OWNW is a euro/wargame/economic hybrid, with role selection that governs area movement on a hex based map. The eastern part of the map is know, the west is blank and must be ‘discovered’ each game. This is my first 3-person game of OWNW with my local group of wargamer /euro guys.
Since the game is scalable based on number of continental influence we played till "5" influence spaces in all 4 countries were occupied. 7-11 spaces would be the normal length of a game. Game should run between 2-3 hours.
Onto the game…
I took the reins of Pentaloma, Todd was Aberwaithe, and Bill commanded Norland. We all stocked our ships with tools and guns (players decide whether to take guns, tools or trinkets at the start) and headed out to find the New World.
I seemed to find the best pieces of the coastal New World, while Todd and Bill found expansive swamplands (swamplands can only accommodate 1 unit and are difficult to navigate and settle at first). Explorers quickly loaded exotic plants and raced home for the New World Discovery Bonus. Bill won easily. At this point our strategies diverged. I went for a quick second ship, expensive as it is, leaving me with little money to buy characters and colonists. Bill, however, bought his Viceroy, and more explorers and brought them over and really began a massive program of exploring the hinterlands of the New World. I jumped inland, found some gold, and quickly built a camp and placed an armed colonist there to guard it. Meanwhile I was attempting to gain as much continental influence as I could via the Influence role as well as quick round trips with my 2 ships.
Todd was the first to find a native tribe, and quickly began trading (begin on friendly terms with natives allows you to trade with them for goods which are worth lots of points). Todd was also able to be the first to upgrade his little farming community to a village. Due to some interesting role selection competition I was left not moving for a couple of rounds, and took too long to deliver a large group of colonists and goods. I was just able to found my little village before the Continental powers decided to award the first Official colony to Bill and end the game. Bill played an action card to allow him to build as many buildings he likes during one round (usually its only one per role). Since he never built a village he had 4-5 colonists with tools ready to found a huge farming region. This move allowed him to catch up with Todd and I for construction points.
Although I dominated the Continental Influence, Bill’s massive exploration strategy gained him tons of points, including finding natural wonders and native tribes. Todd’s solid strategy of shipping back tons of goods and trading with natives, also seemed to work well, as he took second.
Bill Exploration- 71 construction- 12 Influence- 25 Total- 108
Todd Exploration- 45 construction- 13 Influence- 28 Total- 86
Wade Exploration- 35 construction- 13 Influence- 38 Total- 83
Play testing is a blast. I learned I need to quicken the pace the game even further to get to the “meat”. We were just getting firmly settled at 2 hours: a third hour would have been a blast. I’m going to add some communal role aspects that will give everyone some more resources to throw around earlier and help them intensify. At games end, I was heading for the New World with cannons and a full contingent of armed colonists. A military action would have ensued if the game had gone longer. Additional lesson learned: adjust the VP system to reward New World investment more. Thanks for playing everyone.