Game three begins with four of our five contestants in a close battle of the title of champion. Holak and Dalian both had excellent finishes in the last game, with Itzi eventually playing Kingmaker in a multi-front knockout to end out last game. This is the final game of the season which will see a player elected at the end, based on the overall performance between all three games.
Game Three Preliminaries
Game Three saw no rule changes following Game Two and all players loaded in with no issues.
|Player Name||Empire Name||Location|
|Dalian (Teal)||Mun Korsami||Southern Continent|
|Dyn (Orange)||Skolt||North Eastern, Island|
|Holak (Red)||Khubin||North Central, Continent|
|Itzi (Blue)||Ilyuk||Eastern, Continental|
|Keiren (Yellow)||Rana||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.
The early game was short. Three of the five players chose starting locations on the southeastern side of the map. Despite this relatively close starting location, player expansion strategies took them in opposite directions. Korsami decided to focus on capturing all the eastern mountain ranges, focusing on all of the passages to Helmmston and Hrothgursin. This area of the map had proved decisive in the last two games, so bringing them under control in the early game was a top priority.
Skolt knew that the Hrothgursin Valley was the point where players operating from Skolt lost the previous two games and opted for an extensive move toward the east, capturing the Dyreliske Archipelago, Aberon Valley, and even making his way into Helgrind by the end of the early game.
Ilyuk opted for the tried-and-true strategy used in both previous games by capturing Lukic, Chevsky, and Borcallica by the end of early game. In past games, this effectively closed off the southwest quadrant of the continent to other contenders, which was the strategy in Game Three to ensure a points victory. Fortifications began to emerge in the east, expecting an attach to mount from Tilsanaa in the mid-game.
Khubin spent the early game conquering the entire northeastern island, a feat that previous owners found challenging given the sparse population in the area. Rana, likewise made a sea dash to capture Iaar in an apparent encirclement of Khubin, while also moving into Tilsinaa to begin operations on the main continent.
The mid-game starts with the Battle of Wisegard, where the vanguard of Rana faced off against the rear elements of the Korsami forces who were marching up to Horrings. While Korsami ultimately pushed back the attack, the expansion west effectively stalled out. To make matters worse for Korsami, the Landings of Styrhorskin were occurring at the same time, when Skolt forces, supported by artillery built in the Alberon Valley forced their way on shore and threatened Hrothgursin. This two-pronged attack would ultimately prevent Korsami from exiting the mountainous region.
Ilyuk was expanding toward Crossfen when it encountered an expeditionary force from Korsami which was sending troops back to the war zone in the east. Korsami would lose the Battle of Siorana, putting their entire western half in danger of encirclement. This culminated in the Battle of Aranda and Gravlands which became a trenchlike war of attrition for the Crossfen. The net result was a tactical win for Skolt and Rana who were able to prevent Korsami from reinforcing other fronts.
While this War of Four was under way, Khubin was in the process of building a massive naval force with the intention of invading the continent unchecked. However, Rana had already invaded Aesla, nearly creating a vertical empire splitting the map in two, and blocking Khubin’s intended invasion path. When the fleet set sail, it was the start of the late game.
The end game saw nearly constant fighting in a completely chaotic mess. Rana had quietly sent an invasion force south, landing at Iaar and Aesla. It was fighting a war against Korsami on the southern end of the Eastern Mountain Range, and now at Barrenglade it was able to assault Korsami from the northern end. Unable to reinforce out of the Crossfen, Rana won the Battle of Barrenglade. The remaining Korsami forces retreated to the foothills and fought the Last Stand of Ishim. While the mountain passes would remain in Korsami hands, the plains to the north were now squarely in Rana hands.
At this moment, Rana caught wind of the Khubin fleet heading for Aesla. Mustering its fleet it fought the Battle of Cadriel. The overwhelming power of Khubin saw them absolutely decimated and prepared for an imminent invasion that would never come. The loss of Rana’s fleet meant the end of reinforcements from the homeland. By this point in the game, the area was self-sustained, but no further expansion would occur for Rana in this game.
Skolt made some game changing moves in the end game. After landing at Hrothgursin, Korsami was effectively bottled up in their mountains. Rather than press the attack into the mountains, the Landings of Helmmston led to the Surrender of Halvor. This effectively allowed for the superior naval forces of Skolt to bypass the mountains altogether and made their way to the Siege of Rana. This move, along with the loss at Cadriel, left Khubin as the only other naval threat to Skolt.
This led to the heavy naval forces of Skolt being sent north. Khubin’s aircraft screens spotted the approach and withdrew it’s Aesla Invasion Fleet back home, with it’s heavy assets diverted to intercept the incoming forces. This effectively ended the bid to land on the continent, but the thread to the homeland was considered higher priority.
The Battle of Savanar Sea was brutal, with both forces suffering huge casualties. Ultimately, the Skolt navy prevailed and wasted no time on attempting an invasion. The Battle of Grimdas allowed a beachhead for Skolt , but it could advance no further. The Defense of Wuk Wana turned out to be formidable and Skolt struggled to bring enough reinforcements across the water to break through. However, Khubin now focused solely on defense and would no longer threaten the continent.
The last major engagement was a surprise Amphibious Assault of Uldur. In the first two games, the southwestern end of the continent was often an impregnable fortress for whoever owned Chevsky and Ilyuk. Skolt was breaking this by launching a large scale attack from Kragh and Marna. The result was a devastating flanking maneuver for Ilyuk. The Skolt ground forces would advance to Thundercove before the Battle of Omkek stalled the advance, but the damage was done. Ilyuk’s position was in jeopardy of being overrun.
With stalemates on nearly all fronts, the game was called at this point. No player obtained a superior position on the map and every player now faced as least one invasion of their core territories. Skolt was in the best position in make a move to win the game in the long-run so he was declared the winner of this round.
Conclusion and Tournament Winner
|Player Name||Points Earned||Tournament Standings|
|Dalian (Teal)||1.95||3rd Place (27.93)|
|Dyn (Orange)||4.73||5th Place (16.78)|
|Holak (Red)||5.03||1st Place (34.34)|
|Itzi (Blue)||6.41||2nd Place (28.67)|
|Keiren (Yellow)||3.49||4th Place (25.63)|
In our post-game discussion, we discussed some of our issues with the map. The Northwestern corner of the map saw very little action, and of the limited engagements none proved decisive. Moreover, whoever started in the Ilyuk position tended to have the best overall performance. This was a sign that the map was playing a part in the point totals and as a result were factored into the final decision for tournament winner.
Dyn and Itzi played the best Game Three and a longer game would have likely led to one of them gaining a superior position overall. However, Holak played a safe game, protecting her point lead. She came in second place for all three games played, which nets the highest overall point total. As a result, it was clear that the 2022 Tournament Championship belonged to her.
As is tradition, Holak will be known as Hazel going forward, a recognition of her performance in Game Two which was the differentiator from a points perspective. But more importantly, this is Hazel’s first ever tournament win, as she is also one of the newest players in EDTC. This was an awesome win for her and we congratulate her for the hard earned title of Empire Deluxe Tournament Champion for all of 2023.