The nations of Minaria again march to war in this session of DIVINE RIGHT. We continue the game between the nations of Mivior, Shucassam and, Pon. Who are played by, Myself, Jared and, Were-Puppy respectively.
Last time, Jared's Shucassam managed to gain the strongest alliance with the grand organization of Immer, Muetar and, Elfland to its ends. Mivior was a distant second in power but, with naval supremacy with it's ally Hothior. Pon alone continues to hang on in the east, maneuvering to it's own ends. What follows are the highlights.
A few weeks in, Muetarian reinforcements arrive at the Miviorine port of Addat, granting a major advantage to the Shucassami-aligned besiegers. The attack is made upon the beleagured fortress....
...and it succeeds! Addat falls to Shucassam.
In the east, Pon elects to make an attack on the then neutral Dwarven kingdom of Ghem by sieging Alzak. This drives the Dwarves into the Shucassam's alliance further strengthening the desert kingdom.
Meanwhile, Mivior's barbarians close in on the Elven capital. Shucassam has aligned itself with the "Wildmen" tribe of barbarians and is bringing them to Neuth to counteract Mivior's "Cannibals". Who already mill around the Elven capital of Ider Bolis.
To the south, Mivior and Shucassam maneuver their armies against each other in northern Hothior.
A little later and to the east, Alzak falls to Pon in a lucky assault. It's rich Dwarven treasures are taken to Fortress Marzarbol, the seat of the Archduchy.
Again north, things come to a head in the forests of Neuth. The Elves return victorious from their siege of Addat and, join allied forces in maneauvering against the Mivior's "Cannibals".
In two weeks, sluggish movement on the part of the Miviorines have enabled the "Cannibals" to become surrounded. With no avenue of retreat they are forced to fight the gathered Shucassami-aligned forces. Thankfully the massed armies are roughly equal in strength.
Unfortunately, the battle goes against them, resulting in significant losses.
Meanwhile in south central Minaria, with mercenaries and barbarians bolstering their forces, Pon lays an audacious siege on Adeese.
Back in Hothior, while Shucassami-aligned Muetar focuses on a siege just west of the battle. The combined armies of the Miviorine alliance attack Shucassam's lone stack of regulars causing heavy losses. This marks the first engagement the Order of the Hippogriff joins since they aligned themselves with Mivior.
Things are becoming clearer at this stage of the war. Shucassam maintains its military hegemony on land but, ended up losing Immer as an ally. At least for the time being, given the unstable nature of Minarian alliances. Pon stands alone against it's rivals but, it's successful attack against Alzak put it in the lead in victory points. It has so far been successful in compensating for it's lack of power with mercenaries and barbarians, only time will tell if this a winning strategy. Mivior failed to consolidate on it's moves from last game and ended up stalemating against Shucassam in almost all battles so far. The Miviorines have been able to retrieve their Rombuni allies after the kingdom came out of confusion. This cemented their control over the seas, albiet with almost no targets to use thier sea power against. Shucassam was able to interrupt the attempted siege of Ider Bolis and was able to siege Tadafat in north Hothior. Although, they had not been able to accomplish anything of note otherwise. Nothing is set in stone with this game just yet.
Thing are heating up in Minaria and we've got to see a few more of the special mercenary units pop-up. There was also some discussion of rules as it relates coding DR's map. What I found most interesting though, was use of barbarians in the strategies of the players.
Barbarians are perhaps the most direct way to increase a kingdom's forces in DIVINE RIGHT. However this comes at the cost of a diplomatic phase, or if extremely unlucky, an ambassador or even already recruited barbarians. In the above game, they were used by both Mivior and Shucassam in northern Elfland. Mostly because Mivior's "Cannibal" horde outnumbered the entirety of the Elven Army, even with the addition of some timely mercenaries. Were-puppy's Pon was even able to use barbarians to aid in their siege of Adeese, as they had no allies.
Barbarians however, have a few more caveats. For one, they will leave following their participation in a successful siege, as they take their share of the booty and go home. Depending on circumstances this could leave the remaining forces vulnerable. Besides this they are less flexible than normal units and, only retreat from combat if they get a 5 or 6 on a retreat dice roll. Meaning that they can't often escape from poor combat odds.
Advantages wise, they are great for a quick power boost. As well as giving a player the ability to harry their rivals at the extreme northern and southern edges of the map. Certainly something to consider for the embattled player.
Barbarians are definitely another example of unpredictability in the game. It kind of messed up my plans to burn the smug Elven capital to the ground, alas. Thing is though, it's not over yet.