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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 02-11-10 02:40 PM EDT (US)     241 / 244  
Welcome to the TNS show today and our Awards Ceremony. That’s right, you guessed it, we will be announcing all the awards and will officially crown our champion. We have a few special guests, let’s give a warm welcome to our finalists, Costa and Swolte. Welcome and thanks for coming on the show. First off, Congratulations to Costa for winning the tourney, well done mate! So how does it feel to be the champ?

(Costa) It feels great. I will have to struggle to keep both feet on the ground from now on…

Swolte, you were the defending champ, how does it feel be the runner up this time?

Not TOO bad, to be honest. I think the dominating feeling right now is pride in that the tourney went so well. I don’t really enjoy competitive play and I was quite nervous doing my turns at times. So, I also feel a bit relieved that that is over and that I can look forward to the mapmaking tournament.

I think I put up a good fight against Costa and I had anticipated the correct scenario. For example, had I gone for a long term strategy, I fear I would not have been able to win against all those animals. I would have played his game and it would have been long, aggravating, and painful for me. The way I played it, I was very, very close to a victory, but still… it just wasn’t enough. I didn’t have a lot of luck as well. I think I would have done the exact same thing if I were to replay the choices in my mind (knowing what I knew then). In other words, I didn’t do a lot of stupid things I have to feel really bad about.
It was clear I was up against a very good player, who was well prepared and so there is no shame in losing. Costa really showed off some excellent and solid play, kept his cool, and this makes him a worthy champion!

Let’s take a look at the journey both of you took in getting to the finals, let’s review the first round. Costa, you faced off against Torso, Toth and BadborreDK. Were there any great moments from those games, what did you think of Round 1?

(Costa) Round one was a lot of fun. Playing three games simultaneously gave me less time to prepare, and I decided for a strategy more or less from a quick look in the editor. It was quite some time since I last played AOW, so my play was not very good. Round 1 helped me get back in the game though. I also learned some new things from reading about other games and comments about strategies afterword. Especially the game between Swolte and Oleg on Rocky Divide gave me some new ideas on strategy. My toughest game in this round was definetely against Torso on Rocky Divide. This game could have gone both ways, and was decided more or less by luck. My favourite map was Rocky Divide with Mountain as a very good second choice.

Thanks, Swolte how about you? Your Round 1 was pretty tough. You faced off against Oleg, Charx and PawelS. What a tough schedule. What were some of the great memories or challenges with Round 1?

Well, I think the game against Oleg was a real wake up call for me. I lost fair and square and it was the only time I really felt I was outwitted – surprised! The thing was that I didn’t even play that bad but just not as sharp and focused as I can be. This was partly because I never heard of Oleg before and didn’t really bother to play-test or think very deeply about an opening strategy. But once I found out that he was so well prepared, I really played my best to save whatever I could! However, by that time, he had already managed to get a very strong positional and military advantage. I still managed to get very close to killing him, due to bad play on h is part and some effort on mine, but failed. Then he finished me off in one of those 1Hp battles. Argh, this was the most exciting game I had in the whole tournament. Obviously, I was very impressed with Oleg’s opening strategy - he took a great risk and deserves to win!

The game with PawelS was over because he killed himself early on. However, I was quite lucky in that game when it game to hero level-ups and such, and I think I would have won in the end. PawelS has really grown in the tournament, however, and now I think he has become a fearsome opponent! I remember playing some early prerelease v1.4 PBEM games against him and frankly… he was a horribly inefficient player. I can show you the most unbalanced random map in where he had this valley with 8 cities close together and I had only one city. He still managed to lose badly...
But now things have changed. Just look at some of the battles he fought with Naeco and Enginerd. Very impressive! He is one of my big surprises and if he keeps improving at the rate he is now, he will be a favourite for the 2010 title.

The game against Charx went ok. I was very unlucky in my battles and made some small mistakes, so had to rely on sneaky tricks and bluff more than I wanted. Charx gave up at a point where I had sneakily taken control of his capitol. I probably would have won, but I do think it was handed to me somewhat. To me, I mostly won that game on bluff as behind that invisible hero and one army, there wasn’t really much but a bunch of good ideas...

hehehe, Yeah, we just had to bring up the fact that Oleg came out of nowhere and beat you, and since then has shown he’s quite a player . Moving on, let’s look at the Round 2 games. Costa you faced off against Mr Lifford, who, er, um, got disqualified and we haven’t heard from since, ok, we don’t need to go there. Swolte, you had another tough match against Naeco. What are your thoughts on the Round 2 Match?

The match between Naeco and myself actually wasn’t that tough for me. After Oleg, I was poised to win and I meticulously prepared my turns. I felt I dominated very early on and Naeco didn’t really get a chance to put up a fight because I had the initiative from the beginning, and never let off the pressure! I had the position I liked best, played it really well by making good use of the mobility that Blackheart had, and also getting that bit of luck at times. If I had to pick one game as my best, it would have been this one. It went really smoothly and everything came together very nicely.

In Naeco’s defense, had he played Blackheart, I feel things would have been much tougher…

As we look at Round 3 things were shaping up nicely in this tourney with 8 good players left. Costa, you faced off against Enginerd in this round, was this just another easy victory like the rest or did this game really test you? Your thoughts?

(Costa) No, this was a real challenge. I actually predicted in the poll that Enginerd would beat me in this game... The fact that I saw myself as an underdog forced me to playtest a lot, and to sharpen up during the game. The game was decided by a stale mate situation where I drew the longest straw.

Swolte, you faced off against Lord Duck, and almost gave the game away. And then you pulled off an exciting victory. Can you add any more to this exciting round?

Well, this was the only game where I really felt stupid! I had a wonderful position, and simply gave it up by ignoring basic scouting rules. It was overconfident and careless!

However, the fact that LD had so much at that one spot also told me a lot. One of them was that he must have been expanding quite slowly, and not take many other villages and structures as a price. As a result, I knew my economy was stronger! Knowing that hasted cave crawlers in the underground consume 2MP/hex really lends for counterstrategies which are almost impossible to counter. It sounds like I escaped through the eye of a needle after the loss of that great battle, but I think my chances were reasonable because of my economical advantage, and the positional advantage I quickly gained in the underground.

But, very exciting game…

Well, on to the semi-finals. Costa, you faced off against James, what kind of game was that for you?

(Costa) I tried to play it in a fast and aggressive way. I think JamesEde had a more slowly approach to the game, and he was doing better that me. That forced me to go for a sneak attack on his wizard. It was a suicide mission, but I managed to kill his wizard, and without a tower the victory was mine.

Swolte, your semi-final game ended on a sour note. Sad to see it end in a disqualification. But Costa, did you have a preference on who you faced in the Finals, did you think you had a better chance against Swolte or Timelord? What were your thoughts as you were preparing for that final match?

(Costa) I hoped to face Swolte. Partly because I wanted a rematch, and partly because it sounds hard to beat Timelord on his own map.

Well, that brings us to the finals. And it seems you guys made a great and detailed analysis of your game and with a little help from Enginerd we are here to announce one more video. That’s right, never before seen, we have the footage of your epic match. Let’s watch the video and then we’ll ask you about the game.

Wow, great video, what else can you add to your comments about the game?

(Costa) I do not have much more to comment. I like the map, and it was a good and exciting game. Swolte could actually have killed me on day 7 and probably had a decent chance of it again if I hadn’t attacked that last turn. All in all a game with a lot of nerve.

That was an awesome video!! Great work and commentaries! I am not sure what to add. I guess I never really got the Wizard tower to start with. I had two good chances for it when I blew the bomber and was able to capture both production resources (basically, a tower was the only structure I wanted and needed) but unfortunately, I had no luck there. I did get a Master's guild, but with my strategy I had little money to put it to use.

It's also great to see how Costa approached the map. He really went for the best targets in the map and I can see he was surprised to see me appear that early! Too bad I wasn't able to 'capitalize' on it. That moment when I saw another 5 crocs and druid being added to the defenses, making it a total of 10 crocs, was shocking!. Now speed was essential and I had to make a radical change! I canceled my casting of a (slow) spider and ended up using my freemovement spell on the Goblin tank and hero for increased speed. Very exciting game, as you all can see now!

Well, now that the tourney is over, what are you going to do? How will you fill the time? Will you come back next year?

(Costa) The ending of this tournament will surely give me some extra time. I plan to join some new pbems though, and should probably also spend some more time with my wife (in front of the TV). I will be back for sure in the next tournament.

Well, hopefully I will have time to work on the v15 patch. But, for sure, I’ll be joining the mapmaking tournament, continue my PBEM’s as well as prepare and join the 2010 PBEM singles tournament.

We’ve got several consolation games going on out there, they are for fun and we’re enjoying them. Is there any of those games that you find interesting or care to predict? Is there a certain matchup or rematch that you’d like to see that isn’t being played? Is there someone that you would like to play?

(Costa) It was a good idea with those consolation games, and I follow them all. I expect Enginerd and TroyLocker to win their games. I don’t want to challenge anyone right now, and I don’t think I will play Too Much water for a while. I need something different now, maybe some large map with several players…

Well, perhaps unrelated to the consolation matches, but I would like to put a challenge out there to people like Roger, Greenmonster, Dafyth, and Chascal to put their skills up to the test next year.

Great, looks like that could be a great story too, an in depth look at bringing veterans back to competitive play . Well, before we move to the awarding of the crown we want to turn our attention to our other guest and the winner of the best turn logs. That’s right, who would have thought it would be anyone else….

It's no surprise but we are pleased to announce that JamesEde is the winner of the Best Turn logs for the 2009 1v1 tourney. Congratulations James and well done. How does it feel to earn this award?

(James) Pretty good. I am looking forward to wearing the hat and explaining to everyone I meet exactly how I got it. Even if they don’t ask.

So, tell us about your inspiration for such creative turn logs? What made you do it?

(James) I didn’t figure I had much of a chance in making it very far in the tournament, but I knew about the turn log side-contest and thought I had a better shot at that. As it turns out, I made it much further than I expected, which was great because it gave me more opportunities to come up with different logs. I generally based them on movies or books. “Lion, Witch, Warfare” was based on Narnia, “Blackheart and Goodfella’s War” was based on the movie Goodfellas, “Colours of War” was based on the real life person Conrad Black. “Mountain of the Gods” started out with me trying to imitate the way that the narrator speaks at the end of Mad Max 3. My last log, for “Highway to Hell”, was an original attempt to move from comedy to tragedy. And then I lost, how tragic is that!

Which game did you have the most fun with? Which one did you really enjoy and why?

(James) That would probably be my logs for “Lion, Witch, Warfare”. I never really liked Narnia, and always resented those books getting compared to Tolkien. I mean, they’re just kids stuff, really. So it was a lot of fun to offer a revionist reading where Aslan was an oppressive theocrat and those annoying kids were ghoulish mercenaries. But I also enjoyed my Goodfella’s theme for “Blackheart and Goodfellas War”, cuz I got to do so much mother(censored) swearing!

As far as the gameplay goes I think the most exciting for me was also Lion, Witch, cuz Morgul gave me such a scare when he popped up in my domain. It was really close that one. Of course, Costa defeated me in the next round, but that happened so quick, our first contact essentially was him winning, that I never really sweated it much.

So, what can we expect in the future from you? Are all your games going to filled with such fun and energy?

(James) No. I am much too busy these days for fun and energy. My turn logs, where I have time to make them, will generally consist of “Sorry for the delay”. I’m actually I’m amazed I found the time to answer this interview. I better get back to work.

Do you have any closing comments for us today?

(James) Since Timelord has yet to reappear and take up my challenge, I officially claim the title of 3rd place in the tournament. I intend to write this on my signature line as proof of the deadly power of the nerd killer.

*reporter trying to keep it together rolling on floor laughing* Thanks James, seems you’re just as colorful in your turn logs as you are in your interview. We really appreciate your responses.

*taking a more serious tone*

It is now time for us to crown the champion. A beautiful crown will be worn atop his head, along with eternal fame and glory. We now proceed to our special ceremony where we will *interruption*

Yes, yes, I am here now, we can start the ceremony

*shakes head in disbelief* Flander! What are you doing here, we’re right in the middle of the ceremony

Well it is MY tourney and I saw myself in my crystal ball this morning so I knew I had to be here for this. So, where is my crown? Oh, there it is, quite lovely and look it fits perfectly.

*reporter shaking, going red in the face, trying to hold it together* That’s it! I’ve had enough of you! I don’t care about your fireballs, TAKE THAT CROWN OFF AND GET OUT! OUT!

Master, Master, you’re late for your duel with your brother Flander the Knight. Come Master, we must go.

My duel? Oh, but of course, off we go my dear little boy, oh, here, you, yes you, the tourney organizer, take that shocked look off your face. Here, take this crown and do something with it.

*Flander and his apprentice walk off leaving Swolte holding the crown*

*whispering to Swolte* Psst, Go, give Costa the crown, see if you can save this ceremony from being a total embarrassment

*with great solemnity Swolte walks up behind Costa and places the crown on his head, Swolte then shakes his hand congratulates him, bows and steps away, motioning Costa to address the crowd*

(Costa) Thank you! I would also like to use this opportunity to give a big THANKS to the organizers!

Let’s have a round of applause for the 2009 1v1 Tourney Champion


*much singing and dancing and celebrations begin*
posted 02-11-10 03:45 PM EDT (US)     242 / 244  
Hmm, Flander the Wizard dueling with Flander the Knight... I think I know what the map that I'm going to make for this year's mapmaking tournament will look like

A proud member of the Unofficial Patch team.
Creator of the AoW1 Mod.
posted 02-11-10 06:05 PM EDT (US)     243 / 244  
Yes! I approve
posted 02-12-10 09:49 PM EDT (US)     244 / 244  
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to one of the last official TNS shows covering this 2009 PBEM Tournament! On the show we'll have Swolte to look back at the past few months and to look forward on what is to come. Swolte, welcome to the show!
Thank you!

So, now that things are closing down. How do you look back at this tournament? Are there things you would have done differently?
Not really much different as, overall, I am satisfied with how things went! As an organizer and player, I look back at this tournament with a very good feeling. Of course, we have a number of people to thank for that!

First and foremost, it was the players themselves! I think they have shown remarkable sportsmanship as well as great passion for the game. Most of the games had interesting logs (thank you, JamesEde - prizes will be sent soon!) and were very exciting to follow up to the finale! There was also a great willingness to be interviewed which also made the tournament a opportunity to get to know each other better. Not everyone got an interview, but I am sure that they will be more chances next year. I also thank all those players who shared their tactical insights after matches. In the end, I think that everyone who participated learned a great deal about the game. I definitely have! Next year, we can surely expect the expert level of play to rise!
One of the things I enjoyed seeing in particular was the forging of reputations. We started off with 30 names, of which most were relatively unknown! There was some criticism of the tournament being somewhat unrepresentative and bland because some of the veteran players didn't sign up. However, slowly but surely we began to see certain people pop out, and in games, some very good play was revealed. Personally, I can say that the level of play was quite high, especially near the end, and those veterans would have had a very hard time keeping their heads above water.
Cranberry was definitely the first surprise with a sensational triple win within an incredibly short timespan. We will see how he holds up this year. Another surprise was Vovy, who entered the competition in the last minute due to an early disqualification of another player. He appeared to be a Russian online champion, new to PBEM, who seemed unbeatable until he met Timelord.

Secondly, I would like to thank the mapmakers and testers who worked hard on getting the maps ready for this tournament. Some mapmakers have really gone out of their way in ensuring the maps are as balanced as they can be! Some of the maps have had multiple testgames played on them, and this gave us valuable feedback. I have large emails with lots of suggestions for excellent changes from the testers. Obviously, there were still issues with the maps, but all maps were so much better suited for tournaments compared to from what was released after the 2009 mapmaking competition! This year, we plan to have the maptesting to be even more intense, and with more checks. I was also glad that the mapmakers were (mostly very) proud that their map was used for the tournament! I think, because of their close involvement with the balancing process, we will see maps which are increasingly tournament-ready for the next mapmaking competition.
Also, it is great to see mapmakers, like Morgul666 for example, actually participate in the tournament and do really well. I found that participating in serious tournaments really teaches you invaluable lessons about map-design that you would otherwise simply not catch. Tournament play is competetive, and it is very different from the leisurely games we normally have. When you play at a level where every single move and battle matters, and you study the map in detail for your next move, you will really learn the importance of balanced mapdesign. I hope we will have even more mapmakers join in the next tournament!

Lastly, I would like to thank the judges and especially Enginerd who played a big role in the organization. His close involvement was not planned at all, as when we started I thought I was going to organize this all by myself! But Enginerd jumped in whenever there was help needed, and before I knew it, there were brilliant contributions to the organization (Swiss system, etc...), as well as news network (Flanders). His passion made it possible for us, for the first time in PBEM history, to actually see what went on in some of those PBEM games by uploading videos on UTube! It is great to have such capable Angels by your side, and we worked really well as a team! The tournament wouldn't have been the same without him and I hope we can continue like this next year as well.

A big compliment to the players, mapmakers and judges! What is next?

The mapmaking competition is next on the list. This will hopefully generate a lot of maps from which we will select the ones to be used in the 2010 PBEM tournament. I urge everyone who feels excited to make a map, to sign up. Please don't be intimidated by big mapmaking names appearing. In fact, being new may even have advantaged. Just keeping things simple and straightforward should give you a good chance that your map will qualify as a tournament map. So, even if you are new, it is unlikely you will win the mapmaking competition, but we may end up using the map anyway for the tournament!! Take Killkenny for example, who submitted his first ever made AOW-Sm map. It didn't win the competition but it was voted as one of the most popular maps to be played in the tournament! Most experienced mapmakers tend to make the maps too complicated and intricate, which is often not very practical for tournament maps. For those interested, you can already sign up here. A bigger announcement will follow soon on the main news.

Then, once the maps are selected, we will start an elaborate testing process. We will start the 2010 PBEM tournament next, obviously.

Thank you so much for this interview, Swolte. We, at TNS, would also like to thank our loyal viewers, whose warm comments have been very appreciated here with the TNS team. We will continue to cover the consolation matches and other competitions.
Thank you!

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
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