Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic Multiplayer?

I’ve got the old AoW: Shadow Magic itch again. I’d love to try an epic, empire-building match with fellow Qt3ers, played out on a big map over several online sessions. I’m thinking we could get together one evening a week for a couple of hours. Around six players would be ideal, I think. Anyone interested?

I’d love to, but the times I’ve tried to get an MP game going I’ve always had network trouble. :(

I am all over it.

Sounds interesting. What day of the week, what time of day, and which scenario? Would combat be autoresolve?

Oooh, sounds like fun. I’d need to know a bit in advance, so I can clear out a nice long block of time. Oh, and pay no attention whatsoever to that blip on your minimap.

  • Alan

I’m up for it.

For a really big empire-building scenario, I have wanted to try Promising Land for a long time. But that’s pretty big, particularly without the full 8 players - it would mean a lot of time spent developing empires before anybody got to grips with anyone else. Although we could fill in with computer players.

Games with Lutes in the past have had combat against the AI be autoresolve and against other players be tactical, which seems to work pretty well. Tactical is half the fun, anyway.

Yeah, what Rollory said. Tactical vs. humans can be a drag sometimes for non-participants, but if we go into it with the right mindset (and stuff to do when that downtime occurs) it’ll be great. The tactical combat really is an essential element to the game, for me. Even though, compared to someone like Alan, I suck at it.

Looks like we’ll have enough players for a decent-sized game.

Why don’t we let those with time constraints chime in with preferred days and times. I have a very flexible schedule, so I can work around pretty much anything.

As far as scenario goes, I have a custom large map I made for a pbem game a long time ago that might work really well. I’ll see if I can dig that up. I’ll check out Rollory’s suggestion, too, and see what else is up over at AoW Heaven.

Times I am NOT available:

Weekdays, till 5:30 or 6 PM, Eastern.
Thursday evenings.

This coming Monday and Tuesday evening.

All day on May 22nd.

Saturdays typically are good for me.

My afternoons/evenings are somewhat flexible, but again, I would want to shuffle things around so I have a contiguous block of time. Weekends are marginally better, but I’ll will be out of town the weekends of May 21st and 28th.

How about the 14th?

  • Alan

Saturday the 14th sounds good. Let’s say, starting at around noon, PST?

I’m presuming that’ll work for Rollory. Jasper, Marcus, that work for you guys?

Kalle, if you want, you and I can try a test 1 on 1 match some time this week, to see if we can clear up your nework issues. It would be fun to have you in the game.

Works for me. I am way better than the last time I played multiplayer, but I’m still probably no good compared to most of the rest of you guys. So, uh, fresh meat!

Jason, it’s worth a try.

I’ve been checking out maps and many of the multiplayer offerings, including “Promising Land,” are loaded with customized events, quests, etc. This sort of map can be a lot of fun, but it does run the risk of being imbalanced, which some people may not like. Also, with what looks like 5-6 players, AI players might add some balance issues on the bigger maps.

The idea of a MoM-style setup really appeals to me, with each player starting off with only one city and having to build an empire from scratch. Unfortunately, there aren’t really any scenarios like that, and the random map generator in the game doesn’t produce very pleasing results. But I do have a system for translating Civ III maps into AoW by hand, which has the advantage of incorporating the exact number of players we need and whatever races people want to play.

So, the question I put to you all is: who would like to play a pre-existing scenario, and who would like to play on a custom MoM-style map?

I’m in favor of a small-to-medium MoM type map, maybe with a few chokepoints to thwart an early-game level-1 rush.

I’m going to suggest a fairly short time-limit on turns, maybe 3-4 minutes. Mostly I’m concerned since I won’t have another free weekend for a while, and it’d be great to actually finish a game.

Also, does anyone remember if there’s a way to put a time limit on turns in PvP tactical combat? Versus neutrals would be auto, although I’ll throw in a reminder that it ties up all of the other players while you review the auto-resolve report.

  • Alan

There is no way to put a time limit on PvP tactical turns in-game; major design oversight, I think.

We can either all just try and be quick in our decision-making, or someone can volunteer to be a timekeeper. Sounds like kind of a hassle, but it could also be kind of fun if there was actual time pressure on tactical turns – as long as everyone agreed to hit “End Turn” when the timekeeper made the call.

I’m happy to settle for snarky comments from the peanut gallery if people are taking too long in tactical combat. That said, it helps if people change the gameplay preferences to show “very fast” unit movement.

  • Alan

Alan, I don’t think there’s any way that “an epic, empire-building match with fellow Qt3ers, played out on a big map over several online sessions” is, realistically, going to be a game that finishes in a single day… no matter how short the tactical turns are. So maybe you should try to allocate more than a single weekend.

Anyway, I’d love to play, especially on that old PBEM map Lutes designed, which never got its proper due. It would be even cooler if that map was revised to be a Shadow Magic map… maybe even with a new Shadow World level. Maybe we could play a quick game on the 14th to accomodate good ol’ Shock’n’Au and then launch a more long-term game after that?

Is that the one where you took out my unescorted wizard with eagles really early on?

Yeah, I’d like to try that again.

Okay, I think to properly include Alan we’ll do what Crypt suggested: play a single-session game this Saturday, and then maybe attempt an epic, episodic game later on, maybe the following week?

For this Saturday, I’ll find a pre-made scenario that will do the trick. Right now I’m leaning toward Horseshoe Bend Falls.

That one looks good. No level 4/capital champion guilds had me worried for about two seconds, but I’ve thought of ways to deal with that.