map discussion: Spiderman (set 2, page 7, map 19)

Conquer the island
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map discussion: Spiderman (set 2, page 7, map 19)

Post by rhaining » Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:54 pm

Spiderman (set 2, page 7, map 19) gave me a fair amount of trouble. I had planned to take screenshots and post them, but it's a PITA to take screenshots for every trial run and I ended up winning on one of my trial runs. Here's what I can remember about it in case this helps others.

You start with 5 2-hex territories without trees. With 4 of these bases (2 on the west coast, 1 below center of the map on Spiderman's leg, and 1 towards the NE in Spiderman's body), I saved up for castles on turn 4, then bought L1 grunts as soon as I could afford them after that and started taking hexes near the castles. Ultimately, I ended up losing all of these bases roughly around turn 13. At the 5th 2-hex base in the NW, I bought an L1 grunt on turn 1 and started expanding right away, only to have the base entirely destroyed around turn 7. (IIRC, in prior attempts, I had tried expanding quickly with the first 4 bases with worse results, and IIRC the 5th base doesn't survive long enough to build a castle if you try to save for one.)

The primary base is down south with 3 hexes but one of them has a tree and it only has 10 starting money. It is near a 2-hex base that also starts with a tree and only 5 money. In previous attempts, I joined these 2 bases ASAP but didn't end up winning. In my successful attempt, I held off joining these bases until turn 2-4 (don't remember which). IIRC I took a hex near my base then cleared a fir tree on my own territory before joining bases. At one point, I may have risked using 2x L1 grunts to expand a little faster and neither one got killed, or that may have been in a prior unsuccessful attempt. If I did that, it was only for 1 turn, and I then merged them into an L2 spearman. With my L2 spearman, I tried to prioritize going W / SW to conquer the toe first. I was able to mostly kill off one enemy territory but I was not able to conquer the toe quickly as brown (in the toe) also had an L2 spearman by this point. I was able to stay alive but lost territory (and my town hall) on my E / N flank. I left an opportunity for brown to overextend himself, he took it, and I starved his L2 spearman. But brown then built a castle and effectively walled me off from the toe for a very long time. Turning E / N, I starved multiple spearman from other players 2-3 more times, using an L2 spearman and an L1 grunt, and still no castles. When I was next able to afford a castle, I built a castle in opposition to brown's castle in the toe and that border was at stalemate for a very long time. So for now I was focused exclusively on going N up Spiderman's leg.

By now there were 3 larger AI players vying for supremacy in Spiderman's body. An AI player had a 7-hex circle with no troops to my north on Spiderman's leg (not his only territory). I thought for a while I would bypass this base and take more territory from the larger AI player beyond it, but I abandoned this strategy after a few turns as I would have had to have built several castles in the rear to safeguard my supply line and I'd rather put castles nearer the front lines. So I took a few turns to eat the 7-hex circle base. Now I had a significant chunk of the leg, and an L3 knight, but the front line was 4 hexes wide so the L3 knight couldn't defend all of it. So I built the occasional castle, always 1 hex back from the border, and advanced with my L3 knight and multiple L1 grunts protected by the knight.

Then one of the AI players (brown?) made a major push against another AI player in the NE part of Spiderman's body, and I pushed a long thread of L1 grunts northward from the left part of the leg to split his territory and starve his army. This worked, then he immediately built an L4 super knight to attack me, which was a mistake as it allowed me to immediately starve his troops again and waste most of his taxes. After ~4 big suicide starvation attacks in all, a lot of the AI player's territory was filling up with trees and I finally had a good toehold in Spiderman's body, protected by several castles. I then cut off a big-ish peninsula in the W (an arm?) and began digesting it over several turns. At some point the AI offered surrender. I pushed on to total victory on turn 42.

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