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Yesterday I had the great pleasure of running a test game of All Bridges Burning with Ron and Adam, two playtester who have been helping me out throughout the project. I thought I put together a brief AAR to illustrate some aspects of the how this forthcoming COIN game for three players plays. In this game the teams were Ron the blue Moderates, Adam the Reds, and I was the white Senate.



In the above screen cap, we are approaching the first Propaganda card. Notable developments include the heavy Senate build-up in the town of Wiipuri in the East. The Reds have set up camp up in the North which I thought was a really neat move from Adam. When, later in the game, it was time for the Senate to start moving South to take control of the towns there, I was quite worried about what the Red horde in the North was going to do to my position up there while I was down South.

One big decision I made at this early stage of the game with significant ramifications for later game play was that I used a favorable event to lower the level of German participation in the war. This was a risky move because I did not know how the war was going to go for me and by cutting the Germans down in size, I was going to be receiving less military assistance from them.

Ron was having a bit of trouble getting going with the Moderates. The game got the worst possible start for him as well with the very first event of the game robbing him more than half of his start-up resources. It looked to me like Ron was also a little unsure about what his strategy should be –which is very understandable because the Moderates probably is the least intuitive of all the factions in All Bridges Burning.



In the above shot we are approaching the second Propaganda card. The Reds have just triggered the Red Revolt. The Red mob up in the North looks more threatening than ever. Ron's Moderates have bounced back a little having basically made the town of Turku on the West coast entirely theirs. One Moderates network (that is, the blue discs formerly known as a base) is now on the map as well. Finally, the Senate are slowly getting off the mark. I've secured a jaeger capability marker (located in the North-Western town of Waasa) and will soon pick up the armored trains capability as well.



As the white Senate I felt I was terribly slow off the mark in what came to my conquest of the South, but finally, about halfway through the third campaign I had ploughed my way to the central town of Tampere in the middle. To my surprise the threat exerted by the Red horde up North never really materialized as Adam never moved the horde against my stronghold spaces in the North-West. I felt that at this point Adam's game as the Reds was perhaps going off the rails a little. Soon after the above shot, I was lucky to pick up a neat event that allowed me to shift Helsinki to passive support, meaning I was able to establish Senate control there a little bit easier and deny the Reds from ever raising any opposition there.

Meanwhile, Ron's Moderates have now set up a network in one of the central 0-population provinces as well. His weak point continues to be almost total lack of movement in the political process as testified by the absence of resolved political issues in the political display.



Here we are having just flipped the third Propaganda card. Adam made a surprise move by getting together a Southern horde of Reds and marching it into the Western town of Wiipuri that the Senate had already secured for themselves seemingly for good. This was a neat move and later won him some much needed opposition. That said, it was a costly and a long process to put together that horde and march it multiple steps to the East diverting attention and resources from the creation of opposition. Also, I was allowed to secure Helsinki for the Senate. The Germans have now also entered play and were wreaking havoc among the Reds in and around Helsinki which did not make it any easier for the poor comrade Adam.



In the above shot we're nearing the game end with lots of jockeying going on to set up favorably for the final Propaganda. Adam was in an increasingly desperate position and began to focus on getting at the Senate who were looking to run away with it. Red terror in the central town of Tampere almost took out the Senate force there. Ron's Moderates were having a race against the clock to meet their resource related victory condition (accumulate 17+ resource in total).

Despite the Senate having now (just about) control at the necessary 4 population points of town populace for a win, the high level of German vassalage combined with mutual Polarization among the three player factions threatened to give the game away to the non-player Germans. As noted above, I had made the decision to reduce German involvement early on in the game, but this was not enough. However, I was very lucky to be able to pick up an event that allowed me to reduce German participation to zero. I was now cruising toward victory.



Here's the closing screen cap of the game. The Senate have done a big consolidating Rally bringing both Helsinki and Tampere under a firm iron grip of Senate control. Adam's Reds made big gains during the last Propaganda round, including turning around one of the Senate strongholds up in the North, but it was a little too little and too late. Ron's Moderates did make their resources related victory condition but were not quite in the position to lower Polarization enough to go on and win. I argued in the post-game discussion that had the game gone on for just one more card, Ron might just have been able to set himself up for a bigger Polarization reduction at the game end and therefore for a win.

It was a great game! Thanks a lot Adam and Ron!
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