Battle for Planet Earth

The Battle for Planet Earth was the third conflict in the Halforums Civil War series of email-based Risk! games, begun by Phil in November of 2009. It was the first and (as of this writing) only game to make use of a map of the earth, rather than a smaller region thereof. It was also the first game to make use of Warlight.net's game system, rather than Warfish.net, which was a significant departure.

The battle began with five belligerents each holding only four territories each, and made use of Fog of War (thick), a feature by which the various players could not see the position or strength of their enemies unless the territories directly bordered upon their own. The five players were BoringMetaphor, Mr_thehun, Phil, Rob King and Soliloquy.


The Battle

Infant Empires

The conflict began on February 4th, 2010. Due to the unknown factors of the other players' whereabouts and strengths, the beginning phases of this game were characterized by many failed and fractured attempts at establishing miniature empires. Rob King began by exclusively focusing his attention on Africa, for instance, but when confronted with a much more powerful foe in the form of Mr_thehun, abandoned the continent and focused his attention on Oceania, where his forces took and held land with greater ease.

After a similar failure in and Australia, BoringMetaphor threw his focus onto Central Asia, where he managed to establish an empire in the early phases of the game. In Central America he maintained a presence for several turns, coming into conflict with both Phil, who fought desperately to maintain his hold on Western North America, and Mr_thehun who, emboldened with success and bonus armies from Africa and Antarctica also vied for a chunk of the Americas.

The odd player in the first phase of the game was clearly Soliloquy, who managed to take Europe and expand freely into Greenland without opposition. Despite early gains, though, later attempts to expand into North America, Africa, and the Middle East were fraught with conflict.

Superpowers Emerge

The opening chapters of the conflict past, the conflict began to shift into a three-tiered hierarchy of empires. On the upper end of things were Mr_thehun and Soliloquy. Mr_thehun had all of Africa and Antarctica. Beyond his secure territories, he pushed into Rob King's Australia, eventually ousting him. During all of this, he also continued the fight in North America. Soliloquy, on the other hand, had muzzled much of his force in North America, and focused on expanding from Europe into central Asia.

A step down from the two superpowers was Rob King, pulling back from Australia under the weight of Mr_thehun's progress, but also taking and keeping territory in Asia as he went. Eventually he did manage to secure his southern border, and halt Mr_thehun's invasion, but only after losing all of Australia.

On the lowest rung of victimization were both Phil and BoringMetaphor. Phil's attempts to make gains in the Americas, and even to simply consolidate his territory were eternally frustrated by Mr_thehun's meddling. In an even more unfortunate situation, though, was BoringMetaphor. Caught between Soliloquy and Rob King's expanding borders, BoringMetaphor's holdings were eventually crushed by his enemies, making him the first player eliminated from the game.

Nothing Ventured …

The next phase of the conflict began with an ambitious attempt on behalf of Mr_thehun to expand his grip on the globe. With the elimination of BoringMetaphor, Soliloquy and Rob King were on roughly even footing, with Mr_thehun's empire being only slightly larger. Violating what was presumed by some to be a truce, Mr_thehun attacked some of Soliloquy's fringe holdings, invoking the wrath of that empire. The Soliloqy/Mr_thehun border soon writhed and shifted under the stress of hitherto-unknown conflict. Mr_thehun marched North from Africa into Eurasia, while Soliloquy attacked from Canada and soon vanquished Mr_thehun's forces in North America altogether.

Both Phil and Rob King experienced a boon in fortune at the new conflict. Soliloquy made clear his intention to abstain from conflict with anybody else as long as Mr_thehun existed to destroy. Soliloquy's involvement in the North American conflict allowed Phil to finally define his borders in favorable terms, and even furnished the opportunity to expand into South America. Similarly, Rob King, freed from conflict along his border with Soliloquy focused on pushing into the Middle East, and driving Mr_thehun back out of Australia.

A Dramatic Shift

Eventually Mr_thehun found himself driven back into Africa, and deprived of his territory elsewhere on the globe. The former superpower so beaten, multilevel conflict inevitably boiled over to replace the single-minded crusade against one player.

It began with a dispute in the Middle East: Rob King had taken great swaths of territory during the war against Mr_thehun, but came into conflict when he invaded Soliloquy-held Saudi Arabia. Soliloquy opined that Rob King had made enough territorial gains elsewhere that he was not entitled to infringe upon his empire any farther, and so he pushed back. Fearful at how powerful Soliloquy may have become in his conflicts elsewhere, and with the possibility of controlling all of Asia seeming so close, Rob King chose not to seek a diplomatic solution. Instead he threw his entire war machine into the task of unifying Asia under his flag. As Rob King pushed Westward toward Europe, he did his best to secure Alaska, so that a retaliatory invasion could not come that way. When the campaign ended, everything from Western Russia to Siberia, from the Arctic to India (not to mention both Oceania and Antarctica) was under his command.

Even during the conflict in Asia, however, the Americas were experiencing upheaval as well. Soliloquy and Phil were in fresh conflict, with Soliloquy forcing Phil farther south, and eventually out of the Americas entirely and into Africa, where war continued against Mr_thehun. Rob King fought Mr_thehun's forces in the South, and in the North, West, and East, Phil warred against the foe, attempting to carve out new territory for himself after being ousted from the Americas. It was not long before Mr_thehun was eliminated altogether.

A Final Rivalry

In the last days of the conflict, the only two powers left to fight each other were Rob King and Soliloquy. Beginning the endgame with Rob King slightly ahead, Soliloquy acted as quickly as possible to deprive him of three major bonuses in Asia, bringing the armies-per-turn down to nearly equal footing.

Though it was a noble and well-planned effort, it would fail. Rob King's response was a nearly identical attempt to hurt Soliloquy in the largest bonuses he could, and to mitigate the damage done to his own. In three turns, Rob King had possession of South America, and half of both Europe and North America. Those of soliloquy's forces which had reached past Rob King's defenses cut deep into Rob King's territory and wreaked much havoc, but were soon eliminated. Only a few turns later and Rob had pushed both Soliloquy and Phil to the edge, Soliloquy in Atlantic Canada, and Phil in Mauritania, where both players were soundly eliminated on March 29th, 2010.

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