Lords in the Field 5

August 25, 2014

Let’s see, where did we leave off. Oh yes, Les’ and I taking back Kilburun. We bounced back from the Crimeans’ onslaught slowly, eventually gaining back Ladyzhyn and Izmail. Things held steady there for some time and it seemed like we might bounce back fully, although I never seemed to have many guys joining me. Then Giray got his full forces gathered again and took all three back. Once again, I was without any fortress or even village of my own. This time, I didn’t even bother trying to mess with his 900-man army. I went around doing quests until a couple of guys came to join me. Then two more showed up. Hmm … let’s do this! We took back all of them … Izmail, Kilburun, Kracow and Ladyzhyn. Oh, there was some back and forth with the three nearest their homeland.

I found a way to hold onto all three of my fortresses, however. Yes, three. Hmel was kind enough to give me back the three that I had been lord of in the past: Kilburun, Krakov, and Ladyzhyn. Izmail was granted to the one man that I have been unable to form any kind of friendship with, Army Chief Pavlo Gomon.

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(Oh, hey, I got Timofiy Nosach in that shot too, on the left! Nice!!)

Probably has something to do with the fact that he is the one who I am always running against in the voting for Marshal. I’m sure being Army Chief and not actually being in charge has got to be grating on his soul just a little bit. Lord knows I’ve tried to win his favor but to no avail. At least I have succeeded in not making him an enemy, however. I only have one of those. Sedjet-bey got mad every time I had a chance to capture him and let him go free. Apparently he feels that he is disgraced by such acts of kindness, so I gave up on him and just put him in my prison after that.

Anyway, back to keeping my holdings. Shortly after we re-acquired those fortresses, Sweden declared war on us. Now, we are stretched thin enough with one enemy. I don’t want my colonels running off across the map on their own to lay siege to Sweden’s towns when we have the Crimeans right next door breathing fire on us. The mayors of the fortresses will offer a quest to convince two colonels, one from your own faction and one from the faction you are at war with, to bring a peace agreement to the table. So I went around to the Cossack fortresses and visited the mayors until one gave me the quest. I didn’t care which one of the two factions he chose, just as long as I could end one of them and keep my forces focused on one. Fortunately, it was the Crimeans, and even more fortunately, the general I needed to convince was Ahmed-pasha, one of my best friends. For the low price of -3 relationship, he was convinced. The other was Ivan Bogun. It cost a bit more relationship with him, but it was worth it because I could save my thalers. Bam! Done. After so much … WAR … it was nice to have the heartland of our territory at peace. Oh, sure, the Swedes took Kilburun and I had to get it back from them. But no biggie. And once we took, um … that fortress that starts with D and is next to Lviv … we pretty much pushed the Swedes out of our area.

It’s been fun fighting Swedes instead of Crimeans for a change. And holding Krakov, I have a nice short ride straight over the bridge behind Warsaw to get to Allenstein Castle. I led an expedition up there and took that, Kovno Fortress, and Narva. The Swedes have been in a bitter war with both Poland and Moscow for some time now, so they have very few things left. The Poles hold many of their strongholds, like Vilna and Riga.

One other thing before I go, since this will be the only post this week. I’ve mentioned that I’m reading the book. Lyss can testify as to how much I am enjoying it. I freaked out at her last week, afraid to turn the page because Bogun was going to duel and I was scared to learn the outcome. Well, the story has Ivan Bogun and Jan Skrzetuski both in love with the same woman. So when I ran into this battle back when we were at war with Poland, I had to get a screenshot, because, dude … Bogun vs. Skrzetuski!

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In this battle, Bogun won and captured Skrzetuski. But we haven’t been at war with the Poles since, and I still haven’t gotten a screenshot of Bogun. Oh well, maybe next week.

Lords in the Field 4

August 19, 2014

It’s probably actually 5 if you count yesterday.

After taking Kilburun, Les’ and I just hung around the area and engaged any Crimeans we ran across. When Martyn Pushkarenko laid siege to Kalanchak, we rode over and joined him.

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I’m not sure what he was doing, really, because we never completed the siege. Even after Ivan Hmara and Fyodor Loboda joined us, we continued to stand around and just fight defenders that showed up. Which is ok, I mean, we did some damage to them and were never really in danger since the bulk of their army was still on Krakov. With the fortifications and garrison I had built up there, it took them *forever* to finally take it.

Speaking of Loboda, on Sunday when I rode over near Perekop chasing some scouts, I stumbled upon a battle between him and one of the Khan’s men. It was looking kinda bad for him, so of course I jumped in and helped fight them off. He was grateful for the assistance, of course, but afterwards every single man in his army was injured and needed time to heal. He wasn’t following me, so I followed him, because I couldn’t just leave him there in that condition, any little band of scouts would be able to potentially capture him without even needing to fight. So what does he do? Does he ride back to his fortress of Kyzykerman just across the river? Nope. He starts chasing more scouts. Now, maybe I should just let stupid be stupid, but I’m loyal to my Cossacks and we need to all stick together to be successful. So I followed him around, jumping in every time he engaged a party and saving his butt. Each time, I gained a large number of friendship points with him. By the time he finally decided to go home, he was devoted to me. In WoW terms, I gained enough rep to be exalted with him.

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I tried to get a better picture instead of this one without his horse. It must have gotten killed under him. In another battle I followed him around, hoping to get a good screenshot at the end. In most of the battles I try to follow my other colonels around, partly to protect them, partly to get screenshots. In that one we were down to one last Oglan. Fyodor and I were chasing him and Fyodor was right next to him. Sadly, the guy managed to knock him out before I could get close enough to finish him off. He paid for his insolence with my lance in his side. And you get the horseless shot instead.

I Had Wings

August 18, 2014

It was a roller coaster weekend for sure.

Saturday was the ride up. I mentioned Friday that we had taken a couple of fortresses from the Crimeans. Well, Saturday we pushed them further back. We took Izmail again after they took it back from the Muscovites, and then rode over to the other side of the map and took Krakov. Desiring both an actual city with good income (as opposed to a place that’s just a military fortress), and a base far from the current front which would likely be left alone, I asked that it be given to me. While I was over in that neighborhood, I stopped in Minsk to visit Vasil Zolotarenko for something, and found this Hussar armor in the shop there.

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I wonder what the other Cossacks thought. I mean, here I am wearing the regalia of the Commonwealth’s famous cavalry, AND being lord of Krakov … I’m sure a few of them wondered whether I was truly loyal to the Hetmanate. But they had nothing to fear. I led the troops across the river into the heart of Crimean territory and claimed Perekop and … dang, what’s that other K one in the corner there. Kezlev? Kalanchak? One of the two. Sweden took the other one, and Sweden and the Muscovites had also taken the three fortresses further out. We had them on the ropes with only two fortresses and three armies left.

I mentioned before how sometimes some of the generals will join in on my side. This happens a LOT with the Crimeans. I haven’t figured out the how or the why of it at all. Here we have Imad-pasha fighting for me …

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and Bukryn-bey as well …

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Sounds like things are going perfect, right? Yes, well … this is where the downward spiral begins. We laid siege to the Crimean capital at Bakhchisaray. There were no generals there, only the garrison of around 250. With just 3 hours left in the 13 that it takes to lay explosives on the wall, I received notice that the Muscovites were besieging Perekop. Now, the right choice would have been to stick on Bakhchisaray and finish my own siege. It would have been quite the nail in the coffin for the Crimeans, who would then have only Kafa left and be stuck in a corner surrounded by enemies. But emotion won out, for you see, Perekop had been awarded to Les’ Gritsenko, who did not have a fortress of his own prior to that. Logic was drowned out by my heart crying ‘Protect Les’ town! Don’t let them take it!’

That wasn’t a problem, we successfully drove them away. But in the meantime, the Crimeans sent defenders to Bakhchisaray. The opportunity was lost. Then they sent five or six armies to besiege Kezlev. As I was trying to lure them away from it one or two at a time to deplete their numbers, they came up with a dirty trick. A small group of scouts appeared on the other side of me and they are too fast to avoid. If you are within a certain aggro range of the other armies when you go into battle, they will join in. So yeah, they ambushed me and then it was me vs. all of them at once. You can guess how that went. And to add insult to injury, they stole my Hussar wings! /sadpanda. The wings had felt a little strange at first, but I got used to them and feel naked now without them.

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From there, things only got worse. Yesterday, they sought vengeance in a big way. Khan Islam Giray gathered most of his armies together and went on a rampage. With 7, 8 and even 9 armies at a time, there was no way we could fight them off. It’s very difficult to get the Cossack lords to all come together and follow orders. I can ask one to follow me, we’ll ride 10 paces, and he’ll turn and be off doing his own thing. Infuriating! So most of the time I’m pretty much left making do with whoever shows up voluntarily. Without a large enough group to take them on, they quickly took back Kezlev, Perekop, Izmail, Kilburun, and my own Ladyzhyn. Then they went and laid siege to Cashcow! er .. Krakov. Nooooooooooooo!

All was lost. My fortress was already gone, all of our advances into their territory taken back, and even Krakov, clear over in Polish territory, was on the verge of being captured. In despair, I rode back over near Ladyzhyn and sat there in stunned silence. Hearing hoofbeats behind me, I turned to see Les’ riding up to accompany me. I lost it. ‘Why would you follow me?’ I told him. ‘I’m a terrible Marshal. All that was taken has been lost. Every foothold that we had has been reclaimed. We were on the verge of victory and I made a mistake and look what it has cost us.’ I cried on his shoulder. He hugged me and called me his brave champion like he always does, and then said ‘Look, here comes Timofiy. Together we will start taking back fortresses. All is not lost, it’s only a setback.’ And you know what? He was right …

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Lords in the Field 3

August 15, 2014

Yes, while everyone else is writing ’bout the WoD cinematic and release date, I’m here to bring you more stuff you don’t care about!

Wednesday night I didn’t get many followers. I think it was just Lukyan Mozyra and maybe Timofiy Nosach. I don’t remember for sure. But I was determined to take Kyzykerman that night, and even though we were just three, we did it. Even if it wasn’t Tim, here’s a shot of him anyway.

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Last night I got a bit more response and had anywhere from 2 to 5 other colonels following me at one time. They come and go. But it worked out great because we took Kilburun, Izmail, and Akkerman. Of course, we lost Akkerman soon after when the Muscovites came in full force to take it while we were running off the Crimeans who were trying to take the others back. But that’s ok, we’ll get it tonight.

With all the action around those others, they have left my Ladyzhyn alone, and the garrison is built up quite nicely now. I haven’t asked for any of the others as a reward. I’m quite happy to let Hmelnitski distribute the wealth amongst all of our comrades. Although I’m not sure that keeping Kilburun for himself counts as sharing. hehe. No matter. I may ask for one down the road if we take one that I especially want, but for now, my single fortress and village are enough to keep my finances secure.

I really like Vasil Zolotarenko’s black thoroughbred.

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In one of the battles, I followed him around and waited until he got knocked out, then I quickly swapped my horse for his so I could ride it for a bit. I later saw one for sale in Izmail after we captured it, but I don’t like the stats on it as much as on the bay one that I have. My big bay has the highest charge rating that I have seen (how much damage it does when you run over an enemy with your horse). I also have a heavy courser with the highest speed rating, and a spirited steppe horse with the highest maneuverability rating.

One other exciting thing happened yesterday. My DVDs of the Jerzy Hoffman films came. I watched the first half of With Fire and Sword (Ogniem i Mieczam in Polish) last night. It was so exciting seeing these characters come to life. And kind of fun hearing it all in Polish and learning how some of these names are actually pronounced. Skrzetuski had a beard in the book, but not in the game, but seeing him in the movie, now I see why he looks like he does in the game. And Pan Longin, oh my! The actor’s portrayal of him is so spot on! And Bohun (Ivan Bogun in game), poor cursed Bohun with the pretty eyes and beautiful voice (and terrible temper, count on me to fall for the bad boy amirite?). Come on, I dare you to tell me he’s not pretty.

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