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Subject: One roll of the dice decides it all! rss

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H. Jim Keener
United States
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The game was a few days ago, and I don't have the board with me, so some of the details may be slightly off, and all will be biased to represent my own p.o.v.:

This is a rematch from the last game, where Will won by eliminating Kalvin from the game.

Initial placement:
Kalvin's units are concentrated on the southern island, mine are concentrated most clearly on the southern end of the main island, and Will was largely concentrated in the middle of the island, with the north more or less up for grabs. I first placed reinforcements on the south of the main island, figuring to take the eastern island, but I saw that this would leave me squeezed between Kalvin and Will, and then I realized that I also had a clustering in the north-west corner and ALL of the western islands, so I changed course, puting two armies in the NW corner of the main island and one in the south end of the main island.

Round one:
We all consolidate, with the result that Kalvin takes most of the southern island, I take the south of the main island, Will takes the middle, and we all are fighting in the North-I in the NW, Will in the middle, and Kalvin in the NE. I place my fortress on the southern most of the western islands, to secure it against Kalvin's amassing forces on the southern island. Will places a fortress in the North, to secure what is the northern end of his central empire.

Rounds two-threeish:

Kalvin takes controll of the Western island, takes Kii, and consolidates his controll of the NE. I, maintain both my Southern outpost, building fortresses all along the main island to ward Kalvin off, and continue to grow my NW outpost, with the result that Will is caught between Kalvin and I. In this round, I also was able to deal a double blow to Will, one by taking out his castle in the north and another by taking out his army in the north. This left Will very vulnerable in the north. Will had to keep his army in the east of his empire to counter against Kalvin's beach-head at Kii. He also needed his other army in the south of his empire to keep my southern outpost from taking over his territories there (around the Bingo region-ish). This also eliminated much opposition for me in the NW.

Round three-fourish:

Kalvin takes out another of Will's armies in an army-to-army battle in the East of the island (where Kalvin's outpost was, by this time, prety strong). Kalvin launches a minor attack against my fortified southwesternmost island, to no avail. I took Kalvin's northern fortress, hoping to controll all of the North of the island. Kalvin was too shrewd to let me do this, and built another fortress and built up his army there, so much so that I would have been a fool to attack there.

So, by this point, Kalvin is the strongest, with 25 territories. He controls the southern island completely, and the eastern island completely. His outpost on the east of the main island is growing, and he is strong in the north-eastern corner of the main island, as well.

I am right behind him. I have 24 territories, but I am vulnerable in the northernmost part of my empire. My battles against Will's army and Will's and Kalvin's fortresses have gone well, but left me weak in the north, where Kalvin could easily launch an assault with his now "2" ranked daimyo and push me back. I control the southern part of the main island, all of the western islands, and the western half of the north of the main island.

Will has one army left and is caught between us.

Round four-five ish: Time to move:
Will's last remaining army was positioned just behind his own lines on his southrnmost border, right where I have one of my armies. I decide it's now or never. I stack my army with ronins, arrange my strategy, bid koku for the first sword, and set up to attack Will's last army. If I succeed in taking him out, I win the game by taking all of his territories. If I fail, I am not out of the game, but Kalvin will likely emerge with a significant edge, as he will advance now virtually unoposed on the center of the main island and be able to take out many of my northernmost territories. My army is substantially stronger than Will's, so this should be no problem.

But wait!
Will has the ninja! Oh, no! If he succeeds in staving me off, the game will go on for hours more, and Kalvin will probably beat me!
So, as my army moves to attack Will's final army, his ninja strikes at my daimyo!
Will rolls . . .
It's a NINE!!!! The ninja fails!
YES! Victory is within grasp.
My counterattack with the ninja fails, but I go ahead with the battle, finish off Will, and win the game.

So, the overall record for are little crew is:
Will: eliminated once, won once
Jim: won once, never eliminated.
Kalvin: eliminated once, never won.

If we play one more time, and Kalvin wins by eliminating me, we will be even all around.

This victory, however, is a sort of "cheap" one, as Kalvin and Will were engaged in a game of chess at the same time, so that there attention was divided.
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