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Quartermaster General: 1914» Forums » General

Subject: First impression after two games rss

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Angus Lee
Hong Kong
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First something about myself: I have played a few games of the original Quartermaster General (with and without Air Marshal expansion, never with Alternate History expansion), and a few games of Victory or Death. I enjoyed both games. So it is natural for me to back the Kickstarter of Quartermaster General: 1914.

The better part of the story was that I went to Essen Spiel 2016, so I chose to pick up there. As a bonus, I met Mr. Ian Brody, the designer, at Essen when I picked up the game. He is a nice gentleman and we did a little bit of chat about the historical background of his games and his next project. I haven't occupied him for long because I knew that he was busy at demoing the 1914 game, though he is kind enough to have the posters signed. (Mr. Brody if you are reading this I would like to ask for your permission to post the photo we have taken together on the image section here.)

Now I am back at home and I organise a game session today. Nine players show up in the afternoon, so we decide to set up two games side by side (lucky for us we have pledged for enough copies).

After teaching the rules for 20 minutes (I think I have gone into every details), we started the games.

The supply rule in 1914 is the most straight forward in the series. You just have to trace an unbroken line of unit of the same country all the way back to the home country of the unit, no matter the space is land or sea.

Every card can be used as a Prepared (Reaction) card, and there is a separate step to place a card face-down on the table (to Prepare the card), similar to Victory or Death but there is no additional cost of discard a card from your hand. Therefore, there is more interaction during battle, and a new concept of Attrition, which is quite appropriate as WWI was generally a war of attrition.

There is a separate Draft step, which you may discard two cards from your hand to search your draw deck for a Build (Army/Navy) card. This is the most stringent rule of Emergency Provisioning in the series, though. In the original QMG, you may search for a Build or (Land/Sea) Battle card; in the VoD, you may search for those cards or a Prepare card. Without the more general use of Emergency Provisioning, sometimes you will be struck by an unlucky draw. For example, in my third game today playing as Austria-Hungary/Ottoman-Turk, all two of my Aust-Hun Land Battle cards are in the bottom three cards in my draw deck, and none of my event cards help me. So once Istanbul was taken by Russia, Ottoman-Turk units cannot be built and most cards were not functioning.
However, I would say it is a rare case (and I don't know how Istanbul would be in such a bad position because I took over in the last half of the game.)

I mention Attrition to be a new concept, but actually it is not. It is just discarding other players' cards. However, it can be triggered from Prepared card, in the new Attrition Step. Besides, the player suffering from the attrition can freely choose to discard the required number of cards between his cards in hand, face-down on the table, or in his draw deck. So discarding cards is more common, but the effect is minimised (or more controllable, as you can choose the less useful cards from your hands or prepared card).

This game played up to 17 rounds, a bit less than the original QMG, but a bit more than VoD. Given more interaction during battles and more cards can be drafted/played/triggered/prepared, the play time should be the longest in the series. Our first game ended in Sudden Death victory to the Central Power after 15 rounds, has lasted for a bit over 2 hours. Second game has played to a full 17 rounds, lasted for under 2 hours. So familiarity with the cards would definitely help the game play time.

In conclusion, all the participants seem to enjoy the game, and some of them immediately organise another game session tomorrow, with some new players joining.
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Ian Brody
United States
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Of course you can post the picture! But I'm not much to look at. You will get more views if you post pictures of beer.
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The Ludoquist
United Kingdom
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IanBrody wrote:
Of course you can post the picture! But I'm not much to look at. You will get more views if you post pictures of beer.

Or cats. Cats work best.
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Kurt R
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It was my life, like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me. How wild it was to let it be.
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What do you think is the ideal player count?
 
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Ian Brody
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enzo622 wrote:
What do you think is the ideal player count?

5
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Ricardo Dubcek
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Hi folks! I played my first game with 5 people on Monday and will repeat today also with 5, but I'm curious, how well would you say the game scales with fewer players?
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Witch Lord
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RicardoDubcek wrote:
Hi folks! I played my first game with 5 people on Monday and will repeat today also with 5, but I'm curious, how well would you say the game scales with fewer players?


I play 1 vs 1 most of the time. It's just as awesome, if not better, because you can coordinate your Powers much more effectively and discover new synergies and combos.

No matter how many players there are between 1 and 5, this is always one of the most fun games I've ever played in my life (with an honorable mention to the first QMG).
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Ricardo Dubcek
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Cool, thanks. Our game yesterday was a blast (CP got steamrolled and lost by 14 points at turn 17, although IMHO they played well… beginning to think the game might be a bit unbalanced, but that’s off topic and only after two games anyway) and although nobody made obvious mistakes like we did the first time confusing cards from countries belonging to the same power, it still seems like it would be a challenge to manage two or three powers at once. Eager to try, though!
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Witch Lord
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RicardoDubcek wrote:
Cool, thanks. Our game yesterday was a blast (CP got steamrolled and lost by 14 points at turn 17, although IMHO they played well… beginning to think the game might be a bit unbalanced, but that’s off topic and only after two games anyway) and although nobody made obvious mistakes like we did the first time confusing cards from countries belonging to the same power, it still seems like it would be a challenge to manage two or three powers at once. Eager to try, though!


It just takes a little practice. It's very rewarding though

One tip that I can give you is to keep your playing area well organized. When you're only playing a single Power, you keep your cards in your hand all the time, so there's no risk of getting them mixed up with your prepared cards. When you're playing multiple Powers at once however, you need to constantly put down and pick up the cards between turns, so you need to be careful.

My personal way of dealing with this problem is to keep my draw decks on the table to my far left. I keep my statuses and my prepared cards in front of myself. When I need to put down the cards for one Power in order to pick up the hand of the next Power, I put them on top of the corresponding draw deck, tilted at a 90 degree angle. No more mix ups ever since!
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