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Subject: How to play French in two hours or "pardon my french" rss

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Paulo Soledade
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A two hour conflict with an easy win by France with a newbie to the game and two players playing in new sides. Everything new!

First in, first out
France started the game with a very agressive policy, beating in everything that moved. In the Flanders map, France went up north getting an easy Luxemburg and going up a bit more to the diamonds space finishing its move in Bastogne.

In the meanwhile, Arenberg was a bit lost in the middle of nowhere and trying to defend some of the key positions near Malmedy. He also tried to escape from the French in the Flanders map because the greatest (apparently) danger was down in the Bohemian map, near Prag. The Austrians didn't want to lose Prag for the French by turning the decision of the election (at this point) into a Prussian decision.

The Pragmatic Army going south (but very carefully) searching from some key positions and also trying to get that Electorate vote in Koln, started the game investing a 8 of diamonds in politics getting one extra card and 3 ground troops. A "good" investment that also retarded its strength in hand for the French menace up in the north. With a strong position around Rochefort and Namur, the french power started to play very aggressively in diamonds making Austrians (Arenberg) and also the Pragmatic Army retreat. Rochefort, Namur and Koln were still under control but they were very pressured as was Brussels.

Prussia also started the game playing heavy and hurting Silesia as much as possible while the French were pushing Austria up in the East front of the Bohemian map. Breslau, Brieg and later Glatz were quickly under Prussian domaine. Neisse and Cosel were both conquered at the very beginning of the 4th turn.

Austria, with a weak defensive position mainly because of a terrible fight in Budweis (once again in diamonds) had to retreat to some key positions around Brunn, Iglau, Zwittau and Olmutz, forming a strong square defensive ground but giving up six victory points to the French, with Linz being the most eastern controlled city.

Prussia with the annexion of Silesia with the help of Saxonia troops which helped a lot in Nimburg and Koniggratz, offered peace to Austria trying to get an extra supply train and space for growing south making its moves out of Silesia. The general in the Ostpreussen box was already available to the Prussian player.

The turning point
The political phase of the fifth turn changed the game enough to put an end to the Austrian, Prussian and Pragmatic Army miseries. A very positive card that could drive the Italian token to the VP box, favorable to the French, arrived. With 6 VP's in the Bohemian map, Brussel and Luxemburg in the Flanders map, the French player was only 3 VP's short to the automatic victory.
That specific political card would give the game to the French because only two other VP's were needed and those could (as they were) easily obtained in the map.
The French player gained that political card using a Reserve Card against "only" an Austrian 10 of clubs, and putted that 9th VP token in the "Italy" box.
On his turn, the French player got Arenberg in Bastogne and using 3 generals and the supply train eliminated him who was also protecting Rochefort and Namur. In the end, the final two VP's were enough to win the game but a 12th one granted by defeating Arenberg showed that the game had been written for the French.

In the end, the newbie called for victory. The Pragmatic Army played too much defensive and entered by the north of France getting to St. Quentin but forgetting (or retarding too much) the pressure over the French player in Brussels mainly.
The Austrian player got a terrible fight over Budweis, maybe a bad way to lose a battle, and was constantly pressured by the Prussian player up north in the silesian borders having at some point, apparently, no alternative comeback.
The Prussians could have been more assertive in getting Prag from the Austrians instead of leaving it for the French to get. Also a question is still hanging in the Prussian schizophrenic head: "was offering peace to Maria a good call?"
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I've not yet seen the French win in my games of Maria, although they came close last game - it was a race between France and Austria to place their final VP chit.
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Paulo Soledade
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leroy43 wrote:
I've not yet seen the French win in my games of Maria, although they came close last game - it was a race between France and Austria to place their final VP chit.


Been there also in my previous to this game. Austria won actually but the dipute for the last VP chip was heavy.

In my first game of all, without the advanced rules, France also won kinda easily too. The pattern I've been following shows that France can be the easiest side to play with. The one with the most straightforward strategy (only one newbie game and two games with the advanced games though).
 
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Dan C-S
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I would agree that the strategy involved for France is much simpler than for the other two players, although in my opinion because it is split over the two boards it can be very difficult to achieve a 'balance'. The first two games I played as France I concentrated too hard on one map (Flanders I think), leaving the other army (and Bavaria) without TCs or a strategy. As a result, I think the sides (players) are balanced.
 
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Ryan Keane
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out to lunch wrote:
Just wondering: the French start with one of their generals stacked with the Bavarian general. Since they can't combine their forces when attacking and are limited in how they apply losses, there really is no point in keeping them stacked, right?



Very old thread but I thought I would reply to this question. The French and Bavarian forces are combined when stacked in terms of calculating the army starting strength. The benefit of stacking them is that cards are played from the Bavarian hand, so the French player can bring the French General to battle without being another potential drain on the French hand. That said, it requires you to move both the French and Bavarian supplies with the stack, so it usually is not worth it.
 
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