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Subject: So far so good! rss

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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
Germany
Düsseldorf
NRW
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Please keep in mind this is based after one 5 player play.

Yesterday the MGG (Mage Game Group, Dusseldorf) played a 5 player game ( all new to the game except 1). Despite some concern after reading geek comments, we all had a great time. and please find below some comments:

First positive impressions:
-Seems to have good replay value
-Very accessible
-Very good multiplayer
-Takes a maximum of 3,5 hours to play
-The idea and design is simply brilliant and only therefore you should have a copy
-The bidding / battle system is simple but works great and give flavour and excitement
-Attacking is more rewarding than receiving an attack so just take money every turn will be your downfall eventually.
-The growing map is wonderful and drawing tiles and playing empire cards is exciting
-The map that is getting eaten away by Mongols is wonderful
-Money is everything! Without it you are doomed so better ask yourself why you are attacking and how much you are prepared to lose!

Initial worries after one play:
-I rather had seen larger cardstock map tiles rather than playing cards
-The chits are functional but uninspiring. There could have been more
-The ‘Action’ cards seem not that exciting / powerful. The Excitement lies in the new areas rather than civil war etc. I had loved to see a larger deck with more exciting variants.
-The Civil War effects were very minimal as Excommunication or Disaster markers were hardly there. I decided to discard more often than keep.
Maybe this is inexprience and after more plays we might get smarter!
- Throughout the game only two leaders were changed (one upgraded and one downgraded) and the chance was rather minimal to improve or stop a good leader. A bit frustrating as the whole game I kept two bad leaders. and failed two roles to improve one of them.
-Influence of the Mongols was poor in our game: two map cards removed, one withstood an attack.

Conclusion:
Yes there are some issues after one play but some of these points might change with more plays. It has not the great excitement as Twilight Struggle but I am sure with a redeveloped Card deck this could be the ultimate Card game!
In some ways it even reminded me of a simplistic version of Here I Stand. Certainly it’s not for everyone but the low rating is in my opinion not justified. The mechanics all in all work well but I had hoped for a bit more Card Excitement as far as the Action Cards are concerned.

Anyhow, first game was exciting and all 5 of us had a great time learning and playing. I will update my comments after the following plays. So far so good!

The other feeling is: what this game COULD have been in the light of Twilight Struggle and Here I Stand. Anyhow, I should view it on it's own right and will post more regarding this after more plays which will cettainly be the case!



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Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
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...much that he related belonged more properly to the category of what-might-have-happened-had-I-only-thought-of-it-in-time-instead-of-ten-minutes-afterwards. Those are always the best and raciest adventures...
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... a picked body of Toads, known as the Die-hards, or the Death-or-Glory Toads, will storm the orchard and carry everything before them, yelling for vengeance.
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For larger maps, see http://www.gmtgames.com/gmt0wn.asp - look for May 10, 2005. We use the regular card-sized maps when drawing, but use the large maps when playing. It really helps the game a lot!

I'm a fan of this game, and don't know why it has a bad reputation. We do play with one house rule - see my comment in the rating section.
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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
Germany
Düsseldorf
NRW
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Thanks,
I have downloaded the maps and will have a look at the house rule next time we play.
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