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Wars of the Roses: Lancaster vs. York» Forums » General

Subject: Need quick reviews! rss

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Josh Street
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Mount Pleasant
North Carolina
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I'm looking at maybe picking this one up tonight - what are the thoughts of the few who've had a chance to play it already? Is it a winner and if so why? Similar to anything we've played before? Just hate going into a completely blind purchase (components are gorgeous though...)!
 
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Doug Adams
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Oakleigh
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Played once, two player, enjoyed it. Large, lovely looking game. Think it would be better with four. It's a VP grab over six regions, trying to achieve majority influence in each region. Movement and purchases are plotted secretly and simultaneously, then revealed and resolved, and award points. Repeat over five turns. Escalates well as the cards enter the game and are passed out to the players each turn. Area majorities game (El Grande?), secret plotting (Wallenstein?)... but looks gorgeous, plays like a meaty/heavy Euro, and they've tied the theme in very well. I gave it an initial 8 or 9.

Caveat... big table required for four player game.
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Sean parmenter
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I experienced this game at the recent Australian Games Expo where it was a big hit with the complex Eurogamers/Wargamers in attendance. I really enjoyed it for a number of reasons: it is very different to any other game I have seen, it is an intellectual challenge and puts the player in the driver’s seat unlike card-driven wargames, it has some new and innovative mechanics, it captures the historical flavour of Avalon Hill’s Kingmaker and would have to be one of the best produced games ever seen - hats off to Z-Man Games here.

Each turn consists of:
Card drafting of towns/nobles/bishops/mercenaries/ships/royal castles (expanding your influence) the considerations being: its strength point value, its location in relation to your current areas of influence, any associated income, its garrison strength, mobility (ships and nobles).

Planning- raising armies for attacks and defence, bribing nobles, bishops and ships, mobilizing nobles and ships and bidding for the Captain of Calais position.

Executing the orders and conducting the battles. Then allocating victory points for first and second most influence in the various regions of England and Wales. The 2 Lancastrian and 2 Yorkist players then add their influence points together in each area to see which Royal House wins the votes there and in the Parliament phase the votes from all areas are tallied and a king from one or other House is declared. The 5 extra points for having your House win the king is the sweetener to keep you loyal, but for how long?

The games I watched lasted from 90-120 mins and generated a lot of enthusiastic discussion, so it is my hunch that this game will be a refreshing change for those that like complex Euros or Wargames. The many possible places to attack or defend seem daunting at first, but I got a hint from the designer- “attack or defend the places that you must control in order to win the big victory point areas". I also think income is important - you can’t raise armies or bribe nobles without it!
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Josh Street
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Thanks for the turnaround - based on the feedback, I've gone ahead and picked it up. Rules look pretty tight - looking forward to seeing this one hit the table!
 
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Jeff Scarborough
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Keller
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If you found this online who has it in stock and what was the price (if you don't mind me asking?). This one looks really good based upon a first read of the rules. Let us know what you think of it.

Jeff in Texas
 
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Rob L
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I just ordered it from superherogameland.com, they're close, so the shipping was cheap. It looks like boardsandbits.com has it in their Washington warehouse. Both places had it for close to $45.
 
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Eric Williams
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For what it is worth (watched it being played and have read the rules plus spoken at some length to the designer)...

First thing is the production. This is one of those games that is simply a pleasure to look at. I think this factor will help get such a game on to the table all by itself.

Second, it is relatively quick and easy to play. Keep in mind that I'm a guy that thinks Die Macher doesn't take too long...but the game plays out in around 2 hours and the mechanics are pretty straight forward so it falls into the category of games that can be taught quickly from a standing start.

Third, it is an area control, or area influence game. Some things that provide control points are static, others can move. The nub of it is secret planning. The static things can be attacked and defended - but where and which ones? The others that can move can be bribed and counter bribed - so who will actually move them and where? And player order advantages the player coming last. Attacks and bribes take place in player order and trying to fathom the effects of this factor is critical!

Fourth, excitement via anticipation and (for the period) in my view just the right amount of chaos. Excitement and anticipation because as the turns clock over more and more "stuff" comes into play (including money). More and more variables and targets and possibilities. Chaos in that turn order can mean player B attacks a holding of player A only to have it picked up cheaply by player C.

It looks to be one of those games that no one can really streak away with, and all players will have hope and can plot to win to the very end. It has a semi co-operative element but is still very individual. Back stabbing and treachery, be it on the "team" doing best or worse, will likely feature. All up, a very well produced and thought out game set in a wonderful historic context that is easy to sit down to. Not long, or tedious, but fun.
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