While re-reading the rulebook the other day I chanced on a passage
that led me to finally realize why the rule action gets out of control.

On Page 81 Col. 2 the author is talking about what happens if HMA tries
to rule up a source in a province held by by Regent X or vice versa have
the province ruled up against him by Regent X.

In order to rule up his source HMA must contest with Regent X
but Regent X does not have to contest with HMA to do the reverse.
This is where I think the first mistake was made, either contest
both ways or not at all.

Even so how many of you have your NPC Mages fight a ruling of provinces
where they have sources? I'll bet not enough. The default action (imo)
should always be for the mage to fight a province ruling.

I do btw have a fix for this. In the illustration above RP's spent
by HMA to affect the roll would be twice as effective as those spent
by Regent X.

Well that's it. I am now reaching for Flame Retardent underwear.