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Unhappy King Charles!» Forums » Sessions

Subject: A satisfactory session... rss

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Chris Stimpson
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...not a full-up 4-year session report - we wouldn't want to get tedious - but just the final turn, as an example of how nicely balanced and tense this game so often is. In eight or nine games, I think it's gone to the end turn all but one time.

Situation: Winter 1645, beginning of the turn. Parliament had 5 areas in Wales (control), 8 in the East (control), 8 in the Midlands (needed one for control) and 5 economic areas (needed one more for victory). The King had the north, and both had given up on the south.

Parliament had a plan! Maintain Wales and the East, grab that deciding Midlands area, and right at the end send Poyntz and a veteran brigade plodding across from Hull to Sheffield to capture the lead mines. We will have his head, with the crown on it!

Rupert, of course, had his own ideas. Lightly encumbered by troops, he came skipping down from Newark towards East Anglia, leaving a trail of blue flags across the Fens and Norfolk. Cromwell lumbered after him, trying several times to trap him into battle and never succeeding. If you've ever had a fly land on your desk and try over and over to swat it, only to end up with a sore hand, you'll get the idea. The best Oliver could do was to reconvert the areas for Parliament.

Meanwhile, the King was proceeding south through Harlech and Aberystwyth in an attempt to reclaim Wales. But with Laugharne active in Pembroke and the Lord General loitering on the mid-Wales border (having secured the vital Midlands town of Bridgnorth), Charles didn't have the 'legs' to convert enough areas and keep them converted. In the end he crossed the mountains and fought with Fairfax at Radnor. The battle was drawn; Fairfax disappeared from the map, but Charles was exhausted and couldn't stop Laugahrne from raiding Aberystwyth and securing Wales.

So now all the Godly had to do was take those lead mines. Perfect use for the one remaining 2-Ops card and Sir Sydenham Poyntz. Or it would have been, had one of the wretched Hotham family not chosen that moment to change sides and hand Hull over to the King. Poyntz and his troops were summarily ejected, and the promise of alchemy once more dashed as lead refused to turn into gold.

But wait - one final chance remained! Parliament still held Plymouth, and there was no Royalist sentiment west of Bath. With two event cards to discard, first St. Austell and then Truro could be converted, replacing lead with tin. The first part was easy enough, but on the final move of the game the nimble Sir Ralph Hopton decamped from Bath with a single miserable militia brigade and recovered St. Austell for the crown, sealing off Truro for good. Game over. The Roundheads fell one point short of victory at the last trump, but who can complain about a game that plays so tightly?

Hats off to Lord Charles.
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