Campaigns




 ..."then, from the Lower Sea and along the Tigris and Euphrates to the Upper Sea, 
the god Enlil put their routes in good order for Lugalzagesi’s armies to march.
From east to west Enlil permitted him no rival; 
under him the lands rested contentedly, 
the people made merry, 
and the suzerains of the cities of Sumer,
and the rulers of other lands along the Tigris and Euphrates,
conceded sovereignty to him, 
Lugalzagesi at Uruk...."

...The campaigns and conquests of  Lugalzagesi of Uruk....





It may seem odd to put up a post describing campaigns this early in the project. However, there is method to the madness! First up, there are no doubt others out there who already have troops, so a post that allows them to use some of my ideas and thoughts on campaigning will provide immediate usefulness to the project blog beyond my own exertions creating forces and possibly spark a bit of activity in others! Also, it gives me some structure and ideas in formulating the troops I might need to add to my force as well as the scope and variation of games that can be played, as I can see how all these armies might be used together. This will be helpful to give me ideas and thoughts around possible uses of the troops I collect. Lastly it highlights just how much the period has to offer for people considering collecting their own armies and the possible use of them for an individual or group project.


Campaigns in the Age of Sumer and Akkad offer plenty of good gaming opportunities. From the squabbles of city-state clashes to the expansive military conquests of the Sumerian and Akkadian empires, there's plenty of fun to be had.

Campaigns are often the best way to get some 'backbone' into your games. Unfortunately they often fizzle out or never get started because they are too hard to manage, go for too long or in some way are to difficult to run for any length of time.

This is a shame as our period is ideally suited to campaign games. The nature of the real campaigns waged by the priest-kings, warlords and demi-gods of the time were often limited in nature. Many campaigns would be little more than a series of battles to determine which side would have the rights of ownership of arable lands or perhaps righting past wrongs between neighbouring cities. These operations were relatively limited in scope and for us such campaigns would resemble a sequence of connected battles. In these types of campaign the warring parties could be from different regions or cultures, however this can provide us with some interesting force variations to mix things up a bit.

These circumstances set the scene for the simplest type of campaign, namely, a clash between two or more city-states vying for control of local resource of land and water. The constant battle between Umma and Lagash or Ebla and Mari typifies these types of ongoing campaigns that were repeated in one form or another by many other protagonists. Similarly, these types of campaigns would also reflect internal regional revolts or wars in lands such as the Zagros Mountains, ancient Anatolia or the Syrian desert with all their internecine tribal squabbles.

There are almost constant power struggles going on in this era so two players with the same types of armies can wage campaign battles regardless of their force make up. Campaigns like this are also good for gamers who have limited resources in troops, opposing players or perhaps troops from just one army, such as a large Dynastic Sumerian army for example, which can be split in half to form both sides. This last option could also appeal to the erstwhile solo player if need be.

A more wide ranging type of campaign would involve different armies and troop requirements. This will provide the most variation in gaming possibilities and is best reflected by the numerous campaigns of Sargon the Great or Naram Sin in the later Akkadian period. The attraction of this type of campaign is that many different troop types can be involved resulting in the battles between City-State forces made up of war donkeys, spearmen and skirmishers, allied to or against tribal 'warband' type armies such as those from Amorite, Guti and Makkanite forces and armies with varying troop organisations like Eblan and Hattian kingdom forces including combined tribal and civilised force combinations.

There are a multitude of combinations possible in this type of campaign. This will off course require players to have a more diverse collection of miniatures and might best be explored with one player being the Sumerian or Akkadian king attempting to quell the enemies of civilisation and be crowned 'King of the World!"

One of the other nice elements of running campaigns off this style is that multiple game systems can be used to generate results as well. For players that like massed skirmish style games these can provide a nice variation to 'battle' games, thereby breaking up the types of games played, which itself, adds interest to a campaign. Popular systems such as Studio Tomahawk's SAGA, Osprey publishing's Dux Bellorum or perhaps a home grown variant of the recently released Two Fat Lardies rules Dux Britanniarum would do nicely. Inventive players can add the ideas in the scenario suite put forth in the Mesopotamian Notes series in Slingshot over the past few years which provide for all manner of low level operations.


....to war!

If using an alternate game system and players want to use the campaign system I describe below, the the only thing that need be done is that result needs to be converted into the Victory Table as laid out below. This is a good way to get players gaming quickly as their forces build up in size until full 'battle size' armies can be fielded.

When planning a campaign often the best or most successful ones are the simplest. Almost any structure to fight one battle to the next with 'meaning' is more fun than stand alone games, as varied as they can be. The important point to keep in mind I think is that the aim is to get people building armies, fighting battles and maybe earning a few bragging rights whilst keeping all this sustainable so the campaign reaches a conclusion. As always there is a delicate balance between over simplification and stifling complexity coupled to the individual player's taste, so ensuring there is a method for adding or subtracting detail to suit individual needs is the key. That's the driving force behind the ideas for campaign play that I've try to follow.

One of the real advantages of using the Bloody Barons Sumerian Wars (BBSW) conversion is that integral to the Bloody Barons system is a pre-game campaign set up that gives variation to every battle - its sort of like a grand tactical campaign 'sub-system' that takes care of all the pre battle fog of war, which players can still influence with their game preparation choices. Because all games are set up using a standard points system whereby players choose a smaller or larger army as they desire (or forces allow), it means players can collect their miniature forces to this structured approach and create variation in all their games. In this way building a 'standard' army will always give players the troops they need to play the campaign and they can add units as they go to create the variation they desire - this makes creating forces manageable and achievable....a nice fit.

So how can we make a campaign that captures alot of what I've been talking about? I propose two approaches that will be relatively easy to set up and administer. There's nothing mind bogglingly new here but the following ideas of using a mapless and simple-map campaign game will provide some structure to put together a campaign that will work and can be completed. Players should view this is a basis for their own ideas or use them as is...the choice is yours.







Mapless Campaigns

In DASAQ Mike Tittensor gave some excellent ideas for mapless campaigns. Without reinventing the wheel, here are Mike's suggestions below. There are numerous small tweaks individuals can make to this campaign to suit a players forces, etc.

Rise of Uruk: there is much debate as to how the culture of Uruk suddenly burst upon Mesopotamia towards the end of the Fourth Millennium BC, reaching out possibly as far as parts of Egypt with those dopey little bevel rimmed bowls. It has been suggested that Uruk seeded cultural colonies around the periphery of Mesopotamia to generate a trade web. Possibly. Personally, I don’t think you suddenly dominate the international trade routes by knocking on the city gates and trying to sell cookies. Give the Uruk player a morale bonus of –1D6 and see how many battles he can win. Deduct a VP if he shows any sign of knowing what a bevel rimmed bowl is: the city gods love smart people not smart Alecs.

Early Dynastic Wars: each player picks a city, names it, names his deity and his patesi and then fights battles among each other. First city to 100VPs claims to be King of Kish and can call himself Lu.Gal. If he likes, the winner can create amusing fictional pantheons of how the other city gods are merely the servants in his god’s palatial household. This is pretty much Mesopotamian history from about 2800BC to 2400BC.

Rise of Akkad: the King of Agade gets a zero rank general and two level one generals plus double the allowance of veteran quality units plus about 200 points more than his opponent. The Agade player gets +2 successes on the Attacker roll for each battle. With all this in mind, he must defeat numerous armies to recreate Sargon’s meteoric rise in the 24th Century BC. However, the empire is fragile. At the end of each battle he only recovers 50% of his casualties. His opponent’s army is fully restored. The Agade Player wins if he can get to 150 points (or some other preset figure with experienced players handicapped).

Terror from the Sand: a good one for several players when a vast horde of nomadic wildmen appears from nowhere and sweep down on civilisation. One player gets double the points in barbarians against two city-states. Who will be the eventual winner? Will the civilised states ally against the common foe?



...guarding the king's war chest....





Simple Map Campaigns

These sort of campaigns I like. The players have a map to follow the fortunes of the respective sides and something to 'conquer'. The use of a map brings a nice campaign planning element to proceedings with easy to follow updates as fortunes wax and wane between the sides. Use any map, stylised or otherwise. There are two campaigns presented here as an idea. The first is the 'King of Kish' campaign and the second is the 'Four Quarters' campaign.

King of Kish campaign


This campaign will take the form of a dynastic city-state struggle for the resources and hegemony of Sumer. The opposing players will take on the persona of a king of a city-state whose object will be to defeat opposing cities and their gods, as well as forcing other cities to submit to their will, so that all shall know that you are indeed the true 'King of Kish'! One key advantage of this campaign is that it only requires troops from one army list.

Each player rolls a die, the player with the highest score chooses which 'circled' city he wants to be the patesi off, except Kish (which may not be chosen). His opponent now does the same (circle city - Agade, Isin, Umma, Uruk, Lagash or Ur), the limit of players that may be involved being determined by these cities. Once all players have selected a city, each rolls a die with the highest score declaring an attack against which ever city-state he chooses. Each player rolls and chooses a city to attack per turn.

Each city-state will have a maximum value of 5 prestige points. Each city-state runs a total of 1-5 for each side that fights a battle and wins prestige by being victorious. If no side has prestige points in a city-state its score is nominally zero (0). Kish is worth double prestige points to an attacker if he is the winner in a fight. If the opposing player (playing the defending side of Kish) wins he deducts prestige points for any city the attacker has prestige in, equal to the prestige points earned by the victory (do not double in this case).

When a battle is fought the defending side is played by your opponent. The only army list that can be used in these battles is the Dynastic Sumerian list, or Akkadian if a player has chosen Agade as his city. When determining victory and defeat use the Bloody Barons rules, count each level of victory as one prestige point with a draw counting as 0 points and a Slaughter as 5, etc. For example, if the battle results in 'A Good Win' then it counts as 3 prestige points, 6 if it was fought in Kish. These points are allocated only to the attacking side's city-state - the defending side does not gain prestige for his victory, but does deny prestige to his opponent. In this way only an attacking player can gain prestige points.

To achieve victory, the player at the end of any turn that achieves more prestige points than all his opponents in 4 or more cities will be declared the victor - 'King of Kish'.






Four Quarters campaign 

This campaign will take the form of a king of Sumer/Akkad reaching out to control the lands around him for reasons of commerce, trade and glory. The opposing player will take on the personas of all these 'unconquered' peoples whose object will be to resist and revolt against this aggression. The focus is on the Sumer/Akkad player who will use the same army from battle to battle, organised as per his army lists. The opposing side will have different armies to play with. This campaign style would be a good way to have different players commanding the various forces arrayed against the Sumer/Akkad player. The two sides have different aims. The Sumer/Akkad player attempts to gain prestige for his wins, acheinv his goal beofre he 'dies i his lifetime' or, as often happened, was 'removed' from power. The opposing player's goal is to hasten the demise of the Sumer/Akkad player by inflicting defeats that reduce the time available for his opponent to achieve his goal.

To get under way players need only supply the forces of a typical Bloody Barons game...that's it! The map below will do nicely to get things going. I use a mapping program called GameMapr to keep track of events - I'm not sure of its availability but its very user friendly. Any paint program can be used however to achieve a similar result.




Victory - For the Sumer/Akkad player this is achieved when all four quarters, including Sumer, (circles on the above map) are controlled by the Sumer/Akkad player (ie 1 to 5 prestige points). If at any time the central circle (Sumer) is not under the Sumer/Akkad player's control and none of the four quarters (Mari in the north, the Amorites in the west, the Zagros Mountain tribesmen in the east and the Elamites in the south) are under his control, then at the end of the Sumer/Akkad player's turn the campaign ends in failure and victory goes to the opposing side (in this way the Sumer/Akkad player will always have a chance to fight the 'last battle' to salvage his fortunes).

End of Campaign - the campaign length is determined much the same way as a normal game of Bloody Barons. At the end of a turn (ie one where both sides have had a chance to act) a die is rolled and the score is deducted from the total of 30. If at the end of a turn the score reaches zero (0) and the Four Quarters have not been conquered by the Sumer/Akkad player then victory goes to the non Sumer/Akkad player(s). This will force a decision and players will find that the campaign results in roughly 7 turns...remember the bit about getting a result!

Control of a 'Quarter' - each 'quarter' (region/area) has a prestige rating of between 0 to 5. This number is achieved by the level of victory in a Bloody Barons game as shown below on the victory table. The Sumer/Akkad player has control if he has between 1 and 5 prestige points. If he loses a battle then the quarter is marked at prestige point level zero (0). Once the prestige point level of 5 is achieved by the Sumer/Akkad player that region falls under his control permanently.

'Prestige'- Conquering leaders of the time engaged in aggrandizement to trump up their victorious and play down or ignore their losses. Therefore whenever a Sumer/Akkad play is victorious he rolls on the Stele Victory table to determine the amount of Stele prestige points he wins for his victory. The Non Sumer/Akkad player adds the total shown in the 'end of campaign' dice roll for the level of victory shown.


Victory Chart
Sumer/Akkad winner
Non-Sumer/Akkad winner
Victory level
‘Stele’ Prestige Points
End of Campaign
Draw
1d3-1
1d3-1
Marginal Win
1d3
1d3-1
Win
1d3+1
1d3
A good win
2d3
1d3
Slaughter
2d3+1
1d3+1
Annihilation
2d3+2
2d3












The steps for running the campaign are;



First turn only - the Sumer/Akkad is the active player - he must attack into the Sumer area! The Sumer/Akkad player gets +1d3 additional prestige points if in his opening attack on Sumer. He may use this dice to add to the campaign clock if he loses, or as extra prestige if victorious, thus this dice roll will give him additional prestige points which will improve a victory or mitigate a loss. If he loses his first battle then he must continue to attack Sumer until he establishes control of Sumer before striking out into different regions (obviously this will cut down on the time he has available to achieve his goal).

[Optional Start: King of Kish - Instead of one player being nominated as the Sumer/Akkad player, this option allows for a small 'play off' to establish which player is successful at being the Sumer/Akkad player in the four quarters campaign game. Each player fights one battle against another player in the campaign (randomly determined). The player who achieves the most prestige points as the attacker or defender is deemed to be the Sumer/Akkad player. He immediately controls the Sumer area with the prestige points he attained in his battle result. The other players now play the 'other forces' in the campaign. In the event of a draw, arrange a 'knock out' game, before proceeding with the remainder of the campaign, or break the tie in any agreeable fashion].


Play then proceeds from turn to turn as follows;


1. Both players rolls a die and the highest gets to take actions first. When active, the Sumer/Akkad player declares which region he will attack into, even one he controls if he wishes to further tighten his grip on the area by another victory to increase his prestige (up to the limit of 5). If the non-Sumer/Akkad player is active he must roll a d6 score higher than the current Sumer/Akkad prestige level in the nominated area that he wishes to become 'active' and have revolt - a roll of 1 is always considered a failure. Failure results in him passing his turn. Also, a non-Sumer/Akkad region may not revolt unless it has itself been attacked at anytime in the campaign  (which eventually it will be).

Note - the non Sumer/Akkad player never 'attacks' out of his area - he only revolts within it).
For example, if the Amorite player had 2 prestige points in his region then he would need to roll 3+ to become active in that area. If he does not become active he may not revolt and his turn will pass.



2. Once the attack has been declared then proceed with a standard BBSW game set up and determine victory conditions as normal. Players may use any troops allowed in their army list for that region to make up forces of 650 or 800 points as desired.

(Dice Battles- players can skip any battle they like by rolling an opposed die roll. Generate three leaders as usual and count any (0) leaders as a +1 drm and any (4) leaders as a -1. The difference in scores is the difference in the level of victory, equal scores meaning a drawn battle and a 'five split' on the dice would count as an annihilation. Mark the map as if a miniatures battle had been resolved and move to the next player activation- see example of play).

3. The campaign continues until the Sumer/Akkad player has control of the 'four quarters', whereby he is declared the winner. If the campaign clock is reduced to (0) and control of the four quarters has not been achieved, then the non Sumer/Akkad player is the winner - the loser must buy his oppoenent a beer!!!

 

Organising campaign moves and miniature battles

The best way to organise the campaign is that when players meet they should have their armies organised and ready for play...don't waste time fluffing about by not being prepared...this is the age of organised people's and a courtesy to your opponent!

So having arrived for play, gone through the game set up and played the game to conclusion as per the normal Bloody Barons rules, the results must be determined. Use the victory chart to determine the prestige points or end of campaign clock number additions to add as per the results shown. Having resolved this, record your detail for the map update and campaign log and then roll a D6 to determine who is the next attacker next time you play. This set up the conditions for the next game.

In between games the active player will decide which area he wishes to attack or revolt in and inform his opponent, arranging a time for the next battle. This will provide each player a chance to prepare his forces for the up coming engagement. On the day of battle, proceed as above, with your army all ready to go. This sequence is followed until victory is determined.





 

Variations?

All sorts of ideas can be added to 'flesh out' this very simple, but structured campaign. It simplicity enables anyone to be involved, even other players outside of your immediate group. Its very easy to keep updates online and as there is no hidden movement which makes managing the campaign easy.

If you wanted to you could even break up each area of your map into sub sections and you could fight mini campaigns within the bigger campaign which might suit players who only have one type of army. You could add 'terrain cards' to be added to each area so that extra terrain or terrain changes and choices could be adjusted depending on where the battle was being fought. In the hilly country of the Zagros Mountains there could be the chance of more steep hills and woods for example.

Campaign events could be added through the use of random die rolls or the draw of godly events from a deck of cards. There is no limit to how many 'fins and wings' you can hang on to this simple game. The key is that the BBSW rules provide the points based structure to enable a small pre game campaign event sequence to be followed to provide variations that keeps every battle different and interesting. The only limit on a player's force is the 650 and 800 point game limit and the available forces.

Keeping track of the campaign
When keeping track of the campaign it may be done in the following sequence and recorded directly under the map (as shown below);
  • Map - shows the actions described in the Game Result.
  • Game Result - shows the Turn # - Active player - Action taken - Battle result - Prestige or End of Campaign clock effect.
  • Inscription Text - additional propagandist description as they would be recorded in Imperial Decrees!
  • Campaign Clock - Shows the start campaign clock number - Dice roll to reduce clock - EoC clock addition.


This sequence may be used to keep track of the campaign and no further bookkeeping is required.





So how does this work in practice?

Below is an example of a full campaign played start to finish. This will show you how the game functions, how many battles are typically fought and how the campaign 'map-log' can be kept up to date to keep track of things.

In the spirit of the period along with a little bit of literary fun (...yes, they actually talk like this!), here the 'Four Quarter' campaign After Action Report is told as it could've been recorded in the Imperial records. It tells the story from the Akkadian king's point of view as was the custom of the time. Our King, Lugal-zinanna, is the 'hero' of the story. .....

For those that may wish to read the 'inscription' to get the flow and feel of it all here is the full text of the Epic of Lugalzinanna. You can see the map, campaing log and narrative below to see how the campaign story is told incorporating the miniature battles fought and map moves made.




Epic of Lugal-zinanna


[image] 

Lugalzinanna, son of Gursim, suckled by the goddess Ishtar, goddess of maidens, of harlots, and of battle,
gave milk and barley and blessed her child declaring him master of his lands,
told him to seek new fields for his disaffected people to farm and build canals.


As his great god commanded,
he attacked the defiler Igigu leading a coalition of cities disgracing their gods,
but was forced to return to Agade to pay homage to Nusku, the moon god,
so saying he would return to defeat the usurpers of Ishtar and Nusku's will.


Igigu led the men of Ur, Lagash, Umma and Nippur in revolt against Lugalzinanna,
even though he was struck by a spear,
his war chariot crushed the enemy underfoot,
so by the blessed virtue of Ishtar,
Igigu ran from the field like a child,
the king claiming the victory for the war god, Ninurta,
holder of a bow, an arrow, a sickle sword, and mace.


Not content with temple building Lugalzinanna gathered his forces and chased the weakened Igigu,
the breaker of treaties and stealer of fields, canals and livestock,
calling the men of Sumer to his standard, only Ur and Umma answering his call,
he was defeated in battle by the mighty king and was chained and led away for sacrifice.


Not content to live in a land made slave to a princling of the north,
a usurper rose, the ensigal-preist of Larsa,
who brought forth his men of the fields and prayed to the city's beloved Utu,
but was forsaken and scattered by Ishtar's suckled child,
he now forever to be know as the "King of the Land", King of Kish, Lugalzinanna.


With his men rested and their bellies full of dates, nuts and beer,
Lugalzinanna marched north to plunder the merchant men of Mari,
by the grace of Enlil, Ishtar watching from her mountain cloud,
and Ningursu, god of rain casting his battle net,
the men of Mari were defeated and sent running to Ebla and the land of Hatti.


With Lugalzinanna now master of the plain of Mari, its canals and walls,
yet more troubled cities of Sumer defied the natural ruler of the land,
but for the intervention of the god Ninurta,
god of the south wind, wells, canals, farmers, fertility,
such rain was brought that the lands flooded,
causing men to cling to their homes cowering under the terror of Ninurta's mace, Sharur.


No sooner the victory in Sumer,
than the rebel Marianites coerced their Eblan masters to fight,
and so restore order to the Mari city god Dagan, god of storms.
The great king, Lugalzinanna, marched north, with all his war donkeys.
His shield and spear battered the enemy, so that he came near to destroying his foe,
but he bade the Sumerian god Ensi no disfavour,
 so that he would not dishonour his Sumerian allies who fought for the great king
and so he sailed back to Agade to feast with the many gifts from Mari and made merry with his men.


Returning to the city of Mari,
 the Marianites fled before the king's army,
so the lord of Sumer marched onto the riches of Ebla,
where he smote the white rock rich trader-princes, 
cursing their indulgences,
and treatied with the Hattian lords, who hailed him as their master,
and washed his sword in the upper sea,
so commanding the king of rivers,
Euphrates and Tigris,
all the way to the quays of Akkad.


In triumph, the great king, Lugalzinanna, sailed to his temple at Agade.
There he gave offerings to the temple god, Suhgurim,
destroyer of enemies, annihilater of the wicked,
for Enlil brought out of the mountains those who do not resemble other people,
an unbridled people, who are not reckoned as part of the land,
the Gutians.
The great king, master of the rivers, the city of the white rock, king of all Sumer,
fought a great battle,
and scattered the fierce Guti like a flock of small birds,
hoping they would not return.


Like a swarm of bees,
the Guti defied the king,
attacking his outposts in his conquered highlands.
From this Lugalzinanna, in a nocturnal vision,
saw that he would make war on the goat skin people,
tear down their huts and take away their women,
that he would make their temples shake,
and chase them away into the hill like startled deer.....and so it was!


To the west, the desert dwellers, preyed upon the land,
Lugalzinanna gathered his men from all corners of Sumer,
he came with archers, spearmen, war carts,
and before the might of Ishtar's offerings,
he smote the Amurru so they never rose again in his lifetime,
so great the victory his captives built five temples in the land of the almighty,
before the king took his place at An's side.


What did Enlil, the shepherd of the black-headed people, do?
Enlil, to destroy the loyal households,
to decimate the loyal men, to put the evil eye on the sons of the loyal men, on the first-born,
Enlil sent down Gutium from the mountains to plunder.
Their advance was as the flood of Enlil that cannot be withstood.
The great wind of the countryside filled the countryside, it advanced before them,
only the king's household men stopped them from destroying all in their path.


Still they came,
the mountain roads impassable, brigands, raiders plundered the fields,
desecrated temples and destroyed canals.
The king lamented,
have all the powerful gods, An, Enlil, Ishtar and Marduk,
forsaken the people of Sumer?


Answering his cry,
many crop seasons passed and no more was heard from the Guti devils.
To the land of Elam looked our king,
my king, great bull with splendid limbs, dragon with a lion's eyes!
His fierce weapons pour forth venom into them like a serpent ready to bite,
his men with spears and subject Amurru hordes,
we descend on the land of Elam,
that they never venture in to the land of Sumer again!


Warrior, fearsome lord, powerful, overpowering, Lugalzinanna,
holder of the exalted sceptre rising above the land,
strike terror and fear into the Elamite peoples,
their arrows no match for spear and shield,
their nags no match for Sumer battle asses!
May they stay in their land and never return,
lest the god of war descend upon them and strike them down!


In his last days,
Lugalzinanna brought forth all men whom he commanded,
men of Ur, men of Lagash, men of Agade, his war asses and subject tribesmen,
all who acknowledged him as Lugalzinanna,
proud king, enthroned prince, who walks like Utu, brilliant light of the land, lofty in nobility,
riding on the great divine powers,
favoured by Enlil, beloved by Ninlil,
he does defeat the people of Elam, piling up their dead three cubits high,
taking their lapis lazuli, 30 minas of gold, and 300 minas of silver,
hail the great king, Lugalzinanna!


From this day,
Let no man defile or desecrate any inscription of Lugalzinanna,
lest he be struck down by Enlil,
who shall uproot his foundation and obliterate his progeny,
have his eyes poked out and made mute, so he may not speak of his treachery.


All hail, the king of the four quarters,
Lugalzinanna!


Epic of Lugal-zinanna
(campaign Log)


Lugalzinanna, son of Gursim, suckled by the goddess Ishtar, goddess of maidens, of harlots, and of battle,
gave milk and barley and blessed her child declaring him master of his lands,
told him to seek new fields for his disaffected people to farm and build canals.





























Turn 1: Akkad – Attack Sumer – Sumer Win – EoC 1d3 (2).
As his great god commanded,
he attacked the defiler Igigu leading a coalition of cities disgracing their gods,
but was forced to return to Agade to pay homage to Nusku, the moon god,
so saying he would return to defeat the usurpers of Ishtar and Nusku's will.




























Turn 1: Sumer – Sumer revolt – Marginal Win for Akkad – 1d3 pp (1)
Campaign Clock: 30-3-2=25.

Igigu led the men of Ur, Lagash, Umma and Nippur in revolt against Lugalzinanna,
even though he was struck by a spear,

his war chariot crushed the enemy underfoot,
so by the blessed virtue of Ishtar,
Igigu ran from the field like a child,
the king claiming the victory for the war god, Ninurta,
holder of a bow, an arrow, a sickle sword, and mace.
























Turn 2 – Akkad – Attack Sumer – Akkad Win – add 1d3+1 pp (2).
Not content with temple building Lugalzinanna gathered his forces and chased the weakened Igigu,
the breaker of treaties and stealer of fields, canals and livestock
calling the men of Sumer to his standard, only Ur and Umma answering his call,
he was defeated in battle by the mighty king and was chained and led away for sacrifice.


























Turn 2: Sumer revolt – Marginal Win – EoC 1d3-1 (0).
Campaign Clock: 25-5-0=20.
Not content to live in a land made slave to a princling of the north,
a usurper rose, the ensigal-preist of Larsa,
who brought forth his men of the fields and prayed to the city's beloved Utu,
but was forsaken and scattered by Ishtar's suckled child,
he now forever to be know as the "King of the Land", King of Kish, Lugalzinanna.



























 





Turn 3: Akkad – Attack Mari – A Good Win – add 2d3 pp (1+2=3).
With his men rested and their bellies full of dates, nuts and beer,
Lugalzinanna marched north to plunder the merchant men of Mari,
by the grace of Enlil, Ishtar watching from her mountain cloud,
and Ningursu, god of rain casting his battle net,
the men of Mari were defeated and sent running to Ebla and the land of Hatti.




























Turn 3: Sumer - Sumer revolts – rolls a 2, fails to activate – no outcome.
Campaign Clock: 20-2=18.
With Lugalzinanna now master of the plain of Mari, its canals and walls,
yet more troubled cities of Sumer defied the natural ruler of the land,
but for the intervention of the god Ninurta,
 god of the south wind, wells, canals, farmers, fertility,
such rain was brought that the lands flooded,
causing men to cling to their homes cowering under the terror of Ninurta's mace, Sharur.
































Turn 4: Mari revolts – rolls a 4 resulting in a battle – Mari (Eblan forces) achieve A Good Win – EoC 1d3 (1).

No sooner the victory in Sumer,
than the rebel Marianites coerced their Eblan masters to fight,
and so restore order to the Mari city god Dagan, god of storms.
The great king, Lugalzinanna, marched north, with all his war donkeys.
His shield and spear battered the enemy, so that he came near to destroying his foe,
but he bade the Sumerian god Ensi no disfavour,
so that he would not dishonour his Sumerian allies who fought for the great king,
and so he sailed back to Agade to feast with the many gifts from Mari and made merry with his men.





































Turn 4: Akkad – Attack Mari (Ebla) – a Marginal Win – 1d3 pp (2). Mari submits to Akkad at 5 pp.
Campaign Clock: 18-2=16.

Returning to the city of Mari,
 the Marianites fled before the king's army,
so the lord of Sumer marched onto the riches of Ebla,
where he smote the white rock rich trader-princes, 
cursing their indulgences,
and treatied with the Hattian lords, who hailed him as their master,
and washed his sword in the upper sea,
so commanding the king of rivers,
Euphrates and Tigris,
all the way to the quays of Akkad.


















Turn 5: Akkad – Attack Guti (Zagros) – a Draw – 1d3-1 pp (1) & 1d3-1 EoC (1).
In triumph, the great king, Lugalzinanna, sailed to his temple at Agade.
There he gave offerings to the temple god, Suhgurim,
destroyer of enemies, annihilater of the wicked,
for Enlil brought out of the mountains those who do not resemble other people,
an unbridled people, who are not reckoned as part of the Land,
the Gutians.
The great king, master of the rivers, the city of the white rock, king of all Sumer,
fought a great battle,
and scattered the fierce Guti like a flock of small birds, 
hoping they would not return.






Turn 5: Zagros – Guti revolts – Akkad Marginal Win – 1d3 pp (2).
Campaign Clock: 16-2-1=13.

Like a swarm of bees,
the Guti defied the king,
attacking his outposts in his conquered highlands.
From this Lugalzinanna, in a nocturnal vision,
saw that he would make war on the goat skin people, 
tear down their huts and take away their women,
that he would make their temples shake,
and chase them away into the hill like startled deer.....and so it was!




















Turn 6 : Akkad – Attack Amorites – Akkad Slaughter – 2d3+1 pp (5). Amorites submits to Akkad control at 5 pp.

To the west, the desert dwellers, preyed upon the land,
Lugalzinanna gathered his men from all corners of Sumer,
he came with archers, spearmen, war carts,
and before the might of Ishtar's offerings,
he smote the Amurru so they never rose again in his lifetime,
so great the victory his captives built five temples in the land of the almighty,
before the king took his place at An's side.




















Turn 6: Zagros – Guti revolts, rolling 5+ – achieves a Good Win – 1d3 EoC (2).
Campaign Clock: 13-4-2=7.

What did Enlil, the shepherd of the black-headed people, do? Enlil, to destroy the loyal households,
to decimate the loyal men, to put the evil eye on the sons of the loyal men, on the first-born,
Enlil then sent down Gutium from the mountains into revolt.
Their advance was as the flood of Enlil that cannot be withstood.
The great wind of the countryside filled the countryside, it advanced before them,
only the king's household men stopped them from destroying all in their path.






















Turn 7:  Zagros – Guti revolts again, rolling 4+ – achieves a Win –1d3 EoC (+1).

Still they came,
the mountain roads impassable, Guti raiders plundered the fields,
desecrated temples and destroyed canals.
The king lamented,
have all the powerful gods , An, Enlil, Ishtar and Marduk,
forsaken the people of Sumer?

















  

Turn 7: Akkad – Attack Elam – Elam has a Win – 1d3 EoC (1).
Campaign Clock: 7-2-1-1 =3.

Many crop seasons passed and no more was heard from the Gutian.
To the land of Elam looked our king,
my king, great bull with splendid limbs, dragon with a lion's eyes!
His fierce weapons pour forth venom into them like a serpent ready to bite,
his men with spears and subject Amurru hordes,
we descend on the land of Elam,
that they never venture in to the land of Sumer again!




Turn 8: Elam – Elam revolts, rolling 2+ – achieves a Marginal Win – 1d3-1 EoC (2).
Warrior, fearsome lord, powerful, overpowering, Lugalzinanna,
holder of the exalted sceptre rising above the Land,
strike terror and fear into the Elamite peoples,
their arrows no match for spear and shield,
their nags no match for Sumer battle asses!,
May they stay in their land and never return,
lest the god of war descend upon them. 






















Turn 8: Akkad – Attack Elam – Akkad has a Marginal Win – 1d3-1 EoC (2).
Campaign Clock: n/a!

In his dying days,
Lugalzinanna brought forth all men whom he commanded,
men of Ur, men of Lagash, men of Agade, his war asses and subject tribesmen,
all who acknowledged him as Lugalzinanna,
proud king, enthroned prince, who walks like Utu, brilliant light of the land, lofty in nobility,
riding on the great divine powers,
he who settles the people in the four quarters,
favoured by Enlil, beloved by Ninlil,
he does defeat the people of Elam, piling up their dead three cubits high,
taking their lapis lazuli, 30 minas of gold, and 300 minas of silver,
hail the great king, Lugalzinanna!

From this day,
Let no man defile or desecrate any stele of Lugalzinanna,
lest he be struck down by the almighty An,
have his eyes poked out and made mute so he may not speak of his treachery.


All hail, the king of the four quarters,
Lugalzinanna!



So the campaign ends! Sumer/Akkad achieves victory by controlling all four quarters before the campaign clock reached zero only just achieving his goal before the campaign clock ran down. Along the way the campaign generated 15 battles against all different types of enemies - plenty of 'meaningful' action.

Whilst achieving success, the relatively tenuous hold of the lands of Elam, the Zagros highlands and internal strife in Sumer do not bode well for the peace of the empire...a reconquista beckons...can you do better!






 May the god Enlil be pleased with you!




6 comments:

  1. Great article! But do you have any plans to publish an AAR? Would be great to see how the "Bloody Barons" rules work in this period.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Rene,

      I’m glad you liked some of the simple ideas posted above.

      As this is a project blog I’m sort of stepping my way through the process. We have not yet got full armies up and running but they are getting done. The next post I’m going to make will be related to painting minis for this period then probably a discussion on Sumerian Warfare and how it relates to the use of Bloody Barons. That’s sort of an important step to see how the rules tie in with the ‘limited’ history that we have on the details of warfare and the adjustments to BB that we’ve made to work with our ‘model’ of Sumerian warfare.

      To illustrate that an AAR will be posted, followed by others in the future as time allows. I’d love to get it all done ASAP but starting this project from scratch only a handful of weeks ago there still much to be done!

      ...stay tuned 

      Cheers

      HappyW

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  2. Really impressive job, very well done!

    Compliments

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...thanks :-)

      The idea here is to get a really easy game-to-game campaign system together that has just enough strategy in it to make it interesting. Adding to the campaign with lots of details can jazz things up as much as any player or group desires.

      Cheers

      HappyW

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  3. Epic post with great ideas for campaigns and fantastic photos, illustrations and maps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cyrus,

      I hope there's a few ideas to spark an easy campaign based series of games for you.

      ...I hoped you like the 'fluff talk' as well!

      Cheers

      HappyW

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