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Tips for RIPL please
Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:09 pm
This is the only map that has defeated me so far
Re: Tips for RIPL please
Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:39 pm
In another thread on this forum, Fusion_power gave a small hint that was super helpful to me to finally find a winning strategy for Ripl. Here is a more detailed explanation of one way to beat this map. (Consider yourself spoiler-warned!)
Per Fusion_power's hint, I moved troops from the center and from the SW towards the center bottom, making sure to keep my capital located in the center bottom. I still had lands in the SW peninsula but they were undefended and starting to get overrun by trees, but I left them that way. The enemies on the SW peninsula were fighting one another and not very interested in conquering my easy-to-conquer forest. I built up a "profit fortress" near the center of the map (SW of center), protected by two castles, placed 3 spaces away from one another and 1 space in from the border each. (This is something I do frequently. Do I really need to spend that money? Because the AI seems to often ignore easily-conquerable lands. OTOH, it means I don't need to upgrade anyone to a L3 knight just to scare enemies away from attacking my lands, which means I have more taxes for more lesser troops to digest more land faster. Having the defensive castle wall 1 space in from the border also tends to make it uninteresting for enemy L3 knights to bother attacking, unless/until they play to attack en masse because they have nothing else better to do.)
In any case, with ~25 hexes just SW of center giving me a reliable income, I seized a moment to leap back into the SW peninsula and starve the main player there that was on the verge of conquering the entire peninsula and becoming a serious threat to me. None of the mainland players bothered my profit fortress and I was able to digest the rest of the SW peninsula over ~5 turns. All this while, I did my best to keep my satellite territories alive and denying taxes as long as possible, though ultimately I was not able to find a way to save any of them.
By turn ~15, it was down to 4 main players, each in a different corner. I was the smallest of the 4 main powers in the SW corner, but by this point, it was clear I could win. (The AI even on the hardest difficulty does a terrible job of not overextending and preventing starvation.) The various powers each tried to take the center and each starved one another, until I was able to make a serious push to start devouring the 2nd smallest player (in the NW corner). A few times, I made a big circling move to starve a huge army that had extended too for into the center (both times from the NE corner), and I was able to starve huge numbers of troops with much less money, but both times I overextended to do so and ended up losing my encircling troops. This is rarely fatal as it means the contested lands begin filling up with trees and not producing taxes, but it probably does mean I could shave 5+ days off my full solve time (34 turns -- others have done it in much less).
By turn ~25, I was easily devouring the NW corner while also securing the center, and from there, I declined surrender and mopped up the map. Never made a L4 troop and only made several L3 troops to try to accelerate the mopping.