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One or more people will win Fate of the World game copy, either Steam of Gamer's Gate (winner(s) get to choose).

Conditions of the contest are simple: you tell a story related to some obscure strategy game: it may be a play experience, a discovery story or something entirely different - it's up to you. Top stories win a game copy.

First winner will be decided in the end of the month when I get the payroll, additional winners may be selected if good stories begin to roll.

Extra points for turn-based games, since it looks like noone plays them anymore.

Extra points for DOS and Win95-98 games.

That's it.
Post edited April 25, 2011 by Elwin
I was playing fantasy wars a few nights ago, when my horribly overweight cat fell out of my ceiling and scared the shit out of me. There were bits of plaster everywhere.

So the rest of break will involve several more trips to home depot, because I keep forgetting stupid things, such as nails.

The cat is fine, btw, save for being fat and cranky.

I don't want to enter the contest, I just wanted to tell you guys this story. Beware stealth cat attacks.
shadesofdeath320: I don't want to enter the contest, I just wanted to tell you guys this story. Beware stealth cat attacks.
Considering the roaring popularity of the contest, I guess you are a pretty strong contender, actually :).
Navagon's moments of infamy:

Medieval 2 Total War: (not really obscure, I know)
Gifting a region that was moments away from being invaded by the Mongols in exchange for some cash. It's not every day you get paid to have your problems solved for you. Needless to say that the poor bastards I gave it to lost it soon after and were embroiled in yet another war.

Slowing the enemy up with peasant forces, only to bombard them all with various burning siege weapon projectiles.

Wiping out several infantry units using a single unit of longbowmen by placing them up a hill just out of reach.

Wiping out more infantry units with archers by having one unit run around in circles with the enemy pursuing them and the other unit firing arrows at the enemy.

Obscure, yet good RTS finds: Paraworld, WarFront Turning Point, Warrior Kings.
shadesofdeath320: I was playing fantasy wars a few nights ago, when my horribly overweight cat fell out of my ceiling and scared the shit out of me. There were bits of plaster everywhere.

So the rest of break will involve several more trips to home depot, because I keep forgetting stupid things, such as nails.

The cat is fine, btw, save for being fat and cranky.

I don't want to enter the contest, I just wanted to tell you guys this story. Beware stealth cat attacks.
That made me laugh. Thanks for sharing.
Post edited April 21, 2011 by Navagon
I have two Empire Earth stories that stick out in memory as my favorites.

Our First Install
My buddy Bob and I got out of class on a spring afternoon at about 2pm. We walked a mile or so to the mall and saw a game that claimed that you could play out a nation's history from cavemen to robots. We picked up Empire Earth without a moment's hesitation and rushed home to play it.

By 4pm, we were in the stone age. We were locked in an all-out war the whole night. Bob called over to me, "Hey, what time is it?"

I looked at the clock and rubbed my eyes. Then I shook the clock. Then I paused the game and checked another clock.

"It's five in the morning," I said.

Bob laughed. "No, really. What time is it?"

"I'm not kidding, dude. It's five a.m."

Bob got up and checked a few clocks. We couldn't figure out how 13 hours had buzzed by (and we were only in the Modern Age). We decided to take a walk to the lake and watch the sun rise.

Technological Terror
As I got better at Empire Earth (for a while, I was a lot better than my friends), I learned to hide what age I was in by not upgrading my walls. So when they thought they could come shoot some arrows at my base, I might have a musketeer nearby.

One Friday night, Trent and Bob and I were killing each other on a small islands map of Empire Earth. There were 6 islands. I owned 2, Bob owned 2 and Trent owned 2.

Trent was the weaker player and Bob actually could stay quite competitive with me, so I decided I needed to take at least one of Trent's islands. So I sent in an army of swordsmen, cavalry and archers and decimated his tiny defense.

I hear Trent call out, "He's attacking Bob! He's attacking me with cavalry!"

Bob laughs. "I got him. I have my armada coming his way."

Suddenly, before my army of 20 units was a huge fleet. At least 60 gun-powder-wielding sailing war vessels grouped together, ready to destroy anything that comes on or off the island.

I quickly build a sissy wall from the dark ages period and hide my guys inside.

As I hide, just out of range of his ships, he bring another 20 warships to join the fleet and a dozen troop transports filled to the brim with a massive army of musketeers.

And just before they land, a B52 bomber swoops down from the direction of my main island and nukes all 80 of his clustered ships and his entire standing army with one bomb. Of course, he could have only done it with the help of a network of submarines watching every move of the enemy's naval forces for the past 15 minutes.

"He's got nukes!" I hear Bob shout with exasperation from the other room.
Any kind of strategy game? Turn based online works too?
Post edited April 21, 2011 by lowyhong
Obscure strategy games? I suppose I've got a few, but not many good stories... I have much better stories for popular strategy games, mainly because I can actually get friends to play them.

Two on one, myself (Protoss) and Landon (Terran) against Matt (Terran).

We were on a team because we knew he was a lot better than us. About halfway through the match, I had dark templars containing him in his base and Landon had a ghost waiting with a nuke so we could get past his missile turrets. I send in a dark archon to mind control a science vessel Matt had watching his border, and just when we're about to attack, a fleet of battlecruisers show up on my doorstep!

So, before too long, the majority of my base is destroyed, and Matt sends his ships to deal with Landon, but I had snuck a dark archon onto a shuttle and landed it at a relatively undefended outpost (I sent some templars to deal with the few marines he had).

I took over an SCV, and started building a Terran base, figuring, okay, I'll just play as Terran now! Yeah, that didn't last long, turns out, most people don't like it when you take over their bases... Everything was destroyed except for a single engineering bay that I proceeded to fly around the map for the rest of the game.

By now I had expanded a resource base that Matt missed, and was building scouts to help Landon deal with the last few battlecruisers, once they were destroyed, I built five carriers and steamrolled Matt's base. He didn't expand enough and ran out of resources, or we probably would have lost.

Sins of a Solar Empire:
Free for All with the Seven Deadly Sins mod, I was the Galactic Empire, Landon was the Arilou, and Matt was the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah.

Well, this isn't quite as good a story, it is a slower game, after all, and we were on a really large map.

Well, we colonized our systems, had a few minor conflicts (I believe Landon was actually wiping Matt out, I'm not sure, I was on the other side of the galaxy) and did research.

I'm a tech rush kind of player, so by the time I actually built a large fleet, I was pretty much done researching, so naturally, I built fifteen Imperial class Star Destroyers. Funnily enough, a mod that improves the graphics, combined with literally thousands of TIE Fighters, tends to cause borderline laptops to crash. Who knew?

Yeah, we tried that twice, I think, it crashed soon after I built my fleet each time. XP
Post edited April 21, 2011 by Kalas
What game is 'Fate of the World', anyway?

I doubt anyone here has played this game, so I'd say it is pretty obscure.

Mythical Warriors: The Battle for Eastland

I picked it up a number of years ago for $2 at some bargain store, and pretty much fell in love with it. Its some Korean rts that was semi-translated (not fully) into English and then released as shovelware. However, it is a beauty of a game.

My particular story has to do with how the game works, it has most of the quirks and differences you get in a good rts, flying units, teleporting units, spells, and all that. One of its 'features' is the fact that you can use cheats in the online multiplayer.

In multiplayer you can go against the AI, which has a level setting from 15-25, 15 being bloody hard to 25 which is impossible. The best part is that the AI doesn't cheat - it is actually just good AI programming. But then again, it is a Korean game.

Now when we played the game we played vs. the AI, mainly because I am a wimp and overall I hate a deep dislike of playing against my friends. I mean, c'mon they are my friends - right? And brainless evil AI are much more inviting to destroy then them any day. Right? Anyway, we also set the AI level up to pretty high so that it was 2 vs. 1 (We were good enough to take on some levels when we worked together against one, but with multiple AI we just got swamped).

On one particular day we're playing (oh yeah, tcp/ip over dialup baby! 200ms pings!) and its an off day or something, because the AI really putting a beating on us. And, to top it all off we're running out of time for some reason or another, I can't quite remember. So we decided to use cheats to aid us in our bloody war, I mean what can go wrong.

So we put in a couple cheats, such as 'cash' which gave us a ton of gold, 'level' which maximized our units levels and such and 'spells' which unlocked all the spells for us. And we began to prepare ourselves for a nice little full out frontal assault on this annoying little AI.

Little did we know, but the cheats also affect the AI. So what went from being a AI with limited resources and access that was pretty much destroying us - became an AI with the fearsome horde of everything under the sun within its grasp. As we were slowly preparing a pretty decent army full of various mythical creatures (hence the name, huh?) out through the fog of war started to come a fair amount of creatures. Okay, so what.

Then, then it came. Out of the blackness, dragons - dragons were ridiculously hard to create, maintain and could pretty much own anything. Out of it came not one, or two dragons - but about 60. In a matter of minutes, they mowed through our forces and broke down our defenses.

But that wasn't all of it, after them came an army - much similar to our own - pulling with them the portable magic generators that were then setup in the middle of our bases. The AI then procedes to both turn our remaining units/buildings and reign a special kindof hell in spell form all over the place for us.

Suffice to say, we survived mere moments more before the AI resoundedly destroyed us without a second thought. The amount of rage and laughing going on over the subsequent MSNing was without doubt the high point for the entirety of humanity for that year.


If I remember, I may come back and bring out a certain story about Stronghold Crusader where every one of my friends (3) single handedly plotted against me and burned down the entirety of my castle. But that, that is for another time!
lowyhong: Any kind of strategy game? Turn based online works too?

Answering another question in this thread: well, I guess FotW qualifies as an obscure strategy game as well :).

There are some excellent stories submitted already, so in a week first few winners will be declared :).
I do NOT want fate of the world, but still, here it comes:

I was once playing Sins of the solar empire Trinity, alone, against computer players. It was a map with 5 stars I think, and maximum number of players. I have set AIs to a varying difficulties so the whole thing is more interesting.

Well anyway, I played Vasari and did all the usual stuff, colonized all near planets, found a nice chokepoint which meant all my 4 planets and 1 asteroid were effectively cut off from all attacks, I have even made some agreements with neighbouring empires. And then, suddenly, THEY came. I wasn't really paying attention to THEM, it was just a little, meaningless Advent planet... Little did I know that these Advent are from another star system. And that whole star system is theirs. Only those who have signed peace treaties with them have survived - and first thing I did, since the only other neighbor was a Vasari I've had a peace treaty with, was to attack the Advent planet.

That battle I have won. And another, and another, I was pushing them out of the star system, but then, suddenly, THEIR fleet came. It numbered hundreds, while my fleet only had a few damaged ships left - I focused on my research and Surprise a bit more. And so I withdrew my fleet to another planet. And THEY followed me. I was losing ground one planet at a time, and I have not managed to weaken them ... Much. However, the last jump went directly to my chokepoint - and my Surprise was there. A mobile Vasari space station, fully armed and ready for battle. As their fleet jumped in, it jumped into barrels of my capital ships aiming straight at them, and the behemoth slowly turning towards the little buggers. The fleet was soon weakened and ran away.

In the meantime, however, my treacherous Vasari ally has breaken the treaty with me and joined forces of the Advent, and advent forces continued to spread across all star systems, destroying all. And, after a while, me and my two enemies suddenly ran into stalemate situation - whatever they sent towards me was obliterated by my space station and forces that slowly gathered thanks to economy I was building on my remaining planets. I built a space station on the orbit of each and every one of them, focused them on economics. However, the Advent had a fully developed war station on the neighboring planet as well, and so, for the time being, the only weak link was the treacherous Vasari, who also had one planet connected to my chokepoint. Thanks to my strong economy, I was able to get him to sign a non-aggression pact again, and then I offered him a huge sum of credits and crystals for attacking the Advent.

And he did attack, raiding one of their less defended planets. That's when I broke our non-aggression pact and attacked him, gaining a lot of + points with Advent for defending their territory. And so, the Advent, who constantly poured resources into defeating an undefeatable defensive formation, gave up - he signed non-aggression treaty with me, and since he needed to fund his war effort, just a few bribes were enough to sign a full-fledged alliance. All I needed to do then was to wait until he conquers the galaxy... But no Vasari would let those filthy Advent morons do that. Instead, just a couple of events got in motion: I assigned Vasari with a mission in a far off star system, where one empire still stood strong, and a few ships flew to the central star of the system I was in. Those little ships deployed into space stations, and just a bit of upgrading later, they became the same fortresses of doom that kept the whole mighty Advent empire at bay for the entire game. There were four of these constructs.

And then, the alliance was broken and all hell broke loose. The advent didn't stand a chance - no ship was able to break trough my defences, and their planets in MY star system were getting slowly defeated. And then I got more resources. And then more star stations started to pop up among the stars, cutting trade routes, shattering the once mighty empire into pieces.
Post edited April 21, 2011 by Fenixp
Pax Imperia: Eminent Domain
Found it randomly in a bargain bin.
Best £1.50 I've ever spent on a game!

Anyway, I'm playing a game.
My (at the time) 5 year old son is watching.
Just as I encounter the Schreki for the first time, he yells:
"Space spiders! dad, you're gona lose now, you always run away from spiders".

OK, so not a great story, but the memory always make me smile.
Alright so here's one of my most legendary stories in Darkwind. None of this is made up, except for the parts that sound particularly exciting (just kidding, everything happened as told and absolutely nothing's made up)

Just a quick run through of Darkwind, it is an online turn based wargame where you recruit gang members at your whim, and you can purchase cars then do stuff. Trade, piracy, hunting pirates, race, it's all possible.

Right, that being said, this one time I took a bunch of newbies out to hunt pirates. I'm normally not big on doing that since there's a good chance I may lose a few cars, and in the worst case scenario, a few gang members. Dying is permanent - once you lose a good gang member, you have to suck it up, regardless of how many years it took you to train him.

So we ran into some AI (NPC) pirates on a desert map that has rather shitty spawn points. At the start of a match, players can arrange their cars within the boundaries of a circle of about 30m. So we all set up our cars, unsure of whether the pirates would spawn ahead of or behind us.

Well, the pirates spawned behind us, but they were close! And they were bloody vicious too - there were 5 of us, and there were 7 pirate cars, of which 3 were rocket cars. This didn't bode well. Out of the 5 human cars, only I had cars that could soak up damage; the rest of the players brought sedans and muscle cars.

Bloody sonofagun, not only were we outgunned, but 2 players were inexperienced. I knew I had to take charge, but what a risk it was. Let's see some of the tactics that ran through my head at that time:

Tactics analysis
"How far should we run to gain some headway on the pirates? After all, there is the risk that the pirates will catch up too!" This was the question I kept asking myself. We couldn't turn and fight - doing so would only get us caught in a deathtrap. All of us had spawned on a hill. Two rockets to any of our cars would knock us off the ground, and there was the really high risk of being incapacitated in the middle of a fight.

The only option was to run forwards, so I looked ahead. Hmm there's a bit of a hill ahead of us. It offers some good protection from confrontations, because it was a sudden slope upwards that would make it difficult for cars below to hit our bumpers.

So I gave the orders. Nobody hesitated, although there were a few suspicions that the slope would not offer the expected cover. Nevertheless, we all ran like our lives depended on it. The smaller cars made it first. My cars made it last, but we were all safe there. I guesstimated we had 8 to 10 turns to set up our cars, and informed the rest of the team. We all felt a wave of relief. The enemy was a considerable distance behind us, and the enemy cars were crowding each other out, pushing one another out of the way, so we had a good advantage. Immediately I started getting some hope.

The Shooting

Most of us got set up within 5 turns, but some dude decided to park his car further from the initially planned spot, in spite of forewarning from me. There were two problems with that: firstly, he would require at least 9 turns to park his car there, while the enemy would be able to fire a shot at us within 4 turns; secondly, that was a horrible spot for shooting, as he was more liable to hit the sand than the enemy.

Despite that, I wasn't worried. I had 2 tanks armed with car cannons and HMGs, and my gang members were Sniper trained. Besides, the enemy cars were coming in a line. We could easily shoot them up one by one as they came into our line-of-sight.

So, I started barking orders. One guy with a Windsor II sedan would focus on a weaker enemy car; another had a pickup armed with one heavy machine gun and one rocket launcher, so I told him to train his sights on an incoming enemy rocket-sedan. As for that guy still trying to park his car on that far end, I told him to shoot whoever he felt like shooting. It didn't matter who he chose, since the action will be over in a matter of turns. That's how fast Darkwind is. You either get the first shot on the enemy and double your chances of winning, or the enemy lands the first one on you and then you'd better start praying.

Shit always happens

Unfortunately, things in Darkwind rarely go as planned. We got the jump on the first few enemy cars that came through, that much did happen. The twist came when that guy who was trying to park his car didn't manage to do it in time before TWO enemy cars headed his way. That was a problem for all of us. The enemy decided to force us into surrender and demoralization (yes the AI is really smart) by going for that lone car that was struggling to park itself.

We knew it was trouble. The first rocket hit him, and that threw him off balance; another rocket was fired, followed by a machine gun, but these missed him. Then the next turn, two rockets hit him. I had to act now. It wouldn't take more than 3 turns to breach his right side, and even if he doesn't get breached, he was liable to expose his car's underside to the enemy, and that was even worse news since the underside could be easily breached in 1 turn.

It was now or never. I barked to another team mate nearest to that dude to run over to help him. In the meantime, it was 2 of my big cars and another player's sedan facing off against 5 enemy vehicles flying over the hills like feral wolves in our direction. This was bad. I could keep the enemy at bay for a few turns, but my weapons would have to be split amongst the enemy cars. Instead of being able to fire 2 weapons at each enemy car, now I would have to fire 1. Added to that, the car cannons run out of ammo really fast. I started getting real nervous.

Whether we got through that by sheer luck or skill, I don't know. It happened so fast and furiously. I believe part of it was definitely attributed to luck though. For one, the enemy cars did not come racing over the hills into our line-of-sight simultaneously. For all their speed and rapidity, each car lagged behind the other by at least 1 turn. My partner and I first turned our attention to the enemy rocket sedan. Within one turn, we blew it up.

The next turn, I ordered him to target an enemy sedan armed with a car rifle and a heavy machine gun heading our direction. This he did so, and while contending with this guy, I readied my cars' aim at 2 more cars heading up the slope that would be within my line-of-sight next turn.

Now it was a battle that was a spectacle to behold. The guy next to me managed to knock his target off the hill, which blocked the path of the other two enemy cars heading towards us. Easy pickings - as soon as they realized they were going to hit their team mate, they swerved. The next few turns got me quickly whittling away their flank armour.

Now there was one more enemy car heading our way. I was gratified that I survived that previous onslaught, but I had to look after my team mates too - specifically the one who parked at the wrong place, and the guy sent to help him. The one who mis-parked had tumbled off the hill, and now he was struggling to get his car back up on its wheels; the other was desperately dodging rockets and machine gun bullets.

Just one more more turn and I could get my guns trained on the enemy and then open fire...


That was spectacular. The enemy car was busy swerving, and as it did so, my last car cannon shell hit it right on the flank, causing it to crash into the other enemy car. I had to reload, but now it was easy. The enemy cars were now disoriented, and my machine guns could easily finish the job.

We were done, and we all survived!!! All of us got the loot cars. It was a truly eventful scout, nearing the point of tragedy, but we all made it out alive! Not one newbie got his car permadamaged. And the adrenaline rush...most of us were sweating beads of cold sweat, even after the event had ended. It was a really good run, and one where I could recount where my leadership skills really pulled us through.
Magnus: What game is 'Fate of the World', anyway?
Shadesofdeath320, are you sure you don't want to claim the prize?

Magnus and Iowyhong, you are winners in my book (which doesn't mean that contest is closed by any means)

Please drop me a letter to iselwin at gmail com with a note whether you would prefer a Steam or Gamersgate version.

I can't give an exact date when I'll send a prize to each one of you, unfortunately, but I hope at least one of you will get it this month.
Magnus: What game is 'Fate of the World', anyway?
Elwin: Shadesofdeath320, are you sure you don't want to claim the prize?

Magnus and Iowyhong, you are winners in my book (which doesn't mean that contest is closed by any means)

Please drop me a letter to iselwin at gmail com with a note whether you would prefer a Steam or Gamersgate version.

I can't give an exact date when I'll send a prize to each one of you, unfortunately, but I hope at least one of you will get it this month.
Yeah man, no thanks. Just finished my ceiling, so drinks are in my future.
lowyhong: Alright so here's one of my most legendary stories in Darkwind.
I'm still waiting for your contacts and distributor choice ;)

In other news: contest is not over yet.