Minaria again convulses in the throes of war. The session this week was a continuation of the ADVANCED GAME from last week. The warring parties are Jared at the head of Shucassam, Were-puppy as the leader of Pon, yours truly as the Thalassocrat of Mivior.
Last time Shucassam's hegemony was severely damaged by the loss of their Immerian and Zornite allies. In terms of number of allies, they are about even with Mivior in strength, albiet having much larger armies than the Miviorines, and their largely seaborne forces. Pon is far weaker than both of these massive powers and, yet prior to this session has the highest victory points due to the siege of Alzak.
....and it succeeds! Adeese falls to the Ponese forces. The "Outlander" barbarians take their plunder from the stricken city and, leave for their homelands to the south.
While the attacks around Tadafat were successful, the Shucassami were able to flee their attackers. They could not escape from the Miviorine mercenaries and the Order of the hippogriff to the the south however. Desperate battle ensued....
....and the hard fought remnant were victorious over both the order and the Miviorine sell-swords.
Up north, Mivior incites more "Cannibals" to aid it's beleagured forces in northern Neuth. After it's failure to put Ider Bolis to siege.
Early attacks against the Shucassam-aligned "Wildmen" become significant victories for Mivior's cannibals.
Unfortunately, Shucassam takes the same tactic, this quagmire persists.
Far to the south, a lone unit of Rombuni regulars play a game of cat and mouse with Shucassam's pet dragon Hamahara. Unwilling to fight the monster in open battle, the monster only slows their progress, to whatever their destination might be.
North of the above, Pon uses their main army and the Ghost Rider of Khos to catch a patrolling unit of Shucassami regulars outside of Khuzdul. Nearby trolls, who are Shucassami allies, are too few to help. Paralyzed by the spectral knights they were unable to retreat into the fortress city...
....and they fell in battle. Pon then levies a siege against the city.....
...which is then broken by inclusion of the lepers, who use their diseased condition to force the main army of Pon to flee from them. Although, the addition of Pon's newly recruited "Outlanders" may prevent excessive interference should the siege be attempted again.
Meanwhile in Hothior, Shucassam takes the bold move of sieging the Hothiorian capital of Port Lork. Mivior brings in its armies and fleets to counteract this. However, bad omens in those weeks prevent an attack and, Urmoff cleverly hides himself beneath the waves prior to any attack. Port Lork must hold alone for the time being.
The winner this session was certainly Were-puppy's Pon. While Shucassam and Mivior traded blows along the western half of the continent, Pon quietly accomplished the valuable siege of Shucassam's royal capital Adeese. Pon is currently the leader in treasure, the plundered loot that did not leave civilized lands with the barbarians now glitters in the treasure rooms of Fortress Marzarbol. As far as the conflict between Shucassam and Mivior went, it remains a stalemate with little gain on either side at the main flash points in the northern Neuth and central Hothior. Pon may just be the little kingdom that could but, anything could happen.
One of the big take-aways from this session of DIVINE RIGHT is the nature of the strategy required for the game. As I have stated in previous battle reports, the main goal of the game is to plunder castles to get victory points. With the monarch capture/kill mechanics being more difficult to utilize, become a secondary means to victory points. The question then becomes, how do you plunder a castle given the difficulty involved in maintaining the forces and conditions required for it? I think Were-puppy has given us the answer here.
All of the plundered castles so far happened to be in lightly defended areas that couldn't be reinforced easily by the alliance in question. Case in point is Pon's current success with this game. They are currently the weakest kingdom in the game, with a alliance consisting only of themselves. Yet, they have the most victory points of any kingdom in the game. Some of their successful sieges are due to luck, as they got some really good siege rolls but, they had to put themselves in the proper position to take advantage of this luck.
While Shucassam and Mivior fought against each other across the breadth of Minaria. Pon went after castles in remote regions where there was little enemy presence. Even the successful sieges by the two major powers took place in the relatively isolated areas of the the map, Zefnar and Addat. Allied forces were unable to relieve the castles before they fell.
Given the above, being able to distract your opponent's forces and strike where they are vulnerable is key to the general long term strategy in this game. Destroying their forces is far riskier given how much of a gamble combat is. Which is why, as has been previously mentioned by Jared, that movement is one of the most important factors in the game. Not to mention why it is the chief stat with the game's combat units. The more movement points your units have, the more you can be where you need to be.
Only six turns remain in this game and Pon is far ahead in the lead. Is Neuth to be a permanent battleground? Can Mivior and Shucassam catch up? or will Pon the underdog win? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I dunno but, it's not over yet.