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The Haven AAR

PostPosted: 09 Jul 2013, 00:16
by Shibabalo
It was an exciting and tasty game for me! I'll get us started because nobody else has!

Year 1: The Beginning
The first thing I did was attempt to establish DMZs in MAW, STX, and Tim with the Leprechauns, Magicians, and Nomads respectively. I also arranged a one-fleet bounce in WSS with the Magicians. Once this was taken care of, I contacted the Samurai, Wizards, Pirates, and Trolls, among others, with just general early-game talk.
In the spring, the Magicians stabbed me by supporting themselves into WSS. Now, I knew that if this was a one-on-one, I would lose. They had the upper hand. So, I had two options: make peace with the Magicians or get the Trolls to attack them from the north. I pursued both diplomatic options simultaneously, hoping one to work. They both did.
I got one build, Ter.

Year 2: The Trolls Come Through
The Trolls, now my closest ally, attacked the Magicians full-force, while the Magicians called off their attack on me. In return, however, I had to build an army, not a fleet, and thus could do little to attack them. No matter; I got Old unchallenged.

Year 3: The Year Without a Build
Things were slow going against the Magicians. Although the Trolls managed to slip into a Magician supply center, this was the year I didn't get any builds.

Year 4: Switching Gears
This year, the Magicians were eliminated--although I never actually took any of their supply centers. That was done by the Trolls and Samurai. I did, however, manage to slip into Rogue-controlled Dar with the help of the Dwarves.

Year 5: The Mauling
...and then everybody beat my zombified ass. Trolls, Dwarves, Samurai, you name it. I needed a plan, and fast. I came up with two plans to survive: one, offer to be the Dwarves' vassal. This meant that they would let me keep one supply center, and in return I would use that unit to appear in the middle of their enemies' territory. He agreed, and proposed Cae to be my supply center. I couldn't exactly argue, so I went for it, helping finish off the Faeries. My other plan entered operation during the winter of this year, when I built an Undead army in Samurai-controlled Lub. F*ck yeah!

Year 6: The Frantic Negotiations
I kept talking with Dwarves, and began speaking with the Ogres. The Ogres were to become my only real ally in the endgame. (Dwarves stabbed me and took Cae later, the little asshole.) I managed to take Tua with the Ogres' help, and kept Tua and/or Lub until....

Year 9: Death Once Again
The Samurai finally finish off the Ogres and I simultaneously, and that was the game for me.

A very enjoyable game, as well! Thanks UpQuark!

Re: The Haven AAR

PostPosted: 11 Jul 2013, 07:16
by AardvarkArmy

Sooo… For Centaurs, this game began with a grand triple alliance: the Awesome Arctic Alliance, consisting of Centaurs, Knights and Barbarians. The idea was, we would all put the frozen shores of CRY at our backs and march south in parallel. It was an especially appealing plan, because I considered Girion and Flatley to be among the most fearsome players I have ever played against, so better to have them as allies!

Then… in ’01, the plan fell apart before it could really get started. Flatley botched his starting orders, and Girion had already privately expressed to me a preference for a two-some rather than a three-some. So, we invited Gnomes into the three-way Arctic alliance and stabbed Barbarians. He would be the first player eliminated from the game.

As ’02 began, it was already apparent that Gnome’s late entry into the alliance had left him a step behind, and he also botched a critical support order. So, with the knowledge that he was pinned weakly against Archers, and with the pretense of his misfire, I decided to knock him out and inform Girion that I was now in agreement with his original two-way proposal.

’03 was the year of the Mouse. I had had bittersweet relations with my southern Rogue neighbor. I never really trusted him, and there was a lot of muddled communications involving Trolls, but the Rogues seemed to be focusing his attentions elsewhere. By ’03, he was a little too focused elsewhere, and had left TSC undefended. It looked like a strategically valuable position, so I grabbed it.

’04 was when I saved the best for last. I had noticed… or perhaps arranged?... for Knights to be a bit bogged down in his fight with Faeries and Archers – he had left much of our border undefended as he rushed troops to the front. I had also carefully placed a couple of units where NO ONE but me could see their true locations, then provided Girion with a map that, well, “mis-placed” those two units by a notch (the joys of!). Before he even knew there was a threat on his border, I was sitting in two of his home centers, WIN and GRW, with the third – ABB – cut off and defenseless, to be claimed the following year. With no way to build, the game was over for Knights at that instant, though to his credit, Girion hung on to counter-attack for three solid years.


Having swallowed all of my allies, I suddenly found I had no friends, and there was an effort to organize an Archer, Faerie, Knight, Rogue, Troll effort against me. It very nearly succeeded. I was stopped cold in my tracks, without a build for several years, while Archers outpaced my growth, Faeries spearheaded an attack that nearly reached my home shores, and Trolls pinned down a sizeable share of my forces. I was beginning to wonder if one stab too many in the early years was going to cost me the game. Then….


The pressure began to ease. Trolls began to collapse, and I staged a successful counterattack to push the Faeries back across the sea to their homeland. It was about that time that Samurai and Dwarves reached out to me regarding a three-legged global alliance. Samurai was always too far away from me to directly benefit one another, but Dwarves and I began to coordinate effectively against Trolls, then Faeries, then Archers.

Samurai had been the point leader in the game almost from the beginning, so there were always some concerns of a solo run. But Dwarves were never too far behind in numbers, and after my years of stalemate, I began to catch up very quickly. There was some talk of a four-way, to include Archers, and Archers also floated various alternate three-ways ideas (e.g., three to take down Samurai). But nothing much ever came of those discussions.

Archers tried to use the threat/fear of a Samurai solo as a tool for survival, and Dwarves and I knew we were taking a calculated risk. But, in the end, Dwarves and I were able to plug some key weaknesses, and when Samurai took one shot at a stab, it proved to be relatively insubstantial. While Samurai clearly had the best position, Dwarves and I combined out-numbered him by 20 centers, so we always felt confident that we could hold the line and enforce a draw.


Early in the game, I found my “special power” to be relatively useless… I couldn’t get the darned owl out far enough to see anything that my regular units couldn’t already see. In the last 4 years or so, I found my owl to be VERY useful, flying surveillance behind Archer lines to know where his supporting positions were (and ending the game taking position to monitor Samurai troop movements). But throughout the mid-game, I reached the conclusion that the real benefit of the Owl was that it may have prevented some players from lying to me about troop locations. -- I think some neighbors may have been afraid of getting caught in a lie if my Owl saw a unit where it wasn’t supposed to be.


I almost didn’t play this game. I usually favor games on a real-world map, where I can be “Emperor of Japan” or “Sultan of Turkey.” The fantasy-base of this game, and the special powers didn’t appeal top me. I was the last player to join, after a few others twisted my arm to jump in, but I have to say that it ended up being one of the most enjoyable games I have ever played.

Thank you UpQuark for putting soooooo much work into this! It was an awesome game!

Signing Off,
Centaur and His Owl

Re: The Haven AAR

PostPosted: 11 Jul 2013, 23:52
by Pharaoh of nerds
I got eliminated pretty early, and all the old maps from my PMs were deleted in the Great Crash, but here's what I remember. The Hobbits weren't replying to any of my messages so I started off planning to attack them. I tried to organize a coalition against them with some of my neighbors. The Samurai seemed to be on board, but the Pirates didn't seem to want to open South. Meanwhile to my southwest, I plotted with the Elves to eliminate the Nomads from our region. I either supported them to AUR while they took VLH, or I took VLH and supported them to AUR. I don't remember which, but regardless, the Nomads survived with FOC.
I got into a gridlock with no progress against the Hobbits when the pieces started falling around me. First the Elves stabbed me and forced me to keep a bunch of units to my southwest to hold the line there, then the Pirates attacked me from the East, and finally Dwarvish fleets appeared out of the fog and descended on me from the North.

Re: The Haven AAR

PostPosted: 12 Jul 2013, 01:04
by Shibabalo
Pharaoh of nerds wrote:and finally Dwarvish fleets appeared out of the fog and descended on me from the North.

Not sure why I know this, but I believe it was Archer fleets that appeared out of the fog and descended on you from the North.

Re: The Haven AAR

PostPosted: 12 Jul 2013, 01:04
by Pharaoh of nerds
Shibabalo wrote:
Pharaoh of nerds wrote:and finally Dwarvish fleets appeared out of the fog and descended on me from the North.

Not sure why I know this, but I believe it was Archer fleets that appeared out of the fog and descended on you from the North.

It might have been, yeah. As I said, I don't have the maps, so I can't go back and check.

Re: The Haven AAR

PostPosted: 12 Jul 2013, 02:03
by Mouse
It all seems so long ago. Lets see… there were Trolls, Centaurs, Fairies, Nomads, Magicians, Undead, and Dwarves. The Rogues directly encountered these seven races. Indirectly we dealt with the Archers & Knights.

The most notable of my diplomacy was with the Nomads. The Nomads had asked the Rogues to essentially unite their four locations through the Rogue lands. Their plan was to sail through the straits that lay between the Rogue and Fairy lands. The Nomads also had their eye on two supply centers on the continent where the Rogues resided. The whole idea was horrifying to the Rogues. The Nomads tripling their numbers on the Rogue continent, being able to build anywhere, and then bring additional forces down into the area? This prompted a war and a series of diplomatic attempts to have not only the Nomads eliminated in the close vicinity, but have other Nomad outposts attacked.

The Fairies were an ally out of the gate. The entire idea was to reduce tension on our border so we could concentrate elsewhere. This worked to a large degree. What did happen unfortunately was the Rogues grew a bit lax in communication which made the Fairies untrusting and open to outside manipulation. In the end they did the deathblow to the Rogues.

The Rogues never trusted the Trolls. The Trolls moved north to be adjacent to a Rogue supply center early in the game. The Rogues created a FAKE map indicating that all the supply centers were covered. The Rogues claimed that they would do a double bounce to keep the Trolls out. In reality it was not possible since the Rogue units were elsewhere (but the Trolls didn’t know). The Rogues moved into Troll lands to solidify an alliance with the Centaurs. Unfortunately, no help actually arrived and the movement was too weak.

The Centaurs and Rogues grew from a non-aggression pact into an alliance, but there was actual minimum coordinated work between the two powers. In the end the Centaurs recognized the futility of aiding the Rogues against such overwhelming forces that were attacking from all sides.

The Magicians were victims and fighting for their own survival. The Rogues crossed their path, but generally it was non-aggressive.

The Undead appeared late in the Rogue’s life. They promised aid, but in reality were part of an alliance that destroyed the Rogues.

The Dwarves convoyed onto the Rogue continent. This is what started the fall of the Rogues. It was shear luck that the army landed since the Rogues really opted not to cover the supply center. It was against our nature to leave a supply center uncovered when a fleet arrived next to it, but sometimes all you need is one bad misfortune to crumble or luck for the Dwarves to succeed. Once the Dwarves had landed on the continent, they had diplomatic leverage to convince other powers to attack the Rogues. The craziest thing was that after sneaking into the supply center, the Dwarves (and their allies) wanted the Rogues to throw all their forces at the Centaurs leaving all the supply centers adjacent to the Dwarves unoccupied. Essentially suicide the Rogues. Ethics and pride put a stop to such notions. Better to die honorably than to freely give up all the centers.

The Rogues discussed plans with the Knights and Archers throughout their life, but like all the other powers, this slowed.

The Rogues grew pretty fast and were well situated early game. They had growth potential and a pretty solid hold of the northern parts of the continent and was able to start moving south down the Eastern coast. There are really two things that led to the Rogue demise; 1. The lack of sharing maps with other players and; 2. Slowing down of communications.

Honestly, I do not care for Haven being FoW. As mentioned above, since I didn’t believe in sharing maps regularly (sort of defeated the purpose of FoW in my mind), it was really the top reason for diplomatic stress with allies. Even those that were not adjacent to the Rogues such as the Archers had issues with the lack of turning over my maps to them. FoW Haven Gunboat would be cool.

Re: The Haven AAR

PostPosted: 12 Jul 2013, 12:47
by Girion
It was some time before I left but will try to write down what I remember.

To begin with I got the Knight, I would stil probably consider them the best race on the paper (whch is good as long as no one else notices it). They got an ok starting position, not to many neighbours and also an good chance of taking two centers early. Most importantly though, they had an really good abilitym that scaled well with an growing empire. The Centaurs for example would still have one owl whenever they ahd 5 or 20 units,the centaurs had the possibility to have an loot of thoose 20 units knights with the charge ability, it would be an great advantage in the late game.

Now in the beginning I ended up neighbour with Flatley and AA, something I did not really like, AA was very quick to propose the AAA (Awsome arctic alliance) between the 3 of us. Flatley was however very late to answer and I myself pushed for including BigeBert as Gnomes instead, I just didn't want to see Flatley surviving for long when he was that close to my starting territory and also he had an race that woudl scale good as time progressed. I belived that BigBert would fill the same purpose after and quick elimination of Flatley where the 3 of us would cover the arctic circle and the roll down over the globe.

In the end Flatley who had little time to prepared when he started talking did not make the moves we had hoped and was replaced with BigBert and eliminated by the second year.

After that things went well for some time except that AA was just a little bit more successfull then the other two of us, and the suddenly he also stabbed BB as well. I didn't liek that decided to stick with AA, I don't really remember what happened but think that he was included and stabbed yet again, things were kinda comlicated. Most importantly I faced an joint faery-archer alliance that seemed to have nothing in there back and made no progress (ironically I had encouraged that alliance in the beginning).

Somewere at that point I was stabbed by AA though, I had thought that something like this might have happened when I got stuck and made no progress but had no time or units to prepare. AA gave some kind of reason that he had almost sure intel from somebody else that I was going to turn on him, which was not true, I had to plans, stab him early, or let the alliance last towards close to the end. Still I admit it was an well timed stab, that in case he had other allies or could survive without gave him an very strong position, and it seems he managed quite well from there.

In the end I was kinda lazy throughout the game, I never got around to gather as much intel that I set out to do but mostly relied on my allies for intel, neither did I get around to learn how to create an fake map. It's an game that allows to trick people really hard, something I never really got around to plan out. Still it was quite fun to play FOW, and most important lots of creds to Upquark for managing everything.

Re: The Haven AAR

PostPosted: 12 Jul 2013, 20:38
by connect4
Mouse wrote:FoW Haven Gunboat would be cool.

Don't tempt me to run this... :P

Re: The Haven AAR

PostPosted: 12 Jul 2013, 23:24
by Mouse
UpQuark, as always, did a masterful job of running the variant. Regardless, it is not a true FoW if everyone is simply passing maps around AND it is expected for maps to be exchanged. It becomes a quasi-FoW. I think let it be a true FoW which is gunboat or no FoW regular. Haven FoW Gunboat would be amazingly stressful strategically, but at the same time perhaps more comfortable to play since there is less required diplomacy (given that Haven is a player intensive variant).

Re: The Haven AAR

PostPosted: 12 Jul 2013, 23:39
by AardvarkArmy
I'm liking this idea! Kinda fits with us all being different species - one could imagine that Centaurs don't know how to communicate with Faeries or Undead or whatever. We just encounter enemies along our way. Following the same logic - perhaps we don't know the special powers of opponents we meet until the first time those powers are used against us! OMG! IT would be TERRIFYING forging into the fog with no idea what we might encounter. Aaaaaaawesome!