEM play. After hundreds of games later, a few titles here and there and a couple years I was a very active regular. Then a few staffers moved on and retired and an opening came up and I got the job as Cherub over the AoW1 forums. Eventually staff thinned out a bit again and we found ourselves shorthanded and I enjoyed doing "stuff" to help out and got my Angel wings. So now I help out on the SM forums, mostly helping with tourneys and backing up the other staffers!!!

My goofy name of Enginerd is just the joining of two words, I'm an "engineer" by degree and a bit of computer "nerd". In hindsight I should have picked a better name, but hey, it works. And I got to pick a really cool avatar. I've always liked the dwarves so it was a natural to pick one, and then I found this blacksmith and knew it was perfect. I like to build things so I think a little of me is in that mighty dwarf as he pounds out some new armor or weapons or something. And I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to this tourney. I've been a bit absent as of late (more on that later) and I really need to get back into the swing of things and the timing of this tourney is perfect for that. And we've got a really great group ready to play. I can't wait to see what will happen, it's so exciting.

In this tournament we'll be using a hybrid swiss-elimination system (see rule #6 in here). Can you explain how the Swiss system works, in plain language, to some of the new contestants?

Enginerd Wow, this is tough. I'll try and make it simple... ok... forget that... here's the complicated explanation Swiss Tourneys try and put similar ranked players against others of similar rank as you go through the rounds. If you win, you play someone who won, if you lose, you play someone who lost. In theory this allows you to find the best players as they keep playing against other winning players. It also allows everyone in the tourney to enjoy playing lots of games. You are ranked based on if you win and also on the strength of your opponents. We've kept that ranking idea.

We don't have the time to have 7 or 8 rounds so we've sort of crammed 3 rounds into 1 by having three games going on simultaneously. We give each player a score for winning and a score based on opponent strength (how many games they win). So we've got a morphed type of Swiss system where we have a random "open" first round with 3 games. The rankings after round 1 are based on the Swiss scoring methods and then we go to a classic 16 player seeded single elimination rounds to find a winner. So yeah, it's a HG Morphed Swiss tourney structure that works for us . Best option, win all three games in the first round!

What are some of the reasons behind using this system. Are there disadvantages as well, in your opinion?

Enginerd Any tourney system has good and bad. Yes, we've got both but we've worked hard to make the good really good and the bad not so bad. We've got a fabulous first round with 3 games on 3 maps. Advantages are everyone gets to play 3 games before being eliminated, you get to meet and play with new people, it builds the forum community and is a lot of fun. Disadvantages, the random nature of seeding means some players get an easier pass than others. So for those getting paired up against strong opponents... well.. your tourney is do or die in round 1. That's ok, gotta win to advance. Also, It's great to have lots of players but the more players above 32 the harder it is to get to a top 16 players after Round 1. Some players won't get out of Round 1 with two wins. Newer players have commented that they've enjoyed the first round as well, even if many newbies have had a rude awakening when they meet that elite veteran (I did 7 yrs ago). So, yeah, the good parts are good, the bad isn't so bad. We'll try and keep the excitement going by playing quickly, having lots of interviews and we want to have fun with the TNS again. So yeah, this will be a great tourney.

You signed up as a competitor quite late, why was that? Do you think you will do better this year compared to last year? Also, last year you provided video's of some of the matches. Can we expect the same of you this year?

Enginerd Well, as many know I've had some personal things going on the last few months that have taken up lots of my time. I haven't been active and I've been neglecting my forum duties, for this I apologize. I knew the tourney was coming up and I wanted to get back into being more active and timing with the personal things is getting better (still working through some of them). So I finally decided that yeah, I can sign up and I think I need to sign up for a break from real life. Being active on the forum has brought me enjoyment over the years and it will do me some good to have some fun. Yes, there will be videos and graphs and some fun posts, probably not to the same level as last year but I'll do my best.

Your map has won the mapmaking competition and will be used for the final (more on this later, of course). Do you you think this will be an advantage for you? Have you been thinking about a tournament edition?

Enginerd Hah! I have no advantage and it will be very very lucky if I even make it to the finals. I'm not so sure I'll get out of round 1. I haven't studied the maps, haven't playtested them and only just briefly looked at them in the editor. My preparation is terrible but I'm going to play and give it my best shot. Once I get knocked out I'll spend some time looking at my map, maybe make some changes for the tourney edition but honestly, I haven't looked at that map in months. I'm just trying to figure out how to randomize 38 players with 3 games with everyone getting a chance to play first at least once and not have any duplicate matches .

You seem to be in touch with Flanders and his cohorts. Do you have any idea whether we will see them appear in this tournament as well? It has been rumored that Flanders, the Wizard, will conjure up the match-ups soon!

Enginerd Oh yeah, the Flander brothers will be back!!!! Stay tuned... you'll hear from them soon! And.... I've got some ideas for a few new cohorts to join him this year, we'll see if I can pull it off.

Thank you so much! Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS for you today! Tomorrow could be a big day...

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 09-05-10 05:57 PM EDT (US)     19 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS! We have breaking news as an unknown contestant called 'Faler' has signed up as the 38th contestant. Sign up has closed and the randomization has... finished??! We don't know! We have a quick update with Swolte on what's going on behind the screens. Swolte, welcome to the show. Well, what are the matches, we cannot wait!!
Good to be on the show, especially today. Its very busy, so I won't be able to stay long, for the moment. So, I will give you the result and run.

With thanks to Roger, as 'the independent randomizer':


Hopes End

SMUki- Naeco
Thorgal- Lordduck
Triii- Unnapu
TheCake- Euandor
Charx- badborre_dk
luke811- Swolte
zrcalo- iBobs
Morgul666 - Albinscott
Vovy- The_Stranger
Timelord - TravisII
Zeldafreak - Gwenio
Endurell - Faler
Torso- PawelS
Gryffone - nyarlathotep
Wizardspike - Castanieda
Troy Locker - Bluebaby
Costa - zelenenkiy
Springheel - Enginerd


iBobs - Morgul666
Vovy - Endurell
PawelS - Triii
Springheel - Bluebaby
Gwenio - Unnapu
SMUki - Zeldafreak
Castanieda - Timelord
TravisII - Thorgal
Naeco - Euandor
Charx - Troy Locker
Faler - Swolte
Lordduck - Oleg123
Albinscott - Torso
Enginerd - luke811
The_Stranger - Costa
Wizardspike - TheCake
Gryffone - zrcalo
nyarlathotep - Henrysix
zelenenkiy - badborre_dk


TravisII - Naeco
Swolte - Vovy
The_Stranger - Castanieda
Unnapu - nyarlathotep
zelenenkiy - zrcalo
Albinscott - Triii
luke811- PawelS
Troy Locker - Oleg123
Morgul666 - Springheel
Endurell - Enginerd
Gwenio - Thorgal
Bluebaby - Torso
badborre_dk - Faler
Henrysix -SMUki
Costa - Wizardspike
Zeldafreak - Lordduck
Euandor - Charx
Timelord - iBobs
TheCake - Gryffone

(nicer scrolls will follow)

This is great! Finally! Ladies and gentlemen, much to analyze!! More to follow soon!! Stay tuned!!

*cuts to commercial breaks*

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 09-05-2010 @ 06:31 PM).]

posted 09-05-10 09:21 PM EDT (US)     20 / 267  
Quick, my sword…. Hurry squire… I need my sword.

Yes milord, here it is, all sharpened and ready for battle

excellent, most excellent, the other knights won’t know what hit them, I will crush them all.

*tapping his earphone to the studio* What, is this the commercial… Who is this guy… What’s going on with the show? What? Improvise? Sheesh, I don’t get paid enough for this job. Oh-all right, I’ll improvise… cut to me in three… two…and……..

Oh, hello, excuse me, um, Knight..

It’s Flander, my friend, yes, you may call me Flander, Hah, what’s that surprised look on your face, looks like you just swallowed dragon poop, Hah, he sure looks funny doesn’t he?

Yes milord Flander, I’ll go get a bucket

*trying not to throw up* (oh no, not Flander again, he was such a nuisance last year, almost cost me my job, almost got blown up! I’m going to be sick… this is terrible). Oh, er hi, sorry I didn’t recognize you without your wizard hat and magic wand.

Hah, you must be thinking of my brother, Flander the so called greatest wizard. Yeah, we get mixed up all the time, but don’t worry, you won’t see his crazy fireballs around here. Hah, he’s a bit preoccupied right now. I can’t believe he fell for it.

*confused* Fell for it? What? Oh yeah, there are two of you, now I remember, you’re the knight, and he’s the crazy one that can’t do anything right

Don’t you call my brother Crazy! I’ll whack off your head! I won’t stand for those insults, mind you I’m in too good a mood to quibble over it today (and he doesn’t look like much of a fighter), you see the tourney is starting and I’m ready for action!

oh, sorry, it won’t happen again (that’s right, he’s a protective brother, and probably a bit weird too…. I can work with that as long as there are no fireballs) So, could I ask you a few… *Whack, reporter goes flying across the ground*

On Guard! Hah, weren’t ready for that were you? Oops, sorry, didn’t mean to knock you over, if you’re going to be around this tourney you better get ready for some fights, I could help you out, make you a better Knight, my squire is excellent, he always knows the best weapons and armor to use and keeps them in tip top shape. What do you say, want some lessons?

Here’s the bucket… oh, too late, he’s already keeled over on the ground.
*picking himself up off the ground* (this IS going to be worse than last year) No, no fighting for me. But I guess I could ask you a few questions. Are you sure we won’t be seeing Flander the Wizard? And we haven’t seen you around for some time, what have you been doing?

Hah, yes, my brother, oh that is a good one. Well, you see… I’ve been on a Quest! With some friends…. And my brother, Hah, it’s been a blast in more ways than one. You see, Enginerd had some troubles, so of course off we went. Oh we had great fun… well… I had great fun.

That’s right, we haven’t seen much of Enginerd after last year’s tourney ended, what sort of troubles? Is he back and ready for this year’s tourney? He did quite well last year.

Oh, to say he had troubles was an understatement, especially when Flander decided to help, oh that fireball almost ruined things for us, burned off Enginerd’s hair, Hah, that was a funny one. Yes, there was a dragon too, a damsel in distress, something about his father’s castle and estate, lots of beasts and brigands. What a quest.

Sounds exciting, did everything turn out ok, what happened?

Well, you’ll hear about it for ages to come… especially since I left my brother with that Dragon! Hah, told him to stand guard as he was the only one who could control the beast, you know, build him up like he’s really important, he likes that stuff. Well, Flander is off watching that dragon. He won’t leave, thinks it’s too important to leave. Poor little apprentice of his trying to tell him the dragon is already dead and not just sleeping. Yes, me, Flander the Knight, Dragon Slayer Extraordinaire! The bards will sing about it for all time.

I see, so how is Enginerd, is he ready?

Hah, you must be joking. I think Enginerd is still a bit off and not quite himself. He was trying to rush back for the tourney but he hasn’t focused on his training like he should. Don’t worry, I’m going to whip him into shape quickly, you’ll see, he’ll be quite the fierce competitor this year… or I’ll send him back to go get my brother, Hah!

I see, so… what do you think about the tourney this year?

Well, it’s exciting, even more than last year. We’ve got a pretty solid returning group, most of those that made it to the top 16 are coming back and we’ve got a couple other surprise sign ups out there, folks we haven’t seen in awhile. Imagine my surprise to see Henrysix and Springheel back in action, oh yes, we’ll see what they have to offer. And then some of those first time players from last year are back in action, we’ll see how well they’ve honed their skills this year. And it’s terribly exciting to see several new players, I can’t wait to see which one of them will surprise us the way Cranberry did last year. Imagine, a new player winning all three games the first round.

So, what are some of the exciting matchups, I see they were just recently announced?

You call Swolte’s last post an announcement. Hah! That was just a teaser, with a few drums, some flashy lights, quickly run in and leave. Squire, get the scrolls. Now this is what I call a proper announcement. Squire, don’t forget to remind me, we’ve got to have a training session with Swolte, he needs some practice with the sword, er um, I mean the scrolls. Hahahahah!

Here it is Sir Flander.

Wow…. 57 Games!!!! That’s sure quite a lot. How are we every going to analyze what’s going on? This is great… I’ll have all sorts of interviews to make with that many games going on. What are you thoughts?

Hah, you’ll have to wait for my analysis, you see, we’ve asked everyone to predict the winners and we don’t want to give them too much insider information. Naeco has sent out the questionnaires so hurry up and send them in. Besides, I’ve got to get back to training. Oh good, here comes Enginerd… he’s been practicing.

Enginerd *huffing and puffing* ok Flander, I’m back… boy that was rough…how’d I do?

Why you sorry excuse of a….. What are you talking about…. We don’t have time to chat…. You must train. On Guard! *Whack*

*Enginerd goes flying across the ground*

Ouch, that’ll leave a mark! Well, the games and matchups have been announced, it’s quite a list. Get your tourney questionaires turned in. The games are starting soon! *whisper* oh, and watch out for Flander, he seems to want to swing that sword of his all the time *rubs his shoulder where he was hit*. That’s it for this TNS special report. Good Luck!
posted 09-05-10 11:06 PM EDT (US)     21 / 267  
*still puffing from previous experience* Hello ladies and gentlemen, TNS is back in the studio again to continue with Swolte on this eventful day. Swolte, welcome, you were busy before?!
Yes, we really wanted to share the match-ups with the contestants as soon as we knew them, even if it meant rushing a bit! Turn threads have been made by timelord, but be aware that turns will be sent out by me tomorrow!
What has been happening behind the screens, lately? Are you relieved?
I am very excited after an intense period of preparation. Its hard work behind the screens to get everything ready. I am not doing it by myself, of course. It's great to work with people like Enginerd, Naeco, and Timelord!
Preparation hasn't been exactly been 'behind screens', though. I have been involved with the mapmakers as well as the map-testers to make the tournament editions of the maps. A big round of applause for Roger, PawelS, Bluebaby, Morgul666, Charx, iBobs, Albinscott, Bajadulce, Castanieda, Oleg123, and HenrySix for providing the excellent feedback! Of course, we should also remember these names because they've had some practice on the maps. ;-)
Their have been changes since the latest update of the maps, correct?
Yes, this is important! The latest versions can be found here. As was discussed before, there have been some changes on UpNUnder after feedback and concerns were posted. You can see the changes listed in the download description. The other maps were left unchanged. No more changes will be made to the map at this point. If there are unbalances and mistakes, we'll just have to live with it.
So what's next for the players?!
As mentioned, I will try and send out as many turns as I can tomorrow. As you can see, Timelord already made the threads. For now, players can study the maps. When the turns are received tomorrow, don't hesitate to start playing. Like last year, you have time to study your position because this first week the communication rules aren't active yet. They will be in effect starting Saturday the 11th. However, I would ask players not to take advantage of this grace period. We really need to get moving with the tournament. Oh, and also, don't forget to set your password and send that password to the password keepers.
Speaking of moving the tournament along, are we on schedule? And when do you estimate to end round 1?
So far, we seem to be on schedule and I am planning to be very serious and rigid about timing. The plan was to start the tournament in the beginning of September, and we have done so. There were some setbacks, but fortunately it didn't slow the progress down too much.
I am still a bit worried that games on some of the maps may take longer than 20 turns on average to really finish with a kill. We'll strictly enforce the communication rules which will speed up the turns, and I am sure that will help things move along. If worse comes to worse, we'll have to decide games by a judges' vote. Officially, in the rules, it states I can enforce such a rule if 75% of the games have ended. We have had a small number of games decided that way last year but none were very controversial.
Ideally, I would want to end round-1 in the beginning of October, but I think it will be mid-October (like the 20th or so). From then, I will probably start the next round as soon as possible. Last year we started 2 weeks earlier than now, so I am going to push things a bit harder this time around.
We'll have some more in depth analysis soon, but a quick word on your match-ups? Vovy, Luke811, and Faler!
Well, I am afraid I will need to win all three matches this time to advance to the next round. The match against Vovy will definitely be the decisive one. Vovy has left a sharp impression last year, and seems used to competitive play. I am glad its UpNunder I am meeting him on, because I like that map. Unless Luke811 really improved his play from last year, I think I should be able to win from him. HopesEnd is a very complex map and very tricky for an inexperienced player, which is not in his advantage. Faler is an unknown. In fact, all I know about him is his email which seems Russian. If he is connected to that online Russian community, he may be more experienced than I think... But I am grasping in the dark here. Bottom line is, its always tricky to face an unknown player in a fast map like Oceania where a single battle is probably going to be decisive. Overall, things could be much worse.
Well, Swolte, thank you for being on the show. Ladies and gentlemen, before we close for today, we do want to alert you again to a questionnaire Naeco has sent out. Everyone can actually contribute to it, even if you are not competing in the tournament! The form can be downloaded here, filled out, and then sent to swolte at gmail com. It involves predicting the games for the first round. We will see who does best at predicting the games in the end, and the winner will get a special TNS interview!! Ladies and gents, this was your TNS for 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 09-05-2010 @ 11:50 PM).]

posted 09-06-10 09:35 AM EDT (US)     22 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, a good day to all! On today's show, we have Charx talk about his map, HopesEnd. Its a very complex map, and so I intend to pry him somewhat on strategies we can use to win it! Everyone, be on your sharpest and pay extreme good attention as this may be a life-saving interview!
Charx, welcome to the show! Please take a seat. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself? Who you are, what you do, and especially how you got interested in AoW?

Charx Hello, first i like to thank you for the opportunity to meet you in your famous show. It is a great honor for me. I am a ordinary 30-years old german guy, living together with his girl-friend and beating her regularly in AOW. Apart from that i work as an IT-Consultant and like to ride my racing bike, to play guitar or starcraft 2. :-)
About two years ago i joined this community, and i don't regret a single day of it!
Your map, Hopes End has ranked second in the 2010 mapmaking competition! It is, however, in our records, the first Charx-map ever made? Is this correct, and if so, what made you compete in the tough mapmaking competition? Also, did you enjoy the mapmaking process in general and do you think we can expect more maps from you?

Charx Well, there is another Charx' 2on2 map that has not been released yet but is 99% finished and has already been playtested by many known players. But somehow, this project has been fallen asleep. I like painting with the editor, whereas scripting and testing the events is somehow not-so-userfriendly. But i really enjoyed the process and maybe, if time allows it, i will make another map.
Can you tell us about HopesEnd? The map seems quite unconventional by design... Where did you get the inspiration for a map like this? Was it what you hoped in the end?

Charx To be honest, i have to admit that it is all stolen from different sources. The unconventional design was deeply inspired by KingDavid's map "Blackheart and Goodfella's War", which i enjoyed most in last tourney, so i wanted to contribute an asymmetrical map like this one. The story comes from a book i recently read, "War of the flowers" by Tad Williams, in which a little goblin knowingly sacrifices his life to start a rebellion against the cruel elven rulers. This chapter really affected me and saddened me. Maybe it is not the best TadWilliam's book, but definitely worth to be read. And finally the name of the map is stolen from an epic sci-fi board game, "Twilight Imperium III" by FantasyFlightGames.
Wuuh, now i really feel relieved after confessing all this.
How did you experience the making of the tournament edition?

Charx The testgames showed clearly that Gruumsh had the stronger position at first. In many short workshops, we then nerfed Gruumsh's position as well as improved Furio's a lot, while starting new testgames in between. We experienced that each time, it became harder for Gruumsh to win. With the final version, i am pretty sure that the chances for both players are as equal as possible.
There are some special rules to this map. What is the meaning behind those (e.g., the shadow shift and recall hero spells are banned).

Charx The rules for this map are very simple: While Furio plays a normal game, Gruumsh's main character is the Gruumsh hero himself. If this hero dies, the game is over! So please take care of him. To avoid any cheats, exploits or tricks, the shadow shift and recall hero spells are banned, so that no unit can enter the Shadowworld to kill Gruumsh's wizard and Gruumsh can not call his hero to his wizard, where he would be unreachable. Technically, thats all you need to know.
Do you have any tips for players who are currently competing on the map for each side? How did you balance out the two sides, because the map is very asymmetrical!

Charx Well, the most important thing is to understand the dynamics of this map. In the first days, Gruumsh will be at the button, while Furio has to build up a defensive position. Gruumsh starts with a number of fast-moving low level units, and he recruits a lot. With that army, he has to gain a significant advantage by taking away structures from Furio or securing key structures on the map before Furio is able to get his lvl3s out that he definitely needs. This will most likely begin around day 7-8, and the game will probably begin to turn if Gruumsh has not used his early power to gain an advantage.
Oh, that doesn't sound easy, and to be honest, the map doesn't look easy in the editor neither...

Charx Yes, to avoid endless hours in the editor, i will explain both positions in more details, but lets have a quick look at the key sites for both players of this map:
On surface, in the southwest, there are big income structures, that give 75 gold, making it worth 150 gold (75 for you, -75 for opponent). Two of them are without defenders, so make sure you get there fast! The testgames showed that neither player can afford to lose these structures without getting a significant compensation elsewhere.
In the very center of the surface, there lies the heavily defended and razed old capitol. This area is dangerous and hard to pass because of all these undead creatures walking around. However, it is also rich of bounty and provides a fast and direct way between both players. Please make sure you don't finish a move beside a ruin to avoid any surprises during night. If you plan for it, you can compose a strategy in order to rebuild the capitol. It will provide you with a warhall and a very strong strategical position.
Further northeast, there are strong recruits available at the Templer's home. But this structures are easier to reach to Gruumsh. Furio has to rely on the sloppy nearby. The frostling outpost is set to refugee, so it will join the first player that comes along. Please note that Furio would have race-problems with them though. The both outposts in the north are the only points on surface where players will be able to build a wharf in late game.
Underground, things are not that complicated: Both players can get a village at the river that can build a fast wharf, supported by ressources, in order to get a transport out fast. In the southwest, the passage looks kind of uninteresting, but don't underestimate the camp set to medium defenders! I would recommend to send at least one unit to check out if they would join you. And if they do, you get a free spearhead in an area where the opponent will not expect you.
(*This guy is talking and talking and will never stop... I have to do something. Am losing viewers...*) Ah yes, interesting, so what do i have to do in Furio's position?

Charx His advantages lie in the late game. He has better magic capabilities and can build stronger units faster. His biggest disadvantage is a lack of mobility and lack of gold due to upkeep. Whenever possible, give gold-income a higher priority, you will need it! Another important thing to keep in mind is getting a champions guild fast. You need that Pegasi! Therefore, Furio has 2 options: He can either directly build a champions guild in his capital, or try to get the 2 ressources on surface, which will guarantee him a champions guild in the northern barracks, if he does not take the dwarven village first! The problem with the latter one is that the 2 ressources are not that easy to get. One is placed in the northern pass, defended by storms and little frostlings, while the other one is placed on a mountain, defended by a gargoyle. You will need a clever logistical plan in this case, taking good use of all mobile units available.
With your starting units underground, you have 2 possibilities: Either you move them to surface fast, where you definitely need any unit available, or you try to conquer the magic zone east of your capital. There you can get the valueable Efreet-spell, combined with the catalyst you even get a free Efreet! With casting specialist as a starting skill, Furio will be able to get out an Efreet every 2 turns. If you don't cast Efreets, you will want a lot of the Zephyrs coming out. With a large movement rate and flying ability, Gruumsh will have problems to avoid or even kill them.
Another option is to get the seducers and clear the prison with the help of the taunt-item. If you don't, and Gruumsh manages to dig through later in the game, the prisoners will join him.
On surface, you have a lot of things to do: You need to secure the nearby income structures. Then, you will want to free the western recruitment camp and Noorna, before you move on to the important income structures in the jungle. On the other side, you will also want to move northeast to get the dwarven outpost, the ressources there and most important, thats the only way to get to the dwarven area underground, where you will get more income and so on... The problem here is that you either need to cross a small river without boats, or the mountains. You will have some mountaineers, floaters (Efreets!) or swimmers available in the recruitment camps, and if certain water-spells like freeze-water or water-walking show up in your spellbook, get them asap! They will prove to be invaluable!
Now, what can you expect by Gruumsh? You will face the first scouts very soon, probably in the southwest surface area. He will also have concealed scouts, so your intelligence is of a big importance. You will need units with true-seeing ability, which are Noorna, your Archon lvl 2 units and the beholder to be able to catch the enemies spies. An item in the jungle also gives vision I plus true-seeing. You can also expect a soon invasion in the southwest. Your own problems are your lack of mobility: While Gruumsh has transports available in this area, you can not cross the river with most of your units. There won't be any wharfs in your cities. The only way to build up early pressure on Gruumsh is to choose the risky center path with a possible high reward, or to harass with your few floater and swimmers. In general, while Gruumsh's army has a larger number of units, your units are stronger than his, so a big fight would probably be in your favor.
*zzz* *ZZZ* *zzz*

Charx Ähemm....
*wakes up* Oh, sorry, i must have fallen asleep... So what about Fu.... ähhh, Gruumsh's position?

Charx If you are playing Gruumsh, your aim is to build up pressure very quickly. The early game, while Furio is investing gold in his city development, is your friend, whereas in the late game your chances will fade. That does not mean that you have to win the game fast. Successful harassment or stealing structures from Furio could be enough to simply overrun him later. Therefore, you will be given units with special abilities, but weaker combat stats. Gather your swimmers for a raid, and use your spies wisely to avoid any traps. I recommend to split up your army and not to focus on a single target, which will make it harder for Furio to react. But i could imagine that an early all-in move can also be successful.
Your most important units is Gruumsh. Try to level him up a bit, but don't risk his life! If you lose this unit, the game will be over for you! Apart from the spies, another key units are the slaver and the witch. Both units give you the possibility to harvest units on your way, so you should try not to lose them early in the game.
There is not much to say referring to movement strategies except this: Try to raid the southwest-area. The 75 gold lower income for Furio will hurt him much. Also try to race to the frostling outpost, which will join you on sight and give you precious gold and mana, and of course the snow troll! The most important thing though is keeping up the pressure, which means keep moving! Do not turtle along by exploring any single treasure-site you meet.
Do you think you will have a strong advantage playing against others on your own map and do you think you will survive the first rounds?

Charx The biggest advantage playing your own map is that you save the time you would need to study it in the editor. I am facing badborre_dk on Hope's End, and i will give my best to make it a hard time for him. Concerning the other games, i don't know anything about Euandor, and i will not underestimate him. However, i have a bad feeling about the match against Troy Locker. He is the better player and favourite in this game, and last year i was able to beat him just because it was his first match in ages and i was exploiting the map that i knew from playtesting wherever i could. Anyway, i will play the tourney just for fun and the best thing for me to happen is if players will enjoy playing Hope's End.
Well, thank you for this interview and good luck with your games. Ladies and gentlemen, your turns will arrive today, so please look out from emails from Swolte! More to come later!

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 09-06-10 02:24 PM EDT (US)     23 / 267  
~~~~~~~~ BREAKING NEWS!! ~~~~~~~~

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS, your station for all tournament news! Breaking news as about an hour ago all the turns have been sent out and the tournament has really kicked off!

It seems like the first one to finish a turn in this tournament is Morgul666! Congratulations, you can see the log here... I believe, or wait... I am just receiving an update! Oh no, a correction is in place! It has been PawelS who beat Morgul666 to it by a few minutes here!

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
posted 09-07-10 02:31 AM EDT (US)     24 / 267  
Ahem, beside all the enthusiasm, when do we get the actually played maps for inspection?
posted 09-07-10 06:36 AM EDT (US)     25 / 267  
You can get the Tourney version here.

Tired of manually receiving/sending your PBEM turns everyday ? Try out Dave's PBEM Wrapper!
posted 09-07-10 09:24 AM EDT (US)     26 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS. Games are moving along already and there are even a couple who are past day one!

On today's show we'll interview one of the tournament organizers, Naeco, on the randomization match ups and map preparation in general. He has been around for quite a while and knows the community well. Please welcome him to the show! Naeco, can you start off by telling us a bit more about yourself? Your avatar, what is your favorite AoW unit, you know, that stuff...

Naeco: I started with Aow1 about 10 years ago and went on with the sequels. However it was until 2005 that I learned of Aow HG. I tried online first and met a lot of nice people on GameSpy like Roger, Lunapark, oefspider... to name a few. But it's quite time consuming to play online and that's when the PBEM path began. I can play the game at time that suits my schedule and still enjoy the challenge against other fellow players. Multi-play is a nice way to get to know people and make friends and I indeed made a few acquaintances in this game like I did in other games that I play.

Aow:SM itself is still attractive thanks to the great work of the community. A lot of creativities and hard work have been put into the game (beautiful user made scenarios, amazing mods...). There are so many interesting units and structures added by players... Yes? Ohh a favorite Aow unit...!! It's not easy to pick just one as all of them compliment each other in game-play as a whole. But if I must I would choose black angel for the design perspective. Those black wings and dark skin... that relates to my real life favorite living creature, butterfly. I sometimes I stop playing for a while just to watch those wings swinging up and down and admire this deadly dangerous angel...

Oh how I could forget... >.< the avatar is a picture of my baby boy. I was playing around with him one evening and he has a little blanket that looks like a wizard cape. So I put it on him and took a lot of picture of him wearing it. I'm thinking about sending him to the Great wizard Flander once he knows how to spell. Yes ? You're afraid that it's not easy to be accepted by the great wizard Flander? Don't worry about it xD ... Last year, Flander himself personally gave me an autograph. I believe that's Flander's first and only autograph so far. I got it laminated and framed. My son will easily be his favorite apprentice once he sees that.

What do you think of the randomization this year, in general? Who will have a very easy job getting through the first rounds, in your opinion?

Naeco: Last year's tourney proved to be a huge success with the same match system. I believe the same it will be this year. There are a lot of interesting match-up from the first round that I'll be sure to follow and you don't want to miss them either.

Vovy vs The Stranger is an interesting match that I'd suggest following. One is a well known player in the Aow Russian online community. The other is a seasoned online player since years. Although they are not participating actively in many PBEM, their game skills are not something you can question.

Torso vs Pawel is another exciting match-up. I've been playing with them for years and their skills are equally great, but this is the first time they are up against each other in a 1vs1, if my memory does not betray me. There are many other matches of players of the same quality against each other like Springheel vs Enginerd, Albinscott vs Morgul666, iBobs vs Morgul666, LordDuck vs Oleg123... I just wish I have the time to follow all of them >.<

Costa vs The Stranger is one definitely worth watching though. There is no better way to test your skill than putting it into a battle against the champion. Among Costa's opponent, The Stranger is most likely to create an upset, although the champion will have to be wary against the other unknowns. Last year, the once unknown Oleg's victory against former champion Swolte proved to be the case. This year, Swolte will have an early tough test against Vovy. There are no place for complacency for both of them. Swolte can be odd on for his years of experience around here, but the same can be said about Vovy too in the Aow Russian league.
Also, you'll be curious to know if iBobs will have advantage in his own map against TimeLord, the tourney's strong contender.

This is so exciting!! xD

Tournament's favorites like Henrysix, Swolte, Timelord... will be strong contenders, no doubt about it. But I believe my opponents will have an easier job than them to get thru the next round :-p. Why? Lately, I do not have enough time and commitment to dedicate to the game. Like any competitions, lack of preparation will not get you good results. I'm still participating for the fun of it. However with that being said, even with an easy job, you'll need to do it properly to get it done. ;-)

Who have a very difficult job advancing to the next rounds, do you think?
Naeco: With all the reason above, who would have a more difficult job than me to get to the next round? >.> However, I can pick out some unlucky draws though. Luke811 will have a tough challenge against Swolte, Enginerd and Pawel who are considered to have the upper hand. But the good thing about this is that if he manages to win, he will have a good chance to go thru with the promising opponent points that his opponents may have.

How you feel about your own matches? (Compare to last year, etc...)
Naeco: In one word, unprepared. I need a lot of time to catch up on my game skills. Practice makes perfect, we all know that. Regarding my opponents, this is an interesting draw. I've met SMUki several times. He's a good player. We've been exchanging the first few turns and I'm afraid that he's having an upper hand in our game. I've never played against TravisII and Euandor, but one thing I've learned from last year's tourney is that they can always upset your game with surprise elements.

How can one ideally prepare for a match, do you think? To what extent can you prepare for a match? (overprep?) (Are there currently maps where you can prepare more or less for? If so, which ones, etc...)

Naeco: Depending on one's own playing skill that people have different approaches to match preparations. Some play test with friends over and over to learn from mistakes and experience. Some study the map, learn the terrain, the events... from there they evaluate the best strategy.

I've only started on match preparation 2 days ago... Yes, I know it's embarrassing, considering that people have been preparing their matches for weeks. So I'm trying to play on all the map as much as I can to get to know the terrain.

How do you yourself prepare for a match?

Naeco: I play test against myself to learn what flaws/mistakes I may make on each side, which option is the best to explore... Strategy? These 3 maps are my worst nightmare as I'm horrible dealing with maps containing water and rivers... I think it has something to do with the fact that I can't swim >.<

Thanks for being on the show. Good luck in your games, etc!
Naeco: My pleasure. Thank you!
Ladies and gentlemen, that was Naeco! TNS will continue to bring you updates on the games 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 09-07-2010 @ 09:26 AM).]

posted 09-07-10 06:52 PM EDT (US)     27 / 267  
Welcome back to a special evening edition of the TNS, tonight we will have a special in depth interview with our self proclaimed tourney trainer, that’s right, our favorite Knight, Flander. Welcome to the show, it’s great to have you here.

*with towel in hand, wiping the water off* Oh yes indeed, what a workout, you should have seen all the tourney players coming to ask advice on how to swing a sword, all those new players too. Amazing, I even had to swim a few laps with one competitor, he said he couldn’t swim, Hah, you should have seen him once he took his armor off. He was like a fish! Very busy, very busy. So my young... soon to be training friend, are you ready to spar a little bit?

er, um, how about we spar with my favorite weapon, the pen!

Nice try, On Guard! *Whack*, did that hurt? I used my wooden training sword this time. Oh get up, I won’t hit you again.

Ouch! That’s going to leave a mark *goes and helps the reporter get up*

*mumbles to self* the things I do for this job.

Stop that, now, we’ve got important business, we need to know the inside scoop on the players and some of the key match ups. We’ve already heard from Naeco, what can you add? What are your predictions, who are the favorites and who is going to win?

Well, that’s easy…. Anyone who listens to my advice will win, Hah! That’s a good one. No, really, I’d say I have to pick 10 or 12 favorites, is that too many? Hah! Deal with it. Yeah, let me pick 10 or 12. Let me give you a detailed rundown of some of them.

Costa – he’s back to defend the title, expect him to do well. Can he pull of a repeat… we’ll see but everyone will be gunning to knock him down. His first round draw is pretty good for him, bad for those playing him. He’s got two newer players to face off against with Wizardspike and Zelenenkiy. We don’t know much about them and we’re always looking for the upsets but until we know more about these two we’ll have to say that Costa should handle them easy enough. His third match is with The Stranger and he’s no stranger to the game. Hah! He does spend most of time with the various mods and the online community. You may not want to play in his backyard with the Dwiggs mods, he knows them like the back of his hand. Not an easy match for Costa but he’s still the favorite. Can The Stranger topple the champ?

Swolte and Vovy – Swolte certainly wants to win the title once again and he’ll be tough, he showed us he was vulnerable last year so it will be interesting to see if he can keep from making that critical mistake. He plays aggressively has some interesting moves, watch out. He has two games that he should be able win (although we said that last year too 2009 Round1 Oleg vs Swolte). He should be able to beat Luke and Faler, although once again we know very little about Faler so it will be interesting to see how much he tests Swolte. And then there is the last great matchup, Swolte vs Vovy! This is one of the most exciting matchups of the first round, two solid and strong players, Swolte is well known of course and Vovy has quite a reputation with the Russian Online community. Vovy should win his other two matches against The_Stranger (poor guy has to face two of the elites) and Euander, a newer player. However, with all the players this year 2 wins may not be enough to get out of the first round. The hype is always better if we make them think they won’t advance. Reality is that if Vovy loses he’ll likely have 2 wins with 5 opponent points and that should be enough for him to get to round 2. If Swolte loses then he’ll likely have 2 wins and only 3 or 4 opponent points, again likely to advance but don’t count on luck. This is a classic matchup in the first round that could easily be showcased as the final. Better keep your eyes on this one 10Round1 Game40 UpNUnder (Swolte vs Vovy).

Timelord – Oh baby, he’ll be tough, expect to see him go far. After an illness hit him last year he’s back and ready. A great tactician, with a solid understanding of the game. Watch out if you face him. His frist round draw will be good warmup for him. He is expected to win all three of his match ups without much fanfare. Travis, Castaneida and iBobs will be his first victims. They are fairly known players, some have been around longer than others but it is difficult to predict that anyone could beat Timelord.

Wow, that sounds exciting. A final’s matchup in round 1, a couple other elite players expecting to cruise through their opponents. I can’t wait for the upsets, it will make great news and sport.

Hah! I like your style, yes, great sport, we’ll laugh and make merry at their misfortune, and they will do the same of us, Hah! I told you this would be a great tourney. Now, there are a few more, let’s look at some others who made it into the final 16 last year.

LordDuck vs Oleg123 – Here are two players that really brought some excitement last year. What an exciting match Lord Duck had last year with Swolte 09Round3 Game54 LWW (LordDuck - Swolte). He’s a good player and if he can get back to the quarter finals that will be quite an accomplishment. He faces Throgal, Oleg and Zeldafreak. Last year Lord Duck advanced with 2 wins, he has a chance to win all 3 this year. His toughest match will be with Oleg and that could decide if Lord Duck will advance or not. Thorgal and Zeldafreak are not well known and Lord Duck can’t expect to get many opponent points from them. Now Oleg has one of the toughest draws this year. He’s the lucky one of the group, Hah! Yes, he gets to face known competition right from the start with his two other matches against Henrysix and TroyLocker. Oh how it would be exciting to battle with strong players instead of sparring with reporters, Hah! Oleg must be ready right from the start. He is in a tough way right now, moaning about his foes, maybe he’d rather play an unknown upstart, kinda like what he did to Swolte last year, Hah! Yes, don’t underestimate Oleg, If he can pull off 2 victories he will likely advance as all of his opponents are going to win games. This will be a must win for Oleg as it will be tough for him to win his other two matches.

Enginerd – Hah! Get your head in the game kid or you’re done! Could go either way, he has showed promise and had a good run last year but he hasn’t been listening to my advice lately and preparing himself. If he dedicates himself he could go deep. He faces Springheel, Luke and Endurell. We already know that Swolte is cheering for Luke to topple Enginerd, Hah! See how quickly friends become enemies, Hah! Another unknown player with Endurell could prove tricky for the veteran. And we must highlight the history between Spingheel and Enginerd. Springheel has not been seen playing much of late but starting back in 2006 these two faced off a few times. Enginerd was new to ShadowMagic and Springheel beat up on him a bit. So these old friends know each other but their game play has matured and gotten better. This will be an exciting match to watch. We’ll know if Enginerd is back to his true form after these three round 1 matches.

Oh goody, old friends going to battle again. Upstarts becoming veterans, oh this is great stuff, I’ve got so many ideas for in depth-up front-you heard it here first interviews. What else can we expect from Round 1?

Oh we haven’t even gotten started, with 38 players we’ve got a host of other players out there. Let’s hit a few of other well known veterans that we expect greatness, Hah! Always good to pump them up, get them ready for fight.

Henrysix – Welcome back, he’s been off on a quest too it seems, we’ll see if it was good preparation for him. Henrysix is a top competitor, but might be a bit rusty. If he can shake things off his competition won’t know what hit them. He faces Oleg, Smuki and Nyarlathotep. All will be good matches and test his abilities. You will certainly want to watch the outcome of these games.

TroyLocker – Last year Troy was rusty and it showed in his games. Don’t expect that this year. He is a veteran that has come to play and you can expect great things from him. He faces Bluebaby, Charx and Oleg. TroyLocker is in a good position to win all three matches but they won’t be easy. Oleg we know is coming out for a fight. Troy will have to watch himself and not make the same mistakes as last year. Charx and Bluebabby could capitalize on that, they won't roll over easily. What do we expect, we expect Troy to make it to Round 2, he is likely to have lots of opponent points from this group but once again, 2 wins may not be enough to get into Round 2.

PawelS – He was playing great last year and had some really fierce competition. You can certainly expect to see him in the thick of things. He has a solid first round schedule facing off against Luke, Torso and Triii. So he’ll have 2 tough matches against known players and then the unknown player. Hah! I can’t wait, one of these newer players is really going to surprise us, I wonder if it will be Triii? Pawel’s tournament ended last year when he faced Enginerd in a great match, the first video production we’ve seen. You can read about that match and watch for the video link at then end of the turn logs 09Round2 Game52 BH&GF's War (Enginerd - PawelS). I wonder if Pawel is hoping for a rematch in the latter rounds with Enginerd…. We’ll wait and see, but Pawel has his eye on the mark, getting out of Round 1 first!

er, um, yeah, that’s lots of favorites (couldn’t he just pick 3 or 4, sheesh)…. Quite a group! What about some of the other regulars out there, like Charx, Torso, Unnapu, Smuki, Albinscott, Gryffone, Bluebaby, Ibobs, Travis, Narlth… Nyarl…

Nyarlathotep, it’s Nyarlathotep, and don't forget Naeco, Morgul and...

Hah, yes squire, them too, like I said, this will be a great tourney. There are some elite players out there and many many strong players and so much we don’t know about the newer players. Yes, it will be a great tourney, expect to see great battles, fierce competition with upsets and tricks and traps. It will be great. But I must be off, so many players want to spar with me to hone their skills. Until next time!

Well, you heard it here, lots of great matchups, and all the games have started and we’re seeing turns coming in. Oh, and don’t forget to turn in those questionnaires, we need your predictions, get them in soon. Remember to take screenshots during your game, we’ll want to see pictures in the end for each game wrap up. That’s it for your special evening TNS report!
posted 09-08-10 12:35 PM EDT (US)     28 / 267  
What probability of the review of other two maps ?
posted 09-08-10 09:24 PM EDT (US)     29 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS! Its been a couple of days already and some games seem to be well underway.

We have reports that Naeco suffered a major setback in his game against SMUki on HopesEnd, here where he claims to have lost all of his army in a maddening rush! It will be a small upset if SMUki manages to win this match, however, it seems SMUki is suffering greatly from income problems. So much so, that he has even sold his Wizard tower, disallowing himself the use of spells almost entirely being the Gruumsh player! Would you have done this? Your reactions are welcome!

Timelords match against Castanieda on Oceania seems to be well underway. It looks like Timelords forces are advancing aggressively and Castanieda is put in the defensive, strongly! This game may even be decided before the week ends!

Speaking of Oceania, On today's show we have Puncturebox, the author of Oceania. Welcome to the show! Please take a seat, etc... Can you tell us a bit more about yourself? Who you are, what you do, and especially how you got interested in AoW?

Puncturebox Hello there, the name's Lee, and im 21 from Canada. Currently working construction right now but videogames is mostly what i do lol. Was never much of a PC gamer except for blizzard games or xcom at friends house's, but back when i was 11 or so my old babysitter sold me age of wonders original and i fell in love. Especially when i think it was gamespy used to host it and you'd find a couple players here and there to face or join up with for teamplay. And i had just recently got back into AoW by finding a copy of shadow magic, as i didnt quite like the wizards throne all that much :P Felt as though shadow magic brought back a lot of features/units or what not from the original as well as a lot of great new features/races etc.

Your map, Oceania has been chosen as one of the maps to be used for the first rounds of this tournament! You have made one other map before, which was a map called Conquest of the anarchic sisters. Just like Oceania, it was also a 1v1 map. Is there something you like about making 1v1 maps?

Puncturebox I like making up 1v1 maps just because they are smaller, more competitive and just easier to make. So, probably when making another map it would be a 1v1 as well, though i have wanted to try and jump up to a medium or large sized map and try to balance that all out. I don't quite know how Oceania is different from my original map lol, i think the original map was sort of a remake of sisters of fire and ice, as i didnt care much for the frostlings vs orcs, i wanted the goblins with a bit of underground added. I didnt design the map the same in any way though, just a general thought for a 1v1.

Can you tell us some more about Oceania? Where did you get the inspiration for a map like this, for example.

Puncturebox I have the book 1984 as well as some other Orwell classics tattooed onto my arm lol, so the inspiration behind Oceania or aka 2084, was solely on the book. The Draconian starting island is mapped after the UK lol, the pig farm is supposed to be denmark. France on the western tip of the land, and Spain just creeping into the map for a few hectares with that spanish villa looking thing, and a cardinal. The snow area might of been ukraine or some sort of eastern europe lol i cant remember. And whatever story there is was more a homage/reference to the end of the book, as well as with the julia's events, a what if scenario of her also accepting big brother and joining a character called O'brien, or sticking to her rebellious roots and joining the so called Goldstein character.

Do you have any tips for players who are currently competing on the map for each side? What was your idea for balancing out the two sides, because the map is not purely symmetrical!

Puncturebox Sorry to say i truly have no tips for any of the players, i have hardly played competitive age of wonders, since the original so they probably know a lot more than i do. Think i figured with humans coupled with some water vs draconians on an island, it would somehow balance itself out lol. Although i put a lot of thought into balance of cities and access to those cities, and added the underground water way for some added strategy, again flying/water like dragons vs the water spells of the humans. I'm actually looking forward to seeing or hearing about how players suffice on the map, as i truly only did the 15-20 turn balance check i believe. Another factor is i only put in heroes/items that i find more useful than not as well as some characters from the book.

Is there a reason you are not competing in the competition itself? You could have an advantage...

Puncturebox No, no advantage here lol, as ive said i haven't actually played much of the game competitively, just scenarios vs emperor difficulty with buddies, co op games i suppose. Though i was planning when you Swolte, i believe mentioned a tournament coming up, like 3+ months ago, that i would start and love to join in on it, but sadly other games have come up, as well as alot of swimming at beautiful british columbian lakes have also taken up my time. Even the mapmaking tournament was a bit rushed for me, i think i was one of the first done on the list, probably a lot more i could of done but im quite happy with how it turned out and how it looks.

Thanks for the interview, Puncturebox! 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 09-08-10 09:55 PM EDT (US)     30 / 267  
We have reports that Naeco suffered a major setback in his game against SMUki on HopesEnd, here where he claims to have lost all of his army in a maddening rush! It will be a small upset if SMUki manages to win this match, however, it seems SMUki is suffering greatly from income problems. So much so, that he has even sold his Wizard tower, disallowing himself the use of spells almost entirely being the Gruumsh player! Would you have done this? Your reactions are welcome!
When I read that in their game log (I'm keeping up with most games out of boredom and info seeking) I was kind of surprised! I wondered to myself if SMUki thought of the big drawback that would give him. However, if he has no use for mana, he may be able to fully concentrate on gold income. I think his tactic now needs to be blitzing Furio. In the long run not having any magic will hurt him. But the more I think about it, the more I think "why not?" It might be a very smart move on SMUki's part.

#7373DE for Humans #EFB573 for Azracs #4AA58C for Lizard Men #9CC6E7 for Frostlings |SM|> #E4ED38 #EBEBEB #CC2D29 #CC29D5
#6BB54A for Elves #EFE773 for Halflings #D6AD8C for Dwarves #EFEFDE for High Men |SM|> #DE8EA4 #F09245 #D2BE92 #BDBDE8 #558CDD
#B563BD for Dark Elves #F74242 for Orcs #BD7352 for Goblins #947B73 for The Undead |SM|> #1DDB38 #83795A #2CAAA4 #AC762A
Colors for AoW1 and AoWSM **A Proud Member of the Unofficial Patch Team!** ~2010 AoWSM PBEM Singles Champion~

[This message has been edited by TravisII (edited 09-08-2010 @ 09:58 PM).]

posted 09-10-10 00:29 AM EDT (US)     31 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS, your station for all tournament news. On todays show we will discuss restarts with Swolte. Swolte, welcome to the show. I remember we went over this last year, but you insisted backstage we discuss this now. Why?!
I understand this stuff isn't as exciting as some of the matches or ongoing quarrels, but issues with restarts are better addressed early. Last year, we had a significant number of newbies, and there were some who did not explain restarts, which got other players upset. Currently, we have even more new players, and so the earlier we can address this issue the better.
(-- Argh, half my audience is gone now! --)
The rule on restarts are found here, in the houserules. The houserules are mandatory for you to know and understand when you are playing in this tournament. It was one of the important conditions when joining.

So, today we will focus on Standard Rule-3 (SR-3). Its a rule that has been around on these forums for as long as they exist, almost 10 years ago now. The rule is intended to guard against cheating.
SR-3: Explain restart messages. If you generate a restart message on your turn, especially during turns with key battles, then explain the circumstances regarding the restart message to your opponents.
Suppose you had a really bad turn and you made a very stupid mistake (misclick) that could cost you the game. Or that you simply had SUCH incredible bad luck (e.g., your beloved best hero got killed by a halfling farmer), that you felt that you had the right to replay the turn. - INCREDIBLY WRONG!! - You could redownload the turn from your email and replay - INCREDIBLY WRONG!! -. The developers of the game have programmed in a safeguard which will generate a restart message visible to all players whenever a turn is replayed or manipulated. It would literally say to the other player that you have generated a restart message.
Obviously, reopening the turn to gain an advantage/knowledge is not allowed under ANY circumstances. This is why you must always explain every restrat message.
But, there are also legitimate ways of creating restarts...
Yes, you sound like you know what is coming!

As I mentioned last year, there are three main legitimate reasons to generate a restart:
1) Your opponent may accidentally open your turn because he/she didn't save it correctly. This happens frequently if people don't password protect and the issue is that YOU will get the restart message - not your opponent.
2) You may play from different computers. This will also generate a restart. Sometimes its inevitable, as people are traveling and need to continue their games from their laptops.
3) Suppose your computer breaks down, and you need to reinstall everything, you will also have a restart!
4) Crash. This can be from an ingame bug, or because other programs active while playing your game cause the game to quit.

So yes, you are allowed to have a restart but you will need to explain clearly and truthfully what happened.

Should people avoid battles if they know they have a restart?

No, you should not adapt your play because of a restart (i.e., avoid battles, etc). The purpose of a tournament is to test your game-skills as much as possible. If you have a legitimate reason for the restart, just play it as you would normally. Sometimes you may have to replay your turn and results turn out worse... and sometimes better! So be it.
However, if you can plan your restart because you need to reinstall your system, try and make an effort to do it at a time where you do not expect any close battles.
The best way is to be very open about this with your opponent and see what he/she is comfortable with. If there is difficulty, you can ask the judges to see what is most fair.
Well, people can lie about the restart...
Yes, this is possible. These rules can't prevent a good cheater and liar from cheating and so we have to trust each other to some extent. Most of the players here are quite mature and we know each other well not give in to the temptations of lying. Oleg's situation is a good example, where he lost a key unit to an extremely rare game bug. Instead of restarting and lying about it (as may be tempting), Oleg is discussing it openly (preferably discuss with the judges, first) so we can work out the best solution.
Just curious, have cheaters abusing restarts ever been caught?
Yes, in the distant past there were a (very) few cases where those players were fairly well known. Often these things are handled over email and behind closed doors. The player leaves the community (mostly forever) and also leaves a community in distrust. Not nice... so yeah, remember that in the ends its a game! Winning is great, but not at the cost of your own integrity and the joy of an entire community.
Ok, I...
You can, btw, close your turn, and open it later. So, when I am playing, and suddenly their is a fire in the house. I can press [Esc], shut my computer down, take my laptop to safety, and 'restart' my turn sitting in the local Tim Hortons coffeeshop eating a donut. I will NOT generate a restart message and the turn will begin exactly where I left off. This is not cheating!
Interesting! Ok, we are out of time! Swolte, thanks for your time! Everyone, this was TNS for you today! Stay tuned for more updates and 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 09-10-2010 @ 09:39 AM).]

posted 09-10-10 09:34 PM EDT (US)     32 / 267  
Here we are with this late breaking news!!! The First game has ended already TravisII has defeated Naeco on the UPnUnder map, check out the turn logs here. Be sure to go to the thread and congratulate TravisII. Well done mate!
posted 09-10-10 11:11 PM EDT (US)     33 / 267  
*clanging of metal heard in the background*

Good…. Good.. now parry… good… now strike *whack* good…. That’s it, you’re getting the hang of it. Off you go now,

Next! *silence* That’s it for today? Good, I needed a rest.

You’ve severely beaten over 50 of them today *handing water to Flander and taking his sword* how many more do you think are going to come train, sire?

Oh, they’ll keep coming, rest assured, we’re just barely into the first week and some matches are still on day 1. So, tell me, squire, what have you seen from all these knights?

Wow, they are really good, I can’t wait to become one someday.

Hah! You’ll beat them all with the training you’ve had from me. Yes, they are good, I’m watching the newer ones, trying to figure out if there are any shining stars among them. Still a little early to tell, what do you think?

Well, so far all of them are making contact one way or another and have played some turns. Last year there were a couple disqualifications with the new players but so far this week there haven’t been any troubles. Still, some players are taking their time to play, and not just the newer ones. We’re seeing a couple folks talk about restart messages from game crashes, all in all it looks like the new players are quickly following suit with proper etiquette and good sportsmanship.

Hah! And sharp swords too, get me that bandage over there. Excellent news, I see good things happening with the tourney this year. The first week grace period will be up soon so turns will start coming around faster. That’s when you’ll start to see warnings and reminders. That will be the real test. So, tell me about a couple of the keynote matches, what’s going on, I know you squires talk amongst yourselves.

Well, we’ve all been busy this week with the tourney and training but we’re supposed to get together after all the questionnaires get turned in.

Oh yes, how’s that going, sounds like there are still a few more days left to turn them in, but they better do it quickly.

yes, the questionnaire forms are available so now it’s just time to wait and see what comes back. Hopefully we’ll get more than last year.

Hrmph! Well, see what you can find out and let me know. Hey, speaking of knights who need to spend more time training, here comes Enginerd again. He just won’t give up, like he’s trying to cram a year’s worth of training into a week. Watch this, let’s play a little a joke on him…. Follow my lead…

Enginerd *running up huffing and puffing with sword in hand* Sir Flander, I’m back, and ready for more training.

So be it, I see you really want to get back in shape, well, all right. I’ve got a special training regimen for you, it’s secret, only a few of the bravest knights have ever been trained in this way. Squire, do you think he can handle it?

Which secret training are you talking about, The dragon of death, pixies in the fire, dwarves and demons, or….

No, none of those, I’m talking about, T-H-E secret training.

Not that one! Really sire, are you sure? He doesn’t look ready.

Enginerd Oh yeah, Sir Flander is sure, come on, please, you got a help me. It’s only the first couple days in my games and I’m already not at my best. Things are going to kick into high gear and I gotta be ready. Please… Pleeeeaaaase!

Oh, all right. But this is what you have to do, and you can’t tell anyone.

Enginerd yes, yes, I got it, can’t tell anyone, got it

This is all about having the correct mental approach, gotta have your head in the game. No distractions. So, phase 1 of the training….

You must find a special druids pool with healing properties and you must spend the night within sight, at sunrise you strip down to your underclothes and cover your body in a pasty mud you make from the pool and the dirt nearby. Once you are completely covered you must climb out on a limb and tie your legs to it and hang down upside down over the pool, not falling in, and you must then find your inner self and meditate. If anyone should pass by and see you and ask what you are doing you must respond by singing, “I’m a little teapot short and stout, here is my handle, here is my spout, when I get all steamed up here me shout, tip me over and pour me out”. Oh, and don’t forget to the do the actions I just showed you, while upside down.

Enginerd Wow, this must be some really intense training

er, um, yeah. It sure must be, I can’t wait to hear, uh, tell you what comes next.

Enginerd So, how long do I hang from the tree.

Until you find that inner peace, it’s all about getting your head in the game first. I can’t start the real training until I know you’re 100% committed. Now get out of here, go find that pool.

Enginerd got it, thanks, see you guys later. *enginerd runs off*

Hah! That was a good one. Where’d you come up with that teapot thing? And in his underwear, covered in mud? Hah, this is going to be hilarious.

Yeah, I think I'll get another squire to show up just ahead of the women to ask him what he's doing. He’s headed right for the pool I was thinking about. The courtesans from the Abbey bathe in that pool after breakfast every day. He’s going to be covered in mud singing silly songs when they show up. *laughing*

*laughing hysterically* Oh, that is funny, he’s going to have a tough time finding that inner peace, Hah!

Don’t look now, here comes Naeco, looks like he just finished up another swimming lesson.

Yeah, and I think he forgot to take his armor off again. Hah! or.... maybe he forgot to put the armor back on after swimming and that's why he lost his first match to Travis Hah! Oh that was a good one....

*fade to black, zoom out to see apprentice gazing into Wizard Flander’s crystal ball*

I wonder if Master would want to know what’s going on with the tourney….
posted 09-10-10 11:12 PM EDT (US)     34 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, more breaking news as the match between costa and The Stranger ends within 9 days here!

The Stranger now has to win his two other games, so the pressure is on for him. The pressure may be higher for the reigning champion, Costa, who has set high expectations with this victory!

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 09-11-10 10:56 AM EDT (US)     35 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS! The tournament is already well underway with two games being finished already. However, today, the timing rules (see rule #3) have become active. We will have Swolte on the show to explain them to those who are unfamiliar them. Swolte, welcome to the show. So, why is today so significant?
Thank you. As per Official Announcement, the timing rules will be in effect today. This means that, theoretically, we can have the first 'official reminder' on Sunday, and the first potential warning on Monday, and the first potential disqualification on Tuesday (providing no communication at all). I do think I will do my first 'round' of checks on Monday, though.
The timing rules, or communication rules are intended to keep the tournament moving. In short, you have to show a sign of life at least 48 hrs after the last post in your thread. If people don't communicate, they can get reminders and tournament warnings which can get them disqualified.

These rules are very serious, why?
Yes, last tournament we have had four disqualifications which was unfortunate. I do think players this year are better aware of the rules before they signed up, so I expect less.

The rules are unfortunate, but necessary to keep a tournament moving and fun. Imagine the minimum required rate, if people take 2 days to do a turn then one day can be finished in 3 days (providing opponent is fast). This means that in Age-of-Wonders time 10 days are finished in a month of planet-Earth time. You would need at least 20 days to make an informed decision on which player is best, the tourney round could be finished in 2 months. Since we have 6 rounds, the entire tournament would take a year... And this is on the minimum schedule!! :-o

So, we take this very seriously and there will be no exceptions to this rule. A lot of people invest quite some time into this tournament, including myself, and we shouldn't let things die down because of non-communication (the biggest threat to PBEM). I will even disqualify myself if I need to.
The rules worked very well last year. Feedback we received on them was actually a 100% positive, so we kept them exactly the same as last year!

What are some of the misunderstandings with the rules?
They are easy to misunderstand, so let me discuss some of the most common statements. Did you know that...

1) You can get a warning even after diligently sending your turns! You must understand that the rules actually have little to do with whether you actually send a turn or not. Surprised? What you have to do is LOG your turns, not doing them per se.
Suppose that you never log or look at your turn-thread. Your opponent, who normally logs every turn (keeping you 'safe'), forgets to send his turn one day. Now, since you never log, your opponent is the last one to have logged, so YOU will get the warning! Even if it is your opponents fault for forgetting to send the turn to you!
As is written in the rules, its your responsibility to log and check the thread regularly. If you don't, you open yourself up for trouble...

2) You do not HAVE to log every single individual turn! You just have to make sure you post in your thread once every 48 hours. If you can do 10 turns within 48 hours, you don't need to log all 10 turns. You can just post one. Whatever works for you. However, I strongly advise you make a habit of logging every turn, if only by saying 'ts'.

3) If you really can't, you do NOT have to do your turn (or even log) every 48 hours! Going camping for the weekend? Its all good, but you just HAVE to give notice... simple.
You will only be punished for delaying the tournament if you do not communicate. Everyone should be able to send a short email to me, or post on the forums that there is a delay.

I noticed that warnings can even decide games?
Yes, as is stated in rule #6 at the end, tournament warnings can help decide matches in case there are ties with base and Opp points. If so, we will first look at direct confrontations between these players. Then, we will look at whether players had a warning or not. If so, the player without the warning will go through to the second round. Being communicative and reliable is one of the hallmarks of a good pbem'er. Those players having had warnings don't deserve to go on in that case.
These rules were in place last year as well. There is actually a large chance that they will be the active this year because we have 38 players and a larger chance of ties!

What if you had a car accident or got sick! Or you have a big project from your boss!
Well, you can appeal a decision, and then the judges will assess whether there is grounds for retracting the warning. I mean, all you have to do is being able to send one single email saying you cannot play. Last year, none of the appeals were granted (the judges are quite strict). We do take this tournament as a serious responsibility!

How are you going to enforce the 48 hours communication rule?
Loosely. It's impossible to check the forums every day/night for when 48 hours has passed by. So yes, some may get 'lucky' when we don't notice 58 hours passing by... We will mostly check games that "fall to the bottom", obviously. I also hope that other players will send their opponents reminders (by email) as to relieve the organization.

Ok, thank you for explaining this, Swolte. Ladies and gentlemen, I would also like to remind you to send the questionnaires THIS WEEKEND. We have received 14 so far and expect at least double! Just fill in what you know, or simply guess...
Good luck with your games, all! This was TNS for 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 09-11-2010 @ 10:57 AM).]

posted 09-11-10 11:18 AM EDT (US)     36 / 267  
The tournament is already well underway with two games being finished already
Which ones? Is there a thread to report up-to-date results?
Edit: Sorry, I just read some previous post with the reports...hehehehe

Use a password in your PBEM games, and contact the Game Password Keepers.

[This message has been edited by Unnapu (edited 09-11-2010 @ 11:23 AM).]

posted 09-11-10 04:25 PM EDT (US)     37 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, breaking news as Oleg defeats Lordduck in Oceania. Read all about it 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 09-12-10 10:20 AM EDT (US)     38 / 267  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS. We have breaking news as Travis-II obtained another victory, and this one over Thorgal. Read all about this match here!
As has become traditional, we'll have a weekly review with Swolte. Swolte, welcome to the show. How would you sum up this first week of the 2010 singles tournament?
Interesting and exciting! We have already seen a total of four games end of which most of them on the Oceania map. The biggest upset, actually, was the defeat of Naeco against Travis-II on the HopesEnd map. TravisII is well underway of becoming the surprise of the tournament! Winning on a map like UpNUnder against Naeco is quite a feat! His recent win over Thorgal should also not be underestimated, as Thorgal is a old veteran of the game (though, probably rusty...). The remaining games on Oceania are like I would have predicted them to go: Costa, being the reigning PBEM champion, beat The Stranger, and Oleg123, who is becoming a rising star, won over Lordduck.
You say predicted... but there are also voices who say that Oceania is biased towards Goldstein. Even Oleg suggested it as well, now, right after his win. These two games were over so quick and leave O'Brien without a chance! And aren't you brushing aside The_Stranger too easily?!
Well, for a number of reasons, I still think it's too early to say whether the map is unbalanced to the point where its 'broken':

First, I do agree that the O'brien player requires more finesse to play, and you probably need to have a closer look at the map in order to be effective. In that sense, it is more difficult. But don't be surprised if an expert player like Timelord can say the Draconians could even have an advantage! Now, I don't want to elaborate too much, because entire tutorials written for certain wizards this early may not be fun and fair. Timelord already gave some hints on how to play the Draconians on this map, and I think that is not even half the story. I'm all for an open tactics discussion on Oceania but lets do so near the end of the first rounds.

Second, it is true that most games so far have been won by the humans, but we should keep in mind that those won were all players who were also expected to win (and The_Stranger applying circular tactics, com'on!! :-p). I am sure Timelord will soon add another victory for Goldstein as well. The only game that was hard to predict was TravisII's over Thorgal and that one was won by O'Brien! We should wait and see how matches unfold where experienced players such as Vovy, PawelS, Enginerd, Charx, and Naeco are playing O'Brien's side.

Third, the matches played so far (and won by Goldstein) are over so fast, making it seem overwhelmingly easy victories. However, we have to keep in mind that this map was deliberately added because it was fast. I estimate the victories to come by O'Brien will be equally fast, if not faster...

Last, there are always debates on map balance and time tells we always have to be patient to get the whole picture. Last year, there were heated debates on unbalances on Rocky Divide but at the end of the tournament the statistics showed that was not the case.

For the rest, the map is packed with randomness and different opportunities. I feel there are so many different factors in this map that could be decisive if made use of wisely.
Very well, we'll keep an eye on that map for sure. How do you see the tournament progressing now?
The timing rules are active, so this first week will weed out those players who signed up, but actually underestimated the commitment. For example, so far, we haven't seen a sign of life from Triii, Zrcalo, Zelenenkiy, and Wizardspike. They are completely new, and it is possible they are preparing, but it could also be that one or two are just not up to it!

As for progress, I am aiming for a turn-speed of 5 in game days a week to be a minimally acceptable schedule. This means that in 4 weeks from now, everyone will have done about 20 turns which is enough for most games to be decided (or decidable by judging...). So, everyone should be on day 5 by next week, if not, the organization will probably bug you a bit to speed up your turns. Its great that a lot of games have already begun to get a head-start.

Ok Swolte, thank you for this interview! Ladies and gentlemen, let me remark that the scrolls at the top will be updated later today! We will aim to do this every Sunday. And for the rest, next week we will have an interview with TravisII - the new sensation?! His match with Timelord will be looked at with much more anticipation, I am sure, now! JamesEde will speak on logging, and we'll have our usual updates! Flanders may make an appearance as well when all questionnaires have been processed! Yeah, don't forget to send us those if you haven't done that yet.

Take care and good luck with your games! 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 09-12-2010 @ 10:25 AM).]

posted 09-12-10 01:48 PM EDT (US)     39 / 267  
~~~~~~~~ BREAKING NEWS!! ~~~~~~~~

Ladies and gentlemen, breaking news as Timelord beat Castanieda in Oceania. Read all about it 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 09-12-10 10:09 PM EDT (US)     40 / 267  
Updated header with new scrolls for wk1 update
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Age of Wonders 2 Heaven » Forums » AoW2/SM Play By Email (Turn Logs) » The 2010 Singles Tournament News Station (TNS)
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