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Issue #4 - My Learning Games of Alamaze - Charles Mosteller
My Learning Games of Alamaze
Charles Mosteller

Game 5663 - Dwarves

My Dwarven forces are currently invading the region of Pellinor. It;s an uncontested invasion, though, because the player who started in that region dropped (or more likely, was dropped by the system, for not issuing turn orders there turns in a row). Being as how all six of my current games of Alamaze are for the purpose of me teaching myself how to play Alamaze, I consider them all to be learning games. In other words, game splayed with the express purpose of learning how to play Alamaze, rather than playing to win, per se.

Of the Alamaze kingdoms that I have tried my hand at, thus far, the Dwarves are not my favorite kingdom - not by a long shot. They just don’t feel Dwarvish enough, to suit my taste buds, though certain things about this kingdom do have a very Dwarvish feel to them. A couple of examples are:

#650 – Create Special Location (various) (Gold Mine for Dwarves), (but I’m limited to just one, and you can’t issue this particular order until Turn #4, at the earliest).

#599 – Dwarven Defenses (Dwarves only)

Because of the Dwarves great ability in working with stone, they may use this special order that will increase the defenses of a given Dwarven controlled population center by 4,000 at a cost of 10,000 gold. May only improve a pop center's defense through this order once a turn.

Headed into Turn #7.

Game 5684 - Underworld

My first real game of Alamaze, the game where things really started to click after about a half-dozen turns or so. Now headed into Turn #18. I’ve assassinated. I’ve kidnapped. I’ve executed prisoners. I’m in cahoots with the werewolf (Lycans) player, and I’m at war with the Elementalist, who just enjoyed the good fortune of having three of his kidnapped characters escape from my kingdom’s dungeon, before they could be executed a little later that same turn. Did I guard the prisoners? Nope, I failed to do that. ACK!! Headed into Turn #18.

Game 5693 - Underworld

Headed into Turn #20. I started a war with the Amazons, and both the Amazons and the Forgotten have declared me an enemy. The Amazons just took a town from me. The bastards! In the same turn, I sent Level 20 agents to assassinate four of that kingdom’s characters - a Duchess, two Baronesses, and a High Priestess. While I was at it, I also assassinated a Level 9 Free Traders agent on the same turn. I don’t know what that scoundrel was up to, nor do I really care. I wasn’t in the mood to be merciful, this most recent turn. They had better pray that I never figure out the military side of this game!

Game 5703 - Demon Princes

My favorite Alamaze game of the bunch, thus far. I flubbed one of my opening gambits with this kingdom, and I felt like a fish flopping out of the water. That was a few turns ago, though. Now, I’ve begun to unleash my kingdom’s most powerful characters against the Giants kingdom. Via demonic gates, the Demon Princes teleported into a Giants’ minor city. I rebelled it out of the Giants’ control, one turn, and the next turn, I usurped control of it.

Then, I built a castle there, this last turn. I also caused a Giants’ town to rebel, to aid my Atlantean ally’s emissaries in regaining control of that town that the dastardly Giants had previous invaded and seized. This isn’t the Jolly Green Giant that you might already be familiar with, depending upon your veggie preferences.

Having met my Early Strategic Objectives (ESO), my kingdom recently gained a fourth demon prince character. Yep, his ass is already deep in Giant territory. Let’s see how the Giants player deals with three more of his population centers being ripped from his clutches in the coming turn. Right now, fun as fuck is how I would describe playing the Demon Princes kingdom in Alamaze to be. I’m laughing my ass off, I’m having so much fun! We’re headed into Turn #13 with this game - and 13 sounds like it just might be my lucky number!

Game 5705 - Warlock

At the moment, this one is kind of a ho-hum game for me. I liked it, at the start, but circumstances and certain decisions on my part placed my kingdom in a state of relative poverty very early on. We’re heading into Turn #9 in this game, and I finally managed to gain control of the major city in my region, and control of my region, also. This one has been a casebook study in how NOT to play Alamaze, for me. But it’s all good and useful stuff for learning. I’m my own worst enemy in this one.

Game 5712 - Cimmerians

My newest game of Alamaze to start, we are heading into Turn #3. I’m making good use of my military groups to explore. All five of them have been moving around and searching for population centers. There’s been no real action in this game, yet.The next turn or three, most of my attention will likely be focused on gaining control of some Human-controlled and Neutral population centers, so that I may begin strengthening my kingdom’s economy with the gold and food produced by those towns, villages, and a minor city that are scattered throughout the region that most of my kingdom’s forces and assets start in.

I picked the Cimmerians kingdom to play in this game, to force myself to begin to come to terms more with the whole military side of the game. Unlike before in other games of Alamaze, in this game as the Cimmerians, I’m getting much better at transferring characters and troops (brigades) between military groups, at creating patrols, and generally just getting a better feel for what I can do with military groups. That said, I am still woefully lacking in skill on the combat end of this game. I’m learning, though. All of my learning games of Alamaze combined considered, I’m steadily progressing with my learning of the game.

This game of Alamaze, I also intend to begin focusing on learning first-hand more about recovering and using a wider range of artifacts that Alamaze features for players’ entertainment. What I have found, thus far, is that being in multiple games of Alamaze, simultaneously (it’s free to play Alamaze, after all), greatly accelerates my learning of the game. Primarily, this is accomplished by facilitating my familiarization with the game interface, which is the real key to learning how to play Alamaze, in my considered opinion. Once you understand how the game interface works, it becomes noticeably easier to learn how to play the game, and to get better at the game.

Familiarization is the key to fun! Once you grasp how the interface works (give yourself six turns or so for it to start dawning on you, using myself as an example), that’s when you really start having fun playing Alamaze. It’s hard to have fun, if you don’t know what the hell that you’re doing. And nobody wants to read a bunch of documentation, in order to learn how to play a new game. I sure don’t, anyway. That’s why I decided to chart my own path forward into Alamaze, and so far, I think that my approach is the best - and easiest - way to learn Alamaze.

NOTE: Be sure to check out this checklist, of sorts, that I made for myself, to help me to keep track of what all that I’ve tried to do in Alamaze, thus far. It lists things that I’ve tried, as well as things that I haven’t tried. Right now, there’s still a lot of both on this list.

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