I have been trying to get past the Hard AI on Ettenmoors and failing miserably. It was consistently overpowering me at about the fifteen minute mark with sheer numbers of infantry and later mixing in siege. I was not able to expand sufficiently to support much economy, so I lost the unit production game. I was having difficulty growing because of the barrow wright creeps in the corners of the map. But I got archers up there and finished those guys off. Then I took the outpost and built a steelworks on it and made my units me lee attack more powerful. Near the end it was several level five berserkers with the forged blades tearing down buildings. They’re just so good. I gained control of both outposts mid way through, and by then I was hammering. Good game. Just had to be aggressive. Lots of pikes against Rohan and you’ll do fine. I started wining the middle once the forged blades were available. And my economy was roaring by then.
Unit Kill / Death Ratio
Maximum Income Rate Per Minute
77 Day Average: +3.05
I’m doing the best I can to stay active at work. Things get pretty slow sometimes, and there’s not much anyone can do about it. I volunteer to take on extra responsibility by working help tickets and resolving additional issues. I even ran out of THAT to do. So I watched the Padres be swept by the Astros in a pathetic display of pitching and hitting. I’m not big into baseball, because it is a frustrating sport. And totally corrupt. But my team was supposed to be good this year, and they currently look like shit. They are sub .500 and sinking fast.
Amanda and I have been spending long afternoons together and cooking dinner at a reasonable hour. She’s been feeling good and things are moving right along. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m getting there. And I care about her wellbeing. I love her for the proud and strong person she is.
Our evenings end now around 7:00 pm when I start to get too tired to feel safe to drive home. I make sure not to let myself get too drowsy, because I don’t want to have delayed reactions to events on the road. So I got home tonight and crawled into my bed. I don’t mind having an early bedtime. I always did.
Anyway. Things are good. I am doing well in my new shift. The day goes by so much faster.
Everything is changing. I have a new shift at work, from 5:30 am to 2:00 pm. I can’t tell you how glad I am to be done with that evening schedule. Now, I will have half of my day left to do with as I please, with no more aborted mornings and abbreviated nights. Im going to miss just sleeping in until I woke up naturally, but that is a luxury I am fully willing to sacrifice for time.
I had my first of seven consecutive days of work today, a Sunday 6:00 am to 3:00 pm shift. The call volume was so unbelievably slow that I damn near drove myself insane with boredom. I feel so mentally and physically exhausted, and yet, I did very few things to justify this. Boredom leads to very negative anxiety coming out of the depths and haunting me. I know I must be able to be bored and not spiral out of control, and facing this issue is very important to me. There are going to be times where I get bored, but I do not want that to be a trigger for anxiety. Amanda suggested I read a book, which is very doable from my computer at my desk. She’s concerned because I have allowed myself to spiral down because of anxiety and crash, and she was there to help me get grounded again. But it was scary. I get that. It’s scary for me too.
Most importantly though, my world has been shifted by four hours. It’s still light outside, and I am tucked under my blankie and ready for bed. I feel like my brain got run over by a semi. Tomorrow, my alarm will sound at 4:30 am and I will need to collect myself and get going. I will go in at my new time and turn the page on those months of 9:30 starts.
All in all, this is a much needed transition. I will be able to exercise with Amanda in the evenings and we will get to spend way more time together than ever before. Which is great because I really love being with her. She makes me very happy.
Goodnight blog. Today was one of seven. Tomorrow will be day two.
I knew I had some shit to do today, and it all pretty much got done. The morning began with a router install here at my apartment. We had been using my old D-Link that I bought a few years ago, but it’s dependability had come into question after several outages and slow connection speeds. So I had the landlord compensate me to go out and buy a decent one and set it up. The Asus router I bought is dual-band, and my wireless adapter connects on the 5 gigahertz signal with 144.5 MiB/s speed. It’s a dramatic improvement. Now I should be able to game without connection issues, and not have to surrender my internet when others are using the network.
As that was happening, I did my one load of laundry, which included my sheets. I also spun my mattress around. I had been favoring one particular area for sleeping and that had been true for several months in a row. So I turned the mattress so that now the area I was using can get some time off from being slept on every night. I folded my clothes and hung my shirts. From there, I went to the storage unit and started another four loads in the rock tumblers. We purchased the new improved tumbling barrels which have been molded to have little speed bumps inside the barrel to crate more tumbling action for any stones in the chamber. Genius, in my opinion. I hung out at my parents for a bit then cruised over to Amanda’s place. Once there, we decided on a plan to go to the pharmacy to pick up her meds, then go to target. The pharmacy was closed, however, so we just went to the store and bought what we needed and grabbed some Mexican food for lunch. We farted around the apartment until about 4:45 and then we went over to Amanda’s sister’s house for dinner. Tristan basically lost his mind over there with Melissa and Brian’s son Elliot, who is a very polite boy. Tristan ran circles around him and destroyed everything in his path. He had been in the apartment for two days straight, some energy had been building up (needless to say). After dinner, we attempted to have him burn off the rest of that energy at the playground, but it’s raining today, so we opted for the McDonald’s indoor activity area. But that turned out to be a dud. Lots of stairs, one slide, that’s about it. So it didn’t last long.
I have a new shift. Starting Monday, I clock in at 5:30 am. My whole schedule is about to change dramatically. Tomorrow I work a 6:00 am shift until 3:00 pm. I need to call Margaret and tell her that we have to change our appointment time. I’m going to be brewing coffee at my desk, and not walking in late as the day is already underway. I will get to have my afternoons off and be able to do whatever I want before my bedtime. Originally, Mike had asked me to be on that evening schedule because I was his pet project, but since his promotion to Manager, he has a new schedule too. So I’m tired of these prolonged mornings where I’m anxious and wanting to get into work but have a few hours to kill. I dislike that arrangement.
So things will be different for me. All good changes so far. I’m pretty tired and my start is early. Goodnight.
It was all systems normal for me today. I had a full week, zero hours lost, and I get a Sunday this month, coming up this weekend. Which is time and a half. I have been seeing a lot of really ridiculous errors lately in order entry and basic shit. People at work just don’t care like I care, and they never will. I’m trying to foster friendly relations with a select few, but it’s difficult. We have so little in common, most of the time. I know they dislike me, but it’s because they hate me for being superior and knowing it. I don’t flaunt, but I lead by doing more work than anyone else. And taking on more complex issues voluntarily and achieving resolutions. I even do billing shit still. Had two today as a matter of fact. I handle myself like a professional. I don’t fuck around unnecessarily. I don’t often make mistakes. Work is somewhat hostile, but it’s at a level that I can manage.
Amanda is still struggling with depression. Her Abilify was upped but the effects of that won’t be known for a few days. I’m going to try and spend the afternoon with her and Tristan tomorrow. I have a schedule replete with events. But it’s an achievable sum of things. Truly.
My relationship with Amanda is awesome, and so freeing. I’m able to engage in a thoughtful discussion with a capable adult and address real issues rationally. I gained some valuable insight into my own insecurities and anxiety. I projected my fear on to Amanda and created a sort of frenzied state in my actions. Spun myself into a knot. But she helped me see that, and I gained perspective on my behaviors. It was refreshing to have such a candid discussion. I will adjust myself and take action where it is needed.
I’m in a much better place today than I was yesterday. I felt like I just was off chemically from having an insomniac’s night. I was never really asleep. I just kind of laid there and closed my eyes. I think the doxepin is doing more harm than good, so I am discontinuing it. It’s not putting me to sleep anymore. It might even be contributing to my problems. My doctor wanted me to discontinue it last visit, but I declined. Now I just want to see if it makes a difference. Experimentation is a part of the science of progress.
Tomorrow is my one day off. Huzzah.
Last night I had severe insomnia. I felt like I laid there with my eyes closed for 8 hours, not sleeping, mind spinning. I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. At all.
But I went to work anyway because I will not survive in the world unless I make money. Amanda has been struggling with severe depression, but today she got to go see her psychiatrist and got a med increase. I’m so concerned about her, and I hurt for her when she is struggling.
I had no patience today whatsoever. Customers were grating, unresponsive and not cooperative. I have had worse days on the phone, but this was a pretty bad one. There were plenty of Kana tickets to work, but most of the guys there would rather socialize and laugh all day long. I have occasional interjections, but I mostly just keep to myself. I put my head down and do my job. Today the voice in my head was pounding me. It was demanding that I flee, and go home so that I could surrender. All day long it hammered me, but I didn’t cave. I stayed through my entire shift, even though it was hard.
My mood never came out of the basement. I had no energy, and my concentration was fractured at best. I didn’t make any critical mistakes and had no issues otherwise. There was a weight on me, pressing me flat, all the time.
It’s 7:30 and I’m in bed. I want today to be over. It was a miserable run, and now it is done. Tomorrow things will improve, because that’s how bipolar depression works: rapid decline, sleep, normal behavior.
Have a better night than I am.
I have been dealing with anxiety of late. I have also felt wholly uninspired and unable to write.
My anxieties center around my relationship, and that I am feeling totally inadequate for no good reason. I have been clinging to Amanda out of panic, and we had a good discussion about all of this last night. I have a hard time accepting acknowledgement because I am always pushing myself to improve. Amanda thanks me, every day, for my contributions, and I just don’t accept it. This is 100% on me, because I should be processing her words not devaluing them because I have an insane need to push myself onward. I’ve failed so many times at life, that I just don’t feel like complacency is acceptable. I need to be proactive, and I am, but perhaps unhealthily so.
I had therapy today, and we went over my anxiety. I gained some much needed perspective and feel wholly capable of correcting the unhealthy way I was coping. Amanda is struggling too, but hers is a much deeper slide into depression. We are taking charge and getting her the help she needs. I wish I had a way to take the burden of pain away from her.
Orherwise, life has been good. I have been working hard and earning respect. I make very few mistakes and am generally unliked. But I guess I don’t mind. I’m not there to win a popularity contest, I’m being paid to do my job. And I do it well and it fulfills me. Still.
Well, I have a lot of thoughts in my head, and I’m tired. Goodnight.
Random draw. I’ve yet to play as Gondor or Arnor in any of my wins vs the Hard AI. Unexpected. I’ve done rather well with Rohan and Isengard of late. I can’t seem to finish with Mordor. Anyway, tonight’s matchup occurred on Carnequelle, a lovely 1 vs 1 arena. There were plenty of settlements, and four outposts. By the end I had three of them capped with no need to bother about the fourth.
I have a decent build order now, I think. I generally stick to improving my economy right away, so that I can dial up a massive income flow to support my war efforts later on. As Isengard, I started two mine shafts right in my base, and one defensive tower. Then I capped two settlements and built a third mineshaft in my base. I had them all up to level 2 in no time, and then built two Uruk pits and set them to rally near the settlements. I had all five up to level three production and then had a pop limit with Uruk scouts. I fed them to creeps and started expanding.
But the AI did not sit idle. They came after me hard, and the five Ringwraith hero battalion is hard to stop with just Uruk-hai. So shortly after I had both settlements up to level 3, they were destroyed. I was pushed back into my base. But I rallied, and continued making units. Eventually the towers took care of the units and I was free to expand again. And I did. Rapidly. I filled the void in a hurry and started grabbing settlements. I had six before I was net in opposition again. But this time I had a roaring economy and map control. There was nothing the AI could do. I snuffed out all of his settlements and drove him back into his base, where the battering rams went to work.
Unit Kill / Death Ratio
Maximum Income Rate Per Minute
As you can see by that miserable units killed to unit death ratio, the spam was on. Most common unit was Uruk-hai by a wide margin. I sprinkled in wargs, pikes and crossbowmen. I had all of my troops upgraded with either steel bolts or forged blades by the final blow. It was overwhelming. I had total map control after repelling the first push from the AI. I marched forward incessantly. It was a good game.
I was all over the place. I attempted to abruptly change my schedule today by waking up at 4:00 am to be at my desk by 5:00 am. I did manage to accomplish this. Why? Because I had a 2:00 psychiatry appointment with my new doctor, and if I started work at 5:00 am I would be done working by 1:30 pm. But my body had something different in mind. I got all the way to work, and took the first call of the day, but I could hardly talk. My speech was slurred like I was drunk. I had a very difficult time concentrating, and my eyes were drifting closed. I could not function, so I drove myself home, and proceeded to sleep for four more hours. Never doing THAT again.
But while I had the time, I called in about another collections agency that had come asking for money. Money that I indeed owe them, mind you. I spoke to Gregory, and he didn’t mince words: he said my calling in to settle the debt was a “good faith gesture” and he then enrolled me in a total debt consolidation program. They took my entire federal debt and settled it, then set up a payment plan with me over the next 25 years to get the debt paid back (in increments I will be able to afford). That’s good news.
I met with Dr. Paintal today. She’s an older Indian woman who seems approachable and practical. I explained my history, and stressed the importance of balance. She was attentive and understanding. It was a great meeting. I got my medications refilled and will go pick them up tomorrow, but will have to pay for them for the first time in a while. I think I’m going to get along well with my new doctor.
I have settled in to understanding the way to victory in my 1 vs 1 skirmishes against the Hard AI. I have won on every map starting with Argonath and ending at Cair Andros. I just recently won with Isengard against Rohan, and that was an Uruk spam if ever there was one. I sprinkled in some crossbowmen with steel bolts to thin the infantry, then the wall of Uruk-hai would get to their archers. It seems the key to any kind of success is establishing a thriving economy. Before and real combat begins, my bases have 3 – 5 resource buildings all at level 3 production. Getting big armies and heroes on the field takes lots of income, and the AI will rapidly overrun you if you can’t get control of at least 50% of the settlements. I’m playing on random now, just trying to get familiar with the different factions. The mod is great fun, and even Tristan is into it.
Well. Two good things and one bad thing. I’ll take that.
Big downturn today. Customers were arrogant, rude and obnoxious while they ignored me or hung up on me all day long. Chris knocked me over and made me spill my water on Mike’s desk. Jojo stole my Kana tickets that I claimed and didn’t even ask me if it was cool to do so. I didn’t get to do my order entry game today even though everyone else did. My company never paid me for being the on call tech last month. It’s been a shit day.
My mood is low; I feel oppressed and generally stomped on. It was nice to be done and come over to Amanda’s place. I feel very loved there, it it was great being there tonight. It really refreshed me. But today was a bad day. I guess everybody has to be the one in the barrel sometime.
Tomorrow is a new day. Sleep is the great equalizer.
After reading some build order ideas on the Edain forums, I decided to implement an entirely new strategy of my own concoction. I had been, right away, building 2 townhouses in my base and a barracks or archery range depending on the map. This initial build order worked about 40% of the time against the Medium AI. In my new strategy, I have greatly altered my starting sequence. First order of business was to send both free battalions to two unguarded settlements and build farms, then get one townhouse in the castle followed by two defensive towers at the entrance. I had been leaving a battalion of soldiers in my base to defend against the rush, which happens EVERY TIME at about the 1:00 mark. But with the towers there, all the units they sent in were killed, while my two free battalions were off demolishing creeps and capturing more settlements. Soon I had all the settlements on my side built on, and then I moved across the river to grab his. This is when things started to get a little crazy. He came after me with the pack of five Nazgul and a mountain troll, and forced my troops out of his territory, and pushed me back to my nearest farm, which they proceeded to destroy. Luckily, I had not been idle: my economy was blasting ahead, and I had a blob of soldiers, pikes and knights all running to defend against the incursion. I had troops on the opposite side of the map destroying more settlements and suffocating the AI’s resource flow. Eventually, they had lost too many settlements to be viable as an offensive force, and they died swiftly to scores of soldiers with forged blades. Did I mention that THIS WAS A HARD AI, NOT A MEDIUM???
Players (Gametime 14:28, Argonath)
Unit Kill To Death Ratio
Maximum Income Rate Per Minute
The numbers tell the story. I had control of the map, and the majority of the settlements. And I kept the AI from holding the perimeter. I attacked from both directions, dividing his forces and leaving one mass of soldiers to destroy two settlements and then assault his fortress uncontested. I killed every single unit he made, and I did in in half the time it used to take me. It was a resounding, undisputed win, from start to finish.
I am looking forward to gaming with Will, as he must surely have a strategy that varies from what the AI likes to do. It should be a clash of brains. Soon.
Happy gaming Edain world.
My workload was roughly half of what it was yesterday, and it showed after work as I had WAY more energy to go around.
Tristan sits on me a lot, and we talk in that cryptic discourse that occurs between children and adults. Today he was interested in my hands, perhaps because they are much larger than his, but there’s no telling what indecipherable motives he has. But he’s affectionate, and he takes direction when things get serious. He ate chicken that I cooked tonight, even though he is a very, VERY picky eater.
Amanda and I are openly discussing our future: we are planning the next step forward our relationship will take. Namely, living arrangements. We want to get a townhouse or condo and move in together. I think this is a logical, frugal step. I’m in love with her, and I want to be a family and raise Tristan like he was my son. I want to be with Amanda for good, not just for a time, but for the rest of my time. I don’t know if I’m ever going to get married again, but I do want to be hers for as long as she will have me. We have started on a long journey that is 84 days old today, and there will be many more than that to come. I want these things. In my heart I am flying through the sky with the sun on my back.
But how to tell my traumatized parents? They don’t know I’m in love, let alone wanting to live together. But I am talking to them Friday, and they will at least know that I love Amanda then. I don’t know how they will react. I’m scared to tell them, fearing reprisal. I can’t expect enthusiasm, because I have hurt them so many times in the past. But I genuinely feel that this time is vastly different than those other relationships where I rushed, paid no attention to details, and utterly failed. I built up trust and respect, which culminated in a stalwart and confident love. It’s unlike the fire, blinding passion and inscaciable lust of my past relationships. I have passion, but it resonates deep like a drum and runs through me like capillaries. It is coiled around the fiber of my being, and represented by facts, truths and observations. I am by no means done getting to know her; humans being creatures of constant adaptation and change. But I know that I don’t want anyone but her. I hope for a Poitier outcome in my procrastinated revelation. We shall see.
Goodnight blog. Many things to think about…
55 Day Average Score: +3.07
My score is low because I am totally out of energy today. I had a very fast but laborious day at work, handling 32 calls, 12 of which were outgoing. I do tend to forgo having excess energy for staying occupied through the day. So I may have started my shift somewhere in the 3.5 area, but as the day wore on and the intensity of my tasks increased, that number was eroded away. I am supposed to be able to handle 32 calls a day no problem, but today’s lot were really complicated, extra-step-needed type issues. Learning opportunities, yes, but at great cost.
I came over to Amanda’s apartment and I was utterly spent. I did manage to cook dinner (chicken thighs and a mixed-greens salad), but I was so tired. I wasn’t much fun to be around, I imagine. It’s really hard to have a jam-packed day and then still have enough energy left over to have an evening. I hardly play games at night anymore. I’m usually just disrobing, hygiene, bed. And tomorrow I need to be up ass early to get to therapy at 8. It usually takes me 40 minutes to get from Spring Valley to the clinic near Mission Bay. I want to talk to Margaret about this anxiety I have when bored, and how destructive it can be. I want to hear her thoughts on what actions I can take to limit the harm these rapid down-spirals can trigger.
I’ve been keeping a score representing a numerical value based upon overall mental health and energy levels for 56 consecutive days, and I will undoubtedly continue into the future. I find the score forces me to go back over my day and chart how I was feeling or what percentage of full my energy was at as the day progressed. It’s introspection in the most logical of terms, and profoundly relevant to my ongoing stability. I can easily chart my mood and see how it has changed, what triggered low scores, and what led to higher ones. Data collection. Boom.
I’m in love. I have a stable, prosperous life. I am building a family and managing my wellbeing. Soon things will shift, and life will be different, but still mine. I treasure my time with Amanda. Just being there with her, holding her hand. It’s quietly significant, because it is comforting and it feels like home.
Map: East Rohan
Players (Gametime 28 minutes 15 seconds)
Unit Kill / Unit Death Ratio
Income Rate Per Minute
As you can see, this was a war of sheer numbers. I simply had far too many units for my opponent to survive. I sprinkled in attack trolls and orc archers for balance, but easily 85% of my units were orc warriors. I had a base littered with towers, and I was able to defend most perimeter attacks on my settlements. I lost a couple slaughterhouses to raids but eventually thwarted the offensive and pushed the battle line back across the river. I destroyed the AI’s nearest farm to the river and that seemed to finally tip the scales. I had armored mountain trolls with weapons and they (3 of them) gutted the fortress and annihilated buildings swiftly. It became lopsided, but the AI had the economic lead for most of the game. The graph shows my line well below its line, with mine sharply turning up right near the end. It was a great fight, and I really do understand how to use Mordor now. Solid.
It’s Monday, and things were busy at work but I was not totally inundated with tasks. I didn’t check my log, but it felt like a 20 – 25 call day. I had some time to fart around the internet and read some stuff about the Edain mod. The best part of my shift was being able to talk to Amanda and help her through a really bad anxiety attack and subsequent emotional turmoil. I mean, it’s not like I can fix anything and make the anxiety go away, but I can help understand, listen and suggest logical thought-processes that might help lessen the momentum of some anxiety-driven arguments. The mind has the ability to pulverize itself with dread, but the same capacity to liberate itself from fear and worry. Nothing is going to take the physical anxiety symptoms away, no matter how logistical thoughts become. I realize these things, but I feel like I was able to be there for her today, while I addressed my pacified responsibilities at work. It felt like a good connection.
I went over to her place tonight, at the start of the week with her son. We all sat around and I made some steaks, which we had to eat without side dishes because all the salad was rotten and SOMEONE ate the rice for lunch. Anyway, it was really nice holding Amanda and sitting on the couch talking about our plans for the future. It’s looking more and more like a shared living situation will be our path, sometime in the next few months. We want to get Amanda’s art show in the rear view mirror before taking any action, because of the financial burden and available time. But we could easily afford a house, with all the amenities, and be able to come home to each other. It’s a great plan, because I love her, and I want to spend my time being with her. It feels good, and she makes me very happy. Her son could use a familiar house and family unit to grow up with too.
So we discussed, and looked at options. It’s something we want to do, but obviously aren’t ready to do yet. It’s a pleasant thought, to be with her that way.
So today was medium. Tomorrow is Tuesday. Hoorah.
I had an appointment with Dr. Judge today, and it went really well. We discussed my transition over to my new psychiatrist, and we reveled in my ongoing stability. Things have been pretty nominal in the last several months. My new life direction has brought me plenty of happiness.
Work has been good. I’m more-or-less falling in line and just concentrating on doing my job. I get handed extra responsibilities all the time, and that keeps me somewhat occupied. I do get bored though, and when I do, some bad shit starts to go down. I get nervous, and negative things start popping into the forefront of my mind. I spin and spin with anxiety. My doctor (this morning) said I aught to try and talk through it in therapy with Margaret. I agreed, and I will on Wednesday. Yes, something I will need to discuss.
I spent my evening with Amanda, who just likes to be called Amanda. She’s a new fan of carnitas, and I’m a happy camper. I have a great friend, who I trust and respect. We are building familiarity, and these steps are many and over a long road. I’m glad to be getting to know her better, because I find her interesting. I have love in my heart again and it feels good.
I found a bug in the Edain mod last night. On the map Mountains of Angmar, there are supposed to be three snow trolls guarding the east and west outposts… trouble is, the models for the snow trolls are part of the Angmar faction, which has yet to be introduced to the game. They should arrive sometime soon in a patch. But the mod team was quick to make changes, and released a 4.01 patch. Now the snow trolls are back, verified by me today. Though I’ve had no more wins. I played as Arnor on the now bug free Mountains of Angmar map and died to Isengard. Then I moved down and picked a new map and started using Isengard. The faction is neat, they seemed a little more early game less late game to me. It all really depends on how fast you can get to forged blades. Those Uruks are fun though. I didn’t mind the no walls, in fact, I rather liked it. I played as Isengard vs Mordor and lost. I played Isengard against Gondor and lost again. My build order is no good, apparently.
Have a good night.
Things were not off to a great start, as I was forced to defend my fortress camp from attackers. I was temporarily unable to expand my control by capturing additional settlements. But after that first wave, I dispersed my units effectively to try and capture enough new ground to stay viable. And after not too long, I had constructed two outposts and had a dominating upper hand on map control. I did all of this with no cavalry to speak of. I did unleash a god power which gave me some, but that was towards the end. It was a solid, steady ascent to victory.
Players (Gametime 32 minutes 30 seconds)
Gondor – Egregious
Rohan – Medium
Kill to Death Ratio
Income Rate Per Minute
I’m not sure yet if I have a decent build order. I know that I’m able to field a decent sized army and that seems to get me farther than in previous games. My income rate hasn’t dipped below the 1500 per minute mark in all my wins. So things look good. I just hope I can be more efficient in getting troops in play and not running low on them as I have in the past.
Share the stars,
Abundant eyes wonder,
Against the cold ground,
Twirl in deep fantasy,
At the grating edge of time.
Somewhere in the dark,
Beacons are flickering,
The promise of acknowledgement,
Stretching vast distances,
Peer into the empty night,
Believe there is more,
Marvel at the mystery of this home.
This time, I gave my strategy some thought. If I capture and expand my perimeter first, I can worry about having a massive army later on. The important thing is to build those resource gathering structures. Capture 3-5 of the nodes and make them farms. Then dedicate 3 fortress slots to houses, or at least two on smaller citadels. Economy is everything in this game. So in this skirmish, I tried to ensure that I had a rapidly expanding income, and always stayed at the cusp of available technology so that my troops could be more effective in smaller quantities. I was the first to go forged blades, and I was the first with fire arrows. I had knight shields for my cavalry and took both outposts towards the end. I stayed aggressive, and protected my base with archers. I made sure to regularly level my farms and houses, having most of them to level three by the end. I had 4 houses in the fortress and 5 farms and an additional house at the enemy side outpost, maybe one of them still a level 2.
The game progressed from my initially defensive response, to a swift move to capture my side of the map. Once I had that fully claimed and constructed upon, I started harassing the nearest enemy stronghold, what was the map’s northern outpost. But I found it unclaimed, still with the creep hill troll guarding it. So I built another stronghold and a fifth house. I placed a stables out there to give me a new place to crank on cavalry units. I made sure they all got their three upgrades once they were deployed. I dispatched with the enemy’s army and stuffed them down into their base, and at that time it was over. I had a screen full of Arnor Knights and they were crushing everything in their path. Though the summary said I built more Dunedain Soldiers than anything else. Here’s how the game broke down:
Players (Gametime 30 minutes 51 seconds)
Arnor – Egregious
Rohan – Medium
Kill To Death Ratio
Income Rate Per Minute
So the game turned right about the time I had my outpost built. I managed to train Glorfindel and got him up to level 8 before the enemy base was destroyed. But it was at that point that things began to change. I had consistent control of my side of the river. I was so busy going on about my income rate that I never bought any Rangers. I just used the Dunedain Archers. They had very view hit points, and trampling them is usually their doom. But once a few of them got fire arrows things really hit the fan. They had no answer for those upgraded Knights.
All in all, a gratifying win. I hadn’t had a single victory since beating an Easy the day before. Now I will test my luck on other maps and see if I can repeat my success.