Having prepared over the last few weeks for our first fully-blown ImagiNation campaign, we gathered at RayCon on the windy shores of Lake Huron last weekend. Phil and Michael and I were looking forward to getting in a few games of Maurice and working our way through the first campaign season. The parameters of a Maurice campaign (as written) allow players (or camps) to fight one another until a certain threshold of Peace Points have been gained. At this point, the campaign season is over and peace is sued for or agreed upon. I prefer to think of it as a temporary cessation of hostilities for the winter months while all sides lick their wounds, recruit, train, and otherwise drink and whore in the taverns. Another campaigning season ensues (and perhaps others further on). When one player or camp reaches a predetermined level of Epic Points (or victory points, if you prefer), the campaign is won!
We've set our victory threshold at 20 Epic Points, hopefully giving us two or three solid campaign seasons. The weekend's gaming saw three games and an opportunity for all three of us to play one another once.
The Battle of Pimm's Crossroads saw the Le Grand-Duche de Gourmandie fail miserably against the Ducato di Libagioni. This was Phil's first victory of the campaign and (I believe) only the second ever for his army. He was suitably pleased! The name of the battle comes, by the way, not from a place on a map (it is a mapless campaign) but from the delicious bowl of Pimm's and fruit Phil concocted. As you can see from the photos, we enjoyed the sun and the libations enormously (even though it was rather chilly outside at times).
The Battle of Rio Sangriento pitted Le Grand-Duche de Gourmandie against a newcomer to the field, Ejercito Revolucionario Populista (Viento del Sur)...the Army of the South Wind (please don't ask). This is Michael's entry in the campaign but I'll let him speak more about it beyond this short bio: The Populist Revolutionary Army aims to liberate the masses of Europe from the clutches of the Burgeoise. Diametrically opposed to the capitalist aristocrats that rule the armies it faces, the members of the ERP welcome any and all deserters into their fold. The ERP are universally despised by the nations of Europe for its treatment of captured officers who are often used as shock troops against their own armies and their coin used as ammunition. This army is commanded by the enigmatic and mercurial Primo Generalissimo Francisco Largo Caballero (aka El Nino). The Grand Duke's army struggled to defeat these populist hordes but in the end prevailed! This battle also saw a duel before the armies even clashed. The Grand-Duke had been able to recruit to his army one Giovanni di Tripodi, a gifted administrator, whom the Grand Duke had slated to act as Chief of Staff to Le Marquis de Fromage. Alas, on the morn of his first battle with the army, it was his misfortune to find himself faced by the incensed father of a fulsome senorita with whom he had spent the evening playing whist. Di Tripodi was unceremoniously skewered and Le Marquis deprived of his expected services!
The Battle of Giornata Soleggiata, the third and final of the campaign season as it turned out, saw Phil's wine guzzlers take on Michael's plebeians. And as Phil mentioned in the previous post, a bloody battle it was. Much mayhem and destruction to be had but Michael came out on top with a marginal victory as darkness descended and neither army was willing to quit the field. This was our first game to have exhausted all three Maurice card decks.
At the conclusion of this series of battles, we determined whether peace would be sued for and so it was. Our armies went into winter quarters with the Epic Point totals thus:
Il Ducato di Libagioni - 7 EP
Le Grand-Duche de Gourmandie - 5 EP
ERP - 3 EP
While in winter quarters, armies can spend Epic Points for a number of things like recruiting new units or attracting new nobles to the cause. Of course, by doing this the army's EP total is reduced and one is that much further from the winning goal. I chose to transfer two units of infantry out of my army and replace them with cavalry. We'll see how a higher proportion of horse can affect the battles.
And thanks to Vidal for adjudicating and offering Maurice advice over the weekend!
What's up next? Besides the next series of battles, I think Phil and I have some painting to do and maybe a map program to design our countries (even though it's not necessary for the campaign).
BTW, Aristology: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristology