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Subject: Chaos in the East rss

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Pete
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While the Western Front in World War One is the most well known, it is the fall of the Ottoman Empire that is still being felt today. Set amongst this turmoil Victory Point Games has released Ottoman Sunset designed by David Leviloff. The game is a part of the States of Siege series of solitaire games.

The player is in charge of the Ottoman Empire trying to juggle the many threats that the Allied forces are sending your way. Armies will begin by marching from the Caucasus, Mesopotamia, and Sinai. As you turn over cards to determine events and your enemies actions, as well as how many actions you can take, you will find armies landing in Gallipoli and Salonika, and an Arab revolt marching on the capital as well. The English will try and force The Narrows and major battles in other theatres will threaten to demoralise your people.

Each card you turn over tells you which enemy armies move closer towards the capital, and how many actions you have to try and fend of the various challenges thrown your way, though as the game progresses you will never have enough actions to do everything you want.

With your actions you can launch offensives to push enemy armies back, send resources to other theatres, add defences to The Narrows, and once it’s on the map move the Intelligence Bureau of the East to different countries. Trying to survive through the three decks of cards is a real challenge. You don’t get a chance to do any real long term planning you just have to deal with things as they come up.

It must be said that people who hate randomness and chaos will not enjoy this game. Events happen at random and everything is resolved by a die roll, so your fortunes will wax and wane based on how the die is rolling. Personally I don’t mind this at all, also the game plays so quickly that losing to a die roll just means starting again. For example, while my son had his dinner I played three games in a row while supervising him.

This is a fun game that plays really quickly but still forces the player to make tough decisions. Ottoman Sunset has also made me want to check out other games in the States of Siege series.
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Adam Cirone
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A nice, quick-to-read review that actually helps me understand a game and your opinion of it is always welcome.

I keep looking at states of siege games, but I have yet to buy one. They seem too scripted, without any sort of maneuvering, which is an important part of wargames in my opinion.
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Steve Carey
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Adam, remember the grand strategic scale and level of abstraction here. Enemy movement does occur along the various tracks, so the player does get a sense of fluidity, danger, and area control (or lack of). Player 'maneuvering' occurs via resource and action allocations. Anything else at this scale is simply impractical.

Most SoS wargames are really about a compelling narrative, replayability, decision-making, dice rolling, and of course solitaire (or co-op) gaming entertainment. Also importantly, they are very challenging so I lose most of the time (yes, even on both of my designs!), yet I keep coming back for more.

If there's a theme that interests you, then give one a try (Ottoman Sunset is a great place to start). That way you can be informed if the series is worth your while, or not your cup of tea.
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Uwe Heilmann
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Hi from Germany,

Jayne Starlancer wrote:
A nice, quick-to-read review that actually helps me understand a game and your opinion of it is always welcome.

I keep looking at states of siege games, but I have yet to buy one. They seem too scripted, without any sort of maneuvering, which is an important part of wargames in my opinion.


if you're looking for a States of Siege game with a lot (a LOT) of maneuvering, get yourself a copy of DAWN OF THE ZEDS.
You'll be surprised what is possible with this game system.
That is just a typical situation at start of the game (including some own additions ...). VPG currently works on the first expansion of this game adding even more options to game play.
There are no limits to tune a fine game but your own imagination.



Cheers
U.L.H.

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Lang Jones
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I own, but still can't get into Zeds.

Soviet Dawn got me back into gaming after a 20 year hiatus and I can't recommend it enough. Ottoman Sunset is quickly becoming one of my faves.

The thing to remember with the States of Siege games is you're the underdog. While the dice rolls may seem a bit random, in my opinion they add to the feeling of being a relatively weak power.

Israeli Independence is one of the games on to get list.
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Uwe Heilmann
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Hi,

what exactly do you mean by this ...
redstarnyc wrote:
I own, but still can't get into Zeds.
DotZ is a great game as it makes you bite your nails each and every time.


Cheers
U.L.H.

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Darin Leviloff
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I certainly agree and I still laugh to think that Zombies have replaced Arab armies at this point in evolution, but I tend to think the other games mentioned are pretty cool as well (but I am biased). And, I've still never won in Zeds.

"Habsburg Eclipse" is nearing the point of submission to VPG :companion game to Ottoman- the Austrians in World War 1- can be played seperately or combined (cooperative or solo two fronts).
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Uwe Heilmann
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Hi,

I know this is a thread for the OTTOMAN SUNSET game, but I still think it is worthwhile to further scrutinize the different games provided under the STATE OF SIEGES series.

The main difference betwenn DoTZ and the other games (I am not familiar with the MALTA game, so I may be wrong here) of the series is the wide range of "active" options for the player defending Farmingdale.
It is not just the delaying and/or elimination of the closing-in enemy forces via an abstract dice roll but the counter-attack forces are in place, must be moved around, they have specific capabilities (strengths and weakneses) and so on.

Now add a secret plan to the attackers (here: the Zeds) which must be discovered as quickly as possible on one side, but on the other side the defenders should be prepared as good as possible for the "final all-out effort". And this takes time! The two "extras" of DotZ suddenly increased their importance: the super weapon and the antidote.


Cheers
U.L.H.

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Darin Leviloff
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I think that's fair, Uwe, although I think "Zulus on the Ramparts" has some different tactical elements as well and that creates an important distinction- most of the SoS games are strategic in nature and not tactical. However, even the more strategic games allow for some actions beyond "pushing back the enemy" (fortifying Petrograd, installing guns in the Straights, managing political control, etc.)
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michael dorazio
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Zulus allows for tactical thinking, card combos, and a real sense of "driving the action" instead of responding to it all of the time. Nemo's War also felt very open.

Can't wait to try my copy of DotZ. Sounds great.
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