Round 5

Shuri2060

Phrourach
An insight into what happened in Round 5 from MC's POV for those who are interested. I'm not one to usually share strategies, etc, on externals, but I think we managed to find an interesting approach to Olympus, and I'm unlikely to play it again for a while, so I'll share. If the endgame doesn't change much in the future, I think this strategy is something future smaller alliances might adopt - with a good portal setup, timing skill is emphasized more over size advantage unlike other game modes. There are counters to it I can think of, but imo they don't play against it much better than a mirror strategy.

The final lineup:
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You can see that MC had to beat the 5 supports before their CS in order to land. Unfortunately for DV, only 1 of those were DLU and MC's attacks were all LS except 2 anchored half myths - Aldia Keep (Hobbie Q) and 005 (Shuri2060).

MC's planning
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The odds looked like they were in DV's favor as they had won the previous 2 in a row. In the first few days after Round 4, we were at a loss for a new plan. Both sides had essentially shown all their cards at this point.

General Olympus planning info

Since supports cannot be launched until a Temple is clear, there are usually 2 stages to a standard Temple take. Part A - clear, Part B - main CS. The gap between the 2 needs to be the TT of what you want to be your furthest timed support. Assuming Olympus doesn't spawn in your ocean, then that is TT to portal + 1 hr. You can vary this standard plan, eg. if you let the enemy do Part A, allowing more cities to be timed to the main CS, but the concept is more or less the same.

Note that while support cannot be timed until Olympus is cleared, attacks can be timed the moment Olympus spawns, as long as you know when you want your main CS to be. With this in mind, if you follow the standard plan, you will want most of your cities closer than the furthest timed support to be DEF, especially if you have a pre-planned main CS time. OFF cities further out can be pre-timed, and the OFF cities close to portal would be used for clearing/sniping.

This was how MC had their portals set up for the first 4 rounds. While we didn't always have one pre-planned main CS time, we often had a few pre-planned chosen times for the main CS we lined up OFF to, and then after we saw the commands after clearing + landing a scout CS, we would decide which one we wanted to time support to. The great thing about sending through Portals is if you're not in the Portal ally when the command would go through the Portal, it returns instead. So if an earlier pre-planned time was chosen, the lineups for the later times can be made to bounce off Portals.

Previous Rounds

In Rounds 1 and 2, DV appeared unprepared and MC cleared and landed their main CS first, gaining sufficient time to stack before DV's attacks hit. In Round 3, MC messed up their clearing - it was ~15 mins later than planned. They only had ~45 mins portal TT worth of timed support as opposed to 1 hr and DV landed ~10 mins after their main CS in addition to that, so they easily wiped both land and naval and secured their siege. In Round 4, Olympus spawned in DV's core allowing them to have a much shorter gap between the clear and main CS (iirc it was ~1 hr). MC didn't take this into account so their main CS hit 1 hr after DV's, and by then it was too stacked for their timed attacks to break.

By now, we had a feel for timings - if we landed our main CS before DV, it had to be at least 20-30 mins early else it would likely be broken. Similarly, if we landed after, it could at most be ~15 mins or so late, otherwise we couldn't break.

The problem

Although the 'standard' plan above usually works great for ordinary temples, we found it to be lacking for Olympus in Rounds 3 and 4. The problem is - it's quite hard for this plan to be flexible. We always had the contingency plan of attempting to snipe + lock on top of the enemy main CS if we saw it in an early scout, but this backup plan requires quite a bit of luck. First, the later you first spot the enemy main CS, the less cities you have in range for locking, and the more support they've likely already locked onto it. Secondly, with our Portal setup, it had far too little close range OFF to reliably attempt both a snipe AND a CS lock right after. The first problem was realised in Round 3 - in this round, DV had a lot of small attacks to kill off our scouts, so we never saw the commands until it was far too late. The second happened in Round 4 - we saw their main CS 1 hr away from landing, so we certainly couldn't snipe it, and we didn't have enough immediate OFF to quickly break either. All we could do was attempt to spell their CS down (it actually got very close - Frog's 39 LS was spelled down to 1).

Since our city count was slightly inferior to DV's (especially at the ~1 hr LS Portal TT mark and above), we didn't stand much chance unless we either landed our main CS much earlier than theirs, or fluked a landing right after. We calculated it would take roughly 60 cities to clear the Round 5 neutral units (stack decreases by 20% on each spawn), so if we converted everything within ~20 mins Portal TT to OFF, we could clear very quickly and hope to land first with a large gap between our main CS and theirs. The problem was if DV decided to do the same, this plan would completely fail - and they had a slightly higher city count under 20 min Portal TT than we did (due to Portal geography --- both of their Portals neighbour close filled up islands, but only one of ours did).

The idea

A solution didn't occur to us until the 5th day after Round 4. Rather than going heavy DEF near, OFF far, what if we did the opposite? This doesn't sound great at first - you can barely time any DEF to your main CS unless it lands a long time after clearing. BUT, there is one scenario where you don't actually need timed DEF. What if you land on top of their main CS? By the time the enemy notice you've done this, it's likely too late to cancel their supports and send snipes. There would be a delay in them pulling supports and landing breaks (especially if they've already timed most close OFF for clearing or main CS) which gives enough time for your further supports to land first. And the previous issue with attempting to lock on top of their CS was the lack of OFF near portals to do this which is solved by this flipping of the setup.

There were a few other details to deal with - how to guarantee we spot their main CS the moment it clears and what if they have no main CS yet. We decided sacrificing ~60 cities under 20 min portal TT to clear was worth it in return for potentially increasing the gap between clear and enemy main CS time (giving us a wider range of OFF to snipe with) and giving us a much higher chance to spot their CS immediately. Although DV would probably still have scout killers early on, they would probably have less and we could have multiple scout CS landing minutes after clearing to increase our chances. This sacrifice does come at a cost - if their CS was under 1 hr 20 mins away from landing after clearing (ie. under 20 mins portal TT), we would have nothing to snipe with. But it wouldn't be too bad as we could still launch all OFF to land say 20 mins after it and a CS right after. Even if the LS fails to, myths in the 20-40 min Portal range should be able to beat their DLU in the 0-40 min Portal range, and spelling is still an option. We felt they were quite heavy OFF around portals as well, so breaking and landing was very possible. We expected DV to go with the standard plan of clearing + landing a pre-timed main CS themselves this round. This was because of the low clearing requirement for Round 5, and that we had almost tricked them with a late clearing time in Round 4 (had it not been for spawn location, I believe that had a decent chance to bait their OFF to land early before our main CS). If there really was no main CS spotted on our first scout, we could still expect to see it soon on subsequent scouts when they didn't see any from us either.

So what was previously our contingency plan became our main plan. This plan essentially forces a timing battle between the 2 sides once Olympus clears. DV need to lock as many supports on their main CS as possible while we need to lock as many attacks and CS before them. We also had the advantage of attacking - temple buffs greatly boost OFF, and 1 Myth lock can wipe 3-4 DLU locks and 1 LS lock can do the same to ~1.5-2 bir locks (the Battleships event also provided many attack buffs). If the siege breaks, then there are no academy and advisor buffs for defending a neutral temple, making it even easier to wipe several DEF nukes.
 
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Shuri2060

Phrourach
The plan

1. We chose ~10-15 of our best timers (that would definitely be present at spawn) to convert to OFF. Everyone else would convert to full DEF. For the timers:

- Convert all cities under 20 min Portal LS TT to LS. (we also arranged swapoffs so only timers would be located here)
- Convert all cities over 1 hr Portal LS TT to DEF.
- Convert all cities over 20 min Portal LS TT but under 20 min Portal FTS TT to unescorted Horse nukes.
- Convert as many cities under 1 hr Portal LS TT to LS/Myths, focusing especially on Myths (we had lost many in Round 4, but had the Battleships event to recover slightly).
- All cities under 40 min Portal CS TT must have 1 CS in them.

We would have to use a few myths to supplement the Horses for clearing. Olympus spawns at 10:16:04. This way, our clearing was set to be roughly 12:35-12:40 at Olympus. We also chose 1 of our players to do all of the scout CS after clearing - they nuked ~15 CS packages in their nearest city. We guessed the enemy main CS would be roughly between 13:00 and 14:00 (in most previous rounds, one side had cleared by 12:00), so a scout every ~5 mins after our clearing should be plenty (we still had a few extras just in case).

2. On the day, right after each scout landed (before we spotted their main CS), everyone would try to convert the Temple commands and spot the CS. Dividing up the task makes this easily possible within a few mins, as long as someone successfully converted.

After spotting the main CS, the timers would immediately start attempting to time their LS/Myths/CS on the same second. To waste as little time as possible, everyone would already have their planners set up in this specific way:

- Make a clearing plan + set the times to 10:40 (time @ Portal) on Olympus day
- Make a support plan + set the times to 23:00 2 days after Olympus
- Make sniping plans (with all LS/Myth/CS including possible anchors) + set the times to 22:00 1 day after Olympus. Also, the LS/Myth/CS is divided into separate plans depending on their TT.

The result would look like below (note this screenshot was taken after, so the clearing plan was deleted).
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Then as soon as the enemy CS time is announced, you can quickly flip near the correct page in the planner based on its rough TT away from its Portal. Eg. if the CS is ~38 mins away from its Portal, you would check the cities in the 35-40 mins group for TTs under that, and start timing from there. These time savings are important in getting us as many cities in range as possible, and if DV didn't have their support planners ready for an early clear, then we would maybe have a few mins headstart in timing.

With the supports separated from the attacks, you can mass send them whenever needed (timing them isn't needed for our plan).

3. After we see we have sufficiently many attacks locked before a CS in a scout, we stop timing and recall all unwanted attacks. If it is too late to recall some, the player could dodge alliance so they would bounce off Portal. If we didn't get a scout after, then we would just pick the best looking CS and get everyone to recall attacks with a shorter TT than it, similarly.

Then we can tell everyone to send supports after.

4. Another possible problem would be if there are multiple times that look like they could be the main CS in the first scout, in which case we would have to attempt to snipe them all (splitting into teams to snipe the different CS if necessary).

Execution

This plan was figured out ~5 days after the 4th round, giving the timers ~12 days to convert as many cities as possible. This was a lot of work, given the way we were previously setup (in fact, we had asked for OFF 20-60 min TT to be switched to DEF a few days before for the previous plan, so some players had to basically convert twice). In the end we had some timers managing to convert ~50 cities, while most managed 10-20, giving us a few hundred cities to snipe with.

To increase timing tries, we used all anchors, along with golded anti-anchors (meteorology/cartography, set sail, lighthouse), Atalanta and saved many Improved Movement tokens. Also, a min CS escort could be golded in the clearing cities after 11:40. Without Atalanta/Lighthouse, just carto, sail, imp. mvt could already give 6 anchor tries for CS. Add on Lighthouse, and you could hit 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 45, 50, 55, 65% speed boost = 10 anchor tries (if you time yourself resources). Then the city with Atalanta would have many many tries, given you can level her up for more.

We practiced (without the golded anchors) a few times with random 'enemy CS times' a few days before so we could get the hang of it.

On the day, our first scout landed at 11:41:00 and we spotted DV's CS @ 13:42:27 within 1-2 mins (DV's clear was at roughly 12:00). It was a bunch of stacked attacks at that time, and a subsequent scout confirmed it when they also began locking supports (by then we had a lot of locked attacks too). That gave us a big range to start timing from (almost 1 hr portal TT), and by ~12:00 we had locked a CS on top of multiple attacks and saw that it was likely to land in a scout at ~12:09. 2 had to drop ally because they didn't recall in time (we almost forgot we could).

From there, Ocean had to spell spam the CS after it got out of portal to make sure it couldn't be spelled.

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A few days before spawn we also had that update which gave us a surprise - it would force us either to hold the siege in MC (BB was our DEF ally) or hold it in BB and then handover to MC (while DV could potentially attempt to block the handover by stuffing Olympus full of defence). Fortunately, DV leaders were kind enough to agree to a temporary temple ceasefire while both sides conducted handoffs so the update would affect the world as little as possible.
 
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cardalu

Peltast
So I guess in my year long hiatus from the game everyone has started using bots? even the mods??
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GanTja

Taxiarch
Well i can tell you i for sure wasnt botting, but if you read what Shuri wrote we had a lot of cities we could time from. In my case i had about 20ish different tries and getting 3 same second attacks out of 20 is not even that good. As for people from DV and Yummy their tactic allowed them an even longer time period of timing attacks, so all that you see in the picture completely makes sense, if you know the situtation and the quality of players in both teams.
 

DeletedUser55891

Guest
no its botting. back in the days people had to defend themselves when they got 1 same second support as the CS and now here we have 100 attacks/supports on same second. its botting and if u think otherwise u are botting also
you clearly don't know what olympus is...
and if you only get one supp at same sec, you clearly can't time either...
 

OutOfCharacters

Phrourach
One additional shout to the strategy and complexity of it-- to make the decision on the final CS, which had some of our players' attacks after it as well, we also had to consider whether having someone drop so their attacks didn't land, might mean not enough same sec attacks before the CS, since we'd lose all of those people's attacks. Those decisions had to happen really quickly as every minute lost is more attacks/CSs we'd miss launching. In making that call, we lost some flyers after the last bit of DV supports there that made us nervous we might not clear if DVs were full DLU, but decided it was the best approach. It definitely required quick thinking and adjustments to pull off.

Also, it took the complete open-mindedness of both leaders and players in the 17 days between spawns, to keep brainstorming and change our strategy multiple times, which required double rebuilds and city swaps in a very short time, which was a lot of work. Nobody complained and just kept working hard, even when Inno's last minute update annoyed us. (Shout to DV here for allowing us to swap temples to eliminate the impact of the change and finish the world the way it had been played to date.)

Regarding same second locks from both sides... so many people get accused of cheating when locking, and that's silly. Locking isn't that difficult, it just takes dedication and work. Anyone who has fast internet and doesn't lock a few tries out of 20 cities, just isn't willing to take the time to do it. We had a lot more cities left in range when we called stop. Yes, botters do exist, but I've fought people on both of these teams and their attacks don't fit the bot-style launches. When you're being botted against, you can really tell lol, it's a completely different feel.

This probably isn't the place to cry about how much I dislike sirens, for making locking even easier in newer worlds... I'll go do that in the corner.
 

Reimu Hakurei

Hipparchus
no its botting. back in the days people had to defend themselves when they got 1 same second support as the CS and now here we have 100 attacks/supports on same second. its botting and if u think otherwise u are botting also
You realize every attack you send there's 1/20 chance you get desired second. What you can also do (Secret trick boomers don't know about) - is cancel if its not the desired second and send again. On average player can do this about 6 times. Then you have anchors with attacks - slow boat, ls,... thats already good chances to hit an attack. And then you have about 20 cities per player to all collectively aim for same second, with 20 players sending. Of course mathematically you will get a lot of attacks landing same second

I know its hard to comprehend and trying to give you non sarcastic explanation so maybe you can understand
 

DeletedUser56348

Guest
Thank you for the screenshot of the lineup, it is really nice to finally visualise what exactly happened. Due to game lag and being frozen out of the server & olympus window pretty much everyone in DV did not have the scripts / tools available to access this info, which is why we didnt manage to get 1 single seastorm in on your locked on CS. Which is in direct contrast to round 4, when there were 50 odd seastorm attempts on our own CS. No accusations of illegal play here, thats ultimately up to the mods to decide what is and isnt allowed, just a statement of facts how things went down. But let that take nothing away from the skill required to pull this move off, especially when you see all those same second attacks and supports.

Am quitting grepolis once the world closes, but congrats to MC on your victory, this server packed full of skilled quality players, that could have gone either way, remains my best server to date. In my 7 years of playing grepo on and off never played a server so close - and that lineup screenshot sums up the world perfectly.
 
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Shuri2060

Phrourach
You weren't the only ones affected by lag in round 5. I don't think either side had issues logging in or posting live CQ (as long as scout didn't die within 5 secs).

But even opening the forum post with live CQ took 30 secs, opening temple window and waiting for it to load took ~1-5 mins depending on how good your PC/browser is.

In round 4 there were under 2000 commands, in round 5 there were close to 5000 (more before 12 pm). It wasn't so bad right after clearance, but got worse as soon as everyone sent supports.

In round 4, once I found the CS command, I closed the temple info, but never closed that spelling window and just kept farming.

Yes, I do increase the temple window size in inspect element to fit across my large monitor for hunting, but as far as I'm aware, an advantage some players on both sides have. Increasing size doesn't help with the lag though (probably makes it worse).
 

DeletedUser46902

Guest
Great plan, well executed - congratulations MC/BBB/Rum et al on the win - it was just a shame one of us had to loose, but that's Grepo :) l hope some more thought is put into improving this end game, as it would be fun to have another go at winning.

l'm glad you appreciated the temple handover ceasefire, it seemed the right thing to do at such a late time.
 

DeletedUser54898

Guest
By the end of this, we were thrilled they used them, even kudos to Mike the mod, and everyone else who participated in the ending.
LOL. Triad is a bunch of "has beens" who refuse to believe that the game is evolving, players are getting smarter, teams are getting better and they're stuck in mud thinking that anyone better than them MUST be cheating. Your team has stagnated and gone stale ... you should take a lesson from this world and open your mind to the possibility of using the planner, Leaders and a strategy instead of crying "knitting machines"...
 
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