This game consists of Were-puppy as Human Monarchy of Hothior, Jared as the Dwarven Kingdom of Ghem and, Myself as the Goblin Sirdarate of Zorn. At the end of the last game, Hothior had Pon and Rombune as allies. Zorn had Elfland, Mivior, Muetar and, Shucassam to call upon. The Dwarves had only Immer to aid them. What follows are the highlights.
The Dwarves commit to their attack on the recently victorious besiegers of Aws Alzak...
Far out west, the Hothior-allied Rombuni and Mercenary fleets continue their stalemate at the ancestral capital of Mivior, Boliske.
Meanwhile in Hothior, the Sirdar instructs his allies to continue their campaign against the human kingdom. The addition of the Shucassami fleet allows them to target Hothior's ports. Castle Lapspell in Hothior is put under siege.
Unfortunately, prudent Hothiorian diplomacy was able to frustrate a major pillar of the Goblin's campaign in Hothior convincing Shucassam to drop from the Goblin alliance. This is coupled with fortuitious news weeks later. Where freak events cause Shucassam to join with Hothior despite Pon violating the sovereign territory of the desert kingdom. This allows Hothior to send the Ponese Royal army to Lapspell. As well as send Hothior's small fleet to harry the recently arrived sea-borne besiegers.
The Zorn mercenary fleet retreats from the Hothiorians but, the Goblins suffer a major loss west of Lapspell. Their Muetarian allies from the city of Pennol were defeated with heavy losses.
The battle goes poorly west of Lapspell as well, with an attack by the Ponese Royal Army causing intense causualties to the Muetar regulars of Beolon.
The following weeks, the mercenary fleet fought the Hothiorian Navy outside of Lapspell and....
.....now lies at the bottom of the mouth of the "Deep" river.
The victorious fleet moves in the port, having broken it of it's siege right after the remnants of the Eastern besiegers fall to the Hothiorian Royal Army.
The situation in Hothior now untenable, the Goblins have their allies retreat.
Despite their victories to the east, Boliske continues to bog-down the Rombuni Fleets limiting their application to the Hothiorian cause.
In the North, the Goblin Royal army was able to escape from the Dwarven army that took out their allies around Alzak and, now returns to their home territory.
The Dwarves decided against their pursuit of the Goblins and instead gathered their forces to the east of the Archduchy of Pon. The allied armies fall upon the castle of Crow's Nest.
Things are becoming clearer in Minaria at the end of this session. The Goblin hegemony in the last game proved all too fragile in Eastern Hothior, despite their large alliance. Hothior managed some excellent diplomatic and military work. Successfully preventing further incursion into their territory by causing the rout of a major Goblin force. Albeit with no increase in their plunder. The Dwarves managed some minor victories in the East followed by the siege of the significant fortress of Crow's Nest, while Hothior was occupied elsewhere. Zorn accomplished little this session, losing nearly every battle fought. Their forces are all currently moving away from their enemies, perhaps to some objective? Only time will tell.
Despite the fact that this session was kind of short in terms of actual game time, a lot happened, particularly in Hothior. Jared ended up solidifying his gains in the east and bringing the fight west.
My Kingdom, Zorn, really fared poorly, I don't think anything good happened at all. Were-puppy on the other hand, ended up completely trashing the respectable army that was tearing through Hothior. Although, when we got to talking one thing stood out to me the most: the acquisition of Victory Points.
There are only two ways to win a game of DIVINE RIGHT, you can kill all of the enemy player Monarchs or you can be the player with the most Victory Points at the end of 20 turns(assuming you are playing the standard game). The former option is both incredibly risky and rare. Even if players aren't protective of their avatars, it's only about a 33% chance to kill or capture after you've triggered a fate roll. Which already relatively rare to get, unless you have some lucky battles involving enemy monarchs or, manage to have your slow military catch-up with one of the speedsters. Otherwise, there are only two ways to acquire Victory points: sieges and killing or capturing a monarch(not necessarily a player monarch). As it can be tricky to kill or capture any monarch in game, it's really more of a bonus mechanic, this leaves sieges.
If you'll notice with this and other games' write ups, I often write about climactic sieges and the battles that allow for or deny them. Getting and accomplishing sieges is the primary goal in DR. It is the only goal that is really stable and reachable under all conditions and states of the game. Capturing a monarch is a nice bonus but, can't really be relied upon to deliver those precious VPs. Not to mention monarchs can hide in castles if things aren't going their way, cementing their secondary status.
It's no secret that we play this every week to better understand the game. While I had understood the importance of sieges before this week, it wasn't until this week that I really understood their primary role in the strategy of DR. This sort of understanding of the strategy of DR will definitely help when it comes time to design and code the game's AI.
Otherwise, while I expected a certain amount of uncertainty, I didn't expect such a massive cause and effect cascade that whooped my allied forces in Hothior. Both events and turn order favored this reversal combined with Were-puppy's skill in exploiting it. Resulting in the loss of a decent siege, no less. Although, as is always the case in DR, it's not over yet!