Drastic Measures

Early Summer in the Sixth Year of the Ascension Wars

We are overwhelmed.

overwhelmed

To the north, we were betrayed by our neighbors, hungry for the land that was righfully taken from the demons. The forces of Vanheim lust for our mountains, the forces of Hinnom see our lands as theirs by right. Worse, the Enkidu have rushed into our valley, which we have rightfully held for years, have been overrun by the enkidu of Ur. Only a few strongholds remain, and a great enkidu army besieges our greatest city. Ogon the Earth-blooded mourns the loss of Ontog, who was his son and who felt so strongly the cause of Black Opal, for he was slain by the Vanir at Melma. There was the second throne that Black Opal coveted, taken from the demons of Yomi, and there lies the body of a prince. Ogon now creates a statue of onyx to commemorate his son. The rest of the council is paralyzed by lack of options, more concerned with assigning blame than discovering solutions. Lapis has suggested that Ontog’s personal competence is to blame for the loss of the north, and many of the oracles, eager for a scapegoat, have accepted the notion. Black Opal, perhaps as much to blame, would be too powerful to be questioned openly, but she too has abandoned the council, returning to the Seal where she was interred.

And she has only now returned.

the-seal

Black Opal has removed the seal and achieved the fealty of those it guards. Countless shades, perhaps the spirits of those used to create the seal, serve as her personal attendants. The ancient gods imprisoned there have agreed to set upon our enemies. One has gone to Melma, to avenge Ontog. Another is in the mountains now claimed by the Avvim of Hinnom, to regain them there. The third and final one is somewhere else, presumably among the forces of Ur. And we now have a force sufficient to reforge our surface empire.

Thus writes Halfface, Official Historical Engraver to the Closed Council and First Underlackey to Chiselword, He Who Takes The Minutes.

The waning of the seventh year of the Ascension Wars

Agartha has fallen. Black Opal has met death once more, and seems unlikely to recover this time. The council is dead and gone. Pale ones yet live, but the hairy beings of Ur march through our halls, and our casualties have been high. The olms have retreated deeper into the earth, our agreements forfeit. What few loyalists remain alive are isolated in distant mountains, and will inevitably fall.

We are finished.

Thus writes Halfface, Official Historical Engraver to the Closed Council and First Underlackey to Chiselword, He Who Takes The Minutes.

OOC: Post-Mortem

This game, I got dog-piled. An excellent player can overcome that situation, theoretically, but it was beyond my skill. It was also in large part the result of poor diplomacy. I didn’t interact with my neighbors nearly enough, and even neglected to reply to some key missives, due in large part to the sheer number of messages I was receiving constantly. But I was also very distracted this game, and I’d set that as a big part of the reason for my diplomatic failure, as well as my failure to resist Ur. I broke the seal, but then accidentally separated my army from my mages and got blown out. And even after that, I could have turned my pretender into an SC and wreaked some havoc, but I didn’t. Loss was inevitable.

That said, although I’ve lost all the games I’ve blogged I’d like to point out that this doesn’t mean I’m a categorically shit player. I’m definitely not in the upper echelon, but neither am I the worst – see for example, how easy I ran over Niefelheim in my Marverni game, and how I generally dominated everyone and only lost due to a relatively small strategic oversight. Lack of final victories has a lot to do with who I play with and the type of games that I join. First of all, in the community I play with there isn’t really stratification by skill. There’s occasional noob games, but I’m significantly above that level. So I’m in the general pool, which includes some of the best Dominions players in the world. And I just don’t play enough to be on that level. Although I’ve been playing since the game came out, and dabbled in singleplayer back in Dominions 3, I only play two to four games per year. Compare that to Lambert, who once famously played twenty-five games simultaneously. That’s not normal at any level of the game, but the fact is that some of the competitors in this game are absolute monsters. And in each game I’ve played, the showing I made wasn’t terrible. I didn’t focus much on standings in this game, but let’s take a look at how things played out:

Even though this was a game where I made a particularly poor showing, by my own reckoning, I’m still in the top half of the players by endurance. So, you know, there’s that.

As for why I made a poor showing, I think the main reason is just that I’m pretty burnt out on Dominions right now. I’m probably going to give it a rest for three to six months. I didn’t do that this time, which is a big part of the reason that my interest (and thus level of play) was lower in this game. In the meanwhile, I may add other content to this blog. I’m considering doing the grand campaign for Paradox games (play Crusader Kings 2, Europa Universalis 4, Victoria 2, and Hearts of Iron 4 in succession, takes a couple hundred hours and some modding) which might be interesting. I might also put out some original fantasy, in isekai-style web novel or serial novel. I have some writing done there, but I don’t write on it regularly. I also might just take a break from blogging if nobody’s interested in those things, and in any case, neither would debut by next week.

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4 comments on “Drastic Measures

  1. All your AARs are very good and interesting to read. I pretty much like them all. In my opinion you have very good game knowledge and play tactically very good. On strategic level you need to improve. In this game picking a fight with a nation for one province was not smart thing to do. Picking a fight with 3 nation for small prize was suicide.

    Also writing a AAR for games you did not win show a lot o character. Usually people only write an AAR for games they won to brag about. Keep writing dominions AARs. They are very good. No matter the score.

    Like

  2. I’ve really enjoyed all your AAR’s! Fair enough wanting a break from Dom though.

    The Paradox Grand Campaign sounds great, though I’ve only played CKII and EU myself.

    Like

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