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Subject: Perikles: Athens Falls in Turn 2 rss

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Duffy Carter
United States
McKinney
Texas
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The group played our 2nd game of Perikles last evening. We had 5 players, 3 who had played before, and 2 first-timers.

Following some only marginally attempts to explain the flow of the game, and how the political/influence side of the game interacts with the battle side, we began. The battlefield at setup included 3 battles for each Athens and Sparta, and a lone battle for Thebes. The initial cube deployment saw everyone spread out, with no contested cities in the first round of cubes, but the next round all but Megara and Argos had extra influence from at least two players. As we moved into the first influence phase, Athens was hotly contested by the new players, including multiple assassinations, while the folks that had played previously stuck to cities that had fewer conflicts this turn. The influence phase ended with everyone leading one city, and one of the first-timers in control of Athens and Sparta, but having lost all of his cubes in those cities in the elections! Athens and Sparta were in for a bumpy ride in the battle phase.

The battle phase opened with Sparta/Athens nominating the player to his left to go first. Due to Sparta/Athens' limited resources, he elected to abandon Athens and defend Sparta. Thebes defended its territory, Corinth attacked Athens, and Megara and Argos jumped into several battles. By the end of the battle phase, Athens was in bad shape, having lost all 3 battles and Sparta had lost one. The chances of the game going to a third turn were looking very slim. There were collective "ohhh, that's how it works," expressions from the new players at this point.

At the start of turn 2, the battlefield received 3 battles for Sparta, 2 for Corinth, and 1 for Megara. The 2nd influence phase went much slower than the first. Players struggled with the implications of each decision and there was much less assassination and much more early nomination. Some players opted to try for control of the Persians, some tried to take cities, and some tried to maximize influence cubes remaining on the board. During the candidate nomination phase, there were quite a few "kingmaker" type decisions, where players were forced to choose which opponent to favor/punish with nominations.

The 2nd battle phase was much tenser than the previous, as everyone knew the game was very likely ending. One player had Corinth/Athens, another Sparta/Argos, and Thebes and Megara were solo. The last player, one of the first-timers, had the Persians. Megara granted Sparta/Argos permission to be main defender in his battle. Corinth/Athens elected to not defend one of the Corinth battles. The Persians spread across several battles. One of the Corinth battles and the Athens battle went to the attackers, and the rest to the defenders, mostly to the betterment of Sparta/Argos player.

The game ended at the close of the 2nd turn when Athens lost its 4th battle. The final scoring was 45, 39, 39, 25, and 22. The Sparta/Argos player jumped ahead with a great 2nd round to take the game and the 2 first-time players brought up the rear. Everyone enjoyed the game and appreciated the mechanics, but no one was quite sure they really "got" the game yet. We all concluded that there is a huge amount of depth in Perikles, and we'll try it again soon.
 
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Christophe Sancy
Belgium
Zaventem
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Love the "ohhhh" part ! Read a thread on the forum about the definition of a gamer's game. You've got it.
 
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