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Subject: A cold war in Minaria rss

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Atrox Fatum
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My last session of Divine Right managed to bring to bear some of the less favored characteristics of the game.

First, the player.

Dwight as Zorn.
Roland as Shucassam.
Wayne as Muetar.

We did not use magic items or mercenaries, save what is available in the temple of kings.

There is little to say here, as the game was rather uneventful.

Turns 1-5. Zorn was the kingdom to watch, here. It took her most of her five turns to bring her considerable might to bear, and the armies set a southern tack, hoping to pierce the weak northern border of Muetar. Shucassam did the same, but from south to the north. This left Muetar in an uncomfortable position, which she hoped to alleviate by making allies with Rombune. The crass bribe fell on deaf ears and the ambassador was banished. Shucassam was more successful, making allies with Pon, while Zorn found herself friend with Hothior.

At the end of turn five, Zorn had sacked the northern most castle of Muetar, and luckily for the good people of Muetar, a combined force of Pon and Shucassam drove their advance away. Muetar was in a defensive position, with two large armies ready to respond to further aggression. Shucassam decided to make good on her threat to Muetar, and stuck towards the heartland.

Turns 5-10. Here it was seen how an ally can be a hindrance. Every ally drawn was seen to be either craven, invalid, or a lecher. In the case of Hothior, it was actually a liability to have as an ally due to the limited number of units deployed.

Zorn stuck west, moving through the mountain passes to attack Immer. Shucassam, after a feint, retreated further south, anticipating an attack from Muetar - which came in force. However a plague hit the camps and decimated her larger army, leaving the invasion of Shucassam in question. In desperation Shucassam allied with Hothior and Mivior, despite their monarch’s cowardice. Here is where the game began slowing down (an early winter, perhaps?). Shucassam and Muetar traded marginal victories, neither side having a decisive day on the battlefield. Shucassam chose not to siege, as the monarch of Shucassam and an ally proved to be too valuable a morsel. Zorn found blessing in the temple of the kings, and Pon found herself to be prettiest girl in the dance floor that is Minaria.

10-15. Bleary eyes and long turns ultimately killed this game. After several turns of ineffective grinding, Muetar and Shucassam decided to invade different lands, with Muetar eeking out a slight moral victory. Zorn moved into Immer, sacking a castle. Shucassam was lucky and routed the defenders of Muetar southernmost defense.

Wrap up:

Three players did not generate enough strife, and we perhaps drank too much - cunning stratagems were few. I did not miss the lack of rules shuffling to discover who was what mercenary, and our eyes enjoyed not peering over every hex to find Bartertown.

I found myself a bit troubled by the rules. I think the system of odds determination works fine for sieges, but it leaves much to be desired on the battlefield - immersion is broken when the victor never suffers losses. Further, I think a tailored random event table for each kingdom would add greatly to the experience. If my ideas for houserules bear fruit, I shall post them.

Oh, the points.

Zorn - leading the day with a commanding 55
Shucassam - 15
Muetar - Bagel. 0.

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J. McCrackan
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Evanston
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1. Which edition of DR did you play?
2. Why would a victor suffer the loss of a thousand men, which is what each army counter represents? Ties have both players suffer losses, which handles the concept of pyrrhic victories.
3. Having a unique Random Events table for each kingdom sounds great, but it might be a bit page-flippy, especially for a group that doesn't like magic items or special mercs. Also, how could it work? The first thing that comes to mind is basing it on player kingdoms only, but that wouldn't work--if you had three land-locked player kingdoms, Storms would never occur. You couldn't base it on the current locations of player monarchs because they often stay in unclaimed territories.
 
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Atrox Fatum
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1. We played the right stuf edition, DR25.

2. I did not know each counter was equal to a 1000 troops. Ties are my favorite thing about the combat mechanic, mainly because both sides can end up unhappy. In my eye, the argument for a system in which both sides can be harmed is to look at history. A cunning general like Hannibal, who regularly slaughtered Roman armies still took losses in the thousands. I realize DR is based off of a later medieval period (where numbers are much shakier and usually not reported at all) but losses are still experienced on each side.

Most of all, it feels wrong that a stack can win a fight with an equal foe and take no damaged.

3. My idea for personalized kingdom random events would be to integrate it into a play aid (printed on card stock of the appropriate color for the kingdom). There would be a certain number of "world wide" events, like storms, and then a number of kingdom specific events. The idea has yet to see play, but I think it could result in there being more characterful random events.
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J. McCrackan
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2. Because each army counter represents 1,000 men (on average--for instance, each Ogre counter represents only 100 Ogres), you can assume that the victorious player in a battle did suffer losses, just not enough to equal a complete army.
 
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Atrox Fatum
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I'm certainly not married to the idea. I haven't even made a mechanic. Replenishment would need to be more common in the random events if I were to do such a thing.
 
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