Empire Deluxe Tournament 2022 – Game Two
Game Two starts with Keiren and Holak obtaining commanding leads after Game One. This series saw a revision to the code to give preference to defending infantry units against other ground units but otherwise kept the same victory conditions and unit sets. This was one of our longest games, not in terms of turns, but in hours of actual play, due to the early engagement of three contestants in set matches. It took 6 days to reach a ramp down and declare a winner.
Game Two Preliminaries
Game Two started with no issues reported and all modified unit sets loading properly. The positions were as follows:
|Player Name||Empire Name||Location|
|Dalian (Teal)||Ilyuk||Southern Continent|
|Dyn (Orange)||Wuk Wana||North Eastern, Island|
|Holak (Red)||Hazelcove||North Central, Continent|
|Itzi (Blue)||Helmmston||Eastern, Continental|
|Keiren (Yellow)||Skolt||Eastern, Archipelago|
Order of Events
Below is the battle map showing the order of major events. Stars indicate main locations and capitols. Lines indicate movement of major forces. Explosions indicate a major set match battle or a decisive victory with color representing the winner. Two parallel bars represent an inconclusive engagement, culminated front-line, or an inconclusive set match.
This game had one of the shortest duration early games on record. Ilyuk initially expanded west, capturing all of the key passages around Lukic, allowing a quarter of the continent to be controlled by Ilyuk. Borcallia, Chevsky, and Uluruin would be captured unopposed before the end of the early game. Instead of fortifying his position, they instead began a consolidated effort to move eastward against Helmmston.
To the north, another unopposed expansion occurred from Hazelcove. After quickly capturing Crossfen, they fortified their position in the swampland and began an expansion from the center of the continent. This position would allow them to expand in both east and west relatively unopposed going into the mid-game.
However, Helmmston decided to expand into the Hrothgursin Valley in an attempt to directly opposed Skolt’s expansion into that area unopposed. At the same time, Wuk Wana prioritized a southern expansion toward Skolt, in an attempt to limit its naval power and expansion capability. This created the perfect storm where Skolt would become the focus on the mid-game. However, unknown to both of its opposition, Skolt was making a push to the east, capturing Suon and Aberon unopposed.
The mid-game started with the Battle of Torsten Sea where Wuk Wana committed nearly all of its naval forces to destroying the naval convoys attempting to land in the northwest near Torsten. At the same time, in a coordinated pincer movement, forces of Helmmston assaulted advancing positions near Hrothgursin. Unknown to Skolt, Helmmston and Wuk Wana had formed a coalition meant to prevent Skolt from gaining any foothold, even at the expense of their own victory.
This decision effectively outnumbered the Skolt invasion force which was at half strength due to its expansion to Aberon requiring significant forces in the area. As a result, the Battle of Torsten Sea ended as a victory for Wuk Wana after the remaining fleet retreated to the safety and air cover of Kagul. A short skirmish between aircraft prevented Wuk Wana from advancing toward the archipelago after taking significant losses, instead landing its invasion fleet and winning an easy victory at the Battle of Einarsin.
Unfortunately for Helmmston, the decision to commit all of its forces to the destruction of Skolt would prove costly. In a daring move, Skolt was able to launch a costly surprise attack leading the the decisive Battle of Curatoria. The battle was won by Helmmston, but at the cost of nearly two thirds of all its ground forces. A pyrrhic victory, as future battles would show.
While the Battle of Curatoria was in progress, Ilyuk launched The Invasion of Silvershore, threatening the heartland of Helmmston. This was only stopped, by a timely advance by Hazelcove in Caskfall Pass which caused forces from the Silvershore front to be diverted to the north to prevent a potential encirclement.
By the time the ends game started, two players were already on the backfoot. Skolt would spend the rest of the game building defensive position across the Skolt Archipelago, and attempting to find a way to cross into Uldurin. Helmmston would likewise spend the rest of the game defending its position from Ilyuk which was able to survive simply due to its guerilla warfare tactics in the mountainous terrain. These skirmishes would be known as the Battle of Halvor Pass.
After bottling up Skolt, Wuk Wana formed a three pronged strike into the eastern ends of the main continent. They had their eyes set on the key objectives of Mun Korsami, Vilsinaa, and Barrenglade. At the same time, they launched a feint attack on the western flank of Hazelcove, in an attempt to divide their heavy forces from the marshy plains to the east. The ploy worked initially, the Battle of Wildflower led to a victory for Wuk Wana.
However, it was a costly strategic blunder. The diversionary forces lost the Battle of Engdahl, not even coming close to their target. It halted the advance in the north, allowing Hazelcove the opportunity to divert its forces back to the eastern front. Moreover, the Battle of Molud Sea saw the defeat of the superior Wuk Wana naval forces at the hands of Hazelcove, and left Hazelcove in a position to actually threaten Wuk Wana’s home island. This feint had became a dangerous situation and caused them to divert their forces instead.
To make matters worse, the Battle of Krotman saw initial success for Wuk Wana, but the situation quickly devolved into a battle of attrition once the Wuk Wana air forces had to be recalled to other sectors. Skolt, looking for an opening to make any progress at all, was ready to advance north and remove Wuk Wana from the continent, which in turn would have allowed Hazelcove to focus all of its attention on other sectors.
In a last desperate attempt to win, Wuk Wana launched two blitzkrieg maneuvers, one aimed directly at Horrings. This culminated in the largest single battle of the entire game, with over 200 infantry and armor units on both sides pitted against each other, with losses in the hundreds on both sides. When the dust settled, the rubble of the city once known as Horrings flew the Ilyuk flag.
But before victory could be declared, the announcement of a large fleet of transports drove through Marin Cova, and launched the Invasion of Vilsinaa. At the same time, air transports flew over the mountains and dropped paratroopers into the Battle of Dorsa in one of the most coordinated attacks of the game. Dorsa was the crossroads to Vilsinaa, and as long as Wuk Wana could control it, all of the reinforcements to the north could not aid the city. In the aftermath, the Battle of Vilsinaa saw Ilyuk throw in all of its heavy forces in the area, including using its warships as artillery. When the dust settled, it too remained in Ilyuk’s hands.
But then the final declaration of the game, the Battle of Ilyuk was commencing. Wuk Wana had launched its final major battle of the game. A fleet of hidden transports, secretly making its way past submarine screening patrols was able to launch a final land attack on the city. With it’s forces now diverted and depleted in distant battles, it looks as though the battle would be lost for Ilyuk.
After sending all of its remaining air units in a desperate attempt to tun the tide, and losing three fourths of the naval force, Wuk Wana had finally pulled off the impossible. The capital of Ilyuk, surrendered. And with its fall, and a much earned celebration, it was decided to end the game. After brief discussion, the groups decided to award the game to Hazelcove. Despite the amazing finish by Wuk Wana, only the red forces remained in a position of strength and would have taken the board within the next few hundred turns. Game Two was over.
|Player Name||Points Earned||Tournament Standings|
|Dalian (Teal)||19.09||2nd Place (25.98)|
|Dyn (Orange)||6.10||5th Place (12.05)|
|Holak (Red)||15.47||1st Place (29.31)|
|Itzi (Blue)||15.27||3rd Place (22.26)|
|Keiren (Yellow)||4.35||4th Place (22.14)|
This shows how quickly the tournament can work against you. Dyn played kingmaker on this round, and it came at a cost. The decision to eliminate Keiren early in the game was a smart decision due to the point totals from Round One and he only needed to come in third place this round to ensure total victory for the tournament, a feat he has pulled off many times before. However, the cost of this was a low point total for Dyn, and an extremely difficult uphill climb to come back into the lead.
Holak looks to be on pace for one of the best finishes ever recorded. She now has two games where she came in second place, which puts her in first place for the aggregate. However, the board is now pretty even, and it may warrant a third game, as Dalian and Itzi are both close enough to still have a shot at the trophy.
We meet later today to determine next steps, given the limited time left for our traditional two weeks of tournament time, and if we will have a third round or not. This game was longer than usual, constituting one and a half games worth of points earned by players, so it is unknown if another round will be needed.