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

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


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

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

(Will be updated at least once a week)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 09-01-09 09:40 PM EDT (US)     41 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS! Today, we have a special guest: it's Killkenny, the author of Rocky Divide!

*rock music playing as introduction*

Welcome, KillKenny, can you tell us a bit more about yourself? How you got to discover the game, and what you liked about it?

KillKenny It's great to be here. Thanks for having me! Well, I'm a 29y old guy from Germany who's always loved to play strategy games, either in front of a computer or on a board. The first strategy game I ever played on a computer was probably Warlords, closely followed by Battle Isle. I've been hooked on turn based strategy ever since.

I came across AOW2 when I was looking for a game to play with a friend of mine who I used to play Great War 1914-1918 with. I believe I found out about AOW2 through a wikipedia article on strategy games when I was looking for something similar to Master of Magic, a game I used to play for hours and hours when I was younger. What I like most about AOW2 is the complexity. Through the different races/magic spheres and the random elements in each game (different spells, quests etc.), two games on the same map can play out completely different. The only thing I'm a little disappointed with is the editor. Compared to the Warcraft 3 editor which I've used extensively in the past, the AOW2 editor is rather simple, especially when it comes to scripting or the changing of game mechanics. It's a shame that such a great game doesn't offer a more refined tool to create new scenarios.

That my map is used for the tournament at all is cool enough really. When I decided to submit Rocky Divide, I didn't even expect it to score that well at all because it was my first map for AOW2 and I didn't really put much effort into refining it due to my very limited spare time then. When I made third place I was not only very happy but also quite surprised because I just didn't expect this outcome at all. Looking back, I have problems believing it even more so because the version I submitted compares quite badly to the current version in many ways. Using it for the first round is understandable since it's a good map to start the tournament with in my opinion. It's straight forward, not too complex but offers several approaches to win. It's fair in terms of symmetry/balance, has a low amount of randomness and games shouldn't take too long due to immediate contact.
How did you get the idea for Rocky Divide? Was it a long mapmaking process?

KillKenny The idea for the map is loosely based on a Warcraft 2 map I made some years ago. When I started out I already had the name and therefore a rough idea of the map's concept. It roughly took me 10 days to put together the version of the map I submitted which is understandable considering it's very symmetrical and rather on the functional side when it comes to the actual look and feel of the map. Also, there are almost no scripted events, custom heroes/items etc. However, since then, I've completely overhauled the map, even remapping it almost completely to achieve a higher degree of balance. The main idea behind the object placing was to create a map that plays very dynamically. There are several routes to reach the enemy which are difficult to defend at the same time. Also, each route usually holds its own reward in form of a helpful structure (recruits, resources, production) which is supposed to force players to fight on many different parts of the map at the same time.
Do you have any advice for the players who will be contending on the map?

KillKenny Not so much. Intel is key, but that's true on every map. I believe it's vital to embark into the underground early in order to procure the required production/gold/heroes/high lvl. units to win the game.
In terms of the balancing. Players like Timelord and Torso have mentioned that the Draconians have more advantages than the human player on this map. You have worked on this with Swolte when it came to the fine tuning, correct?

KillKenny Well... in the beginning it was possible to freely choose both, race and wizard. However, since most recruitable units are of neutral alignment, choosing a good/bad or pure good/bad race would result in a definite disadvantage when playing a neutral player which is why I decided to preselect two neutral races. I picked humans and draconians because they both do not suffer any area penalties and because I think humans vs. draconians is quite a classic and interesting set up due to the diversity of the two races. Do I think that Draconians have an advantage over Humans on this map? Maybe in the later stages of the game, but I honestly don't know (I'm not a good player at all since I only ever play against this one friend of mine). However, I'm really looking forward to analyzing the outcome of the first round. And yes, it's all Swolte's fault anyway

Thank you so much for this interview. It seems your map is providing some interesting matches, that is for sure!

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 09-01-09 10:31 PM EDT (US)     42 / 244  
Last chance for the poll predictions.... I'm signing off and when I check my email in about 9 hrs the polls will close. Get ready.... the TNS news for tomorrow night will have all the results!

You're going to be surprised
posted 09-02-09 12:07 PM EDT (US)     43 / 244  
For the TNS today we come to you with the latest poll predictions for the tourney. The results are in, they have been counted and thoroughly reviewed. I have with me our distinguished expert, the wizard

excuse me, “Great” wizard, if you please!

oh, sorry, the GREAT wizard from Inioch’s court

uh, that would be “Enioch’s” court my dear boy

Enioch? Never heard of it! I though you were from Inioch’s court?

Of course not! Whatever gave you that foolish notion? Come come now, my introduction, get it right this time.

) Hrmph, The Great wizard from Enioch’s court, Meandor

You twit, my name is Flander, Flander, not Meandor

you’re not the famous wizard Meandor, son of Julia, first wife of King Inioch?

of course not, he was nothing compared to me.

I never heard of you. Did you know Meandor?

Well, I did sit next to him in class once…. He made fun of me when I tried to summon a frog and all I got was a bunch of sludge from the bog. It was a mess, I never did well in that class, or any of the others for that matter. It was always, Meandor this, you’re such a great prince and Meandor that, you’re so powerful. Hrmph, they didn’t care about little old me.

er, um, look! I’ve got a story to run, do you know something about these polls or not (sheesh, how do I get these crazy assignments)?

Well, it’s about time you asked an important question. I can tell you everything you want to know about the results of round 1. Here, let me show you the final tourney results for round 1.

you mean the results of the poll, right?

With my great powers they will be the same in the end, now stand back as I wave my wand

There you go. There are 10 players who ended round 1 without a loss. They won decisive victories over their opponents. As you can see they are all veterans of the game. Yes, yes, yes, as expected Swolte and Timelord cruised to victory. What is also amazing is that in 20 of the games all the polls predicted the exact same winner. Yes, the veterans did well. Poor newbies, look at them so many of them unable to win a single match. Interestingly enough there were a couple players with only one victory that managed to make it into the second round.

All quite fascinating really. Did you know that there were 5 games that were so close that I just had to pick a winner?

What do you mean you picked the winner?

Must I explain EVERYTHING! There were a total of 13 responses in this poll but not everyone predicted winners in every game. In 5 of the games the results were so close that half of the responses predicted player "A" while the other half predicted player "B". Well… I couldn’t have a tie match in MY tourney so I picked the winner, simple as that.

) So now this is “your” tourney

Of course it is, why do I spend my time with such fools? Arghhhhh!

Whatever! Moving on, what else can you tell us about the poll results?

The players with the toughest and easiest schedule in the first round were:

Interesting, so Enginerd got one of the easiest schedules… and isn’t he the one who came up with this convoluted tourney bracket and convinced Swolte that it should be played this way. (yes, I see the dirt coming that I needed)

Well, no, but his aunt’s housekeeper’s mother-in-law’s cousin lived next door to my childhood sweetheart so there is a strong bond there between us (and the 50 gold pieces was an added bonus). I made sure he had any easy schedule, I just made use of the cosmagic surgery spell, it’s quite old and very useful you see but shunned by the modern wizards. It was easy from there to confuse Jayhawk with a little potion I concocted and Swolte fell right into my plans. Mwahahahahaha.

You had a sweetheart?

She left me… well… she only talked to me once, told me to get lost. She fell in love with someone else…

ok…. Well, what’s up with Vicbrother???? And him having the toughest schedule playing against three veterans, Enginerd, Smuki and Torso?

) Hrmphh, my childhood sweetheart married a warrior named Vic, he made fun of my bog.

I see (this guy is nuts), so, how certain are you of the results? What is the accuracy of the poll rankings, plus or minus one? Two?

Accuracy? What nonsense are you talking about. They are solid as a rock after I cast the stone skin spell on them. I already told you they were the final results.

So, did the poll results pick Cranberry to win over Smuki? Or Torso?

Why those games were decided easily with everyone but Cranberry picking Smuki and Torso to win. So of course Cranberry lost.

Er, um… are you sure about that? Seems to me that Smuki and Cranberry played 30 turns in one day and finished their match about 4 days before the poll deadline. Oh, and Cranberry won.

, , ,

Oh, and Torso fell victim to the rough world of Colors of Black and White and lost as well.

That’s Preposterous! How could this be? Someone must have dispelled the magic I cast. Oh this is terrible. I knew I should have strengthened my Stone Skin with a Spell Ward. Maybe someone invoked the High Prayer, yes, that must be it. Wait, they could have……

Well, that’s our report from Blunder, the inept wizard from nowhere important . We can only hope he keeps his magic wand far far away. And as far as the poll results go, well, Cranberry has already proven them wrong so I’m not so sure what to say about the rest of the predictions. I hear Swolte may lose one of his matches so you never can tell what will happen! Good luck, keep playing hard and having fun and thanks for everyone who responded to the polls. We’ll let you know at the end of Round 1 who predicted the most games correctly, and we’ll have another poll ready for you to fill out for Round 2! That's your TNS for today, signing off.

[This message has been edited by Enginerd (edited 09-02-2009 @ 12:14 PM).]

posted 09-02-09 02:20 PM EDT (US)     44 / 244  
WOW! Some serious work there

So, if I read the predictions right, does that mean everyone picked Morgul, Enginerd and myself to win all our games? That is, the Opponent's Score is the number of predictions (or votes) against that player (by all players for all games)?

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 09-02-09 03:58 PM EDT (US)     45 / 244  
Let me clarify, the polls picked those three (and seven others) to win all their games. The score of 3 is for 3 wins. So a majority of the poll responses came back with you winning those 3 games. In fact most games were very lopsided towards one player. The opponent's score is the ending round 1 score of opponent 1 + oppoenent 2 + opponent 3. So the three of us (morgul, TL, Enginerd) won 3 games and our opponents couldn't muster a victory at all so our opponent's score is zero. We're all tied in 8th place and also have 3 of the easiest round 1 schedules. However, TroyLocker had to beat 3 players that had 5 victories between them (out of 6 possible). He got the top ranking spot for that (and also one of the harder schedules).

As Swolte said earlier (way earlier) if you beat someone it is in your best interest to help them win their other games so you get a better Opponent's score, which will be used in tie-breaker situations.

Again... all predictions from the polls . I won't tell you how much those games by Cranberry messed up the poll results as he won 3 games and was only predicted to win 1. The actual round 1 final results are going to be very very different from what's above.

Feel free to ask more questions about the polls. I'll share whatever I can without actually telling you everyone's guesses.
posted 09-03-09 01:41 AM EDT (US)     46 / 244  
glad I´m not the only one who had trouble to completely understand the poll results thx for clarification!
So I see where this leads to...
Seems that the three of us should win most of our games given our bad opponents-score-situation
I´m feeling a bit under the gun...

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 09-03-09 02:22 AM EDT (US)     47 / 244  
Those who have voted on me against Pawel must have not been following our game

Tired of manually receiving/sending your PBEM turns everyday ? Try out Dave's PBEM Wrapper!
posted 09-03-09 08:16 AM EDT (US)     48 / 244  
@ Morgul.... yeah, the pressure is on for us to NOT lose... Although if we do we'll be in good company as Torso, Smuki and Swolte have already lost a match

@ Neaco.... I was one of them but I've only picked about one game correctly so far so what do I know
posted 09-03-09 09:05 AM EDT (US)     49 / 244  
I must say that I feel honored to be "ranked" #1 in the 1st round of the tourney by this poll. I didn't know that many of you read old gamethreads. This is my favourite (,572. I lost the game, but I got a good lesson from it. I had a perfect start and thought I actually was going to win it before day ten. I finished day 8 and thought I would go for the kill the next day and woke up on day 9 with the world turned upsidedown. Keep all options open at all times is what I learned from that.....and that Waterfly was a fantastic player.

There are so many great players in this tournament and I think most of them are better prepared and more familiar with the game-engine. I don't think I'll win all three games in the first round. In one of my games I've made a crucial mistake, which I think will cost me the victory. I won't say wich one though . I'll be more than happy for every point I score.

Even the reigning champ, Swolte, has lost a game to a "newcomer". (congrats, Oleg) This tells me that there is a lot of good players out there.

Keep it cool people.


[This message has been edited by Troy Locker (edited 09-03-2009 @ 09:07 AM).]

posted 09-03-09 11:01 AM EDT (US)     50 / 244  
Ladieeees and gentleman, welcome to the TNS, your station for all news regarding the tournament!

There is simply too much news to cover as the last few days were crazy. The poll results have been quite revealing, and we'll discuss them extensively in upcoming shows. Events off late, have been quite revealing. Our guest on the show today is Swolte, who is going to talk about restarts.

Swolte, welcome. How is the tournament going for you?
Not bad.

You seem a bit quiet. Were you hoping we wouldn't notice your defeat against Oleg123 who wasn't even predicted to make the top 16?

People, read all about it RIGHT HERE!!!!!!. It's quite sensational, no? Did you know we're going to have a special with Oleg on the show this week to talk about how he wiped you off the rocky mountains?
I understand the media wants appealing news stories.

How was this possible? I mean, according to some, you even had an advantage playing Draconians on this map.
Well, there is an analysis in the thread for people who want to know.

I don't really believe the Draconians have an advantage on the map, though. The map, so far, seems well balanced. Draconians may seem to have more options, but so do humans. Hydra's have clear their disadvantages. Keep in mind that a Flyer has high mobility, but is also quite vulnerable. Level 1 units can seriously damage a furied flyer, and even kill it with some support. This is not something you can say for hasted Knights, who are simply more robust.
I do think in the long run, Draconians may have an advantage if the humans don't utilize their strengths.
This particular match you keep bringing up shows that it's the strategy that matters the most in this map. I had a horrible time against these Zephyrs as I went for a Hydra strategy, expecting knights. Making use of the strengths of your own wizard, and limitations of our opponent, is key. Oleg did exactly what he should do! He had an original and focused strategy and played super-aggressive!

Fine, I'll leave this topic, for now. On other news, we have seen the quickest defeat EVER in the history of a tournament! Necromagi lost against Timelord in DAY one. I guess we all know which map...

The match raised some questions about creating restarts. There isn't much about these in the tournament rules.
That is correct. It is inherent in the houserules, though, which were mandatory to read before entering the tournament.
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.
Since we have quite some new people joining the tournament, there could obviously be misunderstandings. So, yes, as SR-3 states, if you generate a restart message, you HAVE to explain why it happened.

For the newcomers, can you explain what a restart is? How can you get one?
Yes, I don't want to go in too much detail since I don't think its the most important aspect. I will get to that later.

For now, its good to know that the designers of the game have tried to secure turns against cheating. This is people simply replaying (or manipulating) their turn because it didn't go as well. Obviously, this is not allowed in this tournament. When a turn is replayed from the same/different folder, it will generate a restart message. This message will be readable by everyone in the game, so you will need to explain yourself. If you are the one replaying a turn, you may even get accused of being a cheater when you replay the turn!

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.

Interesting, at multiple levels... But you can have a good reason for a restart, right?
Yes, these are the most common ones. First, your opponent may accidentally open your turn because he/she didn't save it correctly. This happens if you don't password protect. You will get the restart message. Second, 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.
In general, you are allowed to have a restart but you will need to explain it clearly. The third, suppose your computer breaks down, and you need to reinstall everything, you will also have a restart! It is custom to avoid big battles on turns when you know you will generate a restart. This is why people that HAVE to do a system/Aow reinstallation, often wait for an insignificant moment in the game. There are no real fixed rules, but you'll have to work it out with your opponent, and what he/she is comfortable with. If there is trouble in this tournament, you can ask the judges to see what is most fair.

That sounds good. Our time for today is almost up. We will continue to talk about these issues in a later episode!

Thank you very much. And thank you for listening to 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 09-03-2009 @ 09:12 PM).]

posted 09-04-09 09:32 AM EDT (US)     51 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS!

Today we are beginning to see the crackdown of the timing rules. We have had one disqualification (Reapagan) and a withdrawal (Hatstand). MrLifford and Zerge have received reminders and are now at risk for receiving a warning.

We welcome Sapphoenix, a more known player, to the tournament. Sapphoenix will be replacing Reapagan in games against Charx, PawelS, and Hatstand. Sounds like a tough schedule, but we are not talking about an inexperienced player here.

Hmmm, wait... Hatstand withdrew. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, unfortunately, Hatstand cannot play his turns anymore!
- messes with papers -

Ah, and this brings me to the next topic. A final, and last minute addition to the tournament is Vovy! He came, highly recommended, by Oleg, and will be replacing Hatstand in games against Spiceant, Troy and Reapagan.

Hmmm, no, that can't be right. Reapagan was disqualified, so...
- messes with papers -

I mean, Sapphoenix! Yes, so, its Vovy against Sapphoenix. Man, I am I glad I am not doing the administration!
*cough* Vovy is a completely unknown player, however, we have learned not to underestimate these too much!
According to Swolte these will be the last replacements. Further withdrawals and disqualifications will result in games becoming forfeit.

Lastly, we have put a link up to the poll results above.

This was TNS for you today! Good luck in your games!

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 09-04-2009 @ 11:48 PM).]

posted 09-05-09 11:06 AM EDT (US)     52 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS!
Both last-minute replacement contestants, Sapphoenix and Vovy, seem to have settled in well and started their games! Most games that began two weeks ago are reaching interesting stages! Surely, the next week will bring some interesting developments.

For today, we have a special guest! With a stunning strategy, he beat one of the favourites, Swolte, in the tournament. Please welcome Oleg123 on the show!

Oleg, please take a seat. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How you learned about AoW, these forums, and pbem?

Oleg123 Thank you for having me in the show
I am 34 years old, a proud father of two children who are too small to join me in AoW games. I was born in Soviet Union and I live in Israel. Somebody recommended me AoW as a great RPG about three years ago. I was hooked and finished the campaign for Good and played all the supplied maps. Then I learnt about AoW SM. I was looking to patch it, and HeavenGames was in the top search results on Google. Few monthes ago I stumbled over AoW SM and returned to play, but fighting AI seemed too dull. And that brought me to PBEM in HeavenGames and online plays in GameSpy and Russian Hamachi network and to learn some secrets of the trade.
Your victory against Swolte, congratulations btw, was quite unexpected! In fact, the latest poll wouldn't have predicted you pass through to the second round! What was key to your success in that match?

Oleg123 The keys of my success in this match were, well, being an underdog in the first place. I also put a great deal of preparation. The low randomization of the map just makes any chosen strategy more robust, so I chose one that could go unnoticed until it gives me an edge big enough even against a very experienced player like Swolte.
You lost your match against Naeco. How did that happen?

Oleg123 Against naecO in the Colors, I checked the map and thought that it was too random and having too many routes, and that it can be played only by reacting to sircumstances and events as they unfold. Wrong, wrong assumption! Also my dealing with the independents in this map was bad and brought me to a point of no return.
How do you prepare for your matches?

Oleg123 Coming with a strategy seems essential, just as getting to know your opponent and reading reviews of the map and other players logs.
I am still working on it.
How do you like the different maps in the tournament so far? Any favourites?

Oleg123 I have played only Colors and Rocky Divide so far, and I liked more my experience with the Divide. My Mountain of Gods game with Xalarun scheduled to start in two days, and I need to catch up.
How do you foresee yourself do in the tournament?

Oleg123 As for my advancement in the tournir, it is too early to say. In fact, I did not take part in the pool since it seems to me hard to evaluate anything. I have all the chance to make it at least to the second round, and I mean to use it well.
Well, good luck in reaching the second rounds, and thank you for this interview.
Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS for you today!

Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008
posted 09-06-09 10:46 AM EDT (US)     53 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS. On today's show we will have Swolte talk about the tournament progress this past week.

Before we start, however, we have news from two games. LordDuck beat Spiceant in a match on the infamous Colors map. I believe it was the first victory that took over 5 days. For a report, check out the match here! Another victory was reported by Enginerd who managed to beat Vicbrother in the Rocky Divide. I was there at the scene for an interesting analysis. Check it out here!

But, we now turn to Swolte. Swolte, welcome on the show, again. What can you tell us about the tournament progress in the past week?
Thank you. Well, this week has been quite hectic. We have had a disqualification due to the communication rules, as well as a withdrawal. Luckily we managed to find replacements in Sapphoenix and Vovy, who have started their games. They have some catching up to do, but I am confident it will work out for the best.

How are the games going?
The games are going well, I think. it's now officially the first week and 10 games have finished. This is almost one quarter of the total amount of games! However, it can be a bit deceiving. As the graph shows, provided by Enginerd, most of the games that have finished the first and second week were on the colors map on which some player were defeated by indies fairly quickly.

I assume we have weeded out the risky players on the colors map and that those surviving the first 5 days will battle on a bit longer.
The Mountain of the Gods map is a very different type of map, where you can have stand offs on narrow passageways. It also takes a while to kill the Wizard. So, naturally, it will take longer before we will see some games ending there.

So things are on schedule?
Yes, so far we're good! Players should, after this week, be at day 5 in their game. If you're not, you may want to step it up a bit. This will mean that on the fourth week you are at day 20, and that is usually a good amount of days to make a decision on these maps.

Decision?! Uh, what?! Please remind us!
Well, by the beginning of October I do hope to be done 80% of the games in the first round. Games which aren't finished will be decided by a panel of judges.

Is that fair? Most of the judges are players, and with the current system where games depend on each other, they could be biased!
Obviously, we will choose people who have no invested interest in the outcome. We may even ask some good players who are not participating in the tournament to take a peek, like Greenmonster or Roger.
Anyway, I hope it won't come to that, but obviously we cannot wait for all games to finish. Already one game took over 50 turns! If, on average, a turn were to be exchanged every 2 days in that game, it would take the entire fall for round one...

Ok, ok, enough on schedules, deadline and TIME now. What can we expect for the next week?
Haha, well, we will be releasing information regarding which maps are being played for the next rounds. And I hope to see some more exciting game analyses!

Sounds exciting! Thanks for coming, Swolte, and thank you for tuning in to 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 09-14-2009 @ 09:29 AM).]

posted 09-07-09 10:34 AM EDT (US)     54 / 244  
It’s time for the TNS and first off we want to congratulate Costa on his victory over Toth on the Colors of Black and White map. Well done. You can read about their game here. And now, on to our interview for the day. That’s right, you guessed it. The interview you have been waiting for is about to… *poof of smoke envelops the area*

Excuse me my dear young boy. I believe you wanted to know about the updates to MY tourney.

Oh no not you again?

Oh yes indeed, I have resolved all the issues from last week, it was quite a magical feat and I did impress myself if I must say.

You won’t will you?

Glad you asked! More games have finished thanks to me bringing the total to 11 games completed with more coming in every day.

Now how did you get the games to finish?

Tsk, Tsk, Tsk, You really should try to keep up. It was a simple Mind Decay spell cast on everyone, you see, it makes their minds forget all sorts of real life things so all they can do is focus on getting their turns done quickly. If they don’t play their turn within 48 hours then their mind will start to decay and they will die. Mwahahahahaha.

er, um, wow , you’ve got a mean streak in you.

It’s a result of my happy childhood.

In the bog?

What? That was all a simple misunderstanding. I can’t believe you’d…. did Meandor put you up to this? He was always picking on me.

(wow, that hit a nerve). Calm down, why don’t you tell me about the tourney.

I was just getting to the good stuff before you distracted me. You see, my cosmagic spell worked like a charm and fooled you all! I have managed to replace a newbie with a veteran, why Sapphoenix now joins us, she’s such a lovely elf. Have you seen her avatar?

um, we sort of already knew about that, and Vovy too.

he’s not a lovely elf, now stop interrupting. What you don’t realize is how much this changes the predictions for round 1.

sheesh, last week they were hard facts with your slippery stone spell and now they’re predictions again. What’s your angle?

Don’t you know that you must confuse your enemy, make them think you’re doing one thing when you’re really doing something else, lull them into a false sense of security, lay down a trap and capture their tower?

I suppose

Exactly, so the poll predictions are now in an upheaval. Only 8 of the first 11 games were predicted accurately. But do not fear, I, Flander, the Great Wizard from Enioch, am here to help you see the future. Look into my crystal ball and you will see… (only what I want you to see, Mwahahahahaha)

Now, you can see what one player can do to change the top 16 finalists.

Don’t you mean two or three… like Cranberry, Oleg, Sapphoenix… and so on.

You’re such a mortal

So, if I understand this, it looks like one victory may not be enough to get you into the next round because there are so many players now that won’t have 3 victories?

That may be so, but one could also say that more players are going to end up with 2 victories. Here, Gaze deeper and you can see how some things have changed.

9 players were predicted to have 3 victories originally and now it looks like we’ll be lucky to get 7 and my crystal ball predicts it will likely be 6 or less. The future is hard to see sometimes. It also makes the game between Swolte and Charx very important. Also, Pawel has picked up an interesting match with Sapphoenix giving him a very challenging schedule. He just might beat Neaco, so hard to predict that match as well, most definitely one to watch. Both Swolte and Pawel stand on the edge of doom. Yes, it will be quite interesting to see how it all unfolds. I have seen it all, of course, but your feeble mind is not ready for these great mysteries.

So what are we ready for?

Glad you asked my dear boy.

You will see that average number of turns to finish the maps is quite interesting. Rocky Divide posted 3 games completed, two of which ended in just under 20 turns. I expect that many other games on that map will be completed in similar fashion this week. There are 3 games nearing the 20 turn mark as we speak! None of the others are past 10 turns so we’ll probably only have 3 more games end on this map this week.

Now, on the Colors of Black and White map the average number of turns to finish is set at a surprising 8 days! Yes, quite amazing. However, with a couple players killing themselves early on methinks the statistics are a bit skewed. One game that ran to completion took 21 turns and another just finished up at 12 turns. There is one game with more than 12 turns right now so we should expect to see fireworks on that one, Too bad there are still 6 games with less than 5 turns played. Unless more players kill themselves we won’t see more than one or two more finish up this map this week.

The Mountain of the Gods map is having all sorts of activity. Only one game finished at about turn 23 so it’s tough to say how long this game will last on average. However, there are 6 games with somewhere between 12 and 16 turns with one exciting one at 22 turns (can’t wait to see if Pawel or Naeco will win that one). We could see several of these games finish this week. The turn logs are certainly exciting.

So, as we gaze into our crystal ball we are expecting to nearly double the number of completed games this week getting us within striking distance of the halfway mark. Oh… I can’t wait to see how well everyone does at their poll predictions!

*as he walks away deep in thought* (I wonder if I should tell them that one pollster accurately predicted 10 of the 11 matches correctly. I couldn’t tell them it was *cough* Cranberry *cough* that just wouldn’t be right. Oh wouldn’t they like to know that Enginerd only guessed 6 of the 11 correctly, ho hum, that is a good one. No, I better keep that info to myself for another week )

Well, sorry folks, that wasn’t the interview you’ve all been waiting for so we’ll bring just have to bring it to you tomorrow as we’re out of time. Let’s hope Flander gets lost in that crystal ball. Oops, did I say that out loud. This is your TNS report for the day.
posted 09-08-09 05:28 AM EDT (US)     55 / 244  
Glad to know I contributed to the messing up of the polls, if not the game standings.

Sapphoenix is losing every single PBEM (almost!), but loving it!
posted 09-08-09 07:44 AM EDT (US)     56 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS!

We start off today with an expected win of Naeco over MrLifford on the Rocky Mountains. Check out the report here, for those who are interested. Naeco posted an interesting analysis.

On today's show we will feature some tactics. We have gotten our hands on some top-secret strategy material from Albinscott's match against Timelord. The predicted odds are heavily against Albinscott in this match, but he is planning devious tricks.


This is a situation from day six on the Mountain of the Gods map. Albinscott is playing A'shir and, as you can read, tries to surprise Ne'khan.


TNS decided to contact Albinscott, afterwards, to determine what really happened. Apparently, it didn't go as well. I quote from Albinscott:
What went wrong with the little nasty tactic:
a) Succubus have True Seeing and any Concealed unit wouldn't probably go far, ending up being seduced!
b) There was no real powerful unit on the RS - should have checked the editor for that!
c) Having decided to hire a Skimmer (thus denying that pleasure to the enemy and getting ourselves a second flying unit with Night Vision and Vision II), they ended up not being able to go far anyway. There was a second Succubus to the south, so I decided to go northwest, towards the other Recruitment Site. Unfortunately there was no way they could end up in "obstacle" AND getting as far as I wanted to, so they finished the movement in a watchtower. Next turn Timelord managed to place 1 hero, 1 Druid, 1 Rogue and 1 Succubus adjacent, thus putting an end to my misery. The Succubus perished, so not a complete loss.
You can follow the match here!

Next is another situation from a match on the Rocky Divide. It's day 19 and Albinscott is playing Lord Drake against ZombieEater.

Here we get a sneak preview of Albinscotts thoughts when encountered with a tricky situation.
I quote:
Again, it's no big deal but it reminded me of chess, seeing what ZombieEater did here - boy, I hate that game! :-)

ZombieEater has positioned his 3 Djinn and 1 Northern Glow on a hex that allows him both to support the 2 Repeater Ballistas + 2 Cavalry against the settlement or to attack the Recruitment Site on their own. I am quite sure the western (not visible) 4 Lurker area guard group will attack the Djinns (if the Lurkers are still alive, that is!) as I had previously disrupted one particular AI block hex in the water, but unfortunately no great harm should come from there, since none of the Djinn is particularly wounded.
What happened was that ZombieEater didn't move forward and Albinscott retreated from the Syron village and fortified his position on the Recruitment Site. The area guard Lurkers didn't attack the Djinn group for unknown reasons. ZombieEater kept his group by the watchtower and apparently still does, a standoff which we can see in the game thread!

So, this was TNS for you today. Please be reminded that If you have situations, plans, or just something you wish to share, do send us an email with an image (just take [Prnt Scrn]) and a short description!

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 09-08-2009 @ 07:49 AM).]

posted 09-08-09 07:53 AM EDT (US)     57 / 244  
Interesting, maybe I'll take a screenshot in my game against Naeco...

A proud member of the Unofficial Patch team.
Creator of the AoW1 Mod.

[This message has been edited by PawelS (edited 09-08-2009 @ 07:55 AM).]

posted 09-08-09 01:35 PM EDT (US)     58 / 244  
Indeed, and maybe I can figure out a plan to make my way back from that

Tired of manually receiving/sending your PBEM turns everyday ? Try out Dave's PBEM Wrapper!
posted 09-08-09 08:08 PM EDT (US)     59 / 244  
Oh my, I wish to thank TNS for publishing my pictures, it is a great honor for me! I certainly encourage others to submit their own, nothing better than some graphics to spice up round #1, right

As for the Lurkers not having attacked the Djinn group in Rocky Divide, I figured it out: Lurkers don't have Forestry skill... Doh!
posted 09-09-09 01:03 AM EDT (US)     60 / 244  
I cannot be sure 'cause i'm not in the game but as long as the AI blocks are not removed (a player's units go pass it), the lurkers won't go out to attack.

still waiting for Pawel's screenie

Tired of manually receiving/sending your PBEM turns everyday ? Try out Dave's PBEM Wrapper!
posted 09-09-09 09:25 AM EDT (US)     61 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS!
On today's show we will continue our talk with Swolte on restarts and fair play. Swolte, welcome, we left off our discussion last time on restarts and you had something to add.
Yes, I am glad you remember! There were a couple of things, and the most important being: trust. In PBEM you are in a situation where your opponent is playing a turn against your precious troops (in some dark, smokey room on the other side of the world), and you cannot see what is going on at all! This can often lead to suspicion, especially when there are restarts involved.

The tournament rules are somewhat unclear on whether you can have battles or not on restarts. It's easy to say to not do any big battles, but if you want to operationalize these statement in objective rules, what defines 'big'? A full stack? A full stack of lvl-1's? And remember that big battles may not be crucial battles at all. Often you can lose the war because of a small, but crucial, battle: killing that Zephyr (or not losing it), may just prevent your opponent from revealing your entire strategy which can have a huge effect on the course of the game! Was that a big battle?

What I am trying to say is that its impossible to rule. And I think the best way to go is to ask what your opponent is comfortable with. And I guess, if you cannot resolve it yourselves, the judges can look at things on a case-by-case basis.

My personal take is quite trusting. I wouldn't do upon my opponent what I wouldn't like for myself. For example, sometimes there is a rare but silly occasion for a restart. For example, I have accidentally opened my pbem game, when trying to load a testmap (this happens often to me). Now, avoiding big battles in that turn can have a HUGE impact on the game! I wouldn't want that for myself, as well as for my opponent. The tournament match should be one of skill, and I don't like restart mechanics to play a role in these. I would have no restrictions: just play the turn as if it were real.

This may seem naive to some, but I think its the best way to go about it. We're a relatively mature group and we're here to have fun. The temptation to cheat can certainly be big, but I think we are mature enough to refrain from this, and be good losers.

So, have you ever cheated?
Never in a tournament.

*Eyes suddenly light up* Ah... So, you have in normal games then?! Confess, Swolte!
I didn't say... ok, well, I have broken the rules once in a while but I usually explicitley and openly announce these beforehand. This is usually because I believe it will benefit the game. And people have always gone along.

- awkward silence -

Ok, and maybe once about 5 years ago... it was in a fun game, really stupid, and would have ruined the game if I hadn't.

*Gasp* Ladies and gentl...
Well, this is no justification. It is totally wrong to do so, but interesting to see how you make all these reasons to serve as justifications for these actions. There are none, there simply is NO good reason. No matter how STUPID your move is (even today, I made a simple counting mistake which cost me so dearly...). It's best to just be open about it, and perhaps, in leisurely games people will agree it's ok to restart if the mistake is 'really' stupid and ruins a fun game. Obviously, for a tournament, restarting for stupidity is not allowed at all: one misclick can be fatal, and this should be the case. A tournament is about playing on the edge!

What if people are cheating? What is the punishment.
This is an interesting question. Obviously, we'll deal with such matters on a case-by-case bases, but in the worst case you would be expelled from the tournament, and if it was up to me, a cheater would be banned from the forums.

Banned?! There is nothing about that in the code of conduct.
Yes, but I think I would still push for it. I mean, if posting two flaming and vulgar messages, or an advertisement picture can get you banned, than cheating should be 10x worse in my books. Keep in mind that with cheating, other people can be deeply hurt and affected. For the players, tournament organization, and the entire community it is very bad. Damaged trust is hard to repair and the whole community will feel it. If someone is being caught cheating (and we do, often, catch them!), we cannot just have those games replayed. We may even be in the second round already! A nightmare for an organization.

I think banning ok to do for tournament but I may have to go to the 'higher powers at Heavengames' to get it done. There is an interesting situation for leisurely PBBEM games, though, that has to do with how you view heavengames.

In one view, Heavengames can be seen as a platform for games, like a big room, where people can gather to play their own games. Imagine a public board-gaming library providing the space and opportunity to play. There would be rules of conduct, like no littering and/or loud swearing against the librarian, but what happens in your 'private' monopoly game is of no interest to the librarian. You could argue this would be up to the group! If they keep it quiet, and don't throw pieces around, I, as a librarian, would have no business banning people from this public place for cheating. Your friends would self-regulate.

The other view is seeing Heavengames as a social community. In that sense, HG is also responsible for people's behaviour and put effort into attempting to correct, reward, and punish behavior. Being here would imply being part of the community and but being part of a community also comes with responsibilities and regulations which are enforced.

Obviously, this is a classic tension, and I am sure people will have different opinions about this.

Callers are welcome! Ok, let's get back to the actual game, instead of this socio-cultural drivel. What about people breaking the houserules because they don't know!

Right. Ok, this is tricky, for the tournament we expect people to have read and understood all the rules (including the house rules!). Anyone who signs up should know them but the reality is that some people won't like reading.
Breaking one of the house rules can result in your game being forfeit, so its important to know them well.

I also want to mention to players out there to be your own agent as well, and generally play 'by the books'. For those handful of players who have been around for quite long, they may know a few tricks in this game NOT listed in the house rules which are definitely not part of the intended game mechanics. Obviously, those type of tricks are not allowed. Some players have already emailed me about those and the answer is to just play by the book, i.e., fair.

I heard something before about the final game being different?
Yes, the plan is to have every turn sent through me (unless I am in the final myself). This way every day can be monitored. But the main reason is to afterwards make a detailed report with some cool pictures!

Pictures sounds great! Swolte, you will come to the show tomorrow for an important announcement, correct?
Yes, we're going to reveal the order of the maps for subsequent rounds.

We'll look forward to that. Ladies and gentlemen, 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 09-09-2009 @ 10:17 AM).]

posted 09-09-09 11:40 PM EDT (US)     62 / 244  

Ladies and gentlemen, we have breaking news.

Drama! Swolte just announced the disqualificaton of Necromagi, due to noncompliance with the communication rules. Its likely the match against the mighty Timelord has completely paralyzed and demoralized him!

As a result, JamesEde and MrLifford will receive a default victory in the tournament.

Zerge has received his second warning, and is close to a disqualification as well.

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 09-09-2009 @ 11:52 PM).]

posted 09-10-09 10:20 AM EDT (US)     63 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS!

More breaking news as Vovy, playing Lord Ember, defeats Spiceant on the Rocky Mountains. I was there to report.

Today is an important show as the maps for the subsequent rounds will be revealed. Obviously, Timelords 'Too much Water' will be the final map, so there are three maps for which the order had to be determined.
Swolte, welcome on the show, again!
Thanks, again. It's like I am running the show all by myself the last two days, haha!

Anyway, we have updated the maps in the downloads section, so please do check them out after the show. Changes can still be made to the maps before the second round starts. And no map is perfect, so I am sure there will be areas for improvement players can point out, and you're more than welcome to do so!

Ok, to reveal the map for the second round, the final 16, we have a special guest on our show today. Please give a round of applause for the equally seductive as feared, KARISSA!!
Thank you, dear. * winks *
The map for the second round is...

Blackheart and Goodfella's war!!

*Sparks of fire can be seen around her hands and body*

Oooh, thanks so much, Karissa! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Great effects. What made you choose this map?
Why are you staring at me, dear? I didn't choose, remember. Don't be so confused...

Eh yes, sorry, sorry, sorry! I meant, Swolte!
Ah yes, this is a map by King David, a very experienced mapmaker who is also a decent player. Not a trivial point, and it also increased my confidence for the balancing. It's very asymmetrical, and therefore quite challenging to do correctly. For the balancing we had two teams play each side, next to individual play testing. Reports were all very positive, and I had to change very little from the setup. The main reason for this map is that it will play fast, fun, and its just very well made so a lot of people can enjoy it! I also don't want to risk strong balance issues in subsequent rounds when we have very good players against very good players.
I never understood why this map scored so low in the mapmaking tournament in preparation for this tournament. It was one of my favourites to win.

Great, we continue with the map for the third round, the final 8. Karissa, please?
The map for the third round is...

The Lion, the Witch and the Warfare!!

*A ball of fire envelops Karissa as she smiles contently, her eyes glaze red for a moment*

Sweet, heh, love those effects! Getting a bit hot, though... Great.
Um, yes. It is getting a bit hot. Look at the carpet...
Anyway, the Lion, the Witch and the Warfare (LWW) is a map by Rheno and got second place in the mapmaking competition. Its a gorgeous map, extremely well made, and I think in terms of terrain, the best! Its also quite symmetrical, so I am not too concerned about balance. The small reason I didn't want this map too early is because the amount of events seemed more complicated. Blackheart and Goodfella's war (BGW) also has events, but they are more straightforward, and therefore more suitable.

Ok, well, there is only one map left for the semi final, but we might as well do the announcement.
Can't hurt...
My pleasure, hahaha, The map for the semi final round is, muhahah...

*This time Karissa moves her head backwards, and spreads her arms. The air begins to tremble as the room begins to boil, slowly*
*Suddenly, her hair seems to enflamed, and a circle of fire appears around her feet. The flames begin to grow, and come dangerously close to our host and his guest*

Ok, I am outta here...

* A ball of fire flies from Karissa's hands, straight through the ceiling. Papers and furniture begin to catch fire as she continuous to laugh madly, and passionately engulfs the room with her fire.*



- crackle - crackle -

- connection terminated -

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 09-10-2009 @ 02:51 PM).]

posted 09-10-09 01:09 PM EDT (US)     64 / 244  
Tut..tu..t... tutttt....

Hello TNS! Wow! You should fire the reporter/editor whoever made the Round1 update (Man! I just hope Karissa's fireball got him earlier). Because as of 09/09/09 (Round1 update), I am the winner in two of my matches and there, only one was reported . I demand a retraction! IF you don"t do that right away, I will go see the GREAT WIZARD Flander of Enioch's Court and ask him to enchant me with a spell so powerful that all of my current and future opponents will bow before me in every match I am in .

*knock* (phone hung up)

Tired of manually receiving/sending your PBEM turns everyday ? Try out Dave's PBEM Wrapper!
posted 09-11-09 07:31 AM EDT (US)     65 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS!

In light of recent events, this show is recorded from a blackened studio. We're still cleaning up the mess. For those who inquired, your host is doing ok *irony* Thanks, Naeco.... I managed to save most of the studio and essential equipment.

We open today's news with the disqualification of Zerge. After the second warning, he was unable to comply with the communication rules. LordDuck, Morgull666, and Enginerd profit with a default win.
Sensational was also Albinscott's win over ZombieEater as well as Costa's win over Torso. It is almost certain now that Torso, tipped as a favourite to win the tournament, won't make it to the second round. We await detailed comments from the players! Games are ending swiftly these days, stay tuned!

Today's show will feature Troy Locker, who was a finalist in a 2003 BTOOIC PBEM tournament. The thrilling final can be viewed here, a MUST READ for everyone. This interview was recorded a few days ago, so you'll have to see in his matches whether some answers are still relevant.

Welcome to the show, Troy Locker! Could you tell us a bit about
yourself? How did you get to know AoW, pbem, and the forums?

Troy Locker I got to know AoW1 through a friend in college, Rorschach, in 2000. And I started out playing hotseat with him. I immediately loved the game. Turnbased strategy with a twist of fantasy was right up my lane. The forum and downloadcentral is a must for any AoW-player.
In the polls you have managed to obtain first place. Could you elaborate a bit on why this may be?

Troy Locker I take it as a complement, but i think it is really undeserved. I haven't played a PBEM-game in allmost six years, so I'll guess people reads old threads. I had a good BTOOIC tournament in 2003 where I got to the final and lost to Waterfly.
I guess my nick just sounds good I think.
What do you think of the maps in the tournament so far? Do you have certain preferences?

Troy Locker The maps are great, and they all have multiple-angle-strategy-options. I like it when there is more than one way to victory. My old favorites were Danny's sock and a modyfied Creek of aberil. They are more unbalanced and have fewer ways to be played well, so I think I will play the new tournament maps more in the future.
How do you prepare for matches, and pick your strategy?

Troy Locker Earlier I was more thorough when I studied the maps in the editor, and playtested the maps (against Costa or Rorschach). Now I spent 5 minutes in the editor with each map before I picked my strategy. I use the editor from time to time when I'm planning something important. I haven't played the later patches much and I have forgotten much about how the gameengine works, so I still get surprised quite often and learn a lot as the games move on.
Perhaps a sensitive question, but... do you have a favorite strategy? Or a favorite race?

Troy Locker I try to not have a certain style. Sometimes I go directly for the heart from day one, but mostly I like a slower playstyle wich gives me time to build the army I feel will give the the advantage.
How are your current games going?

Troy Locker The game against Charx is quite even I think. The Vovy-game is too young yet, I still haven't found him....The Lordduckgame is a thriller. He had the upper hand some days ago, but luckily for me he didn't strike when I was on my weakest. Now I have gained enough time to give myself the chance to get back in the game. Unless he has some aces up his sleeves. I hope for two points.
Thanks for the interview!

Troy Locker Good luck everyone!!
Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS for you today!

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

[This message has been edited by Swolte (edited 09-11-2009 @ 08:05 AM).]

posted 09-11-09 08:02 AM EDT (US)     66 / 244  
Master, Master, wake up

*mumbling in his sleep* oh Karissa, you’re so beautiful, your fire balls are so, so…. *mumbles* …. Oh Karissa, my love…. Your spells are…

Master! WAKE UP *shoves Flander out of bed*

Why you ungrateful little Imp!

yes Master

What? Why did you wake me, I was having such a wonderful dream… if only I could remember what it was about


Oh, get on with it, what is it?

Master, someone wants you to cast a spell on them.

Really? After all these years…. A customer!

Yes Master, a customer.

Well, what do I do, what should I say… a customer… A CUSTOMER!

yes Master.

Bring me my best wizard hat… no not that one, I used it in the interview last week, no the other blue one, yes, that’s it. Ok, how do I look…. Yes…. I look… wizardly, how exciting… someone wants me to cast a spell. Oh this is the best day ever. I wonder what kind of spell it is? Sure hope I can cast it, if not, well, I’ll think of something.

Master? The customer is upset about the round 1 update and how his second win wasn’t given the headline it deserved, or his first victory wasn’t announced or something like that.

Well, that’s not my fault! (pause) it wasn’t my fault was it? Please tell me it wasn’t my fault *mumbles* I’m always messing things up *mumles*

Master, he’s upset at the reporter

Oh good, that was a close one. OK, so what does he want then, does he want me to fix the update? I gave that interview on the 7th and we updated the magic scrolls on the 6th, oh it was sooo much work, we're just a couple days away from our next update and there have been so many games finished, I couldn’t possibly update them more often? *mumbles* oh I really hope I didn’t mess it up *mumbles* This is terrible.

Master, he’s upset at the reporter…. He wanted an immediate retraction and there was nothing in the TNS report about it. And he said something about an update on the 9th that was missing the full story.

What, I didn’t follow that, is he some kind of crazy player that didn’t get the 15 minutes of fame, did he forget to read all the fine print about the house rules, right here, Flander’s House Rule #422 section 4 subsection 3 “Flander will eat ice-cream….” Wait, not that one (although it is one of my favorites), it’s Flander’s House Rule #244 “Flander will only give tourney updates once a week, or whenever he feels like it and only if there is ice-cream”. Why do I always get the crazy ones

Master, he said you were a GREAT wizard.

Really! Well, that’s different. Why such a wise tourney player, I can’t believe he’s being treated so poorly. It’s a shame. I cannot allow this treatment to continue. Now, what can I do for him? I know, I know...

Master, he just wants to win the tourney, crush his opponents and have everyone bow down before him.

Oh I get that request all the time, I think that makes 30 of them now. I’ll do something really special for my #1 Fan. *sigh* It is truly difficult to be such a great wizard. Yes, yes, I know…. They don’t deserve me, but what can I do, I must press on and endure. Well, this should cheer him up for any wrong that he has experienced his entire life.

posted 09-11-09 07:15 PM EDT (US)     67 / 244  
Damn, how the heck did I miss this tournament???

Mindplaces: Fantasy art by Eric Pommer
posted 09-12-09 06:31 AM EDT (US)     68 / 244  
Ha ha ha!!

I absolutely love this last encounter between the Great Wizard & his apprentice. Really funny. I can't stop giggling.

Sapphoenix is losing every single PBEM (almost!), but loving it!
posted 09-12-09 09:22 AM EDT (US)     69 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS!
Today, we will continue our show with Swolte discussing the maps for the subsequent rounds. Swolte, welcome. Our apologies for the incident a few days ago. I managed to bring the situation back under control, but you can see the studio is still quite damaged. The carpet looks like wasteland shrubs.

Where were you, by the way? I don't think I have ever seen anyone run so fast!
Yes, it was getting dangerous, so I moved myself to safety! Sorry to see your eyebrows are gone, but they'll grow back. Good thing you survived it. What did you tell her after you threw yourself at her feet?

Um, well, I didn't really... *cough* I went with my instincts, acted and it worked! Heh, I heard you even returned briefly to get your hat?
Yes, that hat means a lot to me. Karissa seemed quite busy wiping her feet off your head whilst cleaning her nails. In the meantime, you were screaming your lungs out. It seemed like a good time to sneak back in and get my hat back. I noticed your arm seemed all twisted. Seemed like her pointy heel was dug into your shoulder?

Oh, I don't really remember much after that...

I still hurt, everywhere.
Well, my hat was ok, though. The (now) formerly used desk was catching fire and would have damaged it, so I had no choice. A few tiny burn marks, but I guess they'll make for an interesting story.

Yes, it looks almost... unharmed. Anyway, let's continue where we left off. I am not sure how far the previous broadcast went but I got a new announcer. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the famous MINI MOUSE to announce the map to be used for the final 4!!

Hihi, the semi-final map will be the road to HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!! Hihihi!

Thank you Mini! So that is the 'Road to Hell' by Nyrha... Nylanthotep... NytloDAMMMITTT!!!
*Reads* N Y A R L A T H O T E P.
Yes, Nyarlathotep. This map didn't make it in the top 5 of the mapmaking tournament but it had some great potential. It's a very straightforward map and the author was willing to adapt it quite heavily to be used for the tournament. It's very straightforward, symmetrical, and there are lots of options of expansion and strategy for players. Since the stakes are quite high in the semi-final, we don't want to take much chances when it comes to the balance. The Blackheart and and Lion maps both have different starting races, which can always give balance tensions. This will not be the case for this map where both players will start as undead.
I was sorry to learn Nyarlathotep had to withdraw himself from playing himself due to technical problems.

Now that all maps are known, what would you recommend?
Well, although we tried to make the maps as balanced as possible, it is very hard to really do so as there are so many factors to consider in this game. Playing 4 test games on both sides may seem like much, but isn't much by any scientific standards considering the complexity of the game. There will always be balance issues, especially in the asymmetrical maps.
Now, I sincerely hope players will provide feedback before the second round starts. For the first round, I had received almost no feedback before they were announced. So, I would would like to ask everyone to please start to check out the maps so that you can notify the organization of unbalances. We can then address issues before the second round starts!

Unfortunately, there will be very little time between the announcement of the second round matches and the start of the actual games, so you may have to check out the maps unbeknownst of what side you may be playing. Should be good practice!

Thank you, Swolte. Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS for today!


Later, in the studio...

Listen, I know you got a bit hurt, but the ratings for that show went through the roof.
So did a fireball... *points up at giant hole in ceiling*
We can fix that. Besides, you did great. You saved the studio! *pats on shoulder*
What Wizards is going to mess with you, now?
Well, I still don't think we should...
Fine, what about Flanders. Does that count as a Wizard? The poor soul looks like he could hardly light his own barbecue.
Arggh, I have had it boss, I am sorry! Flanders is a lunatic, and those are the most dangerous ones! I wouldn't be surprised if he explodes himself in some nutty fireworks!
Hmmm, interesting. I just had an idea... you know what? Why don't you take the Sunday off? It sounds like you're still a little bit stressed about what happened. Get some rest, and I am sure you'll feel differently over time.
Well, ok... but, what about the Sunday show? Who is...?
Don't you worry about it! You're reporting back to work on Monday!
Ok, ok, boss.

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 09-12-2009 @ 09:23 AM).]

posted 09-12-09 07:41 PM EDT (US)     70 / 244  

Ladies and gentlemen, the match between Morgul666 and Spiceant has ended in a victory for Morgul and the end of the tournament for Spiceant.

The game between Albinscott and Timelord also ended in a victory for Timelord. With only one game left for Albinscott, reaching the next round is going to be much harder. Check out the match here!

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

[This message has been edited by Swolte (edited 09-12-2009 @ 10:35 PM).]

posted 09-12-09 10:49 PM EDT (US)     71 / 244  
Damn, I love this show

Anyhow, for the poor reporter, you can also just use Nyar as an abreviation (although I really don't get it why my original name is such a tonguetwister...)

And I do feel quite humbled, both for Swolte's compassion and my map being used in the semi-finals...

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 09-13-09 03:30 PM EDT (US)     72 / 244  
Master, what is in your Tourney Update report this week?

Well, we have to start out with the games that just finished. There was an exciting match that just ended between Vovy and Troy Locker on Colors of Black and White, another upset as Troy Locker was supposed to cruise to victory in his three matches. I’m sure there will be those that want to congratulate Vovy on that victory. That brings the total games finished to 23, just over half! And that only leaves about 500 possible combinations out there for how it could all end up. So with that I thought it best to focus on some likely scenarios, you know, build up some drama for some players, create some excitement around a few matches that are getting close to finishing up.

But Master, don’t you already know how the tourney will unfold

Of Course I do, what kind of a wizard would I be if I didn’t. But you must remember, that none of them know.

Master, why don’t you just tell them. Here it is on this scroll.

*shakes his head in disbelief* All right, YOU have seen the results already and YOU too know who will win my silly apprentice. I did show you how to read the crystal ball. Now… pretend you don’t know who will win the matches, put it out of your little mind and let me tell you some stories about the tourney. Then, you can tell me that my way is the better way!

*shakes his head in disbelief* Yes, Master

Good… now, look here at this scroll

There are two players that have clinched positions in the 2nd round. Cranberry, the only player with three victories, of course he’ll advance and also Naeco has clinched a spot. Of all the nearly 500 possible outcomes left to the tourney there is a cutoff that is becoming firmer and firmer with every game that finishes. You see, 2 wins and at least 3 opponent points will be enough. Even if Naeco loses his third match, his opponent will pick up one point and then Neaco will have at least 3 opponent points. There just isn’t anyway for there to be 16 players with more than 2 wins and 4 opponent points. It just doesn’t work. Got it? Oh, this is so much fun!

Yes, Master (this isn’t that much fun)

Now, I don’t want to discourage those players out there that will end up with only one victory so I looked at what the minimum score would be to get into the next round and you’d be surprised to see that with 1 win and 6 opponent points you may, with a little help from me, just might make it into the next round, no guarantees but it is possible. Now, isn’t that exciting?

Yes, Master (it’s so exciting I can hardly stand it) How are you going to help them with only 1 win and 6 points?

Not now, it’s a secret. Now, look at this group of players.

There are five players with 2 victories and one game to go. Unfortunately they don’t have enough opponent points yet so they must wait and hope for their opponents to win some games to make sure they clinch a spot in the next round or hope that the cutoff is at 1 win with 6 or 7 opponent points.

Master, couldn’t they just win their next game and clinch a spot that way? Sure looks like those five shouldn’t have to worry about it too much either way and they are all predicted to make it into the next round.

*shakes his head in disbelief* *mumbles something* I’ll just ignore that you said that. Let’s move on, now to the next group of players, shall we?

This is an exciting group of players to watch. They all have one win, one loss and one game to go. It is critical that they win their third match. Albinscott and Oleg are in the strongest position in this group as they have the most opponent’s points and can clinch a 2nd round spot with a victory. The other players will be sitting very comfortably with a second win but still won’t have enough opponent points yet. And yes, the polls predict them to win but these matches are all close calls and anything could happen.

Master, it sounds exciting, how are they doing in their games, are they going to win? Is there going to be another upset?

We’re not talking about that right now, here, see here…. Look at the next group of players, there are 6 players left with 2 games to go in this group.

There is only one of them with one victory, JamesEde, and he could advance with a few more opponent points and if he can win one of his two matches. The rest of the group of 5 at the bottom, with two games left and a loss already is desperately in need of a win and should focus on getting two wins or they won’t make it into the next round. Yes, the pressure is on for them. It gets really exciting as many of the players riding the bubble and flying high into the skies are playing each other so they can’t all win their games. The polls predict that not everyone in this group will make it into the next round.

Master, it’s so exciting I can hardly stand it

Yes, my boy, but now we get to the good part. In this next group there are 7 players and not a single one of them have finished a match yet . They could end up with 3 wins, or none at all. Think of the possibilities. They control their fate. It’s sooo exciting for them. I just hope they hurry up and finish some games soon.

Yes Master, I can hardly wait

Now, I must shed some light on two more players. These last two need some help and I Flander, the Great Wizard from Enioch, am here to help them, maybe, if I decide I want to….


Well, anyways, Torso and Toth have both lost their first two matches. Look, look at their scores… what do you see?

Master, I see zeroes

*shakes his head in disbelief* Look at their other score, the opponent’s points. They have both played very strong opponents that have been winning their games. If they can secure a victory in their last match. And then if they can get lucky and have their opponents do well in their remaining matches. And, if there are a few more upsets… then maybe…. Just maybe…. I might be able to sneak them into the second round.

*shakes his head in disbelief* Master, you don’t sneak very well.

Oh, never mind. I guess I won’t bother telling you about the only three players that we are certain won’t be playing in the next round.

You mean Necromagi and Zerge? Master, didn’t they suffer from your mind decay spell?

But of course they did *mumbles* it never worked before *mumbles*. And don’t forget that Spiceant recently lost the last of his three matches so he is now out as well. Now then, you have heard all the stories about the polls and predictions and standings. What did you think? Which one is more exciting and creates more drama and energy? Knowing the results from the crystal ball or presenting the possibilities to everyone?

I kind of like the crystal ball, it’s so sparkly and misty

*Shakes his head in disbelief* why me Nevermind, I must be off, that reporter can’t be kept waiting. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to see me, isn’t everyone, yes of course they are. *Flanders walks off*

Uh-oh... I forgot to tell him the reporter won’t be there for the interview today. Oh, this is going to be bad, this is going to be very bad... *shakes his head in disbelief*

[This message has been edited by Enginerd (edited 09-13-2009 @ 03:48 PM).]

posted 09-13-09 08:56 PM EDT (US)     73 / 244  
Guys, thank you so much for this tournament, both games and TNS shows, it is so exiting! I wish you good luck in everything you do.

Spell check failed - not enough mana

[This message has been edited by Oleg123 (edited 09-14-2009 @ 00:23 AM).]

posted 09-14-09 05:17 AM EDT (US)     74 / 244  
Oh Great Flanders, get me into round 2 and I will let you marry my daughter (when she's 18) and also give you half of my apartment (you'd pay half of the rent, right?)!
posted 09-14-09 07:14 AM EDT (US)     75 / 244  
Hey!! That's bribery!!

Sapphoenix is losing every single PBEM (almost!), but loving it!
posted 09-14-09 10:40 AM EDT (US)     76 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS today.

It's been a great two weeks, and we have already seen some big surprises! For today's show, we'll have Swolte talk on the progress.
Swolte, welcome.
Thank you. Progress has been good. After the first week we have had 10 games finish, and now, after the second week, we have had an additional 13 games finish. Since there are 45 matches in total, there are 22 games left to go. Providing my counting skills are in order...
Some of the games finished due to disqualifications, but those are an unfortunate part of the tournament. It is to be expected, and its likely there may be more this week as well.

So, how are the current games going?
Well, I guess we can divide them up into four categories. By last Sunday, you should have been playing your day 10, so it's easy to make some cut offs.

Here we go:

Ahead of schedule/almost done
- Game26 Color (Vicbrother-Smuki)
- Game43 Mountain (Vicbrother-Torso)
- Game32 Mountain (Naeco-PawelS)
- Game44 Mountain (Costa-badborre_dk)
- Game41 Mountain (TroyLocker-LordDuck)

These are the matches who do not have to hurry as their turns are going quite quickly, and/or their playing styles just make the game go fast. Its very likely these games will finish within the next few days.
Interestingly, you see that these are games on the Mountain map, which plays slower then the other two.

On schedule: keep on going!
- Game3 Rocky (PawelS-Sapphoenix)
- Game45 Mountain (Luke811-JamesEde)
- Game40 Mountain (Swolte-Charx)
- Game39 Mountain (Xalarun-Oleg123)
- Game11 Rocky (Charx-TroyLocker)

There matches are having a nice pace, so they should be good if they keep it steady.

Behind schedule: need to speed up!
- Game21 Color (Charx-Sapphoenix)
- Game 37 Mountain (Black_D1-ZombieEater)
- Game7 Rocky (Toth-Black_D1)
- Game25 Color (Enginerd-Orangeknite1)
- Game33 Mountain (Sapphoenix-Vovy)
- Game16 Colors (Albinscott-JamesEde)
- Game9 Rocky (Timelord-Xalarun)
- Game29 Color (badborre_dk-Black_d1)

These are matches that really need to speed up. For some, it is due to players who joined the tournament quite late. Others may have to make some sort of arrangements.

Unknown: tell us which day!
- Game35 Mountain (Orangeknite1-Smuki)
- Game5 Rocky (Morgul666-Orangeknite1)
- Game15 Rocky (badborre_dk-Luke811)
- Game18 Color (Xalarun-MrLifford88)

These are matches that don't really log their days, and there aren't many logs visible. So, its hard to determine what is going on.
It is helpful to log your days for me, as it shows me how far you are along. Another reason is that it can provide some interesting numbers for your statistician. Or was it a wizard. Flanders, right?

Well, sometimes I feel he's neither, but anyway... that is a nice overview! Thanks for coming on the show.

Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS today. Some of the next shows will feature special guests such as Kester, the Seraphs director of Heavengames, and Vovy, who managed to obtain a surprising victory over Troy!

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 09-14-09 12:26 PM EDT (US)     77 / 244  

Ladies and gentlemen, breaking news as PawelS defeats Naeco in a match on the Mountain of the Gods.
Its been a grueling epic and I was there to interview both contestants. Check it out 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 09-14-09 08:55 PM EDT (US)     78 / 244  

Ladies and gentlemen, more breaking news as Costa defeats badborre_dk in their game in the Mountain of Gods match. Things are happening fast now.

Also, Naeco has posted some stunning images from his match against PawelS.

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 09-14-2009 @ 10:11 PM).]

posted 09-15-09 09:39 AM EDT (US)     79 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS. On todays show, we will have Vovy. He is a completely unknown player and last minute addition to the tournament, yet he managed to obtain a victory over one of the favourites of this tournament! It has been a while since Troy has played, but it is a sensational victory nonetheless.

Give it up for Vovy, ladies and gentlemen!!!

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

Vovy I leave in Yelniky. It is 900 km from Moskow. I`m 22 years old. I like fishing and hunting. I have been playing AoW 2-3 years in the sum. My friend Oleg from Russian clan of AoW show me this website.
Do you have a favorite strategy?

Vovy I have not got favourite strategies. I like analize current situation.
Ah, ok. How do you prepare for playing a turn, or a match?

Vovy I usually play online, that is why I get used to make turn quickly.
What is your impression of the maps for the first round?

Vovy Tounament`s maps is fine and accurate. But I found a bug: inaccessible gragon`s home in "Colors of Blach and White".
Ah yes, I'll pass that on to Swolte. How far do you see yourself come in the tournament?

Vovy Time will tell. =)
Thank you so much for this interview, Vovy. Good luck in your next matches. This was TNS for you today!

================================================================== ============

Later that day...

Ladies and gentlemen, this is TNS reporting and we have some astonishing news! Some research revealed a truly remarkable finding.
I found ==>THIS PLACE <==.
Yes, take a look. It is a Russian Age of Wonders site, and we're laying our eyes on a Hall of Fame...
Take a closer look, ladies and gentlemen. Look who is the number 1!?

It seems we have amongst us a great champion who should not be underestimated! Perhaps it was Troy who was the true underdog in that match! Anyway, it certainly spices up the tournament some more!

Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS reporting. Bringing you the latest and most exciting tournament 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 09-15-2009 @ 09:40 AM).]

posted 09-15-09 10:09 AM EDT (US)     80 / 244  
That's so cool to know that there are some active local AowSM website. I've always known there are an active russian aowsm community online but I've never known this site until now.

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