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Subject: The Day I Took Command Of The English Language. rss

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David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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Players: Da Pyrate, Ian, Bob & Greg


Soldier King is similar to A House Divided but doesn't quite work on a couple of levels. In the first place, there are four nations and each is around the same level of stength as the others. It is very easy for the three players who are not winning to keep bringing the strongest player back to their level. The game is very difficult to win.

The second problem is that players can make silly and unrealistic agreements for their mutual benefit. For example, when a country takes new cities it allows them to build up new army units (the number or armies is based on how many cities you control) however, if you lose cities you don't lose units, even if you no longer control enough cities for the size of your army - you just can't build new units until your army size has gone below your city size.

I don't know that I would actually enjoy to play against me in multi-player games on an irregular basis. I don't think I tell lies but I certainly am willing to prevaricate to my advantage.

The last time I played Solider King Greg and Bob knew me well and understood how I operated. Unfortuneatly for Ian he didn't.

Ian and I had neighbouring countries. He asked permission to move some of his armies into my country to take control of two of my cities (training exercises I think he said) for a short time so as to be able to increase his army size. He assured me that he would leave the country forthwith if not thirdwith. In Soldier King there are four season's to a year's play. I told Ian that his proposal was acceptable providing he left my country no later than during his Winter turn - he agreed.

During Autumn Ian could have moved his troops out but chose not to as he had other higher-priority tasks for his army. When Winter came he rolled for marches and scored a '1' or a '2' - his army was unable to leave my country even though they were trying to do so. I told him that we were at a state of war and moved my armies towards his country. He explained the situation and continued to leave my territory. I told him that I appreciated the situation and called my armies back.

Something like three game years later Ian was involved in a serious war and I decided to invade his country. He called foul and said that we had a non-agression pact. I pointed out that he had broken the pact by not leaving my country during his Winter turn. He said that I had said that was okay and that we were still allies.

I told him that I had said that I appreciated the situation - meaning that I understood what had happened, how it had happened and why it had happened. It in no way meant that it not actually happened. Therefore we had been in a state of war with each other for the previous 12 game turns even though no combat had taken place between us.

Bob and Greg agreed that was what I had said and it was what they had understood me to mean.

Ian was furious and started shouting something like, "David, you have the most amazing command of the English language." I felt that Ian's response was very controlled considering the circumstances but I didn't actually feel that he was giving me a compliment.

I can't actually remember who won the game, but I am fairly certain that it wasn't Ian. Facing the armies of three opponents and the English language was more than he could handle on that occassion.





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