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HonoredMule View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: The use of subterfuge
    Posted: 02 May 2011 at 16:29
This thread is intended for discussion of the NPC-tile-locking tactic that has recently been addressed, starting with a defense of Harmless' position in using it.

Harmless grew tired of the spam-fest required to keep up in this tournament against an alliance boasting 3 times the active player count.  We knew we could better compete on production and heavy-hitting than deployment.  So we took measures to hinder VALAR's rate of deployment.  Naturally they can do the same to us, but we'll hit the bigger parties, and they can do the same if they like, and we'll see whether Harmless's tactic still levels the playing field.  It is a competent general's prerogative--nay, responsibility--not only to level playing fields, but to gain the advantage wherever possible.  Or in Patton's words: "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his."

I bear no ill will toward VALAR or Boromir, and well recognize their accomplishment and sound strategy in padding their ranks with the most active NPC farmers.  My grudges are but one, that they are in first place and we are not, and my aim is simply to rectify that.  It's exactly what we're supposed to be trying to do.  We were confident that our means was not an exploit, but rather a kinder alternative to spamming timed assassin waves to disrupt their activity levels, or even direct assaults to rob them of equipment and troops.  (We are using troops to hold NPC tiles because some of us simply haven't the time to participate in the tournament with our secondary accounts anyway.)

Neither do I fault VALAR for petitioning our tactic and decrying it as dishonorable, possibly even exploit.  I have no doubt that, in their surprise and dismay at an unexpected situation, they honestly felt it may be the case.  Since that possibility has been publicly presented, and refuted, this is a good time for Harmless to offer our own perspective as well.

Of course the mere fact that it isn't an exploit isn't the only issue at hand.  Harmless is held to the highest standard of honor based both on our position and how we portray ourselves.  I contend that we have not fallen short of that standard in any way.

The idea that honor means standing toe-to-toe, strength vs strength against your enemies, instead of employing clever tactics and subterfuge is itself a clever subterfuge perpetuated by whichever party has the most raw/brute force (be it army strength, account or city numbers, or number of active players launching endless waves).  People who use it today as the justification for their understandable emotional response may not realize it, but the argument truly exists only to promote the circumstances that best ensure that stronger party's own victory or at least the moral high ground in any defeat (and the political influence that imparts).  Proud nobles are always "cheated" when they lose to a weaker or smaller force.  It's the adult, international equivalent of clucking like a chicken and saying "I double-dog dare you to do things the hard way."

An important distinction in all this is not how victory changed hands, but what injury was imparted to one's opponents besides taking the victory they might otherwise have had.  If there is no such (significant) injury, and no contest rules were broken, then what right have the losers to condemn the winners for playing smart and playing to their own strengths rather than against their opponents' strengths?

This is just a tournament, so no one is dying or getting squeezed out of the game or getting much more than their ego trampled...they're just losing the tournament so we can win.  In the last tournament, we could have used assassins and chose not to, deciding that would upset people too much particularly because we didn't need that to win anyway--it would have unnecessary showboating.  It is a credit to VALAR that this time we felt we did need a tactical edge this time, but we're an alliance the same as any other in this game, and still very much out to prove ourselves as the plucky little (in number) old-timer alliance that still knows how to outwit more heavily-staffed opponents.  We are not obligated to meet VALAR on VALAR's terms, any more than we are obligated to lose outright.  Victors work smarter, not harder.  We still refrained from using assassins, as that is a more direct, offensive operation with greater cost to VALAR, potentially spilling beyond losing the tournament.  But who can complain about minimizing the opponent's playing field?  It's just good old-fashioned out-of-the-box problem solving.
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Createure View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 16:42
In my opinion VALAR were already cheating in this tournament by using cavalry.

Fair (and cool) players like me just use spearmen!! Cool

...Oh wait... you mean to say that people are actually ALLOWED to use the game mechanics to help them win the tournament!?

Gosh. I better start building some cavalry. Thumbs Up
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 17:12
Ah, Createure, inflammatory to the end.  You'll be the death of you. Wink
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 17:45
I interpreted the tournament's introduction to practically beg for someone to come up with tactics like this. After all, PVP is far more engaging than farming NPCs.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 18:01
I like the tactic. 
 
It never occured to me that diplos would also freeze an NPC from respawning.  As I understood the tourney write-up, the big NPC groups are supposed to yield more parts, but my experience has not borne that out.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 19:05
While I admit that your tactics are not against the rules HonoredMule, I think it is important for the
tide of public sentiment to not solely be a wave of agreement, but rather a discussion. To respond on your defense of diplomatic action I think that the road you walk is a slippery slope with regard to foreign affairs. While it may start with the hampering of troop deployment, who is to say that these actions do not escalate into more tangible forcible attacks? It may start out as an attempt to use metagame tactics to even the playing field, however I foresee a large possibility for world war. The tournaments were not created to precede and catalyze mass chaos, but as an outlet for competition without the fear of complete destruction. This is merely food for thought HM in terms of a global discussion.

-Mak 
"Life is a beautiful struggle"

-New IGN: Mak (Dark Blight)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 20:20
It is fair game i think to use diplos for that, you were just first that came up with that idea.That strategy will work both ways eventualy when Valar also start to use it.Having in mind that they are more activ and have more members (even smallest player can send one bird)this new usage of diplos might actualy go in their favor.

I for one am happy with all that, Valar being pressed harder to fight for largest colection will make harder for them to keep fighting for uniq colection.

I think Valar will win first place even with new diplo strategy that is used to slow them down,i doubt that it would be enough to tip the balance.

Sorry for bad English people, as long as people understand what i say its good enough.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 20:22
I respect your opinion Makanalani.  I would suggest, however, that the "slippery slope" argument is a misdirection of focus away from whomever actually does go too far.  The very core of its premise recognizes that the steps taken so far do not, and are therefore above true reproach.

More direct hostile actions would certainly lead to grudges that well outlast the tournament, and I agree that such might be a rather disappointing way to earn emnity (however exciting some true conflict might be).  Bearing no ill will toward VALAR, Boromir, and any other temporary members, I do not wish to breed any opposition extending beyond the context of the tournament and its transient goals.  And having avoided actions which would improve our position but also damage VALAR beyond that scope, I will not take responsibility for any grudge they may carry beyond the tournament.

Also knowing the integrity and cool heads that prevail in the leading alliances, I'm confident that they would not be a part of any such unfortunate escalation either.  We would not so eagerly anticipate tournaments if they did not give us opportunity to truly test our mettle in contest without bruised egos and lasting grudges.  I believe that VALAR, standing among the honorable themselves, will carry their altered opinion of Harmless not into the battlefield, but into the next tournament.  That is a fair consequence, which we fully expect to face.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 20:26
very nice op.
Bow

ooops. not meant to just agree. must discuss.

ok,

the following;

The tournaments were not created to precede and catalyze mass chaos, but as an outlet for competition without the fear of complete destruction

I think the GMs know exactly what they are doing and you miss the subtlety.

The same with the slippery slope.




Edited by bow locks - 02 May 2011 at 20:29
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2011 at 21:28
Any time there is competition, there is the possibility of things going beyond the original circumstances.  In short, the tournaments are designed to upset the apple cart so that we have something to do and ponder.  As noted by HM, the top alliances are well-led and the brass all seem to have good political skills.  The prizes and glory for winning a tournament probably do not justify the risk of loss that a war would bring.
 
BTW, I heard a rumor about Boromir recently being attacked by Kelrath and the concern was that this was in connection with the tournament.  But I think that was Kelrath leaving Illy in a blaze of glory.
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