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Dr. DimWit



Joined: 07 Nov 2000
Posts: 444
Location: Denmark

 PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 4:55 am    Post subject: Expert Freestyle Reply with quote Back to top

Playing a few expert freestyle MajX games when I get home from work has become an almost integral part of my life lately. To some extent because there’s almost no other games out there I care to invest in for the moment, nor has there been for a long while. So I thought I would share my experiences, and perhaps get some tips from other players.

There are three variations in starting forces: No help, 4 gnome hovels, and a marketplace. A free marketplace is an enormous help, and it gives you a much wider span of possibilities in the beginning. You can actually have Daurus and Agrela up before the first wave. I have never been able to tell if it is an actual free bonus, or if the others settings just get that much harder. Gnome hovels are nice, but also mean it’s difficult to get the elven economic bonus.

My standard building order is: Marketplace, Rouges Guild, blacksmith, upgrade castle. I’m not too sure about the blacksmith, perhaps I should consider building an inn and upgrading the mar-ketplace before upgrading instead. I have tried with rangers, and it is possible, but it takes longer time, and the ability to extort is often vital. Often you can get the vital information and buildings space much quicker with rouges and 100 gp awards. I start with one award towards the centre, looking for the right place for a guard tower. Another award a bit further towards the centre, to get a hint of possible opposition. If there is room opposite the marketplace for a trad-ing post, also an award to clear the dark there.
After the upgrade, a guardhouse towards the middle and if possible an inn and elves and perhaps a trading post. Another option is upgrading the market place. Then I go for the chosen temple.

Ice Dragons & Yetis:
I hate them. They are almost impossible to take down, and they appear in colossal waves (is it 6 or 8?). More often than dragons they will target people before buildings, and tax collectors bet-ter stay in door.
If they come in the first wave (day 1-2), sometimes it's before I have a level 2 palace, and I have never been able to resist for long. A few times, when they come on the second wave, and I have Krypta, I am able to survive for a wave or two, but I almost always loose a lot of buildings, and it's a constant struggle to get the economics going. I think a major part of having a chance, are when they appear somewhat separate, instead of all on the same time.
Only once have I beaten a freestyle with these monsters, and I was on the edge for a long time. In the end I won because I lost few important buildings, and my priestesses helped a lot in com-bat, and most important: In the beginning they survived long enough to contribute the enormous sums they got from the first waves to my treasury. After my economy was going, and I had wiz-ards and the money for wither and invisible, I stood a chance. Still, two yetis and a dragons ap-pearing near and attacking my Krypta temple or market place together could have done me in as late as day 20.

Shadow Beasts:
They are not so keen on attacking buildings, and they are not all that strong either, but they are numerous, and very fast. Again, if they arrive in the first days, you just don’t have the strength to fight them. Sometimes they appear together with Ice Dragons, and I’ve only got a shrug as comment to that.
Priestesses would stand a chance, if only there where less monsters. Once I had a monk fighting 5 or 6 at the same time, and doing great job of surviving, but too little killing. The other beasts tore down too many buildings, and his temple, in the end.
I have won games against Shadow Beasts 3 times, all with Krypta, and all three times because my priestesses worked together taking threats out quickly, while the rest of the beasts ran around more or less harmlessly. Once you survive the first wave, higher level heroes will make a big difference in fighting these freaks. One key is to extort for money – the odds for your tax collectors to make it out and back in one piece is slim.

Dragon Lairs:
“Old Fashion Dragons”, they still have weaknesses for guardtowers and skeletons. I have won against 4 Dragons lairs a number of times, but it takes a lot of concentration, and some nice luck. If they attack your guardhouse, and you have peasants or goblins nearby to repair, and plenty of skeletons to finish them of, you’re in the clear. If they attack you where you are weak, or target your builders and then finish off the guard tower, you’re often doomed. 4 dragons car-ry a lot of fire power. My record against them are worse than it where in the original Maj (where it was close to 100 %), because I often choose to start without gnomes. And of course because they now sometimes get no less than 4 lairs.

Gorgons:
Their stoning and medusa spawning abilities are awesome, but they take a long time slithering towards your castle, and if you know they are coming, you have time to build up the economy and otherwise prepare. Some times a single guardhouse will keep a horde busy; some times they will target anything that moves. I have about a 50/50 record against them, and they provide a chance to use something else than Krypta. Actually, cultist can be valuable with their charming ability, if you’re lucky.
Having rangers can be really frustrating in the beginning……

Random monster wave:
This is the setting where you get random monsters coming in from the edge of the map. It can be dragons, golems, evil eyes, minotaurs, trolls and medusas. Which monsters appear, and where and when, means everything to your surviving chances. I have won easy wins against spread out monsters, fought glorious battles with 3 rock golems, and lost miserably when 8 monsters spawn in my unprepared backyard.

Goblin Settlement:
A good reason to make some early exploring is if you discover some goblin settlements. This means a couple of things:
You’ve got time before the first wave, normally well into day 4, so you can choose to build the economy up before making temples.
You can get your rouges (or rangers) some nice extra starting levels flagging some of the dens with 100 gp flags, and maybe even get more in return. The smaller hovels have between 100 and 250 gp in them, and they will spawn a goblin when erased.
You stand a chance with other temples than Krypta. Krolm or Daurus or perhaps Agrela with warriors or just a wizard tower in the right place.
If you are unlucky, or ill prepared, they can still take a building down fast when they swarm you, but I have quite good results against goblins. Of course they are combined with another monster wave, and which that is, is perhaps more critical for your chances.

The three Minotaurs: Biggest problem with those is, that they appear quite early. I think they have a feeling for when I choose to go for the long term build up instead of instant defences. Sometimes I have my peasants too spread out, and I have to go for a self-constructing wizards guild to get some firepower. Quite often I loose my guardtower, but wizards with the help from rouges can almost always handle the invasion. How much you loose in terms of the guardtower, heroes and money-carrying tax-collectors determine your chances against the next wave of what-ever. If I come out unscratched, I stand a good chance.

Vampires (and trolls): My distaste for vampires has gone a bit down, after MajX has introduced suicide control for priestesses and wizards. They can still be a major nuisance when they camp in front of the castle killing everything that moves, but they will leave your buildings alone (ex-cept guardhouses) and normally they will arrive in your settlement after quite a while.
I have lost against vampires, but normally they are an almost guaranteed win. All temples stand a chance against vampires, perhaps Krolm is the best choice.
 
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Dr. DimWit



Joined: 07 Nov 2000
Posts: 444
Location: Denmark

 PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 4:57 am    Post subject: Expert Freestyle Reply with quote Back to top

Now, if anyone has some good advice against Shadow Beasts and Ice Dragons/ Yetis, in the frame of expert freestyle, I would be where interested....
 
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Spiderman



Joined: 28 Mar 2000
Posts: 3053
Location: Baltimore, MD USA

 PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 7:18 am    Post subject: Expert Freestyle Reply with quote Back to top

Interesting perspective and experiences. Mine has almost always been with the Yetis/Ice Dragons and the normal Dragons. Is the random monster wave setting from the Wandering Monsters table? If so, I believe it's whatever it's set to from your last quest; it's not "random". I think the random settings only randomize the Starting Settlement and Enemy Forces; Wandering and Special Events are taken from whatever is in your editor.

I've pretty much stopped trying Expert Random because of the seemingly hopelessness cause of going up against the Yetis and Dragons all the time Perhaps I'll give them another whirl.
 
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Dr. DimWit



Joined: 07 Nov 2000
Posts: 444
Location: Denmark

 PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 9:32 am    Post subject: Expert Freestyle Reply with quote Back to top

It's is true that the random setting will often use the settings you have last played with, so I have "neutralized" my manual setting for freestyle. And I still get the different settings described above. But no special events. There does seem to be some kind of waves, where you will get the same type of monster on several games in a row.

Don't worry, I have lost many games in a row, because I keep getting impossible settings. And I do believe some of the waves on day 1 are impossible to beat. But I'm very proud of my single victory against the Ice dragons .

Oh, and with random monsters waves I didn't mean like in "Fertile Plains". Here you get for example 2 dragons, 6 minotaurs and 1 beholder and 2 medusas.
 
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Spiderman



Joined: 28 Mar 2000
Posts: 3053
Location: Baltimore, MD USA

 PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 6:37 am    Post subject: Expert Freestyle Reply with quote Back to top

Oh, is that the "Sorceror's Mistake" setting of Enemy Forces? Probably the easiest one of them that still provides you with "good" monsters I wish I got it more often...
 
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