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

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Quote from Argyraspide on 29 September 2023, 22h34

Historians will know this time period as The Very Confusing Era of Many Things All Happening at Once in a Very Confusing Manner.

"The Crisis of the Eleventh Century" as they say


EDIT: Two hundred posts on the forum! The heck

I'm sorry if the map looks like crap, the border gore is insane.

Morpheus gets Scribe's former Castle on 2 to avoid being shutdown.

Porkbelly pushes on 5 and regains a power base.

Dayyalu's push on 6 is at last successful.

The Gruds, out of control, attack T but stop just before being crushed.

The Spectre eats one of Dayyalu's men and the Magician is nowhere to be seen.

Next turn should be the last one.

The Wargaming Scribe, Strange Fellow and Porkbelly have reacted to this post.
The Wargaming ScribeStrange FellowPorkbelly

The Porkers pick up treasure #2 and settle in to their new home.

Meanwhile over at castle #6....

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DayyaluLanHawkBaron Rastignak

Clemens, I'm sorry for the lack of news from this cursed lands. I know you worked unerringly to send us men and supplies, and many times your timely reinforcements saved us from disaster. But the task.... is done.

The last of the Druids are defeated, their cursed artifacts taken and destroyed. For long they tried to stop our liege, conjuring horrors and magics to stop our advance, promising falsehoods to other lords and cursing them with "gifts". But no more.

We're going to leave this place at once, peasants, miles and myself. The Homini Silvani are surging in dazzling numbers, and soon this land will be overrun. Maybe the last revenge of the Druids, or maybe the spells that controlled the Gruds are now broken. Pray for me, Clemens, for our safe return home.


Annnd that's it.

Morpheus claims C.

Porkbelly searches his castle.

Dayyalu claims his last treasure and wins first place with a score of 2422! Gruds blast from everywhere at the same time.


Well, closing thoughts.

The Dark Forest is clearly a boardgame more than a "strategic/tactical game", it could be easily reproduced in real life with dices and paper. There are a good number of "bad" design decisions, the premiere is of course the turn order that gives advantages to the first players, it's not easy to counter it but considering that I won and I was fourth it's not impossible to manage.

Mechanically, I agree with the design of making attacking almost always worth it. You have a single move every turn, you need to reward aggressive and daring play to avoid everything getting bogged down in Risk-style shenanigans.

The Magician and the Spectre are decent RNG and they can be used for some amusing plays, and they theoretically should give problems to doomstacks. Theoretically.

The best thing about TDF is, however, how simple it is to play. Old games live and die by their interface, clarity and ease: TDF is fast and I dare to say, even fun. Diplomacy is important and the game understands its limits. After the painful experiences of the last two MP matches, this was a fun romp and reminded me of my past PBEMs times. I had fun, and this is the most important thing. Thanks to everyone for being sporting and smart opponents or loyal allies, my hat to ye all.

Also, little men in the woods attacking and eating people are a common theme in Romanic art. The Gruds for sure had forefathers, scheming and loitering just outside white churches....

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The Wargaming ScribeStrange FellowArgyraspidePorkbellyLanHawkMorpheus KitamiBaron Rastignak

Congratulations on the win, Dayyalu!

This map would probably work better with four players, rather than six. It gets crowded fast.

I agree with your verdict on the game, it's easy enough to play, but has some depth, and the treasure hunting makes it more interesting than a simple deathmatch. Although I'm a big fan of them in spirit, I'm a little torn on the Gruds. Players can use them as defensive pawns in a way, but maybe there should be more to them.

That being said, it's interesting to see what the map looks like now that Dayyalu has vanished from it, and how Porkbelly managed to move his little bubble of soldiers to another castle and would now be in a position to start regaining power. Likewise for Morpheus, but he was doing better.

The Wargaming Scribe, Dayyalu and Porkbelly have reacted to this post.
The Wargaming ScribeDayyaluPorkbelly

Congratulation, Dayyalu!

Fun fact : Dayyalu was sending me copy of his turn every day, with the added comment until around 2 turns before the end that he was going to lose because either Porkbelly and Morpheus was going to crush him with [everytime something different]. Fun times.


Thank you all for accepting to try this game, and thank you for the banters. I don't have much to add to Dayyalu's comments (and Porkbelly's earlier comment). This is 100% a ported boardgame, down to the D6 thrown in the background. Even though I was eliminated super early, it was fun to play and then fun to watch, maybe because it is a boardgame not trying to be fancy. The "one attack by turn" turns out to be an interesting constraint that forces you to attack every turn if you don't want to fall behind, unlike say Risk where you stockpile one hundred troops in say Australia before conquering the world. The turn order is the worst balance issue, obviously.

Looking back, I wish we had a map without a river dividing the map in two - it may have created even more dynamic campaigns, without the turn 13-18 lull.


I need to catch back with the AAR in other sites, and then I guess we move to the next game - alas I am not sure we have more 6-player games.

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