Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
Don was Austria Hungary, I was Russia, Craig was Germany, Jean was France, Trevor was UK. Don plays Franz Ferdinand Avenged, I build in Ukraine, Craig plays the Prussian Military Tradition to put down Triple Trench Lines and attacked Burgundy. Jean builds back in Burgundy. Trevor plays the Royal Navy, to put down Commonwealth Support, and builds the 2 navies in the west and east Med.
Don plays Royal Hungarian Hunved to build in Tyrol (post game he said he had 7 good Austria Hungary cards, and didn’t want to draft an Ottoman build card, given how Trevor had started). I build in Galacia. Craig builds in Belgium, Jean builds in Picardy and Trevor builds in Istanbul.
On turn 3, Don builds into the Italian Alps, I build into Prussia, Craig plays the Red Baron, Jean builds in Rome, and Trevor plays an event card. The scoring is Entente 9, Central 8.
To relieve the pressure on Jean, I attack into Berlin, with a sustain land battle and Craig defends by discarding 2 prepared build army cards. Craig attacks me back in Prussia and I hold there. I can’t hold out against both Red Baron and future attrition, but Trevor plays Sidney Reiley forcing Craig to discard a status card, and Craig throws out the Red Baron. Jean and I attack Germany, without much gain. The second scoring round it is Entente 18-Central 18.
I thought this would be an easy win for the Entente. Trevor gets down Girl with the Yellow Hands, so he can attack and build now without losing either card. I clear out Serbia, allowing Trevor to build there. Trevor also builds in Persia. All his 5 armies will be on the board. I get knocked out of Prussia, but in the meantime, I build towards Azerbaijan using the card that lets you build adjacent and attack there when Don tried to build an Austria Hungary fleet in the Black Sea and build across. The score is still tied at 30 after the third scoring round.
In the fourth scoring round, I am almost out of cards, and Don has been saving the attrition cards against Russia. Craig does not have mustard gas, so I am safe. After the fourth scoring round, the Entente board position gets better with Greece in the Entente hands. The score is Entente 47, Central 43.
On the last round, I take one last swing at Berlin via the fleet in the Baltic Sea. I knock out Berlin, but Craig has an event card that lets him build back into Berlin. Don has spent a couple of cards on attrition for me, and I lose 4 VPs, but I gain back those 4 VPs using Peace Land and Bread. The final score is Entente 60, Central 56.
Istanbul is occupied by turn 2, but Russia as par for the course in this game has no cards left at the end and vulnerable to attrition.
Despite Istanbul being given up, it was a close game. If Craig had gotten Mustard Gas (I think it was one of his last cards), and given how I was knocked around in Poland, the 4 VPs might easily have been gained back. It was an interesting game, and the Central Powers never gave up despite the good start by UK.
Game 2: I am Austria Hungary, Craig is Russia, Jean is Germany, Trevor is France, and Don is UK. I play the Royal Hungarian Honved to build in Tyrol, Craig plays Russia Mobilizes to build in Ukraine and Poland, Jean plays Prussian Military Tradition, allowing him to play Red Baron and attack Burgundy. Trevor builds in Rome. Don plays Sidney Reiley to get rid of the Red Baron.
On turn 2, I build into the Italian Alps, Craig builds into Galacia (rather than Prussia), Jean builds into Burgundy, Trevor plays an economic warfare card (I think), and Don builds a navy. At the end of the first scoring round it is tied 7-7.
But on turn 4, Jean plays Schlieffen Plan on Paris – Trevor defends with all his prepared cards, but Jean had a double sustain battle and more, so he takes over Paris. Our group is now playing where you can make one statement on your turn about cards, help, etc, rather than having a group discussion about what should be done. This does save time. Jean had made the statement that he would liked some help in defence of Berlin, so I obliged by building into Prussia, and absorbing a couple of land battles from Craig into Prussia. After Paris falls, Jean builds back into Prussia and can push back against Russia.
The second scoring round it is Central 18- Entente 16.
Craig retreats and builds into Azerbaijan. Jean takes over the rest of Western Europe, using Place in the Sun to knock out Don in Picardy. It is only a matter of time. Don gets Girl with the Yellow Hands, and attacks Jean repeatedly in Paris. Jean repeatedly drafts a build army in Paris. Thie third scoring round it is Central 32, Entente 24.
Mercifully, the game is over for the Entente by the 4th scoring round. The Central powers have too much territory and it is Central 45, Entente 33.
Germany takes Paris on turn 4.
In the post game analysis, they felt Russia should have gone to Prussia on turn 2 to put pressure on Germany right away. Craig’s goal with Russia was to stay alive so he played down to Azerbaijan and didn’t really engage into Berlin. I think Jean had a good German hand, and Trevor had a poor France hand, resulting in the loss of Paris on turn 4, which was the game right there.