Norbert Chan
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Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
When I arrived, Don was teaching the rules to Trevor, while the rest of us had played 3 or 4 games. Trevor was Austria Hungary, Jean was Russia, I was Germany, Don was France, while Ken was UK/US.

Trevor’s first move was to build a fleet into the Adriatic Sea( I think he built into Tyrol, followed by the fleet, I don't think there is an event card that allows you to do both). Jean built into Ukraine, I built into Belgium, Don built into Picardy (abandoning Rome), while Ken was building a fleet. On the second/third turn, Trevor could build into Rome, so all of the Italian cards were now useless. Don had purposely abandoned Rome to keep France up. Jean builds into Galicia.

As Germany, I don’t have any power cards yet, no mustard gas, so I’m just trying to hold my own. Don has solidified the French front, so I’m not going to be making much of a breakthrough. Jean attacks into Vienna, which hurts Trevor as he will be out of supply. So I attack into Galicia and build there with a German event card which relieves the pressure from Trevor.

On the Western front, things are looking grim for me. First, Ken plays a card that allows him to build 2 American units. Then he has a card that allows him to pick up three US cards and play one, so he plays the same one, and he has landed into Picardy. By now, Don has gotten his status card which gives him 1 VP whenever France attacks Germany in one of 3 spots. So I got pushed out of Belgium, Jean was taking it to me in Prussia, and Ken could also attack me in Belgium. I got pushed out of Western Germany, and things looked bleak. I thought I was going to lose Berlin, but Trevor built into Western Germany, allowing me to rebuild into Western Germany.

There was a diversion where I had a status card that gives me a VP if Ireland is not occupied by the UK, but Ken does build in Ireland in midgame, so I score a couple points out of it.

I got down a status card, Big Bertha, which once per turn allows me to discard a card from my hand to keep a sustain land battle symbol on the table. So that made me quite invincible when doing a land battle and the tide turned. I battled back into Belgium and Picardy. Meanwhile, Trevor abandoned Western Germany so he could earn more VPs. He had a fleet in the Adriatic and that give him a VP. He has Rome and Tyrol and doesn’t need to go east. In the 3 and 4th scoring rounds he is earning 8-9 VPs. I’m back to earning 4-5 VPs.

Ken has the status card which allows him to keep build army cards, so we have a stalemate in Belgium. I can attack in there, and he rebuilds in there. Trevor puts down another status card which gives him 2 VP is he owns Serbia and there is no allied force adjacent, so I kick Jean out of Romania on my final turn to give Trevor the 2 VPs, Trevor would earn 12 VPs the final round, which is the highest we have seen.

Score: Central Powers 61 – Entente 50.

Trevor is earning 12 VPs for Austria Hungary, occupying Rome. I'm holding the US/UK in Belgium.

Ken was lamenting he had a good start with the US/UK, but somehow the tide turned when Germany was able to push back with some force. The mustard gas card never even hit the table, it was the fourth card from the bottom.

Game 2: Jean was Austria Hungary, Ken was Russia, Trevor was Germany, I was France, and Don was UK/US. Jean builds Tyrol and Trevor builds into Belgium giving France the classical squeeze. Do I defend France or Rome? I build into Rome at least to hold out. I have a French event card that allows me to build and attack, but I didn’t want to lose Rome. Jean builds into the Italian Alps the next turn.

Due to the squeeze, I am playing double defence shields down for defence. My goal is to stay alive and score 2-3 pts until the pressure is relieved. Trevor puts down the Big Bertha status card, and Don taking a page out of Ken’s move got a double US move twice, and he lands into Paris to relieve the pressure. This allows me to successfully attack Jean in Tyrol with an event card.

The Italians only have one land battle card, and midgame, I have built a fleet into the Adriatic and battle into Tyrol to temporarily dislodge the AH unit. Jean seems quite focused on Rome this game, and he misses that Ken has built a fleet in the Black Sea, which eventually takes over Istanbul. Jean land battles into Rome, but I have a double defence and a single defence to hold off the attack. Jean was intent on taking Rome, but I had just gotten down enough defence. That meant I didn’t have many build Italian army cards, so I couldn’t take advantage of Serbia when Ken eliminated a unit there.

Meanwhile on the Western Front, Trevor using Big Bertha, and a double sustain battle card, knocks out Don and I in Paris, but I rebuild in Paris. The good news is that Trevor doesn’t have the card that lets him land battle and build in the same spot. Don has 3 fleets on the board and that allows him to play an event card to discard a German status card, getting rid of Big Bertha, but soon the Mustard Gas (player attacked must lose a prepared card) status card hits the table.

With Jean only collecting 5-6 pts as Austria Hungary, rather than at least 8, the endgame rolls around and the Entente start to gain. My last turn I can build into the Italian Alps, as Don used his fleet to attack there. So France earns 6 VP at game end.

Score: Entente 59 – Central 51.

France/Italy are secure getting 6 VPs. Russian occupies Istanbul earning 7 VPs. Russia has played the card where they can remove units to gain VPs, and two units have been removed, which is why there are gaps in the Russian forces.

The general conclusion seemed to be that you can’t afford to lose your home country of the power you are playing. It was fun to see the different variety that this game offers.

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