Part 197: Hinnom - Sauromatia Retrospective
Sauromatia is one of the top three nations in the age in the vanilla game and they're still top five with awesome mods. They were played by three players I like a great deal and are one of only two (and a half TheDemon) nations that posted until the end of the LP. Well done!
On a personal note, my alliance with Schneeble is what turned this game from unfun into a fantastic game. Having someone to discuss nefarious plans with really helped and at heart I think both Schneeble and I are team players so it was great to be able to have a sort of mini-team. It ended less well for everyone else (), but I wanted to thank Schneeble for making this game fun and for agreeing to smash all our pixel mans together while shouting PEW PEW PEW! instead of forcing a traditional boring grind on everyone.
Sauromatia really doesn't need much from its pretender. They don't have anything to speak of to bless and they get great paths. So the choice here was pretty good. The only thing they needed, E to forge hammers, they got, along with very nice scales and a sleeping pretender they could kit out to SC and provide high level access to paths they lacked.
I've already detailed the mistakes we all made when we were young. There's no need to dwell on them. When Dawkish and I could have pulled it out he got busy with work and you can see the attention that Xanrick and Schneeble paid was rewarded by victory.
I think entering the war in the first place was a good idea. Getting curb stomped by TheDemon is an excellent demonstration of just how good he is and why we ganged up on him. I didn't predict Feinne's clever double cross and I don't think Dawkish should have either.
Of course I'm a bit biased, but I think the end result showed that staying in the war and maintaining the long term alliance was also a good decision.
The Mictlan Threat
By the time came knocking, Schneeble was at the height of his powers. Fully immersed in mercenary shennanigans, he cleverly played us against each other, managing to gain territory with little loss.
Tactically he did well, driving off Mictlan without any substantial losses and efficiently husbanding his resources.
Where Schneeble failed (and I told him this at the time, because I am a stand up guy) was in being aggressive when the tide had turned. He could have captured Mictlan and far larger swathes of Mictlan's territory but he held back. He could have put up Well of Misery before I put up Forge of the Ancients, but he held back. If there is any criticism to be had of Schneeble's play it is that he lacks the requisite aggression needed to succeed consistently in Dom3.
Schneeble was wildly successful at diplomacy. He teamed up with me!
OK, maybe just a little more. The line Schneeble walked was very fine. Between teaming up with me outright, betraying me and allying with irony.or.death. He did it successfully and any failure in exploiting his advantages was more than made up for by his excellent diplomacy. He milked our alliance for all it was worth, getting all he could from my forge site, essentially using my pixel mans as a shield while he built up his strength. It was a brilliantly done use of a stronger ally and an excellent model for other players who want to just ride behind the curve, secretly building up to pass the leader in the stretch. Unfortunately for Schneeble (and everyone else), I had two of the best discount sites in the game.
Speaking of teaming up, the other thing that Schneeble did brilliantly was gang up on the leader when she was running away with the game. When the Zmeywaffe came calling, we linked arms and stood firm (with, again, me hearing the brunt of the attack). Credit as well to irony.or.death here. This is exactly what a 3v1 should look like when someone's running away with the game and really ought to be a model for how other players approach the game from a purely decision tree sort of perspective.
Well played Sauromatia. Well played indeed. Schneeble took the reigns of a reeling nation, conserved his forces, rebuilt his nation, walked the finest of diplomatic lines and emerged triumphant. Plus he was a ton of fun to play with.***
***this post is written entirely of my own free will. Keyser Soze does not have me locked in a basement. I am not writing this under duress. Do not send help. Repeat, do not send help. I am fine.