Monday, January 30, 2017

Battle Report: 2nd Divine Right Vassal Game

This past Saturday we played our second game of Divine Right on Vassal, this time joined by the great Were-Puppy. It was my turn to get good early rolls, and succeeded in allying myself to two nuetral kingdoms. This was good, because I spent the rest of the game fighting a war on two fronts. HereAndNow executed an audacious head fake with his mobile seaborne units around my peninsular forces, but I was able to protect my valuable real estate nonetheless. Were-Puppy forgot to move his units his first turn (we're all getting used to Vassal), and I performed an effortless siege on one of his castles with one of my early allies.

The only hitch in the proceedings was realizing about 2/3rds of the way through the game that we were each reading from a different set of rules. Oops! It didn't really matter until my monarch was captured, but it was a valuable lesson. We concluded we'll have to confirm with Mr. Spudbox, producer on this project, about which ruleset we're using for the project. Good thing we discovered this now!

As the understanding the game, I'm starting to get a sense of what to expect. While it seems like the game swings wildly based in luck, it takes a lot to really damage your opponent, and along the way he might catch a lucky break and things will swing in his favor. Therefore it's important to realize that the game isn't quite as swingy as it appears. How that knowledge changes my approach to the game is not yet clear, because I haven't seen enough situations play out. But I can already glean from a game design perspective that the changing situation requires the players to react a lot as the game unfolds, and that the game does not steamroll uncontrollably. So if an opponent catches a break it doesn't mean you're suddenly way behind, but you do need to be ready to play differently. I would call that economical design. We'll see, though, because I don't understand the game well enough to anticipate the second order of decision making.


  1. We're suppose to be using the basic set, which I can't remember where I got it from :P

    It's not that I forgot to move, but I was mixed up because the basic rules are where each player does their events, then each player resolves sieges, then each player moves.

    As opposed to the way we were doing it, which is each player does event, siege, moves, etc, then to the next player.

    1. Yeah, it turns out the ruleset included with the VASSAL mod is somewhat abridged. That was what I was working from in the beginning and, it's turn order rules are different from the '97 basic ruleset, which was the official team ruleset.

      Tbh, I glad you brought this up, I wouldn't have realized this otherwise.

      This is one of the major reasons I wanted to do this weekly, Divine Right is complex enough that it's easy to screw things up. Learning from mistakes/flaws is something we can do on a weekly basis. It's one thing to know the rules but, another to put them into practice.

      Sorry it was troublesome for you though, man.

  2. You know, when HereAndNow and I played the first game I had the same question and the turn structure.

    1. Yeah, I'm glad we had Were-Puppy for the game this particular week. Turns out you were right, and I was working from an incorrect ruleset.

      Live and learn, eh? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  3. I possess a well crafted Divine Right scenario made for Warlords III: Darklords Rising with custom units, heroes, and items. I can send it to you for your reference if interested. Let me know. To find out how to play the game on modern operative systems please consult

  4. I'll check it out. I'm still figuring out what Warlords III: DR is all about but it's worth investigating if it makes for a smoother DR experience than VASSAL. Email: jfburrellmusic at gmail dot com

  5. Hi,

    I have shared files with you here and sent you an email as well.

    1. You will need the game Warlords 3: Darklords Rising v1.02 to play this scenario.
    2. Install the attached .w3s scenario file by launching the WAR3ED program and selecting unpack scenario. Both files should be in root folder of the Warlords 3: Darklords Rising. Place the file DVRT2009.rul there as well.
    3. Create a new short-cut to darklord.exe and name it Divine Rights. Right-click on the shortcut, select properties and add the following to the target line outside of the right citation mark: -rules=DVRT2009.rul.
    4. Start game using the new shortcut, click new scenario, then select Divine Rights, choose a side and start playing.

    Please note that this game can be played multiplayer via email as well as classic hotseat.