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Subject: A game of four - our worst result ever! rss

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Daniel Sundström
Sweden
Bollnäs
Hälsingland
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Today I played the strangest game of Svea Rike that I've ever played! Four of us got together to play this game; me, Johan, Hanrik and Matilda - with Matilda being somewhat of a newbie to this game. I played as the Grip family, Johan as Eka, Henrik as Brahe and Matilda as Sture.

It all started well for all of us; I decided to go with trade and actually became quit succesfull at it with five traders in Prussia and one in Poland. The others generally went with farming and bought all of the fiefs before I had the chance to buy a third one.

I have tried this strategy once before, way back - and it didn't work then at all! The problem with it is this: to get as many traders in one country as fast as possible (which is the only way to make them profitable), you cannot afford to focus on anything else - like buying additional fiefs. This cost me back then, because I lost the two fiefs I started with due to unsuccesfull wars and other players just being evil, so I was out of the game about half way around the board.

Would it work better now? Would this session be an improvement? Could I prove that this strategy might be a good one?

No.

Johan played a card on me that forced me to roll the die. If I failed, he would get one of my fiefs. Naturally I failed and was down to one. Then, during Gustavus Adolphus' reign (Gustav II Adolf), war broke out. I had no troops on my remaining fief and could not join to help defend Sweden. The others did - but lost. Since they lost, they were forced to surrender a fief of their own choise while I had to roll a die for not joining the war. On a roll of 1-3, the King would be so mad at me for not defending Sweden that he would strip me of a fief - which he did! That ment that I was out of fifes in six rounds and therefore out of the game. A new personal worst!

Johan, Matilda and Henrik's wealth went down the drain in the following turns, because as luck would have it, there was war after war after war during the 1600s in which the were forced to pay money for their troops (because they wanted in on the war) and they also lost some of them, meaning they were forced to surrender fiefs. So when Charles XII (Karl XII) came around, they were down on their knees; low on money, low on fiefs. The 1700s were a bit nicer to them, but a failed war against Russia cost them the whole of Finland (and therefore more fiefs)

A family fued also broke out between Brahe and Eka, but they could not do much as the game was almost over. Matilda lost her last fief as well, which prompted me to have a look at the rules - and to my horror I discovered that losing your last fief does not equal elimination from the game! Matilda was still in it, but I hadn't participated for about half the game, so I was really out.

Matilda tried to go with trade in order to afford to buy new fiefs, but in the end Johan was the only land owner in the game as Henrik had lost his as well - and Johan had only three fiefs. Those three fiefs gave Johan 5 points in the end (2 fpr the crown symbols and 3 for the troop symbols) and amazingly he managed to win with that! Henrik came in second with 1 point (for having over 20 gold coins in cash) and Matilda was third with zero points. I also got zero points, but as you know, I was "dead" in the early 1600s - Matilda was not.

Normally for us, the winner usually gets around 10 points and during one game session I was tied for first place with Johan with 15 points each (and the other two in the game was tied for third with 12 points), so to win with only 5 points is without a doubt a new low for us. But it was all down to the wars during the 1600s, which came right after the other and which cost them alot of money and the fiefs. Had the wars come a bit more spread out, I think the game would have looked a lot more different.

And what about the strategies? Well, simply going with trade early on gives you money, yes, but it also puts you in a dangerous position because all the fiefs can be bought by the others and losing the two fiefs you started with can be done quite quickly. As for Johan, Henrik and Matilda, I didn't see much strategy on their part and if they had one, it was all thrown out after all the early wars, beacuse they had barely nothing left. Perhaps it is not a good strategy to always participate in wars, I dunno.

It was a strange session indeed and one that we'll remember for a long time, but for the wrong reasons I think. We will remember it for our record breaking low scores and not for how well we played it, but there you go. The next time we play will pressumably be with the expansion, since we just bought it. Looking forward to that!

Results
1. Johan (Eka) - 5 points
2. Henrik (Brahe) - 1 point
3. Matilda (Sture) - 0 points
4. Daniel (Grip) - 0 points (dead!!)
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Simon Lundström
Sweden
Täby
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Now who are these five?
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Re: A game of four - out worst result ever
Our all-time low is when the winner had 3 points. I've also seen one where the winner had 18. It's not bad playing, it's bad luck with the wars. I mean, no matter if you participate or not in the war, a war era means no income, so war after war after war is bound to wear you out.

I've seen people be hugely successful with early traders, their weakest point is actually war with their trading partner. As war loses you fiefs, the agriculture income gets hurt, whereas the trader strategy (unless it hits the country you're trading with) doesn't lose income from wars, and it gives you fast money that makes you able to re-buy any fiefs you (or others) might have lost in the war. Also, the road to victory spells Culture, and those cost money. Agriculture is not at all as quick in money.

How much points the winner ends up with is basically only dependant on how many wars there were. Who wins is more dependant on how you play. Not buying any third fief did put you in an unnecessary vulnerable situation, but then again, you were pretty unlucky too.

That's what I like with this game. If the era cards start going, the whole game changes from a profitable one, to one where everyone is on their knees.
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Magnus Jernkrok
Sweden
Uppsala
Uppsala
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I never play games where someone has more than 4-6 points or something. There's just no reasons for anyone but Sture to enter wars (as they get best loot), which ultimately leads to Sweden losing every war.
 
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Simon Lundström
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Jernkrok wrote:
I never play games where someone has more than 4-6 points or something. There's just no reasons for anyone but Sture to enter wars (as they get best loot), which ultimately leads to Sweden losing every war.


You still need wars to happen, which they sometimes don't do enough times for Sweden to start losing. If you just get 3-4 wars during a game, you'll win them all.
 
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