Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
They had finished a 4 player game of Deus, and were waiting for me to arrive. They had dealt me the UK deck. Trevor was Austria Hungary, Don was Russia, Jean was Germany and Ken was France.
Trevor played Franz Ferdinand avenged, being able to battle Serbia and build in there right away. Don as Russia looked at the Austria Hungary hand and discarded a card from it. I would have preferred Russia build an army to put pressure on the Central powers. Jean played an event card allowed him to build and attack into Burgundy. Ken builds into Picardy. I build a fleet in the English Channel.
Trevor next built an Ottoman army in Istanbul, Russia still doesn’t build an army, Jean played the Schliffen play and takes over Picardy. I get my third fleet on the board, but I’m really worried about the survival of France.
After the first scoring it is Central 9 Entente 5.
Ken is able to hold France. Jean plays a number of cards which force me to discard (I think he played 5 or 6 cards). I gladly discard the cards, as Germany could easily be pounding into Paris. I play an army into Persia, adjacent into the Ottoman empire. This is risky since the Ottomans can easily kick me out if they have one of their 2 land battle cards, which they do not appear to have. My next move was to force Trevor to discard 2 prepared cards using Tunnel mines using the adjacent unit in Persia. The Entente are behind in score after the second round 24-16.
By the third scoring round, the Entente team has made some headway. I build a UK army into Ireland to stop a German status card scoring 1 VP. France is holding their own, as Germany hasn’t attacked and spending effort into making me discard 3 cards at a time. The score is now Central 40, Entente 32.
Don is really nervous about the automatic win, he uses the Russian card to remove 3 units from the board to score 3 VPs.
But the tide is turning. Italy even gets an army into Western Germany! The Italians hold Tyrol and the Italian Alps. Eventually, the Entente win 64-59.
Sorry for the blurry photo.
The game was really tense for the Entente early, but Germany lost the advantage by making UK discard cards.
Game 2: Jean was Austria Hungary, Don was Russia, Ken was Germany, Trevor was France, and I was UK again.
Jean builds a fleet in the Adriatic. Don builds an army in Ukraine. Ken plays an event card allowing him to prepare a card, build then attack into Burgundy. Trevor builds in Rome, and I put a fleet onto the Western Med.
In this game Don advances Russia down as quickly as possible to Serbia. After the first scoring round is it Central 9, Entente 8.
Germany had a good turn 1 start, but really faltered after that, forcing me to throw away 3 cards a turn for three turns. As mentioned before, this appears to be a rather weak tactic, especially in the early game.
Once I get my 3rd fleet down, I play the unit into Persia again. But there is no Ottoman resistance this time as Russia has sealed off Austria Hungary from the Ottoman. Germany has Belgium and the score is now tied at 21-21.
Before the 3rd scoring round, Entente will score 15 pts, and Central will score 9 pts, and the Central powers resign so we can get another game in.
Austria Hungary has been hemmed in by Russia and can’t score too many points.
Game 3: I am Austria Hungary, Ken is Russia, Don is Germany, Jean is France, while Trevor is UK. I have a quick strategy chat with Don. I suggest to Don that Germany can build into Tyrol to attempt to knock out Italy, which we haven’t seen before. Don says if he doesn’t have the cards for the Western front, then he will try that approach; this will allow Austria Hungary to expand eastward if the plan works.
I play Franz Ferdinand Avenged and take over Serbia. Ken builds in Ukraine. Don has an event card that lets him play a status card and builds into Belgium. Jean builds in Picardy. Trevor does something to remove a status card from Germany.
On turn 2, Don builds into Tyrol and now the Entente know what we are up to, but Rome isn’t in danger yet. After the first scoring round it is Central 8- Entente 7.
The US never really get into this game, having just one army in the US. This is a shame, as I wish we could have taken advantage of this, and the UK take a long time to get their 3rd fleet onto the board.
Russia plays a good game and after the second scoring they have a fleet in the Black Sea. The score is Central 20- Entente 16.
Unfortunately I had thrown away my sea battle card, and I would pay the price for that. Ken could attack Istanbul cutting supply to Anatolia/Azerbaijan/Persia. I had used up all three of my build Ottoman army cards, and I had to rebuild into Istanbul using an Austria Hungary build army card. So that mean with my Ottoman out of supply, Ken could attack at will and take over Azerbaijan. I belatedly get the card that lets you eliminate a fleet in the Black Sea, but it is too late, but I do get rid of the Russian fleet there to keep Istanbul safe.
Meanwhile on the Western Front, the French and British had massed and were attacking Don in Western Germany where Don also had armies in Belgium and Picardy. Don could have held Western Germany, but he decided to let it go, but Trevor had the status card which lets you build after you win an attack, and Don lost supply in Belgium and Picardy. Picardy and Belgium fall in short order after they are out of supply. In the post mortem, Don said he had blundered there. After round 3 it was Central 31- Entente 27.
I thought we still had a chance despite a mistake on both the Germans and the Austria Hungarians. But my Ottomans were being slowly picked off, and Don was losing on the Western Front. After round 4 it was Central 41-Entente 40.
Don is defenceless in Berlin on the final round, but I can’t help. I make Ken throw away 3 cards, which includes the card which gives Russia VPs for removing armies from the board. Trevor attacks me in Istanbul and the final score is Entente 55-Central 50.
A couple times Don believed he could knock out Rome, but his view it was only 1 pt. My point of view was that it cuts down France’s options and prevents future Italian growth. It was relatively close, and fairly tense through 3 rounds, but all these games, I think we all believe that Germany isn’t quite played optimally yet.