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AoW2/SM Play By Email (Turn Logs)
Moderated by Timelord, Enginerd, Ziggurat Mason

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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 10-09-09 08:23 PM EDT (US)     161 / 244  
The Humans had a lot of water in that map, IIRC

2009 1v1-Mapmaking Champion, Former PBEM Singles Champion, Proud contributor to the UPatch 1.4 and 1.5 effort
War of the Twins- 1 vs 1 PBEM map, Too Much Water - 1 vs 1 PBEM map, winner of 2009 1vs1 Mapmaking Challenge
My Dragon Age development blog
posted 10-10-09 11:53 AM EDT (US)     162 / 244  
Oh what a glorious day this will be, the sun is shining, the bog has gone away, just a couple frogs here and there, yes a most glorious day. Whatever shall I do?

Master, here are all the poll results, er um, I mean your fan mail *shakes head in disbelief*

Oh how lovely to have so many fans, but I’m tired of writing, I nearly finished an entire chapter this week, no no, I don’t think I have time to write any of my fans this week. You’ll just have to take care of it. Now, hurry up, off you go, keep my fans happy.

Yes Master (did he really just ask me to go through and evaluate all the poll predictions… oh this is my chance… I can’t believe it… this is the best day of my life)

*later that same day*

Hey boss, I got this strange letter, it looks kinda like it came from that crazy wizard Flander, but there is something different about it, I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Here, let me see that.

Looks to me like the poll results for Round 2, seems rather straightforward. Wait… what is this on the next page.

That’s what I was talking about, it looks like Flander’s scroll on the first page but this analysis is way out of Flander’s league. It actually makes sense. Read it!

Game 46 – Cranberry beats Lord Duck 13 to 4. Cranberry should advance and is the favorite here. Lord Duck could be the one to knock the newcomer down a notch but for now, Cranberry enjoys being the number one seed and strong favorite to win. Time will tell if he is a “one hit wonder” or if he is for real. I can’t wait to find out.

Game 47 – Swolte beats Naeco 16 to 1. Two great players face off in this one and surprisingly there was only one poll came in predicting Swolte would lose. This will be a very difficult match for Swolte and his status as WL Champ and Seraph probably influenced those filling out the polls. Swolte is the strong favorite to win but don’t be surprised if Naeco is able to manage the upset. It will be a great one to watch.

Game 48 – Timelord beats ZombieEater 14 to 3. As expected, Timelord is the strong favorite here in this one (and just about every other one too). Can ZombieEater topple the former champ, we shall see but don’t expect Timelord to roll over, he remains the strong favorite to win.

Game 49 – Vovy beats Charx 12 to 5. Vovy is a newcomer to the community and gained lots of respect with his performance in round 1. The Russian online community was his first stepping stone, now he is ready to take on the PBEM community and show us his skills. He is the strong favorite in this match but don’t count Charx out. He is a solid and well respected player and beat a returning veteran in Round 1 (Troy Locker) and then played a well fought and tough match that he lost to Swolte. Is Vovy the powerhouse the polls believe him to be? Can Charx win and gain a glorious upset with his victory. You’ll have to watch to find out.

Game 50 – JamesEde beats Smuki 14 to 3. Another match with a strong favorite, James with his great posts will make this a great game to watch. Smuki has high hopes of winning, these two players are well matched and anyone could win. And yes, you gotta read those posts, can Smuki rise to the occasion and have posts that are even better than James? The war within the war, a must see game.

Game 51 – Oleg vs Morgul – too close to call. Morgul received 9 votes and Oleg received 8 making this match a close call. Morgul with the ever so slight advantage right now is favored but this match could go either way. Oleg has done well as one of our newer players, beating Swolte in the first round, WOW! He has gained a new level of respect for his play, can he continue in his winning ways. Morgul will try and put a stop to him. No favorite in this match, it’s a coin toss and will be a great match to watch.

Game 52 – Pawel vs Enginerd – WOW! Way too close to call! Once again we see a match that is very close. Pawel had the slight advantage when it was 7 votes to 5, then more responses came in and Enginerd took the lead making it 8 to 7. Then the next poll tied it up at 8 apiece and the final poll put Enginerd up with 9 votes over Pawel’s 8. Wow! Pawel is a solid competitor and has done very well in Round 1 with an extremely difficult schedule beating Naeco and Olegand facing Swolte. Enginerd is trying to establish his reputation as a top competitor and his Former AoW1 Champion status can only carry him so far. He has yet to win over another top competitor as he cruised through Round 1 beating a couple newbies, will this be his chance to shine? This one will be a great game to watch and they’re already on day 4!

Game 53 – Costa beats Mr.Lifford 16 votes to 1. Costa is clearly the strong favorite in this last game of Round 2. Costa had a good Round 1 schedule and did very well in all three of his games. He will be difficult to beat. MrLifford had a very easy schedule for round 1, and lost his only game to go the distance to Naeco while the other two ended early for disqualifications. MrLifford has high hopes of scoring a victory over a top player so we’ll have to watch and see if Costa rolls right through MrLifford or if an upset is in the works.

What do you think Boss? Not bad huh?

Yeah, we can go with this, the deadline is approaching anyways so we better get it to press right away. Sure looks like there is more though, what’s on those other scrolls.

Well, it seems we have a similar analysis and scroll for the quarter finals, another one for the semi-finals and one last scroll for the grand finale! I was thinking of…..

*interuption* Hey, we can do a 4 part series, the first part for Round 2 will go to press today and then we can lay teasers out there for the next three reports. By this time next week we can have all of them out there, it will be a great run. Glad I thought of it.

I’m all over it, Boss.

Oh, but I want an interview with whoever is doing the analysis for the finale, even if it is that crazy wizard. And come up with some other interviews too, and some cool statistics too. Now get outta here!

[This message has been edited by Enginerd (edited 10-10-2009 @ 08:15 PM).]

posted 10-10-09 12:09 PM EDT (US)     163 / 244  
Pawel is a solid competitor and has done very well in Round 1 with an extremely difficult schedule beating Naeco and Oleg.
Actually I defeated Sapphoenix, not Oleg.

Interesting, I was the only one to predict Naeco's win against Swolte

A proud member of the Unofficial Patch team.
Creator of the AoW1 Mod.
posted 10-10-09 01:02 PM EDT (US)     164 / 244  
Arghhhh.... too many games... keep forgetting....

You still have a very difficult schedule having to face Swolte. (must edit that above)
posted 10-10-09 09:40 PM EDT (US)     165 / 244  
Dafyth, H6, and other players of their caliber not available to Tourney and I became a star? It's really obvious that you cannot believe anything the press says nowadays especially from some sources like Flander *sigh*
I still remember how H6 got beaten up in the last semi-final against Swolte so...

Tired of manually receiving/sending your PBEM turns everyday ? Try out Dave's PBEM Wrapper!
posted 10-10-09 10:29 PM EDT (US)     166 / 244  
You are too modest, naec0 - congratulations on what you have achieved!

"Shooting down a plane of civilians isn't careless, it's politcal opportunism." - Stormraider
posted 10-11-09 11:20 AM EDT (US)     167 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the TNS show! We'll look back on this week today with Swolte and go over some organizational reminders.
Swolte, welcome to the show. Before we start, it seems the polls have given you an outstanding chance for a victory over Naeco!
Yes, it seems so. Although I don't think it necessarily means people think it is an easy game for me. I think that most people gave me the benefit of the doubt because I am the former champion, and in a previous match because I beat PawelS, and PawelS subsequently beat Naeco. However, my victory against PawelS was not due to my strong play, but his own risktaking. Then, I think Naeco did remarkably well against PawelS in the Mountain of the Gods map, despite his loss. You can see from the after-match analyses as well as his tough round1 schedule that we're dealing with a dangerous player.
Unlike Oleg, this is not a player I will underestimate before it's too late. The match is probably going to be a very tough one but so far I think I am doing well. We'll find out soon as I forced his hand today.

What matches are you looking forward to seeing?
Well, there are a couple, but I think ZombieEater vs Timelord is going to be my number one game to keep an eye on. Both players have been forum members for ages and both are very experienced and very good players. We really have two veterans here. I am expecting Timelord to win, but I think it is going to be a long match because Timelord is playing Goodfella instead of Blackheart. TL had been practicing Blackhearts position before the tournament.
Unfortunately, the logs aren't very interesting, but I hope that will change soon.

Sounds interesting. But, let's focus on the tournament. How is it going so far?
It's been a week into the second round and it seems that most people have taken things easy. The majority of the games haven't made it past day 5. I assume time was taken to study and playtest the map somewhat, and perhaps some of the stress has led to postponing behaviour. However, I am pleased to say that all games have, at least, started. And it even looks like the game with PawelS and Enginerd has already seen major battles. Also, it seems that games are picking up pace soon. However, there are still a few players who haven't played a single turn, but that should change soon.

Yes, because the timing rules will be in effect.
Indeed, starting this Monday, everyone should at least explain their absences longer than two days after an opponents' post or be subject to reminders and warnings. I will send out a reminder email on Sunday about this to everyone.

The feedback from the questionnaire on the timing rules, or communication rules as I like to call them, was a little bit surprising as there were no complaints about the rules. And then I mean, none whatsoever! A 100% of the participants agreed that the rules should stay as they are.
Now, we may have some selection bias on our hands. We had half (15) of the total contestants (30) return the questionnaire, and it may be that the other 'slacker'-half, who didn't return the questionnaire, are also the ones who find such rules annoying. Possible.
The outcome of the questionnaire is definitely telling us that these rules will stay. Perhaps we can experiment with even stricter rules, or a variant, but from my own experience I think that they are fine as they are and could form a base for future tournaments.

Ok, so next to the timing rules, what other things did you want to mention?
Now that the second round is 'really' starting, I would just like to mention that people should really remember to password protect their turns. And, if you are using a different password to send it to the keepers as well.

Another reminder, obviously, is to mind the boat-bug. There have been a number of posts about it, as well as a testmap, so players should be trained up to prevent such occurances by now. It's very important to put some effort into understanding this bug, and perhaps even experiencing a crash with it under controlled conditions. I have sent out a testmap to contestants playing Blackheart, so I would urge you to use it! My take on restarts is quite liberal in the sense that I generally trust my opponents, but you don't want a situation where a lucky victory of yours is 'tainted' by a restart, and a suspecting opponent. Though I admit the bug is tricky, and I am not suggesting that I won't crash once myself, I strongly claim that having knowledge of, and experience with, this bug will definitely help prevent it. In fact, if you are a mindful person, the bug is perfectly preventable.

Last, if you are reporting absences, then please do so in the game-thread. It makes it a lot easier for me to keep track of games when the timing rules are in effect.

Ok, thanks for being on the show. Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS for you today! The next week will feature more updates from the polls and questionnaire, as well as interviews with contestants!

Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008
posted 10-12-09 09:56 AM EDT (US)     168 / 244  
*walks around in circle, thinking to himself* (I wonder if my analysis will end up on the front page again. Oh, this is so exciting, I can hardly wait for the TNS report today).

Hey, where did this spellbook come from?

Master? What spellbook?

This one, it says, Property of Goodfella Library, oh and the card inside says it was checked out by a NaecO. Any idea where it came from?

No Master, I don’t have any idea. (he probably picked it up by accident when doing research for his book)

Hrmph, well, better take it back, but let me add one little spell to it first, yes, my bog spell, that one always comes in handy.

Yes Master. Right away!


*walks around in a circle, thinking to himself* (I need an interview, I need some drama, gotta find out who is writing the analysis, oh the boss is going to kill me, get it together, come on, today we get through the analysis and tomorrow we make the hard hitting interview with Enginerd, sure hope my sources come through with some dirt, I need some ratings. OK, deep breath… here we go). Welcome and this is your TNS for today, we have a mystery on today’s show, it’s baffling and we’re going to let you try and figure it out. We have our special report from our analyst again today with his, or her report on the Quarter Finals. Can you guess who it is? We’re not telling you... yet, so try and figure out the mystery on your own.

And... without further delay... The scroll please... Ta Da

Our one of kind analyst has his report on every game. He doesn’t want to reveal himself just yet so I’ll just show you what he thought of the games. Enjoy the read.

Game 54 - Three of the four possible combinations were predicted by the polls, however there is clearly a strong favorite to win this game and that is Swolte. His likely opponent will be Cranberry and any other combination means there was an upset in getting to this point. Swolte will have to be on top of his game with Cranberry who seems to be rolling through his opponents. That will make 4 in a row for him if he defeats LordDuck as the polls predict. A solid match is predicted here with Swolte coming out victorious. Can the newbie beat the Champ? What a great game this will be.

Game 55 - We see three possibilities for matchups in this game and once again we see a strong favorite. Timelord is expected to win this game over his opponent. It should be Vovy and if it is then this match will truly give Vovy a chance to show the world how good he is. This matchup between a Russian online expert and the tourney favorite and former WL Champ will be a great game. A victory by Vovy over Timelord will put a huge feather in his cap. Can Timelord stand up to the pressure of being the strong favorite, he better get used to it as everyone is gunning to beat him.

Game 56– Wow! What a game to try and figure out. Every possible combination could be played. There are some that are more likely but it is so difficult to predict who has the advantage here and you remember, we had a tough time figuring out who would get here . James has the most appearances at 14 but loses many of them. Oleg has just as many predicted wins as James. Also, Morgul and Smuki hang around to possibly sneak a victory out of it. Oleg appears to be in the driver’s seat, if he can win his Round 2 Match then he will be the favorite here. If Morgul makes it then he will be the slight underdog to advance. James could be slightly favored or the slight underdog depending on his opponent. And then there is Smuki with a small chance to win this game. Wow! The analysts don’t know who to pick but since Oleg had the slight advantage in Round 2 we’re going to stick with Oleg due to the stronger win percentage. But don’t be surprised how this one turns out.

Game 57 - If you thought game 56 was tough just look at this one. The different matchups are quite interesting. The two most likely matchups are pretty even. Pawel vs Costa has no clear winner and is evenly split. Enginerd has a small advantage over Costa. The games are nearly even, how will a winner be decided. Well, we see that Enginerd is the only one with a winning percentage, he wins 6 of the 9 games predicted. Costa wins 7 but also loses more and has a win percentage just under 50% while Pawel sits at 50%. What does it all mean? Well… if Enginerd can win the toin coss match with Pawel then he will stand with a slight advantage. The momentum will be with him. Pawel and Costa however…. Yikes, wouldn’t want to call that one but we must. Pawel has had the more difficult road in getting here and will have defeated stronger opponents, we will have to pick Pawel over Costa in that tight race. But just remember, any one of these three could win. For some fast paced Round 2 action you can watch the Pawel vs Enginerd battle right here. They are starting day 12 and have already had a couple major battles and invasions on both side.

Wow, that was great. I can’t wait to see how it’s all going to end up but next time we’ll take a look at the Semi-Final matches. And, we’ll get one step closer to revealing the secret identify of our analyst.

But before we bring that update you must stay tuned for tomorrow with an exclusive from one of the tourney organizers, you’ll never believe all the hard hitting questions and behind the scenes drama. That’s your TNS for today!
posted 10-13-09 09:41 AM EDT (US)     169 / 244  
-- Before the show --

Yes, boss...
You understand!? We'll lose our audience. We'll lose our jobs. We'll lose everything! You need to spice things up a bit and our ratings will go up through the roof. We need some emotion in there!
Emotions? Yes, so why can't we ask Mel do do another piece on his violin? The sentimenta...
Enough! No, no, and NO!! We need NEGATIVE emotions!! Why do you think people watch things like action movies so much? They want BLOOD, TEARS, DRAMA!! I want you... No, I NEED you to find some jealousy, envy... some raw unbridled anger! We need an interview that blows up!
I have bad memories about blowing up, boss, I am not...
I don't mean Karissa-blow-up, I mean figuratively speaking, man.
Figuratively... Ok, ok. But it's Enginerd? What could I possibly... Well, if you really think its best... I'll try.
That's my boy... It's actually perfect for the interview with Enginerd. No one is interested in those technical details about the Swiss system! Now, go, the show is on!

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS, your station for all tournament news. Today we will evaluate the Swiss style tournament format as it was for the first round with Enginerd. Welcome, Enginerd, please take a seat! First of all, eh... how is the killing and bloodshed going in your match against PawelS?

Enginerd Just great. There is lots of killing and bloodshed as expected, I checked that box in the setup where you get to see blood during combat. It's great!
Umm, I meant, there must be some animosity occurring between the both of you? Some angry emails back and forth! Drama!?

Enginerd Drama yes, as the strategy unfolds and our tactics and plans are coming to a head. Advance here is thwarted, another is successful, yes, lots of drama and excitement. However there is no animosity, only growing mutual respect. Pawel is a great competitor, a savy tactitian and an honorable player. Our emails don't have much content to them, especially when they are sent automatically from the game. We do have some friendly in game comments now and again but the blood and anger stays where it should, with Blackheart and Goodfella.
- looks disappointed - Ok, lets talk about that Swiss system used in the first round. I guess a lot of people have launched heavy criticism on it. Can you talk a bit about all the frustrations involved with the system? The sleepness nights, tears, etc...

Enginerd Actually, responses were very favorable regarding the Swiss system. The polls thought it was a great idea to try it out and want to see us use it again.
What?! The response was generally positive?? But, but... I mean, they probably said it was 'just ok', no? I don't believe it! Prove it! Do you have some quotes?

Enginerd Sure, here's some answers to the following question on the poll.

More specifically, do you think using the ‘Swiss system’ was a good idea?

"Yes, a great system! It really kept me on my toes because games from a lot more players (compared to traditional Robin style) now have an impact on you."
"Yes. It was a refreshing change from the group games and it also helped maintain interest in other people’s games since any game *can* influence the final cut-off and the players for the next round."
"It wasn’t just a good idea, it was an EXCELLENT idea!"
"Worked perfectly, only next time maybe 18 players could go through to round 2 ; another swiss round "
"Great idea! It allowed everyone to play at least three matches, making you less luck dependent, it also was more interesting then waiting on one game only."
"Yes. But that is easy to say when the outcome is so clear that everyone with 2 wins can go on
"Yes, absolutely. Each player had at least three games in the tourney, not only (possible) one. Took more time but was good for everybody. Also one more advantage: Had you have chosen the traditional KO- system, players would have had an instant benefit of a disqualification, they would have reached the next round without much effort. Here you had three games and one disqualification alone would not have been a guarantee, to automatically reach the next round."
"It turned out well, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t use other systems in future tournaments for a change."
"Yes, it is a good idea."
" worked fine"
I think that pretty much sums it up. Great responses and very favorable and constructive in their thought.
Arghhh, HOW CAN THAT BE!? Wasn't there ANYONE being Negative?! Didn't you get ANY threats to change it? Poisoned letters? Bombs!?

Enginerd Well, here is one last quote below that we got.
"Not really. Although it took some pressure off in case you lost one, the burden of three games that needed really quick turnaround was too much for someone with little time for the game in general, especially if he happens to take ridiculous amounts of time analyzing his strategy."
However, it appears the concern here isn't with the Swiss system so much as with playing 3 games at once. We would have done this anyway as a 4 player round robin bracket would also have had 3 games going on initially.
Hmmpfrr... oh well, but still... - cringes - anything can be improved. How would you improve this system?

Enginerd Absolutely we can improve upon it and we've already talked about several things and you saw some feedback above. We definitely think we can do a better job explaining it as it can be confusing, familiarity from this year will help that out. Another thing we want to look at is the way we do tiebreakers and how to rank and compare player's scores, there are many different variations we could try. Lastly I think there are some things we can do on the original setup of the games, I'd like to get the players spread out even more than what we saw this time around, maybe take into account this year's results and use that somehow next year.
AHA!! So the tiebreaker system was a terrible fault!! TERRIBLE! You must have been losing sleep over this? Nights of biting your nails to a bloody pulp in pure agony!!!!! Right?! RIGHT?!!

Enginerd Of course not, we had a detailed order for the tiebreaker listed in the tourney header and it was followed. Using the poll predictions as a baseline we tested it out, then we ran a number of scenarios, to see where the tiebreakers would come out. There were many that were quite complicated. We applied our tie breaker rules we had decided upon, ran it through the most extreme scenarios and we were able to come up with a ranking for players where we avoided a coin toss even in those extreme cases where 6 players were tied with the same score.
- cries -

Enginerd There are lots of Swiss sytems out there. These types of tourneys are used in Chess or Bridge or Scrabble where there are multiple rounds where everyone keeps playing and players are not eliminated. There are lots and lots of published variants out there so when we say it was a Swiss system it's hard to find the exact one we used. Basically, we took some basic concepts of that style of system and developed a variant that worked for us. I think that is one benefit of these types of tourneys is the great flexibility we have to make it fit our needs. We can spice it up next year by doing something just slightly differ...

STOPPIT!! Ok, ok... So, even if you had 32 players... - catches breath - Enough for a perfect robin grouping towards a final... Yes, then what! Then, WHAT would you have chosen!!? Traditional robin, or... still Swiss!?

Enginerd It wouldn't matter. We could have been successful with a round robin tourney for the round 1 games. We may have ended up with a coin toss or two, or maybe not. It could have given us different material to use for our TNS reports, bracket reports, etc or maybe not. The so called fight for the right system was nonexistant. Step back and look at the reasons for the tourney. Some of our initial thoughts were around wanting the players to play more than one game before being eliminated. In the end it was decided to play 3 games, we could have said 4 or 5 or 1 or 2. We also wanted to make sure that we didn't put two top players trying to eliminate each other in round 1 but save those matches for the late rounds. We wanted the players to have fun, we wanted to highlight maps from the mapmaking competition and other things too. A choice was made about the tourney structure (swiss vs round robin vs elimination) and several other things after discussing the benefits and concerns in a very constructive manner. Decision made, we supported that decision as a team and made the tourney great. We have been very happy with how things have turned out so far and we will tweak and change things next time I'm confident we'll be very happy next time too because we've got great organizers, great players, great maps and a great game.
- puts head down in frustration - I am so getting fired... this guy is too positive
- regains posture -

Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS for you today. We hope you enjoyed the show! And thank you, Enginerd, for your... answers!

Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008
posted 10-13-09 11:23 AM EDT (US)     170 / 244  
lol my favourite TNS show so far!

Author of the following maps for AOWSM:
Version 1.4: DEMONWARS II (Transcendence & Immortalis)
Version 1.3: (also playable in 1.4) Gates to another World 1.4
><-><-><- Planning replaces coincidence by error. -><-><-><-
posted 10-14-09 11:18 AM EDT (US)     171 / 244  
This is it, I need that mystery analyst and you haven’t figured it out. You better put Flander on the show, it’s the best lead we’ve got.

You can’t be serious? He’s a nut, besides I’m supposed to do the Semi Final report today.

Look, put him on the show, and no matter what happens you better come out with a story that is BIG! Don’t let that interview end without it or your toast. So you gotta ask yourself, do you want to be roasted by some crazy wizard when you upset him or do you want to upset ME!?


Welcome to the TNS show for today. I have brought on a famous guest today. The one and only Great Wizard from Enioch’s Court, our very own favorite….. Flander! (I can’t believe I’m doing this)

*waves to crowd* Yes, yes, thank you, thank you, you can keep the applause going longer, it’s ok, yes, yes, oh hello, yes, I love you too.

*shakes head in disbelief* (where did this guy come from, gotta make this good or I’m getting fired). So Flander, we’re here to talk about the Semi-Finals in the tourney *interruption*

Yes, my book will soon be finished, I’ve been working very hard, I’ve got some really exciting chapters. Most of them tell the great stories of my life and show you just how wonderful I am, yes, it’s a marvelous book.

Er, um, ok… So… about the Semi Final poll predictions. Have you seen this scroll?

*without looking at the scroll* Well of course I have, obviously I wrote it. I mean it IS my parchment, I can smell the bog residue from here.

(Rats, I was really hoping our mystery analyst wasn’t Flander). So can you tell me about your analysis of the Semi Final matchups, I have your analysis right here.

Game 58 – Finally we see a game that is easier to predict. Oh that’s right, Timelord is in it. Here we go again, Timelord is the strong favorite, this time he faces off against Swolte. It is interesting that Swolte actually is predicted to make it to the Semi-Finals more times than Timelord but Swolte can only muster 4 victories out of his 14 appearances. No matter, this match will be TOUGH, yes, TOUGH. It can be said that this upper bracket is the stronger bracket and that this game is the real tourney finale. Either way, this will be a great game to watch.

Game 59 – Well, since we couldn’t figure out half the quarter final matches leading up to this game we’re not sure we can give you a fair analysis of this match until we actually see who will make it. Costa, James and Enginerd have the most appearances in this round at 6 or 7. Costa and James however have losing percentages. Enginerd and Pawel do have winning scores but Pawel has fewer appearances at 4. And, you’ve got Oleg and Morgul still hanging around with Smuki trying to sneak in. It’s anyone’s match. Enginerd had the ever so slight advantage in the quarter finals and Oleg had the nod there too. With those two facing off Enginerd will be the favorite. But we also think if Pawel makes it this far he too will be favored. Once again, we look at the Round 2 game between Enginerd and Pawel and that game could decide the favorite to face off against Timelord in the Finals. Don’t worry, Costa will have something to say about that. But, you’ll have to check out the Round 2 turn logs between Pawel and Enginerd as the game is well under way. It is not known who REALLY has the advantage but it certainly is exciting! 09Round2 Game52 BH&GF's War (Enginerd - PawelS)

What, where did you get this? I didn’t write that! Oh, I see, it is the handwriting of my apprentice. I er, um, must have dictated this to him when I needed a break from writing, must have been a really early version when I was tired. Why my analysis in my book is so much more flowery and full of excitement and many more statistics, why the one above doesn’t even tell you about the great matchup where ZombieEater battled it out with Swolte and finally won. This must have been an early version, here let me show you the finished excerpt…

(did he say something about his apprentice…. I wonder…. The apprentice has got to be the mystery analyst, this is great, I must talk to this apprentice, this will make a great story, and I might not get roasted…) Flander, the Greatest Wizard that I know, your book is sure to sell millions, are you worried that your fans will wonder if you REALLY wrote the book and it wasn’t some ghost writer, like your apprentice?

What nonsense, he spends all his time working for me and can barely manage to get all my dictation copied to the scrolls. I thought you were such a wise reporter. Maybe I was mistaken. I guess I’ll just leave and get back to my book. I’m at a most exciting part right now writing down the epic match between Enginerd and Pawel, it was a great game. It’s one of the longer chapters in my book, I used my watcher spell to infiltrate the game and watch from a distance. It was exciting, like I was actually there with Blackheart when 16 armies of Goodfella tried taking him out early on and got destroyed on the elf isle. Or that part where Capn Allweather got a bit too close and was utterly crushed on the Southwestern isle. I’m writing the part right now where Pawel is defending his capital from the advancing hordes… I get so confused sometimes… what was Pawel doing… it had something to do with crushing Enginerd…. Or was it Enginerd who was doing the crushing….

(yeah, we just interviewed Enginerd, that was a crushing mistake, no dirt or drama there and everything is rosy, maybe I’ll have to get Pawel out here, he probably has lots of dirt on Enginerd, might even have some on Swolte too, but first the apprentice) Maybe I could borrow your apprentice and interview him, he could tell me how wonderful you are and answer my questions about you, it will make great press and your fans will love it, you’ll be the exclusive and you’ll have time to go finish your book. (please say yes and get out of here, please, please...)

My fans… yes my fans, it is quite a burden to have fans sometimes, I faithfully write to them every day, they wouldn’t know what to do without me. Yes, yes, of course, whatever you need to please my fans, I’ll send my apprentice over in a day or two, now I must be off. *Flander walks off*

(YES!)Well, to finish things up we wanted to give you a quick update on another game in Round 2. Timelord and ZombieEater are on day 11 or so of their match, cryptic turn logs lead us to believe that this one is wide open and anyone’s game. Sure is exciting, seems Timelord won’t be cruising to victory, check it out here. 09Round2 Game48 BH&GF's War (ZombieEater - Timelord)

That was your TNS for the day! It looks like we may have figured out the identity of our mystery analyst. I can’t wait as we’re about to interview Flander’s Apprentice later this week and we’ll get the fourth and final installment of the Poll Results, the Finals!
posted 10-15-09 09:44 AM EDT (US)     172 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS! We have breaking news as MrLifford withdrew from the tournament! As a consequence, this will launch Costa to the third round with an easy win!

Today we will discuss the user feedback from the players on the maps used in round1. Swolte, welcome, what can you tell us about the results.
Thank you. Yes, we have a table here with the answers to the question: "Please rate each map from 1-10 to how suitable you found it for the tournament".

So, according to these scores, the Rocky Divide map by KillKelly received the highest rating, followed closely by the Mountain of the Gods. The colors map was deemed the least suitable for the tournament with an overall score of 6.4. It's interesting to note that the Rocky Divide scored very consistent. The lowest score was only a 7, and its standard deviation from 1.2 tells us that there wasn't much variation in the scores. So, this map was just very, very solid!
The Mountain map, by LordDuck, was also very popular with 'highs' of 10, but it also received scores as low as 4. So, although overall a popular map, there were people who also thought it wasn't as suitable.
Now, the Colors map, by Dreaming, obviously, was the most controversial one. It had the largest standard deviation (meaning: there was the most variability in ratings). Interestingly, there was no one who gave this map a 10. Scores ranged from as low as 3 to as high as 9.

So, the players also had feedback on the different maps. Perhaps that will give us some insight into these scores. What were some of the most common issues that were brought up?
Yes, let's go over them in detail to the question: "Do you have suggestions for improving the maps?"

The issue that was mentioned the most was that the map felt too chaotic, in many different ways. Half the people complained that they had no real good idea where all the teleporters led to. As a result, those players who knew the editor well, and studied the map beforehand, could have had a significant advantage. Another issue was that the map just felt chaotic with all those campsites and various structures. It was also mentioned by a few that the effects of Shadowworld would be hard to control for. And lastly, some players mentioned they died too early. For the rest, there were some small isolated issues and tips. One really good one was to replace the starting unicorns by boars or Hellhounds as Unicorns gave issues when you choose an evil race.

As an organizer, I agree the map may have been somewhat too complex with the elaborate teleport network, although I really liked to have one map in the first round that is a bit 'experimental', and really different from the rest. The multiple starting positions was a really nice concept and personally I don't mind a chaotic-type map, however, perhaps the extremely elaborate teleporter network was unnecessary. You should probably know that the original teleporter network was even more complex.
Anyway, the main message on this map was a call for 'simplification', and we'll definitely take that point into consideration for next tournament maps! I don't mind quick kills, but perhaps the map was also a bit too risky. Almost 20% of the people killed themselves without having had any significant player-player contact. From an organizers point of view, its great as it means another game is finished and the tournament can finish on time (which is the biggest threat to an organizer). However, because it happened so often and so early, it may have also meant a balance risk and that is a serious issue (see previous TNS show on the map balance). Also, it's not as fun to lose a game without having even met your opponent. One player had a tip: "An item that gives your wizard resurgence"
I don't even think that would work, actually, but point taken!

By far the most consistent criticism on this map was that it was too simple, or bland. "Spice it up somehow", was one of the comments. Otherwise, the map received a lot of praise. There were other criticisms, like the randomized cities, but no consistent comment as with the Colors map.

Personally, I think it was OK to have a straightforward map that may look a bit bland (in this case the surface was mentioned). But the scores indicate that you can have a very interesting game on it and that's what counts the most in Tournaments. So yes, it is a reminder for mapmakers to provide some more eye candy.

What about the Mountain of the Gods.
Yes, this one also had some clear issues.

This one was praised highly in the comments. One person said:
- Best map, interesting, challenging and a beauty to look at. A real masterpiece.
But it also received a lot and consistent criticism. Some quotes:
- Reduce amount of units, employable in buildings. Allow improving of cities.
- Too many seducing, recruiting & animal controlling.
- I found this map to be unbalanced towards Ne’khan.
The issue that came up the most, by far, was that it relied too much on seducing ability and recruits and that actual building in cities became almost not an option. There were issues with the skill selection as well.

I agree very much with these comments and a next version should probably have some more even and scarce distribution of seducers, as well as a reduction of units to recruit from sites in combination with less strict building limits. And... Wizard skills can be better balanced somewhat!

Which map did people enjoy the most?
Yes, we have a graph on that.

We can see that only two out of 15 contestants enjoyed the Colors map the most. Although I found the map to be the most original in design, it is not always as appreciated if its too complex. The Mountain (6 votes) and Rocky (7 votes) maps were equally favoured! And I think reading some of the logs on these maps in games show their great potential in playability.

Ok, so, as an organizer, what are your thoughts for an upcoming mapmaking tournament?
Ah, yes, well I can hardly wait! Although the Colors map by Dreaming was a bit unorthodox, I do not think that THAT was the reason it was rated low. So, next to the solid and straightforward maps, I would like to see more maps like Color's - maps that are a bit different from the rest and have a clear original twist to it. Despite its popularity, I do think it gave some flavour to the tournament.
Also, I think it becomes clear from this tournament how important it is that maps play fast, and is not too complex (either by events or teleporters). I hope future judges and mapmakers will take that more into account!
Next year I will most certainly compete with a map as well (I am poised to win, especially if I don't win this tournament!) but it does imply I cannot be a judge. I think the best players in this competition should probably be asked first to be judges. I am also a lot more excited to see the result of other mapmakers now that lot of mapmakers have become more 'tournament savy'. I am convinced it makes you a better mapmaker.

Thank you so much for this interview, Swolte! Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS for you today!!

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

[This message has been edited by Swolte (edited 10-15-2009 @ 09:47 AM).]

posted 10-15-09 04:07 PM EDT (US)     173 / 244  
Mr Lifford withdrew?? Probably means I am a master of psychological warfare...

I was looking forward to this round, and did quite some preparation. More than usual for me...
Not all in vain though. I have finished two fun pbem games against TroyLocker, one from each side, so it was well spent time anyway...

More time for preparing for next round then...
posted 10-15-09 06:19 PM EDT (US)     174 / 244  
About that suggestion on giving wizards resurgence... It won't work. I tried to make a little RPG map once and gave the wizards resurgence, because you had to explore quite a bit before you could have a city, but once a wizard dies if he has no city with a wizard tower, it's game over.

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 10-16-09 08:14 AM EDT (US)     175 / 244  
Welcome to today’s show, it’s the one you’ve been waiting for, yes, the chance we get to look at the Poll Predictions for the Finals. We’ve got lots of stuff to show you on this one so sit down, and get ready to enjoy. We’re going to start off by welcoming our guest analyst. That’s right, straight from the dungeons in Enioch, it is Flander’s Apprentice! Welcome to the show.

Yes, Master.

Hmmmm (that was weird), Now we know that you’re Flander’s apprentice but what is your name, what shall we call you?

Well, let’s see…. I get called, “my dear boy”, “hey you”, there was something else that rhymed with bog, but I really like to be called, 3rd son of Grimladock, Chief Captain of the guard at Fristlebare Dungeon, and Wilyemta Honsbarrow, Daughter to the mighty liberator Kratertarn of Enioch.

I see… well… 3rd… er… Frosty..… My dear boy, Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, how is it that someone like you came to be working for Flander?

I grew up wandering around the dungeon trying to find food, you know, living off the scraps. Dad always worked late and he didn’t mind if I was around as long he didn’t see me. With two older brothers there wasn’t much left to eat after they beat me to the food. They always said third sons are extra so the dungeons were nice, I liked to hang out there with the prisoners. Mom was busy working the magic herb shop, one day Flander came by looking for herbs and stuff and saw the poster on the wall for an apprentice, free to good home, well, Master didn’t want to carry his herbs home so I got to do it and I’ve been his apprentice ever since.

That’s sad. Is he a good Master?

Oh yes, he never fights me for the food and I get my own bed and I learn how to do magic and every time Master needs more herbs I get to see mom. I do miss the dungeons though, they were a lot of fun.

I see, well, isn’t Flander sort of, er, um, well you know, isn’t he crazy?

Master, Crazy? No, if you want to see crazy you should see my brother Brilt. He took this fire beetle, chopped off its head and put it on Dad’s dinner plate one night. Dad was so mad and I was glad someone else was getting beat that night. My mom says that Master is eccentric but I don’t know what that really means. He does do some silly things sometimes, I mean really, after all these years you’d think he’d give up trying to summon a frog. I learned how the first time he messed it up just by watching him. Sometimes I summon it for him when he’s trying to do it, makes him feel like he really did it. I’ve got to work on my bog removal spell though. Tough to do both spells at the same time but I’m getting better.

So, you are a wizard too?

Of course not, I’m an apprentice wizard. I still have to take my tests before I’ll be a full wizard.

Buy you can cast spells?

Sure, lots of them. Do you want to see my fireball spell? That’s a fun one, Master has trouble with it too.

No, no, no fireballs. Why don’t we get on to the analysis of the tourney. What can you tell us about the tourney and the finals. Here is the scroll you put together showing the poll predictions.

Yes, I’m so excited. Master is strange when he says his crystal ball showed him this stuff, that thing hasn’t worked in years. I’ll start with the obvious results to the finals.

Game 60 – This is easy…. Timelord wins! Oh, it’s his map too so is it any wonder why he wouldn’t win this one too. Oh, and it doesn’t matter who he is playing, he still wins. End of discussion.

Hmmmm, that’s sort of anti-climatic for a final. Can you tell us something else that might interest us about the Finals?

Of course I can, you see, nothing is set in stone even though the polls predict things. Just take a look at some of the turn logs, every day it seems someone has the advantage and then it gets turned around. Yesterday Enginerd had a strong hold laying siege to Pawel and then Pawel lashes out slaying 16 more armies of Enginerd. So yes, anything can happen. So let me share with you some other possible endings to the tourney.

Swolte vs Oleg – A repeat of their round 1 match where Oleg beat Swolte, quite an accomplishment. Can Swolte exact his revenge and beat Oleg, the polls say so. This would make a great story and game.

Swolte vs Pawel – Another repeat of their round 1 match. Swolte goes 2 and 0 and beats Pawel again, will Pawel ever be able to beat Swolte and get out from behind his shadow?

Swolte vs Enginerd – We do so love it when our staff faces off to fight each other. We didn’t get enough of this in the Semi-Finals so here we get to see it again. This ending was chosen twice (and not by Swolte or Enginerd) and the polls did not have a clear favorite with one vote going to each of them. This is Enginerd’s only predicted victory in this tourney as his four other appearances end in his defeat. Enginerd is only second to Timelord in total number of appearances in the Finals, alas, he can only muster that one predicted victory. Swolte is predicted to win nearly all of his matches. What a match it will be if these two face off but obviously Swolte will be the favorite.

Cranberry vs JamesEde – We have to follow the new phenom on his path to glory. Cranberry picks up his only predicted win of the tourney. How exciting it would be to see a bright new face at the top. Could it happen, or will James be the one to topple Cranberry. If Cranberry is here then it means Swolte and Timelord couldn’t stop him. Could the tourney end this way? The turn logs will certainly be great to read.

Vovy vs Costa – Online/PBEM, can Vovy do it all? It may all be told to us here if Vovy can win this match. He will already have gotten past Timelord, Swolte and Charx. Costa will just be one more step for him. But Costa’s been getting tired of the lack of respect, he got past Pawel or Enginerd, and that whole other group that we couldn’t figure out. Yeah, this will be a fun one to watch.

ZombieEater vs JamesEde Very few people picked ZombieEater to beat Timelord, and those that did had confidence that he would do well after that match. Here we see him in the Finals with his only predicted win of the tourney. James makes his second appearance in the finals, but he doesn’t get the win in either one. Here he will have a second chance at victory.

Cranberry vs Pawel Well, Cranberry once again will have done very well in getting here but this time his opponent is predicted to win. Pawel’s only win of the tourney is predicted here. He will have been successful against strong opponents in getting here and the pressure will be on for him to beat the new player where no one else has. This will be Pawel’s moment to shine.

Wow, so that’s how it all could end. Sounds exciting. But, is Timelord sure to win the tourney?

He’s the favorite, hands down but the competition is great this year and he could be defeated. You’ll just have to keep watching.

Well, thanks for that analysis and for coming to the show today. You’ll have to visit us again. Oh, and one last thing, tell Flander that, er, um…. His fans love him, that should keep him happy.

Really! Oh that will make him happy, I better go tell him right away. Bye-bye.

A special thanks to, that dear boy, Flander’s Apprentice. We’re signing off, That’s your TNS for today.
posted 10-16-09 08:28 AM EDT (US)     176 / 244  
He took this fire beetle, chopped off its head and put it on Dad’s dinner plate one night. Dad was so mad...
Sure he was, the head is the most delicious piece... Headless fire beetle on a plate, how disgraceful....
Or was it the head on the plate? Why would he be mad then?
I'm confused!

Spell check failed - not enough mana

[This message has been edited by Oleg123 (edited 10-16-2009 @ 08:32 AM).]

posted 10-16-09 10:25 AM EDT (US)     177 / 244  
maybe it was a pet.... harvested too young... a surprise for Mom.... let your creative juices run wild... or maybe we'll just have to bring dad on the show and ask him
posted 10-16-09 10:31 AM EDT (US)     178 / 244  
I will certainly be glad to see this mistery solved

Spell check failed - not enough mana
posted 10-16-09 09:53 PM EDT (US)     179 / 244  
*** Breaking News ***

Ladies and Gentlemen, breaking news as Timelord beat ZombieEater in what appeared to be developing in an exciting thriller of a game!

In a terrible anticlimax, ZombieEater apparently killed his Wizard "attacking some DEs". Check it out, more details 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 10-17-09 09:55 AM EDT (US)     180 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS. Today's show will feature Charx, who is currently battling Vovy. You can follow the match here. Charx, welcome to the show and please take a seat! Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

Charx Hello, mister commentator (you still don't have a name, have you?). I am a 29-years-old guy from Germany and discovered AOW ages ago with my friends. The way to this community took quite long, however. My future plans told me to become either a rockstar or unemployed (we have a great social support-system in germany..), but as both ways failed, i tried becoming a professional warcraft3-player. Unfortunately i managed to finish my studies before reaching that aim and time was becoming a short resource... so almost year ago i had the idea to try out PBEM, and I immediately enjoyed the spirit of this community and fantastic games.
Um, my name is Archibald, or Archy... but, reporters prefer to report on the outside world, not themselves! Much more exciting! So, what do you like, specifically, about AoW as compared to other games? And what is your favourite AoW moment?

Charx I like the strategical depth of this game and with it's various units, spells and maps the game never gets boring. My favourite moments were last year, when i was travelling a lot for work. Before a trip i always hoped for a lot of turns in my inbox, because a train-trip could last for like three hours. But that was never a problem. I made myself comfortable by putting the jacket over my legs, pluggin in the notebook and playin some turns between the other commuters. And while the Shadowgod planned how to rule the world, i could watch the sunset through the windows... ah, isn't that romantic?
If you had the power to change one thing in the game, what would it be? And why?

Charx I would change it's license to any open-source license, so that i would have the power to change many things, preferably AI-behaviour, some bugfixing and anti-cheat mechanics ;-)
Have you ever cheated in a game?

Charx No, although sometimes the temptation is very high. But i always remember the bad days with warcraft3, when there was a maphack- or disconnect-cheat available, which killed the fun of the game. And then i always know again, why i love this community so much.
What are some of your favourite maps, and why?

Charx For 1on1's, i can't say. There are just too many good maps out there. For epic multiplayer maps i prefer TheGroll's ones for their design and story, and Swolte's maps for their design and player's interaction setup. But really there are just too many good maps, and i can't name them all.
What constitutes a good tournament map to you? And have you ever considered making maps, or even mods?

Charx A good map is well balanced, and a very good map is well balanced and asymmetrical. There should not be too many events in a tournament, because figuring out how they all work costs a lot of time...
And yes, i am working on a 2on2 map for a year now, and it is 98% finished. There are just the wizard portraits missing, but my weaker self is so strong that i just don't begin to include them... The map was already playtested and i would like to thank to Unnapu, RogerRabit & Co. for their very good feedback they provided to me.
What are your opinions on the map for the second round?

Charx Thats a very difficult map for both sides. Blackheart has movement advantages, while Goodfella maybe has stronger troops. All in all it is well balanced, and i think we will see many very close games, where every single goldcoin has to be spent wisely.
What kind of player are you?

Charx I think in most cases i try to adapt to the situations, and in 90% of that cases it is already too late to adapt anything and the match is lost.
Preparation for matches is my biggest weakness. Maybe next year... i am going to eat only healthy food, watch my weight, do many sports and go to bed early... and maybe with some luck i will reach round 2 again :-)
How do you look back on the first rounds? And, what are your expectations for the match against Vovy?

Charx My first round was clearly set up. I had to play against Sapphoenix, Swolte and Troy, so i knew that besides Sapphonix i had to beat a bigger player to advance. Unfortunately i did not study the map of the match versus Swolte enough, so after some turns it was clear that i would not succeed with my "surprising rush"-strategy, which consisted of splitting up my army and try the northern passage (digging or tower) very fast. There were many moments like "Oh, that undead hero in that tower is really strong... oh, and you can only attack with 8 units" or "Oh, a steamtank and stuff in that first tower.. oh, and after i have beaten that, i just have to beat 2 trolls and their stuff in the next tower...". Well, i knew that this game was lost, so i focused on the match against TroyLocker.
Now versus Vovy, i know that i am the underdog and i will try to rise the risk against independents a bit. But this map depends a lot of independent-garrison setup and what units will join your army, so adapting will be very important. And i already said that i am very very successful when it comes to adaptations... :-(
Thank you for the interview, Charx! 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 10-18-09 10:25 AM EDT (US)     181 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS, your station for all tournament news! On today's show we'll look back on the past week with Swolte, and we will have some announcements as well. Swolte, welcome to the show. How are things progressing?

Thank you! Turns have definitely sped up since the previous week! Today I will compare the progression to an ideal situation. The aim is to be finished by November with this round, and that means that by now, people should be at about day 10. Those players who haven't been doing many turns that first week may find themselves lagging somewhat behind.

Here are the remaining games:

On, or ahead of, schedule
- Game52 (Enginerd - PawelS)
- Game46 (LordDuck - Cranberry)

So yes, these games are progressing well. The game between Enginerd and PawelS seems in a final stage, and the game between LordDuck and Cranberry seems to be ramping up.

Behind schedule
- Game51 (Morgul666 - Oleg123)
- Game49 (Vovy - Charx)
- Game50 (Smuki - JamesEde)
- Game47 (Swolte - Naeco)

So these games will need to speed up somewhat, and some quite a bit...
But, as I mentioned before, we have had a slow first week, without timing rules, so it is understandable. Don't look at these games as the games who are truly consisting out of slackers. However, games not past day 5 at this point can be regarded as concerning, though, especially if they don't pick up the pace.
Anyway, it does not take away that some call for urgency for all these games is important.

It helps that two games already ended.

Yes, as you can see in the chart, that has been updated, two games have already been completed. Unfortunately, not in ways we intended. MrLifford bowed out two weeks into the second round, only having done two turns. It would have been great had we known this before because we could have had a replacement (Probably Albinscott). It caused Costa to receive a default win.
In the other game that has ended, Timelord must feel similar as ZombieEater managed to carelessly kill his own Wizard. It is a good reminder for people to be aware of the fact that Blackheart starts off with no Wizard tower.

Have there been any issues?

Not many. I guess it's important to reiterate that if you have a crash, and generate a restart, that you are allowed to replay the turn only once. Some people go to great lengths to ensure that the exact same results were obtained as before the crash, replaying a turn 20+ times. Although admirable, it is often tedious and frustrating but also hard to really check whether a person would do the same replicating a bad result... so, as a rule, please just replay the turn once. Sometimes its better, sometimes its worse.
Of course, hehe, the best way is to simply prevent crashes. Especially on this map, it is important to not dwell too long in thought and start obsessively (and unnecessarily) clicking to check movement and troops. Do it with a boat, and you'll very likely will have a crash on your hands!

For the rest, we have had some call to ban heavy-water maps from tournaments, but I think that may be a bit extreme. Water maps are a lot of fun, and the community can learn how to deal with the boat bug. I guess tournaments like these raise a lot of awareness and also spurr people to learn more about how to prevent it. This will just increase the fun in other games as well!

Ok, thank you very much, Swolte! Ladies and gentlemen, the coming weeks TNS will appear less frequently. We will stick to the weekly Sunday updates, however, in a week we may have 3/4 shows, instead of 7.
Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS for you today!

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

[This message has been edited by Swolte (edited 10-18-2009 @ 10:26 AM).]

posted 10-21-09 01:02 PM EDT (US)     182 / 244  
Come here my dear boy, we need to have a chat

Yes Master! (uh-oh…. I hope he isn’t mad at me)

Now, I read the first part of your interview with that Reporter and I think there are some things to discuss. Now that the world knows you are the apprentice to the greatest wizard in the universe I must make sure that you are now the greatest apprentice in the universe. So, we’ve got to work on your writing style. Now, there isn’t enough… what is it that it lacks…. How do I put it… well… there isn’t enough of ME in your reports. So, let’s practice a bit shall we. Let’s do a mid-week update on MY tourney… see… that’s how you get me into it, highlight my importance. Understand?

Yes Master, I think so.

Good, now let’s get started. I want you to try and give a mid week update on the game between Timelord and Zombie Eater

Um, Master, that game ended last week.

That was a terrible report, you can do better than that. Why don’t you try again. Let’s see…. How about an update on the match with Swolte and Naeco.

Uh, ok… Swolte and Naeco’s match is now on about turn 9 and things are progressing. It appears that Swolte has the upper hand but little is known from Naeco’s posts. The cryptic post by Swolte says there is just one more day…. Wonder what that means.

no, no, no…. you’re getting it all wrong…. Let’s try this… The match between Swolte and Naeco is nearing an end for you but I will share with you what I’ve already seen in my crystal ball. It will shed some light on this classic match between friends. A few days ago Naeco reported that “things could not go worse” but what he didn’t tell you is that how they couldn’t go worse for Swolte, you see this subterfuge caused Swolte to have a boat bug as he tried this complicated maneuver on the boats. He should have known better than to try that. Now Swolte has recently added that his demise is about over when he says he only has one day left, you see, Naeco’s bold plans are coming to fruition and will soon be exposed. This is a glorious match to behold, better keep your eyes on it.

*shakes head in disbelief* Are you sure about that Master?

yes, quite sure, it’s much better this way, trust me. Now.. try another one… .you’ll get the hang of it.

In the match between Smuki and JamesEde things are getting exciting. A new shoe shop has opened up and Goodfella has some fine apparel. Blackheart is busy pillaging the countryside, typical of a pirate….

…A new shoe shop… where… my boots still smell like a bog. I need a new pair. Look… finish up the reports on the other games and I’ll read them when I get back.

The match between Morgul and Oleg is a very interesting read with great detailed reports from both sides. They appear to be on about day 8 and have had some really heavy battles take place near the draconian city. Still too hard to tell who has the advantage but we’d guess that Oleg is suffering worse as of late as Morgul has been punishing him.

Cranberry and Lord Duck are in the heat of the battle on day 13. Things are ramping up as forces collide at the cave entrance. Lord Duck came out on top it seems but Cranberry’s post do not appear to be too upsetting. We can only guess that there is plenty of fight left for both of them.

Vovy and Charx… well…. It’s been a bit slow as they are only on day 6 and real life and computer woes have stalled things. They better pick up the pace and get moving. Not much detail to be gleaned from the turn logs. Still anyone could win this one.

Pawel and Enginerd are having way too much fun razing things. Pawel seems to enjoy razing cities while Enginerd would rather raze nodes and mines. Very interesting situations have arisen where Enginerd’s forces are deep in Goodfella’s territory but Pawel has defended well and Enginerd cannot risk attacking. Pawel has also broken through the defensive perimeter and is now causing mischief above ground with Red. They are on day 19 now and things are intense! What is going to happen next…. Certainly there will be fireworks.

Well… Master probably won’t like it but he’ll get distracted by something else and forget all about it. Maybe he’ll need some more herbs soon, that would be nice.
posted 10-23-09 10:45 AM EDT (US)     183 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS. On today's show we will discuss some of the questionnaire feedback with Swolte. Welcome to the show. How have things been?
Thank you! Things have been well. With only one tournament game going, and five other games to keep an eye on, it's become more manageable.

We are going to discuss some of the feedback from the questionnaire. One of the questions referred to what things worked well in the first round. To be precise: "To keep. So far, were there things you particularly enjoyed about the organization of the tournament?"
Yes, there were compliments on the organizational aspects like the timing rules and schedule, as well as general communication. However, everyone was very enthusiastic about the extent and manner of reporting around this tournament. It is clear that the interviews, newsreports as well background information was very much appreciated! Although it is a bit of work, I think we should definitely keep that element in future tournaments. The intensity has been very high, so we may have spoiled our contestants somewhat during round-1, but news-stations are here to stay!

Bit of work, HE says... pffff. I am doing most of the reporting!
Sorry, you said something?

No, nothing! So... what about the other question that asked about things that could be improved? To be more precise: "Lose. So far, were there things you think should have been done different, or must be improved?"
Ok then... Well, first of all, I must say that it was heartwarming and motivating to read the comments on 'what to keep', and actually, there weren't many issues raised for improvement! There was one issue that did come up a few times, which touched upon map balancing. For example, here are some of the issues raised:
"Triple check the maps before sending them out"
"Must do a better job with timeliness of map release, playtesting the map up until a few minutes before the release isn’t good. We should invest more up front time before releasing it to the public."

I agree this has been somewhat of an problem, however, sometimes it is difficult to realize in practice. I do think what would help is for me to get a vigilant person, like Enginerd, helping to co-organize next year from the start! Currently, most of the testing and implementation has been between me and multiple other people. It may be a good idea for the future to do this together. This may have a number of advantages.

First of all, it may prevent some mistakes if two people organize and double check the maps instead of just one. Second, in the same vain, two eyes see more than one, so we may also prevent more balance problems to pass by unseen and having to be corrected last minute...

I am not sure if I agree with the time-line and the general process of map testing and selection. Obviously, we can start earlier with maptesting, however, I am still unsure if that really matters. The problem with the last minute changes was not that we really started testing the maps last minute! In fact, we actually had the maps tested months before round 1, and multiple forumers have helped out a big deal! The issue is more that we are open to feedback at any stage, and usually receive additional good feedback a few days before a round begins. People were called on for feedback way before this but we simple don't get overwhelming responses. It seems some people are really getting into it a few days before the tournament. Unfortunately, sometimes we get sent some really good comments that we simply cannot ignore. For example, I really think that the changes we made last-minute to Goodfella's favour were a good thing. Balance is a really tricky thing: not noticing one single unit can be fatal.

In general, though, I do think the process for selecting the maps and testing them has been good. There were lots of comments and improvements on the maps from them, however, it should probably keep on going! With more people being able to get mobilized, it's possible to make this process even more rigorous.

Sources tell me there was one comment stating: "I feel a bit uncomfortable with playing organizators having exclusive access to map-testing results and analisys". What do you have to say about that?
Yes, I have to admit that organizers, and the mapmakers themselves, do have an definite advantage. In a way, this is inevitable. The people involved in the balancing of the map, will obviously have a larger skill in the maps. And don't get me wrong, everyone who wants is allowed to get involved at an early stage and participate in a discussion. However, I agree that being in charge of map balancing also makes you central to all strategies.

I am not sure how to prevent this, but perhaps make the feedback on testmaps public? What we did now is we have an elaborate list of changes, but there is no real explanation for them. Then again, if we were to make it public, I am not sure how freely people will provide their feedback? I can also imagine some testers not willing to share certain information with the idea that it will give a lot of other people an advantage. Keep in mind we do make sure that the Wizard-position is unknown (to every tester, everyone!) before accepting any feedback so maptesters as well as myself better make sure their feedback is fair! Because, if not, we may end up playing the other Wizard we tested/rebalanced and find ourselves in big troubles.
Also, we don't want to release complete walk-throughs, as it may spoil a lot of the fun for people devising their own strategy. Furthermore, it may make for a lot of reading seem mandatory that will just bog down on the fun. Personally, I wouldn't want that, but I am happy to hear different opinions about this matter!

There is an advantage to having had a lot of access to testgames and their analysis, definitely, but we must also not overestimate the effect. Often, what you do to balance things is to adjust for unbalances and have multiple strategies become viable. You don't want a map where everyone is doing the same strategy - it will be bland and boring! A good tournament map is ALSO 'balanced' in a way that different strategies could have equally advantageous outcomes. For example, there should be an incentive for Dahl (in GF&BH) to go underground, as well as raid the southerns areas, or try and explore the north! That makes choices viable, even if you have had previous access to strategies!
The point is, there should NOT be one single best strategy in a good map... ever, and therefore, having knowledge about the map only helps you to some extent. A good player studying the map for a day will usually find the major strategies and will be able to play a good match.

Another thing is that these advantages translate into having a good start-up plan. However, your interaction with another player, and your adaptability, will often determine whether you win or not. And those are simply hard to learn from analyses from other people!

Ok, thanks for much for this interview, Swolte! 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
posted 10-25-09 10:54 AM EDT (US)     184 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS, your station for all tournament news! On today's show we'll look back on the past week with Swolte.
Welcome to the show, Swolte, how are things progressing?
Thank you!
Turns are progressing but it probably won't be easy to get all games finished in time. At this point, turns should ideally be at day 15. Here is an overview of the games that are ongoing and you'll see we still have a long way to go.

On, or ahead of, schedule
- Game52 (Enginerd - PawelS) - Day 19
- Game46 (LordDuck - Cranberry) - Day 18

Behind schedule
- Game51 (Morgul666 - Oleg123) - Day 13
- Game47 (Swolte - Naeco) - Day 11
- Game50 (Smuki - JamesEde) - Day 9
- Game49 (Vovy - Charx) - Day 8

Unfortunately, we're looking at almost the same image as last week. No other games have finished and none of the slow games have been able to catch up as well. However, on a brighter note, it does seem that most games are in a decisive phase. Things are happening! We see action all over! Big battles have occured in all matches and some players, like Charx and Oleg123, have mentioned that their game is pretty much over.

No other games have finished this week. Why would that be?
This is probably due to a number of factors.
The first, and most important one, is probably the map itself. It is a map where, due to the design, both players are quite restrained in attacking each other: Goodfella is inside an underground fortress and Blackheart is based on an island!
So, Blackheart must find a way to penetrate this fortress by getting hold of diggers and having enough troops to get through tough defenses. On the other hand, when Goodfella is on the attack, he must find ways to attack Blackheart whose villages are surrounded by water! Blackheart undoubtedly will have the initiative as the faster player, but may fall short on pushing through in the long run. Goodfella has slower troops, but spells and strong units that can eventually work in his advantage. When Goodfella's can start producing Runemasters, bats or whatever, and his casting has taken a flight, things can get rough for Blackheart.
You can see this in the game between Enginerd and PawelS, where Enginerd seemed to have obtained a tremendous advantage but PawelS is gaining back momentum as his magical resources are slowly paying off. The game is probably still tilted in Enginerds favour, but it has become much harder for the AoW1 Champ to finish the job.
To sum up, per design, Wizard are relatively well isolated and the map is bound to go back and forth a little bit between both players.
Furthermore, both players have many heroes and troops they start out with. The game is not simply decided by one battle alone...

The second reason is the relative slowness of turns. For some reason we don't really have players who do 5 turns/day! In the first round of the tournament, we did have matches where this occurred, and it really sped up the tournament. It seems people are really doing one turn a day, and no more. Or they do more, but then have a small break.

The third reason, I think, is the quality of the players. Perhaps related to the previous reason, players are more careful and seem to plan more for each turn. Also, there are (probably) fewer blundering mistakes that lead to the end (well, ZombieEater being the exception).

So, we are entering the last week. Will the organization be tough on games that haven't finished?
Well, at least 80% of the games will need to have finished for me to justify ending games by judges' decisions. Currently, we are at 25% finished so you can see that we may have to go beyond October to finish this round... However, I still hope it won't have to come to that and we'll finish in October. It does seem like quite a bit of games are on the verge of ending.

What is next for the organizers?
Well, another issue that requires attention is the map for the next round. The Lion, Witch and Warfare (LWW) does need to be looked over for balance issues. I have done a quick peek and think that the Lion position has quite an advantage over the Witch as it is now. Manticores are really strong units, especially in a map like this. On top of this, the Lion also starts out with seducers!
Fortunately, the map is symmetrical and this makes the balancing a lot easier than, for example, the Blackheart and Goodfella's map by King David. The latter was very asymmetrical and also featured different starting races!

People are welcome to email me, or any of the judges, with issues they have with the LWW map!

Also, for your listeners, we have been trying to get a hold of Rheno, the mapmaker. Unfortunately, he seems unresponsive. If anyone out there knows something more, please let me know. It would be much appreciated!

Yes, we tried to get him on the show for an interview! Ladies and gentlemen, please let us know if you hear something from Rheno. For now, 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 10-25-2009 @ 10:58 AM).]

posted 10-25-09 02:04 PM EDT (US)     185 / 244  
"At least 80%" means 7 of 8 games, 6 of 8 is 75%. So only one game can be decided by the judges. And in the next rounds it means that all games must be finished normally.

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

[This message has been edited by PawelS (edited 10-25-2009 @ 02:04 PM).]

posted 10-27-09 10:06 AM EDT (US)     186 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS! On today's show we have a special guest on the show. Please welcome SMUki!! SMUki, please take a seat. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

SMUki Sure. I come from Slovenia, many people mix it up with Slovakia or vice-versa, those are two Countries. Currrently? I work a lot at home to "upgrade" my house. One day I am a wood worker the other I plaster my walls with mud. Yeah it is kinda different House, I use manly nature materials...
Of course my computer is always on, and when i get a certain type of mail, then its fun time.
I have played AoW with my friend for some time and then I think it was a tournament that was one of the first things.
I needed some other people to play, since my friend was veeeery slow on his turns.
The name SMUki is a composition of my other names, since many were already used...Smiley-Marko-Uki
What do you like, specifically, about AoW as compared to other games? What is your favourite AoW moment?

SMUki I am an RPG man, so also in AoW I like the Heroes the most, wizards aro from that perspective kinda second class. :-) Units are just pawns in the game, that can be very useful.
If you had the power to change one thing in the game, what would it be? And why?

SMUki Hmmm, should I really start? If you change one thing then it would be like an avalanche, you would have to change many more...
OK, maybe I the wizards would be more multi level(like Constructor I, II, III) so that it would matter what kind a ability you would research in that way you would truly have a very powerful summoner, that would not have to be also a speedy constructor to make a powerful army, and a constructor that could win without using any spell...
So then on some maps and wizards you would have to completely change your strategy...
Maybe have a mod that would have truly all those past age groups, vinkings, samurais, romans, egiptians...
Now it is better I stop, or I will be describing a whole new game.
Have you ever cheated in a game?

SMUki I had many restarts, and also the second, third time around I have done some things different than the first, but to cause a restart to win a game no, I rather play another game.
What are some of your favourite maps, and why?

SMUki All those with special Heroes and very different starting wizards, balance is fine but not that all wizards are the same and also the map.
What constitutes a good tournament map to you? And have you ever considered making maps, or even mods?

SMUki Tournament map or a normal map, is there a difference? For me not. In every map you have to have many posibilities which ones you choose determines if you win or not.
Sure I wanted to make a map or even a mod, but I have many other different things to do in my life and to make thing happen you have to put your ideas and make them work and then put it all together and test it all, I don't have that much determination.
So I can only say I bow down to all that make maps and admire the ones that make mods.
A big thank you from me to all you guys!
What are your opinions on the Blackheart and Goodfella map for the second round?

SMUki It is a interesting map, with not my favorite races. But i will have to adapt...
What kind of player are you?

SMUki Lazy(on preparing) and quick(when playing) one, I like it to play blind, since I have almost no preparation, no strategies... In fact my first tornament game against cranberry was played almost blind, I have just gazed at some older version of the map and played. On the first day we made 30 turns, this is my kind of playing.
My preparation is to wait for my turn to come and if the mood is right I look at the map structures, where are the most good stuff, sometimes I play a few turns.
Is there a specific secret Smuki strategy?

SMUki Think outside a "box", make a superman hero, surprise my opponent.
How do you look back on the first rounds? And, what are your expectations for the match against James as it is going now?

SMUki I made some mistakes, like usual, but nothing fatal yet. :-D
I hope he can step up his pace, I get a turn every 1-2 days and thats killing me(great strategy James), I forget what was my intention previous turn...
I hope we will be able to play it through, so that we not judges will decide the game.

Thank you for the interview SMUki! Ladies and gentlemen, you can follow SMUki in his match against JamesEde here. 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 10-27-09 09:01 PM EDT (US)     187 / 244  
*** Breaking News ***

Ladies and gentlemen, breaking news as the thriller game between Enginerd and PawelS ended with a climactic battle! Enginerd emerged victorious after a game that just seemed to go back and forth.

TNS was there reporting live on the scene!

Rumors have it a document will be released of unprecedented detail. Ladies and gentlemen, we await what is to come...

This was TNS reporting on Game52 on Blackheart and Goodfella's War. What a game.

Get the unofficial Patch v1.4. here!
My best AoW-Sm map: Drums of Death (This is the multiplayer version; for single player, or AI use different version)
Other proud AoW-sm maps: The Key of Kharzul, The Fight for Light, Waikiti Island, Goldrush Mountains
My proud AoW2 maps:The River Arne
Coordinator of the v1.4 and v1.5 patchteams, Seraph of AoWHeaven, PBEM Singles Champion 2008
posted 10-27-09 11:21 PM EDT (US)     188 / 244  
*** Breaking News ***

Ladies and gentlemen, what a night! Right after Enginerd and PawelS, Game 47 between Swolte and Naeco has ended in a victory for the former champion, Swolte!
Check out the match and analysis 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 10-27-2009 @ 11:22 PM).]

posted 10-28-09 02:06 PM EDT (US)     189 / 244  
*** Breaking news! ***

Ladies and gentlemen, the past hours have been extremely exciting. We now have breaking news as LordDuck managed to defeat Cranberry against all odds.

The newby phenomenon dream is now scattered.

TNS was there to report, please 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
posted 10-29-09 10:20 PM EDT (US)     190 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS, your show for all news related to the 1v1 PBEM tournament. We will have a special episode today, featuring Enginerd and PawelS. We are going to discuss their already legendary match and we will also have an exclusive event for you. Something you will have never seen before in the history of Age of Wonders...

Ladies and gentlemen, may I welcome Enginerd and PawelS to the show! Guys, please take a seat. Enginerd, first of all, congratulations with your hard-fought victory! It's been a terribly invigorating match. Listeners have wished they could peek inside the turns to see what is actually going on. In fact, this has been a longstanding wish for this game in general. Well, you have a surprise for our viewers today...

Enginerd Hehehehehe… SURPRISE!

Wow, that was an amazing video! Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing here an unprecedented event: a match being recorded in this level of detail for AoW has never happened before! This truly is the closest we can get to experiencing what happened in this game, and what a game it was! Enginerd, how did you do that?!

Enginerd Swolte gave me the idea early on when he said he wanted to get lots of screenshots of the final game and have players send him their turns every turn so he could grab stuff. Then during Round 1 I saw some great screenshots from players out there and in a weak moment I said, I can do this…. So, I started taking about 3-6 screen shots every turn and while playing the turn I would paste the screenshots into a word document and then add my running commentary. Before I realized it I had 20 pages and the file was HUGE. By the end the document was 70MB and about 60 pages long. I knew I couldn’t upload it in that format so I decided to create a powerpoint presentation where I set timers and ran through all the screenshots. Then using free software (that leaves a goofy comment in the upper corner of the video) I recorded the presentation into video. I had to cut out a lot of screenshots in order to get the video down to 10 minutes and some of the text is hard to read before it scrolls ahead but there was TONS of stuff to put in there and I really needed another 10 minutes.
Wow, PawelS, what is your opinion of this video? And, now that you have more insights into your opponents positioning during the game, would you have done certain things differently?

PawelS The video is great, and the amount of work that Enginerd put into it is impressive, I’d be too lazy to do such thing ;-)

As for the second question, even before I watched the video I knew that I could do some things better. If I knew that a strong Blackheart’s army with a Cyclops is coming, Dahl’s group would run away to the underground as fast as possible. In the later game, there was a moment when Enginerd divided his main army, two heroes with some troops were in the Goblin city, while the Cyclops and some units were elsewhere. It was a good occasion to attack, but unfortunately most of my units were too far to reach the enemy army. So I’d prepare for an attack if I knew what is going to happen.
Enginerd, it seems you have had quite a secure position up to a certain point when things started shaking and PawelS was able to get back into the game. What was the moment when you became nervous?

Enginerd The Southwest corner was my concern, it came in phases, first when he killed my hero and then later when he punched through my Djinn led troops. I think the video highlights that. I was worried that Red would rush straight to the capital. Had he done that it would have been very difficult for me. I think I could have fought back and I was doing everything I could to keep troops coming to the SW and deceiving posts about how strong I was to discourage advancements over there. I think it worked, Pawel applied the pressure but stayed on the borders over there. It was tough.

PawelS I don’t think I could achieve more with Red on the surface, he didn’t have Healing or Regeneration, so he had to go back to the healing spring once in a while.
PawelS, near the end of the game, you had a brilliant trick that took a big chunk out of Enginerds forces. How did you come up with it?

PawelS I noticed that one of Enginerd’s heroes had a shield with Seduce. He had full stacks of units, so I wondered what would happen to a unit that he seduces, it should allow me to “break” the adjacent hex rule. I recreated the situation in the editor and made some tests, but the seduced unit didn’t appear in a place that would give me an advantage. But later, when the enemy units were positioned near the ruins, the tests showed that the seduced unit appeared right where I needed it.
Enginerd, being on the receiving end of such a trick must feel frustrating. Do you think it is ok to use in other games? Or do you feel it is too powerful to use and should be banned from future games?

Enginerd Absolutely, use it at your own risk. Players gain great advantages in games by being able to seduce/trap/dominate extra troops. If this makes those players think twice about using those abilities because there is a danger to having it used against you, well, then I’m all for it. As Pawel described there is some unpredictability to it and it doesn’t always work. There are risks, there are rewards. Pawel had the seduce item and a dominator out there and I was way too afraid to even try this tactic out against him. Also, I could have defended against this tactic by putting my seduce item into my bag and not having it active or only putting 7 armies in that stack. I think it adds another level to the game. Will other players try it, sure they will. I think it is a great discovery and tactic. Will players want it banned, I’m sure some will.
PawelS, how do you feel about the map in general? Do you think it is balanced properly?

PawelS I like this map a lot. It’s not a typical 1vs1 map, each player has different starting position and possibilities (but it makes the map harder to balance as well). And it keeps the high quality of other King David’s maps.

My opinion about the balance may be biased by the fact that I lost the game, but I think removing the Cyclops guarding the Waikiti Inn would make it more balanced. I think this single unit was a decisive factor that made Enginerd win this game, without it our chances would be more even. I heard that Goodfella can get a Cyclops too as a random defender, this possibility should be removed as well.

PawelS, it's your first 1v1 tournament, I believe. How was the entire experience for you? Has it made you a better player? What are some of the things you have learned from tournament games and what can you still improve upon?

PawelS I played in a 1vs1 tournament long ago, when I was a novice pbem player (I lost 3 of 4 games in my group, and didn’t advance to the next round). I think I’m getting experience from all games that I play, and I’m becoming a better player after every game. I learned a lot from this tourney, because of the high level of competitiveness, and because I haven’t played many 1vs1 games earlier. My favorite type of game are the epic games on large maps with many players that can take years to finish, but after my participation in this tourney I started to like 1vs1 games too, especially if they are played on high quality maps like the ones that are used here.

I learned many things from this tourney, for example that ranged units have a big advantage over melee ones when they have Shadow Sickness, and a hasted unit still needs 4 MP to board a transport ;-) And of course I “learned” the “seduce trick” by inventing it myself?

What more do I need to learn? Maybe my moves should be less predictable, I should plan and make more “daring” moves that surprise the enemy.

Enginerd, you will face Costa in the next round. What are your expectations of that match?

Enginerd He’s going to be another tough opponent, all games in the next rounds will be tough. I look forward to a great game. I think there are three key aspects to any game. First is the up front strategy, what are you going to do in the game, how do you advance, defend, what is your game plan. Without a good strategy it will be near impossible to win in these later rounds. Second, you have to execute that plan well, doing well against the AI, not losing your heroes early, win those close battles, you have to be able to do more with less. Lastly, you have to be able to adapt and take advantage of mistakes/opportunities as they come to you. You can only plan so much the first few days as you don’t know exactly how the game will unfold. Being able to quickly adapt to challenges is key and there are likely to be fewer and fewer mistakes. I expect the game with Costa to be exciting, he will have a strategy, I will have mine. We both have shown that we can play well and take advantage of opportunities. I think it will be a great game from a couple well matched players. It’s not like there is a huge favorite in this one (I’m thinking of the two games where Swolte and Timelord are heavy favorites :-p))
PawelS, thank you for coming to the show. Before you leave, can you tell us about some of the projects that you have been working on?

PawelS Thank you for inviting me.

I nearly finished working on the first version of my mod. It’s called AoW1 Mod, and is created exclusively to play maps converted from AoW1, but it also contains many new units, as well as changes to existing units and other game elements, like most other mods. After the release, I hope some of the PBEM players out here will help me test the mod by playing some games with me.

I’m also the coordinator of the map making by email project, it’s a community project where we’re making a map designed specifically for the type of PBEM games that I like most – huge map (bigger than XL!) for epic games. And I’m going to make a map for the next tournament. I’m a fan of Flander, and I want to make him one of the wizards on this map, but I need to know more about him: his magic spheres, wizard skills and favorite race, and also his biography, so I can put it in his description. You both seem to know him well, so maybe you can help me with it.

Meanwhile, somewhere watching...

What… did someone say something about putting ME in one of their maps? Oh, this is wonderful, I’ll win everytime!
*shakes head in disbelief* Yes Master.

Enginerd I just hope Pawel picks a better portrait for Flander than a smiley with a dorky hat ;-), yeah I can help give some special insights into Flander.
Enginerd, also thanks for coming to this special episode and for making that wonderful video. Do you think we'll be seeing more of these in the future?

Enginerd Absolutely…. Imagine if we would have put together a video of the boat bug explanation, my game with Costa will have lots of commentary too, maybe I can even get him to provide his perspective on the game when it’s over so the end video shows both sides instead of one. Tutorials, cool battles in TC, FC… oh yeah…. There will be more videos…. It was my first one ever so I’m looking forward to having the next one be even better (and maybe with sound or voice over comments ;-))
Ladies and gentlemen, we have seen an exclusive video, a first in the history of Aow has an entire match been recorded. Please get a Youtube account and rate the video, or leave a comment. Who knows, we may get some more players interested!
This was TNS for you today!!

Please place comments regarding the video in the game thread so we can keep that as an historical documentation! (in here it will get messed up)
~ Ed.

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

[This message has been edited by Swolte (edited 10-29-2009 @ 10:34 PM).]

posted 10-30-09 10:27 PM EDT (US)     191 / 244  
Welcome to the TNS report today and once again we have our expert here to analyze how the round 2 games have been going and to look at the polls. So welcome, that dear little boy, Flander’s Apprentice!

Welcome to the show, it’s good to have you with us.

Oh, I’m so excited to be here, analyzing the tourney has been such fun. I can’t wait to see how it will all end up.

You mean you don’t know, this whole crystal ball mumbo jumbo stuff, what’s up with that?

Oh, that’s just something Flander likes to look at, I haven’t been taught how to read the crystal ball yet, and I’m not sure it really works, maybe when I’m a full wizard I’ll know, for now I’ll just have to do my best without magic.

I see, so what can you tell us about the games that have already ended.

Well, let’s quickly review them… let’s see… Timelord and Costa ended their games early and had have been waiting (and probably practicing on the new map).

Swolte vs Naeco – This was one key match in this round. Naeco was the underdog but it was expected to be a great battle, one of the most challenging of this round. It appears that Swolte got the upper hand quickly, Naeco had some bad luck and Swolte rushed to victory. We were hoping for more drama and excitement but the end result was exactly as predicted with Swolte victorious. Congratulations to Naeco, he had a very difficult schedule this year and had a great tourney. Swolte has shown he is ready to play and win this tourney.

Cranberry vs Lord Duck – Wow, this was an exciting game. Cranberry was the favorite and the #1 seed going into this game. Lord Duck was the number 16 seed. Cranberry’s mystique from the first round was not enough to carry him through this game as Lord Duck came well prepared and would not underestimate the newcomer. A great match but in the end Lord Duck was victorious.

Enginerd vs PawelS – A true classic game here, it was analyzed in great detail already. All we can say is that this one was too close to call going in (9 votes to 8 for Enginerd) and it delivered on drama and excitement. It was a great game. Sorry to see Pawel out of the tourney, like Naeco he had a very tough schedule. I think eyes are now turned on Enginerd to see how well he will do in future rounds.

Yes, and that was a great video of the game. There have been over 120 hits on the video today so it is exciting that people are watching it but there haven't been many comments left in the game thread here. Why do you think that is?

Well, I don't know how many people have YouTube accounts and will want to post there and we're not sure who is really looking at it, maybe Enginerd just pops over there and looks at it over and over and over again. But I'm sure players will get their feedback posted in the game thread eventually.

So, with 5 games in the books it appears that Blackheart has been winning more of them. What have you got to say about that?

It really appears from the turn logs that strategy and bad luck have decided things more so than starting race. I don’t think we’re ready to say that there are any major balance issues with this map.

What about the remaining 3 games, will they finish soon and who is going to win?

Tough call on some of them. We’ll take a quick look at each of them.

Vovy vs Charx – Vovy was the strong favorite in this one but Charx has proven to be a mighty opponent. The turn logs have been cryptic, or I should say…. Without much detail… so it’s hard to say who really has the advantage. On around day 8 it looked like Vovy won a big battle with heavy losses and Charx was trying to recover and trap the heroes. Cat and mouse, back and forth, this game has been the slowest and really needs to pick up the pace. Advantage is still probably with Vovy.

Oleg and Morgul – This was one match in the first round that was very difficult to predict. They were about split from the polls and it was really anyone’s match to win. Morgul had the ever so slight advantage from the polls (9 votes to 8). As things have turned out it looks like Morgul is close to victory. Oleg has all but conceded defeat. It will take a few more turns for that to happen but Morgul looks like he will be the victor.

James vs Smuki – One great thing about this game is the turn logs. They have been wonderful to read, you should all go through the entire game in one reading to get a true feel for it here. I can’t guess who is ahead in this game. An earlier interview with Smuki had him thinking he would do well but it’s hard to tell. Maybe in a few turns we’ll know. James remains the favorite.

So, how does Round 3 look and what kinds of possible upsets are in the works.

Well, there will be 4 games and 2 of them are set so let’s hit them first.

Swolte vs Lord Duck – Swolte is the favorite and he is facing the underground who beat Cranberry. Swolte is still the favorite… and probably would be no matter who he was facing (except Timelord). Lord Duck will have his hands full on this one, it will be interesting to see if he can pull off another upset!

Enginerd vs Costa – This one has the makings of another great game. Enginerd has a lot of confidence and momentum on his side right now, Costa is a solid veteran player too. They are well matched and the polls had a hard time predicting the winner here but Enginerd was given the slight advantage with 5 votes to Costa’s 3 votes. Yes a close game to call.

Timelord vs tbd – it will likely be Vovy and this will be most exciting to see as the tourney favorite is given the chance to play the online expert. Yes, this one should be very exciting, however, both players are not known for lots of details in their posts so it will be tough to learn anything from what they are saying. Don’t worry, we’ll get just enough to tease us and keep us aware of just how much fun they’re having. Timelord is the favorite. And, if he faces Charx, well, then Timelord will still be the favorite.

TBD vs TBD – well…. Kind of hard to comment on this one just yet. Most likely it will be Morgul facing off against the winner of James/Smuki. The polls gave Smuki the edge over Morgul 2 votes to 0 and James got the slight edge over Morgul 4 votes to 3. Sorry Morgul, looks like you’re the slight underdog no matter who you face. This should be a well matched game as well, and if James makes it past Smuki the turn logs will be FABULOUS.

Thanks for the update on the games, so one last question. Has anyone predicted all the games correctly so far in this round? Who is doing the best so far?

(in the distance a voice is heard)
Hey, My dear little boy! Where did you run off to, I need those herbs!

Oops, gotta go, I must have spent too much time with Mom when I got the herbs. Sorry… er… um… yeah… I’ll tell you all about who is predicting the games the best another day.

(he runs off quickly) Coming Master!

Well, sorry about the cliffhanger (hehehehe, not really, that’ll boost ratings for sure) but I think we enjoyed the analysis today. Remember to comment on that video in the game thread. That’s your TNS!
posted 10-31-09 03:58 AM EDT (US)     192 / 244  
Sorry Morgul, looks like you’re the slight underdog no matter who you face.
sorry? why should I be sorry to be the Underdog??
Did you see the Rocky I movie ??
(but hey - I´m not yet in the next round... Maybe things look like it but Oleg is one not to be taken lightly... no matter how much he´s cornered, he always finds a new way how to (almost) surprise me with a terrible guerrilla force and if I´m not extremly cautious, then one of these forces might hit me hard one day... I hope not though...

Author of the following maps for AOWSM:
Version 1.4: DEMONWARS II (Transcendence & Immortalis)
Version 1.3: (also playable in 1.4) Gates to another World 1.4
><-><-><- Planning replaces coincidence by error. -><-><-><-
posted 10-31-09 06:51 AM EDT (US)     193 / 244  
Looking at the results of the finished games, I think I have a big chance to be the worst at predicting the round 2 results

A proud member of the Unofficial Patch team.
Creator of the AoW1 Mod.
posted 10-31-09 11:24 PM EDT (US)     194 / 244  
Not bigger than mine, believe me
posted 11-01-09 09:23 AM EDT (US)     195 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS! On today's show we have invited Swolte to talk about ending the second round, and other stuff. Before we start, there is breaking news as Morgull666 beat Oleg123! TNS was there for you, live at the scene, and interviews are in progress! Go check it out!

Swolte, welcome to the show. We have had a total of four games end this week, that is quite stunning! We can see the updated chart in the main post.

Yes, we were hoping that this was going to happen! It means we basically have two games that are still playing.
- Game50 (Smuki - JamesEde)
- Game49 (Vovy - Charx)

Officially we cannot start the second round unless 80% of the games have finished. As PawelS pointed out, it means we need to have one game left before we can send a game to the judges. From the logs, it seems the game between Charx and Vovy will end soon, so I don't think I will try and force the rules and have the round end prematurely. To do that, I would need a majority vote from all five tournament judges, which is time consuming. I have considered it, though...
Anyway, it will give some time for much-needed feedback on the next map.

Oh wait, I almost forgot, congratulations with your victory against Naeco! It seems your next opponent will be Lordduck. What are your thoughts about that match?

Thank you, yes, the match against Naeco went really well for me! Naeco didn't even play that bad, I think, but I was simply at the right place at the right moment. Threw him off right when he was weakest, and always kept the pressure on him. My strategy worked out even better than expected!
I'll miss him in this tournament, as he is a great player. I am sure he will want his revenge next year.

I realize I am the big favourite in the match against Lordduck. Unlike against Naeco, I do think that is somewhat justified, as I think he isn't the caliber of a Naeco, Troy, or Enginerd. Frankly, I am not expecting much difficulty to win as LordDuck hasn't really greatly impressed me so far with his play.
In round-1 he was seeded 16th and one of his opponents, Zerge, was disqualified! Had he beaten Troy, it would have been a different story, but he didn't. And I would have been surprised if he did.

I see you have learned nothing from Oleg123...

Ah, I see what you mean. And yes, he did beat Cranberry which was quite unexpected... But, Cranberry was quite new, and perhaps lucky to win against a player like Torso, who basically killed himself on the Colors map.

So, I think I'll be careful not to make any big mistakes myself and get surprised as on these small maps. That can be fatal for me. I plan to take this match easy and with less risk than I normally would.

Well, I see an upset in the making. We'll definitely have Lordduck on the show to discuss the pebble that will hit you right between the eyes.
Anyway, let's continue... When can we expect the next round to begin?

The next round will begin as soon as one more game ends. Then the other will be decided by the judges, as soon as possible. This is assuming the game between Vovy and Charx won't take that long anymore. If it still goes on for a couple of days, I may push to force-quite them!
So, I estimate to start the next round next week, Sunday. The timing rules will be in effect immediately, since we really need to get going! I feel we wasted a lot of time at the beginning of the second round by giving people a week to 'take it easy'.

You mentioned feedback on the Lion Witch and Warfare (LWW) map.

Yes, good point. I would like to ask everyone to take a look at the LWW map and see if they have balance issues. Even if you're not in the next round, it would be much appreciated. So far, there have been very few people with comments. I have to admit that this map is a lot easier to balance than the BH&GF War map. As mentioned before, the map is quite symmetrical.
We do have to ensure that access to 'seduce' and 'control animal' is equal, as well as the strength of units in recruitment sites. Enginerd has been very helpful already with pointing out some issues. Anyway, I hope to upload an adjusted version later today!

Sounds good! Ladies and gentlemen, this was TNS for you today! With two more games in the running, it won't be long before the next round will start!

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 11-01-09 11:31 AM EDT (US)     196 / 244  
Personally I hope to see the end of jamesede's match, if only for the turnlogs... One of the few matches I really follow, thanks to his brilliant logging.

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 11-02-09 09:35 AM EDT (US)     197 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, the first round of tweaks to the Lion, Witch and Warfare-map are announced! Please check them out on the downloads page.

Changes include:
- Starting units: (Lion) removed Nymph + added panther (Witch) Added Spy + Bladedancer Removed Chaos Spawn)
- Starting spells: both removed
- Skills: (Witch) Changed Conqueror to Channeler
- Cities: added temple to Dwarf village.
- Campsite: (refuge units) rebalanced
- Recruit sites: (NE) Removed Lady of Pain Added Butcher + Orc Assassin
Feedback is welcome!

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 11-04-09 09:33 AM EDT (US)     198 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TNS!
The game between Charx and Vovy has finally ended. Judging from the descriptions it was a hard-fought battle with both luck and strong play being decisive factors!
We have Swolte on the show to briefly discuss tournament progress! Swolte, welcome, what is next?
Well, it's unpopular, but we will have to stop the match between JamesEde and Smuki, and leave the decision up to the judges. It's only on day 13 and it doesn't look like the match will end anytime soon.

People have requested the match to be continued because of the logs.
Don't get me wrong, the match itself can continue, but the outcome simply won't be valid for tournament purposes.
You will be able to enjoy the outcome of the match that way, if both players decide to continue!

It will take some of the spice out...
Yes, it probably will. However, the alternative is to needlessly risk delaying the entire tournament for another week. Unlike the game with Charx and Vovy, I have no indication that this game is about to end, nor that its turns are speeding up tremendously.

Very well, is the map ready for the next round?
We definitely had more feedback, so the map that has been uploaded now can be considered as final. I haven't received any feedback since, so if you have pressing issues, we would need to know sooner than later! Also, if something comes up at this point, we will only correct BIG issues.

I guess the judging would need to be set in motion now? I'll let you get to that!
Thank you for coming to the show. Ladies and gentlemen, stay tuned as the quarter finals are about to begin!

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 11-04-2009 @ 09:36 AM).]

posted 11-04-09 07:45 PM EDT (US)     199 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, the second round of the 1v1 PBEM tournament has officially ended.

SMUki has just conceded the game against JamesEde, who will now advance to the quarter finals, and face Morgul666!

My sources tell me that the organizers will wait one more day for feedback on the map, after which it will be released and a randomization of - who plays what side - will be performed.

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 11-05-09 09:39 PM EDT (US)     200 / 244  
Yes, yes, that’s it… now try it again.

Yes, Master… (looking into crystal ball)... I see... er... Um... I... see... mists?

Well, that’s better than the fog you saw earlier , you’ll just have to practice more. Now, tell me about your interview.

Yes, Master, it went well enough, I answered the questions and tried to give a thorough analysis.

Yes, but we still need some flair to it. Are you ready to try out the poll prediction results for Round 2, the scroll is ready to show them how well the players did.

There were 17 poll prediction forms turned in and no one guessed every game correctly.... and there was no one that missed every game as well. Most players did really well and there were four players who predicted 7 of the 8 games correctly (Charx, Timelord, Albaron and JamesEde). These four players did well and surprisingly enough, they each guessed a different game incorrectly

Good, good, now, add some flair to it, come on, you can do it

Most of the players did really well with their predictions but two poor souls were betting against the odds and only managed 5 correct guesses between them


And… what Master?

And the flair!!! Come on…. hit them with it!

er… um… flair … ok… And we won’t tell you who those two were.

*shakes head in disbelief*

Sorry Master, I didn’t want to embarrass anyone, was I supposed to tell them that Pawel only guessed 2 correctly?

Of course! But you can’t just say it, he’s already expecting it so you have to announce it with some flair, make it exciting somehow.

Well Master, how would you tell them about the person who only got three correct?

*cough, cough, clears throat* Of the seventeen players who resonded to the call, one stands out above the rest in his predictions. He looked into that crystal ball but apparently forgot the mirror effect when gazing and how everything gets reversed. He didn’t really mean to bet against Timelord but that’s exactly what he did. The promptings were all there, right in front of him, the mysteries had been removed, the oracle had spoken, but alas, now, we will never know what truths were lost.

*shakes head in disbelief* (I don’t think I understood any of that) Yes, Master. But who was it?

What? Who was what? Look , I don’t have time to go over every little detail. We still have this matter of some corrections to your predictions.

Corrections, Master?

Yes, of course, we need to add some flair to some of your predictions for the next round.

But Swolte and Timelord are sure to win and JamesEde is the slight favorite as is Enginerd.

Ah, yes, but you could have added some excitement or intrigue. Here, let me show you. The upcoming game between Enginerd and Costa is sure to be an exciting one. Yes, yes the polls have come out in favor of Enginerd but the crystal ball reveals something… interesting…. But I can’t tell you about that today. You see, the pollsters forgot that Costa was the runner up in the last tourney and lost to Swolte in the finals. Yes, yes, Enginerd has much confidence from his big win but one cannot forget the strength of the runner-up champion. We gaze into our crystal ball and see that this will be an exciting match.

Oh, oh, oh… and Enginerd is going to make another movie…

Movie… Hmmmmm…. Movie…. That’s it! I must get to work on my movie.

Master, but what about your book? It’s nearly finished.

Why, it’s a screenplay, not a book. Come we must get going, there is much to do for my new movie!
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