NCIS and books:
NCIS introduced a new cute geeky girl character this week. Then they killed her :( I thought they might actually have _two_ regular cute geeky girls, but noooo, that would be too much to ask apparently =P
Finished up Larry Niven's "Protector" over the weekend. For some reason i remembered the first third of it fairly well but not the last two thirds. But anyways it was reasonably good. Now i'm listening to "Ringworld." Larry Niven does pretty good stuff for audiobooks, reasonable quality but fairly lightweight. Unfortunatly they don't seem to have a lot of his books. They don't even have "Ringworld Engineers," the second Ringworld book, even though they have "Ringworld's Children," the fourth. I really wish they had "The Integral Trees," which they were claiming they were going to have "soon" for awhile and "Smoke Ring," but they were apparently lying about that =P "Lucifer's Hammer" and "Oath of Fealty" would be good too.
Defender of the Crown:
Hmmm, i could have sworn i'd talked about some of this stuff before, but i only see one other DotC post.
Since i was dying so much i restarted the game, and was annoyed to find that when you restart it makes you go through the entrie tutorial again =P However i also discovered that you can build up your forces as much as you want (well, up the army size limit) and you carry those forces over when you start the main game. So i built up a respectable army of about 200 peasants and 200 archers before finishing the tutorial, which helped out a fair bit. I also saved the game in the last slot as soon as the tutorial ended so i wouldn't ever have to go through it again :)
I did a lot more attacking this time, only raided once or twice, and things went pretty well. As in most such games gathering as many forces as possible together into one large army is a good idea. I'm still annoyed that killing off a leader's castle causes all of their territories to revert to neutrality rather than giving them to you, however it still seems like a good tactic. The neutral territories never attack you and are usually easier to conquer than if they were owned by a lord. You just need to make sure you snatch them up before one of the remaining lords does.
The one difficulty i ran into was the bloody swordfights. There are a couple set duels that you need to fight to make the plot progress. Luckily they let you continue if you get your ass kicked at them however it took me about a dozen tries to get through the second one, which was really annoying =P Then Marion goes and gets herself kidnapped and you have to go rescue her by doing a normal raid against a level three castle. That fight they do _not_ let you continue on. They give you another chance every couple of turns, but if you fail three times Marion gets executed. Guess how i figured that one out? =P
So after that the characters acted all sad and depressed. I wiped out the other lords and cornered King John and sat there for awhile till i collected enough gold to pay King Richard's ransom, which didn't seem to have any immediate effect other than giving me a few extra knights. Then i killed off King John, which took awhile since he'd built up a reasonable number of troops in his last territory by that point. So then i got a kinda crappy ending. King Richard is returned to the throne, but Robin Hood is all sad and depressed cause he got Marion killed.
So i went back to that turn one save which i had wisely made and tried again. This time i tried to kill off the other lords sooner, because you get a relic for each one you kill, one of which is a sword which lets you do better combos. I'd killed off three of the four lords the first (well, second) time around, and guess which one i missed out on? I also practiced against the level three castle. I got to the point where i could beat it maybe one out of three times, and once i got the sword the odds increased a fair bit. When Marion got captured i managed to rescue her on the first attempt, yay! Since it was getting late i decided to rush to kill off King John. I left a lot of other territories empty and went straight for his castle. It was a lot easier to beat this time since he hadn't built up as much. So i won the game (again) and got.... yet another crappy ending! This time the land is still at war because King Richard never got ransomed and they end up beating a hasty retreat from an angry mob, but Robin Hood and Marion are off having sex in the forrest, so i guess they're too busy to notice =P
So at some point i just need to reload the last save before i won and sit there for awhile collecting gold till i can pay off the ransom and see what kind of ending i get. Presumably a combination of the good bits from the first two times i finished it.