Entries for March, 2014

Strategy-style games are not my strength.  I’ve no APM, I can’t tell you the difference between micro and macro, I’ve never beaten a human opponent, heck, I even get stomped by the computer in Starcraft 1.  But, for some reason, I’ve been getting into them lately.  Civ, XCOM, Tropico, Rome, and Age of Empires II HD.


Last night, I played AoE with my friend Emery.  The two of us teamed up against four AI opponents on a random map.  We set the difficulty a level higher than I play, which is to say from Standard to Moderate.  Emery has played a lot of AoE and is very good at the game, more than tripling my score the last two times we played, so I entered the game with confidence.



My starting point as Korea was at the 9 o’clock position, with Emery as China at the 11 o’clock. 


“Haha, good allies!” He told me.


I started with a few peasants, a town center, and a scout who I immediately sent south to explore the surrounding area.  The ground was covered in snow, with a small gold vein to the east and a forest southeast and northeast. 


A few of my villagers built a lumber camp and began to gather wood.  Another built a mill near wild berry bushes.  Food gathering, underway, I began to build houses to support my soon-to-be growing population.  Before long, farms were being built and maintained, gold mined, trees felled, and additional buildings constructed.


Usually, on the default difficulty, I can wait until the second age to build a barracks and train up some militiamen.  I knew that this time I would be facing a more formidable group of opponents, so I created my barracks early and trained about four militia men.  I stationed them on the southern pass of my borders, where any assaulting force would be funneled by the trees.  The eastern pass was bounded, so I thought, by ice and water, so I left that undefended.


It was a good thing that I had some fighters early, because I found out that the Teutons were neighboring me.  Warmongering bastard that he was, he sent early skirmishers at me.  They bypassed my outpost and entered by lands by the east, traversing the ice river.  They caused some havoc with my civilians before I was able to eliminate the threat. 


After this, I began to build a wall.  I wasn't able to completely wall off the border before a force of Teutons and Mongols slipped through and began to harass and attack my supply lines.  Frantically, I trained up as many soldiers as I could to slay them.  My stalwart defenders were able to drive off the aggressors.


Then, the attacks ramped up.  I was soon in a constant battle against an overwhelming tide of martial aggression.  As I tried desperately to finish the wall, Mongols and Teutons constantly streamed through, slaughtering my workers and clashing with my meager military.  Soon, the border became a charnel house, where workers feared to be sent, and where the soldiers fought without quarter in a brutal melee for survival.  For they knew that should the border fall, the Mongol and Teuton hordes would butcher every living thing in their homeland.  And so they fought, grim-faced and hard.


For decades, the unfinished wall only slowed down the attackers.  Armies clashed, swords met, and blood soaked the ground.  Then, finally the battering rams and catapults rolled in.  Morale faltered, and I pulled back.  I ordered my workers to begin building guard towers with interlocking fields of fire to push back the first wave of assault. 


Before long, the wall crumbled and the bloodthirsty hordes streamed in like a river.  The guard towers held true as long as they could, but it only stemmed the tide.  The enemy poured into my farms and homes, killing as they pleased. 


My people mounted a final desperate push, soldiers and civilians alike and were at great cost able to repel the invaders.  Battle-weary, and knowing that the enemy would return, I ordered the civilians to flee north to China.  My broken, tiny army would remain to hold the city.  Knowing their deaths would be unsung, the brave fighters bid farewell to their comrades. 


The remaining civilians made their way north, pledging to remember the sacrifice.


The decades that followed were years of savage guerilla warfare.  The Teutons and Mongols tried to ransack and pillage my town center, and my bleak-faced cavalry repeatedly smashed them.  Time and again, the horde would attack, and my defenders would crash into their flanks and rear, wreak havoc, and fall back.


Each friendly death was a heart-wrenching tragedy.  Each enemy death was an uncelebrated act of vengeance. 



Finally, after years of losses, only a few men remained.  A final, massive invasion army marched in from the south.  Knowing this was their last moment, they rode forth to meet the enemy, woefully outnumbered.  They roared their challenge and charged.


As they neared their end, a glint of gold appeared on the horizon.  A thousand thundering hooves shook the earth.  A multitude of voices screamed their battle-cry.


China had come.


The tide turned.  Victory was won that day.


Currently reading: The Winds of Fate by Emery Huang
Currently watching: The Wire Season Five
Currently feeling: working
Posted by Narzack on March 1, 2014 at 07:12 PM | Get some!

Holy crap, I've been here for over ten years.  Tabulas 4 Lyfe.

Currently listening to: Tokyo Rose - Raiders of the Night
Currently reading: The Winds of Fate by Emery Huang
Currently feeling: amazed
Posted by Narzack on March 4, 2014 at 05:31 PM | Get some!
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