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Quartermaster General: 1914» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Austrians in Rome, Russians in Istanbul rss

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Ted Flaherty
Italy
Nanto
Vicenza
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Loves eurogames, but social deduction games are cool too!
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Quick, rough session report follows, only the second time we played, so play is probably not optimal, but certainly was fun. I picked the game up at Essen on a whim (have not played other games in the series, though had heard good things).

The Central Powers (CP) went all out to the West, with Germany quickly taking Burgundy as well as the usual Belgium, while Austria built into Tyrol and then the Alps. The French and Germans went back-and-forth over Burgundy and by Turn 4 the Austrians built their way straight into Rome, knocking Italy out of the war before she'd even mobilized a piece (they really should have drafted an Italian Build Army in retrospect).

This CP focus on the West allowed Russia free rein in the East, and she advanced into the Balkans to link up with Serbia (and later beyond), playing a well-timed Warm Water Port status card for long-term bonuses. The Germans shifted to defense on the Western Front and alternated Economic Warfare cards (including the favorite Irish Easter Rising card early) with attacks against the Russians who had now advanced as far as Prussia, while the Ottomans mobilized in the Middle East.

The French/Italian player now had only French cards to play with Italy out, and built several status cards, but was at a great disadvantage as many offensives had been used up early fighting over Burgundy, while the UK landed in the Balkans and Americans built the long sea bridge to Belgium.

The Allies effectively focused attrition on the Austrian deck, depleting it first (and scoring several points after it was empty), followed in the last two turns by Russia, and even Germany was down to its last three cards when the game ended. Very late in the game Germany pushed into Poland, and after some back-and-forth and a key Christmas Truce played late, were able to hold onto Belgium and block American amphibious landings. (See map, apologies for the blurriness).



The Allies narrowed the early CP lead, but still ended up 6 points short. The final score was Central Powers (Ted) with 64 to Entente 58 (Russ-Russia/France/Italy) and (Joe-US/UK).

This was an unusual game given Italy's early fall which really hobbled the France/Italy player, and Russia running riot in the Balkans and Middle East. In discussion afterward, the Allied players noted the key lack of offensive cards for their nations--they had to be husbanded for the right moment, ideally coordinated so one ally could attack, then another build in that space, then shifting to the more common Build/defense cards to maintain the gains. The Allies probably should have pushed a British naval landing to recapture Rome. On the CP side, the cost of the Western push and heavy econ cards was losing much of the East, though I really should have held on to Istanbul. I also should have better planned an Austrian/German one-two punch to clear Russia from Prussia much earlier, then built there.

After playing several 8+ hour Axis & Allies 1914 games, this was a fun and fresh way to battle WWI in under 2 hours. I love the mix of historical events and generic attack cards to take the war in different ways (though the purist in me wishes the key mobilization events were scripted to come out early).

It's a game we'll certainly play again.
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Derek Long
United Kingdom
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I have played this several times, so far only 2-handed (which works very well). We have seen several different WWIs, but none yet in which Italy has been knocked out of the war. The rough terrain is a beast and naval invasion for Austria looks rather challenging. I assume you cam over the Alps (though, presumably, not on elephants)?
 
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Ted Flaherty
Italy
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Yes, came via the Alps--I think the France/Italian player was focused on the German push into Burgundy, which went back and forth a couple times, so did not build any Italian units. That allowed the Austrians to build vice attack into Rome (though at the cost of allowing a strong Russia in the Balkans).

Again, only our second game and not optimal play, but learned some useful lessons from this interesting scenario.
 
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Simon Derekx
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I didn't see it at the first time.

How a UK army arrived in Azerbaïjan?
An army in Caucase is possible with the event (Sidney Reilly), but you can't build an army adjacent because the army isn't supply.
 
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