Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Campaign for Kümer – Year Four Autumn

The Map

In the south the army of the Sapphic League of Unity and Togetherness Finally having subdued the Isle of Anasterele sailed across to Dyladele. They had less trouble with this crossing but were unable to subdue the Island before the chill of winter forced them to return to their warm southern homes…

The Armies of Ronarok held in their newly captured stronghold of Wienglenn content to loot and pillage therein for the balance of the year.

The Dwarves retired to their capitol of Ghillebrae, expecting that the Ronarokings would come. But they did not.

The Army of Valishog retired to their capitol of Brashog for one final stand against the elves which pursued hot on their heels…

The Battle of Brasog

(Remember; click on the pics to see a bigger version)

The Elves advance towards the fortress of Brashog.

And advance….

…and advance…

Finally close enough for shooting the elves darken the skies above the orcish line.

Vladimead and his bodyguard are driven back, the unit of archers annihilated…

The lines clash!

The Orc heavy infantry is driven back!

Then things started to go south for the Elves…. Vladimead returned to the battle and wiped out a unot of Elvish archers and the Orc General’s unit destroyed the Elvish infantry to their front!

The the elite Elvish outriders – distinguished so many times in this campaign - made a desperate bid to capture the orcs stronghold behind them.

…and were never heard from again…

Orcs were thrown back in the main line and the battle became a confused melee

Expliting the hole in the center Vladimead and the orc general poured into the game and turned the exposed flanks of the Elves

It worked out for Vadimead and his guard. They destroyed another unit of Archers.

Not so much for the Orc General – his host was driven back and destroyed in the confusion… not that it mattered much the wearied Elves were obliged to retire and begin their long march back to the sea and their home…

…and that’s it! We’re calling it quits! Just about everyone seems sick of the campaign (including me) so now is as good a place as any to stop…. I would have liked it if the Elves could have wiped out the orcs to have SOME sort of conclusion in terms of the narrative (sorry Vlad)… but it just weren’t in the dice, so to speak.

I think that’s it for email campaigns on the whole. It was fun for a bit… then it dragged… people started losing interest… I had to hassle people to get them to send in movement orders… There were some problems with the rules… meh….

I had thought I’d compile all the diplomatic messages that went back and forth and post them, but that seems like it’d be more work than I care to do at the moment… maybe over the holidaze.

On the bright side, for a good chunk of the fall I had a few guys showing up regularly enough to play these battles that I got to thinking I might just run a campaign on Tuesday evenings involving them in the New Year.

I am also still pretty stoked about the Dark Ages DBA Campaign in February (though the date my yet change and be the first weekend in March…) and running a second HOTT Summer Campaign in June. Stay tuned for more info about those in the coming weeks.

Country: Tria Nomina (Vassal of the Ilferien)
Race: Humans
Head(s) of State: Aculeo Bibaculus Mediocrito, Imperator of Tria Nomina
Commander of the Field Army:
Capitol: Praenomen
Other Cities: Nomen, Agnomen
Location of Field Army: Praenomen
Prestige Points: 11
Army Size: 24AP

Country: The Sapphic League of Unity and Togetherness
Race: Mixed – WOMEN!!
Head(s) of State: Myrah the Mighty, Chairperson of the Council of Empowerment of the Sapphic League of Unity and Togetherness.
Commander of the Field Army: General Libby
Capitol: Thatcherton
Other Cities: Bhutto, Beauvoir, Otisburg, Marrow, Crudd, Anasterele
Location of Field Army: Anasterele
Prestige Points: 24
Army Size: 12AP

Country: The Ilferien
Race: Ilferien (Elves)
Head(s) of State: Consul Rhalasa
Commander of the Field Army: Consul Sundiasen
Capitol: Melitele
Other Cities: Wynstrele, Dyladele, Cognomen,
Location of Field Army: Dolj
Prestige Points: 16
Army Size: 8AP

Country: Toctland (Vassal of The Ilferien)
Race: Dwarves
Head(s) of State: King Malaius MacDoogleg
Commander of the Field Army: General Gilgidi MacAuslin
Capitol: Ghillebrae
Other Cities: Toctglenn, Dolj
Location of Field Army: Toctglenn
Prestige Points: 2
Army Size: 10AP

Country: Ronarok
Race: Humans
Head(s) of State: King Claudius Hrosskellsen
Commander of the Field Army: Jarl Thorvald Skardsen
Capitol: Ludharn
Other Cities: Skohln, Marhan, Weinglenn,
Location of Field Army: Weinglenn
Prestige Points: 14
Army Size: 22AP

Country: Transil-Valishog-Atania
Race: Orcs
Head(s) of State: Vladimeag Votostogish (Vlad the Kinslayer)
Commander of the Field Army:
Capitol: Brasog
Other Cities: Gorj,
Location of Field Army: Retiring to Brasog
Prestige Points: 12
Army Size: 8AP

Country: Grummsh
Race: Orcs
Head of State: Bolg Skullcrusher
Other Cities:
Location of Field Army: Disbanded
Prestige Points: 8
Army Size: Disbanded


  1. Well written there Tim, and thanks a million for running the campaign! I had a lot of fun playing, and I'm sorry it didn't work out as well as it could have!

    As for the outcome, I for one am happy that Valishog survived, but you did get your conclusion, at least in a narrative sense.

    Imagine that Vlad, the recent despot who could finally unite the orcs of the mountains and spurn them against their enemies! He does win great glory for the orcs for a year or two, but then is forced back into the hills by a bunch of scrawny elves!

    Of course, his orcsies won't stand for that and he is killed by an angry mob of orcs, which then squabble for the rule of the mountain tribes, but ultimately pull their unity apart, and they go back to fighting each other, not pestering their neighbors for years to come!

    The elves have increased their presence on the mainland, and indeed their sway over the north is very strong, having gained control of both Tria Nomina and Toctland, and smashed the Orc threat.

    Will their wars with the Saphic League continue? It is unlikely I think, since both nations have similar ideologies and both shared in cleansing the lands of the Orcish threat! Overall, I would say that it was a victory for the less evil Kingdoms, given that both orc kingdoms were pretty much vanquished. Sure, the odd orcish raid into the plains of Tria Nomina or the Dwarf holds might happen now and then, but as a major world threat, the Orcs are done for many years!

    Great stuff Tim, thanks for running the campaign!


  2. A great campaign; thank you for running it.

    So I worked out that Joe is the northern orcs, Terry is the dwarf, I'm the Tria Nomen player. But who is the elf? Cory? Chris?

    Dang, when you can't win a battle, it is a hard thing to run an effective campaign!

    Bob in Edmonton

  3. Cheers Guys!

    I don't think the Orcs would have been so harsh on poor old Vlad. He was the one that almost singlehandedly turned back the nasty elfies that had fought their way to the very gates of Brashog! (You'll not the Hero stand accounted for HALF of the elf casualties this battle...

    CVT was, in fact, not a player in this campaign... though I think he had Terry quite convinced that he was the one playing Tria Nomina and was thus the one that had stabbed him in the back...

    If the others want to 'fess up I'll let them....

    Not sure either of you know the elf player...

  4. oh yeah and...



  5. Hats off to your field generals, those were some mighty fine battles.

    As far as the SLUTs were concerned (my team), it was a little nerve wracking trying to deal with Grummsh. That was hammer and tongs there. After that, it was a strict no-risk policy.

    Bob, you let your identity slip in an email, but your trademark diplomacy gave you away before that. Sorry we didn't free you...

  6. I thought he was giving himself away in the very first post about the campaign...

    "I would like Amanda to be my LEGATE, since she always wins!"

  7. Any guesses at who was playing Grummsh, Cory? or the Elves...?

  8. I missed the Legate remark...

    Was Woody playing? I keep thinking that Christian was the elf.

  9. I tried to act like CVT as the Tria Nomens to throw people off. Clearly I need to write in rougher script!

  10. You had it right Bob, I was indeed the northern Orcs... But how did you know? I'd be interested to see what gave me away!

    I had an inkling that you (Bob) were the Tria Nominians, but I had no real reason to think so, other than you didn't act like Cory, which was the only other person I know well enough to guess about...

    I figured Cory was either the Dwarves or the Saphics, since neither of them would respond to my missives ;)

    All in all though, I had a great time, and I am happy how it turned out in the end!


  11. HA! very early in the campaign Neldoreth had been postulating in an email to me whether he should trust the Tria Nominians. He figured the only player he absolutely WOULDN'T trust would be Cory... and that Cory wouldn't be nearly so verbose as whoever was playing the Tria Nominian... Therefore he could be trusted!

    I think Neldoreth actually thought Cory was playing the Dwarves at one point due to his curtness.

  12. Oh wait... you already mentioned that... doh!

  13. So that leaves the turnip farmers of Ronarok, the dastardly elves and the Orcs of Grummsh unaccounted for.

    Is John in on this?

  14. Neldoreth,

    You text read like your discussion when you played in my campaign this past summer. And you tactical ideas were (ahem) characteristics.

    BTW how did the elf find out my troops were having difficulty staying aligned during battle drills.


  15. For anyone that had vassals I assumed that they would set up some sort of intelligence network and anytime there were messages sent I diced to see if they were intercepted...

    Considering the amount of plotting you did behind your overlords back it was only a matter of time before he intercepted one....

  16. John Burt was not involved - if that's the John you were referring to. Neither was Woody. I haven't even HEARD from Woody since the spring campaign and John said he'd be away for a few days and wouldn't be able to keep up with things...?

  17. For anyone that had vassals I assumed that they would set up some sort of intelligence network and anytime there were messages sent I diced to see if they were intercepted...

    Hmmm. That would have been good to know... . There are many limitations already on what one can do as a vassal (militarily, diplomatically: I was told I could attack the orc or rot--what fun!); a porous communications network seems like a bit of overkill, hey?

  18. Well, I didn't think "hostile intelligence services" were in the habit of announcing their intention to set up shop.... but you're right, though, I should have been more open about those sorts of things... Of course then I would have had to have been more open about other rulings and what "allied" (vassal) contingents are capable of doing and the Elf would have found out anyway.

    (For those not aware, Bob had sent orders for the commander of the his allied contingent - that he was required to send to his overlord the Elves - to deploy behind the elves and follow them closely but at "odd angles" so that if ever the Elves would be forced to recoil in combat they would be recoiling into elements "not facing in the same direction" therefore be destroyed)

    As for the limitations of vassals... I've mentioned before you are the one that chose to "rot". No overlord would turn down a willing and cooperative vassal. You could have been the one battling Vlad at the gates of Brashog. I'm not sure how things should have been different? After being defeated by your enemy you should continue to have free reign to attack whomever you please - including his allies? I guess I should have simply knocked all players out of the game when their capitols were taken. Might have even brought things to a quicker conclusion.

  19. HAHA that would have put me out of the campaign at the end of year 1...I sure hope you give the dice you were rolling for the dwarves to Chris in March!

    And I do indeed give cograts for Bob screwing me over, its just what Chris would have done...so you only need to read the appendices to complete your transformation.


  20. Hostile intelligence? That's great! I like sneaky GM's.

    Don't get ideas Joe, you're also my vassal!

  21. Yeah, it was JOE that schooled Bob in the art of clever tricky "funny-angle-marching" shenanigans.

  22. Yo, Elves here. I'm Mike in Ottawa. That was a very nice goal line stand by the Orcs, congratulations!

    Actually, I didn't need hostile intelligence to know about untrustworthy ally contingents. If there are any DBAOL players on here I was on the World Team Cup champs in 2002 so I have smelled basically every piece of battlefield cheese there is. What I did find out is that Tim would allow actively hostile activity by ally contingents as opposed to mere inactivity, which he hadn't made clear before.

    Tim, you should pull out some of the diplomatic traffic and post it, I am particularly proud of my messages to Cory...

    Some bits from the Elvish archives-- I actually didn't want TN as a tributary and tried to convince Tim to let me just throw Mediocrito in a sack and turn the cities independent, but he wouldn't stand for elf-on-human ethnic cleansing.

    I also had a fun moment when Ronarok offered tributaryship to TN (which he'd told me about in advance.) When TN forwarded the message he'd received from Ronarok, I seized on the fact that Ronarok was occasionally inconsistent in the spelling of their sovereigns' names to claim the note TN presented to me must be a forgery.

    My feeling is that the tributary system doesn't work that well, the situation we had where I could force TN to do nothing but couldn't force him to do anything was pretty silly. I think in a highly abstracted game it just makes more sense to say that someone's out when all their cities are captured.

    I think the tributary rules are in most quickie campaign sets so that you can have ally contingents and give people something fun to do once they're not really in the running to win the whole shebang anymore. But when most people aren't even playing the actual tabletop games it's not really necessary.

  23. Mike?!

    Damn good playing with you again. It's all so clear now.

  24. Terry: The most enjoyable moment of the campaign for me was your betrayal! Hilarious. I was sad you won't get back on board with the Orc and I when you started to recover.

    Re: intelligence services. All interesting points. Seems to me that the rules ought to allow behaviour that generates fun in the campaign. The politicking and backstabbing was the most fun for me (contributing directly to the direction of the campaign) and a porous messaging service creates an incentive not to mess around as much diplomatically and keep the game interesting once you are a vassal.

    Anyhow, I had a good time and would play again!

  25. Christian here, AKA Claudius of Ronarok.

    I will add my thanks to Tim for hosting such a great campaign, and my apologies to him and the other players for kind of disengaging over the last little bit - stupid
    Real Life(TM)!

    Anyways, after Bob's betrayal of Terry, I figured that it was the Ilf or nothing. But I decided that I was going to play that alliance honourably; as Mike mentioned, cheese is a big part of these campaigns, and I figured I would try and buck the trend by staying faithful until death or betrayal. To your credit, Mike, you managed to come out of the alliance better off in all respects - I spent lots of time guarding flanks and maneuvering around the Orcs while you quite happily conquered Tria Nomina. So when Joe pulled off his coup de main and made me his vassal, I decided to make the Ilf my enemy, hence my attacking Terry in the last year (and had I not missed the last turn deadline, I would have tried for his capital). Had the game gone on, I would have tried to patch together a loose alliance between myself, Joe, and Cory to take Mike out.

    But still, despite my seeming disengagement, I had a blast with this one, and would take part again anytime. I think, however, that we are asking the DBA/HOTT campaign rules to do more than they are designed to do, hence the debate around tributaries, etc. Props to Tim for working out solutions so well, but I wonder if there exists a campaign ruleset that would fit the needs of what we are trying to do a little better - Any suggestions?

    I think that Tim is suffering from a bit of GM burnout, though, which is totally understandable when one considers the amount of work he has put in - perhaps I will volunteer to help him out a bit if we try to do this again after a while.

  26. Interesting stuff guys, nice to hear from everyone! I just wanted to say about the vassal-overloard relationship is that it takes two to tango ;)

    Sure, TM may have chosen to 'rot', but it was at least partly due to their overlord's choice to limit their choices! Basically TM was only allowed to go to war with a single former ally! Surely the elves could have let the armies of TM go after the Saffics and protect the elven realm at least? I'm just saying that the responsibility lies with the overlord as much as it does the tributary :) I am not sure I was all that much better though... Those poor dwarves were only allowed to march against my enemies (which was everyone except TM!).

    It was a great time for me and I don't really have any complaints... I should likely have known the rules better of course; I am sorry to Tim for having to spell them out every time I tried to do something I wasn't allowed to!


  27. Oh, yeah, Neldo's right, I definitely think that the way the tributary rules work is kind of broken both ways and is almost guaranteed to generate situations like we had. It makes no sense for the overlord to be able to forbid a tributary to do anything at all if at the same time he can't force the tributary to do something. Again, I think it's because the rules are meant mainly to generate ally contingent opportunities in a "live" campaign when players will probably just take whatever opportunity they can to get some tabletop time.

  28. yo cory!

    yeah it was kind of sad playing an elf kingdom with like a bazillion points worth of elves getting dusty in my basement. I have played a bit of dba out here but the local minigamers doing it seemed to be all serious cheesemeisters, and I'm only really into pre-gunpowder anyway. I'm super busy with music in my non-work time anyway.

    I may come out in february though...