Obsidian Throne Campaign

Current Campaign Status


The last High King of Cartasonne, Angoulaime the Unready, died senile and enfeebled more than a century ago, unable to keep together the powerful noble families of Cartassonne. The external threat of the Orcs of the wild had been beaten back long since, and the various Central Nations no longer considered them a threat. With no external threat the office of High King had been weakened by graft and politics and cronyism, and none of the claimants to the Obsidian Throne of Angoulaime could muster enough strength to force the other nations to recognize his claim. Thirty years of civil war petered out into surly negotiations that did nothing more than recognize the status quo; the various Central Powers of Cartasonne as we now know them.

Three generations have passed since the Compact of Cartasonne, marked by trade and numerous minor wars between the Central Nations. The empty throne of Angoulaime stands mute witness to the fact that no leader is strong enough to claim it -- the one thing that will unite the fractious powers that remain is one of their rivals trying to claim the High Kingship.

But the Orcs were not destroyed, just driven back. Left alone for more than a century, they have regained their strength. And now Cartasonne is weaker than ever before, squabbling and divided, as an Orcish Horde stands ready to descend upon the borderlands. Who now will have the strength to unite Cartasonne against their depradations?


The Map

There are three types of province: normal provinces (small coloured circles), capitals (large coloured circles), and Chavis, the High City (purple central large coloured circle).

Most provinces are Arable topography. The exceptions are clearly marked as follows:


Nations and Armies

The following powers exist at the start of the game:

Capitol City of Chavis

Player: none. One of the Orcish players will fight out any battles where a Central Nation fights against Chavis; one of the Central Nation players will fight out any battles where an Orcish power attacks Chavis. The Capitol never sends allied contingents out nor declares war on anyone nor moves its army from the capitol. It is not forced to defend if attacked; it may decide to stand siege instead. The decision is made by the same power(s) that would fight as the defender if a battle were fought that turn against the attacker.

Provinces: Chavis City (only)

Army: 1x3Kn (Gen), 6x4Sp, 2x4Bw.

Rebuild costs: the forces do not rebuild and if the capitol is ever captured the whole army disappears permanently from the game.

Duchy of Lahrsownee

Player: Jack "the Butcher" Sheriff

Provinces: Zarantium (Capitol), Nikaea, Trapezun, Thrakesia

Army: 1x3Cv(Gen), 3x3Cv, 1x6Kn or 4Sp, 3x4Sp, 2x8Bw or 4Sp, 2x2Ps.

Rebuild costs: 2 for Cv/Kn, 1 for Sp/Bw/Ps

Duchy of Arbino

Player: Mark Pozniak

Provinces: Arbino (Capitol), Minal, Tirenze, Fenettia

Army: 1x3Kn(Gen), 1xWWg, 1x3Kn, 1x3/6Kn or 2LH, 2x4Sp, 2x4Sp or 4Ax, 2x4/8Cb or 2Ps, 2x7Hd

Rebuild costs: 2 for Kn/WWg, 1 for Sp/Ax/Cb/Ps, 0 for Hd

Lordship of the Hessian Order

Player: Russell Loiselle

Provinces: Hofburg (Capitol), Sudentor, Lechfeld, Thorn

Army: 1x3Kn(Gen), 3x3Kn, 1x3Cv, 2x2LH, 2x4Cb, 1x4Sp, 2x7Hd

Rebuild costs: 2 for Kn, 1 for Cv/LH/Cb/Sp, 0 for Hd

Shires of Elmet

Player: Chris Brantley

Provinces: Elmet (Capitol), Tookburg, Pimscup, Fallolan

Army: 1xWWg or 4Ax (Gen), 3x3/4Ax, 2x3Ax or 3Bw, 2x3Ax, 2x2Ps, 2x3Ax or 7Hd

All elements cost 1 to rebuild except Hd, which are free.

Orcs of the Misty Mountains

Player: David Kuijt

Provinces: Mount Gundabad (Capitol), Trollshaws, Redgate Mountains

Army: 1x 3Bd(Gen), 2x 3Bd (Uruk-hai), 2x4Troll, 1xArt or HCh, 4x5Wb, 2x2Ps

Rebuild costs: Army rebuilds at one element per season. Rebuilds can only be 5Wb or 2Ps elements; the army can have up to 6x5Wb and 6x2Ps at any time (12 elements maximum as always). General must be a 3Bd if any remain; otherwise it must be a 5Wb element.

Orcs of the Dark Forest

Player: Dave Schlanger

Provinces: Barad Uruk (Capitol), Blackwood, Wild Forest

Army: 1x 3Bd(Gen), 2x 3Bd (Uruk-hai), 2x3Bw (Uruk-hai Bow), 3x2Wg or 5Wb, 2x5Wb, 2x2Ps

Rebuild costs: Army rebuilds at one element per season. Rebuilds can only be 2Wg or 5Wb or 2Ps elements; the army can have up to 3x2Wg, 6x5Wb and 6x2Ps at any time (12 elements maximum as always). General must be a 3Bd if any remain; otherwise it must be a 5Wb element.

Sea Raiders

Player: none, or whoever is present at DBA night of our less frequent gamers and wants to play

Provinces: Pen Draig (Capitol), Monnaght, Firbolg Isle, Cadwyr

Army: 1x3Ax or 3Wb(Gen), 9x3Ax, 2x2Ps

Rebuild costs: all elements cost one to rebuild.

Steppe Nomads

Player: none, or whoever is present at DBA night of our less frequent gamers and wants to play

Provinces: Khand (Capitol), Brown Lands, Sea of Grass, Tyrol Gap

Army: 1x3Cv or 2LH (Gen), 11x2LH

Rebuild costs: all elements cost one to rebuild.


Capitols, Homelands, and Ending the Game

Capture of the capitol of another central nation makes them a subject ally as per the rules. Capture of the capitol of an Orcish or Raider Human nation eliminates that whole nation for the rest of the game.


The Orcs win if either Orcish player captures Chavis.


A Raider Nation will win if it can capture Chavis.


A Central Nation needs the following to win:

  1. It must control (directly or through Subject Allies) at least 9 cities originally held by the Central Nations
  2. It must control the city of Chavis
  3. It must control more than twice as many cities as any other Central Nation power that is not already its Subject Ally.


Special Campaign Rules

  1. The order of moves changes every season. Each player rolls a dice; high rolls move first.
  2. The Central Nations were unprepared for the inital Orcish attack, not seeing the Orcs as a significant threat after them being quiet for so many years. To represent this unwillingness, all Central Nation sieges of Orcish Strongholds are subject to a -1 modification (making the siege more difficult) for the first year only. Note that this only applies to strongholds (provinces) that start the game under Orcish control. After the first campaign year siege rolls are normal for all players.
  3. Rebuilds: Orcish armies get one replacement element per season, regardless of how many provinces they hold, so long as they still control their capital. Human armies get rebuilds as per the campaign rules, except for three changes: first, their capital is worth only one rebuild point (not two as in the campaign rules) -- Chavis is the only city worth two rebuild points on the map; second, they only gain extra rebuild points for central nation provinces controlled (i.e., not for Raider Nation or Orcish Stronghold provinces). Third, not all troops cost the same to replace -- some troop types are more difficult and expensive to rebuild, and some are cheaper. See individual army lists for details.
  4. Horde: Hordes are given two special benefits as follows. First, they can be rebuilt for free in the Winter season. Second, an army that is low on Horde (i.e., it could add one Horde element and still have a legal army configuration) and is also fighting a battle as the defender on its own original home turf this season, may add one Horde element before the battle begins to represent mustering local levies against invasion.


Special Battle Rules

  1. Arable Terrain: BUA is mandatory, but none of the silly BUA rules apply -- for our purposes, a BUA is an unwalled village or town. It acts in all respects like Woods (a patch of bad going that blocks line of sight and missile fire).
  2. Command Demoralization: an army is defeated when it has lost 1/3 or greater total casualties, including elements fled off-map. As described in the campaign rules section, on-map allied contingents are added to the main army they are assisting for purposes of determining defeat.
  3. 6Kn recoil distance: for this campaign, 60mm deep elements recoil their full base depth as per the rules.
  4. Warband suffer -1 for Bgo, not the -2 listed in the rules.
  5. 2Wg elements in the Southern Orcish army list are Warg-mounted Orcs. Special rules for Wargs apply: they act as LH in all respects, except that they treat Woods and Marsh as good going for all purposes. Additionally, they follow up if their opponent is destroyed or retreats, just like Kn or Wb.
  6. Troll elements function as Elephants in all respects.
  7. LH do not get a QK on Spear or Pike.
  8. War Wagon Rules: all the normal WADBAG rules for War Wagons are used. The special rules are as follows; all rules not changed below are as normal (i.e. +1 pip to move, combat results, etc.)


Determining the Defender for Tactical Battles

  1. If one army moves into the zone occupied by an enemy army that has not moved this season, the moving army is always the attacker and the other is always the defender.
  2. If both armies moved this season, their base aggression is twice the distance that they moved. If the home nation of either army controlled the zone at the start of the turn, their opponent adds two (+2) to their aggression roll when rolling to determine who is tactical defender.


Allied Contingents

  1. Field armies that are not involved in battles this season may send allied contingents to nearby battles as per the rules.
  2. Allied Contingent Pips: Allied Contingents in battles get 1d3 for pips, rather than the normal 1d6. Roll 1d6, divide by two and round up. So 1-2 gives 1 pip, 3-4 gives 2 pips, and 5-6 gives 3 pips.

Last Modified: June 11, 2003: added Sudentor to the list of Woods topography provinces.

Page Created: May 11, 2003