Horselords/Quendi here in the recently finished KS GB Game 675. I tip my cap to the Arnor/Rhovanion player who saved my butt on numerous occasions. Let me know if you guys want to share notes and come up with a recap.
I picked up the positions when the original player dropped around turn 16. I had a very shaky start, not knowing much of anything about how the game had developed. It was also my first game in the Kin-strife scenario. It made me a big fan.
Anyway, with the Quendi being so quite for many turns, it wasn’t too hard to sneak over the White Mountains and hit the Morlaen capital at 2424. Celeborn was a champion and had about 4500 troops: 500hc, 3400hi, 500li. Another cavalry army with war machines blitzed Minas Anor and started carving up Gondor from the other direction. Could have been dicey had my back up commander in that army not blown the bridge to Osgiliath.
Got lucky a few times guessing good hexes for my spirit mastery company. Killed Khamul around turn 27; Shelob around turn 30. For me, the game started with Zimrahkil challenging and killing Cirdan at 1324. Then Murabeth assassinated Ciryon and his 5000 hi with 40 war machines went bye-bye. It took several turns to recruit another army at Imladris. But that one ended up faring well.
I was the Eldacar/Rebel Player. Early on Castamir and Elendin came at 3124 in waves and allowed me to defeat them all piecemeal. Along with a three Koashun encounters for the first three turns of the game. It wasn’t until I sent an Eldacar army over the bridge to take out the city at 2923 and try to destroy their capital at 2924 that I lost the forces in the back and allowed them to manage to take 3124 and then all of Mordor. If Rho had issued a destroy order with me, 2924 would have fallen on that turn, but their HC just issued an attack enemy order and I lost a good chunk of my army on the walls. At about this time the original castamir/elendin player had dropped leaving Castamir to join up with Southron and Hithlum. I got the ds curse artifact when I assassinated one of their mages early on, but about 4 or 5 turns after that the Southron stole Tinc from the Quendi. I think that is the turn the starting Quendi/Horselord player dropped. The Hithlum must have been doing a number on the Horselords.
The Southron and Castamir mages were able to create a curse/sickness company and take out a bunch of my recruiting forces in Mordor. I was tracking them through artifacts that I had researched. I stole Tinc back around turn 23 or 24 and finally got my curse company setup on turn 32. I had 4 agents in the 80’s without stealth. I had horrible odds at the beginning of the game getting agents with stealth, even though I took the SNA. I think it was around turn 15 when the rebels finally got an agent with stealth and I was naming one or two a turn. At that point, I think I had 4 Eldacar characters with stealth without the SNA. At least I had decent scouts.
My starting army under Eldacar was never defeated and ended up under Lidmir at the end of the game rolling through the southern Hithlum pop centers. I had moved one of the Eldacar pop centers into the SE desert and built it up to a city and used it to attack into Umbar/Harad after Lidmir managed to escape out of Castamir’s grasp by moving evasively through Pelargir. I had a few hundred HC at that point, but had recruited about 2000 or more down in the desert. that reinforced him to help the Rebels take out everything in Umbar/Souther Harad. Rebels started with a hidden pop center in Umbar and bumped it up to a City and was recruiting 500 HC a turn with mithril weapons and steel armor. I had already used my agents to remove all the fortification in the Umbar area and took at least a MT a turn from Castamir or Elendin. the Rebels basically relocated to Umbar by games end and I was about to send over 3000 HC with mi/st weapons and armor along with 60 war machines into Pelargir. I also had moved my emissaries into groups and was about to start stealing pop centers that my allies weren’t taking. If the Hithlum hadn’t managed to take out the Horselords early on, I think the game would have ended much sooner. Eldacar had to pull troops from the Ithil Pass and Mordor to send east to try to protect pop centers.
I really had no clue what was going on in the NW. Arnor and Rho concentrated efforts against the WR. I would receive my diplo every 5 turns from them, except once I think. They kept saying they were coming, but I think Morlaen and WR emissaries must have been taking back pop centers from them. My agents landed in 2626 on turn 12 and managed to find it a WR MT with Murazor and Ashnanku sitting in it with two lesser named characters. the loyalty was only 27 so it must have been transferred recently. I managed to assassinate both of them on T13 and move off.
It was a fun game, and I had many encounters I hadn’t seen in the past and allowed me to gain some extra knowledge.
Interesting! You gotta love Gunboat games. I had no idea Eldacar and the Rebels were assassinating that many big-named DS characters. And in certain regions like Umbar, I never got a sense of what was going on down there. I know that Castamir took 2137 around turn 25, so I assumed that they had control of everything down there. Glad I was wrong.
Hithlum was a rampaging BEAST around turn 20. At one point I saw they had 5000 hc st/st and 5000 hi br/br in various armies around Rhun. Horselords had no chance to defend at that point. But they DID have Ji Indur as a double agent, and that fact allowed the Quendi spirit mastery company to get his exact location and kill him at 3612, the Horselords capital, on turn 18ish.
When the Quendi saw those kinds of Hithlum armies, they knew their armies out of Imladris would be wasting their time marching east. They had only 2000hi and 500hc when they left Imladris. So they headed south with hopes of sacking important pop centers in Gondor.
The Horselords never were eliminated. They came very close on a few occasions, but their capital ended up being Calembel, at 2424, the original Morlaen capital. Vidustrain fell to an assassin’s blade (I think it was Shelob) around turn 28, but before that he was a Marshal riding with the Quendi armies, helping take those pop. centers. I think he started that campaign around turn 25 with 800hc wo/le, very low morale, and when he died he had 128 hc left in a very small army.
With hindsight, the Hithlum player was too tentative with his superior armies around turns 17-21. He could easily have steamrolled the Horselords and probably eliminated them from the game. But he took extra turns refusing personal challenge, consolidating armies, and moving slowly westward. A more aggressive approach at this crucial point in the game might have seen the fall of not only the Horselords but the eastern Mirkwood pop centers of Rhovanion.
Anyway, good gaming! It was fun.
By the way, the original Quendi player also took “new characters with stealth” and name agents at 40, but NONE of them had any stealth when I took the position over on turn 16. Then, in a FAS game (48), we learned that Clint and Team found a very old bug related to this aspect of the game. Once they fixed it, the stealth characters started coming with the expected regularity. 5 out of 7 agents created at Imladris had stealth around turns 27-33.