Wednesday, April 8, 2009

HOTT Campaign Play-Test: Summer 823NA

(refer to the map here: Campaign Map)

Njal Rorikson, King of the Nord, Lord of the Isles, Hammer of the Angles decided the Angles were too much bother. With one of his cities fallen to them, another besieged by the treacherous dwarves, and his capitol in peril it was time to return home. The Banner of the raven swiftly sailed back across the sea. Silenlty they landed their boats at night and fell upon the dwarves besieging the city of Hammar.

The two armies went at each other hammer and tongs! Neither side gaining any advantage until a rumor spread through the Nordlanders line that their King had fallen, struck in the eye with an arrow. The morale of the Nordlanders broke and they fled the field.

Truly, Njal was struck in the helm, and arrow wedged in the eye socket of his helm, he fell to the ground and bled profusely from the scratch in his forehead, but he was far from dead! Quickly he rose to his feet and threw himself back upon the enemy, but alas it was too late. Panic had spread and his army melted away. With the army defeated Hammar fell.

The Dwarves pursued them hotly into the hills and woods. Njal’s men retired to Starsgard. Those that made it back found they were without a king. Indeed Njal found himself cut off and surrounded by Dwarves. He was forced into hiding and it would be winter before he made it back to his capitol…

In the hills news came to him that further darkened his heart. An army of Orcs had marched from the land of the ancients to besiege Sykl – now held by a garrison of Anglanders. The Anglanders knew how to hold on to a city and the siege dragged on through the summer.

King Aethelbert (the Almost Ready) after establishing a new admisnistration in Sykl (now referred to as the Anglaw) returned to Morgond. There he found the Narns had given up their siege and sailed back over the water. Aethelbert sailed on in pursuit only to find that Grunnlaug Crowbeak and his army was no longer there either but had sailed on to Lyeldil in pursuit of the Elves! Aethelbert lay siege to Relais, but it was already well into the summer and the Narns would not fall so easily as had the Nordlanders…

Grunnlaug Crowbeak arrived at the Isle of Lyeldil to find the Elves ready for him. Without waiting for the support of his meager foot he led the remains of his horsemen on a reckless charge into the right and center of the Elvish line. The general fell and the Elf line evaporated. The tattered remains of the elf army retired to Quewedel.

This too we played out on the table top. A report of the battle can be found here:

Battle of Lyeldil

In the north King Christiankhamun V retired to his necropolis at Amundabad, fearing the Orcs might make for it and seize the source of his power – the Black Stone of Amunkar. No orcs came. Scouting Carrion Crows reported that only a small garrison of Orcs held onto the new “tropical resort oasis” of their empire…

Field Army Location: Sykl
Field Army Size: 22AP
Areas Controlled: Korrt*, Underyun, Garlac, Nalgabad
Prestige Points: 4

Field Army Location: Amundabad
Field Army Size: 12AP
Areas Controlled: Amundabad*, Tashaklabad
Prestige Points: 0

Field Army Location: Lyeldil
Field Army Size: 13AP
Areas Controlled: Nean*, Boulgeaus, Relais, Lyeldil
Prestige Points: 9

Field Army Location: Hammar
Field Army Size: 22AP
Areas Controlled: Bohl-dur*, Harra-dur, Khalin-dur, Behln-dur, Hammar
Prestige Points: 12

Field Army Location: Starsgard
Field Army Size: 14AP
Areas Controlled: Starsgard*
Prestige Points: 0

Field Army Location: Relais (besieged)
Field Army Size: 20AP
Areas Controlled: Galordon*, Scael, Morgond, Sykl
Prestige Points: 12

Field Army Location: Quewedel
Field Army Size: 6AP
Areas Controlled: Quewedel*, Andild,
Prestige Points: 0


  1. Wow, did those Narns get lucky again or what? Very spiff reporting, and the geo-politics of the campaign are just awesome :)

    One thing I noticed though, and I am not trying to be nit picky or anything... Just as a DBA type campaign organizer to another... I made the same mistake myself already... But when a general is lost, the rules specify that an addition 4AP (or two elements in DBA) are transferred from the field army to the reserves. Unfortunately this happened to the Danes in my campaign, much to their chagrin...

    Great stuff man, thanks again for running it :)


  2. Ah! I forgot about that! Thank you!

    I will make changes immediately!

    wow... sucks for the elves!!

  3. Not just the elves, but the Nords as well if I am not mistaken? That is one thing about the campaign system: when you fall, you can fall hard.

    I think that is especially true for HotT, where you have to lose half of your AP to end a battle! If HotT were more aligned with DBA, you would only need to lose one quarter of your AP, and so you wouldn't fall as fast. Might be something to think about for your June campaign?


  4. Yes I modified both at the same time. The Nords didn't lose a LOT because the General was the first element killed and that ended the battle!

    I was thinking the same thing - about how it takes losing hlaf your army to lose a battle rather than a quarter... maybe simply allow for players to leave the filed before half their army is gone - say at the beginning of any turn - before PIPs are rolled - a player can declare their side lost and leave the field...?

    Something definitely to think about...

  5. > I was thinking the same thing -
    > about how it takes losing half
    > your army to lose a battle rather
    > than a quarter...

    Did you mean a quarter instead of a half? I think the change might be good, as not only will it keep things from reducing so fast, but also speed up game time for the June weekend action!

    As for leaving the field, the way I handle it in my DBA campaign is that a player who wants to leave the field of battle can attempt to do so at any time. The sequence is:

    1) They declare they want to leave and ask permission of their opponent if they can just leave without further playing. If the opponent agrees, the game is over and is won/lost/drawn depending on the current situation.

    2) If the opponent disagrees, the player can still attempt to march off the field. The campaign rules specify that any element leaving the board by passing over a battlefield edge during battle (but not destroyed) can return to the field army immediately afterward. Effectively providing the same effect.

    The reason I wouldn't want to allow for a player to simply say "I am leaving" without consequence or input from their opponent is that it is very frustrating to the would be winner; as they were beginning to think they had pacified those pesky Narnegians they were disappointed to have them simply withdraw without consequence (or with less conesquence). The above sequence stays within the rules of the campaign and the battle game as well.

    This has actually happened twice in my campaign. At one point an invasion was called off before the lines even met! At another point an attacker let the defender leave.


  6. No I was just making note of the fact that in HOTT games you play until half are gone rather than a quarter in DBA and how that effects the campaign. I hadn't really come up with any solution. I was just considering allowing players to quite the field. In addition I might add that they have to lose a quarter of their AP before quitting the field... or maybe not...

    I'd rather have a way of just saying "I'm leaving" than getting permission from the other player. You don't have to get permission from the other player to quit the field once you've lostaccording to the regular rules.... Or have to try and march off the field once you've lost...

    But I agree there should be some consequence... maybe losing 2 or 4 AP if you leave before it's completely lost...?

    I don't know... just something to think about....

  7. Yeah, I see what you're saying for sure! Those options are viable, and I am sure whiever way you go will work out well.


  8. The option for a fighting retreat would be really nifty - it's not something that DBA or HoTT usually caters to, given the fairly arbitrary way battles are decided, but it's perfectly appropriate for a campaign.

    I would suggest that elements withdrawn over the player's starting edge would be available immediately, but those withdrawn over the side edges would have to sit out one round (representing units that lost contact with the main force, and need time to re-concentrate.)

  9. I would oppose losing AP as a penalty - they are so precious and hard to replace. We want to encourage both battles and smart play, and there are times when the smart thing to do is not fight, especially when you stand to lose more from fighting than not. If it were easier to replace losses, this would be better, but with only getting back 1/3 of an army per year...

    I have no idea how prestige works, so take this with a grain of salt, but I would suggest a prestige loss for retreating as opposed to an AP loss. It makes as much if not more sense in terms of roleplaying, too. I understand the argument that you lose to desertion after a retreat, but again the AP loss is too unbalancing, IMHO

  10. Prestige loss... that's interesting... or maybe the opponent gains prestige equal to the amount of AP he would have had to knock out to cause a loss. Or just a bonus 4AP like taking a stronghold or knocking out a General...?

  11. No, I think just a simple prestige loss, but make it way more serious if it the attacker who pulls off. A withdrawing defender is just retreating to fight another day on better ground, and will surely bounce back (or run out of space to retreat at some point). An attacker who retreats is either a poor or a losing general - there's really no way to sugarcoat the fact that you've had your ass handed to you.

  12. ...and if you have no prestige to lose...? Negative values...?