By Espark on Sun 14 May, 2023.

Ai-Mo Times

May 14th, 2023

“The only literate tribe deserves the best in information and entertainment.”

Vengir Plushy

Back in May 2022, Midjiwan unexpectedly pinged everyone to ask what kind of plushy they would buy. There was also a formal plushy poll posted in September 2022 in the announcement channel and Vengir won, getting 80 more votes than the second place pick, Kickoo.

Almost a year after Midjiwan’s initial survey, we finally got to see what Midjiwan was planning. On May 5th, 2023, a Vengir swordsman toy was offered for sale through a company called Makeship. The base price for the plushy is $29.99, not including shipping. Including shipping to the USA, the price can be up to $40.

When the plushy was unveiled fan response was mixed. Many had fun speculating what the plushy would look like.

Blockies said, “It's just too expensive that I'd ever buy it. Looks cute though.”

Lemonn said, “It's cute lol, but uh, cuteness doesn't really fit the Vengir brand.… I'd be more down for an ai-mo or yădakk plushie. they totally missed an awesome chance to make bug merch. Imagine tiny lytheti, doomux, ciru, hexapod, and phychi plushies. I WANT A CIRU PLUSH ON MY HEAD.”

TheRedBlaster, a Vengir fan, said, “I find it really cute and accurate. But the fact that the hair has the same color as the helmet…”

Murb, another Vengir fan, said, “They are so adorable!!!!:D Revenge has never been this cute before”

Pyrian said, “They may have failed to adjust for sarcasm. Next, they should make Gaami popsicle molds.”

Even if you do place an order, you may not get the item. The manufacturer needs to get enough orders (estimated 200 orders) by May 27th, to make the plushy. The Makeship policy says, “If a Campaign reaches the minimum order goal, we start production. If the minimum goal is not met, all Fans are refunded for their order.” Production takes 2-4 months to complete and then up to 30 business days for shipping. Best case scenario, you pay $40 for a stuffed Vengir swordsman that arrives in September.

As of publication, the campaign was less than a third full. At the current pace orders are being placed, the plushy is unlikely to meet the threshold for production.

Order your Vengir plushy online before time runs out.

Natural Disaster Art Contest

Inspired by the Xin-xi lore blurb about natural disasters, the April art contest asked for submissions of natural disasters in Polytopia.

“What are Polytopia natural disasters like? How do they plan for them? Recover from them? Show us art of a Polytopia natural disaster and/or a tribe rebuilding after a natural disaster.” 17 users submitted original art. Voting took place on April 22nd using a new voting bot designed by redish.

First place went to Lila for their art of a Polaris Ice fortress overwhelmed by a blizzard. “Ice fortresses weren't originally meant for combat. They were originally designed as shelter whenever blizzards or thunderstorms arose. Though over time, the Polaris decided adding cannons and sleds to the ice fortresses would be a good idea as not only can it be used as a shelter, it can also be used as a weapon of mass destruction.”

Second place was awarded to viera for his Vengir natural disaster. “The only issue with Vengir's geography isn't only the lack of basic resources, like fruits and animals, but also the presence of tons of volcanoes; approximately 1 in every 3 mountains are, in fact, filled with lava. But how does a civilization rebuild from so frequent disasters? The thing is, they don't. Vengir developed ways of building in the lava by using resistant materials, smart architecture that doesn't let toxic fumes accumulate inside the houses, ways of cooling down their residences so no one is cooked inside them, strategies to evacuate the people that live in the affected areas, etc. Vengir doesn't recover from those natural disasters, they adapt. In fact, Vengir relationship with the fire is actually quite positive. The lava fertilizes their soil, brings them important metals and sometimes even protect their cities from raids. Because of this they worship Xasperz, the god of the soil and the underground. They believe that by leaving sacrifices on the altar of this god during a volcanic eruption, for the lava to consume, Xasperz will make their soil even more fertile and will make ores easier to find.”

Third place went to IcedLimeonade for her Kickoo ocean storm. “Most Kickoo sailors are skilled at anticipating and avoiding storms. Most…”

Fan Art

By ItzTacocat

By AlexQret


By Systema 57

Short fiction

They existed, they lived

By Rippi

We were a pack of 'Shebrons', because that's what the men with wool on their heads called us. The river flowing through the hardened sand gave us water and the scarce wide trees gave us shade. Everything that is green was food we could eat, and everything that moved was dangerous.

Some days, one of us was lured by food by the men with wool. The younger were preoccupied that they disappeared, the older knew what truly happened. After days, they saw their old companion running with the man on their back. I would hope he lives the rest of their days happier than with us.

After time has passed, we saw red. The fire which was rare to find, was seen by the direction the men lived.

It took 2 days to settle down.

There were no more men with wool on their heads. There were another species similar to men. Their heads had flowing blue hair like the river flowing down, their ears were big and pointy like the river rocks. They were river men, because that's what we called them.

Their animals were similar but different to us. They had horns and beautiful mane with white skin. These animals had river men on their backs. Maybe the river men kept their animals alive.

One river man, or more likely a woman spoke to me. Not us, me. I've been picked at last, so my death was certain. The woman walked away from me and started chanting something that felt familiar in my soul. I fainted right after the river woman stopped.

I notice my fall to be more silent.

I woke up seeing the woman. I make a noise, but it sounds different. It was the same talk the river men used. I panicked, as I thought that I was becoming part of the river men mounts, but I regained my senses and thought: I am no longer a Shebron.

Feel free to read the original story on A03 and leave a kudos there if you like it

Interview with Innofunni - Discord Elo Champion

This is an exceprt of an interview of Innofunni by Espark, first published in the PolyChampions server April 8th, 2023

Can you tell me a little about yourself? What’s your age (can be a range)? Where do you live (can be a general area)

Innofunni: I'm a 20 something who lives in the Midwestern US (nobody says it like that, but in case it clarifies anything for my homies around the world). I have two cats, I am the favorite person to one of them, and for that I think he's the cutest fluffiest cat there is

What are your favorite games, besides polytopia?

Innofunni: I like chess because I'm not good at it. I get to play at a club otb and win or lose I just have fun moving the pieces. The problem is I'm getting better at it, though it'll still probably be years before that affects my enjoyment of the game. I used to play a lot of risk online, but once I hit grandmaster and top 50 I was tired of all the ways people cheated in that game at the time and left. I'll take some time to play a new main series Pokemon title (though I didn't bother with gen 9) I'm decent though unspectacular at singles. That Mario guy is pretty cool, and I'll cook you at mkwii. But honestly I don't have time to play games other than poly, and even then barely that so I stopped playing anything else a while ago

Okay, back to Polytopia.

You are top of the Elo leaderboard in PolyMain and have the Elo champion role there. It must have taken you a long time. What’s your strategy for gaining Elo? Why did you spend so much time elo farming?

Innofunni: High volume of games. Truth is, for most players their actual elo as a predictor of who will win a game is higher than is reflected in the bot. The reason I took so many games was because I got sick of 24h games. The correspondence format is frustrating, it encourages someone who is losing to just sink more time into analyzing the game and coming up with the best play that can require hours of calculation, so when the game gets back to you it ends up that you lose without doing the same. I'm fine investing time into a season game like that, but for just another 1v1? Absolutely not.

Matter of fact the week I got elo champ on main someone said, "Hey can you 1v1 me?" I said, "No, I don't have time for a long drawn out 1v1 right now." "So that's what kind of elo champ you are huh?" Some people need to deal with their sense of entitlement, overinflated ego among other problems.

Shortly after I got champ on main I started playing a ton of 1v1s with people who agreed to finish the games in one sitting, I'd scout out elo bot commands or steam games for whoever was there at the time. Why did I do it in bot? Number go up, dopamine activated (yes this is directed at one person lol)

Tbh though if you really want to gain elo with 0 effort just play 2v1s. Or get better at the game. ooh scary

Hah. Easier said than done.

What do you recommend for people like me who are very experienced at Polytopia, but still not a Pro player. How can folks like me, "get better at the game?"

Innofunni: Streamline the cognitive work as much as possible. If you're playing the game and you need to think and double check "does a giant kill this warrior?" You're never going to be able to play with high precision.

Turn an abstract question of "how can I siege this city" into "they have a warrior with a defense boost on their city, how can I attack that with 3 units with 2 attack, and once I do can I stop them from unsieging"

Once you realize what your objective is and start recognizing situations in game, once you know what you're playing for and what all of your units' jobs are it's so much easier to plan.

Same for stars, figure out what level you're going to get any given city to the second you capture it. Go in knowing what strategy you have for buying techs, change that if it absolutely cannot work, but look at what the most possible population you can get on a city is, 2 for level 2, 5 for level 3, 9 for BG, 11 for a PG super unit, if you have 4 fruits and 2 trees consider upgrading with 4 fruits, and road connection so you can chop for that tiny star advantage. Maybe you chop neither, but place a monument and get a giant with border growth though.

No matter what the plan ends up being, figuring out what your plan for a city is the turn you capture is huge.

The less time you spend thinking about minor details, the more time you're making critical game winning decisions, which are almost always "where do I place this unit now" and "my resource indicators aren't that good turn 0, should I go to this riskier place, or this place that's worse and only slightly less risky" "do I need tech before capturing this city?"

Oh also the #1 learn to use the poly calculator. You get a sense of what works and what doesn't. I was playing against randoms and played this elyrion player. I had a giant siege on them, after their polytaurs attacked me it was at around half health. It was a live game and it wasn't a good use of time to enter this all in the calculator, but I see they have a polytaur and baby dragon. I think to myself "that probably doesn't kill, but I bet it gets close, I think my giant will survive that on 4 health." I enter it in the calculator and sure enough it survived with 4 health there. Your brain can store a ton of useless information

Who have been great mentors to you in the Polytopia community and what did they teach you?

Innofunni: Pauly, Abigtree, JD, Skre, Koric, Hugh, Kune, Monomyth, Arthur. They taught me how to play the game well and how to run a poly team. Not to say I learned nothing from anyone else, just that they were the bulk of it and by the time I was done being a shrimp I didn't have specific mentoring with anyone the way I did those people, it would feel wrong to include everyone else I learned from on the same list with those I already mentioned.

I wouldn't have enough time in a day to summarize everything I learned from them, but the most important thing I learned was a counter to "rider roads lmao" the maxim: "make giant win game"

Nah. You can’t get away with that. I at least need to know what they taught you about running a team , for a friend ;)

Innofunni: Your team should never be dependent on one single person to just do everything. Sometimes people only want to contribute to team rosters if they feel like they're needed for it, dividing up the responsibilities of a team to multiple people makes it manageable for everyone.

Beyond that the best way to get people to be active and playing the game is if you give them things that are very easy and obvious to do. Some people only play in season games because they don't like finding or filling games and locating a teammate and having the process feel like a chore, the easier you make it for people to engage with the team the more people will.

Read the complete interview on the PolyChampions server.


A big thanks to Artemis for setting up and maintaining the website for the newspaper. Thanks to Artis and Espark for contributing articles.

If you want to submit a piece to the newspaper—art, news article, opinion piece, puzzle, etc.—let us know in #article-suggestions.

Keep up, Ai-Mo!