Jon Snow
United States
New York City
New York
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By Chas

In the core game of Quartermaster General, even with Air Marshal (Expansion One), you had to discard at game start, and then only once in a while if the enemy hit you with an Economic Warfare card or you did an occasional Allocate Resources action. But with the Second Expansion, you'll be doing it almost every turn. The general guidelines for doing so haven't changed, but now with Alternate Histories you'll be doing it continually, so let's look more closely at some of the principles to use as a guide when you have to do so.

Which cards should you keep?

1. Priority Cards One or two cards should always be kept for each nation. Examples are those UK cards which bring India and Australia into the game as supply centers where units can be built. These may have changed somewhat with the new Alternate Histories expansion, so you'll have to identify them now for yourself.

2. Combinations Some cards combine very powerfully with other cards of the same nation. These have traditionally included the German offensive cards which allow you to perform two actions on one card, and together can be devastating: Bias For Action, Blitzkrieg, and Dive Bombers.

3. Permanent Status Status cards are effective for the rest of the game, once played up on the table in front of you. So they can give you their benefits multiple times. Unless, in a rare case, someone removes them through their own card with that power.

4. Teamwork Certain cards which benefit your team mates rather than yourself can be very useful. Although you don't know the best time to play them, because you don't know what cards your team mate is currently holding; they can be very powerful, because its a team game.

5. Direction Most nations have a big choice to make between moving East or West. Which direction will you make the focus of your current or main advance? Will there be a secondary direction you wish to move in as well? For example, Germany may historically want to take Western Europe before moving in on the USSR to the East. Japan gets most of its points in Asia, but a well timed preemptive strike in the Pacific will delay the US from advancing from that directions by the necessary island hopping, and using the devastating Economic Warfare Bomber cards against you. The UK may have three separate far flung fronts open, depending on which that player can start: United Kingdom (a given at start), India, and Australia (and to a degree Canada as well).

6. Timing Some cards work better in the first part of the game, others at the end. Getting late cards early or early cards late often means you might as well get rid of them. Some cards will work better than others depending on the current situation you find yourself in. Early cards are usually advancing movements. Late cards include the last ditch defense of your Home Space. Knowing the cards means being able to make these choices better; an important skill whichever version of QMG you are playing!

Which cards should you chuck?

1. Preempted Cards Some situational cards will have been left behind by the game played so far, so as to be useless.

2. Interrupted Sequences Combo cards for which you've already discarded their best partners may not be worth keeping, especially those types you can't fish for with Reallocate Resources from the the Draw Pile or special abilities that allow you to resurrect them from your Discard Pile.

3. Duplicates and Overlaps If you have more than one type of card, you may not need the second or third copy. If you have a card that does the same thing as another card, but does it better, such as performing the same plus a second action, you might decide to chuck the weaker one.

4. Uncoordinated Teamwork Cards If you are watching what your team mates are doing, it may become apparent that they are not set up to use a teamwork card you hold. In which case you might want to discard it.

5. Out of Reach Cards If a card is great but you don't think you'll be able to take advantage of it, then despite what it promises in different circumstances, it is useless now. Its hard to judge which you should hold on to for how long, but Alternate Histories gives you less time to hold cards in general than formerly, as cards are cycling faster than before, and the cost for an unused one taking up space in your seven card hand over time is greater than before.

All comments and suggestions are welcome!

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