Played the game for my 3rd time this evening. Loving it! We are playing the "equal opportunities" scenario (D) with 2 extra railroads. The veteran player says about it that - although would not prefer this scenario - he certainly agrees with what it does for newbie players. It helps keeping everyone involved in one way or another.
I played two times yesterday! What a fun game! The only problem I can see is with its replayability and perhaps scripting. The thing is that it's a good game, but I feel that a lot of cards will always be played in the same way. You will always see the same cards ending up in the election day event box. I think over time things will be so obvious (partly because the full deck is almost always played) that replayability might be a concern.
2/3/08 I played two more games last night, and altough I am still concerned about some of the ' automated' responses to specific cards, and other diversity issues; for the time being I love to play and so this game desirves its 9.
Edit 22 may 2009. It's still up there! The third game in my top 10! All things I feared in the previous post have not occured. Quite the contrary the game is turning more and more interesting the more times you play it. As long as you allow yourself to diversify in strategy.
29-08-2012: I've played this game so many times now. I don't think I will ever get bored of it. Sure, it has its weaknesses. But it is certainly not predictable or scripted. I don't believe there is a whole lot more to discover for me anymore. But what is there, is just so much fun to play.
I could never emagine me playing a hex and counter game before I bought this game about 15-20 years ago. And after play I swore never to touch the Hex and Counter boards ever again...Finally I got rid of it. Hope Tsaar will have more fun with it then I ever did.
I've watched this game grow from foetus into the gem we see today. many comment on apparent flaws that actually are well designed balancing shemes like the Discovery & Luck the tiles etc. It's a unique game and it teaches very fast (about 10 minutes).
Edit 01-12-08 I piped it down a bit from a 9 to an 8. Don't know why exactly but I felt after my last game (which I won) like I just didn't care anymore... It happened on more then one occasion that I or others had to ask whose turn it is. As another poster here said too, that is typically a sign that players are not really involved / experience angst or anything like that. Hope this feeling will not stick...
Update: I don't know... there is something about the game that makes me want to play less and less. I can't say I look forward to playing it, and then again I don't find it a crime either when I do play. I suppose I never get fully immerged by AoeIII 'anymore' or... was I ever? I played Caylus the other day, and although it has nothing to do with that game apart from the worker placement, that kind of 'angst' never comes to me in a game of AoeIII. The stress of 'my spot being taken by another player' is seldom felt. Some of that has to do with the fact that the only truly place to feel this 'angst' is in the Capitol Building placement, since it is the most comparable perhaps to a single worker-building. But if taken by someone else earlier in turn order, that feels like a done deal and there is nothing that you really could have done about it (besides being earlier in turn order, duh). So it's easier to just sigh and be done with it. Apart from that the game bogs down much faster to 'scripted' placing and many times players seem to forget it's their turn. Finally I'm beginning to relate to the people that are sometimes surprised by the fact that they have done so well/bad in the game, when it's time to score. Sometimes someone wins or loses and I have no clue why that happened. I have an idea, but what it is exactly... That can be frustrating as it is a sign that I don't really understand what is going on in the game. Which is strange jet again because I've played it almost two dozen times...
Bought this game for a mere 10 bucks. That's nothing for the pleasure it gives me and my friends! If it was only playable with less then 5 people (albeit 4 is doable) and didn't have such apparent strategy choices (go for camels or for farming) it would get a lot more attention. Still a future classic.
My gaming club has this game. I borrowed it from them. In the next few months I'm sure this will get some playing time. I'll post some pictures too.
The rules seem quite complex, there is a lot to remember. The rulebook itself is very large, with lots of white space on the pages. That makes for an excellent read... however... it would have been nice if the author actually explained the rules. There are a lot of gaps. More than once I could not help but wonder that while writing the rules the author skipped parts of the explanation which he probably deemed self explanatory or "logical". An autofill of the mind. Unfortunatly his logic is not the same as mine.
edit: I think the unthinkable has happend. With my purchase of the A&A Revised edition I must admit this game is getting out-of-date. While still a good game it should be demoted to a 9.
edit: again... because Revised is so obviously a better game, with more variation, this game will not be played again. I will keep it since it's one of my very first games bought. I'm a sentimental guy.
It misses the depth Pacific does have. And In my opinion it's too easy for the Axis to win. The tentative 6 I give it now has to do with the rules change we made to make the game more interesting. Upcoming variant will be posted as soon as I have the time to do that. The variant focuses on saving time, and streamlining game play in accordance with A&A Revised.
We play with a variant which works rather well. It's a combination of Revised ruling with A&Â Pacific Victory type victory conditions for both sides. The variant has only been played two times but it does allow for a 7 in rating, based on my own two plays and players responses.
The only addition I think is truely worth mentioning. Europe doesn't cut it, let alone D-day or (unfortunately) Battle of the Bulge. All are flawed, since some of the imporant features (like deciding what units you're going to buy) is not featured. This game to some is broken, but the gambit that apparently causes it - the India gambit - never pulled trough more then once. So the game is as solid as ever!
Edit 23/02/08: after our eight game we are coming to grips with the fact that it is too hard for the Allies to win with the original setup. We will play one more time with the original setup. This time Mac can bite the bullet ;-) If he wins as the Allies; we keep the original rules and I have to cope with the fact that Alcohol is finally ruining my brain cells. If not... well then we will convert to the new setup provided by Avalon Hill... Not good, so I reduced the rating to 8.
Allas, we tried it this weekend, but it didn't work out. The Allies lost again... Now we need to accept the altered set up and see if it will stand on its own. If not... Well, we'll have to cross that bridge when we get there.
Ok, so the verdict is out... it's a 5. I don't believe the game is broken, nor the draft part of the game. As much as I would like to take all the 'right' cards to play, the drafting proces just will not allow it. Therefore you will always have to adjust to some sort of sub-optimal hand to play your game with, and that makes for an ok game. Having said that; it's kind of boring to know in advance what cards you simply 'must' pick in order to have a decent chance at winning. And if you happen to be Mc Cain it won't help to know that YOU WILL lose that Fundraiser at some point in the game...
Edit: just finished another game that took waaaay to long. I couldn't build up a decent deck because all 'draw'cards seem to fall together with all the other good cards and my opponent just had to many go negatives and demographics. So we ended up drawing out a game that took us more than an hour before my opponent simply gave up. It's just not interesting.
What can be bad, sometimes is also good. With the drafting 1 out of 3 you are sometimes forced to make a choice out of 2 lesser Evils. It helps to keep the game fresh, but I must stress that this game needs to be under 60 minutes before it could start to shine. Right now we were at 70 minutes. Still too long
Again the forece of the draw helps keep things interesting but at 70 min a play and all to hope for is ineffiency of drawing cards, does not help in making a game worth your efforts. Still, you can be challenged when the game doesn't give you the right deck indeed.
The BGG rating system is the reason why this game is rated so low by me. It's not that it's a bad game, it's just I gave up on MY game improving. That's why I decided not to play anymore and that makes it a category 3 game.
Nice filler!I just had to upgrade this game. Immediately after finishing one round of play, you want to set up a next. That's the mark of a good game. Much more strategy then one might think! All games of one night are logged as one game
Update: after my 9th game I have seen it. This is it. Nothing more, nothing less to discover. Nice little game but not worth an 8 anymore.
Update 07-2008: finally I got to play my third game of Container. It’s the third game which, according to self-imposed law, means I will rate it too. I was thinking along the line of a five, maybe a six for Container, as the first two games didn’t really flow that well and it took me a long time to get it to the table the first three times. But after yesterday’s play I’m convinced there is a brain burner (but without too much AP) that can be a good game to the able minded. As far as I can tell (from the way I’m lost in all three games) there is much to learn for me about Container, and how to improve play. That conclusion, and the fact that I really enjoyed yesterday’s game, I say it’s a solid seven for now. Container is like a good vintage wine: it has to ripe before it gets good. You have to give the game a few go's before you start to appreciate the fine aspects of the game. It's very unforgiving, in that respect it could even pass Caylus.
This is a cool dice game. This year in Vegas... come look for me at the Craps Table! I played it in Primm, a place near Vagas. It's cheaper there and the drinks are on the house, so you have more fun loosing money! God, I loved it!
A strange game indeed. I have it, read it, didn't get it, repacked it, forgot about it. Seriously: I never fully understood the rules on breaking support etc. Too difficult to understand. And how about all that writing down orders... I don't really take to games that need a pen and paper. The negotiation and leaving dice behind is okay. But someone should invent an easier way of giving orders without need of a pen and paper. Furthermore I need rule clarification, major clarification (I can prove this game is to hard to interpret since even PBEM clubs need a referee to interpret what actually happens on the board.
Edit 6/2/08. Since yesterday we started a PBEM game complete with Gamemaster. That means that in all fairness to the game I need to adjust my rating since a 3 says one will never play the game again. Final decision may depend on the playability of the e-mail variant and I suppose factors as length etc.
29/02/2008 Ok, so now that I played PBEM Diplomacy, what is my verdict¦ I didn’t like it, and here is why. When I was still on the prowl for girls back in the day, I would write a lot of sms and e-mails to them with all sorts of garbage and indecent proposals of sorts. What I hated then is what I hate now: the waiting... Waiting for a reply when negotiating or waiting for a confirmation that someone (a temporarily ally for example) received your set of proposed orders, or not. Waiting for that ally to respond, hoping it's not a negative response since you only have an hour left for the deadline¦ All of this and more made me feel like I did when I was chasing after women back then: I loved the game: but hated the waiting. Like someone in our gaming group said: send mail F5 F5 F5 F5 F5, then phew¦ I think it says it all. Besides that I really put in ALOT of time into this game, with excessive writing, 'cause I want to feel like I am a nation’s leader in heavy diplomacy. However, that excessive writing and agonising crunching over the game board on all options, costs tons of time. Time which is likely well spent when you are winning, but it feels less rewarding when you conjured up nice plan in several hours, only to be betrayed by your fellow players. Basically you fall into a downward spiral of: much time spent => orders do not deliver as promised => less time spent => less quality orders => more orders do not deliver => less time spent => less quality orders => etc. etc. Also: because this game is very unforgiving it is important that you make sure everybody understands all the rules. Once a mistake is made - especially in the opening rounds (first year) - it is hard if not impossible to recover. I will play Diplomacy again, but only face-to-face or in one weekend, PBEM is not my cup of tea.
I played Dune for the first time yesterday (9-20-2008) and I must say it was a game waaaayyy ahead of its time: area impulse, variable player power and even the Rock-paper-scissors kind of battle system... fascinating!
Bought it at Essen 2007! Finaly I got to play the game. Gameplay does take too long. Our first play lasted 4 hours (including rules explanation). If we had played the official variant it would have been even longer. In the end, it's the variant we played that kept the game alive, and will make sure we play it again some time.
our second play lasted well over three hours... it's getting there but still it's too long.
24-08-08: this was our third play... we played a 4 player game with the 5 player goals. As the first two games; that just takes forever... It's not a bad game, not at all. I can get passed the fundamental flaws this game also has, with a few simple house rules. But I have to address this time issue first. Without that addressed, this game will not be played ever again.
Seems like a good game. Dug into Spanish Civil War games a while ago, and I kind of like the idea of having one. But this one has been picked up by Phalanx... hmmm!
Bought at Essen 2008
Edit: 16-01-2009, what a brilliant first play! So different from the two other CDG's I know (1960 and TS). There goes so much agony into deciding to play a card NOW for the Bonus or Penalty or hold it until the Events,. which comes waaayyy later. Holding it for the Event is somtimes so obvious, because it's a strong card, yet, since the game could be over by then... you're forced/doubtful to take it now for either B or P, since it could be the last thing you can do!
I'm proud to announce my '38 scenario win as the Republican player! It was a hard fought, lucky, but strategically sound offensive, with all the cards played and available at the right time and the right place. The Republic won with 7-5 cities (none contested) after a devastating breakthrough at Huesca!
After just one play I was begeistered... what a game. I think I will enjoy myself very much although it is quite lengthy. Your really really need to read the rules thoroughly! Otherwise the fun drops drastically
I don’t often give games a rating on the first go, but since I’m quit convinced I won’t play this again I will have to do just that. The game is trying to be a whole lot of things, but it doesn’t succeed in any of the areas. I can live with the sudden death element that’s tucked into the game. In fact I love that. But that is not the focal point of the game. The game is about bluffing, and that is where it fails. Why on earth would you want to care about just how many counters someone stacks against you in a sector? It’s not like the 3 three armies you are ]bringing in to the fight will all contribute more weight to the 1-0 combo your opponent just brought up… Oh wait… I’m sorry, you get a +1 on the die role… and what is that thing there besides the counters… oh that could be a +2 or a 0 bluff counter (the round ones)… interesting…so now I’m scared and want to call of the attack, because I think you are not bluffing… What’s that you say… I can’t pull out my forces? Oh… oh, okay… so why exactly should I care what the marker could be then? This is just one example from the many I have collected over the course of this one play. In what could have been a nice game, Phalanx just overplayed its hand once more.
Edit: removed the rating, though still dislike the game
I did enjoy the experience but I think that largely has to do with which side I played. I happend to be the invader, and he tends to be more busy then the US player. In fact I believe that when it does get exciting for the US the game is more or less over...
Turn order is everything. But second to none is seating. If you're sitting next to a player that doesn't build when you need them too, then prepare for a lot of pass moves. The problem lies in the fact that whatever you do to position yourself, you are always dependant on the person to your right (and the person next and so on) cause in the end YOU don't deside if your second to last. You can, however, always decide to go first.
Update: the comments below obviously never became true, since this game is up there in my most played games (Hot) for the last 2 years. It has seen over ten plays and it continues to surprise even though how the enemy reacts is seriously scripted: there is enough going on to make each game feel fresh. Hence I even upgraded my rating for this gem.
I upgraded the game after playing it for the fourth time. I't such a tence game, where everything can and will go wrong from time to time. It's also a game that allows you to strategize before play and forces you to be tactical during play. It takes a lot of time though (3,5 hours in our group). So it probably won't be played too often.
Played it only once so far, but it got me right away. Love the original approach of not having one position. Plenty of diverse strategies available.
Played my 3rd game last night. I tried the gambit written here on the geek somewhere. My fellow players noticed what I was aiming for and pretty soon locked me out of the cheap stocks. I was locked out of the game after the first half hour and could not re-enter as a player owning a flag untill the last turn, no matter what I tried. But... I managed to come in second in the end with only 10K less then number one... That's not good. I think it has the same scriptiness as Antike although we all don't really understand right now, what that exact script will be.
Very nice game. It has a lot of known mechanics, but they are mashed together in a very unique and thoughtful manner. There is voting, worker placement and "area majority" in the form of a war that can be won.
Great game if played by two people. I really have no idea why you would want to do this with 3 or 4. The downtime is considerable. The only thing that would be interesting is playing a cooperative scenario with more than 2, which by the way are very hard to achieve and a lot of fun too!
I updated the rating from a 7 to an 8 today in order to reflect my drastically improved appreciation of this game as a SOLITAIRY playable game. After reading several encouragements in the forum about solitaire play I decided to try myself. And indeed, given certain restrictions, the game plays out wonderfully when played by just you alone. The key to this success is of course in large part because of the use of dice and the open nature of the game. Dice make up the number of moves one can play, dice make up the number of recruits you can have and of course dice decide on the outcome of battle. Therefore what would be a Strategic game, mixed with a large amount of Tactical play, is essentially turned around into an enjoyable Tactical game, with some Strategic elements. Playing it solitaire means no surprises are possible, unless you deliberately make one for ‘the other side’, but trying to optimize what is randomly given to you in it self is a challenge worth undertaking. Make sure you pick this one up if you’re looking for a good, playable, tactical solitaire wargame.
Updated again. On Boardgamearena you can find players that are on your level and beyond. This means that play is now more balanced and not dependant on bad play from others. Over there your own tactical choices start to matter more. Still, a game that needs those kind of conditions to shine should not have a higher rating than 7.
Update. Improved my rating from a 3 to a 6 after playing this on Boardgamearena. Over there you can choose the level of the opponents. So being stuck with a weak player to your right is not an issue. That makes for far more interesting plays.
I did a lot of research for my first play, and it felt pretty obvious how to play 'best'. My first two plays I won from 4 moderate players. That - to me - is not good. If you can win easily from experienced players as a beginner, something smells... My third play I had the misfortune of sitting next to someone who 'didn't know what to do' so he took the Goudzoeker (I believe it's called) and so I couldn't benefit from the ground work of someone else. That ruined it for me.
Played three times: one 2er, one 4er and a solo. All the times it was a wonderfull adventure, but I think you need more than 4 to fully enjoy this game. It's an experience game so don't go sour if you lose. The game can take as long as 6-8 hours to complete and that's only because we have lost 2 times and in my solo the auto-player was named Consul for life towards the end of the first era. I can imagine a full game of all thre era's reaching into the 10 or more hours spot.
Bough at Essen 2009 Update: It's ok. Needs to be shortened. We played 4 player six round game in 4 hours. In the end nothing changes that much in a single round. In the final round all is about who can stall the game long enough to make the final move probably winning the game. There is no need for 6 rounds to make that an exiting thing. That is easily achieved in 4-5 rounds. While shortening the game helps. We now play rounds 1&2, 3, 4&5, 6&7 as just 4 round combining them with just slight modifications, there isn't really a game there. Not a lot to influence and it all comes down to the last round and who can hold on to the last card basically.
I finally opened it... boy was I on the fense about that... I figured I would only buy other games with the money it was supposed to bring in, and I kind of liked having the story lying about. So it's cool, and I'm cool with the decision I made. The game is OK btw. It has the basics of risk so it can still bite you in the ass at times...
A Long time favourite, which I seldom get to play. Most people find it chaotic. Others say the game has balance issues, or kingmaker, kingbasher problems. All of that has not been a problem for me to date. Although that could be because I simply can't find enough opponents to stick with the game for a longer period. The flags on ships and in ports can be chaotic sometimes, but overall, it's a really good transportation aka wargame. With all those (better) games at my disposal, I don't think this is one I'm 'usually' willing to play, per the BGG scoring. It's still fun and quite challenging, so a 6 is on the spot for now.
Update 2015-04: this one has had it's best days. It's time to move on. We played with a variant rule set and some people were complaining that the game had no real interactivity going on at all. Which was true, even though we were playing with the rule that doesn't allow you to sell for cash at your own ports. This did not lead to any interaction of any sorts what so ever. Which was really a shame as it did away with even the smooth "daisy chaining" your routes efficiently without replacing it with something better.
As it stands the game just doesn't hold up. Even with the mix of variant rules borrowed from the 2nd edition and from the community. The variant rules will be posted in the variant section.
Finally I got my hands on a game of Samurai Swords or Shogun as it's called in the Netherlands. I love this game. I played it as a child and although it is a typical Ameritrash game with a lot of dice, kingmaker, king basher, turtle, player elimination and downtime issues... I still love it! It is not the best MB Gamemaster series game made (that would be A&A Classic in my opinion), but it's still good and against all other classics: Conquest of the empire (broken), A&A Classic (made obsolete) and Fortress America (flawed) it can still withstand the test of time!
03-05-2008 We played my Victory Point variant the other day, and it works like a charm. The game accumulates to a climax after (only) 5 3/4 hours. The tention that someone could win was always there as soon as we all got experience 2-3 for our Daymio. I upgraded my rating to an 8 and will continue with this variant, since one of its best advantages is that it does create an ending to the game, and rewards offensive play, rather then turtling.
This is just an excellent game. Takes about 3 1/2 hours (beginners) but is packed with meaty decisions. You'll never get bored. I highly recommend playing it. I think it would even run faster if I had more experience.
I think this is a good game, that scales well from 2 to 4. It has luck, but according to most, that can be mitigated by other factors that influence gameplay.
Edit 24-02-08: what an enjoyment this game is. I think my initial rating will be something like an 8, but I suspect it will end up a 7, due to its overwhelming luck factor. Overwhelming... not really... Luck is evened out over the course of multiple digs. But the digs ARE important and other alternatives (like exhibitions) are a bit undervalued (especially those in fact). Still, it doesn't bother game play at all.
Edit juli '09: dropped the rating... do you play the game or does the game play you. Sometimes it's so obvious what you should or shouldn't do, that the question becomes more one of: "do you see it or not".
Sometimes I get scared of this game... I don't win alot of games of T&E, but I don't finish last either. It's that I can't put my finger on the exact 'why' I came in 2nd that always has me puzzled after a game, and thus scares me to play.
I'm currently finishing a first draft prototype I've been working on for ages called: The Partitions of Poland 1772-1795 in which, tragically, an entire nation gets carved up among three of the main contemporary powers. Unless of course the Poles reshape history and save their nation!
Nice beer and pretzel game. I played it the other day with 3 more people. It was a really tence game, with the auctions going up and down between 90-140 thousand. You need that variety to help keep the auction not-auction mechanic alive.
Recently played it again. I think it has begun to show its age. Since hits are (mostly) only on a roll of 1, it has huge swings of luck to it. Perhaps I'll try it once more with an increased hit roll, but that might do the game more damage then good since the point of the whole game is that you only have a few forces to move around. So what bugs me the mos, I guess, is that luck on the roll out ways most of the strategic thinking.
Interesting entry level war game. Rules are some 4 pages, which is nothing too complex. Oversight is easy to maintain, although choices are still abundant and complex!
What a horrible game! Kind of like roll-and-move but without the moving part... no brain cells needed whatsoever! Couldn't look at it anymore... looking at it reminded me of failure: I threw it away...
We play Yathzee a bit different then normal. Just the first 3 columns. The first column has to be filled from top to bottom. The second from bottom to top. And the third is a free column. You must fill something in, so in order to advance, people tend to skip the ones they have little chance of achieving. That makes it more of a tactical game.