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First Minnesota Historical Wargame Society» Forums » General

Subject: G.A.A.R. 8/30/13 rss

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Gordon J
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It was a crazy night at the Source.

I got there a 4pm expecting to just play a few solo games of FRIDAY and wait for Eric and Andrew to show up at 6, but when I arrived Andrew was alreaday there. So we pulled out POLIS and gave it a spin as Drew had never played before.

The game went lightning quick, each of us taking our actions bang-bang-bang. Proxenos were sent out to instigate mischief in neutral cities, armies created, merchants sent out to sea, the peasants taxed and recruited for army and navy dutues. And of course amid all of this the people had to be fed and kept happy.



The game ended with Athens and Sparta got involved in a decades long protracted and bloody fight for Sicily. In the end Sparta was victorious.

Once Alan and Eric showed up, we pulled out GLORY TO ROME, an interesting in-depth card game.



In this game you are trying to build up your influence and power in Rome by building things like the Circus, Scriptorium, Atrium, Prison, and Colosseum, and others.



Play went back and forth taking Merchant and Architect and Laborer and Patron and Legion type of actions. The table quickly got very busy and full, Eric was a card-laying machine, whipping down cards in a flurry of activity.



Even though it seemed like Eric was going to win, Alan pulled a surprise victory. Good game, lots of decisions to make, I would definitely play it again.

Next up was a game of PAX PORFIRIANA. Alan was a newbie to this game and Eric was only playing for a second time. I love this game, but man trying to teach someone this game for the first time is hard I think. After the basics were taught we jumped in feet first.



Alan and Eric had no trouble getting used to the game. A briefDepression interrupted the game for a little bit, knocking out Gordy's impressive American holdings. Poor Andrew was plagued with strikes and strife in the early part of the game as he become the human punching bag.



In the end, Eric and his boy Pascual Orozco, created Revolution, and toppled Porfiriana.

Next up was a game of everyone's favorite 1812. This was Andrew's first time playing this game.



An early American offensive had the British and her allies on their heels. Despite Gordy and Alan's counter-attack and eventual capture of Albany, Eric and Drew pulled out another American victory (twice in three weeks). Alan was plagued with water movement early on, and in the end when the game was on the line, the Britsh and Canadian Militia just didn't have the movement to recapture the momentum.

I think it is safe to say all of us will be looking forward to when 1775 arrives, which will fit perfectly with 4 people. I'm not sure if there has been another game, other than Combat Commander that has been played more by this group than 1812.

To end the night, Eric, Gordy, and Andrew played an easy, but very fun game of LOVE LETTER:



There are only 15 cards and 15 cubes in the entire game (plus Eric's very cute red and pink bags that held the contents together). It was quick and is a great end of the night filler game. Gordy destroyed the competition, winning easily. I'd definitely play that game again.



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Jason Albert
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Gordon, from a distance, it almost looks like you're playing Pax without prestige markers and Litko flames for unrest. But I know no one would ever do that, so it must be the picture.

Looking forward to getting back at it next week. During my two-week absence I've gotten in games of Kingdom of Heaven: The Crusader States 1097-1291 and Wilderness War, so the 1st Minn flag is flying, just not at The Source. Which sucks.
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Gordon J
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That's funny that you mention the lack of prestige markers and 3-d flame markers--the first thing Eric mentioned after I set the game up was: "Where are the prestige markers? How do we do unrest without the flames?" It was funny.

I suppose by next Friday we'll have our hands on A Distant Plain and Cuba Libre.
 
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Wade Nelson
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How is Polis? Is it more Civilization or Age of Renaissance -like or is it more of a Euro?
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Gordon J
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Wade, it is a rare blend of Euro-Wargame with a strong hand of Civ-like elements. You build armies and navies, but you also have to feed your people and grow your cities to get Prestige, which is the way you win the game. Each turn you take Military, Merchant, or Political actions. You also try to build greet statues or buy great philosophers to come to your city to give yourself more Prestige. Rules are simple, but each turn you have 12 different actions to choose from which gives the game its depth. The bottom line at the end of any turn, you have to have enough wheat to feed all your cities.

My favorite element of the game is the Proxenos, a spy you can say, that each side gets. You can send him out and have him cause mischief in enemy cities, or cause civil war in neutral cities and get them to turn to your side.

(I see by looking at your game info, that you have played GMT's Conquest of Paradise, how is that? I've wanted to try that. Also I see you still own Earth Reborn? I have that, love it, but haven't been able to get to play that very much).
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Eric S.
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Had a great time!
Must play Pax Porfiriana again!
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Gordon J
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That much is for certain.

I think if you like Pax, you will probably like Andean Abyss, Cuba Libre, and A Distant Plain--all of which has the deep level thinking and great decision making choices.
 
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Andrew Kluck
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patton55 wrote:
That's funny that you mention the lack of prestige markers and 3-d flame markers--the first thing Eric mentioned after I set the game up was: "Where are the prestige markers? How do we do unrest without the flames?" It was funny.

You know, I really didn't miss them. Having some experience now it was always clear to me who had what if I was interested in looking and when I was new moving those gems around was just one more mechanic to worry about. I've liked playing more now the faster it goes and Alan's view is definitely perfect for a beginner 'If you don't have the information or experience to weigh your options in a game, AP is just generally a waste of everyones time'. Jason's a patient teacher but my first few games felt like they took forever because of me.

Pax is complicated and chaotic which isn't a good combination for beginners. I can see someone getting too frustrated to play again if a first timer spent tons of effort building a mine, protecting it with troops, swatting down unrest, securing the connection, arming it with just the right partners only to see it all burn because someone else let a depression happen.
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Jason Albert
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The flames are just pimpin'. I can't play without the prestige markers. Especially when the tableaus are big with many extorting troops. I'm guessing in the end it comes close to netting out -- the time spent to make a mental count of everyone's prestige when you're nearing a topple attempt is the same it takes to shuffle the markers throughout the game. That said, I'd rather not be telegraphing my intentions of when I'm buying a topple, which a count does. I like being able to see where everyone stands at a glance.

Plus, the loyalist hacendados should be color-coded to what they can flip to. I hate having to crane across the table to check. That was a big unforced error in a game that has nearly none.

Sitnam wrote:
I can see someone getting too frustrated to play again if a first timer spent tons of effort building a mine, protecting it with troops, swatting down unrest, securing the connection, arming it with just the right partners only to see it all burn because someone else let a depression happen.


Seeing this happen is one of the main reasons I play PP. It brings me so much joy.
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Wade Nelson
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patton55 wrote:


(I see by looking at your game info, that you have played GMT's Conquest of Paradise, how is that? I've wanted to try that. Also I see you still own Earth Reborn? I have that, love it, but haven't been able to get to play that very much).


I love CoP, but I know quite a few people who find it dry. I think the theme is fantastic and handled really well, and it's the only game that gives a 4X kind of feel with such a simple ruleset. Highly recommend the Random Event Cards that came in C3i. GMT has a reprint on the P500 list right now with some upgraded components, and I think it includes the cards.

Earth Reborn is stellar but we have a hard time getting it to the table as much as I'd like too.
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