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ITES - the Staznagorian Perspective Fri, 10 September 2004 08:37
Staz is currently offline Staz

 
Lieutenant

Messages: 514
Registered: November 2003
Location: UK
As things went badly wrong for me in this game I thought I should post my account of what happened during the game....

Race design:

One-immune, one-narrow IT, almost everything sacrificed for best possible factories. Wide grav, temp immune, rad narrow and shifted way left so we can take almost any low rad planet, but nothing else. Perfect for intersettling.

Game strategy:

Be friends with everyone, intersettle with everyone, build a monster economy. Intention is for every other player to want me on their team, so I can chose the winning team. Avoid warfighting wherever possible, and rely on diplomacy and economic power.

Game commentary:

Things went well to start off with, with "friendship pacts" arranged with several races and good relations built with most others (8 races set to friend quite early). There was lots of pressure from all other players from early on to commit to full team membership which we avoided where possible. Intersettling with several races (particularly the Vader who otherwise were boxed in by us).

We soon discovered that the Bielorussians were HE and so could only get 50% out of each planet, which in a game like ITES is just silly, so we encouraged all their neighbours to attack them. This created a nice void that several of us were able to expand into.

Foolishly I asked the host for a clarification of the rules on team memberships, leading to a ruling that only full team members can be set to "friend". This blew apart my game strategy, so I queried with the host whether I could keep my existing "friend" statuses - this was done by private email because I was in fragile negotiations with many races at that time, and was also a difficult conversation because the host's race was one of the ones that was pressuring me to commit to team membership. The host told me that it was OK to keep other players set to "friend" as long as my team-mates said it was OK.

When scores went public in 2420 I realised that a combination of Staz, Fools and Uppis Duppis would very strong, especially with Hyperions on board as warmonger. Unfortunately the Uppis were also discussing with the Tarvey and Faerie (and me) about joining that team so I had to be very careful. Before I asked the Uppis to join me and the Fools/Hyperions (which would probably kill my relationship with the Tarvey/Faeries) I committed to a team with the Fools & Hyperions.

Unfortunately the Uppis turned us down, saying that the combination would be unbeatable and leading to a boring game. I was already committed to the Hyperions and Fools, so we had to look at alternatives. The Dyrhamanians were on a team with the Vader already, and that left the 255. The 255 economy was really weak, but at least they were an AR. However, they really had no-where else to go so we felt we could just hold the spot open for them and invite them to join fully at a later date if no better opportunity presented itself. In the meantime we maintained good relations with them without ever making any team commitments to them.

Shortly after this, the Tarveys and Faeries joined with the Uppis and Zorn, creating the team known as FUTZ from that point on. The Faeries and Tarveys also gave me notice that I had to vacate my planets in their space. FUTZ then launched surprise attacks against the Hyperions and Fools.

I resisted calls from my team-mates to join them in the war against FUTZ, arguing that it was better to build my strength and prepare for a surprise attack using my remaining stargates in Tarvey/Faerie territory. Unfortunately such a surprise attack would require diverting Hyperion or Fool warfleets from the exsting front line (as building my own warships would ruin the surprise), and this was never possible.

We tried a deception where we would feign war between us and the Hyperions to allow me to build warships without alerting FUTZ, but they saw straight through that. Eventually we ran out of time as FUTZ attacked me directly.

Shortly before I was pulled into the war I was able to co-ordinate a multi-way non-agression-pact by all five of my remaining friends, hopefully ensuring that there would be no in-fighting between the opponents of the FUTZ team which was looking increasingly powerful and agressive (specifically the Uppis were starting to look almost unstoppable).

Things were looking pretty good at this point - there were 6 of us in a loose alliance against the 4 FUTZ members, we had 2 ARs and so could get our own mineral fountains up and running, and we had just scored our first major successes, clearing the Uppis out of Zuchinni and the surrounding region. During this small campaign we got a bit of a shock when we saw Superlatanium armour on an Uppis death star and realised he was only a couple of years away from having Nubians.

Then things fell apart.

The Uppis, presumbably seeing at least 4 races using my gates, complained to the host. More rules clarifications followed, along with promises to close down any additional "loop-holes", effectively forcing me to decide on a team and tell everyone else that they weren't on it.

Because I was committed to the Hyperions and Fools, this meant I would have had to tell the Vader and Dyrhamanians that although I had allowed them to believe I was on their team, actually I wasn't. I was heavily intersettled with both of them, and I was confident that at best they would order me to vacate my
planets in their space - at worst it would be war. Since the majortity of my planets were intersettled with theirs this would be disastrous for my economy. Whatever happened, FUTZ would benefit greatly and the game would almost certainly be lost.

After a long week-end of agonising deliberations I hit upon a potential solution. The Vader, Dyrhamanians, Fools and Hyperions could form a team and I could support them as an ally rather than a team-member. It meant giving up any hope of victory for myself but I had already proved what I wanted to (I was in #1 place with the largest economy) and although I couldn't win I could help beat FUTZ and therefore not be on the losing team either. I could form a team with the 255 (they only other player) but it was probably better for both of us to stay independent and hope a slot opened in one of the main teams.

Unfortunately my motives were questioned and very quickly everyone stopped talking to me. The Hyperions began planning attacks on my planets in their space. My former friends negotiated a truce with FUTZ, leaving the full weight of the Uppis nubians (with help from their allies) bearing down on the Staznagorians.

This was also the holiday season and so the game pretty much stopped for 3 weeks. The game was restarted early before I got back from my holiday, and so 2 turns were backed out by the host. This was really bad timing for the Hyperions who had launched a surprise attack against me in the backed-out turns. Also at this time the Fools dropped from the game.

By this point I had lost all appetite for the game, and from conversations with others it seemed I wasn't alone, and the game was wound-up a turn or so later.

Other comments:

As the game finished I was in #1 position with 94k resources and 74 planets. After completion of terraforming and factory building these planets would have produced 233k resources, well above the 187k required per team-member for the target of 750k. I had also caught every MT so far, and my gate network was extensive enough that it was likely I would catch any others that came through.



[Updated on: Fri, 10 September 2004 09:36]

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