Author Topic: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player  (Read 1664 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 12937
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2018, 07:58:20 AM »

At 900 then:

FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.


Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 12937
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2018, 12:39:38 PM »
Thank God the haiku challenge is done!

Now for the kaiju challenge: every post is a book.  :D >:D


HOW MANY PLAYERS?

We're doing the maximum number of 5. The game ships with several map scenarios and setups allowing for down to 2 players, plus a 1-player tutorial scenario featuring Sargon (which is set long before the standard events of the game.)

WHAT'S THE GAME-WINNING GOAL?

Have the most points at the end of the final turn. Alternately, eliminate the other players before the end of the final turn. (Each turn has a bunch of things for each player to do.)

HOW ARE PLAYERS ELIMINATED?

As usual, wiping their chips off the map, and also taking their home kingdom cities. One or the other won't suffice, it has to be both.

HOW ARE POINTS SCORED?

Only two ways: by building monuments in cities, and by controlling cities. Each city produces a nominal income per turn that also serves as its point value; but to count the points (and get the income) you have to be able to trace an unbroken path from the city back to your capital. (Naturally your capital usually has its own point/income value.) You can move your capital to other cities. The game requires players to start our faction(s) at particular capitals (perhaps with some variance per scenario). You can see the nominal player capitals on the map marked with a five-pointed star.


...um, here's the map again for reference. Click to embiggen.




WHAT DO THE SHAPES ON THE MAP GENERALLY MEAN?

The large spaces (circles and squares) are cities. The large grey ones are, in effect, the capitals of small independent kingdoms. The small grey circles are stopping points between cities. The brown lines between spaces are the routes. This is a point-to-point game, where travel is only capable by routes. (There are rivers and lakes on the map, but they're only there for aesthetic flavor and to help with geographic recognition.) If a space has something that looks like the three pyramids, in light brown, those are mountains, which provide various defensive bonuses. If a space has a rectangle that looks brown with a gold diagonal stripe, that's a gold/iron area: trade-route access to these points give some extra income on a semi-random basis. (3/4ths of them, you may notice, are on the Hittite side of the map, and the Hittites are the only faction that start with one in a home-kingdom city!) The dark and light blue paths on the Mediterranean are sea routes leading to port cites (marked with what looks like a lock or a tombstone, no idea why.) Dark ones are northern routes more likely to be pirated.

WHAT ARE SEA LANES FOR?

Mostly for tracing economic routes by sea instead of land. Egypt (Barth) can also move its chits around by sea, but only to areas already held by Egypt. So once Barth works his way up the Levantine coast to Tyre, he'll be able to ship pieces directly to Tyre (and vice versa) from either of his ports in one move instead of 7. (I think. I haven't studied movement costs for sea travel, because they're pointless to me: only Egypt can do it.)

WHO IS PLAYING WHAT?

Barthheart is playing Egypt, down there in, y'know, Egypt. He starts with the bright yellow cities. Dave is playing the light blue Hittites in the north-central area. (To his west is the temporary Arzawan empire, which is the largest non-player faction, in bright orange.) I'm the snotty green Mitanni dead center of the map. (To my southwest are some scattered Caananite federation alliance cities in a reddish-brown, the second-largest npc faction and not active yet.) To my immediate east is Larry (i.e. ArizonaTank) in purple Assyria. To our south is Superhaus (i.e. Rich) as Babylonia. (To his east is the nearest Elamite city in darker blue. Elam has the smallest npc faction on the map, but starts with lots of troops already ready already, and most of their empire is off-map and invulnerable. Some micro-kingdom npcs will pop up semi-randomly, too; as well as barbarian invasions from Kaska, Libya, and the sea.)

The colors, aside from visually identifying our chits, show which cities we can hold without pieces. Any city other than our color will revert back to independent (or maybe to the original player? -- need to check if it's that or indie) if we have no controlling chips there.

WHAT CHIPS CONTROL CITIES?

Infantry, chariots, and peasants. There are also slaves and kings, but they can't control cities. Peasants can be left alone to control a city and do work there, but slaves will immediately vanish if unsupervised. Barbarians and pirates can also control cities, but (except for the "Sea People") they vanish between turns. Cities can also revolt under certain conditions.

WHAT DO THE CITY SHAPES MEAN?

In effect, how many troops start off in the garrison there. Simple large circles are the basic fortified city, one garrison troop. Circles with a smaller circle are level 2. Squares are level 3. Squares with a square inside are level 4. Squares with tower-squares are level 5 -- each level adds another infantry troop in effect. City defense can be buffed up 1 level beyond its starting map level. They can also be reduced progressively in levels to level 0, unfortified (and then repaired again up to the map-level-plus-one). Cities can also be destroyed, which puts a special marker on them: they cease functioning economically and they block trade route paths in that case. But destroyed cities can be rebuilt, with lots of silver, a pair of peasants, and at least one infantry.

WHAT DO THE LITTLE GOLD DOTS NEXT TO MOST CITIES MEAN?

How much silver income the city sends back to the capital of the player who controls it. (Yes, silver income. With gold dots.  ::) ) They also represent victory points for holding a city. (Maybe those are gold?) The VPs shift down as well as up as players lose and gain territory, and gain or lose monuments for that matter. VPs are nominally counted near the end of a turn, but can be tracked as players go along, or ignored until the end of the final turn.

WHAT ARE THOSE STACKS OF COLORED CHIPS WITH THE PLAYER COLORS?

Our starting infantry allowance for this campaign. Each chip represents one-step of infantry power (more-or-less an infantry company). They can be traded in for equivalent 2- or 3- or 5- or 10- power chips, to make the stacks smaller.

This however starts getting into the actual gameplay and turn zero actions (so to speak), which I or someone else will get to later.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2018, 07:46:34 PM by JasonPratt »
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 12937
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2018, 08:44:45 PM »
GENESIS OF THE GROGS TURN ZERO
--------------------------------------

There are up to ten turns in the game, each reflecting roughly 50 years or one generation of activity, and each turn involves several phases. But the game starts with what might be called Turn Zero, a setup period which takes the place of most of those phases in Turn One (which then skips those phases).

Here's the pregame map again for reference, essentially before Turn Zero (click to embiggen a little more).




WHAT ARE THE STACKS OF COLORED CHITS STANDING AROUND ON THE MAPS?

Those are the starting infantry of various factions. That includes two relatively large non-player factions, the orange Arzawa in (what's now) Western Turkey (near the city of Troy, notice, at the upper-left-most extent of the map), and the dark blue Elam at the far southeast. The historical start of the full campaign game designates that they get a certain number of infantry chips placed in those places.

We five players, however, are each expected to place our own infantry. We all start with slight variances in the number of available infantry, silver, and some other things. Here's my game map, for an example:



Roughly clockwise from upper left:

"Manpower Maximum" -- each of us gets a free amount of infantry at the start of each turn, but with few exceptions our number of infantry cannot exceed our manpower maximums (which as the track shows range from a 'minimum maximum' so to speak of 15 infantry, to a maximum maximum of 38.) I, the Mitanni, start with the lowest manpower maximum: I can only field 15 infantry a turn. The Hittites, for example, are the next lowest, at 16. However, in my case I'm also the only faction who starts with more infantry than my official maximum! -- I get 17 infantry. Everyone else starts at their manpower max (or maybe a little less in some cases, I forget). This represents our logistic ability to field armies. Each "infantry step" represents a large company of troops by modern standards, (roughly 500). So I've got 17 of those light-green infantry chips in a stack near my capital. Individual chips can be traded in at any time for chips representing an equivalent multiple: 2, 3, 5, or 10 infantry. (This is purely for convenience.) No one can really control the Manpower Maximum: it fluctuates randomly, usually upward.

"Army A" and "Army B" are simply containers for large stacks if I want to substitute out one simple marker for each of them. In a Vassal game this is less of an issue.

Above "Army B" is a stack labeled "kings". In Vassal that's a randomized square which deals out my ten kings randomly; but we're playing the historical setup variant so everyone will start with our first generation kings. Mine is King Kitra. I'll show him later.

"Treasury" is where, in physical play, we keep stacks of silver chits. In Vassal there's simply a toggle, plus or minus. I start with 12 silver (which also represents the economic value of my cities). Most everyone else starts with more.

"Controlled Powers" will list minor kingdoms or barbarian factions which I may get to play for a turn. No one starts off with any. These are activated by playing event cards, however.

"Chariot Technology Level" starts at zero, "no chariots", for everyone in the full campaign game. Normally whichever one of us draws and plays a chariot tech event card first will get access to chariots first (at tech level 1), but in the "historical" setup I'll automatically get chariot tech first on Turn Two; everyone else gets Chariot tech on Turn Three; and then at the start of Turn Four the remaining two chariot tech cards are shuffled into the event deck for anyone to randomly draw and play. Chariot tech not only allows players to buy and deploy chariot chits, but the higher the tech level the more effect the strength of those chips will have in an open-field fight. (Double or triple strength eventually!) Chariots can't fight in mountain terrain or during city defenses (neither on attack or on defense). Chariots provide a few other benefits, too, even at tech level one (where their strength isn't multiplied).

Finally, my mat shows I've already drawn my pre-game event card. I don't play it during the setup period however.


Starting with Egypt-Barth, and working clockwise around the map, each player draws an event card (hidden from each other), sets their manpower max and starting silver (done automatically in the Vassal mod setup), and places their starting number of infantry on the map anywhere among the home kingdom cities. (Not on transit spaces between the ciities.) The kings must start in our capitals.

Before we place our infantry, we are each allowed to freely convert as many infantry as we want into peasants, 2 peas per infantry. This is allowed during the Manpower phase at the start of each Turn from Turn Two onward, too.

WHAT ARE PEASANTS GOOD FOR?

They build cities, build monuments, rebuild destroyed cities, rebuild destroyed walls, and hold spaces under faction control outside the home kingdoms -- but they can't attack or defend, so any military pieces will overrun and destroy them automatically (usually creating slave pieces in the process. Slave pieces function like peasants but vanish if left unattended, so they can't hold territory.) Peasants can be moved around like military pieces, and with or without military pieces. (Slaves need military escort to keep them from vanishing.)

Here's a closeup of where I chose to place my starting pieces:



I placed after Barth-Egypt and Hittite-Dave (light blue, on the left), but before Assyria-Larry (purple, on my right -- you can see a lot of his placement, too) and Babylon-Rich. You may notice I chose not to convert any of my infantry to peasants. This will handicap me later, but on the other hand I can make full use of my starting 17 infantry, which I'll be forced to trim down to 15 at the start of Turn Two later (if my manpower maximum doesn't randomly increase, and far enough).

Irrite and especially Nisibis are directly vulnerable to a strike by Ass(Tank!)-Larry, who gets Shamshi-Adad the 1st, out of the gate on turn one, so I've made sure to give them lots of defense. Harran, to my west, is a launching pad for me to go after some rich areas eventually, so I (think, at first) I want a good set of infantry there -- I'll quickly rethink that plan soon! I start near the least guarded iron/gold spot on the map, Ergani, so I want Alshe ready to go with some infantry, too. In hindsight, that was dumb, but I didn't quite understand the move-cost rules yet.

My king there in my capital of Waush... Washushka... ...... Washington, is named Kirta, and he's pretty weak with 2 tactical and 2 campaign (or strategic) ratings. (The other tiny 1 means he's my first-turn historical king.) More about those numbers later.

Here's the larger map showing where everyone else chose to place their starting pieces (click to embiggen a bit).



Those five markers at left center, colored with our faction colors, reading "AM"? Those are "activation markers", and we each nominally get four of them per turn. We each contribute three of our markers to a random pot for drawing later (the grey AM stack over there), but our first rounds will always be in some clockwise order.

At the start of each turn, the player whose king that turn has the best campaign rating (the red number) -- or where there's a tie, the best die-roll -- decides which player will go first; and for our first rounds, play will run clockwise around the table from that chosen player.

But that's Turn One, which I'll get to the start of tomorrow night.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2018, 08:51:26 PM by JasonPratt »
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 12937
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2018, 09:06:08 PM »
GENESIS OF THE GROGS TURN ONE (Action Rounds 1-4)
-----------------------------------------------------------

So as mentioned last time, the player whose king has the highest campaign (or as I prefer to call it, strategic) rating gets to decide who goes first; and whomever he chooses, everyone's first round will proceed in sequence clockwise around the table from there. For convenience, we're treating our table-positions as equivalent to our setup-order (as mandated by the setup rules for this scenario) -- which happens to be pretty much clockwise around the map anyway.

Baby-Rich starts out strongest with Hammurabi in Turn One (although some of the other kings are no slouches), so he makes the decision: and he decides he wants to go last in the initial rounds, meaning Egypt should go first. So our play in rounds 1 through five will cycle in just the same order as our setup did.

Since each round (or "activation" in this game's terms) involves up to four actions, and since nominally there are twelve such rounds in a turn, I'm going to split them up reporting our positions at the end of blocks of four. Within that I'll include any minor-nation or barbarian rounds that get played.

I won't go into detail on every action for every round; I'll probably just show the map (possibly including some errors at that time since we're all still very new at the game and learning how the rules work), and discuss broadly what everyone did or tried to do.

But for purposes of illustration on how things work, I'll go into my moves in some detail this time.

At this stage of the game, I start my round my moving my "activation marker" off its slot to the "used" box. (Later, as those chips stack up I'll rearrange them in handy columns.)

Next, if a player can't, or won't, pay one silver at the start of the round, all he can do is draw an event card and then play it if the card says he must do so. A player can always play his voluntary cards freely at other times, so long as the card-play is valid, but for his own round if he wants to play voluntary cards or do anything else he must invest $1 to begin with. So I do that: it's my first round and while I'm relatively poor, I'm not that poor. Yet. Also, I have some interesting prospects.

The first card I drew, back on Turn Zero (which I can reveal now because we're well past this point in the game), was "Tactical Surprise". This is a super-handy card for a tough expected fight, so I planned to hold onto it until I had an emergency. (It also features an illustration that looks quite like a tactical battle from Matrixlitherine's Chariots of War...  :o )

The card I draw now, starting my first round of Turn 1, is "Baal". This is a must-play card -- I have to play it when I draw it -- but fortunately this early in the game it has no effect on me: it's a tax on all the monuments I've built, and not only have I not even had the opportunity for building actions, I didn't create any peasants for building during this turn anyway! So it's a no-effect of a card that's much more problematic in the late game. Like most event cards, this simply "discards" so once the event deck has been washed through, we'll be reshuffling it back in later. In a ten-turn game we can fully expect to see it again.

Each round I can play up to four actions: a Recruit action (where I pay silver to resupply my infantry from cities outside my home kingdom, which I don't have any of yet); two Minor Actions (which mostly focus on peasants I won't have at all this turn); and a Major Move. I (representing any player of course) can take these actions in any order I wish, as long as I completely finish one action before starting another, and as long as I don't use a given chip on more than one "move" action.

My Minor Actions can be Minor Moves, and as I cast an eye over where I assigned starting troops, I realize I've left the city of Irrite a little less defended from Assy Aggression than Nisibis. Here's a map again for reference (click as usual to embiggen a bit):



That's because Nisibis (which will someday, long in the future, be the home of the first medical university in western history, possibly in world history depending on what the Chinese will be doing between now and then -- set up as part of moving one of the first four key Christian catechetical universities out from Edessa) is a level 3 city, and Irrite is only level 2. This can be seen visually by the difference in shape: Nisibis is a square, and Irrite is a circle within a circle. (A simple circle is level 1.) Each level effectively provides one infantry for garrison. So in effect, although I assigned equal infantries from my army to each city, Nisibis has 8 infantry power and Irrite only has seven.

Thus, for my first action, I declare a Minor Action to be a Minor Move, and I designate one of my infantry chips in Hurran, the 'square' city one space west of Irrite.

The game rules, and playbook, and errata, are surprisingly vague about what a minor move can and cannot do, but after hashing it out for several rounds (after this one) we landed on minor moves necessarily involving one-and-only-one unit.

Normally at this point I would roll 1d6 to see how many movement points this one infantry captain can spend on his move, but I'm only moving one space anyway. He joins the guard at Irrite.

Now however, looking over Larry's Assyrian setup, I'm worried that he might pick up a larger stack to go after Nisibis to start with; whereas if he plans to go for Irrite, he'll have to take the long way around and he'd waste movement points hiking up to Nineveh first to pick up some extra infantry there. Assyria crippling the Mitanni early, one way or another, is a legitimate first turn strategy (which kind of happened historically, too, which is why many of you might never have heard of the Mitanni before -- I hadn't!)

I have good reason to be concerned, so I spend my second and last Minor Action this round rolling up another Minor Move for another one of my infantries in Harran: I roll a 4, which is plenty to get that chip to Nisibis.

Time for my Major Move. For a Major Move (...echo?!) the player can designate as many chips as he wants as his Force for the move, for free, as long as they're all in one space together. Otherwise, a "force" has to pay 1 silver each time it wants to pick up pieces in a space (but can pick up any number for that silver).

As it happens, I really have Harran, Irrite, and Nisibis garrisoned up the way I want now, so I'm ready to roll up to try claiming those gold mines in Ergani -- and also claim its strong 3-economy! (And its 3 victory points!) It's a weak level-1 city, making it one smart first-round move choice.

My King, Kirta, might not be great, but he does add extra punch and extra movement to a Force, so even though I had to start him (per the setup rules) in my capital, I should try to use him in the assault if I can. So I designate him alone (since no one else is in Wak... Walk... .... Wichita) with him, as my Force for my Major Move, and roll for movement points: 2. Drat. But he adds another 2 mp thanks to his red "2" on his chip, so that's 4mp total for him and anyone else he stacks with along the way.

Kings have a special move rule, where they only have to pay 1 mp and then they're free to move as far as they want during the move action -- as long as they're by themselves. If they pick up anyone to stack with, they have to pay the usual price of 1 mp per space (or 2 mp in mountains, if I recall correctly, but I'm not moving that far anyway).

So I pay 1 mp to get him going (4-1=3mp), and move him up to Alshe. There I pay another mp (3-1=2) to pick up as many pieces there as I want, which in this case will be all three infantry companies. Alshe is in my home kingdom, so I can leave it alone and not worry about losing control there. (Usually...?!)

I pay another mp to move them up to Ergani, and my final mp to launch an attack. I can attack as many times as I can, and want, to pay movement points for (with some extra movement costs depending on some battle results); but in this case I can only afford one attack this round.



Here I am, oppressing that poor little city instead of being diplomatic and nice. Genesis was a brutal time y'all.

Battles work, very basically, this way: I roll 1d6, and that's the percentage of casualties I caused (10% to 60%). The other guy does the same, and that's what he causes me in return.

In this case, I roll 3 for me and 3 for him: we give each other 30 percent casualties.

The tactical difference comes in a dice-shift system. The player with the most tactical advantage gains "shifts". Tactical advantages can tally up a number of different ways, but only the two most basic ways count here: my battle power, with 3 infantry, outnumbers his 1-infantry wall garrison 3:1, so I get 3 / 1 = 3 shifts from that. Moreover, my king may suck but he still has a tactical rating of 2 which adds another 2 shifts, for a total of 5 shifts. The side with the most shifts gets to apply the net balance of shifts.

Independent city-states like Ergani here rarely ever get shifts at all. He might have been in a mountain defense, which would grant him some shifts, but the net difference would still be in my favor; just not as much. (If non-player cities outnumber player shifts somehow, because the player was dumb enough to let that happen, I think the next player clockwise, Larry in my case, gets to tactically assign those shifts for them.)

Those five shifts allow me to "shift" either or both of the dice rolls, one notch per dice per shift, my choice. In this case I need to give him 50% casualties to knock out his lone defender, so I shift my caused casualties up two notches (from 3 to 5); and I use my remaining 3 shifts to totally negate the casualties he caused me (from 30% to 0%).

A city typically doesn't fall until their walls are down, and that's true here: the city is now level-0. It isn't destroyed -- I'd have to pay movement points to do that, which I don't want to and wouldn't have points remaining to do anyway. It still exists and functions as a city, and I'll get benefits from it as long as I keep at least one peasant or infantry there (and I have no peasants this turn). But it no longer has any walls, so no inherent garrison, so its defense score or status is 0. Thus I place a DS marker rating of 0 there. (The screenshot won't show this well, so I'll wait to post an overview next.)

Any battle a king participates has some chance to kill him. I won this fight (5 to 0, after my shifts), so my king will only die if I roll boxcars on a 2d6. Which... to be honest I think I forgot to do this round, but I do the next round and he's fine. Had I lost the fight, snake eyes would also kill him. A king dying doesn't end the game for that faction, but without his tactical and strategic ratings they can't be as punchy. Even a sucky king, like Egypt-Barth's this turn (even suckier than mine, at 1-1!) is better than no king.

I also get to plunder the city, since I'm not reclaiming one of my home kingdom cities: half of the 3 economy (those three gold dots next to it), rounded up. So I get 2 silver. Profit!  :coolsmiley: It'll also send me 3 silver at the start of each turn, so long as I keep it. But I'll have to leave a piece there to keep it, and in any case anyone could just walk right in and take the place with no walls. And I have no way to build more walls there (or anywhere else) right now.

The "gold" marker next to the city only counts if I play a Gold event card, but that's possible now, even if very unlikely overall. Mainly I wanted the 3 silver income. And the 2 plunder. And the 3 victory points.

Now I can also play my one Recruit action per round. Recruit allows me to buy up to two infantry per city outside my kingdom, but they spawn in those cities, and they cost 1 silver per infantry. I definitely want that. And hey, I happen to have 2 extra silver just recently!  :D Essentially, I said "Hey, we're neighbors, right? How about I don't plunder you, and you sign up for my army instead, deal?" Deal. I add 2 more infantry companies to that space.

Those are all my actions, and that ends my first round this turn.

« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 06:11:00 PM by JasonPratt »
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 12937
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2018, 09:21:04 PM »
As I said, I won't go into anything like that detail (probably) in future reports, but I wanted to give an idea of what we're all doing when we play our rounds.

Here's the overmap after the end of AM4 (activation marker 4, or round 4), Assyria-Larry's first round this turn (now edited to update with a toggle between 1024 and fullsize):



Eg-Barth, the yellow egg guys down in eggland there, started his peasants on some monuments (which have to be paid for twice, to be completed, and not on the same round) -- you probably can't quite see the construction markers because he's got peasants and/or infantry stacked on top of them. He also marched his nearly worthless Pharaoh, Merneferre Ay, in an infantry stack to Gaza, and bounced off it, doing some damage to its walls. You can see the DS1 marker there now, showing damaged walls. In effect it's a level-one city now. Egypt has a nicely defensive tucked position with room to expand, but the downside is that they only have one direction to expand and that always necessarily starts with Gaza. (They can move troops by sea once they secure a port, but can't invade that way.)

Egypt is also unlucky this turn because Larry drew and played the Canaan activation event, which drops infantry into the four brown Canaan cities. It happens to be much worse than it looks, because Larry was really supposed to drop FOUR INFANTRY PER CITY, not four total one in each city. The only good news is that Larry decided not to use them to soften up the area, just as a buffer against Egyptian expansion this turn; and they'll disappear as the turn ends.

Hits-Dave, in light blue, took his King Labarna and an infantry stack, up north to the small mountain town of Sapinuwa, but despite outnumbering them and having a strongly tactical king, he bounced off their mountain defenses somewhat. They're damaged, but also punched out some of his infantry, so he continued his move with his king (having rolled high mp and his king granting more) down to pick up some more infantry reserves and bring them back for next round. Dave also had the foresight to bring some peasants along to start repairing the city once he takes it: the main point to doing this is to buff up defenses a little against a Kaskar invasion, and earn some vp and silver per turn while doing so.

Dave also started a ton of monument building, since he converted heavily into peasants this turn.

Assyria-Larry, to my right in purple, decided that Assy Aggression meant waving their naked butts in my face (his description!  :o ) and surged south toward Babylon's borders instead, to take Samarra, which he succeeded at (because he's Hammurabi some king almost as ass-kickery as Hammurabi with a super-stack). The city walls are down to 0 but you can't currently see that under his stack; I'll try to remember to adjust things better for a snapshot next time. Instead of starting a monument, he paid his peasants to brick up Assur's defenses one level -- I'll try to get a better snapshot of that next time, too. Each city has a natural maximum defense rating, and all cities are presumed to start the game there, but any city can be beefed up one (but only one) notch beyond their inherent maximum level.


Babylon-Rich will be Round 5, after which we'll start drawing rounds randomly. We'll see how that turned out, in my next coming entry (unless Barth or someone beats me to it first. ;) )
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 07:09:31 PM by JasonPratt »
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 12937
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2018, 04:54:08 PM »
GENESIS OF THE GROGS TURN ONE (Action Rounds 5-8)
-----------------------------------------------------------

So, let's see if I can get through this summary post without completely losing my mind over imagining that Assyria-Larry has an even stronger king than he already does!  :crazy2:

Here's the map at the end of Round 8 (newly updated with I hope a good mix of smaller and largest size toggling):



It's Babylonia-Rich who has Hammurabi, and he chose to go last out of our first set of rounds, so he wastes no time trundling up to Sippat (one space north of his capital of Babylon), smacking that level-3 city down, and then actually rebuilding its walls to full strength again so that he can glare at Larry's king Shamshi Adad I.

Once Rich plays his first round, we start drawing Activation Markers from the grey-backed pile (over to the middle-left on the map), to see who randomly gets a turn; which happened to be Assyria-Larry (again), Egypt-Barth, and then Assyria-Larry again.

Along the way, Larry lucked out in drawing a must-play barbarian invasion card and then rolling for a much more bothersome crew than the Canaanites, the Sea Peoples (some of whom will later apparently team with Syro-Phoenician traders from Tyre and Sidon to become the Philistines and, much farther to the west, Carthage.) This gives Larry an extra round to use them to harass anyone with a coastal presence, and as indeed happened historically he chose Egypt. You can see the SeaPeep results down to the southwest: they took over Sais, and Barth had to cancel one of his monuments (in Thebes, although this mapshot doesn't happen to show the construction canceled yet) to rush a peasant group to Memphis to boost everyone's morale with barbeque and bluegrass. And extra defensive towers (thus the DS+1 chip you may be able to see down there under the infantry.)

Fortunately but also unfortunately for Barth, the Sea People only have one path out of the area, and that's to plow straight through most or all of his cities; also, by mistake only a weaker surge of Sea People arrived. Unlike other barbarians, Sea People stay on the map between turns until combat or isolation dissolve them. But they'll get a random activation chip of their own in the pile now, so Larry will be able to manipulate them for one more round this turn -- at least! Because if a barbarian invasion card is played again and they're rolled again, they'll get reinforcements in cities they've conquered a foothold in: and next time (which should have been the first time) there will be more of them with a stronger king!

Barth does finish taking Gaza, however, so he has that going for him.

On Assy-Larry's 2nd and 3rd rounds, he rebuilds the walls at Samarra (there's a chip showing broken level-2 walls, but the city has a natural maximum of level-2 so the chip doesn't have to be there anymore), and continues south to smash through Dur Karigalzu (gesundheit!) so that he and Hammurabi, whom I keep mistaking the Assy king for, can glare more efficiently at each other. Where he and Baby-Rich will go from here, who can say?!

(Well, I could say: I'm waiting for Turn 12 to finish playing out, but I'll report that later. ;) )

Since Hittite-Dave and Mitanni-me didn't get our activation markers drawn, we're still stuck where we were, for now; although Assyria, if I recall correctly, stole my tactical card using a traitor event; which he hasn't played yet, so that's something Rich had better watch out for!

Once we finish Round 12, soon, I'll post the next catchup report.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 07:08:17 PM by JasonPratt »
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 12937
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2018, 01:55:10 PM »
GENESIS OF THE GROGS TURN ONE (Action Rounds 9-12)
-----------------------------------------------------------

If you multiply out 5 players by 4 rounds each, and then add a couple more activation markers for the Canaanites and the Sea People, you can tell we're passing the halfway point of Turn One here.

This was, in order, Hittite-Dave; Egypt-Barth; Mi(tan)ni-Me; and then Assyria-Larry. We really should be on AM 13, because somewhere back among Rounds 5 thru 12, Larry drew the Canaanites' activation marker. But he decided not to play them, since all they could do would be to knock down a few walls and then disappear at the end of the Turn, making expansion easier for Barth and/or me (and/or maybe Dave) in Turn Two.

(Come to think of it, there are 14 Activation Markers out there, so this should really be AM 14. I don't know how we got off count, but I'm going to provisionally suppose I'm to blame since I started our save-file nomenclature for better sorting purposes.  :crazy2: )

Here are the results (edited to what I hope is a good tradeoff between a smaller and full size clickability):




Hits-Dave finished taking that border city between him and the Kaska barbarians, and also finished one of the monuments he had started on his first round: the first completed monument in our game!  :clap: As long as it's in one piece, it'll give a VP to whomever controls it there in Amkuwa.

Eg-Bart bustled down to Eliat, and took that city, since his pharaoh's stack was going to be far from defending Memphis anyway, and with Sais currently lost (even destroyed) Barth will need supplementary income just to stay close to even next Turn. This was made worse by him drawing, and having to play, the Astarte event: a devastating card for a player early in the game, which forced him to pay silver for every town in his home kingdom that didn't have a monument yet. Which currently is all his cities. What's worse, Sais still counts even though currently destroyed and in the hands of the Sea People! (That's why there's a silver marker next to the city; to remind Barth to pay for that one, too. In his defense, the card text wasn't totally explicit about this nuance.)

Mi'ni-me left behind a troop to keep holding my prize of Ergani, but I rolled small on my Major Move and couldn't get my king's stack anywhere useful. They're poised at Harran, on my western border, ready to move one of two directions on my next round.

Assy-Larry's peasants bulked up Ninevah further against possible assault from me later, and recruited some foreign aid from his conquered city (I did, too), but decided not to go anywhere farther this round -- not least because he has run out of silver! But also because this was his fourth and final round this Turn, and he didn't want to leave his new possession unguarded with Rich just next door and with three whole rounds still remaining to play.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 07:07:16 PM by JasonPratt »
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 12937
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2018, 05:02:17 PM »
GENESIS OF THE GROGS TURN ONE (Action Rounds 13-16)
-------------------------------------------------------------

Somehow my miscount of the rounds in the prior screenshot has worked itself out by now, and I feel like I must have a misfiring neuron somewhere to account for this... :crazy2:

Anyway, in order these rounds are Hittite-Dave, Mitanni-me, Babylon-Rich, and Hittite-Dave again.

Due to the size of the gamemap, I'm going to try posting a larger 'smaller' size to tradeoff scrolling around for squintiness. But it can be clicked to embiggen to full size.




Hits-Dave spent his 3rd and 4th round rescuing his wandering peasant from being caught out on the road (and dying from attrition) at the upcoming end of the Turn; taking two small cities on his northern peripheries (Ahlathbal and Samuhmitta, in that order); forgetting to plunder at least one of them again (that's why there's still a silver parked outside his capital for him to pick up); and repairing his northernmost border walls a bit. He didn't finish his second monument construction, and I must confess I'm the reason -- for purely legal in-game reasons.

Mini-me spent my 3rd round in a gratefully productive fashion: I caused a peasant uprising in the city where Dave was constructing his monument, eliminating one of his peasants remotely and so automatically canceling his construction there (with no refund of the 2 silver he had already spent). In effect this was like the failure of the Tower of Babel. I also super-stacked up my thoroughly underwhelming king and took Carchimesh, one of the most fortified and most-econ'd city on the map, close to my border with the Hittites. (Historically, the Hittites took Carch and kept it even when events forced their vaporization in Turkey, or in Anatolia if you prefer. Nabbing this city first made me a bit historically giddy.  :)) ) Partly in order to signal I have no interest in dueling with the Hits this early in the game, I marched my superstack back to Harran. Where I'll go next, on my final round... we'll see.

Baby-Rich spent his 2nd round (yes only his 2nd round so far this turn!) taking Akshak and repairing the walls of his newly acquired Sippat one notch. (Also garrisoning a bit on the invasion path from Elam, since their activation card could be drawn and played at any time, and indeed we're running low on our first wash through the event cards!)

With this, the finale for Turn One heaves into sight! -- but not before the Sea People roll forward south into Egypt next round! Who will be singing the blues in and around Memphis?!
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 07:05:52 PM by JasonPratt »
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 12937
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2018, 04:32:08 PM »
GENESIS OF THE GROGS TURN ONE (Finale)
----------------------------------------------

The first generation passes away in the final action rounds (and post-action cleanups) for Turn One.

The Sea People (still run this turn by Larry aka ArizonaTank) made a mighty stab at taking Memphis from Egypt-Barth, but were repulsed by some canny play and some good luck on Barthheart's rolls (including the death of the current SeaP king. Or maybe that happened last time, I can't recall.) This left the invaders hanging out to dry on the road from Sais, unwilling to retreat to a destroyed city (and thus ceding the transit point to possible occupation and fortification by Barth later). After the final rounds, the Peeps would evaporate from bad luck in attrition, leaving Egypt free from occupation -- but with a dead city to be rebuilt.

Babylonia-Rich drew both his remaining rounds back to back, and embarked on more northern expansion, including a punchy campaign against Assyria-Larry -- our first PvP battles in the game! The concept no doubt, aside from stemming Assyria's encroachment, which might have cut off any hope of even expanding around Assyrian territory, was to take advantage of the awe-inspiring competence of HAMMURABI THE ARBITER OF JUSTICE OR WHATEVER before he dies off between turns. This worked out reasonably well, pushing Assyria's king (Shamshi-Adad, no pushover but also no Hammurabi) and his infantry back along their expansion path by one city.

Assyria thus ended Turn One with only a slight increase to 15 points, while Babylonia wrought a major increase to 19 points.

(Here's the map in the middle of the account this time, where it might be handier for illustration. I'm going to post it at full size but constrained to 900 width; clicking should very much embiggen; click again to reduce.)



(The map shows all final positions at the start of Turn Two, including normal income to be collected by each player, and the new kings in their capitals.)

Hittite-Dave finished out his turn taking another small town to his northeast and fortifying Kummanni against possible assault from my nearby superstack. He upgraded his starting score somewhat to 15 points; and with a ton of peasants already in his kingdom he's positioned to focus on a stronger but still flexible military/econ game next turn when his infantry restock. Unfortunately, thanks to an early bad card event, he's currently stuck at the minimum logistic-maximum of 15 infantry. But he improved his position in Turn One with significantly less than that (having converted several infantry to peasants from the beginning), so next turn he'll refresh back up to a full 15 infantry again and keep his many peasants! Whether he'll go after me, in the middle, or focus on consolidating Turkey (and its riches) safely behind his home kingdom's front line, or perhaps jockey for the Levant, remains to be seen.

Egypt-Barth didn't know how badly the Peeps would suffer from attrition, and in any case wanted to be ready to whomp them out of his kingdom in Turn Two, so he bulked up the defenses of Memphis again, including by escorting some infantry back into the area with his poor inbred little Pharaoh (arguably the worst king in the game -- but he did lead Egypt's expansion into the Sinai!) Very fortunately for Barth, the Peeps essentially slew themselves from being foolish, and so he's in a position to retake and start rebuilding Sais next turn. But his next king is only the slightest improvement, and the bad luck of having the SeaPs foisted on him early (among some other bad lucks) has stunted his starting game. He didn't lose any points, but he's still at the 15 points he started with. Which, to be fair, was also the most starting points in the game! So, y'know, perspective, even in near-disastrous luck. Also, his army, though violated, gets to recharge back up to 18 infantry automatically for free shortly after the start of Turn Two, the second largest in the game -- and like Dave, he invested heavily in peasants already, and those won't be going away. While his options are less flexible, due to starting in a corner, Barth retains a lot of potential power to throw at problems fresh next turn. And after all, even a slightly better pharaoh is better than the rock bottom of what he began with!


The Mitanni, me, ended out the Turn with a rampage across Syria as my ludicrously inflated superstack and my aging and completely unremarkable king Kirta, attempted to fight our way down to the trade-fortress of Mari. We did get that far, and almost took the city, but our final attack was just too spent and we had to bounce back. Still, despite a few bad movement rolls early in the turn, we had an amazing run, netting us 23 victory points! -- when we started with 12! (By comparison, the Hittites are the only ones to start worse off, at 11.)

We also started with a supercharged amount of infantry, the only player in the game to begin with more than our manpower maximum. And since I chose not to convert any of them into peasants at all, I didn't have much silver expense this turn -- except for bulking up my steamrolling stack even more! Meaning my 23 income of silver will be added to 8 silver still in the bank making me the richest player going into Turn Two, by far: money I can put to a lot of use once I get some peasants.

On the other hand, I'm also the biggest target in the game, with two superpowers flanking me, the most expansion, and the weakest results after expansion: all those cities I took currently have no defensive walls, because walls require peasants! I'm also about to lose all the extra infantry I started with and paid for along the turn, back down to a mere 15 infantry, who are spread out somewhat pecariously already. I'll have to make hard choices soon about where to trim my fat (even if I luck up and roll for an increase in my logistic maximum.)

A Crow/Prawn to all this (could be pro and/or con), is that my king's heir is a solid if stolid improvement over Kirta in every way; and since we're playing the historical setup, I'll be automatically getting chariot tech soon this turn: the only player in the game to have it for a whole turn! And I've got money to spend on building chariots, too; and they aren't affected by my infantry logistic maximum limit.

They aren't, however, of much if any use in assaulting city walls per se, so while a stronger king and (what amounts to) early panzers will make me even more of a target for everyone to shoot at, the chariots won't be helpful in further expansion really. That's still the gruntwork. And I'm about to have significantly fewer grunts.

There are reasons why the Mitanni disappeared quickly from the Near Middle-Eastern Empires, historically. (I don't know that historically they developed chariots first; that seems a balance concession in the game. ;) ) The Mits are meant to expand quickly in Turn One, but keeping my gains, much moreso expanding further, from Turn Two onward? Eh. Prospects seem a little dim. At least I don't have to worry about a competing king of Sargon's or Hammurabi's caliber yet!

Yet.  :hide:

The next update will come after we've played our first four rounds (plus any NPC rounds that crop up).
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 12937
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2018, 11:31:42 AM »
GENESIS OF THE GROGS -- TURN TWO, 1650 TO 1600 BCE
-------------------------------------------------------------

Preparations have been made for the start of action rounds in Turn Two, so here (with a bit of uncertainty in Assyria's deployments) is a map and account of the status quo. (Click to embiggen to full size, click again to resmallen.)




The average level of kingship dropped off sharply at the start of the new generation, resulting in three players having kings with strategic ratings of 3; but Hittite-Dave won the roll for initiative among us, and chose to go first. I'll do a status report clockwise around the table from there.

Hittite-Dave will be going forward with 20 silver in the treasury and all 17 of his (new) maximum manpower in infantry (since he already has a ton of peasants and so had no need to convert any soldiers back to peasants after the draft). His new king, Hattusli, starting in the capital Hattusa, will lend almost no tactical power (tacrating 1), but his strategic rating of 3 is among the best of this generation. His strong army and strong peasant population will give him a lot of flexibility this turn in gaining victory points, but it remains to be seen if he'll bolster his fortress at Kummanni further first against me; or start campaigning to his west to consolidate a hold on all of Turkey; or even start campaigning against me (the Mitanni in the middle) directly. A fourth option, expanding into the Levant, might involve pushing me out of Carchamesh at least -- and right now I'm pretty weak there.


Mitanni-me, the green guy in the middle, had to draw my infantry down to a new manpower maximum of 16, but since we're playing the historical setup I was automatically given chariot technology at the start of the turn which I'll alone get to benefit from all turn! -- and with scads of income from my conquests last turn, I was able to pay to create two chariots. Stacked together these will give me a massive attacking or defense bonus (5 shifts of the dice) through chariot supremacy -- but ONLY if I'm fighting in the field or on the road, not if I'm attacking a city defense or defending in a city. This makes them totally useless against most non-player fights, by the way; and not terribly useful in most player fights! Taking cities remains, as always, the work of the rank and file, and at the moment I don't have all that many: and all that I do have are either spread out as remnants of my expansion, or concentrated for defense against Assyrian hostilities. In fact, I only have 13 infantry on the board right now, not even 16, because I needed to convert some into peasants (at last) in order to (at least) start recovering defenses for my perimeter conquests! I do have a monstrous bank of 29 silver, even after paying out 10 for two chariot units, so I'll be able to buy temporary recruits to bulk up my forces this turn -- but I'll have to balance that with spending to repair and improve walls. And if I'm doing that, I'll be moving fewer troops around strategically to consolidate defenses on my perimeter. Never mind whether I ought to be attacking anywhere! And yet, I've got demonstrably the best king of the generation, the solid 3/3 Barattana (starting in my capital of Waushukanni), and after this turn my easy chariot supremacy bonus will be harder (if even possible) to keep. This leaves me with painful choices: I have superior secondary offense capabilities this turn, but inferior primary offensive capabilities! Much will depend on what my neighbors decide to do.


Assyria-Larry is one of those neighbors, and his new king (in Ashur), Ishme-Dagan I, sounds like someone who would rather be overseeing temple prostitution rites! -- his 1/2 tac/strat stats do not offset the impression of his name. ;) Larry has many problems, being already at war with Babylon -- a war he took the short end of last turn -- and needing to garrison his main cities against my threat, just in case; AND his 15 silver income this turn isn't great, much less on top of an empty treasury! His 18 troops at least don't need to disband back into the peasant population, though; he already has plenty, which gives him something like the Hittites' current flexibility, yet without Dave's flexibility in options for applying that flexibility! Assyria could be in big trouble, and he'll need no small amount of luck and ace strategy to turn things around.


Babylonia-Rich is trouble: he has a monstrous army of 22 infantry companies; no less than two slaves to go with his very decent peasant numbers; and 21 silver in his treasury. His only real problems are that his nearby independent cities are hardly worth picking up economically; and his only path of advancement must be through Assyria, if not around the lonnnnng transit route across the top of Arabia to the Levant. His new king, Samsu-Hama, starting in Babylon, is no joke (by this turn's standards), with a 2/3 tac/strat rating: only my king is better this round, and not by much! That long circle route across the top of Arabia might be inviting with a weakened economic powerhouse of Mari sitting on the trail, but much depends on his ability to punch Assyria farther back and convince him that expansion southward is worthless. Much also may depend on whether the Elamites, with their own 12-strong army, invades this turn from the far east.


Egypt-Barth, on the other southern corner of the map, still has his even more restricted path of expansion from his first turn, along with the annoyance of needing to reclaim (and fortify up) Sais. He has a decent number of peasants to spread around helping that, so his army of 18 troops can still focus force into the Levant -- and he won't need but one infantry to help rebuild Sais. However, much of his power is currently oriented toward defending against vanished barbarians, not toward expansion (although his 10 troops in Tanis should do pretty well for a while); and his new Pharaoh Apepi is only the slightest improvement over his prior nothingburger, with a 2/1 tac/strat rating. Despite all his problems last turn, though, Barth did conquer the Sinai, and being isolated gives him a decent potential opportunity to mix reclamation and repair with improvement through expansion. But he'll need to watch out for bad luck on more barbarian rolls, and set up strong guards against that. His 17 silver in the bank will be stretched thin this turn.


Nominally, we're supposed to take our first rounds in this strict order: Hits-Dave; Mini-me; Assy-Larry; Baby-Rich; and Egy-Barth. But Dave misunderstood the rule here so our first rounds will be a bit more random than that. I'll be back later to report on first actions this turn.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2018, 11:37:30 AM by JasonPratt »
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 12937
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2018, 07:04:23 PM »
GENESIS OF THE GROGS -- TURN TWO, Actions Rounds 1-5
-------------------------------------------------------------

Everyone has played their first rounds, albeit not in the proper order this time, but we made it work out with a little fiddling.

Since most of the action happens between Dave and me (Hittites and Mitanni) and since I was supposed to go second anyway, and since nothing done by the other three impacted us in any way, I'll save our two rounds for last along with the map.

Roughly in order of things accomplished (not in our play order) then:


0.) the Hayassa-Azzasi were activated by Rich (Babylonia) having to play a barbarian card. Historically they were a spoiler for Hittite expansion to the northeast (in the direction of the Caucuses and the Caspian Sea, so unless and until Dave takes about three cities in that direction -- or unless the little confederation gets rolled up two or maybe three times in a turn, pumping their random infantry numbers far enough up to be a threat -- they lack the punch to go anywhere and so to do anything. You'll find them as a little brown stack under their first king Kammani in Hayassa (which along with Azzasi has no econ value!) in the upper right of the map, roughly where Armenia will develop much, much later.


1.) Egypt-Barth finished his first monument, in Heliopolis; but his inbred line of Pharaohs must have been violating mummies somewhere because his cursed luck continued on his first round: he rolled a minimum movement on his Major Move, and was only able to bring his king and a small stack to Memphis. With his relative lack of silver (only 14 remaining) already biting down this turn, and with Sais still to rebuild among other things, he passed on his remaining actions. You can see that his decent stack of ten infantry in Tanis are ready to invade the Levant, however, and while their Pharaoh would be a little help his presence wouldn't (proportionately) be missed much either. How exactly Barth intends, or even can, balance these two major considerations, remains to be seen. (Oh, and he draws the Moses Effect which Egypt, ironically, plays against the Babylonian slaves in Dur Kur Kurigalzu, leading them to revolt and escape!  :D This happens after Babylonia's turn reported below, since I'm talking about these things somewhat out of order.)


2.) Assyria-Larry has silver problems, too, worse even than Barth. He's able to add another infantry to Samarra, and use his peasant there to bulk its defense up (to its inherent maximum of a level-3 garrison, which isn't a whole lot), and he starts work with other peasants on a monument in Ashur -- all of which drain off his silver considerably. Counting the two you can see on the map below, outside his capital, where the bank owed him some money back, he only has 11, and three more rounds to spend it on. More troubling for me, however, is that he's got quite a little stack of 9 infantry with his king there in Ashur, and he intentionally refused to do any Major Move! With Babylonia bulking up down south, that suggests Larry is going to wait until I'm distracted and then strike for my thinned defenses.


3.) Babylonia-Rich doesn't have many silver problems, nor many troop problems: his main problem on his first round is that he rolled poorly on his Major Move and so couldn't go much of anywhere with the horrible superstack of 19 infantry he has gathered in Dur Kurigalzu (other than to bring his king to the city and bulk it up a bit more). His two minor and recruit actions are focused on repairing DurK defenses (after which Barth sends Moses after his slaves on his round, ha), and fluffing up his superstack to its current mile-high scariness. It should be noted that he has no less than two other smaller superstacks in his empire, too, ready to steamroll minor cities under his bull-headed wings! Whether he sends his major superstack after Larry or after me (in effect), or even after both of us, remains to be seen.


Let's bring up the map now. As usual, click to embiggen a lot; again to resmallen:




4.) Hittite-Dave led off the turn on the first round, styling and profiling with his new king Hattusli, who gathered up an 11-strong superstack on his way to our border at the independent town of Ursu, between his fortress of Kummani, and my newly conquered economic superpower Charchemesh. He had no problems flattening Ursu but lacked the movement points remaining to similarly flatten Charch, which at the time (unlike in the snapshot above) consisted of no walls, 2 peasants, and one infantry. He also started a new monument in Tuwanuwa and brought a peasant down from his Kumm'i fort to Ursu to start working on its defenses a little next time. He seems, in his victorious celebration, to have forgotten about doing any recruiting, including for his superstack at Ursu.


5.) I had a dang busy and horrifying first round: I was caught just a tad by surprise that Hits-Dave intended to strike at me while my defenses were relatively low, especially on my western border at newly occupied Charc, and only logistic distance and luck kept the Hittites out of what, historically, became their final redoubt during their waning generations. In my haste to figure out a workable defense, if I could, I forgot I could do a recruit action first, which would have helped Charch a little (by two infantry anyway) on its defense!

I figured that my poor options would depend on whether I could get my two newly raised chariots, and their chariot supremacy, over to Charc in time, with my new king Barattana (the best king on the board this generation but not exactly Napoleon or even General Santa Anna). Their buffs would help a defense outside the walls substantially, although I'd still likely lose the battle.

Much to my relief, I rolled a maximum 6 movement points, which combined with my king's (otherwise mediocre) strategic (or "campaign") rating, not only allowed me to get them to Charc, but also to pick up a few infantry from Nisibis and Irrite along the way -- weakening those key defenses against Assyria, true, but I expected Larry would be focusing on defending against an actual threat to his south. (On the next round, Larry would start building up a superstack with his king in Ashur, and NOT moving south to defend his border.)

Arriving in Charc, I even had enough movement left to pick up the lone infantry there and, if I wanted, to assault the Hittites pre-emptively in Ursu in one round of battle. My 5 infantry against his 11 wouldn't have stood much chance, but with my king's tactical advantages and with my chariot supremacy I was sure to net at least 5, maybe even 6 dice shifts in my favor.

What followed was the first full battle between players in the game -- not the first battle at all, that was near the end of the previous turn as Babylonia pushed back Assyria from their border, opening a path from the Southern Kingdom -- but the first where we had to consider all potential factors.

Did Dave want to play cards against me? (Yes, but his Ambush card needed me traveling through a transit space in range of Ursu, which I never did. Since he's unlikely to play that card later until he can use it on me, it's a subtle game pressure I'll have to keep in mind going forward.)

Did he want to intercept me with some reinforcement infantry from the Kum'i fort? (No, he'd have to bring both to make any difference, and it wouldn't make much: he'd be risking them being zorched heavily, too, for a reduction to only 5 shifts in my favor.)

Did he want to make a preliminary withdrawal to his nice fort instead of this wasted town? He wasn't guaranteed to get there, since I had chariot supremacy, but it wouldn't hurt to try, and if he made it he could even start moving his king away to pick up more reinforcements later if he wanted. He'd have to cede Ursu of course, but that was only one Victory Point (and 1 econ point for the start of each turn for whoever kept it), and it couldn't be forted up very well. He'd lose one of his peasants (and I'd gain a slave), but he had plenty of peasants to spare. Also, withdrawing now would protect his king's treasury from a very probable loss of 10 to 60%! -- over to me! Yes, he decides to withdraw (also my recommendation in his situation if he isn't going to intercept and hope for the best). Unfortunately for him, my chariot supremacy screws over his dice roll, reducing it to a 50/50 chance, and his withdrawal fails, so we go to the fight.

With six shifts in my favor, the battle was almost a guaranteed win, the only question being how much. As it happened, he rolled an epic defense of 6 (the maximum possible) and I rolled a respectable attack of 4. After I applied my dice shifts, the final battle casualties amounted to 30% against my force, so I must remove two units -- and one of my chariots must be first, so I lose chariot supremacy (probably for the rest of my turn, although with any chariots at all right now I'll still have chariot superiority). However I inflict 70% casualties on his 11 infantry, removing 8 of them. Our kings live through the battle, and having gotten this far Dave refuses to even try to retreat, forcing me to bounce off him (even though, had he succeeded, he would have saved one of his lost infantry), regrouping back to Charch. I couldn't plunder the little town for a silver, but I could raid his king's traveling treasury, rolling 30% of it (or 4 silver).

With 32 silver now in my treasury, and with my major move done, it was time to spend cash like I've never spent before: recruiting 2 infantry each, in Charch, Emar, and Terga; repairing Charc's walls not only back to full strength but at 1 level over, reaching their inherent maximum possible level-5 garrison; and doing the same in Emar for less of the same result (only up to its maximum of level-3). This last part was in case someone drew the Canaanite card against who wasn't me, and decided to add to my troubles before I was ready to deal with their potential threat.

This crazy level of spending brought me down to only $10 silver, which is a bit low for three rounds remaining, but could pay significant dividends later depending on who comes after me next and how! Being the king of the hill in the middle of the map has numerous disadvantages, with only one real advantage: I'm solidly ahead in score. For now. And with a long way to go... and a giant target on my forehead....
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 12937
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2018, 11:25:03 AM »
GENESIS OF THE GROGS -- TURN TWO, Actions Rounds 6-10
-------------------------------------------------------------

I was doing fine until the temple prostitutes sucked me dry.

...

.....this, uh, requires some context. Ahem.


Baby-Rich took his superstack over to Hit (the city, not the verb) rather than go up against Larry at Samarra for the nonce. Aside from Assy-Larry throwing an Ambush card at him while he moved through a transit space, this went off without a hitch. Ambush cards are like meteor strikes targeting a transit space, but never a city -- regardless of the city's condition -- within 3 movement points of any city owned by the card thrower -- regardless of the condition of _that_ city. They'll always remove 1 to 3 units, and don't need a clear 'trade' path to the target area, so they can go around enemy held positions. Rich lost 2 troops, but with 8 infantry remaining plus his king's 2nd level tactical rating he won at Hit without any (further) casualties. This put a serious Babylonian stack near Mari, the economic powerhouse I had weakened back at the end of Turn 1 but which I hadn't gotten around to occupying yet. Rich also recruited 2 (more) infantry in "DurKur", the border town facing Samarra, and moved a peasant in to successfully rebuild its walls back to full nominal strength.

Unfortunately for me, Rich drew his 3rd round next, so he got to play again; but fortunately for me (and maybe for Larry) he focused on securing Eridu, the little town on the ass-end of map, next to Ur. Recruiting 2 infantry in Akshak, suggests he's going to pick up the spare town he bounced off from, Eshnunna, on his 4th round; but starting to run thin on silver he ended his round here.


Egypt-Barth finally got to play his 2nd round this turn, and accomplished a lot (as you can see on the map next -- click to embiggen and resmallen as usual):



His Pharaoh was able to finish escorting a repair garrison to Sais, and then zip across his territory to the army waiting at Tanis while the repair garrison rebuilt the city and repaired its walls up to nominal full strength. Egy-Barth will be able to start kicking some butt in his 3rd and 4th rounds this turn.


Last in this cycle was Mi'ni-me, and I got the bad luck of drawing an Astarte event, which means I have to pay $1 for every home city which doesn't have a monument yet. Which is all six of mine. I had been running a tad thin at the end of my first round, with only $10 remaining from my initial treasury, but the annoyed prostitutes -- demanding a higher standard of living -- euphamism'd me down to $4!

Keep in mind, I have to pay $3 of that silver simply to be able to act on my remaining three rounds this turn, including this one ($1 per round)!

I was able to get my king Battra (...I'm just going to pretend he's named after one of Toho's kaiju, Mothra's evil twin...) and a decent stack down near Mari, but I didn't have movement points remaining to take it. All I could do was alert Rich that if he moved on Mari, I'd intercept him in the field outside the city.

With my defenses spread out awfully thin, and running out of money only halfway through Turn 2, my situation could be a lot worse -- but might also be about to get a lot worse!
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 12937
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2018, 06:38:35 PM »
GENESIS OF THE GROGS -- TURN TWO, Actions Rounds 11-15
----------------------------------------------------------------

I would like to just say, I dominated this batch of rounds. But that would be a lie.

I did get the good news of drawing my 3rd round immediately so that I could get two rounds in a row, allowing me to zip my king down (with a really nice movement roll) to pick up my superstack; finish off Mari (plundering it for badly needed cash); dropping off his troops there to go back to Emar; picking up THOSE troops; and getting them back to Mari. (I also wasted two movement points deciding whether or not to attack Baby-Rich pre-emptively, but he warned me he would play a card if I did, and I decided I didn't care if he was bluffing -- I was happier building up Mari defenses. SURELY THIS WILL NOT COME BACK LATER TO BITE ME!  :buck2: )

I buffed up my defenses in Carch, and in Mari, a little more with recruits, and did my best to pull one of my peasants out of the potential line of attack, but with only $1 remaining and also another round I had to leave Emar gambling on no Canaanites being drawn this turn.

(As a reminder, players cannot normally play three or more rounds in a row, only two usually, but I drew the Hittites next so it didn't matter.)


Hittite-Dave played his 3rd round, mainly retaking Ursu after I drove him off (and then abandoning it), and fortifying it back up to be a little strong point between us. I should mention here that on my own 3rd round, I drew a card that allowed me to inspire one of his peasant units to rebel -- or more strictly, I HAD TO remove 1 peasant unit from anywhere on the map I chose, and I chose one of his places: the little town he spent the first turn (mostly) trying to secure and rebuild to his north, between him and the Karskins. (40K ref!) With that peasant gone he lost control of the town. I wouldn't have been so evil, but he's encroaching on me so I figured he deserved it.  :P

I might as well show the map now -- click to embiggen and ensmallen:

FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 12937
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2018, 06:56:25 PM »
Whoops, posted before I was done with the account this cycle. Here's the map again for reference:



Luckily, or kind of unluckily, Dave drew my 4th and final round this turn, so not 3/4 of the way through this turn I'll be out of rounds, and can only wince at whatever gets done to me! Worse, I only rolled 1 mp, so I couldn't split my defenses better by shuttling troops back to Charc to face possible invasion (again) from Dave. Worst, I mis-understood the interception rules, not realizing that I can't intercept into a city defense, only to fight outside the city (which makes sense), so I used my 1 mp to move my king up into Harran, where I thought I could use him for two or three possible player attacks.  #:-) This will become relevant later. Dead broke, all I could do then was a little more strategic shuffling of a couple of chips, and that ended all my rounds for this turn.


Assy-Larry drew up next, not too surprisingly since we were running thin on the random pile and he still had 3 rounds remaining. Naturally, he immediately drew the Canannites.

 #:-) :pullhair:

The two cities nearest me rolled good-even movement points to attack Emar in two waves, ultimately winning the citiy -- and they still have 1 more round (under Larry's control) coming later this turn some time! Emar itself will not only deprive me of 2 econ next turn (and 2 vp this turn), but will deny me all the silver downstream on the road as far as Mari; and my troops there will suffer attrition probably (if I understand the isolation rules correctly).

Larry himself, for Assyria, just finished taking Dur Sharrukin (SHO-RYU-KEN! -- no, it's the capital of Sargon 2, who I think doesn't show up before the game ends? So this town shouldn't exist? But does for play balance?)


Egy-Barth finishes this cycle with his 3rd round, mostly preparing his army to try something (or at least defend against potential Canaanites later this turn), but also playing the "Begat Effect" which sends Abraham (for all practical purposes) to a city to conquer it peacefully by moving one of Egypt's peasants in from range. Ironically but fittingly, Barth chooses Jerusalem, which thus falls without bloodshed. Nice!

Even nicer (for me and Larry anyway), Barth drew and played the Elam card, which launched an Elamite army, successfully, into Babylonia, taking Lagash. And here I thought one of MY home cities would be the first to fall in this game!  :clap: You can see the big blue superstack down at the lower-right of the map. Baby-Rich will want to do something about that on his  final round this turn.

We're already pretty far into the last rounds this turn, so I expect to finish the Turn 2 updating this weekend. Happy Easter!
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

  • Arquebusier
  • ***
  • Posts: 12937
  • Now let us see what the future will bring...
    • The Evangelical Universalist
Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2018, 06:26:10 PM »
GENESIS OF THE GROGS -- TURN TWO, Final Action Rounds
--------------------------------------------------------------

Not too unexpectedly, my center pit of the map looks sadly eroded by the end of the Turn.



Also not entirely unexpectedly, I have the Canaanites to blame for this. By whom I mean "Larry", since (as related last time) he drew the Canaanites again.

Somewhat unexpectedly, they only over-ran one more town, and a weak one at that, before calling it an age and going home. I had a chance to intercept and stomp them with my super-stack, too, down in Mari, but failed the roll.

The southern Canaanites were unable to do more than bluff Egypt-Barth, who disdained them and attempted to move into Rabbah before the turn ended. He didn't quite roll high enough on movement points and/or combat rolls, however, so his main infantry stack will be stuck out on the road when the Turning of the Turns happens soon.

Barth was far more successful rolling the Elamites through the southern coast of Babylonia, despite Rich's defenses. The only thing saving Uruk from being destroyed, was simply a tactical misunderstanding which led the horde to retreat for a regrouping when no more main infantry companies remained to defend the city. This will hurt Rich's score and income, but he'l be able to walk into Uruk and reclaim it easily enough whenever he wants to next Turn. (Lagash will need more work before it's worth VPs and income again.)


Assyria-Larry (aka ArizonaTanks here on the forum) was content to sit back and chill for his final round this turn, letting his Canaanite proxies do his work for him. Well-played.


Last of us all this Turn, Hittite-Dave added one more city under his belt, but thankfully it wasn't my vassal Charcemish!

Considering I was out of rounds early this turn, and considering my two other strokes of hideous luck, I feel grateful I only have two small vassal cities destroyed. Mari won't do me any good between the Turns this time, and I'm going to have some teeth-gritting choices to make next Turn on how to proceed.

Next up, the starting positions of Turn Three (after we make end-and-start-of-turn adjustments.)
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.