Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Age of Mythology - Bringing Down a Titan

This is the last of the Age of Mythology games I took screenshots for a year ago; after this, I'll have to play some more before I can write them up.

The last level of the AoM expansion pack The Titans (since the release of Tale of the Dragon it is necessary to specify which expansion pack I'm talking about, which fills me with glee) sees the player returning to old Atlantis to prevent the rise of Kronos. Spoilers: Kronos rises.

The way the scenario is set up, what you're intended to do is rush to wake Gaia the Friendly Green Titan without trying to confront the enemy base. Kronos emerges while Gaia is still awakening, so then you run away from him for five minutes until she can rescue you.

But that sounds boring. What say we take down Kronos the hard way?

See, I learnt from Oranos' Rage that it is definitely possible to take down a Titan without one of your own. They're heavily armoured, and can destroy most units in a blow or two, but they are not indestructible - especially not when you're playing as Atlantis, who have access to flamethrowing siege weapons with 55 attack.

55! Normal human units have an attack of 4 or 5. The Nidhogg, the summonable Norse super-dragon, only has an attack of 70 (and that's split across two types of damage, as 30 and 40). Siege is absolutely the way to go when taking on a Titan.

But Kronos is no ordinary Titan. He doesn't have 7000 hit points - he has 50,000. And worse, he regenerates, at 100 hp/second. If I let up on him for an instant, he'll wipe away all my hard work.

That's why I brought these guys.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Age of Mythology - Oranos' Rage

My playthrough of Age of Mythology as Oranos of the Atlanteans did not end well.

My last, desperate gamble to take down the Norse wonder before they claimed victory ended with barely a quarter of its health taken off, and my armies (two of 'em!) smashed by the Norse Titan. I lost.

But... what if I'd saved just beforehand?

Let's win this.

Age of Mythology - Oranos

You know how I said in my Ra game that it'd been a while since I played? And in my Odin game that I didn't even remember playing?

Yeah, it's been a year since I took these pictures. This is going to be interesting.

So! The cycle has brought us back round to Atlantis, the culture of expensive-but-good units. Today we'll be worshipping Oranos, father of the Titans. His main advantage is that we can build the Sky Passage - a teleportation-based mass-transit system. If we can get a Sky Passage down near an enemy base, we can jump our entire army there quickly. He also grants slightly faster movement to human soldiers - useful, but not terribly noticable.

This is the first picture I took. Yes, two of the AIs decided to immediately use their starting god powers - the Egyptians to look at something, the Greeks to pull in animals to slaughter. Oranos' god power is Shockwave, which knocks enemies back - I didn't need it yet.

Civilisation IV - Realms Beyond Adventure 62

Not long after Adventure 61: Pink Pride (which I played and lost), CIV community Realms Beyond held another tournament - Adventure 62: English Ambition.

Adventure Sixty-Two: English Ambition

Scenario: Realms Beyond throughout its history has been a community of people that strive to challenge themselves in the games they play. That has predominantly been shown by playing variants of games, self-imposing restrictions to make a game a lot harder, for the prize of achieving victory under those restrictions.

This is a lightly edited map with some unusual geography compared to 'normal' maps (as shown by what the imaginary 'hut' pop), that will provide many interesting choices to make as you play through your game. 

Scoring: None. Just play and regale us with tales of your experience.

However, I would encourage players to come up with some sort of variant to play out the game under. Think of something that you've never heard of someone having done in Civ before, or that would make achieving normal victory quite a lot harder, or that just sounds fun. This is as open ended as you want it to be (and I won't judge if you don't bother with coming up with a variant!), but here are some ideas to help get your brain turning:

Civilisation IV - Realms Beyond Adventure 61

Civilisation IV is (obviously) the fourth entry in the Civilisation series. While it is always controversial to say that any one game in a series is the best - I've seen people fervently arguing that both 2 and 5 are the pinnacle of Civ games - I don't think it's too dangerous to say that CIV is probably the deepest of the five (so far) games. It was designed with the explicit goal of presenting the player with a large number of meaningful choices, and in this, it succeeds with flying colours.

I have been playing Civ since we got a PC bundled with Civilisation II: Test of Time (and I really want to see the multi-leveled maps of Test of Time come back some day - there was something deeply thrilling about being able to fly your ships up to the gas giant, or send your skeleton warriors down into the underworld). I own Civ III and Civ IV as well, and have played all three extensively.

But I'm not terribly good at it.

Realms Beyond is a forum/website stuffed full of people who are good at it. Their unifying theme was originally variant play - adding additional restrictions to Civ games, or altering the map to give a new experience. They've played vast numbers of tournaments in CIV (and earlier in Civ III); you can read excellent and extensive reports on a lot of them on the website of prominent member Sullla.

Stardrifter Survey: Ironic Overpower

Have I talked about Noctis yet? It doesn't look like I have. Shocking.

Noctis is a space-exploration simulator, containing a massive, randomly-generated universe. It is single-player, and used to be pseudo-multiplayer - you could assign planets and stars names in the Guide, and list descriptions of them, then send the data out to be updated on all copies of the game. That function no longer really exists; my planet names will stay in my game.

A ringed world in Noctis