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Assyrian Wars» Forums » General

Subject: How is this game? rss

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Matt Keyes
United States
Richardson
Texas
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Some of the first impressions are a few months old, and, having never played any games this game is simliar to, i'm curious how people now find this game. Is it fun? How is the solitaire suitability?

Thanks!
 
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Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
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The physical components are top-notch, depsite they are all done with digital graphics. The map streches from Turkey to Iraq, from Egypt to Assyria. 110 beautifully illustrated cards, with the usual "Action Points" ("AP")trade-marking any "CDG" - Card Driven Game.

The game can be played by 2 to 5 players. Although the game rules don't really spell out, all the 3 scenarios (including the campaign scenario) end on turn 5, except for the sudden end. The player with the highest BPs won. So this is a very goal-oriented game. With its rich in details, I am sure it is solitaire-friendly too, though the politics side (e.g. voluntary alliance) might not come in a solitaire play.

Simon and I played the Rise and Fall scenario, in that the Kingdom of Assyria was under attack by its surrounding enemies, including the Mede, Babylon, Elam (these are the major powers) plus a minor Urartu. Persia, another minor, was the only one politically pro-Assyria but it is a minor without any city in its home area. (That's why the Persians had no choice but to ally with their neighbour. You can't imagine what if they didn't....)

The VP calculation takes place at every interphase turn (the end of a game turn when there is only one player with cards left). Generally, you earn VPs if you won a battle against enemy force. Depending on the size of the enemy force you defeated, you earn more if the size is larger. So everyone is seeking out something to battle. If you don't, someone would come after you.

A battle is resolved by rolling dices equal to the no. of your units. A hit is scored whenever the dice result is equal or lower than the unit's strength (or "combat factor"), modified by the terrain and event. Note that the terrain is determined by the connection line to the target point city/ area. There is no terrain in the point itself. The combat factor ranges from 1 to 4 for most units. Each power has a different mix of units. Some have more calvary or bowman than the other, while some have more infantry or chariot units. Adding in the mercenaries may balance your force a bit but its composition is randomly determined by hand drawing the units from the cup.

Similarly for taking cities. You earn more if it is a larger city. To take a city, you have to lay a siege in one of the 3 ways: hunger siege, assault the city or a standard siege. A hunger siege bascially cost you one AP from income. The siege succeeds if the siege level increases to 2 level higher than the city defense (3 if it is a capital city). All the enemy units inside are eliminated. A direct assualt would be a treated like a battle, but the defender gets to double the no. of dices than normal. A standard siege would reduce the city defense level gradually by scoring hits onto the city by the sieging units. In theory, the larger your force you bring to siege, the faster the wall is broken.

There is a VP Record Sheet. Better to use it at the end of the game. You don't win by military expansion alone. To win, you have to find a way to win in economics term - whether you are wealthy than all the other players. Increase in the ECO (economic) level as compared to the starting level, adding the map ECOs, 1/3 x trade points and 1/3 x the number of cities, would be doubled the count of VPs.

There are really a lot of the options in the game for each player, especially the Assyrian player. He must be taking a subtle, politically right strategy. If Assyria is conquered, the player would grasp 12 VPs. On my count, there are about 20 options to go for you to spend the AP on. So you must develop your general strategy early on. Since we play this game for a trial between only 2 players, the diplomacy part is largely ignored. If you can find 5 players to play, it owuld become chaotic.

I can say it is one of the most udnerrated wargame. There are a lot of details in it but the core game engine is easy and simple to execute. Download the version 1.2 rule from the publisher's website. But it shouldn't be a problem if you don't and use the version 1.0 rule to play. A handy tutorial booklet is included as well in the game for you to quickly learn the game. There is a quick start card. summarizing all the major key actions (evasion, interception, AP costs for each actions, all the DRMs, units costs and victory point table) for everyone to get into the game fairly easy during play. It is definitely a fun game. We look forward to play this game with 5 players. Keep you posted in future.
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Richard Tyson
United Kingdom
Toddington
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I'll have to disagree with Lawrence on this. I'm fairly new to big wargames, but one of my games groups has played Here I Stand four times over the last few months, and I thought Assyrian Wars would be a progression from that.

The components are OK, although I wasn't that impressed with the counter artwork. Unfortunately we found the rules badly written, which made the game very hard to play. We can play a game of Here I Stand in about 6 hours. After four hours playing Assyrian Wars we hadn't finished the first turn.

I came away with the impression that there may well be a good game in there if only you could get to grips with it, but found it unintuitive and overly complicated, and really I don't think I'll be giving it another go.

The rules are available online, so I'd have a look at them and see what you think before laying out any cash.

Richard
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Lawrence Hung
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Wan Chai
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Strange, not only one fellow wargamers have come to our table to praise highly the counters, map and cards graphics. One of them is an owner of a miniature workshop in PRC. He is very meticulous about colors and the use of them.

Yes, the rules maybe a little bit to skim through as some of the game concepts are used in several sections. But it has a fairly open game system in that you have the absolute choice to do an action. I have no problem in reading the rules myself. The interactions among the rules might perhaps be the real problem to new gamer.

But this is the beauty where it lies. I find the game deep in strategy and rich in content. There may not be best combo cards to find and there is no perfect strategy. On the other hand, I find Path of Glory scripted on some historical events and the choice is more limited for some powers, at least for the Italian.

But then, they are two different games on two completely different periods.
 
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