Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hostile Realms Campaign Playtest Turn Spring 2

The complete campaign map.  Middle Kingdom is tan.
Undead are gray blocks. The Middle Kingdom is on
the offensive.

This is the second turn of our Hostile Realms Campaign we've played using Theater of War, Vassal, and Skype.

I've been playing the Middle Kingdom and Jed is playing the Undead.  

The Undead were forced to retreat from the western city of Daniz after what we called a Marginal Defeat last turn.  National Will measures your nation's desire to keep the war effort going.  I believe the National Will starting amounts were Middle Kingdom 54, Undead 48.  Jed lost 10+d8+d10 National Will for losing the battle and ended up losing around 27 points!!!  So now MK leads around 54-21.

In Theater of War, each side builds a hand of cards by drawing from their own campaign deck.  It costs impetus points to draw a card, discard, play a card, and act on a played card.  This is the Spring 2 turn, so each player's hand can be up to 6 cards.  Hand size changes each season.  Impetus is determined by a d20 vs d20 roll with the winner getting the die roll difference in impetus points.  The loser gets nothing.

As usual this game, my Middle Kingdoms armies did exceedingly well for impetus and I was able to initially cycle through the deck looking for the Officer Check card.  Once I drew and played it, I built a supply depot in Daniz to provide a closer source of supply for my invading knights. 

In the East, two of my Middle Kingdom feudal hosts (BG 2 each) held a war summit and agreed to put aside petty rivalries and join into a massive host under one leader (Officer Check).  This new army became a Size 4 Battlegroup.  This army then began marching north along the eastern coastal road.  After they were shown some lightly defended fords by friendly farmers who had no desire to become zombies, the army crossed the Kasar River and entered the same road hex as 2 Undead Battle Groups who were guarding the eastern approaches to the Necromancer's kingdom. 

I pulled the Supply card and Jed had some terrible luck rolling supply for his retreating army and one of the battle groups in the Kasar River hex.  My army in the Kasar River hex was also blocking the easier road bound supply route for his retreating battle group.  He had to trace across the desert, lengthening the path considerably. 

I tried to pull cards from my deck to build a good battle hand to engage in
 battle near the Kasar River, but I had discarded quite a few useful battle cards while I was searching for that damn Officer Check card. 

Jed started to win more impetus in the middle of the turn.  He had trouble getting the right Move cards when he needed them.  He played the Scout card and was able to spend impetus to discover that some of my armies threatening his lands from south of the Salty Bog were actually just cavalry screens (dummy Battle Groups).  I then scouted his Kasar River armies and discovered my BG 4 was on top of a BG 2 and a BG 1.  The dummy Battle Groups will reappear on the beginning of the Summer 1 turn in hexes containing actual Battle Groups.

Closeup of the action.  The supply depot in Daniz is represented by my
ship block in the West.  The yellow dots indicate out of supply status.
The red dot indicates that army was defeated in a previous battle.  This
is the army that lost the previous turn's battle in Daniz. The Kasar River
battle hex is the hex with the two bridges leading to it.
The skull castle block indicates a city that is controlled by the Undead.

With only  a few cards left in my deck, I won approximately 12 impetus.  I searched what remained of my deck and managed to pull an Attack card.  My hand at the time consisted of Engage in Battle x3, Flank Attack, Strength, and Attack.  Eager to take advantage of my numerical superiority, I played an Engage in Battle card to fight the BG2 at the Kasar River.  I played my Flank Attack action card and Jed played a Retire card to avoid the battle.

Aaargh!  Luckily, I had a few more impetus (and I had the 3 Engage in Battle cards in my hand almost the entire turn).  I engaged the BG 2 again with my BG 4, played the Attack card this time and Jed opposed it with an Attack card.  I think I had a Strength card and used the other Engage card as a Strength card to gain the battle advantage 3-2 (I believe Jed also had a Strength card).

I had wanted to try a Flank Attack scenario this game, but Jed wouldn't cooperate.  :(

So with a BG size advantage of 2 and a battle hand advantage of 1, we drew our army strengths.  I ended up with my entire campaign roster (25 slots) and Jed pulled 19 roster slots with 2 infantry choices and 2 cavalry/beast/large creature choices.  It helped that I had a BG 4 because I was able to ignore a Numeric 3 card on my army pull and then drew an 8 instead.

Unfortunately for the Undead, Jed's battle group is also out of supply, so that will reduce the effectiveness of a few of his units.  The battle will be a meeting engagement in light terrain.  I expect Jed to choose a few more Level 3 and Level 4 spells this battle in an effort to overcome my advantage in numbers.

Below are some new additions to my armies.  Both the Realm and the Middle Kingdoms can field a dragon in their campaign rosters.  I bought both of these Safari dragons for under $20 each.  They came painted and I think they look pretty great!  I only need to base them!

The Rex tangling with a two-headed fire-breather!

This dragon looks like it would be great for elves or the Middle Kingdom!


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