Re: Olympia Question

John Morrow (
5 May 1995 17:17:12 -0400

gl8f@fermi.clas.Virginia.EDU (Greg Lindahl) writes:
>Some people think so, but I don't.

I have mixed feelings on this right now (my faction is mostly wiped out
at this point and I'm weighing various options).

>You can still build a ship and head for the edge of the map. While you
>may end up in charted lands, there are *many* good castle sites left
>out there.

I'd have to agree here -- conditionally. There are still good castle
sites available. Heck, you can put one up without anyone bothering
you, too. But there are two potential problems here.

First, if any established faction wants to take out a new faction or
small alliance while it is sailing away, it can. No matter how many
men you have, they are no match for "beast stacks" (how my faction
got wiped out -- using armed men against beasts with 100+,100+ combat
ratings). In practice, this doesn't seem to happen so people should
feel free to try it. It is certainly more interesting than sitting in

Second, Faery and Hades have made the idea of "frontiers" pretty
meaningless. There are large armies moving about in there and they
can quickly outmove "surface" travellers -- even those who fly or
sail. As Faery and Hades are mapped, large alliances will be able to
move large armies *anywhere* in a matter of a couple of months to take
any castle that isn't armed to the teeth. I suspect you will be
seeing more of this, RSN.

Even though my faction was active in Faery (and did some of the
attacking... O:-), I think Hades and Faery are too powerful. As a
mystery they work. Once mapped, they become to ultimate in army rapid
transit systems, the "elfstone" prohibition being almost meaningless
in Faery (tests indicate that controlled units don't need them and all
you need is one for a noble). For the next run of Olympia, I'd like
to see the entrances and exits limited to the big continents and the
elfstone restrictions tightened up (e.g. not even being able to enter
without one). The gates aren't offensive because of their effective
limits. Faery and Hades are offensive because of the lack of
effective limits.

>You can also contact one of the established alliances and volunteer
>your services. They know about good castle sites, and might welcome
>someone who'd be willing to add to their power.

This is, perhaps, one of the better ways to new players to approach
it. It can be a good way to learn the ropes and find out where to
go and not to go. It is also a good way to get resouces fast. I'd
suggest that new players at least explore this option.

But new players should keep in mind that (as you illustrate in another
article about the AOO picking off people they simply thought were your
friends) that simply being seen with a know alliance can make you
instant enemies with other alliances. Last turn, I watched a unit get
wiped out "because it was there", not because it was part of my
alliance (we had only a cordial "I won't hurt you" relationship but
we were, by no means, "allies").

>If you don't want a castle, but would like advanced magic skills, then
>you have many more options.

Perhaps. But you need a tower. And a tower is a target. Also,
if you learn too much, your brains become quite tasty. :-)

>Depends on what your goals are. You can certainly grow powerful
>without taking offensive action, but you may have to fight

Yes. And without growing too powerful, you can have everything you've
worked for taken away in a turn or two. There are powerful armies out
there that can wipe out *any* new faction -- even one that has spent
12 months doing nothing but building armed men for battle. On the
bright side, this doesn't seem to be happening too much from what I
can see.

I'm playing Oly with pretty much the resources of a new faction. I'll
see how it goes. How did it go for you after your -- uh --
"accident"... :-)

John Morrow