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Subject: Second Try - Terrorists Win Again rss

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Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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We gave War on Terror another try, this time with six players. Our first terrorist player was converted as a result of the Kyoto Protocol card. This is a really nice way for an empire to wipe out another (preferably poor) empire. At that point the game kind of stagnated for a long time until the terrorist was able to take out the richest empire by doing a huge civil war (several of the cards had been bought from other players) followed by terrorist attacks. At this point the terrorist players had a huge hand of cards but were unable to knock out any additional empires because of some bad die rolls. The game began to drag past the 2 hour mark. Nobody was even close to winning with 4 empires remaining. Finally, as everyone started to tire of the game 2 empires decided to go terrorist on the same turn and a 4-player terrorist team was able to beat the remaining 2 players.

This is the second time the game has ended this way for us. I think winning as an empire must be extremely difficult because if you start getting close to winning, you have every other empire plus the terrorist player knocking you down. Money is critical to winning as is knocking out other empires, but you need to be sure that they are poor empires so that the terrorist player does not benefit too much.

We had a lot of fun with the game until it began to drag. There was a ton of secret note passing and negotiating. The game has about 2 hours of fun in it per sitting, so once we figure out how to make that happen with the empires having a decent chance of winning I think we'll be happy with the game. We'll probably try it again next week. I'm thinking 4 players is probably the sweet spot for the game to have it finish up in a reasonable amount of time.
 
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Dan Baden
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Berkeley Lake
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I was in this game as well and over the last month had forgotten that it began to drag, but it did. Regardless, I had a great time even though Steve pulled me down from near success. The fact that he could shows that it is really difficult to win as an empire. What about alliances between countries such as in Dune?

I'd be happy to play again and would like to see if having four players gives the empires a better shot, since there would be more land available.
 
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Maxfield Stewart
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If the empires make a concerted effort to remove terrorists when they can, they stand a greater chance of winning. Terrorists have a strong position if most empires opt to use terrorist units to interfere in other empires rather than direct conflict.

No question, this is a game that "turtling" doesn't do much for you, agression is key. But agression generates retaliation. Emotions can ruin the best laid tactical plans and frequently do, the desire to "strike back" is pretty large.

Empires win if they think long term, grab territories, build cities, you want to not be "first" but ready to build, the instant you meet the point requirements you win and as empires fall, the easier it gets. If you hold a continent, focus on keeping that continent terrorist lean if you can, with priority set to allow yourself to build. Get a nice spread of oil spots, not just the "best case" rolls, but a spread, so you make income every turn.

The Axis of Evil, as far as I'm concerned, has one of the strongest positions, especially if they don't have too many enemy empires on their fronts. They get access to four cards a turn and have the most options, and while they are a target I've found that people are more concerned with retaliation than strategic thinking.

A key to remember is Terrorists have limited financial resources, someone must fund them, once their money is gone, it's gone unless someone buys more units or cards play right. Every terrorist removed is a terrorist gone. If however, as the terrorists start to build up, empires continue to use them, they only make their end game position stronger.

Key usage of cards ends the "mid game stalemate" that can happen if empires spend too much time on piddly details. Short answer is, an empire will have to be eliminated, there will be a terrorist player fairly early, once there is more than one terrorist player, caution is advised
 
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