KS Game 681 is finished

This was a Gunboat game, right up until around turn 27 when my last ally dropped. Rhovanion (Rhovanion!) was eliminated as a nation around turn 9 (turn 9!) (In a gunboat game!) So that reduced our side to five nations. Arnor had 4 characters when I took the position over on turn 27. Until then, Arnor had been played by the Eldacar-Rebels player from about turn 15 onward.

A very strange GB game… DS was almost exclusively a military campaign. Hats off to the original Hithlum player who hid his major towns on the set up and gave me a hell of a fight (Horselords).

Because nobody else wanted Eldacar, the Rebels, Arnor (and it’s four character), Clint offered the positions to me and I took them. That gave me 5 nations (if you count Arnor) vs. 6 for the opposition. The Hithlum/Southron Kingdom player dropped as Amroth conquered Umbar and Harad (SK was focused exclusively on helping Hithlum tame the Horselords), leaving the opposition as two 3-nation teams: Castamir-Elendin-Hithlum and Angmar-Morlaen-SK. Around turn 30, both Morlaen and Hithlum were eliminated by surprise attacks on their capitals. Or maybe it was sudden, unforeseeable bankruptcy due to those attacks. Anyway, after it became 5 vs. 4, the game was basically over. Victory for the Loyalists.


This is yet another perfect example of how you as game moderator can give a clear losing side such a strategic advantage, that the losing side end up winning !

Having one dedicated and skilled player running an entire side in a GB game, will in nearly all situations result in success for that player, regardless of how damaged the nations he receive is, as he has the skills and resources to quickly build them up again ! Furthermore the advantage of being able to coordinate freely between all nations resources on one side and plan advanced attack’s on vulnerable enemies, is an EXTREME advantage in a game which relies mostly on coordination !

I have now experienced this in several KS GB games, and because there are only 6 nations on each side in KS, the effect of giving dropouts to other teammembers are even more devastating for the other side. This has now come to a level where I think some players will start thinking this as a strategic element in the GB format, and just a soon as their nation suffers just a little, they will drop out knowing that some of the other team players will be given the nations and an overall losing situation will be turned into a winning situation !

This is CERTAINLY NOT what the GB format is about. I cant think of something more upsetting that the feeling that your hard earned victory was stolen from you, because the other side suddenly, maybe because of your great play, was given an extreme advantage in the game.

So I must say that I RELLY think that this subject needs to be discussed and something needs to be done to alter this unfair situation. If one player suddenly is in control of the entire side, then its not GB anymore ! In that situation I think that at a MINIMUM the other (winning) team should given the same advantage, that is open the game up so its no more an official GB game, giving the other side the same options of coordination !

If something is not done about this issue, I think it could ruin the GB format especially in KS games, when enough players feel that the format is broken and feel unfairly treated…


You are identifying a problem but giving no solution? What happens when players drop KS GB games? Maybe because there are no clear solutions.

I hope you were playing Castamir/Elendin and have specific knowledge about game 681. Otherwise, you’d have no basis to determine what side was winning or losing. Castamir/Elendin, Angmar/Morlaen, and SK/Hithlum turned their collective backs on the Quendi for the ENTIRE GAME. They just totally ignored that nation. That was a big strategic blunder. Maybe they thought by doing so they were racing for the finish line, so they concentrated firepower elsewhere.

But the Quendi conquered Umbar and then Harad around turn 20. Quendi had around 1800 victory points throughout most of the game, higher at the end, which indicates their relative power compared to others. They had 2 curse companies and were close to having a 3rd. The DS had not 1 curses company.

So, for the first 22 turns, I played 2 nations, same as everybody else. Remember, through sheer ineptitude, Rhovanion was eliminated (not dropped, but out of the game as a nation) by turn 9. Kim, why couldn’t the DS win this game? Arnor was similarly pathetic, giving Angmar and Morlaen plenty of chances to take him out. Then that Arnor player dropped around turn 18. It was picked up by Eldacar/Rebels, and both nations were relatively strong. So at that point it’s still 2+2+2 vs. 3+2. Advantage DS because Rhovanion was a nothing for the entire game. I don’t understand how the DS failed to wrap this one up, but one cause must be they completely ignored their defense.

Nobody was watching for a Quendi fleet to sail in, march on the Morlaen capital, and sack it. Morlaen eliminated. And Hithlum was VERY careless on that same turn. They were eliminated after a suicide Rebel attack on their city/fort at 4326. Hithlum eliminated through bankruptcy!

That was mere turns after I picked up the Rebels/Eldacar/Arnor. DS really stumbled in the endgame.

I’ve been on the other side of the coin: Game 675, the Quendi player dropped around turn 16 and I picked it up: my first ever KS game. I was playing only that one nation. Five DS nations came under the command of the original Castamir/Elendin player, but it didn’t save him. The loyalist side remained GB no-communication, and after a severe pounding with curses, assassinations, and military assaults, that DS player in charge of 5 nations quit.

Like you, I complained at first. Why is a GB becoming a non-GB for the opposition right at the end when we are on the cusp of victory? Well, I wanted to declare victory but the opposition still had some fight in him and wanted to see what he could do picking up the other dropped nations.

What’s the solution here? I say, if you want a victory, you’d better be prepared to go the extra mile. In that game, I was.

Dear Movan,

First of all I was not playing in this game, as you should be able to see in the game mail of involved players :slight_smile:

I reacted because in my last KS GB game we experienced something similar where my side had dominated the game until suddenly the WK/Morlaen player dropped out and both positions were given to the Elendil/Castamir player, so he now played 4 out of 6 nations and had access to both the main agent nation plus the double scout. In our case my side however still won the game, but I was very worried and frustrated that the balance unfairly would tip because of this unfair advantage and I had large discussions after the game with players in the game who felt the same way as I.

Secondly my post was meant to start a discussion to find a possible and fair solution, because I know that its also frustrating losing a game because of dropouts. And I did indeed offer a possible solution in the end of my post, that once one player controls a vast amount of nations on one side, the other side should be given the right to coordinate as well, so its no longer a GB game !!!
Another solution could be to allow only a certain amount of nations a player can control in one team (fx 3 or 4) or it could be that there needs to be a certain amount of turns fx 5 before a dropout can be given to another player in the same game game, which gives the other side a chance to eliminate that nation before its taken over and given new backups.

The point is that there is a reason the player is dropping out, usually because he is taking a beating. So why on earth do you then punish the side who are winning, by giving the losing side a new superpower ? That would relate to in a boxing match that one boxer is dominating and has the other boxer in the floor who is being counted out…but suddenly the referee gives the boxer on the floor a pistol and says…so now we have an even match again :slight_smile:


Perhaps the solution in this kind of cases would be to change the game open, ie. allow full communication?

  • Mikko

Dear Kim (and hi Mikko!),

I said the exact same things to Clint for game 675 that you’re saying to me. Your solution is: “the other side should be given the right to coordinate as well, so its no longer a GB game !!!” In 675, we were NOT allowed full communication because the other side was pretty beat up. Clint determined it would be more balanced if the Usu Player got to control 5 nations (in weak condition), but that the Loyalists had to remain in GB mode.

Another situation: What if the other side has two players: 4 nations and 2 nations. And they are playing against one player with 5 nations? Who has the advantage there for open communication?

I don’t envy Clint having to make these decisions. Sometimes a nation gets knocked out and the other is pretty beat up. Sometimes both nations are strong, but the player has to quit the game for any number of reasons.

Clint has to determine ‘balance’ when so many various situations apply. What nation(s) dropped? What position are they in? Will this become a huge blowout if nations x-y takes over dropped z? Any decision or reliance on rules will benefit one side and disadvantage the other.

I’m happy to talk about trying to solve this issue of dropped nations, but you should realize it’s pretty thorny since players drop for various reasons.


I know that in some situations its really difficult to make a good and fair decision on how to progress a game which runs into difficulties, but there should CERTAINLY be some guidelines and rules to follow which are known to all players. Otherwise you end up with one game after another where players are very upset or angry, because there are different solutions for different games.

But the main point is that regardless of what problems a game may encounter, the losing side should NEVER be given a game-changing advantage ! Its not Clints job to keep a game alive for as long as possible and possible affect the outcome, its Clints job to solve potential game problems in a neutral way !

This game 681 is a perfect example of that, where a clear Loyalists defeat was turned into a victory, because you were allowed to run the entire side !

I would mean that a much better solution for this game at the time you received all nations, would have been to reach out to all remaining players and ask the Usurper side if they can accept that one player plays all remaining loyalists nation and that the Usurper side instead is given the possibility to coordinate as well.

Im PRETTY sure that both you and the remaining players would have accepted that solution, as we all are playing this game for a good time and great challenge. And the game would have continued in a MUCH MORE fair way. Maybe you would still have won the game (but taken more time to do so), but there would be no angry people who felt their victory had been stolen from them, as they themselves had accepted the solution !

This is why I think there needs to be some concrete guidelines on how to reach when players drops out in GB games (especially in KS) and the toolbox for solutions needs to be expanded. In the end Clints makes the final decision, but I think the players in the game should have a saying in how their game progress ! And the main point is that whatever the solution is chosen, the winning side should NEVER be punished and given a great disadvantage for the remaining game !


Kim wrote: “This game 681 is a perfect example of that, where a clear Loyalists defeat was turned into a victory, because you were allowed to run the entire side !”

But you said you weren’t in the game, so how could you know that it’s a perfect example of anything? How could you know a clear Loyalists defeat was turned into a victory?"

I was in the game, so my opinion ought to be worth something, no? The DS made terrible strategic blunders and it cost them the game. They might have LOOKED like they were winning, but they were paper tigers. Look, Morlaen (same player as Wk and Sk) and Hithlum (played by Castamir and Elendin) were eliminated from play, NOT because I controlled Arnor, Eldacar, and the Rebels. Morlaen and Hithlum were eliminated because they got sloppy. Couldn’t the other two nations have supported Morlaen long enough to survive a simple assault on 2424? Couldn’t Castamir and Elendin support Hithlum enough to weather one simple suicide attack on their city?

Kim, it’s clear that you don’t know the facts of this particular game. We can agree that players dropping KS GB games leads to headaches and problems. But you should be making GENERAL comments about the situation, not referring to a GB you were never actually in. Is this fair to say?

How do you know there are angry people? Where are they? And even if they ARE angry, it’s probably directed at themselves, the ones who made the most serious blunders, causing two of their nations to be wiped out in one turn. And they had essentially NO opposition from Rhovanion for 75% of the turns? How do they lose this game and be angry at anyone but themselves?

That would probably create more problems as those who in a GB due to not being in full communication would likely drop themselves. I know I would…

In this game the other side could easily have concentrate all three of their nations on one of the other side. With Rhovanian gone and Arnor in a serious mess they could have dealt serious enough damage.

Ignoring the Quendi is terrible idea. With a turn 1 diplo it could be organise that the Quendi are in serious trouble early on. It would require Castimir and SK doing whats required but it could work.

It’s unfortunate when someone feels they have been treated unfairly. Whether it’s true or not we should be trying to avoid such a situation. Maybe, if someone drops from a gunboat game and the only player who can pick up the position is on the same side, the position should be left inactive. This might shorten that game but it’s likely that the players will sign up for another one.

I seem to remember that ME Games used to maintain a group of players who could pick up dropped positions. Maybe reconstituting such a group could help.

Another thought. Maybe before letting someone take over a position on the same side, the opposition could be asked if they are OK with it.

Dear Movan,

First of all im not neglecting your great play in this game. I have met you myself in another KS game and know that you are a powerplayer ! Secondly of course you are right that I dont have all the facts as I was not in this game. My comments are based on the information’s that you have given in previous posts and my own strong feelings about handing over positions in GB games to team mates.

You say yourself that Rhovanion died on T9 and that when you received all nations on T27, Arnor was down to 4 characters, meaning that he was close to elimination, while DS still had all their nations active at that point. In my logic that is a clear DS advantage, even though your Quindi was a powerhouse. And in normal situations that should almost always result in a DS win. And I agree with with your analysis thats its a complete mystery why the DS could not convert such a huge early advantage into more success.

However the point of my comments has nothing to do with the skills/lack of skills/experience of either you or your opponents. My point is ALL about fairness to all players regardless if they very skilled/experienced or less skilled/experienced playing MEPBM. Because you will never get the less skilled/experienced players to stay in this game if their experience with this game is:

  1. Getting steam rolled by the experienced/skilled players
  2. Even if they are lucky to get an advantage and some success in a game, that success experience is taken from them when the dynamics of the game suddenly changes and instead of playing against a GB team, they are now playing against one dedicated/skilled in game player who can turn an expected loss into a victory.

I would LOVE to hear from the other players in this game and hear their views. But my feelings about this is still the same. One players should NEVER be allowed to run a whole side in a GB game at least not without compensating the other side !

You know very well yourself how powerful the advantage of coordination with one person vs many persons, this is the very reason they introduced the GB concept, because coordination and discussions takes a lot of time and some players dont have that. And when this one person also is skilled/experienced, the advantage is ten-fold !
One person running everything does not need to discuss anything with anyone, if he is skilled/experienced he knows exactly what to do and how to optimize all the recourses he has access to, to maximum effect !

If you had not been given the three other nations and they had been picked up by a medium skilled/experienced player, I think you could easily have lost that game regardless of your great play. Its of course unknown if you had still eliminated Hirthlum/Morlaen if you had NOT received those nations. But in my world the game balance was strongly changed by the referee, and if had been on the DS side I would have been very angry, frustrated and pissed off, because fairness is a very hot topic for me.


Hi Kim,

I believe you are a reasonable person and it’s clear to me that you want what’s best for the players and the game in general. Looking back, I took offense at what you wrote because it sounded to my ears at the time as: “Look! Another example of a player just being handed a victory! He was losing, and then Clint gave him all the nations, and then he won!!!”

I still feel I earned the victory even though I’m by no means a “powerplayer.” I have lost g676, g679 (thanks to your superior play), g687, and g692 to the Huiatt brothers, thanks to their superior strategy.

But g681 was not handed to me. Actually, I felt cheated because Rhovanion was eliminated so early, not due to the efforts of my enemies, but because that experienced player (whom I refuse to name) either sabotaged his nations ON PURPOSE, or he was just completely incompetent trying some weird strategy that blew up in his face. However, because Arnor was completely ineffective, taking NO Angmar pop centers and allowing the WK to take several of his MTowns, I concluded the player self-sabotaged. Anyway, that game basically started as 4 vs. 6.

(My game summary was written off the top of my head and not accurate about when various players picked up certain dropped nations.)

Arnor quit and Eldacar-Rebels picked it up: (Loy) 3 + 2 vs. 2 + 2 +2 (Usu). Several turns later the Eldacar-Rebels-Arnor player quit. Clint offered the positions to me. So 5 vs. 2 + 2 + 2. Arnor had 4 characters at the point. It takes several turns to build back up from 4 characters.

Shortly after, the SK-Hithlum player quit. I deserve SOME credit for applying the pressure to make him quit. One nation each was offered to the Usu: Angmar-Morlaen added SK; and Castamir-Elendin picked up Hithlum. So Loy 5 vs. 3 + 3. Considering the dilapidated state of Arnor, I felt it was a fair fight.

Futhermore, I would NOT have complained if one of those Usu players dropped, allowing the other to control all Usu nations. What grounds would I have had to lodge a complaint? After all, I controlled all the Loyalist nations due to my teammates dropping. If so, it would have been Loy 5 vs. Usu 6. Advantage DS.

But neither of those Usu players wanted to drop. Ok, 5 vs. 3 + 3. I land a couple of nice punches and down goes Morlaen, down goes Hithlum. At that point in the game, the time to complain had passed.

Here is an important point: once you allow the 3 + 3 side to communicate and share info, how do you know they won’t share info ABOUT PREVIOUS TURNS? After all, when I picked up Eldacar-Rebels-Arnor, I had zero access to their previous turns. All I get is the current turns. But if you say to the 3 + 3 side with two players: ok, it’s not a GB any more because players dropped, you’re going to find it difficult to stop the sharing of information related to what went on turns 1 through the current turn. Who picked up what artifacts, who has been killed by curses? What did you see on your maps 5 turns ago, 10 turns ago? This is a problem with saying “This game is no longer a GB game” that Kim doesn’t consider.

So, no, I don’t want my opposition to be able to communicate in a GB game. They had every chance to win this one, but I got lucky and threw the right punches at the right time.

I’ve thought about this. In game 681, it would have meant Rhovanion eliminated and Arnor inactive around Turn 10. That’s game over. That would have left everybody feeling frustrated. The Usu would have won but not felt like they deserved it. I know that I would have felt cheated.

But what about the suggestion that there should be a maximum number of nations that any one player can have. Six is too many, and probably 5 (I would would agree to it) as well. So I would be willing to go with a GB rule that says “If players drop nations, the maximum number of nations any player can control is FOUR.” Any nations beyond that max would be left inactive. I’m trying to find a compromise and think that’s one I could live with in all future KS GB games.

A question for everyone. Would the remaining nations be able to resist the Quendi onslaught if they had been able to communicate directly?

If Rhovanion backrupt themselves and an inactive Armor is mind boggling how the usu lost. If I was USU I would not have minded the opponent have all 4 as my three would have concentrated on one of thoae left.

Game ended on Turn 27: the Witch-king capital at 1804 (1 loyalty) fell and I don’t think he had a back up. SK also lost their capital at 2711. Don’t think he had a back up. So those were two very weak nations by turn mid 20s. Castamir and Elendin were strong pop center wise, but neither had a full curses squad going. They had a company with deadly agents (Shelob, Khamul, Enna) but Ji Indur was assassinated around turn 17, Carnion lost a challenge to a Horselords commander and thus also lost the Ring of Wind and another agent artifact.