Rick (USA) (played by proxy by Brad)
Tom (Africa) (the host)
Scott (Austrailasia) (me)
Clearly the game got to a slow start. We got in a round and three stages (up to the attack stage of round 2). That took about 3.5 hours. Tom is going to post some pictures somewhere of the board to date.
The sets being played with are Mega Map, tanks, boomers (sort of) and neutrons and k-sats. I use the term "sets" loosely since we are playing with Tom's rather extensive house rules. The main thing they do is drastically slow down the r&d of strategic weapons through a period of about 7 rounds. I bid second highest amount for a superpower choice and picked Austrailia. Then I got out to a flying start in the middle east, getting all three of my neutrals in Arabia (5O), Middle East(4G) and Iran(1G). I badly needed the oil since my home cards totalled 5 minerals and 2 grain (in Java Sea, Indonesia, and Timor Sea).
Since Tom is playing Africa, we automatically have become natural enemies, especially after he got the Arabian Sea (3M) and blockaded my Iran grain right away (big deal). The bigger threat of course was the possibility that he would move on Arabia quickly. I made sure that wasn't going to happen by placing ALL of my bonus armies on Arabia and then taking control of the Red Sea during the first attack stage. On the first build stage I heavily reinforced the Red Sea and Arabia along with a few other significant territories. And then during the Prospecting I got two mineral and one oil cards. Sorry, can't tell you which ones.
Other than the middle east the only other significant flashpoints appear to be Burma and surrounding seas, since China took Burma (4O) from USA (Attack1) and then Africa blockaded Burma (Move1). It looks like Africa is preparing to attack Burma since I've made Arabia a less pallatable choice. Then we have South America, which currently is occupied by three (?) different players and on the doorstep is the USA which is poised to cause trouble in the region.
Continuation of the game is scheduled for Nov 3rd.