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Subject: Is Friedrich a co-operative game? rss

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Ben Smith
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From what I've seen so far, anything other than a shared victory seems unfair. In my last game I won as Russia; Why? Because the Prussian player just happened to target the other two, taking the pressure off me.
It felt hollow taking the win when the other players basically helped me by burning Prussia's hand down in battle. If I'm the French for example, how do I stop Russia winning? In what way can one non-Prussian player gain advantage over another non-Prussian player?

Comments?
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Ubiratã Oliveira
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I think that Friedrich is not a co-operative game, because only one can win, not a team win...
Is always most difficult for Prussia achieve his objective of course, but experiented players win with this country...
But,I never see someone with Prussia defeat the others...
 
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Ben Smith
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I've won as Prussia and would choose Prussia over any other power; Simply because I know my destiny will be totally in my own hands.
Whereas if I'm playing France, all I can do is hope and pray that I win the solitaire race to get my objectives first. And hope that Prussia pays more attention to Russia and Austria.
 
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Gene Baker
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Games with dragons, spaceships, and bears aren’t wargames. Call them conquest games or strategy games or crap but they aren’t wargames.
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b5mith wrote:
I've won as Prussia and would choose Prussia over any other power; Simply because I know my destiny will be totally in my own hands.
Whereas if I'm playing France, all I can do is hope and pray that I win the solitaire race to get my objectives first. And hope that Prussia pays more attention to Russia and Austria.


Maybe you just understand the game better than your opponents. I believe a player playing France won one of the World Championships held by the designer.
 
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Ben Smith
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gbaker59 wrote:
I believe a player playing France won one of the World Championships held by the designer.


Yeah but that may have been because Prussia eased the pressure on him that game. As Prussia you can king-make by just easing up on the power you prefer to let win. So if you're playing Prussia and know you can't win the game, you can just pick another player who you would like to let win.

For this reason it doesn't feel right to me that victory goes to an individual non-Prussian player. I get no satisfaction from it because it feels like such a "hollow" victory.
 
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Mark Delano
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b5mith wrote:
Yeah but that may have been because Prussia eased the pressure on him that game. As Prussia you can king-make by just easing up on the power you prefer to let win. So if you're playing Prussia and know you can't win the game, you can just pick another player who you would like to let win.

For this reason it doesn't feel right to me that victory goes to an individual non-Prussian player. I get no satisfaction from it because it feels like such a "hollow" victory.


Easing up on a player is frequently a bad idea as Friedrich. For Friedrich each turn you survive is another turn Russia, France or Sweden might drop out of the game. Giving up by letting someone else win is not the best way to win yourself. It's relatively rare that Friedrich is in a completely hopeless position except on the last turn of the game, and it's even more rare that they can pick the winner at that point (except perhaps letting multiple people win).
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Rick Goudeau
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Looks like you were the fortunate recipient of a gamble made by the Prussian player. Recently a similar strategy happened in one of our games, you guessed it Elizabeth died one turn from a Russian victory. The cards saved by Prussia gave him the strength to win the game.

As one of the "allies" I keep an eye on what suits Prussia needs to defend against the others and don't pressure there until I'm ready to push for the win. If one of your allies is getting close to a win, it is time to stop attacking Prussia and let Prussia deal with the threat.
There is nothing wrong with backing off and restocking your hand for a later push. You want the Prussians to fight your allies and not you.

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Ben Smith
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You make a good point Mark. I think Friedrich is in a hopeless position when he lets his cards run down (to below 15 or thereabouts). When that happens, it's a perfect opportunity for everyone to go in and fight. I think Friedrich's best strategy is to avoid combat until his hand size is 40+ cards, which is basically holding off for around 6 turns. He can still pose a threat, but should pull out of combat if it happens.
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Ralph H. Anderson
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Friedrich is not for the faint of heart. Playing any of the powers is a tight wire act and requires the highest powers of brinksmanship.

There is a pressure on France and Russia/Sweden to move as quickly as they can before they are eliminated from the game. But this also puts them at risk of getting into trouble or in making it easier for another power.

There is pressure on Austria to do enough but not too much as they can easily make it easier to win for France or Russia/Sweden. Austria must play the long patient game and know when to strike.

Prussia must play the cat and mouse game - sometimes as the mouse losing as little as possible by retreating; and, sometimes as the cat pouncing to smack down a power that has over reached.

If one or more of the players are not strong, you can end up with a situation where your victory feels hollow as it was by their gross mistakes that you won. To be truly appreciated, this must be a game won by a steady accumulation of small choices correctly made where the battles are hard fought on every side. When that comes together, and it will take a few plays to get players to that level, but when that does come together, there is no more satisfying win.
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Russ Williams
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No, it's not a cooperative game, of course.
b5mith wrote:
From what I've seen so far, anything other than a shared victory seems unfair. In my last game I won as Russia; Why? Because the Prussian player just happened to target the other two, taking the pressure off me.

In ANY multiplayer game, it can happen that you win because another player inadvertently helped you win...

Heck, that often happens in 2-player games, too.

Quote:
It felt hollow taking the win when the other players basically helped me by burning Prussia's hand down in battle. If I'm the French for example, how do I stop Russia winning? In what way can one non-Prussian player gain advantage over another non-Prussian player?

Comments?

If you think there's not enough (or any) interaction between the 3 allies, then consider it to be like a running race. A race is still competitive, not cooperative.

But I would argue that at least in small subtle ways you can certainly gain advantage over another ally. E.g. if you feel that one of the other 2 allies is too close to winning, and you have a choice of several targets in different zones, you can consider which suit Friedrich will be likely to need to fight them, and you can fight Friedrich in some other suit, so that he retains his cards to fight that ally.

And of course direct talking/diplomacy/whining ("Why are you worrying about ME? Obviously RUSSIA is about to win!") can come into play, though it seems up to the game group to decide how much, if any, of that is allowed.

And appropriate sounds of encouragement at your ally's obvious victory or lamenting their obvious doom in a battle can influence their card play sometimes.

PS: We draw countries randomly; by chance, I have been France 4 out of my 5 games...! I just won as France today, woot!
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Mark Luta
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What you want to do, is get the other players to cooperate with you, and make them think you are cooperating with them...

A significant differnce in play has been observed frequently between tournament games, and single games where everyone must play to win. In a tournament game, the way the scoring works, a France or Russia player who is only one or two objectives short, might choose to sit back and defend if he does not think he is strong enough in the needed suit to take that last objective. The way the points work, a strong second place finish is nearly as good as a win, while a disastrous outcome in a single game will pretty much put one out of contention for the finals. But when the choice is simply win or lose the game, the logical thing is for each player to go for those last objectives, mindful of the need to take them before someone else wins--perhaps Prussia will be weaker than thought in the suit of that last objective...

Without incentive to 'race' to the win, there is no chance to shatter the French Army at Rossbach, no way the horrendously bloody Zorndorf will ever happen. In order to give the proper feel of the constraints the historical general staffs were in, unsure of how much support one has at court, sometimes on the verge of victory when one's government ends the war, while at other times on the receiving end of a terrible pummelling yet one's government orders to fight on, players need to know that if they do not win, someone else is going to. Certainly the allies were cooperating generally to defeat Prussia, but each had their own objectives and interests which were not completely aligned. It is this aspect to the war which the game evokes incredibly well.
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Anton Telle
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b5mith wrote:
gbaker59 wrote:
I believe a player playing France won one of the World Championships held by the designer.


Yeah but that may have been because Prussia eased the pressure on him that game. As Prussia you can king-make by just easing up on the power you prefer to let win.


I played Prussia in that Final of the Friedrich-WC 2008. I did not let France win . Austria was being selfless and pushed her generals into the territory around Magdeburg, where my last defenses against France stood. I could not last against two enemy powers. By themselves they would not have won. France won the Championship. Austria was clearly the king-maker in that game.
Such allied play rarely happens, only if the situation seems hopeless for one player. In such a game more than one ally may feel themselves as winners.

By the way there are multiple victories in Friedrich - if more than one ally wins in the course of one (the last) round.
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Greg Low
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b5mith wrote:
If I'm the French for example, how do I stop Russia winning?
Say things like, "hey, did you notice that Russia can win in two turns. France can't win for atleast four, and that assumes winning several battles."

In short, whine.

I'd say that poor play by other players can make a victory feel cheap, but that does go for just about any multiplayer game. As long as everyone is playing to win (no throwing matches), then it's okay.

I have had satisfying losses (as Russia when the Tsarina died, but I felt I played well), and less satisfying wins (as Austria when the French were too helpful), but it averages out.

Best,
-Greg
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Björn Apelqvist
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I agree, but the Prussian player can in most games place his generals and armies in such a way that the different opponents can't cooperate, unless one of them decides to be an obvious king maker. If you look at the WC-final 2008 for example, the Prussian forces were placed in a way that enabled Prussia to fight against all opponents in different suits. That way you are able to bring maximum strength against all your enemies.

If Prussia needs to chose who to defend against, the basic strategy is unsound or your TC:s are horrible. In my opinion, against a good Prussian player there is almost no reason to cooperate.

If you or your friend has difficulties playing Prussia, please take a look at the strategy guide. It's not perfect, but you'll get some sense of how to play Prussia decently.
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Peter Loscutoff
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Emphatically no.

If the game was written 'if Prussia loses, all other players win', Prussia has no chance of surviving. It's almost trivial for one of the non-Prussian players to give away a win to another non-Prussian player. (It is, on the other hand, very difficult to prevent them from winning).

Try this the next time you play as France or Russia: Ignore your objectives, move down into the Austrian front and engage the Prussian armies as frequently as possible.

You'll get your ass handed to you and you will guarantee a win to Austria. Moreover, you ensure that neither the French nor Prussian player enjoys the game at all.

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