Game 686, 1 vs. 1

I plan on keeping a few, factual notes in this thread about the 1 vs. 1 Kin-strife match just begun with my opponent. He is playing the Loyalists (with Tirkhor), and I’m the Usurpers. We just received Turn 2 results and I’d like to share some highlights.

  1. Carndel Malk, navy commander of the Southron Kingdoms, is the campaign’s first casualty. He died at sea, in the coastal waters at 2334. Amroth brought more of everything (ships, tactical insight, artifacts of power) to this fight and won. However, he remained in that location and was met by a larger naval force commanded by Duranil, hooded lord of the Line of Elendin. The conclusion to that chapter should be written soon.

  2. Horselord army commanders Eolad and Maremil defeated small armies of the Khazad at Rogin Galad (3310) and of Hithlum’s Borash at Methedras (3608). Horselords came to the rescue of their Rhovanion brethen and successfully defended those two pop centers.

  3. To the rolling boom of Khazad drums, Captain Durin V’s army descended out of Moria days ago and threatened away Verdalis, camp of the Horselords at 2411. Then he moved on to the Rhovanion camp of Hope Downs. He was last seen brooding by the Anduin River, contemplating his next move.

  4. Town elders of Narram (1715) awoke with a start only mornings ago to discover the face of Bad News: General Gothmog with an army outside their gates. What did they do to deserve this?

  5. Hero Ricnau, after reducing the camp Falagund to rubble, marched his army east to Hithrond, town of Rhovanion. He was met by an army under the command of Bearnad.

  6. Dilgul is an impressive City/Castle. Kul-sordas, with no walls to defend her, was razed by a Hithlum cavalry army days ago. The Rhun theater of this war is proving to be an interesting hot spot.

Those are some of the early moves. Another update to follow in the coming weeks.

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We ran turn 3 this week but I’m going to give a turn by turn rundown of each of the first 3 turns.

Turn 0- Most of the setup points seem to have been spent on characters by each of us Other than the aforementioned improvements to Dilgul (improved to city and fortified with a castle) I also improved each of the Tirkhor fortifications to castles and the Khazad improved 3707 to a major town. 3024 was hidden.

Turn 1- In the northwest things were fairly quiet. I moved the 1614 starting army north to Angmar’s pop centers in former Rhuduar lands. I was to find out in turn 2 that Gothmog was doing an end run with his light cav from 2006 and would appear south of Tharbad. Elendin moved armies to the Dunland area to two Arnor camps there.
Things were busier in the Mirkwood with the Khazad 2212 starting army moving to the Rhovasnion camp at 2411 and a WK force moving out of 2505 to another Rhovanion camp (2505).
In the Iron Hills area the Kazad from 3707 were met as they moved to 3310 by a force of Horselords and another force of Horselords were met at 3608 by some Hithlum troops.
Farther south around the Rhun Sea a large Hithlum force landed on 4119 and, at the 3119 two armies of Rhovanion were met by a force from Elendin. A large army of Castamir appeared at 3024 and a recon revealed more Elendin troops at 2924.
In Gondor itself Tirkhor moved armies to 2324 and 2425 and in the far South a force from Castamir was joined by a Southron force at the elven village of 2136. The elven navy from 2137 was intercepted by a Southron navy at 2334.
Turn 2- Overall each of my 7 nations were able to move to the starting locations of my chosen NPC’s to be recruited the following turn.
In the northwest no battles yet but a WK army met Arnor at the Angmar town at 1910 while Gothmog made an appearance at 1715. Another WK army is at 1705. Elendin continued to destroy Arnor camps in Dunland.
In Mirkwood both of the Rhovanion camps were taken (one threatened the other destroyed) and the first Khazad army was joined by a second at another Rhovanion camp (2510). The WK army army moved to the town at 2705 where it was intercepted by a Rhovanion force. A Hithlum army appeared at another Rhovanion town (3006). An Eldacar army moved to 2312.
The Horselords were victorious in their two battles but, fearing challenge, had remained at the site of the battle. The Hithlum destroyed 4119 and moved to the Rebel pop centers of 3921 and 4121. Rhovanion won the battle at 3119 and moved to 3024 where it was joined by a Rebel army. Elendin captured 2520 but was intercepted by Eldacar and Rhovanion forced before they could move on.
Tirkhor destroyed both 2324 and 2425 and moved on to the Morlaen MT at 2424. Castamir sailed his navy to 2225. Amroth won the navy battle at 2324 but I had stupidly stayed in thehex (I thought you had more ships in that navy and that I needed to combat spell). Southron captured 2136.
Turn 3- The northwest saw Gothmog threaten away 1715 and Arnor capture 1910. Arnor moved armies to 1502 and 1704. In Mirkwood Angmar captured 2705 and Hithlum destroyed 3006. The Khazad threatened away 2510 and moved to the town at 2608 where an army from Rhovanion waited for them. The Horselord moved a large army onto the Khazad major town at 3707 while the Hithlum captured 3921 and destroyed 4121. Another Hithlum army moved onto the Rebel town at 4031 while the Rebels and Rhovanion moved large armies into 2924.
Gothmog appeared at 1721 and a Southron army showed up at another camp. Castamir threatened away 2125 and sailed his navy to 2125. Tirkhor defeated a combined Castamir and Morlaen force at 2424 but stayed another turn in order to take the pop center. Another Tirkhor force moved to a village at 2426.
Amroth was defeated and drowned with his navy.

Here are some additional highlights from that 1vs1 KS Game 686. Suraklin did a thorough job above covering the movements of armies, of big battles lost and won, so I’ll focus here on the “little dramas” involving various characters.

  1. Borin tucked himself into a corner of the pub in Withered Tree, village of the Horselords. He kept his hooded cloak on, knowing that dwarves were not a welcome sight in some parts following the outbreak of war. He had heard reports of a mysterious hunter, shrouded in dark robes, roaming the hills southwest of Buhr Mahrling. However, only moments ago he picked up rumors of another figure, not well known to him, who was also in the area. An emissary, he gathered, James Madison. Borin knew this emissary could disrupt his plans to meet the infamous Khamul and thwart Borin’s recruitment efforts. “I may not be a warrior, but I’m a dwarf, and when there’s bound to be a fight–that’s the next best thing!” Borin talked to himself in this way as he quaffed his ale, rousing himself for the job he knew he must do.
    Resolution: Borin challenged James Madison and later that afternoon recruited Khamul to the side of the Khazad. Was it the sight of Borin’s many bloody wounds which won over the nazgul? Or Borin’s renown talents as a diplomat?

  2. At the battle of Hithrond, the devious dwarf under the service of Angmar routed the forces of Rhovanion and killed their commander, Bearnad. Hithrond was captured but the huge piles of bodies, human and unhuman, seemed to give Ricnau pause. He now commands a fraction of the numbers he marched out of Gundabad with.

The presidency will never be the same…

Borin heard, but didn’t remotely understand, Madison’s final words: “I…was just…trying to reach…the damned constitutional convention…”

Turn 4 ran and here are some more highlights:

  1. Calembel (2424), formerly the Major Town/Fort of the Line of Morlaen, now flies the flag of Tirkhor! The vaunted cavalry of the Line of Tirkhor, the Mounted Knights of the Swan, gave proof to their reputation for valor by capturing this strategic pop. center. Armored in bronze and accompanied by many hundreds of infantry, the three armies of Tirkhor hit Calembel hard and took “some” losses. Lord Aradan moved his small army to 2626, unfortified town of Morlaen.

  2. The ancient artifact Ethudil’s Knife was lost last fortnight when the Morlaen agent Finrod was captured after the battle. Perhaps he watched the fall of Calembel from captivity. Perhaps he only heard its demise as a hooded hostage. But a brief smile might have crossed his lips days ago when he heard Tirkhor commanders mention that Ethudil’s Knife had been stolen.

  3. Gothmog threatened Sarn Celebdor, camp of the Quendi, and moved with his army to 1622.

  4. Lord Durin routed the forces of Amandiril at Caras Amarth (2608) and took his third Loyalist pop. center since the start of the war. Amandiril was dealt grievous wounds during the battle. Durin’s army was seen marching away from 2608 towards the east.

  5. A small dwarven army has returned to Rogin Galad (3310), unfortified village of Rhovanion. This time there is no army to defend her.

  6. The ancient Dwarven fortress of Azarulinbar-Dum (Major Town/Fort) fell to the combined forces of two Horselord armies! No Khazad army was there to defend it and the victors walked away with severe losses. The Horselords now have a foothold in the Iron Hills.

  7. A quiet has fallen upon the Rhun area, proverbial calm before the Storm? Time will tell. At the moment, Dilgul still stands tall with a Horselords army standing in her defense outside the City gates.

  8. The Rebels of Ered Lithui lost their 2nd town this month when Minas Tarrond fell to a small cavalry force under the Hithlum flag, led by Gelominast. The Rebels also lost four camps: 4121, 4133, 4135, and 3335. They will lose another when Bar-en-Mereth (3331) falls to the Southron Kingdom’s small army led by Veteran Belphegor.

  9. All eyes look to Angmar. Here is where the real action is taking place. A huge Arnor army captured 1502 and took “some” losses before marching to 1704. That army under Veteran Amlach, close enough to be in the shadow of Carn Dum, will witness the upcoming battle between Lord Rogrog and Veteran Minasdir. Other loyalist armies were reported at 1604, 1809, with two more at the Major Town/Fort, Cameth Brin, at 2008. Looks like the 2nd Major Town of Angmar will fall soon.

Loving the 1vs1 and the fast pace! More reports to follow soon…

Are you guys doing 2-week turnarounds or “as they are ready” turnarounds?

more as they are ready but this turn will end up being two weeks because I have several games going this week.

I’m surprised that you said nothing about the events at 2924 where I managed to take defeat from the jaws of victory by being greedy. For those watching I had an overwhelming force at 2924 but lost a good portion of my armies to a challenge b a subcommander. As a result my remaining armies were unable to take the pop center and now Castamir has moved in an army and Elindin a navy. My question is where do you go from here? Do you move forward to 3124 or back to defend 2627?

The events that unfolded at Minas Anor were a complete surprise. I was desperate and kicking myself for not having a larger force there to defend such an important pop. center. But something I could have never foreseen occurred when Amroth encountered Carndel Malk along the coast. Duranil’s plan to sail to Minas Anor had to be postponed and that put its whole defense into question.

Elendin just looks like a dashing, lucky fellow, doesn’t he? Nice touch in Kin-strife having so many cool character portraits. The Usurpers all around are better drawn. Sometimes it pays to be evil. Morlaen is right on the money as well.

Anyway, I realized earlier today that I neglected mention of that big battle at Minas Anor. But I didn’t know how to bring it back up without it looking like I was crowing. How many thousands of troops took the field? 10,000? About 900 exhausted, blood-stained Loyalists remained. That pop. center’s got a reputation.

Thankfully, I have a few days to consider your question about my plans. Don’t worry–no matter the situation, I can find some way to screw it up!

Great game so far…

Turn 5 highlights below:

  1. Kuileondo was stolen! Yes, turn 5 might be remembered as the turn when agents all over the map made their presence felt. The spirit mastery artifact of Castamir is #3, making it easily found out if you start your research artifact project at 1 and work your way up (or ‘down’). But I ignored this possibility and paid the price for it. This minor victory goes to the Loyalists.

  2. Colran had a tough job to do. Track the army of Gothmog, make his way past hundreds of wargs and their orc-riders, and then kill the hideous General. This attempt failed but Rebel Colran escaped with his life. Had this daring mission succeeded, it could have been a devastating blow to Angmar. Now, Gothmog is deep in Tirkhor territory (1823) and within sight of the castle of Kul Bandah (Major Town/Castle).

  3. Though they conquered Calembel (2424), the commanders of Tirkhor met a seething hive of Cor Aran agents this turn. Maeglin assassinated and Tirazor kidnapped. Another army commander, Shahur, was surveying the fruits of his victory outside the camp/tower of Gorost, his opponent’s smaller force crushed by Tirkhor’s superior cavalry, when suddenly he disappeared! Word spread through the camp that he’d been kidnapped. No ransom demanded at this time.

  4. Line of Castimir’s Daeron, commanding a huge army, crushed the resistance at Minas Anor. While weary Rebel commanders Emard and Finod fled the carnage, Finod with grievous wounds, chaos reigned at the scene. Reports of another kidnapping emerged: Emard was now in the hands of the enemy.

  5. In the shadows of the City/Castle of Carn Dum, 1000 Knights of the Old Realm under the command of hero Minasdir fell to the Witch Realm of Angmar, fielding a force of 900 Dark Riders of the North with steel weapons and armor, 1200 trollish foot soldiers, and 100 Scrawny orcs. Minasdir survived the battle but was kidapped.

  6. At 1704, 2000 soldiers of Arnor fell to captains of Angmar and their 2600 slobbering troops. Arnor’s army commander Amlach appeared to have survived. Elsewhere in the region, Quendi and Arnor forces captured 2008 and tore down the fortifications in their victory. Erellont moved his army to 2007 and looks capable of crushing Angmar’s camp/tower there. At 1906, within sight of imposing Mount Gram, another army of Arnor, this one under Commander Cornathel, met Lord Rogrog who must have marched here after his victory at Carn Dum.

  7. East of the Misty Mountains, the chess match continues. Lidmir with 2900 troops came to the defense of Maethelburg (2508). The Rhovanion armies which had been there seemed to march east along the old road, possibly in pursuit of Lord Durin. But Durin marched his army down from the hills at 2708, leaving a camp under his flag, to Caras Amarth (2608). Rhovanion commander Peredan moved to the wretched village of Hithrond and looks prepared to take it back from Angmar. Ricnau’s army was not reported to be in this area.

  8. A huge Quendi army of Ciryon defeated fat Fimli’s 1000 dwarven infantry and took the Khazad town/tower at 0703. Fimli escaped with grievous wounds and dozens of sandwiches. The rest of the baggage train was claimed by Ciryon.

  9. Celeborn arrives at Pelargir where his navy faces no opposition. Reports out of Tirkhor claim two large navies arrived at Linhir under the flag of Castamir and Castirion. Lord Aradan of Tirkhor is there with his small army. Navies are very much in play in Game 686.

Turn 6 Highlights:

  1. Duranil, ready to execute his orders, emerged from the hidden entrance to Osgiliath. As he was about to shout commands to his army’s lieutenants, he voice croaked. He coughed a couple more times, trying to clear his throat, and attempted to shout again. This time only a breathless whimper escaped past his lips. Then he felt a force inside his chest seizing his throat. Convulsions wracked his body, bringing him to the ground. Encircled by his men who tried but could do nothing to aid him, Duranil was dead in minutes. His army scattered by panic, fearful of the magical disease that brought their commander low. (curse, sickness, curse)

  2. At 3019: Two very small armies of the Lind of Elendin fought to capture the town. “The battle for Tarrond was brutal! The attacking forces fought for glory but the defenders fought for their lives! The battle was in doubt until the very last man fell. After the attack on the population center. …
    Alandur’s army survived the attack on the Town, but suffered huge losses. Alandur appeared to have survived.
    Heldiriel’s army survived the attack on the Town, but suffered some losses. Heldiriel appeared to have survived.
    The Town has been reduced to a Village. The Tower has not been affected.
    The Village has been under siege/attack this turn.
    The Village now flies the flag of the Line of Elendin.”

  3. Falodan and an army of the Horselords totaling 2265 men routed a Hithlum defending army of 800 and then sacked the town/tower of Peliath! Now he faces an army under Commander Cohan outside the ruins of the town.

  4. Dwalin is back at Azarulinbar-Dum with an army of grim dwarven infantry. He wants it back.

  5. In perhaps the most surprising turn of events, a small Hithlum army under the command of Captain Hov Narag was reported outside the Arnor town of Caras Fornen (1006)! Hov Narag, destroyer of Hovisae, town/tower of Rhovanion at 3006, must have ridden like the wind to reach deep into Arnor in only a few weeks time.

  6. Tirkhor lost another commander, their best one, when Aradan fell in battle to two Castamir armies outside the fort at Linhir. No ransom is demanded at this time.

  7. Lastly, it looks like there will be a resolution to the cat and mouse game played by the navies of the Usurpers and Celeborn of the Quendi. Because this battle will be fought in the coastal waters, one of these commanders is going to die. At 2729, Casteher faces off against his Quendi foe. Stay tuned!

Time for some more updates to this campaign. We are now on turn 12, with turn 13 due any day now.

While I wait for the bad-and-good news, here are some highlights from turns 7-12:

  1. The Rebels still hold Minas Ithil (City/Castle) and 3224, thanks to a daring personal challenge from champion Aldarmir and Daeron, commander of a Castamir army. At 3124, Daeron was just trying to get to 3224, a more palatable target than Minas Ithil, and didn’t expect a personal challenge from the Rebel army commander.

  2. Forces of the Witch-realm of Angmar are on a rampage in Arnor. Major Town Kelidos (1508) was captured by Regent Rogrog and his 1297 Dark Riders of the North in steel armor. The battle was witnessed by Hov Narag, Hithlum commander who has been sacking Arnor camps in the area. After the capture of Kelidos, Rogrog marched to 1410, an undefended Major Town, and met a “large army” under the command of Lord Ulrilca.

  3. To the east, Durin wiped out an Arnor army of 937 infantry under the command of Commander Calcawe enroute to Imladris. The Quendi chose to hide Minas Ithil turns ago, leaving the Quendi City/Fort exposed. It is not defended by an army. Durin’s approx 900hc st/st met an army under the command of Captain Ricnau.

  4. For several months, a dark and powerful magic has been revealing the hidden pcs of the Quendi: 2137 (Major Town/Fort), sacked by forces under Castamir; 4413 (Town), sacked by Warlord Bal Danca; 2514 (Major Town), currently defended by a small army under the command of Malan-buri-Malan; 2413 (Major Town), currently undefended; and 0808 (City of Mithlond).

  5. Treebeard, leading a large Rhovanion army, showed up at the Khazad City/Fort of Azarulinbar-Dum accompanied by an Eldacar army under Commander Artarmir. Dwalin and Khamul have been “holding down the fort” for several turns since taking back this stronghold from the Horselords. But the tidal flow seems to be pulling the other way now in the Iron Hills.

  6. Orf Belarak captured Arnor’s Major Town/Fort of Narram and moved across the major river via transport ships. His army of 3000 cavalry looks poised to sack Tharbad (1614).

  7. In Hithlum territory, at 4420, the closest battle of the campaign was fought on turn 11. On one side, a Hithlum Captain, Dolorus Crow, stood with his 1300hc against multiple foes: Captain Ap-Coleen, approx 600 troops; Captain Conhir, approx 500 troops; Commander Falodan, approx 1000 troops; and Captain Ragnir, with 1200 troops. Before the battle took place…

"In the Open Plains of 4420 a ritual duel began. A large circle was drawn
on level ground. As Ap-Coleen’s army stood by, Cohan, a healthy warrior
stepped forth and called challenge. In his hands was borne the glowing
Mace called Ongrum. In answer, Ap-Coleen, a healthy warrior stepped
forth. Those watching calculated the odds at roughly even. In a long and
protracted battle lasting over 8 minutes, the warriors cut and slashed at
each other, each apparently unable to fatally wound the other. In a sudden
flurry of feints, disengages, and thrusts, Cohan sensed an opening and
drove his weapon into Ap-Coleen’s body, instantly killing her. Cohan was
noted to have suffered minor wounds in the fight."

Satisfied with the result, I didn’t want to know HOW Cohan “drove his weapon into Ap-Coleen’s body.” He was wielding a mace.

The ritual challenge proved decisive. Dolorus Crow won the battle, took huge losses, and survived with barely more than 100 troops.

Some turn 13 highlights:

  1. Dilgul, City/Castle, remains untouched. And she has an army outside her gates. But the Horselord pcs around it have started to fall or join the Hithlum tribes. Esgaldor (camp/tower at 4318) is the exception. It resisted the threatening overtures of Warlord Bal Danca and remained with Vidustrain’s people.

  2. To the north, in the Iron Hills, dramatic events unfolded. The large army under Regent Treebeard disbanded in a panic when it’s leader was challenged and killed by the 2nd of the nazgul, Khamul. Khamul suffered grievous wounds from the fight. With the bigger allied army removed from the field, Dwalin attacked the 1200 mixed troops under Eldacar’s Commander Artamir. In his third consecutive battle won at Azarulinbar-Dum, Dwalin rode into a howling storm which caused the enemy to switch tactics to standard formation and issued orders to Flank! Flank the enemy! Khamul, exhausted from his personal challenge, looked on skeptically. Why didn’t Dwalin charge? Obviously, the best tactic here would be to charge the enemy. Khamul went to army headquarters and kicked at a few barrels, finding they were completely drained of ale. “Maybe we should institute a policy where our Khazad kin drink AFTER a battle, not before? Doubt the dwarves would go for that…” Anyway, Artamir was captured in the battle, and drunk Dwalin could be heard muttering, “That was SOME flank!” belch

Horselords control 3506 and the army that took it via a combination of threats and emissary influence moved to a camp at 3608, adjacent to the Khazad city/fort.

  1. In Mirkwood and Lorien, another personal challenge was fought between army commander Lidmir and Adunaphel at 2711. Odds favored the nazgul by 2-to-1. She won and suffered no wounds. My guess is Lidmir, figuring he’d be killed by an assassin’s blade or SM, was forced into the duel by the presence of several powerful DS characters. City/tower 2711 now had no defending army outside her gates. The same situation played out in Lorien at 2514 (Major Town): army commander Malan-buri-Malan issued personal challenge to Murabeth but was refused. He died via assassination and his army disbanded. Caras Galadhon now has no defending army outside her gates. Finally, at 2413, forces of the Khazad have marched to 2413 where they confront the Major Town unopposed.

  2. Not far in the south, at 2720, an army of the Line of Elendin captured the Eldacar town/tower and moved on to 2819, village of Rhovanion. At 2518, the Rhovanion village/tower was captured by Lord Ecthelion, who moved his small army in position to deal with the Rhovanion camp/tower at 2619. At Isengard, another Elendin army looks poised to capture/destroy Arnor’s village/tower.

  3. The rolling thunder of Lord Orf Belarak’s cavalry has moved to 1720 (Arnor’s Major Town/Tower) after capturing Tharbad. Lond Angren (1720) was threatened away by General Argeleb II who had gone on to threaten Isengard. Each time he threatened a pc with his huge army, he improved the pc and moved on. Two turns ago, he was intercepted at 2320 by 1000 troops out of Calmirie and a Usurper SM company. He was killed by a combination of weakness, sickness, and curses spells. His huge army disbanded.

  4. Loyalists have so far won the NPC race, recruiting far more of them than their DS counterparts. The major Neutral NPCs have swung to the Loyalists: Malan-buri-Malan, the Blue Wizard, Istar Luin, and even the dragon Turukulon.

  5. Tirkhor looks quiet: all their major pcs are still well-fortified and solidly in their possession. They took back 2424 from the Usurpers and wrested control of Khazad’s town/fort at 2222.

  6. Loyalist SM forces have been killing DS army commanders every turn: at the ruins of 2137, Castamir’s army commander fell to curses; the following turn, a Castamir Veteran army commander was killed at Pelargir by the spells of Elrond, Galadriel, and Saruman, casting from across the river at town/castle 2928. They left the place in boiling rebellion, but it still remains under control of Castamir for now.