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A Game of Thrones: Play By Forum Game 01 - Foes and False Friends

With control over Moat Calin once again swapping, things for the Wolves are looking dire. But there is still no shortage of intrigue down south.

http://tinyurl.com/klkKEl0kom9oEWov99gT

Baratheon is up with their second March.

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OOC: Hey - before I make my move, I need to know what you lot reckon you’ll do if I annihilate the Stark cavalry. It’ll obviously set up Greyjoy for MASSIVE POWER, but that can be moderated.
It seems so funny that I kind of have to do it, even though it’ll probably ruin any chance I have at winning.

Well, I kinda like Stark. So I’d be miffed and all the more determined to help Martel cannibalize from down here.

More stuff:

I think Stark has plenty to worry about with Greyjoy. If you want to win, you need to think in terms of castles and balance of power. Stark might hurt you badly, but you can fight off stark. Your worry is Lannister and Tyrell-supported Martel. That's lethal.

I’m hard for you to deal with right now, but Greyjoy and Lannister have me stuck in a supporting role unless I make a very foolish strike at sea AND Lannister un-foolishes that strike by deciding not to help Greyjoy with that support. Martel could easily waltz in, too–and pay for it dearly but nonethless screw my chances of hurting you in two senses at once.

Stark poses a threat, but is on the brink of a devastating invasion from below. You are the weaker of three prongs along three avenues. Stark is out of options other than sheer competence. If you are to fight stark now, you should push for territory and try to hang out up North to give yourself more play room as Martell advances up.

Else you need to cut into either Lannister or Martell–that way lies victory but very precarious and exhausting victory. Attacking Stark gets you survival. Attacking Lannister or Martell gets you a lot more but draws out the precariousness of your endgame.

There are two caveats. If you strike Lannister, Greyjoy or I might do likewise which would leave one of your foes crumpled; this would distract me from aiding Martell and leave me much to contend with in protecting myself from Greyjoy not to mention holding new territory scraped from Lannister. Neither Greyjoy nor I would present new threats, but Lannister would no longer be an old threat.

If you strike Martell and Lannister leaves you be, Stark may well be less of a problem than you think; Stark has a big to-do list and you need not be the first thing on it. Lannister’s to-do list is pretty much “don’t die” at this point as this mission is thus far accomplished the on-board threat of Lannister may well be as token as Lannister’s player claims.

Lannister’s territory is more useful to you but the end of the game is a way’s off yet. Perhaps moving into the middle like that is more end-game material for you. If survival is your main goal, then, fight off Stark, If victory is in your future … probably do something about Martell and/or take the fight to Lannister now and shake things up probably changing Stark’s math in the process and further reducing Stark’s need to attack you.

As to your question, I’ll probably do pretty much the same darn thing whether or not you attack Stark. Mess with Lannister and Greyjoy where and when it is safe or necessary to do so and support Martell towards victory in my stead.

Short answer: what Gwath said.

Basically, taking out Stark hands the game to Greyjoy. The only reason I can see to do it is that it MIGHT push Lannister’s hand and break their alliance, but that’s banking on someone else doing what you’d expect, which is a big gamble. (To some extent, the same applies to going for me. You’re screwed if Tyrell is telling the truth about their intentions towards me: do you really want to gamble on trusting someone who has made no indication that they’re up for it? Possibly, actually, especially as if Tyrell is telling the truth you may be screwed, so it’d be good to find out??? Obviously, I don’t want to push you that way though!)

Anyway, taking out those Stark knights is VERY likely to hand the game to Greyjoy. I still maintain your best shot is taking a pop at Lannister, because I think they’re going to be absolutely terrifying if nobody does, I’ve never seen them build up such a strong riverlands. This might be your only chance before they become a solid block of mutual support. (Or we’re relying on Greyjoys to do it, and they’ll probably only do it when it wins them the game).

The South needs to keep Starks strong, without letting them get to the Eyrie and/or Crackclaw point. This is something only you can do. And it’s tricky.

Having said all that, I should probably note that I’m a little tired and emotional, and generally not to be trusted at the best of times!

Honestly, I think his best bet is attacking you and hoping Lannister doesn’t take advantage. You’re his most credible threat especially if I’m actually on your side as I claim I am.

That said, he is unlikely to break far into your territory with me helping you. So if he wants to WIN, he’s going to need to screw with Lannister eventually. Now might be a bad time though. Tough call between you and Lannister as prime targets and I’d only go for Stark if I intended to occupy rather than merely cut off.

Yeah, totally, attacking the Starks is a horrible idea. o:)

In all seriousness, though, other than the shits and giggles of kicking me out of the clash of kings after a series of terrible decisions (hey, it’s this kings first war!), you have more to lose than to gain by doing so. Lannisters are getting really strong, as are Greyjoys. But as Gwath said, to win the game you need castles, and there’s only so much the North can offer in that regard. they’ll probably have both to gain by expanding East and Southwards after that - and doing so together (before the Lion decides to pounce at the Squid’s throat - squids have throats right? - to take the crown).

I offer you zero threat. I have plenty on my plate right now and my intention was never to expand towards the Bay. It was a temporary move to muster forces and then was (quite literally) pushed there in order to keep my units. “Betraying” you, as you put it, right now would be the dumbest thing I could do. Given that I will necessarily have to push back NorthWestward, you have more to gain by keeping me at your side, and pushing along, than by getting rid of an ally and having to deal with two superpowers mostly by yourself.

But, yeah, I know. shits and giggles are tempting… It really is on your power, albeit I’d argue not in your interest, to kingmake Lord Greyhair.

OOC: oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR ERRYBODY! here’s to hoping for more full glasses and less games collecting dust on shelves in 2015!

HAPPY NEW YEAR. :smiley:

Indeed, fellow nobles, hope you have a happy new year, full of stalwart bannermen, the love of the little people, and fully operational siege engines.

And in the game.

Oh, you people with your lies and stuff … the obvious choice would be to smash Starks knights now that they are routed and easy prey. It’s a new years present gift wrapped in a package adorned with pictures of squid. All the Greyjoys ever wanted was follow the squid migration up north as has been their tradition for the last 600 years. We have no intention of gaining the iron throne, as we are already pretty muchs stretched on all sides… don’t project your evil ways on the good Greyjoy people.

;

OOC: Had a think, and it’s happening. ‘Kingmaking’ Greyjoy would be one simple move, and would force a reaction out of you lot, which beats me being the only obvious target. Hopefully it doesn’t put @rmaia on tilt, but shits and gigs, y’know.
Besides, between Tyrell+Lannister and Starks’ navies, Greyjoy’s going to be in quite an ugly position at home, right?
Backstabbing Lannister seems less desirable - he still has the Hound, which sucks the fun out of crushing Harrenhal.
(Honestly, this has been going on so long that I can’t really handle playing echidna right now.)
This crushes the knights outright, yeah?

Jerk move: MotM Knight to the Twins. Fun ruined.

Correct me if I’m wrong here.
Greyjoy?

Not Quite OOC. That is, in-game, but not Conrad. I’ll make in IC post eventually. But just sort of imagine the content of this post abstracted into in-world conversation. Consider it communicated both in-world and out.

would force a reaction out of you lot, which beats me being the only obvious target.

It neither “kingmake”'s Greyjoy nor forces a reaction out of … anyone except Stark and at best maybe Greyjoy. Maybe Lannister?

Certainly doesn’t change the Mathematics for myself or Martell. Now, that’s not to say those Knights being there NEXT turn wouldn’t have mattered–it would. But the absence of a change is not itself a change, so I’m not sure what you mean. You’re still the only obvious target for Martel, I was already massing a navy to defend-against/attack Greyjoy, and I have been in position to fight with your or Lannister for a while. You are the obvious target for Martell and Lannister and that has been true for quite a while now. It may well be your best move, but it doesn’t really change the size of the target on your back. That’s why I was thinking going after Martell was probably your best bet followed by Lannister–taking the fight to someone who can hurt you now or soon might actually help. It might hurt, too, but at least it changes something. You’ve bought yourself some more time in the same position. Perhaps that’s what you wanted, but it’s not what I would want were I in your shoes. Of course you leaving Martell alone doesn’t do me any harm; Martell loitering does as I’ve invested time I could have invested against Lannister/Greyjoy … coughs pointedly

Besides, between Tyrell+Lannister and Starks' navies, Greyjoy's going to be in quite an ugly position at home, right?

See, the trouble there is Tyrell+Lannister. I’m considering attacking on the off chance that Lannister would make truth of that “+” for at least one battle or at least make a lie of the “+” in Greyjoy+Lannister for at least one battle. But that support isn’t there for nothing and I doubt Lannister trusts me holding that ocean even I think I can do a lot less damage with it than Greyjoy especially with Lannister’s navy so well in force. The catch, of course, is that Greyjoy and Lannister have this little thing called an alliance. It could break, sure. But it hasn’t yet. There is no Tyrell+Lannister. There’s just Tyrell and there’s just Stark. And there’s most likely some +Lannister in there for Greyjoy and Greyjoy has a strong hold over the seas and no one threatening them credibly overland anymore except Lannister–who is their ally and at least this turn has no real worryingly placed orders from Greyjoy’s perspective implying that all’s good in the alliance for now. It certainly benefits Greyjoy though all Lannister gets out of it is not being dead–not a gift horse to be looked mouthwards, but not exactly the palace of riches afforded by having Lannister as a buffer against all but the ailing Stark overland and (presently) as an essential accessory to an impenetrable defense against my navies.

In short, you’re gimping the one thing Greyjoy has to fight other than Lannister without measurably impacting anyone except Stark and Greyjoy. You buy yourself token time and prevent a token threat that wasn’t anywhere near so credible against your seat of power as Lannister and Martell and was no more or less self-avowed a threat than Lannister.

I hope you’ve got something clever up your sleeve because you have bought time but unless you’re planning on scrapping with Greyjoy over Stark’s lands and turning a small move into a fullscale invasion against a weakening opponent you’re still in the same sticky spot you were before with, if such a thing were possible, fewer friends than before. So I’m not sure how valuable time even is.

In my initial assessment above I may have overvalued attacking Stark. Looking over the map you really don’t seem to have gained anything nor avoided a particularly worrying alternative. I was thinking more abstractly about weakening Stark and moving North … but as things stand your bigger concern perhaps should have been Stark’s navy. Which remains no weaker if no stronger and if less possessed of units to transport. So I guess there’s that. Hmm. I’m not seeing it though; doesn’t seem to have done much for you.

Best case scenario, though, I’ll give you that now Greyjoy does have to think very carefully about moving overland into Stark’s territory with you sitting there idling. It’s not a terrifyingly large invasion force by any stretch, but it means Greyjoy has to be a little more careful than they would ave been otherwise. The trouble is that it’s a small threat in a very soft place … with no backup while Greyjoy has plenty of resources to shift so as to crush the threat and protect the soft place before you can say BOO.

@Prosworth‌ (and @rmaia, for that matter)
[OOC, game rules message, but I don’t feel confident enough to put a Maester’s banner on it]

My understanding is, there will be combat, you don’t just get to walk in. You’ll be fighting against a zero strength from the knights, but both people can still support and add house cards. This actually means you’ve just set up a two vs two combat power battle (due to the supporting Stark boats). Presumably it’s up to the Maester if you’re allowed to mulligan. Or possibly it’s up to consensus (I would probably allow it, but I tend to be generous!) But yes, it’s actually a pretty tight battle (as you’ll lose ties).

Which could be described as comeuppance for belligerence, except you did ask for clarification on what would happen, and everyone focused on geopolitical consequences, rather than the practicalities! I personally had assumed you were talking a turn ahead, and were going to move up your siege engine, not that that would’ve made a difference. (I also didn’t remember Stark having a support token there, which would’ve made things significantly less tight).

So to clarify, as currently set, you’ve initiated a combat, where combat strengths are even. To continue with this, you need to send your house card choice to the Maester. (And post here to indicate you’ve done so). If the result of this combat is you winning, the stark knights will die, whatever is on the cards. But you can still be beaten and forced to retreat/be routed yourself.

To discontinue this, you need to announce and some combination of players and Maester need to agree to it. I’m not entirely sure which combination though.

Hope that makes sense? Or is useful? Or fills you with regret? Or bloodlust? Or something?

Oh gods, I am needed in this mess I was hoping to stay out of it.

Everything rules wise that @Alexava‌ says is true. The post was made publicly and in bold so it must stand, and unfortunately there was no request for rules clarification until after the move was made (though admittedly everyone discussed it as though it would be a sure thing, because I guess no-one looked too closely until now) as such if you wish to take the move back @Prosworth you must plead with your other lords to allow you to do so; and if you choose this course of action I ask you do it only if it’s because it’s starting a combat (rules clarification) and not because of any political or strategic change (though I understand this may be difficult to separate, and impossible to enforce; it is only a request after all this game is for you, the players; I am simply trying to be a fair and even handed).
If you do plead for a retcon I will require that Stark, Lannister and Greyjoy all agree as they are the most affected and at least one of Martel or Tyrell (I think that’s fair, though I am willing to hear more on this if people think that’s too harsh or too lenient).
In the mean time we have the Battle of the wounded Knights at The Twins.

Jerk move: MotM Knight to the Twins. Fun ruined.

Squidmails throughout westeros deliver the following message to random passerbies: "Baratheon: A++++ Top Attacker, would route again!

I was answering geopolitically. I hadn’t really thought about it mechanically because I was tired and forgot there as a support there and my second post in response to the map without realizing/considering there hadn’t been a battle.

Are we waiting for something specific? I hope it isn’t me, is it? It is me, isn’t it?

We’re waiting for @Prosworth to either ask for a mulligan or announce that they’ve sent a house card to the Maester.