Recommend
12 
 Thumb up
 Hide
16 Posts

Wars of the Roses: Lancaster vs. York» Forums » Reviews

Subject: War in Fog rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
someotherguy wrote:
This is another in my crazily unpopular and unintended series of reviews of games that I have only played once. Unlike most games that I review after one play, I intend to play this game again and will try to remember to post back my findings here.

That would be an interesting exercise; with nine games under my belt, I'm as enthusiastic about this game as I was after the second game.

someotherguy wrote:

1) Actions all cost money (with the exception of defending or attacking with mercenaries). The secret action selection portion of the turn (the real meat of the game) simply isn't that deep, because you're simply spending your money to take actions. You aren't using money for this, and influence for that, and specific resources to do another. You can't even attack with the armies you bought last turn. You spend dollars to attack, you spend dollars to defend, you spend dollars to bid. All of your secret actions revolve around money.

Not sure that I understand what the "issue" is. Not all actions are equal, not all actions are possible, and not all targets are equal either. You have to decide what are the best things to hold on to, the best things to try and take over, and what can be ignored - either because you don't think that you'll lose it, don't care if you do lose it, don't think that you can win it or don't care if you do. All the while taking into account that you'd quite like to do better as a team than the other faction does, but at the same time wanting to do better than your team-mate. Lots to think about there. But yes, it does all cost money.

someotherguy wrote:

2) The catch-up mechanism is WAY too powerful, to the point where it rewards inaction (which is usually the death of a game). This seems so obviously problematic to me that I suspect players of the game will nearly universally nerf them through house rules. Taking a big lead early is DEATH (I know from experience). This mechanism is BUH-ROKE.

I won my last two games - both including experienced opponents - by taking the lead in the first turn and holding onto it for the whole game. Clearly by that logic the catch-up mechanism is BUH-ROKE for not being strong enough. Or perhaps you just have to make sure that if you're leading from the front, you do so in a way that means that you won't be caught. Not easy, because you're up to £25 behind the other players, but it can be done. I've also lost a couple of games where I "sandbagged" enough to get the full £25 in French Aid, but couldn't quite catch up.

someotherguy wrote:

3) Attacking and bribing sounds different, but it sort of isn't. You do both with money, you block both with money, you do them both during the secret planning portion of the turn, you gain or lose control points and income to your opponents through both, and the cost tends to be proportional (you tend to pick up about 1 CP for every 2 dollars you spend (if you're successful), no matter how you spend it). And you are ALWAYS successful if your opponent doesn't defend (barring a dreadful error or multiple opponents attacking/bribing the same target).

As you say, if multiple attacks/bribes hit the same target it becomes a bit of a bun fight. And not all targets ARE equal. London or Exeter - which one to attack? One brings in lots of cash, the other might not be defended at all. I can't attack Pontefract because I don't have any presence in that region, but I know that I don't have to defend Harlech because *he* has no presence there. On the other hand, the Bishop of Durham is anybody's ...

someotherguy wrote:

4) There is no way to determine what your opponents might do. There are certain principles you could probably count on: players will try to get income-granting stuff early, but won't care at all about income in the last turn; players will probably try to complete sets of stuff that gives them bonus points; players will probably try to gain influence where they don't have any. The problem is that you don't HAVE to do any of this to win, plus, you will probably try to do things that will trick your opponents. I suspect that you're just as well off doing what you think is best for yourself and, to some degree, ignoring your opponents. You could guess that your opponent will always try to score the most points possible each turn, except, because of the catch-up mechanism, early in the game, that's a bad idea.

On the contrary, the game seems to turn on making the best educated guesses, and the most bang for your buck. There's no point in chasing big targets if you already have a lock on an area - unless your opponents know that, and think that they can leave those targets undefended. There's so much headology involved in this game I love it.

someotherguy wrote:

When I first read about this game, I wondered if it was pretty much just shooting in the dark hoping you hit something, but other reviews indicated that there was more to the game. After one play, I strongly suspect that this game might stink and is just a big guessing game.

Educated guesses. Blind guesses won't help. And sometimes you just know what people are going to do, because it's the only sensible thing for them to do - and sometimes you're wrong.

someotherguy wrote:

I'm going to play again, and I am definitely going to do something about the "catch-up" cards (thematically, it's money from France). At first, I considered simply lowering how much money you get. However, now I think the French money cards should be completely eliminated for several reasons. Again, since you asked, I'll enumerate:

I seriously wouldn't. Especially not on the strength of just one game. Instead the early leaders need to find ways of holding onto their leads instead of whining about being in front.

Here's a hint - don't defend, attack. I've found it a lot easier to hold onto a lead by concentrating my money on getting stuff off the opposition instead of trying to hang onto stuff that they want. Correctly predict what they are going to attack in strength and abandon it; predict what they will put minimal effort into taking and defend it; predict what they own and won't defend and attack it; ad most of all, do that in a way that still leaves you picking up points for second places, royal offices or the crown while leaving an income base largely intact.

11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Contemptus Mundi
United States
Cedar City
Utah
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I dislike your reviews because they lack soul, along with the fact that you only play the game once. You dissect games like a coroner would a cadaver, and then jot down the cause of death without even mentioning the person's name.

Perhaps this is because, according to your profile, you don't actually own any games yourself, but simply suck a play from the teat of another gamer who invested into the concept of the game both monetarily and emotionally? Please correct me if I'm wrong. I think you'd find a different voice if you pre-ordered a game simply because the theme excited you, the game publisher had a proven track record and you anticipated having an enjoyable time learning something new, or deepening your understanding on a subject by playing such a game. Quite often, you get back what you put into a board game. Personally, I find something illicit, or dare I say immoral, about reviewing a game you don't even own.

This review is particularly callous because you are apparently blind to the stunning artwork used throughout the game, and the attention placed on historical theme. All of this should create a tingling sensation running up your leg, but I suppose that would require a pulse! Were you forced to play this game against your will?

I understand that negative reviews have their place, and as much as I hate to, I'll regurgitate Voltaire "I disagree with everything you said, but I'll defend with my life your right to say it." Just remember that everything appears ugly when you cut it down to its core.

8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
someotherguy wrote:
RDewsbery wrote:
I won my last two games - both including experienced opponents - by taking the lead in the first turn and holding onto it for the whole game.
I suspect that your games were close early on.


You'd be right about one of those games, and wrong on another. In one I had a big lead from the start, fought hard to make it bigger in turn 2, then spent 3 turns hanging on by my fingernails as the (by then about 50 point) gap was slowly clawed back.

In the other, I had a more modest lead, but was able to keep it throughout. And in another game that I won, I lead by a few points pretty much all the way through, took French Aid in the fifth turn (while trailing the then-leader by a single point), and took the lead back. WHat can I really conclude from this? Sometimes you don't need French Aid to win. Oh, and the game plays out differently every single time I play it.

Quote:
I doubt that you have faced an opponent who did nothing but save their money on turn one (which is impossible to foresee on a first play) giving them an astronomical amount of money on turn two, which, given the system, is probably ideal play.

It's deeply sub-optimal play. Ideal play is spending your money on turn one in such a way that you not only have *more* money/leverage on turn two, but that your opponent(s) have *less*. Simply saving cash to hopefully make a juggernaught move is giving up the incremental income of both points AND cash in the earlier turns.

Oh, and the other "ideal" play of income early, control later, doesn't seem to work either. Or at least it didn't the last couple of times that I tried it.

Quote:
You mention that you attempted this strategy and it didn't work for you. a) You did it wrong, I suspect,

What I mostly get wrong is trying to sandbag, but accidentally take the lead due to others' play, and then have to lead from the front. But it works. Oh, and before you tell people that they are doing it wrong it might be an idea to think for one moment about comparative levels of experience with the game. I'm no expert, but have about ten times as much experience (if you count the three games I've watched/taught as well as the nine that I've played).

Quote:

and b) the fact that I have to consider sandbagging is a monumental turn off for me, though I gather that you don't feel the same (and I have no need for everyone to see this the same way I do).

So don't. Win from the front. I seem to be able to manage it. But perhaps I'm doing it wrong.

Quote:
If you're right a lot, did you really get inside your opponent's head, or did you just get lucky a few times in a row?

Poker's probably a game of lucky guesses too.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Contemptus Mundi
United States
Cedar City
Utah
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Taking things out of context... tisk, tisk.

I never said you don't have a soul, I said your reviews are lacking soul. I'm sure that's the point, since you constantly refer to your reviews as unpopular, prefer a large negative thumbs down avatar, refer to yourself as "some other guy", and don't keep any personal information on your profile.

Since the word "soul" pushed such a big theological hot button deep within your, er, heart... feel free to substitute "heart" for "soul". I'm sure you'll admit to having one of those.

I think what really demonstrates this lack of heart is that in your entire mechanical parsing of the game, you never once mention Lancaster, York, England, Wales, history, or even hint at what the game is all about!

But hey, since you apparently enjoy writing... how did you put it, "crazily unpopular and unintended reviews", then keep up the bad work.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay Moore
United States
Webster Groves
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
I like this review a lot. I have also played once, and agree with pretty much everything you said, as did all the others who played as well. Granted, the components are amazingly good (especially the cool screens), but we just didn't feel that the game was that great.

Thanks for the review.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Leigh
United Kingdom
Richmond
North Yorkshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dan,

Your cold analysis of the game mechanic - mostly stripped of theme, does not make the game sound very enticing at all. However, I have played five times now and have enjoyed each game very much indeed.

If you don't like the educated guess mechanic, or trying to judge what your opponents will do, then this game is not for you. Excepting one, all of our games have been close fought and we have not known who is going to win until the last turn scores are in. The French aid is not as good as you think. Each time it has been used in our games, it does not deliver the VP needed to propel trailing players into the lead. Crafty strategies are also needed.

I can't agree with you on the theme. I love the theme.

Still, the plain talking quality of your review did make me chuckle once or twice.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
flag msg tools
Esther Phillips - Baby, I'm for Real!
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
someotherguy wrote:
I don't know if most people realize it, but the game of five-card draw poker (the "classic" game of poker if you believe old cowboy movies) is a dead game. No one plays it any more, and not just because Texas Hold'em has gained popularity. The problem with five-card draw is that no one is willing to risk money on a game where there isn't enough information to make sensible bets. A player who bets big either has a good hand or is bluffing, but there's no way to tell which is the case. How much money are you willing to risk to find out? For most people, the answer is: none, so they don't play five-card draw. It has died because it's a bad game.

I'm calling your bluff. The fact you don't like five-card draw, and you don't know anybody who plays it, doesn't mean it's dead or a bad game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
McDog
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sphere wrote:
someotherguy wrote:
I don't know if most people realize it, but the game of five-card draw poker (the "classic" game of poker if you believe old cowboy movies) is a dead game. No one plays it any more, and not just because Texas Hold'em has gained popularity. The problem with five-card draw is that no one is willing to risk money on a game where there isn't enough information to make sensible bets. A player who bets big either has a good hand or is bluffing, but there's no way to tell which is the case. How much money are you willing to risk to find out? For most people, the answer is: none, so they don't play five-card draw. It has died because it's a bad game.

I'm calling your bluff. The fact you don't like five-card draw, and you don't know anybody who plays it, doesn't mean it's dead or a bad game.



I played it plenty back in the 80's.

I don't play any poker now so for me I have no idea if it still is. The idea is to READ the face/body language to see if the player is bluffing. That's a big part of the game, not a 50/50 coin flip.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jack Smith
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
someotherguy wrote:
I promised to post back here when I played the game again. I haven't played it again. Like most of my games, it rides around in the car with me, but every time I grab it to bring it into a gaming session, I think of the dozens of games that I would rather play, and I leave it behind.

I don't know if most people realize it, but the game of five-card draw poker (the "classic" game of poker if you believe old cowboy movies) is a dead game. No one plays it any more, and not just because Texas Hold'em has gained popularity. The problem with five-card draw is that no one is willing to risk money on a game where there isn't enough information to make sensible bets. A player who bets big either has a good hand or is bluffing, but there's no way to tell which is the case. How much money are you willing to risk to find out? For most people, the answer is: none, so they don't play five-card draw. It has died because it's a bad game.


Well it's a Euro and its the nature of those games that they are dry and soulless. You reflect that in your review. I play this with my family and I think that makes all the difference. Each has a unique play style which then mean my decisions are based on more than what's on the board. The game is great fun for us as a result with plenty of bluff and double bluff, just like the War itself in fact. I can imagine a new group of strangers not finding the nuances of the game as quickly or enjoying it as much.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Goad
United States
Farmington
Missouri
flag msg tools
I honestly cant believe this review ... I'm at a loss of words. I have a lot of euro games and this to me is by far the best, even over Imperial. I sometimes cant believe what I'm reading.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nomadic Gamer
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
1 Play of the game isn't enough since others record
different experiences due to personalities & experience.
". I own more than a hundred games, including more rare, expensive games than almost anyone I know, and "
take 20 seconds & tell us what you play.whistle
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.