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  • Tales from the Throne Room - Chapter Five



    Welcome back to Tales from the Throne Room, our regular piece on the Org's community of hotseat and RPG gamers! (written by phonicsmonkey and Myth)

    In Chapter Five we'll provide the usual update on current games and let you know what's coming up that you can sign up for.

    We also feature an interview with Throne Room regular Nightbringer as well as finishing up with another old favourite story From the Vault.

    Before we get started though, take a look at our Comprehensive Guide to Hotseat Play, written and compiled by our resident content manager Myth. It's a must-read for anyone planning to face off against other humans in a TW hotseat campaign!


    Current hotseat games:

    M2TW: Kingdoms (Crusades) - "The Levantine Struggle"

    The game is gearing up for an epic struggle between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Principality of Antioch. A clash of veterans and massive empires will mark the zenith of this game, while the much smaller and weaker Kingdom of Jersualem and Ottoman Turks have been reduced to supporting roles against the might of Antioch.

    Stainless Steel 6.4 Wrath of the Khan 2

    A bloody war has already began in the east, while the western nations still solidify their positions and assess the situation. The mighty Mongol Horde has all but eradicated the Kwarezmian Shah however the Cumans, ERE and Turks all make way with hordes of their own to meet the invaders of Genghis Khan.

    Third Age Total War 2.1 End of the Third Age

    This hotseat set in Tolkein's Middle Earth is still in it's early stages, not in the least because the mod has huge distances, low income for the human players and it does not allow forts to be built. While Mordor has started pushing Gondor at Osgiliath, Saruman of Isengard left the solitude of his stone walls and ballista towers, and attempted to take on nearly two full armies of Rohan's finest cavalry, and lost the battle in the process.

    Stainless Steel 6.4 Clash of Gods!

    This is a game with predetermined teams of four factions each, who contest target cities between themselves, as well as the final game-winning prize: Jerusalem! Currently players have been replaced on both sides, but from the very start, the Crusader States (who are on the Muslim team) have quickly eradicated the AI-controlled Fatimid Caliphate and have began pushing into Greece and mainland Europe.

    Meanwhile, in the West, the mighty Moorish Caliphate valiantly resists the onslaught of Leon-Castille , France and England.

    Stainless Steel 6.4 The March of Time

    This promising hotseat is still in it's early stages, and most all of our active players have joined in the fray! From the very start, the Eastern Roman Empire's position at the relative center of the map had made it a target. The Empire chose to make war on Sicilly as well as the massive Fatimid Caliphate. However, diplomacy played a keen part in having several more factions join the fray against the Romans. Meanwhile diplomatical failure (or victory, depending on whom you ask) has sparked war between the formidable Moorish Caliphate and the Kingdom of France. Will he be able to repeat Charlemagne's feat, or will the Moorish tide sweep across Western Europe?

    M2TW: Kingdoms (Britannia) These Sceptred Isles

    This game is a direct remake of the previous Britannia game, which showed us much tension and back-and-forth non-stop battles for 30+ turns. Right now it is still in it's early stages, but already Norway finds itself with the Isle of Man blockaded by a superior Irish fleet. Meanwhile the traditional deathmatch of a Britannia game, Wales-England, has begun, with England's troops consolidating on the smaller nation, while Wales will have the fight of its life to look forward to!


    Recently completed games:


    Glorious Achievements
    - this M2TW hotseat capped at 40 turns has been won by Silvershield, and the last 10 turns were marked by true Total War! The HRE, commanded by Myth, taking over from TriforceV, had grown large and scary, but in a led-battles game with determined enemies in a team, no one is safe! Silvershield and his Hungarian troops managed to destroy army after army of the opposition, all while Thanatos Eclipse and his Spain backstabbed Nightbringer's France, allowing Silvershield to rake in more achievements than the otherwise very well positioned French Kingdom.


    Unification of the Isles
    - This 41 turn massacre of a game was intense from turn 1. Wales, masterfully lead by Ignoramus, began a severe onslaught against England, led by Myth, all while Ireland, under the leadership of Nightbringer, prospered on its own island. Meanwhile up north, a deathmatch between Zim's Norway and Cecil XIX's Scotland had already began.

    A fortunate (for Zim) turn of events had all of Scotland's FMs killed, thus turning them rebel and out of the game. For the next 30 or so turns, everyone was fighting everyone, apart form England and Norway who had formed a secret alliance which lasted until the end of the game, with Norway raiding and crippling Ireland while England slowly and meticulously turned the tide of the war with Wales and the bulk of Ireland's armies.

    The Frozen North - This game was full of non-stop fighting pretty much from the start. While the Teutonic Order, led by Myth and the Holy Roman Empire (led by Slysnake) had forged an unbreakable alliance and with joint efforts, eliminated Nightbringer's Poland by turn 6, Visorslash's Denmark had managed to push back Ignoramus's Novgorod. Once again, Fortuna had her say and Novgorod's FMs were slain in a pitched battle, resulting in the faction turning rebel.

    Thanatos Eclipse's Lithuania made a strong effort to wipe out a spread out TO, but their inferiority in autoresolve ultimately proved too much. Later, a joint backstabbing by the Mongols, lead by Phonicsmonkey, and Denmark, saw the end of the TO and HRE, though not by elimination but by Denmark getting the required number of provinces to win the game. The game had progressed to such a state however, that Visorslash's Denmark had grown too big and too rich to be reliably defeated in an AR game.


    Upcoming hotseat games:


    A remake of the previous Teutonic hotseat has all but started. There is one more faction slot left. Claim it now! This will be a led-battles game, so anyone can win.

    A Shogun 2: Total War RPG is in the making, signatures will be available soon. Join the storytelling and roleplaying masters in the Throne Room's trademarked style of cooperative game!

    Myth has been advocating for a rematch with the .net and a second "When Worlds Collide" game. We need one more player. Do you have what it takes to defend the .org's honour?


    Interview with Nightbringer:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    - Hello Nightbringer!

    Hi Phonics!

    - So, what originally brought you to the Throne Room?

    What originally brought me here was an invitation to participate in Dogs of War by its original host, Lemongate. I had been active in the .net Stainless Steel hotseat community for a while and his invitation was the first I heard of the .org. Once I had joined that game, I quickly started signing up for games here rather than the .net. I donít want to start any controversy, but the smaller more intimate community here got me far more involved in the games, as did the presence of roleplaying in diplomacy threads and such.

    - You won your first hotseat game, Dogs of War which was in Stainless Steel 6.2. What are your memories of that game and to what do you attribute your success?

    One of my favorite parts of that game was the very tense relationship that developed between myself (Kieven Rus) and the Seljuk Sultanate, who were under the control of Barcamartin. He was at war with my ally, Hungary, and I was doing everything I could in role-play to convince him I was staying out of the war, while simultaneously building up for an attack. I was about to spring my trap when he caught me at my dirty trick and did some serious damage to my invading force. I just really enjoyed the tension of the diplomacy in that situation.
    As to my victory, I think the key was building up my strength in a corner of the map while everyone else was at war. We were playing without rules against building destruction, so a lot of the rest of the world was a wasteland, while my lands in the North East were fully developed. By the time I went to war I had built up an enormous army, fleet, and spy network. This allowed me to simply plow through resistance despite losing the element of surprise. Also key to my success was the early alliance with Hungary, which allowed me to completely ignore my western border, freeing up a lot of troops for Northeastward expansion against the ai.

    - Since then, which games have you enjoyed the most and why?

    That is hard to say really, but I think Glorious Achievements was one of them. I came in late, but I built myself up really well only to have everything come crashing down in the last few turns of the game. It was a unique experience and taught me not to trust allies too much. I also found it very interesting how much I managed to expand and succeed for much of the game without really winning any battles versus other players. I feel like I made a lot of mistakes in that game but somehow managed to still do well for most of it.
    I also like the way March of Time is shaping up, a lot of players seem interested in the diplomacy side of things and that is a big draw for me. I wonít go into too much detail fro fear of revealing my plans though.
    Really, every game has something unique about it that makes it the most fun in one way or another.

    - What did you think of the RPG, Vassals and Valour?

    I found it very interesting I think is the best way to put it. It is a concept which has a lot going for it, but the sheer amount of rules was very intimidating at first. Figuring out both the politics and the mechanics of the game at the same time definitely made it harder for me to get involved. Once I was involved I started really enjoying the game. It is just such a different experience from everything else that it really breathed new life into M2TW for me.

    - Would you join another RPG in the future?

    I definitely would, but I think something with a little less potential for actual war between players would be more to my taste. Civil war is great in terms of role-play, but it is so hard to do mechanically that it bogged things down. I think a game with a more co-operative aspect might be easier to do. Possibly having the players battle against the host as a group in a setting like the 100 Years war. Or possibly two teams in the same conflict. This would decrease the chances of people actively trying to attack each-other, while still allowing for competition and possible betrayals where they join the opposite side in the war.

    - I understand you are the all-seeing eye these days. How's that going for you?

    So far it is going pretty well, although I would expect to see more of the map considering I am literally an all-seeing eye. I managed to get a crucial victory against Gondor and captured Osgiliath, but I am worried that my lack of cavalry is going to doom me eventually due to their power in led battles.

    - You are clearly a Throne Room veteran: what tips would you give to new players?

    One of the most important things, although pretty basic, is limiting your fronts. It is very hard to successfully fight a war in multiple places. Faction choice is one of the biggest factors in this. Due to the nature of the map, corner factions have two completely safe borders, making them much stronger than they might appear otherwise.
    Along these same lines, try to force your enemy to divide their attention. If you are planning on starting a war, try to sneak small forces into positions where they can attack settlements behind enemy lines. This can occasionally be done with forests, but is much easier with armies in boats. If you get far behind their lines, they should have minimal forces in the area so your small army might take a settlement, damaging their economy and forcing them to send troops away from the front. If you can draw enemy forces back into their own territory, you then have a much better chance of taking frontier settlements, and forcing them onto the defensive should keep your own settlements safe.

    - One last question Nightbringer: Reggae or Sci-fi?
    Sci-fi, especially if you include fantasy. I grew up with the Lord of the Rings (the books), Star Wars (the originals), D&D, and Warhammer. I like Bob Marley, but I donít know much else in terms of reggae.

    - Thanks Nightbringer
    Thank you phonicsmonkey!


    From the Vault:


    Continuing the story of the first Broken Crescent hotseat in the Throne Room, Commanders of the Faithful, which ran for eighteen months between 2008 and 2009 and inspired a number of great stories, including this effort, originally posted by Askthepizzaguy:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Wednesday, 10th day of MuHarram 571 Anno Hegirae, the year of the Hijra, التقويم الهجري
    July 30, 1175 AD, Christian Calendar

    Karaman, central Anatolia


    The seige of the rebel stronghold goes well. They have but a few infidel soldiers guarding their wooden walls, but a direct assault will still be costly. These people are outlaws and thieves, and recently bandits from the area were spotted in Konya, the home of our most magnificent Sultan. Kilij Arslan himself, the pious leader of the Anatolian Turks, commands the seige forces.

    "Soon they will rejoin the civilized race of men," Arslan said to Allah, with whom he frequently spoke. Allah said nothing in return of course, but Arslan knew that his deeds were pleasing to the lord, and counted only the Almighty among his allies.

    But all that was set to change. The negotiations with Armenia had begun. Although we do not trust these people, we do not begrudge them their Christian faith. Indeed, Arslan is a man most pious, but most welcoming of other Men of the Book. And the rumors of an assault on Cilicia would put the young Turkish Sultanate in a very difficult position. Being wedged between three hostile Christian powers, the Roman Empire, the Georgian Kingdom, and the Holy Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Turks were but a struggling outpost of the Great Islamic Civilization.


    Yes, truly the heart of the civilized world was at Baghdad, the nursery of the entire world and the center of all learned thought. The radical and heretical teachings of Christian Europe have clouded their scientific advancement, and they have for hundreds of years fallen behind the great Islamic Caliphate in terms of literacy and raw scientific knowledge. They call us barbarians, but do they speak the language of science, Arabic? It is we who have revived the ancient but advanced teachings of the European masters, the Greeks.

    Our advancements over the Christians include the inventions of the astrolabe, the parachute, and an ingenious mathematical device known as the analog computer. Our knowledge of astronomy, physics, mathematics, and chemistry is matched by none in the known world. We developed the first true soap centuries ago, and the unwashed Christians still do not possess any. Still they call US barbarians while they battle plagues caused by their lack of sanitation and their severe poverty. The Islamic world is rich and beautiful, and we have no idols scattered around to divert our attention from the one True Faith, as the Christians do. Their sad devotion to that man in the white dress and pointy hat is probably the reason for their apparent lack of forward progress.

    However, the Sultan still welcomes Christians in his land. Perhaps under our tutelage, they too will join the race of civilized men. Inshallah, they will prosper under Islamic rule. The Sultan sees great potential in the Europeans, if only they would welcome the teachings of the Prophet as much as we have welcomed the dhimmis; Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Mandeans, and, in the far east, Hindus and Buddhists. People of all faiths prosper under Islamic law, and unlike the intolerant peoples of Christian Europe who do not even welcome their brothers of the faith, we welcome Christians, Orthodox and Catholic alike, and their many different churches.

    Allah has smiled upon the faithful in this rich and glorious land. The Islamic civilization spans from the distant shores of west Africa all the way to the distant Chin peoples of the far east, and still we are growing and bringing more infidels under the Prophet's enlightened teachings. If only there could be peace between the Christians and the Muslims, the world would be such a wonderful place to live, the Sultan observed. He vowed to bring about such a world, and make friends with the Christians, and spread his philosophy of tolerance and brotherhood to the war-torn peoples of Europe.

    His overtures towards the Roman Empire, however, were met with much skepticism. Still, we have reason to believe there might be peace with them, as they are considering our offer of alliance in exchange for a demilitarization of our border, so that we may turn our righteous arms towards the Crusader infidels of the Muslim Holy Land, Jerusalem, who even now advance north towards Syria... for what diabolical purpose, only Allah can know. But we must find friends and allies, or else this land could be torn apart by war. The Sultan hates war... but he is prepared to fight, if the time should come.

    A messenger arrives from the north, bringing good news:


    "The Kypchak tribes of the North have united! They have pledged their allegiance to us in exchange for a military alliance against aggressors!"

    The Sultan smiled. The northern tribes were no threat to us, and they were pagans, but they had great potential as friends and allies to become part of the Islamic civilization. If they would allow our Imams to spread the word of the Prophet, we will back them in battle against all foes. The Sultan dispatched an emissary towards the Georgian Kingdom, which is now allied to the Roman empire. Although these people had declared their intentions to expel the Muslims from Anatolia, our recent peace overtures have been welcomed, and they seem to be holding their swords. All is going according to plan, thought the Sultan. Surely nothing could happen now which would bring war to Anatolia. The Romans have been offered an alliance, and the Kypchaks have joined us, the Armenians and the Georgians are our friends... nothing can stop the peace process now.

    Nothing at all...
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Tales from the Throne Room started by phonicsmonkey View original post
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