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Subject: Titan: What are your tactics? rss

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Brian Lucid
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I recently bought the new Titan game from Valley Games. It's pretty impressive, great art and quality. It helps to show the wife these quality game products when I justify why we need to postpone the kids orthodontics, but I digress.

My buddy explained the general flow of the game and we compared the older version (AH) to the new. The older one has nostalgic appeal to many but the new version rocks! Glad they brought it back.

In going through the basics I became concerned that the game is a bit random, sort of a rolling slugfest. We went through a couple of fights on the battle board. With the fog of war you never know what you're up against, but besides that it sort of felt like the card game "War".

I haven't actually played a game yet but what are your thoughts for tactics? I know it's really popular...why so? What am I missing? What's the strategy that I'm not grasping?
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Matt Thrower
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I can do no better than point you here:

http://www.desjardins.org/titan/strategy.txt

It's all true. The one thing it doesn't cover is battleboard strategy because that's rather more complex and has to be learned by experience. But trust me. I've had big stacks ripped to shreds by experienced players defending in native terrain.

When the reprint came out there were a lot of threads like this popping up saying "where's the strategy"? The answer from a lot of us Titan old-timers is that it takes time to tease it out of the game. A lot of modern players don't want to put in the play-hours to get that far, so if you fall in to that category, it may simply be that Titan isn't for you.

But there's plenty of strategy. Trust me on this. Over at F:AT we have a rolling Titan game going - when one finished, another one starts, usually with the same players. We're on game five now and the same player (not me) has won all four of the preceding games. That would be a most unlikely outcome if the game were anywhere near as random as some of its detractors suggest.
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Nigel Buckle
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I agree with Matt, only other bit of advice I'd offer is work out your objective when it comes to combat.

1. Win (doh!) if you think you can win, do it ...

2. Win (and keep X creature alive, often your titan but maybe a key muster creature). Harder to pull off than 1, but sometimes you have to keep a creature alive, so don't risk committing it until you know it can't be killed by a strike back

3. Lose - flee, if you have no lords, unless 4 applies below, or you really want to reveal the stack to others you are usually better off fleeing and giving your opponent only 1/2 points. If you have a lord in the stack, then fight and try to inflict the maximum damage (to key creatures, little advantage in killing off weaker stuff that were going to be split off later anyway).

4. Lose - take out a key creature. If your opponent hits you with one of their best mustering stacks and you have a chance to kill off their dragon, giant etc it might be worth fighting just to mess up the stack, otherwise it's only going to get worse ...

Oh, and don't pick a fight in the Jungle with non-natives against natives unless you really really have to
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Brian Lucid
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Titan muy helpful, thanks guys. It looks like a cool game and I love looking at the pieces and battle boards. Hard to find dedicated Titan players. I agree, as with any game just takes the time investment to uncover the subtleties and interesting strategies.

 
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Matt Thrower
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zaphod b wrote:
Titan muy helpful, thanks guys. It looks like a cool game and I love looking at the pieces and battle boards. Hard to find dedicated Titan players. I agree, as with any game just takes the time investment to uncover the subtleties and interesting strategies.


Were you aware the game plays very well PBEM? There's an auto-moderation system at http://acts.warhorsesim.com/

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Brian Lucid
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yes, I've used that for some GMT games I can't get anyone to play. It's an option, thanks!
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Nigel Buckle
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And there is a java implementation for solo play (and multiplayer).

http://colossus.sourceforge.net/


AI is fairly weak, but if you're starting out you'll find it challenging enough Graphics are for the Avalon Hill version rather than the Valley Games one.
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Jens Hoppe
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MattDP wrote:
When the reprint came out there were a lot of threads like this popping up saying "where's the strategy"? The answer from a lot of us Titan old-timers is that it takes time to tease it out of the game.


Quite true. When I first started playing Titan back in ... the late 1980s or possibly 1990 or so ... the game had a dedicated and very hard-core following in Copenhagen. The local big Con was the center of an annual tournament, and in those years even getting to the final game held a lot of prestige.

As a new player I discovered the hard way that less than a dozen games of experience generally meant that one got squashed by the experienced players pretty early on. And over the years I realized that there were several levels of "being experienced": The first experienced players I had played against - the ones with, say, about a hundred games played - were formidable opponents for me. But even they had a hard time against the most experienced, hard-core group of players - here we are talking people with more than a thousand games played!

Suffice to say that I came away with the impression that Titan was a pretty deep game.
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Bruno Wolff
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bucklen_uk wrote:
And there is a java implementation for solo play (and multiplayer).

http://colossus.sourceforge.net/


AI is fairly weak, but if you're starting out you'll find it challenging enough Graphics are for the Avalon Hill version rather than the Valley Games one.


I think the AI is a bit better in the current development version than in the last public build. If you use the humanhater AI, the AI will be a formidable opponent. You'll get trained to make some safety plays you wouldn't make against humans (assuming they weren't also out to get you), but even learning to notice these threats is valuable.

There is a very good chance that Colossus will make it into Fedora in about a month; in which case it will be on the F12 Live Games DVD.
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Martin
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brunowolff wrote:
There is a very good chance that Colossus will make it into Fedora in about a month; in which case it will be on the F12 Live Games DVD.


That would be great. I frequently boot my work laptop to a Live USB while traveling, and I would definitely enjoy playing Colossus on the plane.
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Bruno Wolff
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itsmarty wrote:
brunowolff wrote:
There is a very good chance that Colossus will make it into Fedora in about a month; in which case it will be on the F12 Live Games DVD.


That would be great. I frequently boot my work laptop to a Live USB while traveling, and I would definitely enjoy playing Colossus on the plane.


The colossus project is releasing a new public build today.

I have added an updated package based on the new public build, to F10 and F11 in updates-testing and rawhide.
 
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Jon
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brunowolff wrote:

The colossus project is releasing a new public build today.

I have added an updated package based on the new public build, to F10 and F11 in updates-testing and rawhide.


I was just playing with the latest public build and I noticed I was not able to recruit a Ranger for a Ranger in the plains. It allowed me to down recruit, and the caretaker's stacks window said there were Rangers left.

Anyone else notice this? (I opened a bug on source forge.)
 
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Joel K
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JonPrud wrote:
I was just playing with the latest public build and I noticed I was not able to recruit a Ranger for a Ranger in the plains. It allowed me to down recruit, and the caretaker's stacks window said there were Rangers left.

Anyone else notice this? (I opened a bug on source forge.)


I just split off a pair of Rangers real quick in a test game against the CowardSimpleAI and successfully recruited a Ranger in the Plains (P119). Granted, I used the TitanPlus variant so I could get to Rangers faster...wonder if that made a difference. I'll try a normal game and see if I get the error you had.

EDIT: Tried a normal game against the SimpleAI and successfully recruited a Ranger in P129 with Ranger-Ogre.
 
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Jon
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JoelCFC25 wrote:

I just split off a pair of Rangers real quick in a test game against the CowardSimpleAI and successfully recruited a Ranger in the Plains (P119). Granted, I used the TitanPlus variant so I could get to Rangers faster...wonder if that made a difference. I'll try a normal game and see if I get the error you had.

EDIT: Tried a normal game against the SimpleAI and successfully recruited a Ranger in P129 with Ranger-Ogre.


The legion I had contained a Ranger and 3 Trolls in P15. I'll work on a repro.
 
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Travis Hall
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JonPrud wrote:
I was just playing with the latest public build and I noticed I was not able to recruit a Ranger for a Ranger in the plains. It allowed me to down recruit, and the caretaker's stacks window said there were Rangers left.

Anyone else notice this? (I opened a bug on source forge.)

Sort of. I've noticed that the caretaker's stacks window sometimes shows incorrect numbers of creatures remaining, including sometimes saying that there are some of a creature still available when really all are on the board or dead. I have been able to confirm that it is the caretaker's stacks window that is incorrect, rather than what it allows the player to muster (simply by being able to count, say, all six Warlocks on the board while the caretaker's stacks showed Warlocks still available).

I know that in at least one case, the caretaker's stacks window was showing the stacks from a previous game, which had concluded before I chose to start a new game.

I suspect I have an old build, though. I haven't bothered updating in quite some time. I'm not going to complain about such a bug without first verifying that it occurs in a more recent build than mine (which I think is closing on three years old). In fact, I'm probably more likely to track down and fix the bug than to complain about it.
 
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Jon
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Wraith wrote:

Sort of. I've noticed that the caretaker's stacks window sometimes shows incorrect numbers of creatures remaining, including sometimes saying that there are some of a creature still available when really all are on the board or dead. I have been able to confirm that it is the caretaker's stacks window that is incorrect, rather than what it allows the player to muster (simply by being able to count, say, all six Warlocks on the board while the caretaker's stacks showed Warlocks still available).


I suspect that is what happened to me. I haven't been able to reproduce the issue.

Jon
 
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Bruno Wolff
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Wraith wrote:
JonPrud wrote:
I was just playing with the latest public build and I noticed I was not able to recruit a Ranger for a Ranger in the plains. It allowed me to down recruit, and the caretaker's stacks window said there were Rangers left.

Anyone else notice this? (I opened a bug on source forge.)

Sort of. I've noticed that the caretaker's stacks window sometimes shows incorrect numbers of creatures remaining, including sometimes saying that there are some of a creature still available when really all are on the board or dead. I have been able to confirm that it is the caretaker's stacks window that is incorrect, rather than what it allows the player to muster (simply by being able to count, say, all six Warlocks on the board while the caretaker's stacks showed Warlocks still available).

I know that in at least one case, the caretaker's stacks window was showing the stacks from a previous game, which had concluded before I chose to start a new game.

I suspect I have an old build, though. I haven't bothered updating in quite some time. I'm not going to complain about such a bug without first verifying that it occurs in a more recent build than mine (which I think is closing on three years old). In fact, I'm probably more likely to track down and fix the bug than to complain about it.

A new build was just released fixing 4 bugs:
* Fixed: 2836720 Resync error during loading saved game (when UndoRecruit had been done)
* Fixed: 2838300 Auto Done (added description for it in documentation)
* Fixed: 2837666 Help About pop fails (when some logging property file was not defined)
* Fixed: 2837660 Creature information pop up failing
 
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