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The Dark Forest - where we fight one another before getting overrunned by thrash mobs

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Well, that's the traditional meme thread for our Dark Forest. Gruds will definitely be harmed.


Dayyalu, Porkbelly and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
DayyaluPorkbellyLanHawkBaron Rastignak

The Grud Groan?   Siriusly?

So Gruds are just anorexic Yodas? I'm sure they won't be a problem, then. (No, I have never played the game)

Dear Clemens, it has been more than a year since I've left the company of my brothers in Christ to accompany our liege in this most harrowing quest. The voyage itself to this brutish land would have been worthy of a fair share of letters, but I lacked both time and the means to send any. Even now I doubt that those very words will reach you, if not by the Grace of the Lord.

This place is dismal, and in a ironic twist of fate it's named "Terrafranca", or as the plebeians call it "Freedonia", due to the fact that their possessions here are exempt from Royal Tax. I'd personally prefer to be paying taxes to their betters than risking limb and soul here.

We have been sent here on a most holy quest. Clemens, as a fellow literate, you surely know the tale of the Druids, accursed pagan magicians that were destroyed by Caesar, King of the Romans. However, many of their artifacts survive, and our liege has been tasked to retrieve and dispose of them.

However, the corruption of the Pagans here is strong. Plebeians here swear to have seen men dressed in pelts and paint, skirting the outside of our settlement, at times starting meaningless conversation with young shepherds. If the unholiness of this land stopped here, it would be already anathema enough....

Clemens, you know of the Homunculi Silvani, the Little Men in The Woods. We know they exist, just there, glimpsed quickly when you travel in the woods at dusk. Their visage, a symbol of sin, sculpted by wise hands on our Churches.

In this cursed land, their hold is strong. Maybe it's the heritage of Pagan magics, or the long abandonment. The  villagers call them "Gruds", and even I have seen them, no longer hiding, but poking, entering homes, trying to steal children and beasts alike. Clemens, pray for me and for our liege, because here, the hold of Satan is strong.

(Well, this got longer than expected. Pardon my larping, it was an inspiration. Also please no one notice how I fucked up the deployment, please.)

The Wargaming Scribe, Argyraspide and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
The Wargaming ScribeArgyraspideMorpheus KitamiBaron Rastignak

So I guess the dark forest is really very dark. Can't even see who's in there.

Porkbelly has reacted to this post.
Quote from Argyraspide on 30 August 2023, 21h05

So I guess the dark forest is really very dark. Can't even see who's in there.

Better hope that all forest regions are claimed by anyone. Because otherwise - Porkbelly will get lots of nice green neighbors he can't even see

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Turn 0

For people following but not playing, the number in each region indicates :

First digit : who owns the region :
0 = Gruds (neutral AND aggressive)
1 = Morpheus
2 = Porkbelly
3 = Baron Rastignak
4 = Dayyalu
5 = Argyraspide
6 = Scribe


Second & third digits : numbers of soldiers (whether humans or gruds) there. Ther is a maximum of 20 gruds, and I never reached the human maximum.

Some early notes :
- That dark forest is really dark. What a wonderful defensive position for Porkbelly... I hope he keeps count
- The Spectrar ate some gruds in region Q
- The magician is visiting Dayyalu
- Dayyalu freaked up his deployment with 2 guys in his castle, so he starts with a significant disadvantage. If people are OK, I can deploy the units as above, except transfer one of Dayyalu's guys in B. Tell me quickly !
- The South has a lot more space for expansion

Dayyalu, LanHawk and Baron Rastignak have reacted to this post.
DayyaluLanHawkBaron Rastignak

Well, we did the redo for Dayyalu.

Looks like the seed happens early :

So basically, same comments except Dayyalu freaking up his deployment.

Dayyalu and Porkbelly have reacted to this post.

Sitting in my castle in the far North, surrounded by mountains...

Well, guess what!

I hope you guys on the Southern side of the river are happy with the price of real estate, because in the North it is going to be knife night.

Dayyalu and Porkbelly have reacted to this post.

At least you lot don't have a dragon to contend with.

Quote from Argyraspide on 3 September 2023, 10h30

At least you lot don't have a dragon to contend with.

We have almost worse.

I feel like the Lord is sending us more woes to test our mettle. For days one of the Painted Men has been a blight upon the land claimed by my liege.

Almost naked, painted and dirty, he has been rather vocal in his attempts to reach the ears of our captain for some time. He had no such fortune, as I have made clear to him that this... thing is clearly a descendant of the Druids, an ancient order of Satan-worshippers that ruled the lands of the Celts in cruelty and practiced human sacrifice. Even if the little people tell tall tales of "magics" and, God Forbid, "miracles" done by this dirty beggar, the only solution is to shun him.  Maybe he'll go South, offering his inanities and follies to the Frenchmen that came here.

The Wargaming Scribe, Argyraspide and Porkbelly have reacted to this post.
The Wargaming ScribeArgyraspidePorkbelly

Turn 2 :

  • The Spectar eats one of MK's men, which so early in the game is a serious setback
    • It took the liberty of indicating how many men are left, because it is "hidden" by the UI and it is an information I have because I resolve the turn, but that other players may not have (eg if Dayyalu deploys troops, then is hit by the Spectar),
    • I will not do it for the gruds, because I can't know their "growth" below the icon and everyone knows how many gruds there are during their turn,
  • The magician is upset at Dayyalu's characterisation of him and joins forces with the Grud this turn
  • No one knows what Porkbelly is up to in that forest.


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Some further thinking about the situation :

  • Playing last is a serious disadvantage : the other players have one more turn to reinforce, and if the gruds do anything and weaken your defence somewhere, the other players can exploit it before you can plug the hole,
  • The gruds are going to be difficult to break through. They reinforce by +1 by turn, which is the same as the players. To attack a grud position, the players need to weaken ... somewhere or to have some "safe regions" not within range of the gruds. I feel Porkbelly and MK in particular may very well be eliminated by the gruds, Porkbelly's green neighbours are +5 together every turn vs +4 for him, though with a defensive advantage. For MK, it is a more favourable +3 vs +4, but with dangerous non-green neighbours and no defense bonus. Dayyalu on the other hand can focus 100% on killing me and/or Rastignak.The first one in the South to break this grud conundrum may win the war.
Porkbelly has reacted to this post.

Not to worry! MK and I have reached an understanding with the Gruds.

They have agreed to leave us alone if we destroy them all.

The Wargaming Scribe has reacted to this post.
The Wargaming Scribe
Quote from Porkbelly on 4 September 2023, 12h41

Not to worry! MK and I have reached an understanding with the Gruds.

They have agreed to leave us alone if we destroy them all.

We will see about that.

My personal bet : M will be the last grud stronghold with some massive number of gruds there and no one willing to push them out.

Turn 2

This is what I assume happened during the turn (including my turn)



  • Morpheus leveraged the relative weakness of Argyra in region W for a daring if lightweight attack that made it through
  • Porkbelly attacked the gruds in P, presumably specifically here to avoid sharing a border with another player,
  • Rastignak attempts to push the gruds back to the river in H, kills one but fails to kill the others. It gives me a golden opportunity to break the stalemate. I follow up and take the territory with no losses,
  • Argyra and Dayyalu stay put and reinforce.


Turn resolution :



Sum-up :

  • The Spectar eats one of Dayyalu's men in the North, worsening an already precarious position. I have no doubt that Dayyalu is going to launch his last hurrah on D this turn,
  • The magician reinforces the gruds in T, who use it immediately to attack Porkbelly in N with overwhelming forces. Porkbelly's kingdom is cut in two and in a very precarious position
  • The gruds also try to retake H by crossing the river from M, but trolls eat one of them and I push back the rest with no losses,


Meta notes :

  • It looks like the gruds don't always attack when they have an overwhelming advantage, else they would have attacked W and P. I am not sure whether they have a limited number of attacks by turn or just a chance not to attack
  • Keep in mind that the Spectar can attack castles. If you have only 1 man, then you lose your castle. Of course, I also left only one man on the castle, so I understand the arbitration that must be taken,
  • I started a thread on the RPGCodex, but except for turn 0 turn 1 where I needed to explain a few things it will be the same content. I will probably start another on a French blog - same content translated. I feel this sort of PBEM can interest people beyond this blog very limited audience :).


Dayyalu and Porkbelly have reacted to this post.

Lord! Our forces have conquered the area known as "P".
With a battle cry of "Seemed like a good idea at the time!" Sir Piglet's attack has scattered the Grud!


Lord! the Grud have taken the dark area known as "N". Sir Piglet is cut off!
Ha! Praise the wizard, all is going to plan.. as uncle Julius counseled “Divide et impera!”

Lord? I think this does not mean what you think it means...

The Wargaming Scribe and Dayyalu have reacted to this post.
The Wargaming ScribeDayyalu

The horror. I've witnessed the greatest horror of all, since I've come here, in this cursed place. A few days after the Druid left our lands (for sure reaching safety in the land of the Frenchmen!) the skies have darkened, and a tempest struck us for days, like a new Deluge, but not one born from the rightful wrath of God, but by foul magics....

The wise men know of many monstra. It can mean a portent, or something .... other. But also, a physical being, a creature beyond our common experience. I know they exist, but, this is the first time seeing one.


It came suddenly, under the rains, its serpentine body moving quickly in soaked soil. I could barely see its brutal rampage as it struck peasants and miles alike, a few daring trying to struck it down. It has almost an.... impalpable quality, but I could clearly see its unholy form, a mixture between the fox and a serpent. And, Clemens, trust me, serpents aren't as big as four ciboria.

Our Liege is incensed. He's sure the Frenchmen have summoned the beast with the help of the Druid, and righteous revenge is necessary. This evil deed needs retribution, and the works of the Devil need to be destroyed!



Argyraspide and Porkbelly have reacted to this post.

Turn 3 :

Disaster ! Dayyalu has attacked my position in D and destroyed all the defenders without any losses. He could immediately reinforce !

Worse ! My probing attack on D failed (I did not insist, superior number seems to give a massive advantage) and the Spectrar ate one of my two defenders in F. Did I mention that Rastignak is massing an army in I, reinforced by the magician himself ? Porkbelly might end up in a grud soup, but I will most likely end up either hanged or beheaded by fellow lieges !


In other news :
- Argyra recovers region W, though not sure how bloody the battle was,
- Morpheus either did nothing a failed an attack,
- Porkbelly seizes region K from the gruds,
- The gruds predicably recovered region P, and failed an attempt to take Argyra's castle directly

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DayyaluLanHawkBaron Rastignak
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