Since Game 249 (3-nation Gunboat) finished recently with a FP victory, I thought I’d share a few highlights so that others can get some picture of how 2950 GB games are played. I was assigned the NGondor/SGondor/Northmen trio.
Turn 1: You will go bankrupt fast if you try to build and maintain big armies. So, amassing a huge force to try and take Minas Morgul and/or Cirith Ungol was not very feasible. As Northern Gondor, I decided my strategy should be to pick a fight with the Corsairs/Quiet Avenger/Khand trio. Much of that territory is OFF the maps of Mordor nations, so they would be disinclined to spend orders searching for NGondor armies in and around the Corsairs and QA lands. 3533 (unfortified Major Town of the QA) looked like a good target. My regent Ecthelion II started in hex 3026, so I decided to use Gondor’s early economic might to buy mounts and hire a cav army there for turn 1. Next turn, Ecthelion would be able to recruit 200 more heavy cavalry and march a good way towards 3533. He would be met at 3431 by Faramir, who was bringing 200hc split from the Minas Tirith army. 600hc, in the early turns of a 2950 game, is truly a decent army, so I felt good about their chances for success at 3533.
Turn 3: A captain of Gondor leads 1300hi and 600li at Osgiliath. This is a feint to make the Mordor nations think a major assault is coming for them. You have to make the Mordor nations prepare for the worst because all the recruitment will sap gold from their weak economies. Plus, Gondor can easily defeat the Wk at Minas Morgul. It’s a good idea because the Wk might spend another 5k gold to hire another army to defend his capital.
Here there should be summary of the navy question. Combined into one navy, Northern and Southern Gondor would have the greatest naval power in the game. And you might need all of it to fend off the Corsairs. So I targeted the Corsairs town/fort at 2730, sailing all of NGondor and SGondor’s ships there, with enough troops in the transports to capture the town. One possible parry the Corsairs could choose is to remove the harbor at 2730, so I prepared for that by having both of my navies be in hex 2829 before trying to enter 2730.
Turn 4: Corsairs blew the harbor, so my navies were stranded at 2829. No problem though: I improved relations to Friendly on both nations, transferred all of Northern Gondor’s ships to the SGondor navy commander, and he split army and marched his infantry to 2730. NGondor’s commander did the same. And all of the ships (24W, 16T) were at 2829 under the command of a new SGondor navy commander.
Also on Turn 4: the Northmen used their economic abilities to buy leather/cav to recruit heavy cavalry in the earlier turns and send that cav army (900hc) to Dilgul at 4217. The timing was right because they met an army under the Long Rider’s commander Hargrog. Northmen defeated Hargrog’s army, captured him in battle, and took his artifact.
Turn 5: the following turn, the Northmen recruited more hc at Dilgul and moved south to 4321 where they met a large Khand army. The following turn the tables turned on Girion II and he lost the battle and was captured by the Khand. Khand moved into an undefended Dilgul.
Also on Turn 5, Gondor captured 2730. They would hold it for the rest of the game. Further east at 3533, Ecthelion’s opening move came to fruition as his and Faramir’s cav armies defeated 400hi/200ma under the QA’s Ashturg on Turn 4. However, the QA sent 400hc st/st under Fuinur to take 3533 back and he did battle with Ecthelion’s 293 hc. One thing I love about this scenario: even 750pt combat artifacts and spells like Deflections can end up having a big impact. NGondor had two 750 blades and Goromil casting Resistances. The steel armor of the QA made the difference and Ecthelion was defeated. The QA would reclaim 3533 the following turn.
NGondor recruited another 300hi at Osgiliath and marched to Minas Morgul on Turn 03. The following turn they defeated a large army under the FK’s Shagrat and a small army under Bolg, capturing him. FK sent another army to 3124 and NGondor’s Baranor still held the field with 943hi/354li. But here he makes a serious mistake. After he won the battle, Baranor was inflicted with Sickness and reduced to 49 health. Would the mages of the Wk have enough to kill him the following turn? I bet “no” and lost that bet. A much smarter move would have been for Baranor to issue 215 and 250, defeating the FK, putting the Wk capital under siege (devastating in 2950 with all those fragile economies!), and robbing the Wk mages of a target for Sickness.
to be continued…