Wednesday 25 January 2023

Decemborc report; a view into the mind of an Orc Lord

First I'd like to thank Mr Wargaming for running such a great game, I enjoyed every moment of it. It's taken me a while to work out how I wanted to write up my experience of the game; blog posts allow me to be as detailed as I like, so here goes.

Before Brovenloft died down, Mr Wargaming introduced the idea of a more structured Braunstein/Wargame with orc tribes instead of the ungodly (and godly) powered forces that had run amuck in November. The idea was so popular that it became a reality in record time.  The rules and all are recorded here. I don't know how he was able to set it up so quickly, but anyway I jumped at the chance to join in.

First, I needed a name, something suitable but not like all the others; I've always liked pig face orcs...

The Draft

When I understood how the draft worked, which, let me tell you, I did not at all get it to begin with; and that I was in the middle of the pack, I realised that the best locations would likely be taken by the time my first choice came around, and that the best special abilities would be taken by the time of my second choice. Likely, none of the "best" stuff would still be available to me; I needed a specific strategy that worked with the lesser choices to have a better chance.

Draft Map

I also had to choose what kind of Shaman I had in my tribe; Cleric or Magic User.

Cleric Spells

Magic User Spells

I found out later that one Orc Lord chose Cleric and used Speak with Animals to help with random encounters, which sounds pretty useful; but, when comparing lists above I realised that the DMG Magic User spell list for Witch Doctor's was chock full of useful and versatile spells. Invisibility stood out, but how to use it? Assassination? Ventriloquism could help with that. 

Who should I target? Clearly, moving on the Dread Lord was right out, which left the humans, dwarves, elves and goblins; out of these the goblins stood out as likely targets. The "Goblin Friend" ability might give me the edge I needed to take over Goblin Town and to push me over the top with 1000HD of goblins all in the first few days of the game!

With Location I knew I had to be close to goblin town; but, here I hedged my bets. I figured the six Orc Lords ahead of me in the draft would go Location or Special ability first (probably someone would pick troops), then the opposite for their second choice, followed by Troops or Wealth.

If I was right I could pick Troops or Wealth first, have a good shot at the best picks in those categories, and trust that the Location and Special ability I wanted would still be available later. I really wanted Location I (and in hindsight should have given that a higher priority) but I also wanted some decent Troops and Wealth to offset the otherwise poor location and special ability.

So, these were my choices;

Draft Choices for Porcus Orcus



Ability (8. Goblin Friend, 9, 1, 2,  4, 5, 6, 7, 3, 10, 11, 12)

Location (I,L,C,H,F,K,B,E,G,J,D,A)

And how did I do?

I watched the stream with excitement as my first pick came up. As expected, though the best locations were gone, there were still some good ones that could have been mine, but I was locked in to my plan.

Troop Draft list

I really wanted an extra Subchief. In a possible oversight by Mr WG, 60hd Orcs is the same strength as 50+ a Subchief, but the Subchief was more versatile and would allow me more fog-of-war freedom (I had planned to send out a Subchief alone as a feint, but never needed to). I also figured that extra Subchiefs to cover losses in battle would be important. I was very happy to see Lorem Ipsum grab the number 1 troop pick of 60 HD orcs and I got number 2.

Wealth Draft list

By the time my second pick came around, 7 Locations and 2 Wealth selections had gone, leaving me to pick up the 3rd place of 1500gp (which was just as good as the second place).

When the time for my third pick arrived, 9 Locations had gone, 7 Special abilities had gone, and I got my crucial 'Goblin Friend' ability. Looks like I was right in thinking that the other players considered this a weak choice, but I would show them otherwise (I hoped).

4th, and last, pick; Location I was long gone, I would have had to have selected it as my first choice to beat Lorum Ipsum to it, but I got which was just one day further from Goblin Town. 

That one day difference would turn out to be significant; but, with these results, on the day of the Draft it was all going according to KeiKaku. 

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