The Iron Queen’s War, Part 1

At dawn on the ninth of December, a day of fair weather and calm seas, four fast ships, hemiolias, were dispatched as courier ships. As the ships cleared their moorings, ten riders passed the gates of Nica. All were carrying orders for the fleets and armies of Nycenae.

While Queen Celeste celebrated the launch of her campaign to conquer Asteria, she was unaware of two mysterious riders passing through her gates with exact copies of her plans.

– The Chronicles of Melanippe of Asteria
Couriers leaving Nica

The Campaign Begins – Dec. 9

From a previous post, Campaign Mobilization, we know Queen Celeste wants to attack Asteria on the 21st of December. It takes time to move ships and armies, and while modern armies can plan operations down to the minute, such was not the case in the ancient world. Queen Celeste chose December 9th, the festival celebrating the birth of the minor goddess, Elainia, patroness of floozies and wanton women on which to launch her campaign.

To make the initial campaign turns easier to follow, I made a copy of the strategic map showing the locations of the Nycenaean armies and fleets. The next thing to do is to determine the weather on December 9th. Using the weather chart in The Solo Wargaming Guide, I row 2d6 and score an eight – fair weather. With fair weather, ships can move 10 hexes a day and couriers can move 8 hexes a day on roads.

At the end of the day, forces at Nica, Estioneira and Prilda have received their orders. The Commander Competency Rating determines what these commanders do when they receive their orders.

  • 1st Army General Theophania in Nica cancels all leaves and orders the provisioning of troops in preparation for embarkation.
  • 1st Fleet Admiral Leto in Nica orders the provisioning of all ships and issues orders to recall all ships on patrol.
  • 6th Army General Maera in Prilda cancels all leaves and orders the provisioning of troops in preparation to march.
  • 3rd Fleet Admiral Cytheria in Estioneira receives her orders but sets them aside on her desk.

Latonan spies have left Nica with copies of the Nycenaean plans and orders.

Asteria is unaware of any mobilization, ending the first campaign turn.

Spies leaving soon after the Couriers

Campaign Turn 2 – Dec. 10

While the messengers rode well into the night before stopping, the courier ships beached and made camp as the last rays on sunlight disappeared from the sky.

At the start of day two of the campaign, I roll 1d6 and score a 3, there is no change in the weather – another fair day.

By the end of the day, orders have been delivered to Jyalene, Nironeira, Hioreytie, and Veoyle.

  • 1st Army musters its troops and continues with preparations.
  • 1st Fleet continues with preparations.
  • 2nd Army General Dorothea at Nironeira orders the provisioning of troops and preparation to march.
  • 3rd Army General Adeia at Hioreytie receives her orders and places them on her desk.
  • 3rd Fleet Admiral Cytheria orders the provisioning of her ships and issues a recall of all patrols.
  • 4th Fleet Admiral Niobe at Jyalene orders the provisioning of her ships and recalls all patrols.
  • 5th Army General Cheris at Veoyle orders the provisioning of troops and preparation to march.

The spies reach the coastal farmstead of Eoeippe and light a beacon.

Asteria is still unaware of any mobilization.

Nycenaean Troop dispositions on December 9th

Campaign Turn 3 – Dec. 11

At dawn a Latonan bireme approaches a deserted beach to retrieve the two spies. This is also the day when the remainder of Nycenae’s forces receive their orders.

For the weather, I rolled a 6 which has me advance up one space on the weather chart – another day of fair weather.

By the end of the day, orders have been delivered to Ilthiasza, Daulipe, and Ogea.

  • 2nd Army continues preparations to march.
  • 2nd Fleet Admiral Melita at Ilthiasza orders the provisioning of ships and recalls all patrols.
  • 3rd Army General Adeia orders the provisioning of troops and prepares to march.
  • 4th Army General Pelopia at Ilthiasza receives her orders but loses them in the pile of papers on her desk.
  • 5th Fleet Admiral Polydora at Daulippe orders the provisioning of ships, but does not recall the patrols in the Straits of Tropilium.
  • 7th Army General Kore at Ogea orders the provisioning of troops and preparation to march.

Late in the afternoon, the spies reach the port of Scykises in Latona, where ravens are dispatched with the plans to Queen Medea at Sogoth.

The merchant ships of the Western fleet return to Asteria after a successful trading mission with Malohades. Asteria is still unaware of any troop movements.

Campaign Turn 4 – Dec. 12

There is no change in the weather.

The armies and fleets of Nycenae continue following orders preparing for the upcoming campaign, except for the 4th Army under General Pelopia whose orders remain on her desk unread.

(A note on delayed action – the CCR, Commander’s Competency Rating, determines how quickly a commander responds to orders. Poor commanders will delay one day before responding to orders, while an inept commander such as General Pelopia will take two days before carrying out her orders.)

The ravens with messages from the spies have covered half the distance to Sogoth. Though the ravens are reliable, the spies continue their journey along the coast of Latona just in case their message and stolen plans do not reach Queen Medea.

Asteria is still unaware of Nycenaean preparations for war.

3rd Fleet Transports sailing to Nica

Campaign Turn 5 – Dec. 13

Another fair day across Valkae.

After Captain Anysia, an adjutant to Admiral Melita, asked 4th Army General Pelopia for a list with the number of troops and horse needing transport as per orders – General Pelopia is said to have responded with “What orders?”

On this day, an embarrassed General Pelopia finds her orders among the piles of paper on her desk and begins making preparations for the upcoming invasion of Asteria.

An hour before sunset, the ravens arrive at the palace of Queen Medea in Sogoth. It is said the Witch Queen’s eyes sparkled as she read the stolen plans of Queen Celeste.

Meanwhile, across Asteria, beans, pebbles, and amphoras are being gathered and prepared for use in the upcoming elections.

4th Fleet sailing for Ueadae

Campaign Turn 6 – Dec. 14

In Latona, the weather remains fair, but Asteria and Nycenae experience heavy rain.

Though the rain has slowed the preparations of the Nycenaean forces, General Maera leads the 6th Army out of Prilda on the road to Nica.

Queen Medea meets with her ministers to discuss how she can benefit from the coming war between Asteria and Nycenae. It is decided not to side with either Asteria or Nycenae; no warning will be given to Asteria until after the invasion has begun, and once the Nycenaean armies have left Nycenae, the Latonans will raid the southern coasts of Nycenae for loot and slaves.

In Asteria, Queen Hippolyte hosts a banquet for all of the candidates competing to take her place when she retires from service.

5th Fleet sets sail

Campaign Turn 7 – Dec. 15

In Asteria, the rain has stopped. Nycenae experiences light rain and Latona has fair weather.

The light rain does not hamper the preparations of Nycenaean forces.

  • 1st Army in Nica receives ship assignments.
  • 1st Fleet in Nica moves all transport vessels to loading docks in the harbor.
  • General Dorothea reviews the assembled 2nd Army.
  • An impatient Admiral Melita of 2nd Fleet sends messages to 4th Army General Pelopia telling her to hurry.
  • 3rd Army General Adeia reviews her assembled army.
  • All 3rd Fleet Transports escorted by a squadron of Quinqueremes set sail from Estioneira for Nica.
  • General Pelopia’s 4th Army continues preparations.
  • 4th Fleet sets sail for Ueadae where it will meet the 3rd Army.
  • General Cheris’ 5th Army begins its march from Veoyle to Ogea.
  • 5th Fleet sets sail from Daulipe for Ilthiasza leaving behind 2 squdrons of Triremes and 1 squadron of Biremes to patrol the Tropilium Strait.
  • 6th Army continues its march toward Nica.
  • 7th Army General Kore reviews her assembled troops at Ogea.

Queen Medea’s ministry drafts orders for the Latonan fleet.

Summary of the First Campaign Week

Though there were no tabletop games played in the campaign’s first week, I did find it interesting as the preparations give me a glimpse of the personalities of the Nycenaean commanders. I wonder if they will carry these personality traits over to the battlefield.

If this is your first time reading about the campaign, here are the previous posts:

1Making a Darn Good Game More Complicated
2The Outline Map
3Adding Terrain to the Map
4Armies and Navies
5Campaign Mobilization

As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome and much appreciated.

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Iron Queen’s War Part 1 post

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