Board Version 2
When working on a game, it is wise to play games. Even if you don't steal mechanisms, they might unravel snags in your own thinking. We owe this update to Dominion and Axis and Allies. This board version would feature a number of tiles (A) that are arranged to suit the pleasure and imagination of the players. The board features Forts (B), Castles (C) attached by a number or roads. Each tile has 6 ways for roads to connect, though they twist and turn and don't create a strict grid layout. Idealy, it would be more complicated than a grid. Moving on. Each Fort or Castle has an income value (E). The game "ships" with a coin track where you keep track of how much you are able to spend on a given turn. Take a fort from your opponent, and you advance your income token forward one space and move theirs back one. Castles are worth more and are also good for a resource card (D). There are three resource decks, one for each race of Lordessia. The cards do a variety of things. They might award temporary coin resources, perform a board or combat altering action, or simply award additional units of the appropriate race. Since Trolls are more inclined toward social structures and trade, their deck features fewer actions and more cash. Mice emphasise sneaky actions. Granknights are a better source of unit cards. But it is totally random which card you draw. Your base tile is probably good for 2-3 cards per turn, but you are otherwise encouraged to grab and hold as many cities as possible. I see players discarding resource cards at the end of a round.
According to this new board model, each player would start a round by drawing new resource cards. Then, they could select units that add up to their income level for this turn. A Troll Swordsman might cost two coins, so a player with income of 8 could grab four of them. Then, players would deploy their units around the board before taking turns attacking and grabing territory. Eventually, players would have exhausted their hand and their free units, and eventually the round would end. As of now, I'm not sure how the game ends. A number or rounds? When one player has a certain number of cards in hand? When a player holds a particular location for a number of turns? Are there mission cards that determine the game ending? Still working on that. But I don't really see anything holding development back other than time (ha!), art development, and playtesting. This thing might actually get played some day!
Board Version 1
Just the other day I took the opportunity, while in Cambridge, to visit the old crew at the old camp. We were happy to see each other, but several young gentlemen berated me for leaving this page un-updated for too long. I assured them that the game board was holding me back. But, as I walked away, I looked at the matter from another angle. Hence, the Board link above has moved forward several tiny green pixels. It isn't the game that I set out to make, but it just might work. At the gentlemen's urging, I have foregone artwork.
Above, you see a central board with two smaller player boards attached on each side. Each board space has three icons, each depicting a game resource. Each player has a "marker," here represented by large colored dots. Finally, each square space has a number of smaller green dots depicting an exhaustible quantity of resources. Fiefdoms of Lordessia is, at its heart, an area-control game. Each player tries to control the greatest amount of the board because of the strategic advantage this gives her/him. Inevitably, each player tries to destroy her/his rival through battle, but controlling the board is the clearest way to ensure eventual victory.
Each space provides different resources. When you expand into a new space, you decide which resource to collect. Then, at the start of your turn, you remove a green dot from that space and transfer it to your personal board's resource bank. In this way, a green dot could represent Trolls, Zoombats, or a pile of lumber until you take it from the space and put into your resource pool. Then it is locked into a single state.
As you can see in the image above, different players can put their markers in the same space. I can imagine them rushing to remove all of the resources from the square before their opponent has the chance. If you share a space with another player, you may, during the proper game phase, attack that player's holding. The winner takes the other player's spot and replaces it with a marker of their own color. If a player controls all three spots in square, they have complete control over it and are safe from being attacked (by usual means).
There is also a spot on the board for Recruitment Piles. The game will "ship" with around nine basic game units. Players take turns selecting a single game unit and putting all copies of it onto an empty Recruitment Pile. Then, during the proper game phase, players may purchase the pieces until there are none left on the pile. The player who purchases the last unit on the Recruitment Pile selects another game unit and puts it onto the blank space.
Example: Kevin and Stacy are playing a game of Fiefdoms of Lordessia. They roll to see who will play first. Kevin wins. Knowing that his personal board has a convenient "Mouse" space, he selects the mouse unit Skirmishers and puts them onto the first empty Recruitment pile. There are only eight of them, so he decides that his early game strategy will involve taking as many mouse and lumber resources as he can early on. Stacy carefully considers the eight remaining basic game units and settles on the Swordsman. It is cheap and aggressive. She thinks that she'll be able to grab all seven of them while Kevin is waisting his time on Skirmishers. Later in the game, before any fighting has happened, Kevin purchases the seventh Swordsman unit, leaving the second Recruitment Pile empty. He selects the Boarat Rider from the remaining game units, and puts all five of them onto the empty space. This is bad for Stacy, who doesn't have as many mouse as Kevin.
Finally, there are "points" on the board. These might be awarded to players who win battles, but they can also be purchased at a hefty price. The winner of the game is also given bonus points. These points are spent to upgrade your board, champions, and buy unit buffs.
The board shown above is an example of a two player board. The final game will allow at most four players to participate. These boards will have additional Recruitment Piles. As with everything, all of this is up in the air. It isn't finished enough to test.