Reports from just finished LT57

For some people one of the most fun class of games in Longturn is a team game, and one just ended. Louis and Cgalik were kind enough to share their reports of the game and we are posting them here. Also, Hans Lemurson was making a day-by-day account as events were unfolding and his VERY detailed story can be found here.

In the end, team Hellcats achieved victory over Vectron's Imperial Navy.


Cgalik's report

We all started in a pretty concentrated cluster of islands. Illkachu and Hans at the center, with Yknot eventually next to Ste, Jwrober/Zoe near Xandr/ghamath. Besides these fronts, there was a only a handful of shared islands. kamblr and kevin, cgalik and bamskamp. (Part way through the game Louis replaced Illkachu, but he remained on our team and we enjoyed him observing on occasion as well in-game.)

I'm going purely off of memory here, so lots could be wrong.

Yknot, the newest player to the game ended up next to ste, a LT vet. Ste in the end had the best starting placement in the game and took full advantage. But after he settled all his land and top in land area, he come in and stole another island from Yknot in just a few turns. Hans came to the rescue with a boat load of v phalanx to pause the invasion until ste built up enough knights to easily knock out the last city on the island. Ste gained confidence with this and not too long after did a landing on a Hans' nearby island which included multiple empty cities. But Hans' had several units all hiding in one city and massacred ste's landing party. This gave Hans great confidence that he could farm away in peace. Only to find that ste came back with tons of knights and almost took the whole island in 2 turns. I advised Hans to rush migrants/settlers and burn the cities you can't keep, only to find that Knights don't kill population in this ruleset. Oops. Ste took 2 cities and only burned one. But Hans held one city on the island and got gunpowder the next turn so stopped the invasion. Ste had 2 cities and soon planted another. Ste #1 in most demographics at this point. Neither had democracy yet, so there was some intense diplomatic battles to prevent inciting. Ste pumped it full of migrants and the cost soon got too high. Hans got to demo first so then no longer needed the diplos, which allowed him to do a one way trireme+diplo incite attack on smaller city, but the RNG was not in our favor and both 40% chances failed. Soon ste was in democracy. Meanwhile Hans built up a catapult army... but not good against musks... Hans/ste did some squabbling over some hills/forest tiles with musks hoping to wear ste's units down... because...

Jwrober rushed to Frigates and built a small navy... sailed them quietly half way around the world and we pulled off a Frigate attack + musk invasion of a separate ste island. Taking two cities with not too many losses as we killed cities with archers, warriors that hadn't been upgraded to musks yet. We stalled here as they sailed in reinforcements. (But I wonder if we could have kept going...) But this gave louis a city where he pumped triremes. Several turns later on a nearby island with shallows we were able to do a 4 team dragoon/musk attack and take the whole small island in 1 turn. It was our team's highest moment. ste was no longer #1 and was on his heels. But this was near our weakest player Yknot, which made it tough to keep moving forward as was so far from Louis and Zoe. So this was as far as we ever pushed here.

Meanwhile back at the start for me, I did a loop around my island with longboat+settler to find nothing! I had the choice to come home to refuel or keep moving forward never to return... I moved forward and found land! Xandr's land! sad So I could either dump my settler on xandr's empty mountain and make him kill it... or drop off on the pole! So I "saved" my settler and dropped him off on the pole. I could go along the coast of the pole... but knew roughly what was there... or go to jwrober... or split the middle of the pole and see what was on the other side! Thus started a 30 turn journey through the center of the pole! :)

So meanwhile I still had found zero islands to settle to start. I missed a shallow tile by 1 nearby my homeland, that hans later found and settled. I tried again this time going farther out to find land! Hooray! I settled it and sent another longboat and settler... only to find I had company... bamskamp. I settled my second city.. and had trireme inside the city. But made my worst mistake of the game... I brought trireme out to kill xandr's longboat that was being used by bamskamp and got a kill and upgrade! But that left my city empty... which bams had a trireme+horse nearby and burned the city, and trireme (which I had rehomed) vanished. :_(. I would never have the upperhand again against bams. If I had this city it would have opened up a lot more options to me. But later I discovered bams had been settling these several islands for several turns, so had many more cities than me nearby. sad I founded one more dangerous city by a river next to bams, and spent tons of resources in the region. Luckily Hans' found one small island for me and I squeezed in 3 cities here. Ste was even seen supporting with horses, so I knew I had no great chance. All this war put me behind on homeland and I was a bottom third nation with little land and no hopes of catching great farmers like kevin551 and xandr. I dedicated the rest of the game to turtling up, farming and sending gold to teammates.

On the other side of the world, kamblr settled many islands right away with no battles. He also snuck a city next to kevin and caused him to take it out with dragoons later. Kamblr farmed very well, leading our team to Republic and Democracy and provided a lot of gold later in our team attack.

On another side of the world jwrober and zoe grab an island or two and settled it. Jwrober had only minor incidences against xandr. Xandr was top military building like 40 horses as we could see from demographics. This made him a terrible attack target, so jwrober went and raided ste with Frigates. :) But this left Jwrober's homeland with a lot of resources sucked from it.... Xandr farmed brilliantly and was the first in the game to Marines. In this ruleset, Marines had to be built fresh, not upgraded from other units. Xandr teamed up with ghamath with an impressive marines+cavalry+canons+destroyers attack on jwrober taking his cap in a single turn.

At this point we had watch ste build up a massive amount of units, and kevin be number one in demographics as he is the best farmer I know and had no interruptions and no visitors. Even with us taking 2.5 islands from ste he had more land than any of us... we knew we had lost as even the one front we were winning on ste was still looking good. And bams took my cities on our shared island already, so we were winning really on zero fronts. We had several great nations and econ, but low production and military.

But we choose to do one last Grand Attack...

And Louis and Hans got Marines at the same time.... We left the other team guessing where we were going to attack... we could try and take back jwrober's land, but wasn't of great gain to us, and we had already (internally) conceded our fate... so we decided like xandr went after jwrober who had helped go after ste... we would go after ghamath who helped attack jwrober.

Zoe build a fleet of ships and got Engineering, we upgraded them and attacked ghamath and successfully took most of his home island including his cap. It was a ton of fun and a successful team attack. :)

However, the next turn Louis' land (as expected) got invaded and 4 cities taken but not cap as enemy ran out of ships. We could have mounted a counter attack and save his cap and battle it out and probably win on his homeland.... but we had our fun, and decided to "Lay down our own king" (like in chess) and resign and shake hands.

Our opponents played great and earned a well deserved victory. I think we easily could have drawn it out (50 turns?) as it was probably like 55%/45% split, but we decided against it for a variety of reasons. Part me loves to fight to the last hidden partisan... but part of me also wants to actually help improve the game with writing a few patches. :)

Much thanks to kevin for leading a great team and putting up with me and my crap. hehe Kevin's won 2 out of 3 in the series so I have to face it that he might be better than me. :)

Much thanks to wieder for admin'ing (and moderating me and kevin's arguments lol) and playing for a few turns here and there for Kevin's team.

Much thanks to Ilkkachu who wrote the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) patch that fixed the migrant trick. It tested out wonderfully all game. Great job, Ilkkachu!

Last but not least, double thanks to louis94 who told me he was not going to play in this team game (for Real Life reasons) only to step in when Ilkkachu stepped out. He also managed to admin the other games, upgrade the website in the meantime. Louis94, MVP of LT for sure.

Thanks for the game!

Louis' report

The island I was awarded by the map generator was in the center of our team and didn't have the standard two small nearby islands one would expect from the game settings. I ended up settling one small island close to Hans, but this gave me just 20 cities. Several other players on the team had the same issue, and others failed to settle "their" islands in time or lost them early on. With the team behind in land area and not many fronts covered by strong players, our best chance was maybe to set up a strong attack to gain land early on. We failed to plan this and chose to farm instead, relying on the trade boost from Republic to outperform kings on the other team. We farmed for too long and xandr beat us all to Marines; and even knowing that the attack was coming we kept farming. No wonder we couldn't do anything when the attack came! (Ok, we did also take some cities, but looking back these were underpowered skirmishes compared to the general offensive needed to overcome our early game mistakes.)

Ruleset wise, this game had major changes with respect to LT51. The first was the nerfing of Fundamentalism, which from the must-have money mill of LT51 was turned into something much less useful. Except funda, all early mid game governments now have comparable strength and are viable options. ThOverall I think the LT57 ruleset was a nice improvement over LT51. Govs are balancing out and the seas are more interesting than ever. Hat tip to wieder for his work on LTT. Also many thanks to Ilkkachu for the WYSIWYG patch series and everyone who played this game in a fun and very respectful way (almost no RTS in 100 turns!!), from our eternal n00b cgalik to Kevin the best paranoid farmer in town. Special congratulations to panch who did great for his first game at this level.ey also have important limitations that make the race to late mid game govs more crucial. Of those, Democracy still appears to be the most powerful government and Federation was not used. Communism comes too late to be relevant, in order to get it you need to invest into tons of trade multiplier buildings (libraries, unis) that work best in demo anyway.

Apart from fixing Funda, the most important change in this game was probably the much slower tech rate. This made it possible to attack with Knights and Frigates before everyone had Musketeers or with Canons before Riflemen. It also made it much more important to choose the best research strategy, as there is no way one could get the needed tech quickly after an attack (though there were exceptions). I must say I enjoyed the dense fighting at all epochs, something that hadn't taken place in the two previous games. The Knights ended up working relatively well even if they would be OP for a land game; this is probably an example to follow for early game units.

I think that in this game there were several critical moments when one could attack with relatively few losses: Knights, Musketeers/Frigates and Marines. Later in the tech tree Fighters are probably another turning point, and so are Nukes. But with the higher tech costs games will rarely get that far. I would welcome changes to early game units making very early attacks viable. This game also saw more naval battles than there used to be, mostly fought between the two kinds of Caravels. The super-expensive and relatively weak Square-Rigged Caravel attracted sharp comments but was still built in great numbers to fend off pirates. Later ships have enough MP to sail between cities and avoided staying in open sea, so the number of battles decreased. Maybe modern units could progressively gain more fuel while keeping about the same range.

Destroyers are too expensive and are only useful when upgraded from Frigates. They should probably cost 60 shields instead of the current 70 because it's very hard to build a fleet after researching Engineering. Marines could be tuned down to compensate (5/4/3 maybe): they're currently both the best attackers (8A from the sea) and best defenders (5D) of their time.

Another unit change was unwanted: diplomats can establish embassies and investigate cities from the sea. I think investigating cities is good for island games since it makes it less of a gamble to attack with Frigates or Marines. Seaborne ambassadors take away the fun diplomat-and-phalanx-on-mountain game but also make it much easier to establish embassies. Both teams had full intel very quickly, which took some of the uncertainty away. I'm not sure if I liked it or not; this made large scale attacks maybe too predictable, but embassies are fun. One should probably find aim for a middle ground where it's possible to get embassies in island games, but not too easy either. I cannot think of a not-too-artificial way like forcing diplomats to sail on very slow and expensive ships.

Speaking of artificial ways, the trade bonus for occupied cities was both necessary (5% is more than the late game growth rate of 2.5%) and not so fun. The best way of making sure that cities are occupied is to have units capable of taking them. The trade bonus is just a noob trap because it's unusual, not very visible and the client doesn't understand it.

On the buildings side, I think the changes to banks and stocks worked very well. Somehow I was unable to celebrate at 20% lux without entertainers even with stocks and The Corporation. Maybe this was due to my large cities but I wasn't expecting this. Factories giving only +25% production favored city specialization but maybe late game unit costs would have required adjustments. However this was already fixed in LTT.

Overall I think the LT57 ruleset was a nice improvement over LT51. Govs are balancing out and the seas are more interesting than ever. Hat tip to wieder for his work on LTT. Also many thanks to Ilkkachu for the WYSIWYG patch series and everyone who played this game in a fun and very respectful way (almost no RTS in 100 turns!!), from our eternal n00b cgalik to Kevin the best paranoid farmer in town. Special congratulations to panch who did great for his first game at this level.

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