This has become a game that I have really enjoyed. It is great playing multi-player, but there is also a great challenge playing solitaire as well. Here is a session report of a solitaire game where I played as Pfalz Flugzeugwerke against the four other WWI German plane factories.
Photo of the game set-up:
For the first two turns, I concentrated my efforts mainly on Design as I had some good cards with building Better Engines and a Triplane design that I could take advantage of that modifier. I also did some Research to replenish my cards and built up my factories so that I could start getting some good contracts that were becoming available. Albatros increased their fighter design to level 9 and Halberstadt also increased their fighter design to level 8 ahead of me, while also increasing the Recon. Fokker improved their bomber level but had no luck with their Fighters. Roland shot ahead with their Recon.
Meanwhile, inflation remained surprisingly low and even though the Allied fighter was well ahead, The Battle of the Somme and Romania Overrun lowered the Allied morale significantly more than the Germans. At this point, Halberstadt and Albatros had the most gold, followed by Roland, then Fokker and in last me since I had not converted any Papiermarks to gold yet.
Photo after Turn 2:
The next four turns were also very similar. I maintained a steady Design while balancing to increase my factories and convert my Papiermarks to gold. My past experiences have told me that converting to gold when I get upwards of three or four Papiermarks is a good idea. Otherwise if it gets too high, I will have to spend two efforts to convert what I have accumulated. Although I spent most of my efforts increasing my fighter, I did not want to leave my Recon and Bomber to fall too far behind since I am able to get extra contracts if I am ahead of my competition and the Allies. I did get Welded Steel so was now able to get +1 contract. Roland had bad luck in that building up their Recon they neglected their fighter and fell far enough behind the Allied fighter that they were not awarded contracts (Note: in the solitaire game this does not really effect anything except that the Remaining Contracts will not get used up as fast and therefore new contracts might not increase as much). Albatros was now ahead of the Allied fighter so German morale would not decrease as rapidly. Halberstadt was in good shape with a good balance between their fighter and Recon designs. The surprising thing during these turns was that inflation remained very low and the war was starting to favor the Germans. Although the Battle of Verdun occurred that lowered the German morale more than the Allies, a Russian Collapse was devastating for the Allies. After turn six, Albatros was in the lead, followed by Halberstadt, Fokker, Roland, and then myself in last but actually in a good position only 2 gold behind Roland.
Photo after Turn 6:
I was not so happy with my Design progress as really needed to get Ailerons to develop further but was just not getting the card. I knew I had to resort to Espionage. I managed to steal Ailerons from Albatros since they were ahead of me in Fighter design, which then enable me on the same turn to finally design Fast Climber and Agile. This shot my Fighter all the up to Level 20! The bad thing this turn was that it was a Black Day of German Army and the German morale sunk four spots but was still ahead of the Allies. Inflation did not appear to be a factor at this point as well. I increased my Bomber significantly to stay ahead of the Allies and gain more contracts for myself (Note: in retrospect for the solitaire game, one thing that I did not do and not sure of the ruling on this was give my competitors extra gold for being ahead of the Allied Recon or Bombers). I also added to my Recon to try and get up the Allies. After turn 10, I was starting to pull ahead after steadily converting my Papiermarks to gold. Halberstadt was second, followed closely by Albatros, then Roland and then Fokker. I was well ahead but since the Allied morale was down to one I knew the game would end next turn and that inflation would not be factor so the other companies would significantly gain ground on me.
Photo after Turn 10:
Knowing this would be the final turn, I made a Focused Effort on Banking so that I could roll four die and hopefully convert all of my Papiermarks to gold. Unfortunately, I was only able to convert 8 and ended up losing 5 to inflation later on. I drew the All Quiet on the Western Front card, which reduced the Allied morale 1 to end the game. The Germans won the war though and so the Papiermarks were stable.
Final results: Pfalz (me) ended with 58 gold, Roland 54 gold, Halberstadt and Albatros finished with 53 gold and Fokker finished quite a bit behind with only 43 gold. This was the first time I played that the Allies lost and that inflation did not reduce Papiermarks to being worthless. This was the first time that I have won when playing solitaire and assume that a German victory highly favored me to win the game. Of course, I will continue to play more to see if this is true.