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map discussion: Snowflake12 (set 2, page 3, map 12)

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:43 am
by rhaining
I failed Snowflake12 (set 2, page 3, map 12) many times but finally found a solution. Screenshots:

I suspect there is a much better solution out there, as I suffered multiple setbacks and ended up relying on a massive gift from another AI player.

I was doing OK up until turn 11 or 12. I had viable, growing bases in the W, E, and SE wings of the snowflake. But dark green was doing even better than me with one big base larger than any of mine, and on his turn 12, he destroyed my L2 spearman in my E base. I made a questionable decision at that time to use my last remaining funds to create a single L3 knight and block dark green’s further advancement into my E base —- at the cost of being able to grow. My E base had 18 hexes so I was barely paying for the knight, but I did have a small cash reserve so he wasn’t tempted to take one hex to starve me. I could have risked growing with my knight, but it would have left my E base wide open to counter-attack. I couldn’t advance via the northern exit of my E base, as then dark green would have absolutely been tempted to destroy my castle and then ravage the whole base. I could risk advancing from the southern exit instead, but then I would be open to the whims of what dark green decided to do against my undefended north exit/entrance, and I didn’t feel like it was a good risk. So I ended up just sitting there, imperfectly guarding my E base with my L3 knight, guarding it well enough that I was confident dark green would attack other things, but I was stuck unable to grow from that base while dark green got more and more powerful.

Instead, I tried to grow towards my E base from my other two bases. If I could connect them, I could break the stalemate. My SE base was closest, but couldn’t support a L3 knight, and my best attempt to join bases was crushed when dark green destroyed both of my troops on his turn 15, blocking the way to connect these bases.

At this point, it looked like the map was lost. I thought I had one remote chance, which was to grow all the way across the map from my W base to my other bases. I started to make slow progress, building a chain of castles, always set back one hex from the border to avoid immediate destruction by dark green. But it was taking too long and I was on a losing trajectory.

Then I had a major break. Dark green savaged my SE base on his turn 17 —- and immediately after he did that, yellow starved his massive army. This was a major turning point and gave me enough of an advantage to turn the tables and ultimately win the map. I hate having relied on it, but there it is. (I’m not interested to replay won maps to find better solutions. If the iPad version had the ability to save multiple copies of a given game, to replay a game fully, and to jump in at any point in a game and start playing a new way from that point, then minimizing my score on a map would be tempting.)

It was by no means a gimme after that break though. I continued slowly building a castle chain across the map. I used this break to finally begin expanding from my E base too. Dark green immediately responded by creating a L4 super knight and directly destroying my L3 knight in the E base, which was an even worse move than losing his massive army in the first place. Because of this poor play, on his turn 19, I had the opportunity to starve 5 troops consuming 70 taxes with a single L1 grunt, wasting 2/3rds of his taxes that turn!! After that, he let me starve another, smaller army, and I was able to join all my bases on turn 23. The AI offered surrender on turn 27, and I finished off the map on turn 31.

Re: map discussion: Snowflake12 (set 2, page 3, map 12)

Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:21 pm
by Sauron
The snowflake sets were fun, like 23 I had surrender at 18, can't remember the strategy.

Re: map discussion: Snowflake12 (set 2, page 3, map 12)

Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:26 pm
by rhaining
Yea, me too, I also loved the Snowflakes set. It inspired me to try to make cool, zen arrangements of castles on the maps. :^)