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Parthian Kings - the game so foggy you don't even know what you are fighting!

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Quote from The Wargaming Scribe on 15 December 2023, 12h37

Are you able to cast Hetecambi and Metacamb yet? I wonder what they do!

 

No, not enough XP. And behold, this turn I failed my first spell!

1262

A bit late I apologize. Anyway, here is the turn:

I manage to cast Tenemous... or is it the other one? Anyway, I reduce the size of the Forgotten stack, and then crush it with Erinyes. For a time, my corner of the map is cleared.

Also note the first mutual destruction of the game:

Dayyalu and Argyraspide have reacted to this post.
DayyaluArgyraspide

1263

The last question remaining is...

... with Porkbelly HOLD?

It looks like Dayyalu his bringing his mage to make sure he does not?

1264

Well, it is over. For some reason I forget we had started in 1250 not 1251.

 

Dayyalu ends with all the lakes and 80 more points than me. That's a pyrrhic victory; said otherwise not a victory after all! ūüėČ

 

Final situation:

All the battles :

 

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DayyaluPorkbellyBaron Rastignak

Well, my conclusion on the game:

  • Pretty fun actually...
    ... but the bonus for killing convoys, wizards or Kings is out of whack.
  • Convoys are not that useful. By making them worth 5 points, they are not that useful AND risky to use
  • 25 points for killing the King + 10 point for killing the wizard (you are going to get both) means it is impossible to catch back someone who takes another's player starting city without killing a wizard yourself. This means the two other players are unlikely to cooperate... there is no catch back mechanism and no diplomacy possible

Overall, I think the game would have been better if only lakes had given points.

Also: I am not sure unit building is well-balanced. Here is my line-up:

As I see it:
- Armour is useless, as Argyraspide discovered
- Movement is not so expensive, and anything below speed 2 is too slow, so the real choice is speed 2 or speed 3. My lestrygons were only useful because I was losing.
- I don't think there is much reason to not take the maximum hit strength for a given HP, else you cripple you in sieges.
- Range did not seem to have paid off, at least for Porkbelly and my Amazons.

I am curious about Dayyalu's line-up of course.

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DayyaluPorkbellyBaron Rastignak

Wohoo. I'll RP reply and discuss the game tomorrow, now about the units.

  1. Skeleton: defensive unit, the point was to give enough HP to tarpit eventual attackers while you ranged attacked or sortied. I was constantly on the offensive so they never got used. I could have bumped them to movement 0, smart move. The fact that I could not call them Thralls and the sprite did not have an axe offended me greatly.
  2. Forgotten: the apex predator, as the Scribe called them, were the result of SP testing and reading the Scribe's after action reports. An offensive unit needed to be fast and relatively affordable: maxing their stats would have made them too expensive, so I tried to... well, 75%'ing the max stats and got a good unit out of it. Movement 3 is essential. Myth inspired, even if I got the name from Myth 3 (no one likes Myth 3, and with good reason).
  3. Cultist: capper unit. Max movement, their only objective was to cap Lakes for early points and MAYBE engage in numbers opposing skirmishers. Their role wasn't needed after the first turns and when the economy got rolling a single Forgotten made for a better capper. Warcraft 3 inspired, c'mon, it has nice undead and the Cult of the Damned.
  4. Soulless: A COMPLETELY scuffed unit, the idea was having a decent ranged combatant but the ranged combat is.... well, I should have redesigned it as a medium/fast mover with good strength and range 2 or as a Ultimate Doom Unit to avoid traffic problems. In this form it was useless and I never trained one. Myth inspired.
  5. Wights: I need a unit with max HP and STR for defensive/heavy duty offensive purposes. It's relatively cheap but fuck move 1 hurts a lot and Convoys aren't helping. Should have gotten move 2 at least and Forgotten were simply faster and better for quick reaction. Dominions-inspired, I like their take on the Wight.

I would have redesigned .... pretty much everything bar the Forgotten/Cultist combo. Skeleton to move 0, more movement to the Wight, a reason to exist for the soulless....

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The Wargaming ScribePorkbellyBaron Rastignak

Second part:

First of all, thanks to the Scribe for the chance of playing this and to everyone for being good targets players!

Regarding the game:

- It's fun in its simplicity.

- The only real breakdown I experienced was in the last turns, it's maddening to move big armies as troops that collide lose their turn and you can't postpone/skip for later. But I guess it's the price for spamming many units.

- Unit creation needed a few fixes. Armour needs a buff, speed needs a price hike (it's simply overpowered) and Ranged needs to be cheaper, more effective or something in-between. Blitzing everywhere is the optimal play stile.

Also, @Porkbelly, any way to know what are the last spells? My Wizard despite 14 successes did not manage to get enough XP for the last tier and I'm curious.

And so, I am King. A Parthian King. This place needs some improvements. GUARDS! Yes, have you ever seen Elvira, Mistress of the Dark? I have some plans for the new court.... yes, I understand the recruitment pool is non-existent but... ah, call the mage, we'll conjure something....

 

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Porkbelly

Here's the orc army:

Squealers HP: 10 ST: 5 RG: 2 AR: 0 MV: 3 Cost: 5100

Warthogs HP: 30 ST: 16 RG: 0 AR: 1 MV: 3 Cost: 11000

Orcs HP: 45 ST: 20 RG: 0 AR: 1 MV: 2  Cost: 14100

Tuskers HP: 60 ST: 30 RG: 0 AR: 2 MV: 1 Cost: 20000

Uruk-Hai HP: 80 ST: 50 RG: 2 AR: 3 MV: 3 Cost: 61600

Clearly my hard hitters were priced far too high, and I missed the sweet spot for an apex unit. I spent too many turns saving up to buy enough to try and support an Undead attack to the north. Hoping to be the one that got the Scribe's crown.

The Tuskers gave me a comfortable city defense and I had about 40 of them in place. I think I could have easily held off a a few rounds of Forgotten attacks, but once the Undead turned on us the Orcs were only playing for survival.

I had an unusual occurrence around turn 12 where hungry Mongols offered 500 GP for each unit of population. The orcs promptly cashed in half of their population. The rest were not happy, but toed the line regardless.

In regards to cost effectiveness, I am not certain of anything. I think a lot can also depend on how heavy the terrain lies on the map. In retrospect I can't get the cost values to add up to the formulas I worked out of the code but I don't have the energy to revisit this at the moment ūüôā

In regard to the last two spells, similarly it requires parsing a mess of algebra that just makes my head hurt too much. Maybe units are being created on the battlefield, or maybe some kind of healing effect. Don't know... I can post the section of code if anyone wants to try.

Edit: I persevered on the spells...

The first one needs to be cast on a blank map space. It will create a division with 2-5 units of a random type.

The second one needs to be cast on an enemy unit. It will blast from the map.

 

The Wargaming Scribe, Dayyalu and Argyraspide have reacted to this post.
The Wargaming ScribeDayyaluArgyraspide

Thank you, fellow Porcine comrade for the last two spells. Also, let me post your research on combat: maybe someone in 10+ years will find this forum and want to know your efforts on deciphering the basics.

Quote from Porkbelly on 21 December 2023, 5h09
Here is the code for melee combat...

 12055 HX(1) = FS%(Z%(4),Z%(3)) + FS%(Z%(4),Z%(3)) / 3 *  RND (1) - FS%(Z%(4),Z%(3)) / 6
12060 HX(1) = HX(1) - FS%(Z%(4),Z%(3)) / 4 / (5 - Z%(2)) - FX%(SZ%(4),SZ%(3)) - SZ%(2)
12080  IF HX(1) < FS%(Z%(4),Z%(3)) / 4 THEN HX(1) = FS%(Z%(4),Z%(3)) / 4
12100 HX(2) = FS%(SZ%(4),SZ%(3)) - FS%(SZ%(4),SZ%(3)) / 2 *  RND (1) + FS%(SZ%(4),SZ%(3)) / 4 / Z%(2)
12110 HX(2) = HX(2) - FX%(Z%(4),Z%(3))
12130  IF HX(2) < FS%(SZ%(4),SZ%(3)) / 4 THEN HX(2) = FS%(SZ%(4),SZ%(3)) / 4
12132 HX(1) = HX(1) * Z%(5):HX(2) = HX(2) * SZ%(5)

Simple right? I'll describe this in detail later but basically this block calculates HX(1) and HX(2) which are the EFF. HITS numbers you see on the battle screen for attacker and defender.

What these EFF. HITS numbers indicate is the damage in HP that each side will inflict on the other.
Total army hit points is never displayed. But all units in the army will be at full health except for one, I think this little bit of fog is not a big deal. The damaged unit still attacks with full strength.

The status report on whether the defender is WEAK, MODERATE or STRONG is important...
 WEAK: Your EFF. HITS will destroy 75% or more of the enemy's total hit points.
MODERATE: Your EFF. HITS will destroy 25% to 75% of the enemy's total hit points.
STRONG: You will destroy less than 25% of the enemy's total hit points.

Ok, so here's the calculation for HX(1) - Attacker EFF. HITS

100% of Unit Strength + RND[zero to one third of Unit Strength] - one sixth of Unit Strength

This will give you an attack strength of approx. +/- 15% on the Strength of the unit type.

Average attack strength is simply the base strength of the unit.

Now we make three downward adjustments on that number (all subtracted):
1. 25% of the base unit strength / (5 - terrain value of the 'attackers' hex)
2. Armor value of the enemy unit
3. Terrain value of the 'enemy' hex

Terrain value is as follows:
CLEAR: 1
ROUGH: 2
WOODS: 3
LAKES: 4
MOUNTAINS: 5 [but mountains are impassable so don't matter]

Notice that attacking from CLEAR still deducts 6.25% of your unit strength, attacking from a lake deducts 25% of your unit strength. I guess this reflects the difficulty of launching an attack. But it is kind of weird.

Also notice that attacking into a lake hex deducts 4 while attacking into a woods hex deducts 3, which contradicts what the rule book says about the defensibility of lakes. I may have missed something here but I don't see it.

In any case, there is a one more adjustment....
Minimum Attack Strength is always 25% of the base unit strength.

And finally, to get EFF. HITS for Attacker....
Multiply the calculated value by the number of units in the army, and round off.

For the defender calculation for HX(2) - Defender EFF. HITS

100% of Unit Strength + RND[zero to one half of Unit Strength]

This will give you an average defense strength of 125% (+0% to 50%) on the Strength of the unit type.

And we make two downward adjustments on that number (all subtracted):
1. 25% of the base unit strength / terrain value of the 'attackers' hex
2. Armor value of the attacking unit

Notice that defending against an attack coming from clear reduces your defense strength by 25%, while defending against attack coming from a lake reduces defense strength by 6.25%. The terrain handling is really pretty weird.

Also, the minimum adjustment....
Minimum Defense Strength is always 25% of the base unit strength.

And finally, to get EFF. HITS for Defender....
Multiply the calculated value by the number of units in the army, and round off.

Regarding the terrain adjustments... Lakes seem to be the best defense, but it is possible I missed something. Setting Lakes aside, clearly the best defense is to be in Woods, and be attacked from Woods.
In fact, it is better to be defending in the Clear being attacked from Woods, than vice versa.

The defender terrain adjustment is simply subtracted as a number 1 to 4, not as a % of strength.
So an Attack Strength of 80 is reduced by 10 (half of one quarter) when attacking from Woods, and reduced by 3 when attacking into Woods.
Weird! Possibly I'm reading it wrong but I'm not sure they coded that correctly... ha ha.

I haven't looked into the details of the calculation for ranged attacks yet except to note that there is a minimum damage of 20% of the base unit strength of the firing unit.
Also I haven't looked to see how town artillery works at all.
There are some spells with unknown effects that I haven't looked at.

About cost calculations
So 60 hits costs $1500 more than 59 hits.   I didn't know this before doing my army design either.
Armor cost is not that much... even with the larger units.
Movement costs get pricey, and Ranged is very expensive.
Base: Hits + (Strength * 2) + ( INT(Hits/20) * (Hits/4) )
Ranged: Range * ((Strength + Hits) / 2)
Armor: Armor * (Strength / (Hits / Strength) / 2)
Movement: Movement * ( ((Hits + Strength) / 5)  + (Range * (Strength / 4)) + (Armor * Movement) )

Add up and multiply Total by 100 to get cost

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Baron Rastignak
Quote from Porkbelly on 21 December 2023, 5h09

 

Edit: I persevered on the spells...

The first one needs to be cast on a blank map space. It will create a division with 2-5 units of a random type.

The second one needs to be cast on an enemy unit. It will blast from the map.

 

Thanks!

A bit disappointing. I hoped for "destroy all the units on the map"  and "raze a city", or something of that effect.

 

Merry Christmas!

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