Recommend
30 
 Thumb up
 Hide
13 Posts

The Lamps Are Going Out» Forums » Sessions

Subject: A Detailed Learning Game - Final Reflections... rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
James Webb
United Kingdom
Canterbury
Kent
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
This is reflection on the series of session reports I've been posting over the past week or two. I'm writing this after the game has just finished, but before I've finished posting the reports.

It won't offer many thoughts on the game itself – it's not a review – but suffice to say that this is probably my favourite game of 2016. I think it's great.

As for The Detailed Learning Game, well...

First, I think I am a poor Central Powers player. The fact that I didn't even end up with 4 VPs from Russia should be proof of that, let alone the fact that the Reichstag is being turned into a branch of Il Fornaio as we speak.

What's interesting is that this was the best CP opening turn that I've ever had, and perhaps that was the problem. Instead of getting bogged down in the West quite early, I pursued the capture of Paris for at least one turn too many. Previously, I had given up on Paris early, redistributed my troops accordingly and had no problems with Russia.

It seems that in the early game, the German advantage is such that holding onto gains in the West is not too hard (it takes the Western Allies a long time to match German manpower), so using troops in the East or the Balkans is a safe option. In this game, by the time I switched my attention to other Fronts, the Western Allies had too many armies for me to safely underpopulate France, and Russia had been able to build up a decent defence.

By contrast, the Triple Entente get stronger, to the point that – as you saw – they end up as the ones with the manpower to breakthrough wherever they choose.

Still, with the technological advantage I had, I feel like I should have acquitted myself better than I did.

Austria-Hungary gets less helpful as the war goes on, until they become a burden rather than an ally. This simulates the historical situation well. If they're not able to shut down the Balkans and make a decent contribution to the war against Russia, then they're not really worth the PPs they leech away from Germany.

In short, I feel like the answer might have been to shift units away from the West sooner, but I'm not sure if even that would have been enough to avoid a CP defeat.

As the Triple Entente, I felt like I rode my luck in the early game, but then established a strong position from which to slowly build up. Still, it probably didn't need to take as long as it did to put the CP to bed. I was super cautious on the Italian Front. It was a good moment to finally breakthrough into Austria, but I just had to keep playing out that final attack for fun - steamrolling through the Central Powers at the end there was hugely satisfying.

I've never been able to keep Romania alive for very long...

The Technology Deck was not my friend. I haven't played a game where the Central Powers haven't had a significant advantage by mid-1916. I understand that the CP have the edge with Event Cards that grant bonus draws, but still...considering I was approaching a 50/50 split of Tech I could use vs Tech I couldn't for most of the War and still found myself with nothing but piles of Synchronized Machine Guns...

Speaking of luck, I won't be doing a statistical analysis of the rolls in this game (you're welcome to though David). It's really hard to judge during the game, because you always feel like the dice are screwing you over, especially in a solo game where you're trying to put yourself in the shoes of both sides. You roll a lot of dice during the game, and both sides had moments where the dice came up in their favour during a critical combat.

I think that the TE got the better of the Event Card luck. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk events mostly stayed in the deck.

Any key moments?

Serbia holding out for as long as she did. That's really helpful for the Triple Entente.

The Germans successfully breaking the Blockade and keeping the Austro-Hungarian Fleet alive, even if it was actually illegal, was quite epic. If only their land forces had been able to take advantage it might have significantly changed the result. With Greece out of the picture then troops could have been shifted north, and who knows what that might have achieved? I might have been tempted to launch a TE invasion of Gallipoli, something I haven't yet attempted – mainly because that darn fort makes it look so scary...

Equally, I couldn't have asked for much more from the Russians. If Russia is still in the game by the time US boots are in Paris then it gets very difficult for the CP.

To those of you who read the session reports – thank you. I hope that they are useful to someone, and encourage them to get this game to the table more often. It's a really excellent design and a lot of fun.

For those of you who know the game, what would you have done differently? Where did it all go wrong for the Central Powers, or how would you have made sure that the Triple Entente were drinking wine in Berlin in 1917?

I suppose I'd better get on and finish writing up those reports then...
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Haggett
United States
Riverside
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you for the detailed play report, it was fun to follow along with you. Enjoyed it immensely!
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim F
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Midlands
flag msg tools
Who knew trench warfare could be such fun?
badge
Ashwin in front of Tiger 131
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Been interesting to follow your ups and downs. Thanks for putting the time and effort in.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tyler Gingrich
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with the other respondents. Thanks a lot for posting these. I've enjoyed reading the sessions and actually got "impatient" for the next update a couple of times. LOL.

You've succeeded in putting this game on my wishlist. Looks like a lot of fun to play. Now if CSI would just get a restock...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Gaskill
United States
Bridgeton
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Good job,I have most all WWI Games but I see now I need another.

OD
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Webb
United Kingdom
Canterbury
Kent
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Rather annoyingly, this has been approved before the Fall 1918 report...

Anyway, as for play time, I couldn't give an accurate account. I left the game set up over a period of a few days, and would play a season when I got the chance. I think the suggested playtime of 5 hours is accurate, if you're not writing up session reports inbetween turns.

Some turns go quickly (especially for the Eastern and Central allies), and the game can realistically end anywhere from Spring 1915 right up to the end of 1918, so it will vary.

Thanks for the feedback and patience guys. I hope that the reports will be a resource for anyone who's curious as to how the game plays, or needs to see how a particular rule works in practice.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
R Hilton
United States
Sarasota
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I very much appreciate all the hard work you put in to these postings. As I am very interested in learning to play this game better, I plan to go through all your posts in careful detail. Kudos for a tremendous effort.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Friend
United States
Sierra Vista
Arizona
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
revgiblet wrote:
Rather annoyingly, this has been approved before the Fall 1918 report...

Anyway, as for play time, I couldn't give an accurate account. I left the game set up over a period of a few days, and would play a season when I got the chance. I think the suggested playtime of 5 hours is accurate, if you're not writing up session reports inbetween turns.

Some turns go quickly (especially for the Eastern and Central allies), and the game can realistically end anywhere from Spring 1915 right up to the end of 1918, so it will vary.

Thanks for the feedback and patience guys. I hope that the reports will be a resource for anyone who's curious as to how the game plays, or needs to see how a particular rule works in practice.


Outstanding James! What a ride to follow along with you. This is a great game. Anyone who was on the fence before should have easily made up their mind one way or the other by now. As far as play time I'd agree about 3-6 hours is right depending on how things go for the different factions, the dice, and the card draws. A couple careless mistakes and the game can be over quickly but with careful play can go the distance. But I have to believe you had to spend at least five times as much time writing up every single move, die roll and everything else. That would quickly become tedious to me, so I admire your fortitude.

Anyway, thank you, and well done sir! thumbsup
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
HERMANN LUTTMANN
United States
New York
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks James - that's probably the most detailed and entertaining AAR that I've read on BGG for any game! Well done and thanks so much for spending the time to post it and we're so glad you enjoyed the game. The Central Powers do have a rough time of it - no doubt about it. So the better (and luckier) players should always play the CP if possible.

Have a great new year!

Hermann
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Webb
United Kingdom
Canterbury
Kent
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Fall 1918 session report has now been approved.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fred W. Manzo
United States
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb

Thanks for the hard work. It shows.

Having played the game a great number of times, I'd have to say one of the things I like about it is that each faction has different strengths and weaknesses and must use different solutions to its many problems. (In other words, you don't play the A-H Empire the same way you play Germany or the the western Allies.)

As for the time it takes to play, that's a hard one. I've seen games as short as two or three hours when someone made a mistake or someone went for a high-risk strategy that failed, and other games that took 6 hours when everyone played as if the fate of civilization depended on it or the game went into late 1918. As many games end in a concession in 1916 or 1917 figuring an average is hard. But it definitely can be a long game, so don't be surprised if you are playing for over 5 hours.

- Fred
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kirk Uhlmann
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
flag msg tools
designer
I will also say this has been one of the most entertaining AAR's I have read for any game. I looked forward to each installment like waiting for the next episode of a great TV show!

The CP is definitely harder to play and less forgiving of mistakes. However, their advantage of interior lines can be a blessing (and a curse with more options and potential misplays). I will say that in games I've lost as the TE, I've felt like when Italy joined that I was shackled to a corpse myself.

The Russians performed well in your game and I really enjoy playing them in four player games. It looked like the Germans were going to be able to hang on to their other VP's and also get the four from Russia. In the endgame that's the stress - get the points and hang on.

Again, fantastic job with the reports and I can't say enough how much I enjoyed reading them.

Kirk




4 
 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.