It was Darren's evening to choose a game, so he had let me know in advance that he desired to play Charles Vasey's Chariot Lords. I knew that the seats would likely be filled quickly as this is a fairly popular game, particularly amongst our more 'wargame-ish' members. I was anxious to play as I am a fan of the game system (similar to Britannia, Maharaja, Hispania, Rus, etc.), but figured others would want to play, too, so I wouldn't have an available seat. Sure enough, Jerry and Dave quickly grabbed a seat. Steven and Josh expressed interest, but were lured away by a 6 player game of Settlers of Catan. Unbelievably, I was able to play!
My only previous experience with the game was as a substitute for Bill Sanders, who played the first half but could not attend the following week's gaming session. I enjoyed the 5 turns I did get to play and have been itching since to play a full game. The participants and colors were Jerry (white), Darren (blue), Dave (yellow) and me (red).
Dave immediately became the aggressor, leading an army of Cannanites into Egypt under his leader Parusha. This caused a violent reaction from Darren, who succeeded in expelling the Cannanites, but left them both depleted. This benefited Jerry, who moved into the near-empty territories with his Hittites. The Hittites were to be the dominant force in the game through the first five turns.
I managed to do quite well with my Mitanni, based largely on a lucky chit-draw which saw me move before the Hittites on turn 3. This allowed me to maintain control of my homeland, which was worth 20 points to me. However, as expected, the Hittites quickly swarmed over the area on their turn, completely annihilating the doomed Mitanni.
In the East, things weren't going much better for me. I had opted to keep my Sumerians holed up in their homeland, figuring they were extremely difficult to defeat in their native swamps. Dave, however, would have none of that, and sent wave after wave of Kassites into the swamps to destroy the Sumerians. He eventually depleted them so much that the neighboring Elam, under Jerry's control, easily slaughtered the remaining population. Thus, my Sumerians only earned me 10 points, a factor which will undoubtedly hinder my efforts at victory.
Dave continued to be my nemesis, even when it wasn't planned. The Assyrians are my strongest force and they can acquire victory points in numerous manners. One is by slaying four Hittites by the conclusion of turn 6. I had successfully slain three Hittites and was poised to attack a band of three Hatti troops in the hills. Sadly, Dave moved before I did that turn and led a force of Luvians against these very same Hittites. He eliminated two and the third retreated further into the mountains, joining a larger force of his brethren. This means that I must send a force into unfavorable terrain (the mountains) in order to slay that final Hittite. Otherwise, I forfeit 20 victory points. Arrghh!
As turn 5 concludes, Dave was slightly ahead in victory points:
Dave 224, Jerry 219, Darren 156, Greg 138
However, Dave's heyday with troops may well be past. Experience is showing, as Jerry seems to be in the best position. Darren can earn a large chunk of points with his Egyptians, but they are currently in a weakened state. My Assyrians grow very powerful in turn 8, but the bulk of their points are earned by holding their homeland and making a long, arduous march to Memphis. Both of these are very difficult to achieve.
I am thoroughly enjoying the game and look forward to its conclusion next week.