Sunday, March 12, 2017

Battle Report: March 11th

This week's game was short but, climactic. It was a continuation of the previous week's game between Jfburrell and me.


Last Session in DR my side, the player-named "Trollish Khaganate," was smarting from a few one-sided battles in Northern Pon and the plunder of its capital to the west. Jared has the advantage in troop strength but, the "Dwarven Clearwater Revival" and the Khaganate are about even in number of allies. At the start of this session, the positions were the same as in the above image, what follows are the highlights. 


The Trollish royal Army makes it's way west to unite with the Rombuni fleet and perhaps take some targets of opportunity. However, the Revival had just finished consolidating their forces on the plains of Muetar. so any such plans had to be put on hold. As the newly formed "doom" stack was too strong for the Khaganate at present.


Meanwhile, the Dwarves had managed to activate Elfland which would allow them to actually move their army from Aws Noir without taking a diplomatic penalty on Elfland. The Khaganate also acquired Hothior as an ally around the same time. 


The retreating Troll forces managed to catch a Miviorine Expeditionary force midway through traveling through the Shucassamite royal road in the Wastes of Vah-Ka-Ka. The army was annihilated and Archon Nualt died in Battle, throwing Mivior into confusion and dropping them from the Dwarven alliance. Not to be outdone, the Revival is able to convince Rombune to leave the Khaganate's alliance soon after.


While defeating the smaller enemy force would have been advantageous in the long run, it allowed the Dwarven doom stack plenty of time to make it's way to Shucassam. Despite the obvious disparity in strength here, Jared only had a relatively slight edge(+1 combat modifier) to the combat dice rolls. So when the Troll's human allies failed the retreat roll, the decision was made to stand and fight. As opposed to suffering a slower death waiting out a siege in a Shucassamite fortress. 

This combat actually went on for about two of the game's twenty turns about four-fifths of an in game month. Both sides took losses and then the pivotal moment came. 


One of my leader's failed a hero fate roll and died in battle against the Dwarves. This was my in-game avatar, the Troll King Skoagg. 

:(



GAME! SET! MATCH!
Jared Wins.

The final score was 100 Victory Points for the "Dwarven Clearwater Revival" and, 35VPs for the "Trollish Khaganate."


Notes


For only being a few turns, some really pivotal moments happened in this game. This includes my defeat. What I find most interesting though, was how the aforementioned defeat was never a foregone conclusion. Leaving aside the possible foolishness of bringing your PC-monarch along(~33% of adverse effects with a hero fate roll), if the turn chits had just came out in a different order that game turn, the above never would have had a chance to happen. Heck I had actually just pulled ahead in victory points before the epic battle of the Vah-Ka-ka wastes. The unpredictability that I've mentioned makes for some very entertaining tension during the game.

Besides my favorite feature(even if it works against me, alas), I think Jared's thoughts on DR strategy from the last Battle report are important to note:

"I'm still working out a strategy. At the moment I would have most of what's I'm doing tactics. But I feel reasonable certain that your most important resource is positioning. It's interesting because if you move your army towards one position, you move it away from another, so all moves are value neutral minus context. I'm not the end this means the order in which you add allies is very important because the last thing you want to do is have to backtrack your armies to cover your flanks." -Jared Burrell, Comment March 6th 2017, "Battle Report: March 3rd."
The importance of movement and positioning in game is borne out by the fact that, most if not all bonuses to units in game are based around their movement through different terrain. Having realized this vital aspect of gameplay more completely than me gave Jared a decided advantage.

My foolishly aggressive fast and loose approach to this game may have cost me victory, this time. There's a lot to improve on for next weekend's game strategy wise, because after all: it's not over yet.

14 comments:

  1. Not sure that's appropriate troll death music. Need something more outdoorsy. Maybe this?

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=V-_O7nl0Ii0

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    1. ಠ_ಠ

      Jared - 2 H&N - 0

      You win this time.

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    2. That being said, that would make a good troll death theme. Can't beat the classics, after all. I recommend everybody give it a listen.

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  2. Another part of this is timing. It takes about 6 turns to siege a castle with equal troops and about 6 turns to destroy an alliance. With twice as many troops as castle defense it takes 3 turns. Three times as many troops, 2 turns.

    So concentrating your forces is what allows you to take a castle before you lose your alliance.

    Dispersal allows your to slow your opponent enough to wreck an alliance.

    I haven't really sorted out the cost/benefits of dispersion versus concentration, but my guess is our doom stack style is a little amateurish. I suspect there are some smart ways to disperse forces to make your defences not worth the effort.

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    1. Thanks so much for bringing Divine Right to the PC! I am so happy you are keeping the original artwork! I particularly love this Dragon magazine cover by Ken "Elrohir" Rahman: https://www.blackgate.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Dragon34-KenRahman.jpg

      There are a couple of old Dragon magazines online that have a wealth of rules variants:

      https://annarchive.com/files/Drmg034.pdf
      https://annarchive.com/files/Drmg046.pdf

      My friends and I always used the siege train variant, the Ogre Tribes, the Southern barbarians and Macombi Spearslayer as well as the new magic items from the Tombs of Olde. Lots of extra fun and color!

      Any info about the eventual release date and pricing? How could one become a beta playtester?

      Thanks again!
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    2. You should be thanking Vox, the designer, most of the team hadn't heard of the game before the project. At least I hadn't, although I'm definitely a fan now. It's a really elegant design, the lore is really interesting and, it's a lot of fun.

      Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot of info on its release just yet. It's not my department but, I'd imagine there will be information posted on this very blog as things progress.

      Thanks for the Dragon Mags though! I'll add them to my collection of rule variants, might come in handy in future team games. It's up to the coders/designer but, I'm hoping we can make the game moddable at some point, to account for all these unofficial rule variants players have come up with.

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    3. Glad you liked the Dragon mags! If you look on that website annarchive,

      https://annarchive.com/dragon.html

      They have PDFs of all the Dragons from 1 to 250. Starting around issue 34 I think, and continuing for about two or more years, most issues have a "Minarian Legends" article in them.

      These are not rule variants, but lore and histories about each of the Minarian Kingdoms and special characters and places. You don't need them to play the game, of course, but they really flesh out the mood and give you lots of background.

      Minaria is one of the lost secrets of fantasy worldbuilding. I would say that it's probably right up there behind Tolkien's Middle Earth and The Elder Scrolls in terms of the thought that was put into it.

      I am really excited to see that you guys have tackled this project. I haven't been able to get a group together to play DR for years. With the prices they are asking for it now on eBay I am kind of nervous about actually playing my copy even if I could find players. A computer version will solve all my problems. This is such great news for me!

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    4. Hey I just found a complete bibliography of all Divine Right articles from The Dragon. You can cross reference with the Annarchive site to see them:

      DIVINE RIGHT:
      Additions "Minarian Variants" G. Arthur Rahman 46(14)
      Divine Right
      "Now It Can Be Told: The 'Rest' of the Rule Book" Tom Wham 34(8)
      Divine Right
      "Pirates, Ogres, and Some Other Variations..." Victor Selby 34(10)
      Divine Right
      Altars of Greystaff "Monuments of Minaria" Glenn Rahman 55(56)
      Divine Right
      Ambassador personality cards "Ambassador Cards Add Even More Personality" Jon Foster 34(7) Divine Right
      Ambushes "Minarian Variants" G. Arthur Rahman 46(15)
      Divine Right
      Barbarians "Barbarian North and the Youth Of Juulute Wolfheart" G. Arthur Rahman 39(12) Divine Right
      "Minarian Variants" G. Arthur Rahman 46(18) Divine Right
      Bilge Rat "Bilge Rat and the Mercenary Fleets of Minaria, The" Glenn Rahman 48(32)
      Divine Right
      Black Hand, The "Black Hand, The" Glenn Rahman 46(19)
      Divine Right
      Black Knight, The "Black Knight, The" Glenn Rahman 44(82)

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    5. Divine Right
      Changes "For Your Minarian Merriment, 9 Ways To Change..." Ed Greenwood 34(9)
      Divine Right
      "Making a Great Game Greater" Glenn Rahman 34(4) Divine Right
      "Official Alterations For the Second Edition Rules" Mike Carr 34(5)
      Divine Right
      Dwarves: History "History of Dwarves, The" Glenn Rahman 45(41)
      Divine Right
      Eaters of Wisdom "Eaters of Wisdom, The" Glenn Rahman 49(72)
      Divine Right
      Elfland: History of "History of Elfland, The" G. Arthur Rahman 37(13)
      Divine Right
      Faces To The Sea, The "Monuments of Minaria" Glenn Rahman 55(56)
      Divine Right
      Folklore "Schardenzar's Story" Glenn Rahman 51(71)
      Divine Right
      Goblins: History "History of Zorn and the Goblins, The" Glenn Rahman 50(44)
      Divine Right
      History: Summary "Chronology of Minaria, The" Glenn Rahman 57(52)
      Divine Right
      Hothior: History "History of Hothior, The" G. Arthur Rahman 35(27)
      Divine Right
      Immer: History "History of Immer, The" G. Arthur Rahman 36(20)
      Divine Right
      Isle of Fright, The "Monuments of Minaria" Glenn Rahman 55(56)
      Divine Right
      Juulute Wolfheart "Barbarian North and the Youth Of Juulute Wolfheart" G. Arthur Rahman 39(12) Divine Right
      Leadership "Minarian Variants" G. Arthur Rahman 46(16)
      Divine Right
      Lost City of Khos "Monuments of Minaria" Glenn Rahman 55(57)
      Divine Right
      Mercenary fleets "Bilge Rat and the Mercenary Fleets of Minaria, The" Glenn Rahman 48(32) Divine Right
      Mivior: History of "History of Mivior, The" G. Arthur Rahman 38(18)
      Divine Right
      Monsters "Monsters of Minaria, The" Glenn Rahman 56(25)
      Divine Right
      Monuments "Monuments of Minaria" Glenn Rahman 55(56)
      Divine Right
      Movement "Minarian Variants" G. Arthur Rahman 46(17)
      Divine Right
      Muetar, History of "History of Muetar, The" Glenn Rahman 34(6)
      Divine Right
      Notes "Divine Right Design Notes" Glenn & Kenneth Rahman 27(19)
      Divine Right
      Ogsbogg the Ogre "Monsters of Minaria, The" Glenn Rahman 56(29)
      Divine Right
      Pon: History of "History of Pon, The" G. Arthur Rahman 42(18)
      Divine Right
      Rombune: History of "History of Rombune, The" Glenn Rahman 54(58)
      Divine Right
      Schardenzar "Schardenzar's Story" Glenn Rahman 51(71)
      Divine Right
      Shucassamites "Evolution of the Shucassamites, The" Glenn Rahman 52(64)
      Divine Right
      Sieges "Divine Right Sieges, the White Mountain Way" Jon Foster 34(7)
      Divine Right
      "Minarian Variants" G. Arthur Rahman 46(14) Divine Right
      Spires To The Sun, The "Monuments of Minaria" Glenn Rahman 55(57)
      Divine Right
      Temple of Kings "Eaters of Wisdom, The" Glenn Rahman 49(72)
      Divine Right
      Tombs of Olde, The "Monuments of Minaria" Glenn Rahman 55(58)
      Divine Right
      Treasure "Minarian Variants" G. Arthur Rahman 46(16)
      Divine Right
      Trolls "Trolls, The" G. Arthur Rahman 41(22) Divine Right
      Urmoff the Sea Serpent "Monsters of Minaria, The" Glenn Rahman 56(25)
      Divine Right
      Witches' Kitchen, The "Monuments of Minaria" Glenn Rahman 55(58)
      Divine Right
      Zorn: History of "History of Zorn and the Goblins, The" Glenn Rahman 50(44)

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    6. Thanks again, I actually didn't have a few of these. I'll go ahead and add them to my collection.

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  4. I imagine when we're looking for playtesters were put up a post on it.

    Our mission at present is to produce a game that is faithful to the 3rd edition basic rules.

    Follow me on gab @composer and I'll provide updates on the game as they become available.

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  5. The basic rules don't use either of the magic using kingdoms; The Black Hand or the Eaters of Wisdom. Also there are no special mercenaries or effects of special locations on the map. It's really just a bare-bones kingdom warfare system.

    I realize you have a huge task ahead of you, but I am really hoping that as you go along you will eventually decide to tackle the advanced rules. All that extra stuff is what really brings the game to life and captures the magic of the Rahman Brothers' Minarian setting.

    I have to admit I am not a big user of social media. I do want to follow you, but I don't know where to go. Remember, I am an old guy who played Divine Right in 8th grade when it first came out in 1979.

    Is it this: https://gab.ai/
    or maybe this: https://getcomposer.org/

    I am kind of challenged about social media. Anything beyond Twitter or Facebook and you've lost me.

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  6. https://gab.ai/composer

    You have to sign up for gab.

    Or just add this site to your favorites and drop by from time to time.

    Or email or jfburrellmusic at gmail dot com

    It's hard to set a release date when you're in the early stages of production. We're pre-Alpha right, you know? The best we can do is get people hyped about it and put our noses to the grindstones.

    After we finish the basic, we'll see about doing the advanced rules. But first we need to build the chassis.

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