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Subject: A Clash of Armies rss

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Jeromie Rand
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I discovered Feudal in a thrift store about two weeks ago, and after reading the instructions I immediately realized that my friend Jon would be the perfect opponent. While he likes games of all types, chess is a particular favorite. He is always up for a round of chess, and as an avid student of the game he is able to defeat most opponents. I supposed that Feudal's close relationship to that ancient pastime would draw his interest, and its differences would put us on more even footing. My guesses proved to be right on target.

Our first game was fun, though we were both still discovering the tactical differences between Feudal and chess. I went first and mounted a strong attack early on (we quickly discovered the importance of strong formations in this game), but the position of my castle was considerably weaker than his and as attrition took its toll on my army he was able to mount a fast but decisive attack on my position.

The second game went much, much differently. We swapped places; I was able to choose my position and he got the first move. I placed my pieces too aggressively, and through a clever offensive placement of his archer he decimated my forces on the first move. I made several more foolish errors in the first half of play, and he soon had a sizable material advantage (I believe he was 4-6 pieces up on me). Despite this, the defense around my castle was strong enough that he was unable to slip in for an easy win.

Knowing that I didn't have enough pieces to effectively attack and defend at the same time, I focused on finding an entrenched position that could stave off his forces. I had just enough firepower left to keep a little pressure on his castle so that all of his forces didn't move against me simultaneously. As we switched into this phase of the battle, it was Jon's turn to make a few mistakes. Since I was more interested in defending my position than taking his pieces, it became very hard to draw me out. A couple of miscalculations on his part allowed my archer to pick off a few important attacking pieces, and in his final push for my castle he missed a key defensive move that was available to me. Suddenly, we both found ourselves nearly without armies: I had only my king, and Jon had his king and a squire left.

I offered a truce at this point, but he refused to hear of it. Jon made the best of the way his squire and king could work together (he is very good at knight play in chess, so he was able to see the possibilities very clearly), and though the end was a little bit rushed he had me convinced that with the way my castle was positioned his win was inevitable. Despite losing, the thrill of coming back to a near stalemate from such a desperate position made this one of the most exciting games I've played in recent memory. I look forward to our next meeting on the battlefield.
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Charles Phillips
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It has been 20 years since I played Feudal. I still have a copy.

You and your friend might also like to try HIVE! which is billed as "Nature's Chess." I think you will like it.
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Jeromie Rand
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I've played around with Hive online, and I know it's a game I (and my friend) would like. I'm sure it will end up in my collection eventually - if I'd found it for two dollars in a thrift store it would undoubtedly already be there!

Do you foresee Feudal coming out again sometime, or have you just moved on to other games?
 
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Joe Pelfrey
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I was just asking myself that same question. I recently updated my game list in BGG and looked at Feudal fondly. I played the heck out of that game in high school. It will always have a place in my heart and on my shelf but I’m not sure it will be on the table. I must admit that your session report does make me want to knock the dust off of it.
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Charles Phillips
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I agree with Joe. I highly doubt that Feudal will be republished. But like Joe, I played the heck out of it in high school, and will always fondly remember it.

If Feudal is ever republished, in this era, it will be three dimensional with lots of optional rules for wizards, dragons, assassins, and the playing area will probably consist of a mostly round island so they can include galleys. Oh, and they'd have to include option cards.

shake

For example, look at Risk in its current incarnations. I played the heck out of that in high school too.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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lilwil wrote:
I played the heck out of that game in high school.


I'm another who played it while in high school - for me that was when the 3M version came out, in 1967. I'll be playing it with my grandchildren before long.
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Jeromie Rand
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I found the 3M bookshelf version in a thrift store. Since I'm a young whippersnapper (well, still shy of 30), that makes the game older than me. It's still got a lot of play in it, though!
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Gordon Adams
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Have the game but not played int in yokes. I do remember liking it a lot.

Right, I shall now have to fish it out

PS: BTW, I am not sure if this game was ever released in GB. I got mine from a Uni friend who was an American. Was it released here in UK or not ? Thanks.

Edit: typo
 
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Jacob
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Ive always been a little curious about this game. Thanks for the interesting session report!
 
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Jim Daniels
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There is a Vassal mod for Feudal
 
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Matt Hurlburt
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Feudal was the first board game that wasn't chess or checkers that I played with dad. We spent hours on that game, especially when we started playing blue against brown (1 full army, 2 armies w/o king/prince/duke on each side).

I still break it out from time to time - it's a sentimental favorite with several friends of mine.

You can usually find a reasonable copy on ebay - made for a great and surprising x-mas gift from dad to me several years ago.
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