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Blind Blitz III | Harsh Realms  


This game was famous on the Lair for its wonderful diplomacy and equally fantastic skill of several of the participants which resulted in most exquisite tactics.
There exist two write-ups:
From Matthias Gietl as Birds (Winner)
From David Pickerell as Lizards (placed #2)

Victory Write-up

I don’t use VPA or any other fancy tool or viewer except Tanascius. Therefore, I cant really back up my ranting with hard facts and have to write up everything from my memory.

I started off with some pretty nice money planets, some of them having a bad temperature, though. In turn 3 I spotted the first fed ship traveling through open space at warp 6. At turn 7 I got an email from the Privs with the id of my HW – pretty annoying, considering the fact that none of my ships had been seen and that we were using Exploremap.

I turned over a large deep to him (threatened him in the forum for stealing it ;-) ) and gave him a base close to my HW for MBR-production. I attacked Feds straight away and captured a freighter, a Loki and both an Eros and a bohemian, the latter one being with transwarps - dang. Together with the Privs (at that moment played by Dennis Weise) I freed the Feds of their only Missouri and Nova and with some luck I killed his last spaceworthy ship and his HW at the same time: he had all his planets set to NUK (plenty of fuel for my cloakers to beam up) and I was flying a Darkwing to his HW, when he popped up a small minefield, which I hit. So I arrived at this HW with 20 % damage and of course uncloaked. There was a Kitty with not enough fighters and the base after that. My brave crew fired volley after volley and when the dust settled the planet was mine, the Darkwing being at 99 percent damage and having1 mark8 torpedo left. When the slots filled up, all I had were some Fed ships, 5 MBRs, 5 Resolutes, 2 Darkwings, a Merlin and some smaller vessels. After that I did concentrate on colonizing, especially on the outer rim, down to where the colony spoke began. Somewhere during the relatively peaceful time (rebel killed colonies and Borg/fascist killed empire) Donovan took over the Privs. With me concentrating on my economy and him giving me his bases in front of the queue, I managed to build some 30 top-of-the-notch Darkwings and with that, sweeping became pretty easy.

In this build-up-phase the lizard-robot-crystal alliance (which had been an lizard-robot-crystal-colony-fed alliance from pretty early on - superspy told me about rsts being sent out via phhc's Srx command) killed the rebels. From trading we had gotten some poppers, 4 or 5 Fireclouds and a Biocide. Add a saber to that somewhere around turn 80. I don’t think any of our poppers were triggered and all the Biocide did was killing a lot of Eros' and two bases - and looking very mean, of course. We made peace with the Borg/fascist team and after I came up with a nice little trick abusing the host order and sphere, which Donovan executed perfectly, we were the proud owners of some T-rex and a Madonnzilla. That robbery did impress the lizard/crystal/robot team so much that they didn’t launch any offensive actions - except some ground assault and a lot of mining - at all. After that, the game consisted for me mainly of a lot of minesweeping, chasing lonely LCCs and securing the planets I had conquered. The plan for turn 100 was to have either a base and 5000+ clans on a planet or at least a resolute (of which I only had 6 or so) or a Darkwing (of which I had 26) in orbit of it with PE Lizard set. But for my wonderful ally Donovan the fun had just begun: with a handful of heavy-phaser Dwarfstars and Darkwings he (as privateers) invaded the Tholian territory and took planet after planet - which he then passed on to me, since I had already a lot more planets a the better means of pounding the lizards. Together we had some jolly fun in this game. After every completed mischief Donovan would post in the forum, sending letters from his (the privateers' leader) mum to her beloved son, to which both of us would reply, telling his mum not to worry and how we outsmarted the dumb serpents once more.


Second Place Write-Up

Yes, I got second place. Actually, I don't think that's too bad when you consider that my opponents were the likes of Matthias, Donovan and George Ianev. George had the Cyborg and was allied with the Fascist's (played by Sergey Didenko). Matthias took the Birds and allied up with the Privateers (at the time played by Dennis Weise and later replaced by Donovan). I played the Lizards (the first time for me). I did use VPA, so I can easily check stuff all the way back to turn 1;)

The game started out well enough. I had a good mix of planets with decent natives and minerals. I was a bit apprehensive about who would be near me as I didn't relish being a possible quick kill for Matthias or George (something George is rather adept at). Relief was not long in coming as I saw a Robot SDSF at turn two and an LDSF at turn three. At this point I had to decide whether I wanted to go for the quick kill myself. I decided discretion was the better part of valor as I didn't know who else was on my flanks. I allied with him and we started trading .rst's. At turn 7, I picked up the Crystal on my scope and asked him to join a three way alliance as I didn't relish spending the rest of the game sweeping webs:(

Right about this time, I started have phantom ships show up in VPA. It turns out they were showing up because I was using a utility to combine the different map files I was getting from my allies (I didn't know about the setting in VPA to account for different map files). The only problem was, I didn't know they were phantom ships, so I thought I had Rebel and Fed ships within striking distance of my area.

By turn 19 I had a pretty good idea of what the map looked like and found the Birds directly on the other side of the Sphere and he looked to be allied to the Priv. I was also able to figure out where most people were located and I had a good idea of who was at war with whom.

I decided the Rebels would be my target, so the Robots moved in and mined some and I ground pounded my planets. I had made the decision early on that I would live or die by ground-pounding, which I why I built very few heavy ships and relied mostly on LCC's (not the best idea in the world, but like I said, it was my first time playing the Lizards). I could also see the Privateers swarming over the Colonial arm about this time.

Matthias believed I was allied with everyone at this point. In reality, I was allied with the Crystal and Robots. I never allied with the Fed or Colonies even though I was asked. I had enough allies and didn't need more (also, I could read the writing on the wall - they weren't long for this world). The Robots did ally with the Fed and Colonies though. We also negotiated a non-aggression pact with the Borg/Fascist until turn 50 (I think that was it). The Colonies were going down hard right now and he was going to give a lot of his remaining ships to the Robots. Unfortunately, I was in between the Robots and Colonies in what was left of the Rebel spoke. I lost a half way decent base and some ships when a Colonial Virgo decided to retreat into it:(

Around this time, there was a bit of a dispute between the Crystal and the Borg/Fascist as Cutter was moving in on the old Empire spoke which George believed he had full claim to (I tended to agree with George on this one). We finally settled it and drew a line on the map.

Things went pretty good as the Crystal and Robot mined everything in site. I continued to try and expand my planetary count. The Robots continued to chafe for a full scale assault on anyone;) I think turn 50 or 60 was the point that Donovan took over. I was VERY apprehensive of doing a frontal assault on the Priv/Bird team because of the Donovan/Matthias combo. Either of them can be a formidable opponent, but the two of them together - yikes!

Around turn 65 or so, the Priv and the Bird were hitting us pretty hard in the south and we were gearing up to do a frontal assault. Other than some scattered planets, we had pretty much put paid to the Rebels . I had also started to probe Borg/Fascist space again. Unfortunately, this is also about the time that Donovan successfully pulled his trick with Sphere and the Host Order.

The Trick

Remember how I said either one of those two were formidable opponents? Well, they proved it. Donovan once again demonstrated his complete mastery of the host order. Sphere is run in the Auxbc phase normally to allow movement and combat in the same turn when you cross the Sphere. Unfortunately, it also allows you to completely bypass mines and Loki decloak. So, I got robbed blind and pretty much shut down my frontal assault.

After that, I basically concentrated on keeping my planetary count up at a decent level to at least place in the top three.

Donovan made really nice inroads into Tholian space and he and Matthias both tried coming closer in my space.

The game was fun in the earlier stages, but weighted with too much diplomacy later on. If I had it to do all over again, I would have probably attacked the Robots right out of the gate. Although the scoreboard indicates myself and Sergey took 2nd and 3rd, I would place Donovan right at the top for his ingenuity and resourcefulness.