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Old March 30, 2015, 04:58   #1
Mann Time
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Iron Man runs : Any advice?

hi everybody

So I've been playing angband for a while now - Not competently, mind you, but for a length of time - and I've been very attracted to doing an Iron Man run.

Three attempts, three corpses, and one phobia of Carrion Worms later, I'm wondering if I'm approaching this incorrectly. As such, I think I need some advice from some of the people here. From my playing style thus far, I think there's some lessons I should learn, or maybe change :

1 : I have a bad habit of trying to clear out entire floors before moving on. I know that's not a fantastic idea in a regular game since the good stuff won't appear early and I theoretically have a life to live. In an Iron Man though, doesn't that change? You've only got so many floors that you're able to explore before having to take on the big dogs, and once you get out of your depth you can't exactly go back into your depth.

2 : There are some rooms, rectangular in shape, that holds a single door containing a massive party of all types of creatures ; usually Priests holding a seance or insects being insects. Given that two of my runs hit their heads fatally into brick walls as a result of these (via paralysis), should I just run the other direction if I come across these groups? As nice as treasure is, life is usually nicer.

3 : Are there classes y'all recommend? As much as I enjoy being a brain-dead Half-Troll clubber (not all that displaced from me in real life, honestly), other classes may be able to lengthen their stays a bit via having options other slapping enemies across the face. It seems that the Half-Troll bit might stay since Strength and Regeneration feel so important, but that could just be me being an idiot with bad priorities.

4 : What items should I start with? I generally go with a cloak & any Identification I can afford (so that I don't get kicked downstairs by Deep Descent) alongside a small army of Torches and Rations. Is this functional, or is there something important I'm missing? All tries thus far have given me enough resources by floor 3 to cover things (barely) like equipment and healing.

Sorry about the possible wall of text. (and if this should be in the after-action report section instead)
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Old March 30, 2015, 05:25   #2
Derakon
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Clearing levels: there's plenty of content for you to be prepared for the final levels. In particular, there's a lot of "filler" early on, so you should not feel at all bad about skipping most of levels 1-30 or so. Even in the later levels, though, if the level gets seriously hostile (like, multiple groups of enemies that you need to avoid), it's better to get off the level and take your chances with being underprepared later, rather than stick around and probably get killed.

Pits and nests: depends on what's in them and on your character. Warriors can chew through orc pits without much trouble, for example, while they're often much more difficult for a mage or ranger to take down. Some pits (graveyards and zoos in particular) are almost never worthwhile for anyone. It's up to you if you think you can handle them; if you're iffy, then it's probably best not to risk it.

Classes: any class can beat ironman, of course, but priests probably have the easiest time of it once you get over the initial hump, even if you ban Alter Reality (which effectively disables the limit on the dungeon). Infinite 0% healing is just super good. Hardest...ehh, maybe rangers? I dunno, I don't play ironman all that often. Warriors are absolutely viable, but you'll need to ration your consumables carefully, especially Cure Serious/Critical Wounds for dealing with status ailments.

Items: depends on your class. Mages and priests both want a good selection of spellbooks, and may well want to sacrifice literally everything else except a torch if that's what it takes to get the third spellbook (especially priests who really need Orb of Draining). Most everyone else will want a lightweight weapon and a good stock of Cure Light Wounds and Phase Door. Armor's not entirely irrelevant but still generally too expensive for anything that'll be an upgrade over what you can quickly find. And there should be lots of torches and food in the dungeon, so you only need enough to get you started (i.e. one torch and no food). But CLW and Phase Door are both staple consumables and are basically guaranteed to come in useful.
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Old March 30, 2015, 13:51   #3
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For combo, the big brawny HT warrior works fine. See for example this comp char: http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=16067
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Old March 30, 2015, 14:20   #4
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If you are playing the latest version, there are 2 difficulty classes: those who can cast phase door (easy) and those who cant (hard).
Lucky half trolls are awesome for breaking records (and bragging , but if your real life would depend on winning an ironman game, I´d not recommend them.
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Old March 30, 2015, 17:27   #5
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re: winning half-trolls in iron man with one's life on the line, an Erdos anecdote comes to mind:

Quote:
Erdős asks us to imagine an alien force, vastly more powerful than us, landing on Earth and demanding the value of R(5, 5) or they will destroy our planet. In that case, he claims, we should marshal all our computers and all our mathematicians and attempt to find the value. But suppose, instead, that they ask for R(6, 6). In that case, he believes, we should attempt to destroy the aliens.
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Old March 30, 2015, 17:43   #6
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I'm a little surprised by the negative comments about half-trolls. Now I don't actually play iron man so I'm probably a bad judge here, but surely the half-troll rogue has a decent chance? A stack of extra hp/biff & regen to keep down the consumables, with the rogue's stealth bonus negating the noise problem? Not as good as having infinite healing, but still.
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Old March 30, 2015, 17:56   #7
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I'm not really getting the hate either. Half-Troll warriors may run into trouble with Phase Door consumables (and maybe C*W potions, but those are usually plentiful enough), but that's about the only mark I can think of against them as compared to in a normal game. I've played plenty of forced-descent warriors without having especial problems. Half-Troll paladins/rogues are very strong picks in general, and ought to have little extra difficulty due to ironman conditions.
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Old March 30, 2015, 18:00   #8
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I'm just joking. I think half-troll paladin or rogue would be fine. Warrior not as much.
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Old March 30, 2015, 18:40   #9
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No hate whatsoever, jeebus. Half troll rogue is an option when the life is on the line. As warriors go, high elves are much better (for ironman). Paladin ? They dont get phase door (or too late), so good luck. Maybe its just me but my last 5 or so iron man green bookies just ran out of scrolls and eventually perished. Oh, and everything I say is opinion, ymmv.
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Old March 30, 2015, 18:55   #10
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On a general note: there are different kinds of ironman. It seems you are currently playing the forced descent variant, which is pretty hardcore. The simple restriction 'no WoR' (or 'no return to town' which is pretty much the same thing) is already quite a bit harder than normal but not quite as brutal. You can split this up even further by toggling 'disconnected stairs'.
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