Steve S
United States
Morgantown
West Virginia
flag msg tools
Title says it-but to be clear: I don't mean the game rules will be hard to understand. Rather, I suspect it will be unnecessarily difficult to get a viable strategy.

I've played QM a dozen times: I understand the rules. I bought VoD, have read the rules, but haven't played. I know nothing about the Peloponnesian War, the geography of Greece or Ancient Greece, or the city-states and alliances of Ancient Greece.

And I can see what I expect to be a problem. Specifically: without knowing the deck (both mine and the other players') I suspect that forming a strategy is going to be very very difficult. Because without knowing the deck, I don't know where my cities, or the other players' cities can be built. And without knowing that, I won't know where to start forming my military effort (hoplites and triremes). And without that, building hoplites and triremes will be almost arbitrary (build north, south, east, or west? I don't know).

Compare it to basic QM. Each faction starts with a unit in its capitol, and victory locations (stars) are printed on the map. I could know nothing about WWII (for instance, I recently played a game with someone who had never played a wargame before-he did fine), and look at the map and understand, at a basic level, 'stars for my side good, stars for the other side bad,' and competently play the game.

With VoD, this appears to not be the case. If I were to start with the Delian League (as a random example), I wouldn't know where my 'stars' (my cities build locations) on the map are unless I have a card indicating such. I won't know where the other players' 'stars'/city build locations until they actually use the card!

This suggests to me that the first several games will be unnecessarily arbitrary; I will be reacting to cards in my deck and others' decks rather than planning for them. And again: deck knowledge is commonly important in card-driven games: this isn't unique to VoD. But not even knowing the objectives of the game until a card appears really is uncommon.

I am surprised that the city/victory locations aren't printed on the map (perhaps as multi-colored stars-similar to the stars used in QM-colors for each faction). Every player, from the first game on, can look at the map and see where the key locations are, even if they don't know the decks yet. They understand the geography of the game (as my QM newbie player did. He can look at the map, see the star in France, and know 'easy points for Germany' without knowing the history of WWII).


As I said: I've read the rules, and haven't played (and barely looked at the cards themselves). So I don't KNOW that this will be a problem. But I suspect it will be so. Will it?

Steve
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Kassel
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Perhaps you might try reading the cards.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Smith
United Kingdom
Wigton
Cumbria
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Its a fastish game, and you can play several games in an evening. If all players are new to the game just give each player 5 minutes to peruse their own deck, and then 2 minutes to look at each of the others (swap decks around the table simultaneously). Then start playing. By the second game of the evening you will have enough familiarity with the prospects to make for increasingly meaningful strategy.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary
United Kingdom
Brighton
Sussex
flag msg tools
oooh that tickles!
mbmbmbmbmb
I think the theme makes a difference between the games.

Most adults I game with seem to know about world geography and the second world war, probably through a combination of reading, listening, watching films, gaming, travelling and even first hand knowledge passed down through families and friends. e.g. if a player mentions Pearl Harbour everyone looks at the Pacific.

Details of the history and geography of the Peloponese War are much less well known in the UK (and possibly most other places). There are books, but very little has been put on film (if the BBC are reading this, please hurry up a make a 10-hour TV series). The maps on the cards are some help, but a list of where powers might found cities and maybe a few of the other major events, may help put a narrative into the first few games.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Gallo
United States
O'Fallon
Missouri
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Going back to the title of this thread, define "unnecessarily". Some people like learning and exploring history more than others. Some folks play games to find the perfect strategy to win. Some people have more time than others. Some people like to read more than others, or watch documentaries or movies.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Brody
United States
Woodstock
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
jellynut wrote:
...if the BBC are reading this, please hurry up a make a 10-hour TV series.

I have discussed this very topic at great length with various people. It would really make an awesome miniseries, with so many famous people involved. I'd look at Alcibiades as one of the main characters, and I'd add a few fictional peasants. Rome and Spartacus are both promising predecessors...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve S
United States
Morgantown
West Virginia
flag msg tools

"Perhaps you might try reading the cards."

Perhaps I might, but that is odd advice. Every card driven game benefits from deck knowledge (one obvious one: Twilight Struggle). Not every game requires you to memorize 20 locations to even know where victory points are located. In fact, I don't know of any that do-other than this one.

Similarly to the observations in other comments: we all know what was important in World War II, because it is a basic part of our world knowledge. Yet there is still a star printed on France in Quartermaster General-I don't have to read the cards, and memorize locations, in the World War 2 version of the game. Another game, with more obvious and more self-evident victory locations. And those victory locations are printed on the map.

For giggles; I've read the cards. Here are the victory locations for the game:

Syracuse
Chios
Chalcidice
Lesbos
Samos
Lesobos (for a 2nd player)
Chios (for a 2nd player)
Acarnania
Messenia
Argos
Attica
Ionia
Caria

So your advice to new players is: memorize the above list?

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mikko Saari
Finland
flag msg tools
http://www.lautapeliopas.fi/ - the best Finnish board game resource!
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
Steve, you need this: Victory or Death cards to plan for summary

Something like this would've been nice to include in a game, but there it is, and you can print it out.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Mitchell
United Kingdom
Enfield
Middlesex
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Steve, I think you should treasure the opportunity to face an unknown future, just as did the historical participants in the war. Which cities will declare in my support? Which locations will be important for my alliance and our enemies? After the first few play-throughs you will know these things, and start to game the system.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lutz STEPPONAT
Germany
Wiesbaden
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I played it yesterday and have to agree with your comments.
I have no problems to find Paris, St. Petersburg or Rome on a map, but were the hell is Acarnania, Caria or Chios. Never seen, that all players had problems to find the places printed on their cards. And the supporting rules are different to understand.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Daffin
United Kingdom
Ledbury
Herefordshire
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
LutzSt wrote:
I played it yesterday and have to agree with your comments.
I have no problems to find Paris, St. Petersburg or Rome on a map, but were the hell is Acarnania, Caria or Chios. Never seen, that all players had problems to find the places printed on their cards. And the supporting rules are different to understand.


What a strange post! I don't think Paris, Rome or st Petersburg were involved in the Peloponnesian Wars! Have fun learning about the history of places around the Greece and the Mediterranean. As they say, every day is an education!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.