The Danish Flag
Foundation: 1000-date (T1-date)
Religion: Hussite Christian
By Rob Pierce, updated by Martin Helsdon
Archenemy of the Swedish Empire, and standard-bearer of the Hussite faith.
From: Richard Ketcham <email@example.com>
To: Lords List <LOTE-L@io.com>
Subject: Re: LOTE: Lost History
Date: Wednesday, July 30, 1997 10:59 PM
Denmark vs. Sweden: How it all began!
[Turn 0]: Thomas has this new game called Lords of the Earth he wants everyone to play -- and, to be fair, everyone wants to play it, having enjoyed the previous six or so games he created and ran for the fun of it [The first was "Age of Chaos" (based on a modern world in which aliens have "turned off" nuclear weapons; players are countries, companies, or organizations), followed in uncertain order by: "Core" (space-based war); "Chaos in Helgron" (a palace intrigue game based on a fantasy universe; by the way, I survived that one and still have yet to collect on my t-shirt...); "Khem" (fantasy precursor to Lords); some multi-dimensional universe crossover game; and a short-lived spy-network game in which I played, of all things, Swedish Intelligence]. As has been frequently said, Lords had a lot fewer rules back then. There were basically a bunch of maps with relatively few regions (Europe might have had 20 or so) that only had GP values and border terrain like mountain and rivers -- no resistance value, no terrain, no religion. There were no NFP, just gold to buy armies with. Units were the standard infantry, cavalry and warships (but there were no QR's), and ferry points. No governments, no espionage, no trade... just a world to conquer.
Each nation had a king and 4 leaders. Leaders just had one stat that covered everything: combat, diplomacy, and even ability to rule a kingdom. The initial rules stated that if a leader's number was greater than the king's, the leader had a good chance of eventually revolting.
Denmark's first leaders were: K1, L3, L6, L9, L10. I asked Thomas what I was supposed to do with a starting bunch like that? He advised that I give the better leaders a lot of troops and send them off in one direction so they'd hopefully be far away when they flew the coop. My thought at the time was "This is for the birds," or some close equivalent.
[Turn 1] Denmark's first orders: the King, christened Eggbarf IV, decides to become the first man ever to swim the North Sea. Wary of Sea Monsters, he decides it would be prudent to wear plate mail during the trip. And, being slightly out of shape and thus needing a bit of practice first. he decides to only swim halfway the first time, taking a boat out the to middle of the passage and then jumping out to swim for Denmark.
Thomas, perhaps sympathizing with the playability issues of the leader-revolt rules, allows this to happen without any significant problems. In other news, diplomats are sent across the Skaggerak to Oslo, and an army invades Saxony. There is not yet a Swedish player.
[Turn 2] The new Danish king is called Richard. The first of many.
[Turn 3] I believe that Chris started playing Sweden here. Denmark has established a foothold on the southern portion of the peninsula.
TRUE STORY: At this point, I was about to head off for two weeks to participate in a chess tournament, the US Open, which was held in Pasedena that year. The tournament was going to take 2 weeks, and, with turnaround on the game being 1 week, I was going to miss two turns. So, not wanting everything to fall apart while I was gone, I wrote 2 sets of orders directing simply that I build troops and place them all in southern Scandinavia, so the mysterious Swedish player (whom I did not know, and would not meet until more than 2 years later... an unsettling thing when I had been used to knowing EVERYONE who played Thomas's games) would not be able to take me out.
Upon my return, I found that the Swedes had... left! Evidently they had sent scouts or spies (perhaps a LOTE first...) to size up my army that was sitting around, and decided they were no match for it. They then proceeded to build a bunch of boats and, quite literally, flee for North Africa to become the Berber Emirate for the next couple of centuries. All of this happened when I was off playing chess; no actual contact of armies was ever made. Not so much as an insult was exchanged. Somewhat puzzled upon my return, but not one to pass up a free gift, I sacked Stockholm. The fax, reflecting Thomas' youthful vigor, said something very close to "They raped, pillaged, burned, looted... and raped some more!"
Players may note the parallel with more recent events at the brink of the purported "end of the world". Regrettably, Danish orders were influenced by a nostalgic (but admittedly and decidedly not-nice) vision of how to come full circle and bring the game to a "fitting" close, rather than any real notion of sound long-term strategy. Or friendly play... but this ain't always a friendly game...
Next installment: How Denmark beat on the French and found Religion!
Subject: LOTE: Lost History
Date: 02 Aug 97 12:25:39 EDT
From: Richard Ketcham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Lords List <LOTE-L@io.com>
Well, because no one asked for it, here's the promised second installment.
[Turns 6-10]: Over this period Denmark managed to take over most of Europe. I don't recall who my adversaries were, but at least one of them was France. This started a long streak - a tradition, actually - of Denmark killing off the French if and when they ever manifested themselves in Europe. To LOTE historians and aficionados, this may go down as Denmark's greatest contribution to the world at large.
I was quite gratified when, some years later, former Pope (and a _good_ one) Jerome Scheuring saw fit to coin the phrase "doesn't stand a Frenchman's chance in Lords 1".
[Turn 11 (I think...)] Having basically finished taking northern and western continental Europe (except Spain), Denmark turned it sights to Italy. In a bout of college freshman fun, I cheekily wrote in my turn 11 orders that if we took Rome, we would burn down St. Peter's Cathedral and build a temple to Odin in its place...
Now, up until that moment there hadn't been any mention of religion in Lords at all. No Pope, religious affiliation of regions, nothing. However, my bit of adolescent hammery was evidently a bit much for our good GM to swallow, and LO! religion in Lords was born! Denmark suffered a huge dynastic failure (another Danish trademark for a while...), as the enraged Catholic citizenry rose up against their pagan overlords in retribution for this desecration. Denmark was cut down by more than half, I think.
I might also add that this cemented the precedent that the legal principle of ex post facto had no place in Lords 1 -- it was more than possible to break a rule before that rule even existed, and suffer the attendant penalties.
Anyway, in player terms, this ranks high on my list of watershed events in Lords 1, as it established the emnity between Denmark and the Catholic Church that endures to this day. Over the roughly 150 years that followed, Denmark went through cycles of conquering much of Europe and imposing Europaganism as the official religion wherever it ruled, followed by quite spectacular dynastic failures. It was these DF's that always seemed to bring the French back into the picture (for a while, anyway), and eventually gave the Swedes their opening to return to their original home. In the end, it was a Catholic coalition (composed of Swedish recruits to the game for England and France, I believe -- can you say "Plamondon"?) that chased the recently DF-weakened Danes entirely out of Europe for a while.
I was later told that had Denmark simply converted to Catholic, a lot of these troubles would have been bypassed, and Denmark "would still be in power." Interestingly, the thought never occurred to me. I was role playing, after all... Anyhow, in truth, if it hadn't been religion blowing Denmark up, it probably would have been something else.
Then came Protestantism.
Well, that will have to be it for the Danish Propaganda Ministry for now, at least until someone comes up with those old faxes to remind me of the details of the goings-on back then. 150 years probably deserves more than a paragraph.
First Ministers of the Senate
- Eleutherios Venizelos 1757-date
- Judit Dushan 1757-date
- Gregor “Black Georg” Dushan 1747-1757
- Oniko Paleologai 1739-1744
- Kristatos Artaxerxes Paleologai 1680-????
- Basil Artaxerxes Paleologai 1676-1680
- Ramanos Leopoldo Paleologai 1657-1676
- (unknown) ????-1657
- Richard XXIV 1477-1450
- Richard XXIII 1477-1450
- Richard XXII 1477-1450
- Richard XXI 1477-1450
- Richard 1003?-????
- Eggbarf IV 1000-1003?
- T93-date (1455-date) Richard Ketcham
- T91-T92 (1447-1454) (unknown; no ISI list)
Last updated: 26 March 2005
© 2003 Robert Pierce