Be seeing you... -Alphonse
Ever since I got back into war gaming, I've been hearing good things about Paths of Glory. I've been wanting to give it a try for awhile, but higher priority games kept me away from it. I finally had a chance to play the game last night; and over the course of about four hours or so, my Central Powers got their butts kicked buy the Allies.
Dave M., Jeff and I all got together at Chris N.'s last night to have two games going side-by-side. The plan was to start last night and finish up the games in a week's time. While Jeff and Chris will need another night to finish their game, my ignoring of the eastern front caused Dave and I to call our game after only one session.
Prior to starting, I'd spent a little bit of time skimming the rulebook. By the time we set up and got going, I still really had no idea how the game worked. Dave and Chris gave me an overview of the game mechanics, but the sheer number of uses for each card kept me baffled for a few turns. Some aspects of the cards still confused me until we'd been playing for awhile (I didn't understand what SR did).
The game seemed to start out fairly well for me. I played the Guns of August as my first card and immediately started sending troops into France to bust some heads. The dice were with me (and against Dave), so things were going really well on that front throughout the game. I'd managed to take Antwerp and a handful of other territories and forts before the eastern front started to become a problem.
Part of the reason I had been doing so well on the west front was because I kept all of the German units that started on that front in that front. I hadn't moved anything over to the eastern front, so as the Turks and Bulgarians came into play, Dave started concentrating his efforts on the eastern front to keep me from killing more French soldiers.
Dave started pounding on my Austria-Hungary forces, which proved to be too weak to stand up to the Russians. Unfortunately, it had taken longer than I had hoped to knock the stuffing out of the Serbians holed up in Belgrade. Technically speaking, I never did take the city, but when we finally called the game at the end of turn six, I had eliminated all of the units and Dave was in the processing of rebuilding some of them.
Supply on the eastern front became my big problem. Because I hadn't moved any of the west front Germans over to the east front, Dave was able to punch holes in my shoddy defence and cut three units off from supply at the end of the fifth turn. This created a serious problem, as I was very quickly losing on the eastern front.
And that's when the Italians came in. While Italy's troops ended up being fairly weak, the threat of them coming up and taking over some Austria-Hungary forts and trenches was just too much. My A-H forces were split between the Italians, Serbians and Russians, and the Germans were nowhere to be seen.
Dave started to overrun my A-H forces, and at the end of the sixth turn, it was clear that the eastern front was lost. While I had spent most of the game with the victory point track in my favour (read: over ten), things had suddenly changed and now the victory point track had dropped below ten. In another couple of turns, Dave could've won through victory points -- and there was nothing I could do to stop him.
We called the game there, and we'll likely switch sides and try it again next week.
Up until now, the closest I've come to playing a card-driven war game was playing Soldier Kings at Chris' place right before the last TABS CondoCon. I enjoyed my experience with Paths of Glory, but I know I still don't really have a handle on the card-driven games. I think another go-around with Paths of Glory will help me to figure out whether the card-driven games are really for me.
That was really useful. Im playing my first game on Wednesday with a fellow noob. Ill play CP I think so as I go first (and can show him what to do). The thing I find confusing (from reading) is all the exceptions to stuff like supply etc. We shall see...