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Old March 17, 2019, 03:36   #1
Glorfindel
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My first win: The One Ring in a weird place and a big fight

Hello!

This is my first post. I won my first game of Angband in January, having discovered the game in October 2016.

I told myself that I might join the forum when I had won, not really feeling qualified to say anything otherwise.

As it happened, there were a couple of unusual things about my game (at least, I think they were unusual).

Late in the game I had a fantastic fight I enjoyed more than anything else as that character. I have a fondness for everything that summons monsters (except for undetected summon undead traps), as they often provide interesting monsters and needed XP, so when I found a chest with summoning runes on dungeon level 83, I went for it. Boom! Around me stood Maeglin, Kronos, Gothmog, and Ancalagon the Black. It was a long fight, during which Maeglin summoned the Witchking of Angmar, and somewhere in it all someone, I think it was the Witchking, summoned Feagwath. It rather shook me, as I had become overconfident, and before I had killed anyone besides Maeglin I had to learn to fight without access to healing (except for rods), and by the end of it I used my first scroll of banishment (you may imagine that someone who likes summoning scrolls, and is a level clearer by choice, would not like those). So, quite the chest. Regrettably, I have forgotten what was actually in this chest more heavily guarded than Morgoth himself, but Kronos did drop the Arkenstone of Thrain, which left me pretty happy.

I expect I am far from the only person with a story like the above to tell; perhaps it is even commonplace. However, my lurking on the forum has made me reasonably sure that the other notable happening on that game was really something out of the ordinary. Quite simply, I opened a chest, on Dungeon Level 25, and found the Ring of Power 'The One Ring'. I was stunned. I never ended up using it, though. First I did not have remotely the XP for wielding it, and then, after a lot of consideration, I decided that I did not want my first win, which I rather thought it was going to be, to be accomplished through the use of the One Ring. It was sitting at home for the big fight over the chest, but I did bring it with me for the Morgoth fight. I did not intend to use it to fight him, and I didn't, but I had formed a plan to keep on walking straight to the bottom if I succeeded against him, and from there not return to the surface except on foot. I had also decided that I did not mind trying on the One Ring and seeing what 'bizarre things' were (don't tell me) once Morgoth was dead. I didn't end up trying it on, though. I had a final idea of ceremonially dropping the Ring into lava, and only trying it on after this formal, futile attempt to destroy it was over. On Dungeon Level 104 I started farming some Great Wyrms for lava (I knew I would want a corridor melted for a fair length if I was not to drop it and find it a few spaces to the side), and I grew careless. I did not pay enough attention to healing, and a Dracolisk did me in with nexus. I was a bit annoyed with myself, but it still felt better than losing.

You can find Dwalin on the ladder here.
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Old March 18, 2019, 15:17   #2
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Originally Posted by Glorfindel View Post
Hello!

I told myself that I might join the forum when I had won, not really feeling qualified to say anything otherwise.
Hah! Why does one need to be "qualified" to post on an Angband forum? I had a great time getting to know the peeps on here and learn about the game when I was still a noob, long before I had any dreams of actually winning the game.

Your post is very interesting, though, and was a pleasure to read. I'd like to learn more details about your fight with so many of the most terrible uniques. Did you fight them all at once? Did you teleport any of them away? I consider myself a pretty brazen fighter, but I would never take on all of those at once! Hell, I don't even take half of them on one on one (I don't fight Kronos and I don't fight Ancalagon and only Gothmog if I have fire immunity and a very strong character). Any one of those one on one is a very dangerous proposition. Did you say without healing potions??? Yes, I am the same way; I rarely use mass banishment scrolls.

So how did you fight these most terrible foes?

---

I often make the mistake of thinking Angband doesn't get played that much since people don't post on the boards that much. But there really is very little correlation here evidenced by how often reports of finding the One Ring show up on here. It requires a lot of playing to find the One Ring!

I doubt you can destroy the One Ring in lava created by a dragon. I believe the lore states that the One can only be destroyed in the fires from whence it was made and I am unaware of Mount Doom being accessible in the game!
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Old March 21, 2019, 07:14   #3
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I was quite aware that I would be welcome if I came without winning, but I suppose I wanted to have something to say when I came. It was more a matter of personal satisfaction than anything else. Even that wasn't enough, though; you notice that while I won in January I only joined in March. It took the combined pressure of having planned on posting following victory, finding that downloading PosChengband was more troublesome than I anticipated, a question about modifying the text files, the desire to give some opinions on the developments for the next edition of Angband, and positively promising myself as an incentive to study that once I made it through my projects I would join the forum, to actually get me on.

After these months, my memory of the business is not perfect, but I will do my best. The first thing I did was to teleport away. My plan was to meet them one by one, if possible, teleporting the others away as needed (no, I am not the new super-warrior in town; this story involves a lot of teleportation). My strategy was heavily dependent on potions at the time, but I felt pretty confident as I had a great many of them (I am not sure how many anymore; there were certainly at least eight *Healing*, and I feel like it was more than a dozen, besides sundry Healing). I was thrown out of my reckoning by Maeglin's tunneling abilities, which meant that as I made my way back to the site, planning to use my standard procedure of probing on sight and then strategizing, I found myself face to face with a foe I could not probe until he was upon me. I think that I had the Dragon Helm of Dor-lomin by that time, so I must have seen him coming, but it was still far faster than I wanted. I used up the majority of my potions fighting him. During all this, as I said, Maeglin summoned the Witchking, and I teleported him away. I had settled on a policy of carrying between five and eight rods of teleport other with me at any time, so it was no difficulty. If Gothmog or Ancalagon turned up during this, I teleported them away, too. I don't really remember, though.

Anyway, once the fight was over, I was still looking through the loot when... I think it was Ancalagon(?) came up. I did not want him to breathe on the loot, so I teleported away... into the arms of the Witchking. I quickly found that I was not ready for that fight, as he summoned his hoards of greater undead, including Feagwath (at least, I think it was at this point). I teleported away again, to the room where the chest had been, which now had Maeglin's tunnel stretching away in a long, straight downward-right diagonal, and where some of the uniques, Kronos and, I think, someone else, still were. With only three or four healing potions of any kind, I was not ready to battle more than one at once.

From this point my memory becomes hazy. I had earlier recognized that I was safest from ranged attacks hiding in a hole dug at right angles to a diagonal passage, so it makes sense that the next thing I remember is crouching in a side alcove I had dug in Maeglin's tunnel, with two healing potions left, and both my rods of healing charging. My brother strongly recommended that I should use my rod of recall, but there were several things against this. 1: I still had not gotten to look through Maeglin's loot, and I hated leaving loot unchecked. 2: In the entire game, Dwalin had never left a level having begun a fight and not finished it; I am a level-clearer, and will kill every monster I am aware of before I leave. It seemed a pity to break with that so late in the game. And 3: Word of Recall takes time, and I thought it probable that if there was any way that I could last out the time it took for recall to take effect, I could probably make it through the fight. I thought it most probable that I could not last that long.

So the cubby-hole fight began. I was soon at least safe from Kronos and the Witchking, as Ancalegon's breathing soon made it that my hole was cut off from non-fire immune monsters' approach by lava. I myself was fire-immune, thanks to the Gauntlets of Eol (probably the third-most pleasing item I found in that game), so at least I didn't have to worry about that. All I could do was fight with what hitpoints I had, and teleport Ancalagon away when things got bad. When he was gone, Gothmog came, and I teleported him too. My salvation came when I saw that when I had recovered (oh precious, precious rods of healing), and Ancalagon came back, he still had fewer hitpoints than at the beginning of our last fight, though rather more than at the end of it. In short, he recovered more slowly than me, and while his life rating was gigantic, he could be slowly worn down in a long series of units where I would teleport him and Gothmog away twice each, and then fight Ancalagon until my hitpoints were depleted. Once I used one of my remaining healing potions, I think in the final fight where I killed the dragon. I then turned my attention to Gothmog, and found that I recovered faster than him, too. So I played out the same strategy, without intermittent visits by any second monster.

Once Gothmog was dead, I had to come out of my hole, as nobody was going to come for me behind all that lava. Furthermore, when I went outside, I found that nobody was close enough to come searching for me, lava or no. I decided that it was best to go for the most powerful monsters first, so I went in search of the Witchking. That was a bad fight, and I quickly found that I could not fight him and his undead cohorts. There was one especially nasty non-unique ghost that was in it with him and making it terrible. I was only lasting a few rounds with them both hitting me and doing spells at the same time, so I teleported out of there to think. The ghosts followed me out. I was cornered, and out of healing (I think my last potion was gone by this time, although maybe it remained unused to the end), and very low on scrolls of teleportation, and I again thought I was going to die. Besides not liking them for the reasons already covered above, I had always been wary of scrolls of mass banishment, as I knew that they cost hitpoints to read, but I did not know how many; I supposed it to be proportional to the number and level of the monsters which were banished. Still, it was an emergency, and I was carrying a few ?Banishment and ?Mass Banishment which I had picked up in the dungeon and was going to take home for the Morgoth fight (I had read on the forum that it was a good idea to have them for that; I was also building up a cache of !*Healing*, and another cache of ?Rune of Protection for the same purpose, the latter I now know quite uselessly). Still, times were desperate, and I hoped that in banishing the horde of undead, I would be left with a few hitpoints to limp back to the safety of Maeglin's tunnel with. Imagine my surprise when I found that it only cost three hitpoints! I still didn't really want to use them, but I now knew what I possessed. I fought the Witchking, but I don't remember the details, though he was the hardest of the group to fight (that seems wrong to me, by the way; surely Ancalagon should be easier only than Morgoth and Sauron?).

Feagwath required another scroll or two, of Banishment, not Mass Banishment, and proved tougher than I anticipated. That left Kronos, who had minded his own business from the start, so I was surprised to see him almost at the entrance of the room where I had fought Feagwath (and, at any rate, begun my fight with the Witchking, instead of at the far end of the dungeon, by the former site of the chest, where he had been the entire time (did I hit him and rile him up at some point I have forgotten?). Anyway, we fought, and it was over decently quickly, though I lost some of the loot from the undead before I could look at it.

After that, I went back over the dungeon, to finally see all the loot. I checked the chest, but there was nothing memorable there, nor was there from Maeglin, which seemed hard, as I though that of the whole group, he was the most likely to drop something good. Ancalagon had nothing worth taking, and neither did the Witchking. I think Feagwath might have had a third rod of healing to add to my collection, but maybe I got that later. The Arkenstone was a good enough find to reconcile me to the poor yield of the other monsters, almost.

I came out of the fight recognizing that I had reached the point where even a fiftieth level warrior with maximized constitution and strength, and a speed over 30 without hasting, could no longer rely on his own power and the occasional healing potion to see him through every fight. From then on I made a habit of digging precautionary hidey-holes when I saw a big fight coming, and valued my rods of teleport other more than ever.
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Old March 21, 2019, 07:19   #4
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Incidentally, Grotug, I notice that contrary to my expectations, the Chest of Summon Overkill was of greater interest to you than the One Ring in a chest on Level 25; was the chest incident stranger than I thought (I had had a similar incident with Hoarmurast, Radagast, Glaurung, and the Minotaur Lord being summoned by a chest earlier in the game), or is finding the Ring in such circumstances less remarkable than I supposed? Or are you just more interested in fight stories than in weird productions of the RNG?
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Old March 21, 2019, 09:11   #5
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By the way, Grotug, you made my day, asking about the big fight; I had really wanted to go into the matter in detail, but I hesitated to make my initial post a wall of text. I am pretty sure that that fight was the most fun I have ever had playing Angband.
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Old March 21, 2019, 11:28   #6
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Big fights like that sure are interesting. Finding the One Ring on DL25 from a chest is extremely remarkable, unheard, even, as far as I'm aware. There are told some wild stories of early finds on here forums. I myself once had one not too long ago when a Power Dragon Scale Mail was sitting on the floor of a regular room on DL12? It's not that I didn't find your One Ring find newsworthy (it definitely is!) but I wanted to put all my focus on just one aspect of your remarkable report and your fight intrigued me the most because I have had some pretty harrowing fights myself, especially toward the end of the game, and so I was curious to hear more details about the fight (since there is less one can say about finding stuff).

Maeglin isn't so much a problem if you are fit to fight him. In fact, his tunneling in a way is good because it means you can isolate him; since he's the only one who is going to hunt you down. I find it interesting that you found The Witch-king the toughest. For me he is usually quite easy, but I almost always have a good slay Undead weapon by the end.

You are quite lucky that you survived all those fights. Teleporting around a level with all those beasties can end very badly. Having 30 speed makes a huge difference, in my experience, for surviving bouncing around super dangerous levels.

I definitely get the appeal of waiting to win before posting. I never expected to win without help, so the idea of winning and then posting on the forums never even occurred to me. In fact, it was many many games and many hours and many sad deaths and losses of epic equipment and characters before I ever started to smell the possibility of victory.

I've also wanted to play PosChengBand but also found it too difficult to get a working copy on my computer. I'd still like to try it if it's possible. The only variant I tried was a wilderness one but I didn't like the layout of the wilderness so I gave it up. Whereas, dungeon layouts are simple and repetitive but very effective for fun games.

There are big changes underway currently for the next version of Angband that I suppose you are aware of. At first the changes were too radical and crudely implemented for my liking and I pretty much ignored them until they started to get more refined. I'm now really looking forward to the new release and am not too shy to put in my two cents to help ensure a well thought through version is released. It's much harder than the current official version of Angband. I have yet to make it passed the midgame.

One thing I hate happening, and it's a classic "Murphy's Law" scenario: if I ?Recall in a fight I feel I think I can win but by no means assuredly, I end up getting the fight under control and then the ?recall kicks in! Usually what happens is I get a super favorable ?phase, get the unique I was struggling against fleeing, and then the ?recall kicks in. Something like that. But if I don't ?recall, well, then I die. Your brother's judgment was not at all off the mark, though. Of course, if I was in your situation, I too would not have heeded his advice for the same reasons! Although these days I've developed enough experience and wisdom to no longer be a level-clearer.

I remember the first time I found Eol gloves. I was so torn about whether I should wear them due to the aggravation. I asked the forum and the consensus seemed to be that the aggravation wasn't worth the fire immunity, and I ended up agreeing, but it was so disappointing not being able to wear them!

I usually find The Witch-king quite manageable by the time I fight him. I TO his summons that are troublesome and ignore the ones that aren't. I'm not sure what ghost could be giving you so much trouble at this stage of the game? Dreadmasters and the like are pretty harmless relative to top Uniques (unless you don't have Strength sustained, I suppose).

I think scrolls of M/banish deal 3 damage to @ per monster banished. So if you banish 100 monsters you'll take 300 damage. I agree runes of protection are not that useful, but every once in awhile one will last 6 to 8 turns against Morgoth, which is very helpful. Most of the time he breaks them in one or two turns.

I agree that Ancalagon should be harder than the Witch-king, and in all my experiences fighting them he has been by far the more terrible of the two. I find it quite surprising to hear that you did not have that experience. Did you slay dragons powerfully, but not Undead?

A shame that none of those top uniques dropped anything worthwhile. I'd expect at least one or two of them to drop something good. Maeglin, The Witch-king and Ancalagon all usually drop great stuff. The RNG is funny like that; gives The One Ring in a chest on DL25 (!) but then doesn't give any of the rings of power or Ringil or Cubragol or PDSM on DL83 from slaying top uniques.
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Old March 22, 2019, 04:35   #7
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There are told some wild stories of early finds on here forums. I myself once had one not too long ago when a Power Dragon Scale Mail was sitting on the floor of a regular room on DL12?
I read about your Level 12 Power Dragon Scale Mail; thrilling stuff, and a lot more useful to the game than finding the One Ring so early, even if I had the will to use it.

Quote:
Teleporting around a level with all those beasties can end very badly.
I was cautious about teleporting, having been warned by the help file when I first began playing Angband; I suppose that is why I still had some scrolls of teleportation left at the end. I mostly relied on Teleport Other, only teleporting myself if I was in the unhappy situation of facing multiple deadly foes when my health was low. That didn't always work, of course, as there were enemies farther off, too, but it seemed safer to chance it than to stay.

Quote:
In fact, it was many many games and many hours and many sad deaths and losses of epic equipment and characters before I ever started to smell the possibility of victory.
Well, I had my own tragic losses of life and loot in the process of trial and error (you may imagine what it was like when my first really successful character read my first scroll of acquirement somewhere around level 30 and, I kid you not, received the Dragon Helm of Dor-lomin, and then to die to the Balrog-of-Moria-and-friends disaster summoned by an out of depth Greater Demonic Quylthug which I foolishly prodded on level 37). There were two or three dozen characters who died before I won, but only six who can be said to have gotten anywhere much (that is, beyond Level 20). I suspect that this is a fairly low count, but it is probably because of a highly defensive mode of play adopted after losing Fimbulfambi, the one who got the Dragon Helm. I would carefully limit my speed of descent, by one rule or another. For a long while I would only go down a level when I found a stat-boosting potion that affected me in a stat I had not reached intrinsic maximum on; before stat potions begin to appear there isn't really any question of a level-clearing warrior going down too quickly, even as a beginner. Later on, when this was getting too slow, I brought in a new rule requiring a minimum reserve of whatever my current primary healing potion was be kept in my house; if the reserve fell below twenty potions, I would grind about on whatever level I was on until it was restored; this was a pretty good speed limit, as the chief reason for keeping it slow was to prevent my using up such potions more quickly than I found them.

Quote:
I've also wanted to play PosChengBand but also found it too difficult to get a working copy on my computer. I'd still like to try it if it's possible.
On the thread I have kind of taken over by asking about PosChengband, I have been recommended to try FrogComposband, which is supposed to have just about everything one could want from PosChengband; perhaps we will discover it together, if the recommendations there look as good to you as they do to me.

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The only variant I tried was a wilderness one but I didn't like the layout of the wilderness so I gave it up.
I see what you mean about this one. The only variant I have really tried is Unangband, and even though I have hardly been in the wilderness, I am bugged enough just by working among all of the trees growing underground.

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One thing I hate happening, and it's a classic "Murphy's Law" scenario: if I ?Recall in a fight I feel I think I can win but by no means assuredly, I end up getting the fight under control and then the ?recall kicks in!
I have my own defense against Murphy's Law of Word of Recall. I make it a habit, once they appear, to carry three rods of recall. One to recall with, one to cancel that recall with, and one to recall again if I find that there is some strong reason for recalling after all that ca'n't wait for one of the others to recharge. I have never had to use the third one, but I like to be prepared. Before I get the rods, I carry three scrolls, but for different reasons; one to go down, one to go up, and one in case of fire.

Quote:
I asked the forum and the consensus seemed to be that the aggravation wasn't worth the fire immunity, and I ended up agreeing, but it was so disappointing not being able to wear them!
I was very happy with the Gauntlets of Eol to the very end. Stealth does not matter much when you are a level-clearer, and is more trouble to get than it could be worth when you are a Dwarf warrior. There are only two reasons that aggravate monster is a real concern for me. First, there are a handful of monsters I do not fight if I can help it, namely non-evil living hnau, if you know what I mean, on principle. If they attack me, they forfeit that protection, except for the Lesser Maia, who I will not fight at all, he being explicitly named as a servant of Eru (Teleport Other comes in handy for that one); I prefer to leave them asleep, and aggravation defeats that. Second, there is the possibility that I will wake some elemental in a vault, and he will crush something worth having before I can get in there. Otherwise, aggravation has never caused me any real trouble. The Gauntlets of Eol and their immunity to fire probably did me better service than any other item I found in the whole game.

Quote:
I'm not sure what ghost could be giving you so much trouble at this stage of the game?
Looking over the monster list, I do not think it could have been a ghost after all; you are right; even a Dreadlord would not have been a really serious threat. My memory of that part of the battle is vague, and I expect it was actually a Nightcrawler or some other wraith.

Quote:
I agree runes of protection are not that useful, but every once in awhile one will last 6 to 8 turns against Morgoth, which is very helpful. Most of the time he breaks them in one or two turns.
My problem was not one of Morgoth pushing through the runes, but of his breaking through just one, and smashing me with Grond. SMASH! Where once there were runes, now there are pillars of rock. SMASH! Where once there were pillars of rock, there are now tortuous corridors, with no runes on their former sites. I daresay it would have made a difference if I had known at the time that monsters were not only prevented from passing the runes, but from attacking @ when he is standing on them. As it was, I just put them between Morgoth and myself.

Quote:
I find it interesting that you found The Witch-king the toughest. For me he is usually quite easy, but I almost always have a good slay Undead weapon by the end.
Quote:
I agree that Ancalagon should be harder than the Witch-king, and in all my experiences fighting them he has been by far the more terrible of the two. I find it quite surprising to hear that you did not have that experience. Did you slay dragons powerfully, but not Undead?
As it happens, I had the Trident of Wrath, which I think might be the ultimate weapon of *Slay Undead*. It certainly is the Greatest one for it that I ever found. I suspect that it was the fire immunity, my fighting Ancalagon in a sort of anti-summoning corridor (doubly good as I do not think you can summon onto lava, and he had filled the place with it), and Ancalagon's lack of spells. By contrast I had to fight the Witchking more or less in the open, when he already had friends. Then again, perhaps the biggest problem was finding that the steady scale of Ring Wraith power suddenly turned upward for the Witchking; the difference between him and Khamul is so much greater than that between Khamul and Hoarmurath.

Thanks for all your interest (I am Canadian, and you can expect to see a lot of 'thank yous' in my posts).
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Old March 22, 2019, 18:00   #8
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I found a working site for downloading composband. https://github.com/OwenGHB/composband/releases

I haven't played it yet. Will try it after my current Angband Nightlies game.

I actually prefer more damage to fire immunity. I normally would take (+8, +8) gloves (and maybe even (+5, +5) over fire immunity in the hand slot.

Do you ever play with RandArts?
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Old March 22, 2019, 18:09   #9
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The trouble with teleporting is much worse than you think. You are very likely to end up in the same handful of places, where you have already attracted the bad guys. And monsters that are otherwise not so bad can kill you instantly. (Teleporting into a roomful of plasma hounds is a classic death.)
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Old March 23, 2019, 06:37   #10
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I found a working site for downloading composband. https://github.com/OwenGHB/composband/releases

I haven't played it yet. Will try it after my current Angband Nightlies game.
Good luck with Composband. I have taken the advice in the thread I mentioned, and have started playing FrogComposband (it is already great fun); however, if there is something you don't like about FrogComposband, as suggested by your going for Composband, I find that wobbly has kindly posted a link for a pre-compiled copy of PosChengband:
Quote:
I agree with the others suggesting FCPB. However if anyone is specifically after poschengband this link appears to still work for me:

[quote author=andrewas link=topic=170531.msg7751867#msg7751867 date=1525389884]
[quote author=Piotrhabera link=topic=170531.msg7751738#msg7751738 date=1525381190]
I would very much appreciate a compiled verion of Poschengband. It does not matter what version it is, as long as it is good, I shall play it!

Try this: https://1drv.ms/f/s!Asycth9nrmPTrmjgKI957P_SYZiv

It probably depends on the visual c++ 2010 redistributable so if you get any errors about missing .dlls, install that.


(the quotes are from other games on the dwarf fortress forum, hence why they are broken)
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I actually prefer more damage to fire immunity. I normally would take (+8, +8) gloves (and maybe even (+5, +5) over fire immunity in the hand slot.
I also like high damage a lot, but there is something hugely satisfying about taking zero damage standing in the face of a Great Hell Wyrm, and the ability to use lava as a safe zone is also very useful. It also may make some difference if you mean to kill every unique, as I imagine it would not be pretty fighting some of them without fire immunity.

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Do you ever play with RandArts?
I have started a couple of games with RandArts, but have not gotten far enough on them to find any artifacts. It isn't really necessary, anyway; I have not played enough games yet to tire of the Standarts. Once I have found the Boots of Feanor, Ringil, and the Rings of Power besides the One, then, perhaps, we shall see.
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This place seems reasonably safe. Nightmarjoo Vanilla 27 September 7, 2009 17:44


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