The Lords of Terre, the Sword of Destiny is set on an imaginary world "Terre" which is at the level of the early middle ages. There is no magic, though some people think it exists. The game is character based, with cities, nations, empires, kingdoms, tribes, pirates and more. It is a open-ended hand-moderated game.
The combat system allows deep tactical play, furthermore the players start in a fully developed gameworld.
Players can write their orders in English. Charges for a turn are (pounds) £7.00 or (euro) €10.00 which gives you an hour of GM time.
Start-ups are being processed from 1st June 2003 and the game will go live 1st July 2003.
I've yet to play this game, (first turns won't be sent out for a few weeks yet) but I can say that judging by the information I've been sent on it, it seems to be one of the best thought out and set up PBM/PBEM games on the market. Unlike many games, it has huge database support allowing complex sophistication in the game world without huge GM processing time (resulting in irregular or infrequent turns in many of the most detailed games) or putting huge pressure on the players to make massive calculations prior to submitting their turn (the other side of the complexity coin) while not losing thr human moderated special actions that bring games to life. There are a lot of different positions out there and players are given the chance to input on their position prior to setup as long as it fits in with the game world.
I particularly like the combat/wargaming system which has clearly taken a long time to develop and rewards players for godd tactics and organisation of armies as well as the usual rewards for troop quality. This is a system where the battle of Cannae really could happen (if you had players good enough on one side and stupid enough on the other).
Another interesting feature is a website which delivers news and rumours to players occording to what their position is likely to find out, with time delays built in for those furthest from the rumour's point of origin. The system also allows for all diplomatic communication either with players or NPCs (we may never be sure which we are dealing with - unless the players identify themselves as such) completely via the site. So if you always get attacked by the same people whichever PBM you play, this game would allow you to be allies without them even knowing it, or, on the flipside, if you always beat someone whenever you play against them, you can remain in character and still beat them up without hurting your diplomacy!
I recommend anyone who is interested in powergaming/wargaming in an ancient/medieval setting to give this game a shot. Go on, try your luck - and I'll be there waiting! It'll be interesting, I'm sure of that much.
Russell Sanderson (5/12/03)
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