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 Stacking Extra Planets to Defend Your Front-Door 
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Lance Corporal

Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2001 3:00 am
Posts: 3
Location: USA
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Why did they "lock" that topical thread? The one about stacking a sector with more upper-level planets than are permitted (moving out the extra planets just before extern, then moving them back).

All too often, a lot of defensive firepower stagnates in back sectors, unable to lend support where it is needed and when it is needed. This practice instead keeps them active on the front lines.

As that thread suggests, under standard Trade Wars rules a team can create a front-door sector that is IMPOSSIBLE for an opposing team to crack. (Due to limits on team size and corporation size, with enough good players you can reach a point where no single team can breach certain front-doors. Only coordinated multiple-team attacks can gradually wear it down via mothing, and ultimately invading.)

We reached that point in last year's World TradeWars Championship (WTC). Someone might want to illustrate this by calculating (and posting) the maximum firepower that any six-man team can possibly bring to bear against a sector before they exhaust their 18 lives per day (3 lives per player).

You also can calculate the maximum firepower for such an attack that may occur within only one or two hours, but is timed to be spread over two different "game days" (because extern runs and re-sets the lives available to the attacking players).

A resource-rich defender simply makes sure his stacked planets can top that firepower. (It also helps to have a defender sitting behind the front-door, running a script that automatically photons all who enter the front-door sector.)

Barring a stupid mistake by the defenders (failing to move planets at extern, or to refuel depleted planets, etc.), the design of TradeWars lacks a planet-busting sledgehammer weapon (even if it involves a high degree of risk). A loaded ICC can absorb a lot of punishment--but not near as much punishment as a battery of fully-fueled Q-cannons can dish out.

Some players don't like it when opponents use an overloaded sector to defend themselves (and even hurl insults). But it's part of the game. This is not a test of machismo. If you're not going to use everything you can to defend your homeland, then you might as well go out and face your opponent's ICC armed only with your pod and a pocketknife!

A sector overloaded with mobile planets and fully-fueled Q-cannons is only a variation of another strategy--namely moving in fresh planets to replace those with depleted fuel supplies (while the exhausted planets are moved to the back lines for re-fueling).

Dealing with the enormous defenses in a super-long TW game brought last year's WTC to the brink of a three-team stalemate. Two teams combined to take out the third, but then neither of the survivors could take out the other.

Since Eleq as game operator would not accept a stalemate between the final two teams, The Huns conceded to GBI (Good, Bad and Indifferent). Both teams recognized that unless the other team made a gargantuan blunder, each could stymie any invasion attempt by the other. The defenses were just too strong.

The Huns had 34 Level 6 H's, and GBI had 21. (The two teams together had 97 Level 6 planets.) Then there were the Level 5's, the Level 4's, etc. It had taken a COMBINED invasion by GBI and The Huns to invade the fortress sectors of The Black Knights (who would not accept a three-way stalemate). I think we spent 13- to 15-million fighters (or was it more?) on that one invasion.

So here's my two cents worth: Game operators can provide a time-triggered option to build an ultra-expensive SuperShip, the TW version of Star Wars' Death Star. If a game keeps going beyond a certain number of days, it's either a total mismatch or a big-time stalemate. So why not make a big hammer available, such as a ship that carries maybe 250,000 fighters, or 100,000 shields, or whatever fun features the game operator decides. But make it enormously expensive, and include some variables that could backfire. (Any enormous effor, being a D-Day-type invasion, is so complex that it risks collapsing under its own weight).

Such a feature must be part of the original ground rules for the game. Once the game is underway, the long-term surviving players will never agree unanimously to a change in the rules. (Eleq floated some options late in last year's WTC, but the players rejected changing the rules after the game had been underway for so long.)

The rules posted for this year's WTC seem to make it likely that we'll see a repeat of last year's marathon. The key factors seem to be unchanged from last year's rules.

So here's my two cents' worth. (Are you listening, Eleq??) I suggest that, for this year's WTC, Eleq announces in advance that this new ship (or other rule changes) will be triggered if the game extends beyond a designated time. We all know how very creative Eleq can be--and here's a great chance for him to show us again!

--Attila

Have you hugged your Hun today?







Attila


Wed Mar 28, 2001 3:39 am
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