2000-2001 Campaign Log: Part 11

Last month, I began the second section of the annotated log of the first campaign of Strategic Primer, with the account of the first actions of the fourth turn. We continue now with more of that turn, which was dated February 19, 2001.

The first few items are maintenance items dealing with inactive players.

Player Name Date Unit Attempted Action Result of Action
Pape 2/19/01 None None None. Currently producing Rabble, 1 turn remaining. Rabble 1 has 1 turn left as a Rabble.
Hannibal 2/19/01 None None None. Currently producing Rabble, 1 turn remaining. Rabble 1 has 1 turn left as a Rabble.
Panzier 2/19/01 None None None. Currently producing Rabble, 1 turn remaining.

As I’ve mentioned before, “1 turn left as a Rabble” refers to the (unreasonably powerful) mechanic that turned a Rabble unit into any other unit or units having the same manpower after two turns.

And now we have another battle:

Edward Campau 2/19/01 Mounted Longbowmen 1 & 2, Mounted Crossbowmen 1 & 2, Horse-drawn Catapult 2 Move to Pywll pen Annwn’s HQ and prepare to attack it. (Catapults have had horses hitched to them. Bowmen have been horsed. ESE for 517 1/2 mi. Mounted Crossbowmen and Longbowmen hurrying to keep up. Ed.) Moved out of step for 1 hr (64 mi). Moved out of step for 1 hr (64 mi). Moved out of step for 1 hr (64 mi). Moved correctly for 1 hr (64 mi). Moved out of step for 1 hr (64 mi). Bogged down. Moved correctly 1 hr (64 mi). Moved out of step for 1 hr (64 mi). Moved correctly 1 hr (64 mi). Slowed down. Moved the rest of the way and rested, for a total of 1/2 hr.
Edward Campau 2/19/01 Mounted Longbowmen 1 & 2, Mounted Crossbowmen 1 & 2, Horse-drawn Catapult 2 Attack Pywll pen Annwn’s HQ. Blasted gate with catapult throwing bombs, blew open at first try. Enemy formed line but did not charge. Horse-drawn Catapult 1 fired and just missed. Cross- and Long-bowmen fired together. Crossbowmen 1 hit, killing 1 legionaire. Crossbowmen 2 hit, killing another. Longbowmen 1 hit, killing yet another. Longbowmen 2 hit, killing yet another. Catapult 2 hit, killing 5. Crossbowmen 1 hit, killing another. Catapult 2 hit 4 more times, killing 10 each time. All charged. Catapult 2 attacked enemy Legion but was not beaten immediately. Enemy Legion surrendered. Fired a bomb at each of the enemy Catapults. Both exploded, destroying the catapults. Crossbowmen fired repeatedly and killed the enemy Mounted Longbowmen’s horses. Catapults fired several bowlfulls of bombs and created a crater in front of the fort, killing all the enemies in sight in the process. Enemy Longbowmen (inside) fired, grazing a Catapult-man. The Mounted Longbowmen fired double shots at them. One just missed. The other missed by a long shot. Fired again, one shot just missed the target, the other hit. The only remaining enemy unit returned fire, missing by a long shot. Double arrows destroyed the enemy unit! Units entered the fort and took it.
None 2/19/01 None None PYWLL PEN ANNWN HAS BEEN UTTERLY DEFEATED!!!

As I mentioned in reference to the previous battle (at the end of last month’s installment), I bent the game in the active player’s favor—here more than in the previous battle, in fact. This is most obvious in the tactics I have them using, which in the current campaign would have to be specified (and trained with) beforehand. (Though I need to figure out how such things as tactics fit into the game model … sigh …)

“Pwyll pen Annwn” was another inactive player, who had signed up to play but didn’t actually participate.

Edward Campau 2/19/01 None None In defeating Pywll pen Annwyn, he discovered the Hand Catapult and the Time Fuse. All units armed with Hand Catapults.

Advances are presumed to be stored as paper blueprints (and possibly working models), so searching a captured fortress (partiularly a headquarters) can often reveal them. Enough prototypes to equip “all units” with them, on the other hand, is in retrospect much less reasonable.

Xenophon 2/19/01 Catapult 1 Move to Robert E. Lee’s HQ, and prepare to attack. (134 mi W. Quickly. Ed.) Moved correctly 2 hr (40 mi). Moved correctly 2 hr (40 mi). Moved corectly almost 3 hrs (14 mi).
Xenophon 2/19/01 Catapult 1 Attack the gates of Robert E. Lee’s HQ. Fired correctly. Missed by a long shot. Malfunctioned. Too complicated to fire fast. Fires. Hits! Door does not break. Fired correctly. Hits! Door breaks.
Xenophon 2/19/01 Legion 1, Crossbowmen 1, Cavalry 1, Mounted Crossbow 2. Attack Robert E. Lee’s HQ. (5 abreast.) Legion: Charges 5 abreast, 10 rows. Attacked but was not beaten immediately, enemy Crossbowmen (same formation) front line swept out of formation and surrendered. New line moved behind front line of Legion and re-formed. Front line of Legion attacked and was not beaten immediately. Front Line of enemy Crossbowmen swept out of formation and surrendered, moved behind Legion and reformed. Front line of Legion attacked and was not beaten immediately. Enemy surrendered, moved behind Legion, and reformed. Burst into main hall and moved to 10 abreast. Stood waiting for a charge. Moved forward to empty tunnel. Cavalry started through. Enemy charged and enemy front line was beaten immediately,enemy front line killed. Next line out of formation, not beaten immediately. A few captured Crossbowmen fired over the line’s heads and killed five men. Enemy died. Next line beaten immediately, surrendered. Next line (this time of five men) surrendered. One unit down! The enemy hold their line. Cavalry charge through the tunnel, through the opening made to let them pass, and into the enemy line, which is broken. Legion and captured men move forward to mop up, Cavalry move back. All men surrender. Legion charges, not beaten immediately, enemy surrendered. Legion held off, enemy charges and surrenders. Legion charge, not beaten immediately, enemy surrenders. Enemy charge, beaten immediately and surrenders. Enemy charge, beaten immediately and surrenders. Enemy Rabble forms a ragged line. Cavalry charges. Unit surrenders. Legionaires charge in a triangular shape at the catapults and scatter their crews, who then surrender. One enterprising legionaire notes a book labeled *Inventions* and grabs it. Fort taken at no cost!

You can see that I was increasingly imaginative in my descriptions of the battles; what I’ve tried to do in later campaigns is to get such things as the terrain issues (here, the design of the fortress) and the tactics that should come most naturally down beforehand and then let the details of the battle flow from that.

And, again, that’s more than a bit much detail for a report to the commander-in-chief (though a more readable version should be available on request.)

Robert E. Lee 2/19/01 None None None. Robert E. Lee’s HQ being taken, he flees to his new fort near the Eastern edge of the world.

We’ve seen two players utterly defeated recently; the game-loss condition is the loss of all fortresses; since Robert E. Lee built a new one recently, he survives.

Xenophon 2/19/01 None None None. In his capture of Robert E. Lee’s HQ, he discovers the gas mask, the process of distillation of oxygen, and the oxygen tank.
Xenophon 2/19/01 Scout 1 & Horse-drawn Catapult 1 Move E and camp. (290 mi to water.) Bogged down. Moved correctly for 2 hrs (120 mi). Moved correctly 2 hrs (120 mi). Moved almost 50 min until running into water (50 mi). Camped.
Xenophon 2/19/01 Scout 3 & Mounted Crossbow 1 Wait in Southburg, Recruit catapultiers. Done.
Xenophon 2/19/01 Mounted Longbow 1 Recruit Mounted Scouts Done.
Xenophon 2/19/01 Crossbow 2 Stay by water, experiment with new Junk Done
Xenophon 2/19/01 Legion 2 Move NE to water (about 201 mi), then NW to longitude of Legiontown (same), camp. Bogged down. Moved correctly 2 hrs (20 mi). Bogged down. Moved correctly 2 hrs (20 mi). Moved correctly 2 hrs (20 mi). Moved correctly 2 hrs (20 mi). Bogged down. Bogged down. Moved correctly 2 hrs (20 mi). Moved correctly 2 hrs (20 mi). Bogged down. Moved correctly 1 hr (10 mi). Bogged down. Total distance: 130 mi NE.

Xenophon was the one player in that campaign to address the issue of where the manpower of units come from—something that’s become quite important in later versions of the game. He also gave the most complicated movement orders.

And that, the end of Xenophon’s turn, is a good place to leave this; we’ll resume with Arthur Pendragon’s turn next month.

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