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[This session report cross-posted from my blog.]
Had the gang over for gaming a couple weeks ago. Well, some of it. Jason came down sick at the last minute, which left us at four. We could have had Zjonni over, but we were already scheduled for a 5-player day, and I found out about Jason well after I told Zjonni to get some more sleep after staying up all of finals week.
We stuck with the original plan though, and tried out Origins of WWII, a 1971 AH game designed by Jim Dunnigan. It is indeed very simple and short, and we got in two rounds before lunch. We took the four-player option of just ignoring the US.
We took the powers we happened to be sitting in front of the first time, which gave me France. With the lowest number of PFs and going first (without the Americans involved, at least), it was a challenge. The Baltics and Romania fell to Russia (Mark) early, while Poland went to Germany (Dave). I managed to start a movement that preserved Czechoslovakia, with French, British and Russian Understandings with the country at the end. Dave tried kicking the British (Patch) out of the US towards the end, but Patch managed to re-acquire an Understanding with them. Patch won at the end with 22 points, and the rest of us tied at 16.
We drew randomly for powers the second time, and I was happy to note that no one got the same power as last time. I drew Russia, and lost a bid to share Control of Poland with Patch's Germany. Disastrously, Germany also got Control of Romania while I was working on an Understanding with Germany. Patch also got control of Czechoslovakia early, leaving the east pretty well locked down with me taking the Baltic States. The bad news for Germany was that he was stymied in the Rhineland for the entire game, and had to pour a lot of PFs down that hole against the quite able alliance of Britain (Mark) and France (Dave). I kept miscalculating slightly for the last couple turns, which damaged my plans, but with very few positive objectives left, I started booting the other powers out of positions, mostly Understandings with me and Italy. The game ended with Patch getting 20 points, me getting 15, and Mark and Dave tied at 14. I claimed a small moral victory for only scoring one point less than the first game, while everyone else dropped two.