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.