This is a sample first-turn strategy, with some editorial comments. (Anything “quoted” is part of the strategy; anything not is my comments.) It’s based on the strategies I prepared for and sent to the two new players who responded to my call for players–which is still open, though not for much longer, but adapted for this post. I intend this post to give my readers an idea of what I need each turn–it’s not much!
[Player: Major General Stanley
That header is the standard, but optional, way of beginning a strategy. This player’s code name is General Stanley–the “I am the very model of a modern” Major General, from The Pirates of Penzance. It’s important to note that this is the first turn (turn numbers are counted from zero); the first turn has additional responsibilities (you have to create a fortress plan–though I now prepare a mediocre “default” plan to get you started–and you have to get everything in your little country started), but for several purposes it is of indefinite length, meaning that you can invent and then use a great many more advances than usual (and in fact this is the only time you can “discover” and use an advance on the same turn), you can domesticate animals in a single turn, you can build your whole headquarters fortress in a single turn, and all your workers get a full character level of training in a Job.
The first section of your strategy consists of scientific, technical, or other such information you would like to explain to your scientists. If you can explain a technology, technique, idea, training regimen, or idea in terms that they can understand and use it, you “discover” it and can use it in future strategies. Domesticated animals are handled in a way similar to more ordinary scientific progress: after a specimen is captured a worker working as a Herder spends time trying to domesticate it, and eventually succeeds, and after that you have a stock of that animal you can use.
For the sake of this example, let’s say you sent me a link to a diagram of a waterwheel and explained it sensibly, and mentioned that you wanted your explorer to go mounted on elephants and your hunter to have animal help.
- Worker #1: Warrior (1): Harvest peanuts this turn.
- Worker #2: Carpenter (1): Harvest peanuts this turn.
- Worker #3: Explorer (1): Explore surrounding area and return this turn.
- Worker #4: Herder (1): Find animals to domesticate
- Worker #5: Hunter (1): Tend the elephant herd
- Worker #6: Herder (1): Hunt.
- Worker #7: Farmer (1): Harvest peanuts.
- Worker #8: Farmer (1): Harvest peanuts.
- Worker #9: Farmer (1): Harvest apples.
- Worker #10: Farmer (1): Harvest apples.
The second section of your strategy is instructions to your workers. This can take the form of commands or descriptions, whichever you prefer. All that’s really required is some clear designation of who you want to do what that’s different from the previous turn (which is everyone this first turn), but it’s very helpful for me to repeat orders that are unchanged from previous turns and to mention what levels the workers have in the various Jobs. Also, it’s more helpful for me and probably for you to have a summary block like the above and then explain anything that needs more explanation in paragraphs below. This section will most likely take a somewhat different form, organized by groups of workers doing the same thing, as your population grows.
This turn, the Explorer will explore the land immediately surrounding headquarters, mounted on an elephant, and will return before the turn ends.
Contingencies / standing orders:
- If an explorer (or other subordinate) outside the fortress encounters an opposing player’s unit or fortress, the explorer is to attempt to evade detection.
This third, optional, section is for anything you want to be a “standing order” or a plan for some unexpected event that might occur. I’ll remind you of all such standing orders or contingency plans you’ve issued at the end of each results document; you don’t need to repeat them in your strategy.