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Post  ichbinsehselber on Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:50 am

This topic will discuss the Phantom Domain game number 2.
It was played on the map http://awbw.amarriner.com/prevmaps.php?maps_id=66497

If you do not know phantom domain, please read the map comments in the link above. These map comments explain the special scenario conditions of the phantom domain game.

For about 2 weeks the game is available for checking here: http://awbw.amarriner.com/game.php?games_id=239482

There is another thread about phantom domain here: https://www.takeyourturn.net/t898-phantom-domain-discussion

The match was moderated and lead by observerandhost. Hosting a phantom domain game is for sure not easy. So a huge thanks to you!

The game was played in Fog of War (FOW)

Players overview:
OS: Mod and Host (no alliance). Players can hire mod units with some special game currency. These units are Javier 6T units and thus very strong and dangerous. Mod units get missions vs players. The Mod is responsible for several special phantom domain scenario conditions and events and for executing the missions.
BM: Evil alliance (must kill all good players)
GE: Good alliance (must kill all evil players)
YC: Good alliance (must kill all evil players)
BH: Good alliance (must kill all evil players)
GS: Neutral (must survive till either evil or good is wiped out)
RF: Evil - THE PHANTOM (receives extra access to cities and com towers) (must kill all good players)
PC: Good alliance (must kill all evil players)

The evil alliance players (BM and RF) knew about their alliance with each other. But all other players knew only their own alliance. This fact make the game especially difficult for good players as they can potentially attack their own allies.

And this is what actually happened. YC and PC faught a heavy war which eventually lead to the destruction of PC
This war is most probably the main reason why the evil alliance won the game.

Here is some analysis of the match. It is to some extent subjective from my perspective (Green Earth, GE, good alliance):

At the start of the game I received this message from the MOD:
Player: ichbinsehselber
Alliance: Good
Victory Condition: Defeat Evil Alliance
Ability_Early bird: You start with 3 tokens.
Ability_Sacrifice: You can redirect all mod units on the map to yourself
at the cost of 1 token.  

For me as a good player, I knew it was VERY IMPORTANT to find out the alliances of players. But it proofed to be much harder to find out than I expected.

The ability early bird is really useful. It helped me being the 2nd place (behind the phantom) in terms of income for the first phase of the game. As I had not information about the income of other players, I could not be sure about this fact during the game.

The ability Sacrifice was totally useless. It could be useful only under very special circumstances. If you use this ability you do not know which units on the board and will be redirected. You usually help your enemies as much as your allies and you risk totally crippling yourself.

At the start of the game I sent out a few messages trying to find out about the alliance of other players without disclosing myself as good. This attempt proved unsuccessful. So, later I tried again while also disclosing that I am a good aligned player. Even then I only learned that GS is neutral. Only very late I found out that YC is good as well.

So I adapted my strategy to those unknowns: I attacked anyone who came into my territory, or attacked me or tried to get my properties.

My right neighbor the phantom RF came over this invisible line and I attacked his recon. As I did not know that he was the phantom I also sent a threatening but also diplomatic message asking for his withdrawal. RF withdrew with an appology keeping the peace.

BH was attacked by BM and GS early in the game. But I only found out that BH was good at the end of the game. The attack included MOD units and BM claimed that GS sent these units. (Only later I learned that GS cannot send mod units which made me very suspicious towards BM. But BMs plan to take over BH's area had already come to success at that time.)

Next my left neighbor the neutral GS attacked one of my units. I responded accordingly and successfully beat GS back. This was possible relatively easily because GS had another war with his other neighbor BH. Again as I did not know GS's alliance I also did diplomacy while fighting for territory. For some turns there was war between me (GE) and GS.

As I did not trust RF on my other side and GS did not seem to be very committed to fighting me, I also only committed limited resources to the war vs GS and continued negotiations. In the mean time RF massed up units on my other border and fixed a peace treaty with his other neighbor YC.

In turn 12 the phantom RF attacked me in force. He had 37k income vs my 19k income. He also had 3 com towers vs my 1 com tower.
My position was suddenly threatened. Even though my surprise was limited.
At this time I suspected RF to be the phantom but I still had no proof, since most of his units were infantry and mech.
I asked several other players for help. BM had explicitely offered me help vs RF before but now responded with some excuse. So I also suspected BM to be the phantom. But at this time I also did not care too much as I just had to defend.

GS agreed to a peace agreement, but I did not immidiatly trust him, so I left several units at the border with GS.
I also left the recon at the place where it could see any mod units, which someone would send vs me.

In the next turns an intense war with RF happened with a lot of losses on both sides.
On the diplomatic side I developed deep trust with GS, some inital trust with YC and a distrust with BM.
I had to commit all my resources to the war with RF and withdrew most of the units from the border with GS.

On day 18 RF had an income of 45k (due to his ability as phantom) while mine was still 19k. At this point of time RF committed so much more resources to the war that I finally had proof that RF was the phantom.

To my surprise this did not help my diplomacy much. YC and PC continued their war. BM did not properly respond, further increasing my distrust towards him. BH was dead.
Bonds with YC developed only slowly. I think BM cleverly tricked YC into trusting him. And PC did not respond to diplomatic messages.

My CO abilities as Nell, some usage of MOD services and RFs mistake to use Sami COP several times instead of SCOP allowed me to stand my ground better than expected. I even destroyed several of RFs heavy units. To my surprise he withdrew again. But at a very heavy price. I had to rebuild units.

RF and I, both were weakened a lot but I could not pursuade YC to take advantage of the situation and attack RF. He apparently was still busy with the war with PC and some mod units.
Then my recon saw 3 MOD units created and I knew these were RFs revenge for the mod units I had sent to him. The mod units included a Neotank. So I knew I had to build a Megatank to fight it.

Also this was the end. BM overran GS and attacked YC while PC died. Then BM and RF attacked me from both sides.
YC faught till the end but in the end was outnumbered as well.

As a conclusion the match was very exciting and interesting.

Team evil won a clear victory. Due to:
- War between 2 good players
- RF's diplomatic ability to keep peace with YC was important,
- BM played strategically and diplomatically especially well which was a very important factor for the evil alliance win.

About balancing:
The advantage to know the alliance for the evil players apparently had a big contribution to the win of the evil alliance.
Furthermore the abilities of the evil players were pretty decent:
1.) Phantom gets so much more income and 3 more com towers.
2.) Phantom can steal tokens
3.) Phantom can do peace breaker
4.) other evil player can do tricky poll which helps with the tokens as well.

In principle the 4 good vs 2 evil vs 1 neutral format seems ok. But perhaps the abilities of the good players should be a bit better than those of the evil ones. Especially since the phantom income ability is more or less a game changer (very powerful). Phantom gets so much income - peace breaker should be his only useful ability.

Neutral players could theoretically hide a unit in a remote forest and thus survive and win. I would like to see that changed.

The MOD units are very OP being Javier 6T. In forest the units are immune to ranged attacks and even on plains the damage with indirects is minimal. So the only viable option is using heavier tanks than the ones which are sent vs you. Or air units if no AA is in the mod units pack. My suggestion would be to go down to perhaps Javier 5T or Javier4T

The ability sacrifice should either be dropped or improved. E.g. if the player can put some conditions it could maybe become useful. Conditions might be like: If the map contains 5 or fewer mod units then redirect all of them towards me.


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Post  a9977321 on Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:44 pm

The fact that BM played really well is actually the key to Evil's victory. He is the one who sent most presses.
I should have weaken the alliance evil, considering knowing your allies is a really big advantage and you good just fought with others in most cases. But you know, the number of abilities isn't equal to the quality, and different abilities can have different effect for different players. In the previous game the ability to have 1.5 token for each mod lab did not even have the chance to come into effect. In this game the 'peacebreaker' is actually something useless as a little spark in your border will lead to a regional conflict with your neighbour. So while BM got OP abilities (didn't find that out till later game), RF just got a mild ability, which can RANDOMLY steal your token on day 5. 0-2 is not a really big number at first thought.

Ability Analysis:
BM: 1. tricky poll 2. *1.5 token income
The poll will be much weaker if BM did not know his ally, in which case I miscalculated. And few good players voted.

GE: 1. begin with 3 tokens 2. 1 token to redirect all mod units to GE
By redirecting mod units will not do any harm to their target. So by surrounding them they will become
snacks for bombers or larger tanks. So the ability can be useful if used well.

RF: 1. "peacebreaker" 2. steal tokens

BH: 1. free anonymous broadcast(Cool down=1) 2. Check the token usage of 1 day. (Cool down=3)
BH rarely used his abilities, and I guess the abilities are actually useless. So they require modifications.
Few people use anonymous broadcast and the situation did not improve when you can use them freely.

YC: 1. 1 recon for each mod unit he sent
I think it a good ability as recons have large visions. And it did help YC break through the defense of PC with an MD.

PC: 1. free piperunner activation at the cost of targeting PC at the same time(cool down=5)
2. 12-token-worth mod unit pack after resign as a revenge
I thought they were all good abilities, but PC didnot use the 1st ability frequently. Also PC is out in the latter phase and BM cope with that Mega tank with bcopters easily.

GS: 1. can not be the target of mod service(mod units and piperunners) while unable to use the mod service(SE unlock, mod units, piperunner, purchase list, anonymous broadcast, etc. )
I gave this ability to Neutral GS to force him to choose a side, as he can gift tokens for various mod services. He did benefit from the ability since he is the target of many mod units and piperunners.

You can get the detailed data from the to-be-deleted game, or the copy I will paste on the previous topic.

To improve your ability, it can be like this. "You can redirect all mod units after a target player at the cost of 1 token. " It may make you safer while in fact it has less effect.

This time GS did not successfully hide a unit like BH did in the early game. For a fair play APC HQ must be introduced, though on this map we need some other changes or a 10-tower Javier is too much.

If you use a tank to fight against a tank of 6T Javier, you can have a hard time. If you use a MD to do so, it is just a piece of cake. You just need to put your MD on a city within my vision and all my units
will go and kill themselves. In RF's 2nd retreat he suffered a lot from those mod units you sent until he followed the advice of BM and built a megatank. The common ways to deal with mod units include
heavier tanks, air forces and ambushing to earn some time to build the listed units.

Backstabbing in good Alliance is actually unstoppedable, so measures will be taken to make Good Alliance stronger.

I may host a game in late January and try to put the listed improvements into practice.


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