Groentje Players Manual Ch6

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WAR

Fighting battles to enlarge your kingdom and defend it from land loss is inevitable and central in this game. To fight you need an army, to be created from units that you may have recruited using your barracks and/or may have summoned using spells and/or items (previous chapters); and/or may have obtained in the Black Market (next chapters). This chapter takes you through the basics of The Reincarnation combat.

Note that for mages casting Armageddon and their fellow guild members, the protection rules DO apply in The Reincarnation (in constrast to Armageddon in Archmage times). Attack limitations do not apply.

Attack Limitation

The game is balanced by an attack limitation scheme to avoid bullying of low powered tiny kingdoms (such as of those mages that have just reincarnated) by massive kingdoms of more powerful mages (such as those dominating the upper ranks). The limitation is based on net power (as is the rank list).

In principle, mages may attack any mage that is within 80% to 200% of his own net power. This implies that you may be attacked by any mage that is within 50% to 125% of your power. Mages that have counters (see below) are not power limited when they decide to attack in revenge and neither are mages that are enchanted. The offensive use of spells and items is not limited by this limitation: a mage can item and spell any other mage.

Protection

To restrict amounts of attacks on particular kingdoms and to avoid having players find their mages totally annihilated when they login to their characters, the game has a protection system built in. There are different kinds of protection related to battles, power, land and troop loss:

Damage protection

A mage that lost over 30% of his net power add-up over 24 hours is protected against ‘new’ attacks. However, in this period mages are not protected against counter attacks (see below) resulting from the mage's last 24 hours of battle history (so-called ‘open counters’). This protection status will last, regardless of activities by the mage during protection.

Council protection

In his first 2000 turns, a mage that has lost all of its units and has dropped below 1500 acres of land, will enter Council Protection status. This means the mage cannot be newly attacked, nor can be countered (see below). Entering Council Protection also dispels all enchantments maintained by the mage. Council Protection lasts for a maximum of 48 hours. Council protection is removed as soon as a mage spends a single turn.

Pillage protection

Some other protection schemes exist, for example against damage by 'Pillages' and ‘Volcano Eruptions’ of which a maximum number may hit you over 24 hours. Additional incoming attacks are prevented.

Meditation protection

Meditating mages cannot be attacked.

Counter attacks

The game has a 72 hour memory of attack history. Particularly attacks of the last 24 hours are important when you want to counter an attack. Within that timeframe, the game helps mages take revenge for an attack by countering: such attacks on self-proclaimed enemies are less limited than attacks on innocent new targets. Benefits for countering mages are: (1) mages can attack regardless of net power differences (i.e. the attack limitation does not apply); and (2) mages can attack regardless of protection status.

For each defended attack (land loss or not), a mage is granted the opportunity to take at least one retaliating attack with the counter-benefits. Counter benefits apply until an even amount of damage has been dealt as was suffered originally. On servers with 'land counters', the attacker can deal new damage with Regular and Siege attacks, as long as the defendent took more land from the attacker than was reclaimed in the last 24 hours. On most servers, however, damage due to 'land loss' and other forms of power loss, such as pillages and spells, is not accounted for seperately.

Counters inevitably time out in exactly 24 hours. After that, attacking a mage in retaliation of an earlier attack is technically not a counter: it becomes an attack with normal attack limitations. Most counter attacks result from earlier attacks, but there are other circumstances that can grant counters. These are related to offensive use of items and spells (i.e. ‘you receive a wink from the Goddess of Revenge’ message). A hallucinated attack does not give a counter.

The battles related to your kingdom that appear in the Chronicle of Terra may give you some reminders of which counters still are to be expected, and which still to take. Note that a counter attack is an attack on its own, just like any other attack, and therefore returns similar counter benefits to the attacked mage (in other words, countering may lead to counter-counter and counter-counter-counter attacks).

Selecting your enemy

Who to attack depends on the players strategy, and the power rank and history of his mage. It is possible to attack a new target or to attack an old enemy. The various options are listed below. Some ways of selection do not work on SOLO servers, because of the anonymized gameplay there. The mage kingdom to war can be selected:

1. Through links in the Arena page of the target

e.g. brought up after clicking on a mage name on a ranklist -- best for random target selection, also on SOLO servers
or from clicking on a guild enemy list -- supporting guilds only
e.g. brought up after clicking on a mage name in a battle report -- best for countering, also on SOLO servers
you look up battle reports from up to 72 hrs ago in your Chronicle.
you look up battle reports from guild mates through the Guild pages.
e.g. brought up from a direct Arena name look up -- not on SOLO servers

2. On the War page, when a mage ID is known before hand, not the case on SOLO servers.

e.g. from memory, a guild forum, a ranklist, a message from your ally

Types of Combat

Three types of battle combat exist in The Reincarnation, supplemented by spell and item attacks that do not involve your army. In the war menu, you first select the type of battle and the targeted kingdom. Pillage attacks can gain you geld, population and items, but not land; regular attacks can gain you an amount of land; siege attacks can potentially gain you a larger amount of land, including possibly a fort. In the next screen, you select which troops will fight your battle (if not your full army) and which spell and item to use (if not none). If you have battle active heroes, they'll join your army automatically in a regular or siege attack and team up with a stack of their like (you cannot select heroes to stay home, they do stay home when your army is very very small).

Pillaging

In a pillage attack, you send one stack of your units into another kingdom and attempt to raid its geld, population and items by raging of its land. If successful, this gives you some geld, population (in variable amounts depending on the interior of the targeted kingdom and the size of the raiding party) and possibly one item while turning some of the buildings into wilderness. If unsuccessful, you are likely to be warded off and loose a significant number (if not all) of the units you sent, while they flee like thieves in the night. The amount of goods that pillaging units can carry depends on their number, not on their power. The odds to ward off pillagers, besides protection by forts (if you maintain enough, your warding army will pay maximum attention), depend on the number of units within your army, not on their power. Unless it is Armageddon, you can only bring home pillaged resources of mages within 50% of your net power before the pillage (otherwise the distance is too large and your troops lose their stuff on the way).

Regular attack

This is the most basic form of attack, in which you send (a selection of) your troops to engage in the field of battle, in the outskirts of your opponents kingdom. When you win a regular attack, you will get a small portion of the defeated mage's land (including buildings), burning several acres to ash in the process. Being unable to defend a kingdom in a regular attack, at max reduces your land with 5%. To win the battle of a regular attack, you have to defeat at least 10% of your opponent’s army, while not losing more of your army than your opponent did. To conquer the maximum amount of land, a sufficient number of units needs to have survived the battle to occupy each newly gained acre. Unless it is Armageddon, you can only occupy land of mages that are within 50% of your net power before the battle (otherwise all conquered land is destroyed).

Siege attack

This is the most devastating form of attack in the game, involving a larger part of a kingdom, including its forts. You will both gain and destroy more acres of your opponent's lands when victorious, but a siege is significantly more difficult to win than a regular. Since forts are involved, the targeted mage is granted defensive bonuses when defending (compare battle reports to find out how much). If a siege attack is successful, you will gain land, including at least one fortress from the defeated mage. Being unable to defend a kingdom in a siege attack, at max reduces your land with 10%. To win a siege battle, you have to defeat at least 10% of your opponent's army, while not losing more of your army than your opponent did. To conquer the maximum amount of land, a sufficient number of units needs to have survived the battle to occupy each newly gained acre. The same goes to win forts. Unless it is Armageddon, you can only occupy land of mages that are within 50% of your net power before the battle (otherwise all conquered land is destroyed).

Spell attack

Selecting this attack type brings you to the spell casting pages from the MAGIC section earlier in the manual. Casting an offensive spell is an attack and can grant your enemy counters.

Item attack

Selecting this attack type brings you to the spell casting pages from the MAGIC section earlier in the Manual.

Throwing an offensive item is an attack and can grant your enemy counters.

Defensive assignments

When someone decides to attack your country, your army will automatically line up for defence. You can be attacked at any time, whether you are online or not, and spending turns your self or not. Hence, it is necessary to choose spell and item assignments beforehand, so that your army knows what to use when they line up. You can assign one item and one spell to be used in your defensive battles. You may also set whether or not the item and spell will be used, given the size of the invading army relative to yours. These battles take place in your own kingdom, so you’ll find that your enchantments are also effective during defence.

The assigned battle-item is used provided it was in stock, and the assigned battle-spell is cast provided that sufficient magic power was available (given that the attack satisfies the conditions you have set). If you get attacked multiple times, you’ll need sufficient storages of the assigned items and m.p.. To select your spell and items, choose Assignment in the main menu. Each time you enter the Assignment page, be sure to select a spell and item and their conditions for use so you are not left defenceless (the assignment resets to nothing if you do not set it each time you enter the assignment page). You can check your current spell and item assignments in your Status Report. Picking the right spell and item for defence is a complicated matter: partly a gamble, partly related to the composition of your army and the state of your economy. You will master it slowly while becoming an experienced player. Analysing the effects of items in battle reports from offensive battles helps!

Strange combat results

1. Your opponent appears to have disappeared: Sometimes you will attempt to attack a mage and receive a message that the mage no longer exists. There are several possibilities as to why a mage will turn up as not existing when you are looking for him/her. The mage may have died in battle, chosen to delete his/her account. Most commonly however, you have mistyped your targets mage number.

2. Not winning a battle, despite not losing troops: It is possible not to win a battle an attack without losing any troops. If you attack and kill a few hundred or thousands of units, lose nothing yourself and still not win it is because you did not inflict the required minimum amount of damage on your opponent’s army. You may wish you had chosen regular attack, instead of siege.

3. Winning, but gaining little land: The amount of land you gain in an attack is dependant upon the size of the force you send into battle. If you send only a few units, those few units will not be able to occupy a large amount of land. However, if you send several thousand units, you will gain many acres when you are victorious.

4. Reflected spells: When your spell level is much higher then that of your opponent you have a chance to reflect enemy battle spells and enchantments back at them.

Clues to understand your battle report

Many different factors influence the events during a battle. The Encyclopedia's Book of Units, describes the basic qualities of each army unit: a set of properties that together determine their actions in battles. Each unit has a certain amount of Attack power, some Attack Types, and Attack Initiative and Health/resilience. Many units also have Extra Attacks and counter Attacks, special abilities and resistances against certain magic specialities and attack types.

Lining up for the battle

To understand your battles, you should realise that The Reincarnation sorts your stacks and your opponent’s stacks before a battle begins. You can check the line up in the upper part of your Battle report. The sorting order is based on Attack Power, the amount of Units, the abilityFLYING (this promotes them higher up in stack order) and the Attack Types RANGED (this puts them relative protected lower in stack order). Units send in by allies (yours or your opponents) are placed at the bottom of the stack order.

You will find that you can predetermine stack order in battles, by:

1. calculating ‘Number of units’ times ‘attack power of unit’ for all stacks;

2. multiplying all flyers with 3/2 (promote them) and all ranged with 2/3 (shelter them)

3. sort the resulting series of modified power-ranked stacks.

Notice that in your Status report, in your Disband screen, and in your War screen your units are shown as sorted in battle order. Each unit’s relative contribution to the total army power is also indicated.

The top of your battle report further displays the specifications of each unit as they enter the battle. Battle spells and battle items (of both parties) as well as heroes, enchantments and fort-percentages may modify the basic qualities of your units. Hence specifications may differ from the Encyclopedia's Book of Units. The amount of battle damage that a unit does, ultimately is based on the power of their attacks, albeit strongly modified by other parameters, most notably accuracy (which is 30% by default, but may be altered, e.g. by battle spells and items).

Fighting the battle

In the battle, one by one each stack of units does its attack(s) on one other stack. Each stack is paired to an enemy stack at the begin of the battle, based on net power but also accounting for abilities of both stacks. FLYING units can only be attacked by other flyers and by RANGED units. Flyers can attack non-flying units. Very small defending stacks will not be paired to large stacks, but flee. The resulting series of events can be read in the middle part of the battle report.

  • Those units with the highest initiative, strike first.
  • Units with counter attacks, counter-attack immediately after, provided that this is possible given abilities (RANGED units, for example, attack from a distance and do not trigger a counter attack).
  • Damage is carried over: For example, an Icon ASCENDANT.gif Astral Magician stack does some damage to opposing Icon ERADICATION.gif Red Dragons, and thereafter an Icon VERDANT.gif Elven Magician stack follows up and soon as the total amount of damage dealt to the Red Dragons is sufficient to kill a single specimen this occurs.
  • Damage dealt by a stack follows from the number of units and their power (Encyclopedia - Book of Units) - but is heavily modified by spells, unit resistances against spells and attack types, repeated action in a battle and a random factor to keep some element of chance. The damage that a unit can take to survive a battle follows from its hitpoints (Encyclopedia - Book of Units) and is also affected by spells etc.

The lowest part of the battle report summarises the outcome of the battle. This is used to determine who won and who lost the battle.

Unit attack initiative

A unit's initiative is the speed with which it attacks. Some units have more than one attack, each with its own initiative value. Units with a high attack initiative (7 is the maximum) will attack first in battle, while units with lower initiative will attack later in the battle. When multiple stacks have the same initiative, which one attacks first is randomly decided. Note that certain magic spells and items can raise and decrease initiative. A unit with a (altered) initiative of 0 will not attack at all (they will use their counter attack).

Having units with a high initiative is benefitial in two ways. (1) if you strike first you kill of troops, so there are less troops to stike you; (2) When a stack does attack, is attacked or counter attacks, that stack loses a % of its efficiency because it gets tired (Fatigue). So when it is the enemies troops turn to strike, they are less efficient if you stroke them first, and the higher your unit's initiative was, the better the odds that you managed to do so.

Units that do not attack

In principle each stack in the battle does its attacks to the enemy stacks that it was paired to at the very begin of the battle. In certain cases you will find that not all of your different stacks of troops attack. This can be because of magic spells/items ('initiative is zero' or unit is 'paralysed'), or because all your opponents attackable units were annihilated. You may have wished you brought in FLYING or RANGED units, since your opponents flyers are out of reach of your ground-dwelling troops. Obviously, if a stack has been completely wiped out before it can make its attack, there is no attack. Less obviously, if an opponents stack is completely wiped out in the early phase of the battle, low initiative stacks also paired to them may not attack at all.

Frequently used terms for attacks

Attacks come with letters on an arrow, some of which use terms that may need explanation when first encountered. It is up to you if you want to write a letter on an arrow. Most mages do so. Writing/receiving a witty letter on arrow can spice up your playing and may bring you into contact with other players. Max 255 chars though!.

‘Random landgrab’ – The mage attacking you just wants your land, no offence. Most mages accept this as common practice and start checking if a counter is possible, specifically when land is lost.

‘Scout’ – A mage sends in a small army, just to see what would face him if he decides to attack full scale (in contrast to ‘random’ attacks). Usually this is followed by a ‘real’ attack. When they find that they are scouted and then attacked, many mages retaliate either with or without help of allies and guild-friends.

‘Counter’ – The mage claims you attacked first and therefore probably expects no retaliation. Your memory or the chronicle should confirm this really was a counter.

‘Proxy-Counter’ – The mage claims you attacked one of his/her guildmates, and he is countering for that in the guildmates name. You could decide that you agree with that group-play-policy and treat it as a normal counter, or may not accept this attack as a counter, treat it as an ordinary attack or guild-coordinated attack.

‘Land-counters’ – A mage decides to keep attacking until once-lost land is regained.

‘Multi-attack’ – A mage attacks the same target twice or more within short time (usually within 24 hours). Many mages retaliate when they find that they are multi-attacked, either with or without help of allies and guild-friends.

‘Disband’ – A mage claims to attack you, not so much to win land but more to get rid of his troops he cannot disband ‘interiorly’. The Decalogue states that it is illegal to disband troops on members of the own guild and on members of associated guilds.

‘Need Population - A mage claims to have to pillage you, because his/her kingdom is in desperate need of population (rather common for Nether economies).

‘Online’ - A mage claims to have seen your mage move, and deliberately attacked you while you were briefly with a weak army - just after your landgrabs and just before you had summoned your army backup.

Social Norms

Some interesting social norms have developed amongst the players over the history of The Reincarnation.

Checking Mage Descriptions

It is always wise to check a mage's description before attacking. By doing this you can avoid attacking mages who are warring with other mages or guilds. It is common practice to avoid attacking mages who are involved in guild wars (mainly because their guild will take it badly and target you).

Multi Attacking

Multi attacking is engaging in more than one offensive action against one mage within a 24 hour period. Of course you can choose to do this, but many players consider it not done. If you multi attack a player, he or she will often receive it as an act of war and retaliate like wise. Scouting (see above) is mostly seen as multi-attacking too.

Counter-countering

Countering a counter (most commonly between 24 and 48 hours after an initial attack, within 24 hours after the counter) like multi-attacking is within the rules, but will in many cases trigger nasty retaliations.

Bullying newbies

When it is clear that a particular newbie-opponent is no match to a more experienced mage, after an initial exchange of attacks with rather one-sided outcomes, newbies are commonly granted a pardon. This also goes for minor misunderstanding on social norms described above.

Guild diplomacy

Many guilds advocate strict codes of conduct and enforcement policies, such as how the group will deal with e.g. multi-attacks. Most interesting guild wars have evolved out of mutual irritations on eachother's guild-specific codes. A little bit of diplomacy when dealing with an angry guild in most first-offence cases can get you out of trouble, since usually you are not the only mage on their enemy list, and many players in the end are easily flattered by showing them appropriate dignity.

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