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Dispatch From A Long War

Posted March 15th, 2018 at 01:10 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus
We have been playing the same Scape game for more than a year now. It's a variant on our ďbig gameĒ idea and obviously itís the biggest game yet.

Our starting map was huge and unexplored. Factions had to explore squares and were likely to find outposts or bandits or ruins. If you found an outpost the 20d determined which faction it belonged to. We have almost 30 factions in this game. The diplomacy is so complicated we have southern gnolls fighting against a northern alliance which also contains gnolls.

our big game tracking board 3' X 3'

A lot of the battles are unequal points. Last night we had a huge fight that had been building for weeks.

The south western alliance is led by the Kingdom of Arc, with their allies Jandar, Vydar and Magmar. They had slowly been invading the Primadon/Lizardmen alliance. Before last night the armies had danced around each other, neither side knowing for sure just how many points they were facing. Then Arc made its move and took a Primadon outpost.

One turn passed with 10 point armies making feinting actions- they collided and cancelled out. But i had been counting on that one turn delay to give me a little more time to marshal my gorillas and lizards. The next turn, I attacked, hoping to regain our lost outpost and push Arc and their allies back to their own lawns.

I have 1150 points, I said proudly. 875 were gorillas and primadons, with the rest being lizards. I thought it was a large army and was ready for an equal combat.

My middle son laughed. Arc was fielding 1550. Jandar was contributing 575 and Magmar had another 375. Pretty much at 2 to 1.

My son asked if I wanted to retreat. There's a 20 percent retreat penalty so I said no. We'd battle it out and maybe I could weaken his big army a bit.

We did a quick set up using the cardboard hex maps from Arena of the Planeswalkers. The terrain was forest, so we added 20 trees.

I won the dice roll and chose a side of the map rather than take initiative. I knew what I was going to do. I was planning to set up in a corner to reduce the size of the battle front and I needed some trees in the area to help power my nature mage.

After a long hiatus we've returned magic and mages to the game. There are fifteen new schools of magic and my nature mage Gleeau, a primadon, receives bonus spell pointes if she casts adjacent to a tree. I needed all the help I could get.

My son set up his forces. They covered his entire side of the board. Arc is a cavalry power, so there were plenty of horsemen. As planned, I set up in a corner. I tried to make a wall with melee guys in front protecting my two ballistae and my archers.

My son's forces advanced to just out of ballista range. Lots of our factions have stories woven amongst their figures. Arc sent Jolen, the younger brother of Suri, King of Arc, out into no-man's land. I suspected my son was trying to tempt me forward, so Iíd break my position and he could overrun me. I sent out my poison snakes, a squad who can respawn like the marro warriors. The snakes and the ballistae killed Jolen. Then all hell broke loose.

intense fighting

My side had not hoped to win. We were too outpointed. We just needed to kill as many points as possible.

The Arc cavalry attacked and hit us first, with the infantry and my son's mages following close behind.

The battle was never in doubt. Like his factions in the big game, his big army just ground down my smaller one. Cesar, the leader of the primadons held on heroically for a while, but everyone quickly fell.

action in the forest

I lost all 1150 points and my 2 ballistae, worth 40 points, were captured. My son lost 525 points. That's all. We both have reinforcements coming up. But he's starting with more than 1800 points and I'm starting with nothing. The primadons and lizards will fall.

The major power to the East, the theocracy of De Laine, has offered to come and help fight Arc. It's the same old trick. They'll help a little and the war will be fought with primadon points on primadon land, wiping the gorillas out and weakening Arc. Then De Laine can take what it wants- the primadon lands and even push into weakened Arc. I am powerless to stop it.

We have been playing this game for so long itís easy to see how it will end one day. De Laine will take over the world. My son is a good player, much better than I am. He uses his points better, and only fights wars that he knows he'll win.

a picture that didn't turn out; I'm pretending it's souls rising

Perhaps it's a generational thing. I'm used to World War 2, Korea, Viet Nam. In my mind these were wars that had to be fought. Winning wasn't an assumed conclusion. He's used to the Gulf Wars. There was an assumed conclusion. And that's how it seems in our game. We must fight De Laine because they must be stopped. And my son knows De Laine will win eventually, because that's how he thinks wars go.
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