Recommend
36 
 Thumb up
 Hide
20 Posts

Maria» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Maria - An Austrian Perspective Redux (image heavy!) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Brian Evans
United States
Richmond
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another weekend, another game of Maria! This time I brought along my digital camera to help log the event. A picture is worth a thousand words right? Good! Saves me from having to type out a play by play.



Map notes:
Armies are listed with their General's rank followed by the number of troops in the army. so 5-8 is General number 5 who has 8 troops.

Dotted lines are army movements.
Triple dotted lines (look like chicken feet I guess) are Supply Train movements.
Concentric circles are a retreat path.

The Prags didn't do too much in this game so I didn't bother listing out their army strengths.


1741 - Game Setup

I played the Austrians in this game and tried a min/max set-up with a single maxed army defending against the Prussians. We'll see if it was worth it. Does anyone ever max out Arenberg over on the Flanders map? I bet it would really throw a curve ball at the French player.


1741 - turn 1 - France

Unexpectedly the French move north and the Bavarians take the southern highway. In most of our games it's usually the reverse.


1741 - turn 1 - Prussia


The Prussians efficiently march through Silesia but are they going for hearts or spades? hmm...


1741 - turn 1 - Austria


With 5 of my 10 cards being hearts and most of the others spades, I'm feeling pretty confident in my fight against Prussia. Should I forgo my usual passive Austrian play and try an aggressive approach? For now, I move to spades. Maybe Freddy the-not-so-Great will think me weak in hearts and then I can pounce. On the French front I've got a lot of nothing. No diamonds at all. Maybe next turn.


1741 - turn 2 - France


France takes advantage of Arenberg's retreat to gain some ground on the Flanders map while continuing to pour into Austrian home territory. The combined stack of Generals 2 & 3 is a little unexpected. I don't think I've seen a heavy French push towards Prag. Usually it's the Bavarians vs Saxons.



1741 - turn 2 - Prussia


The Prussians seem to be heading to spades. Too bad, a hearts-hearts battle would be awesome.



1741 - turn 2 - Austria


Another draw, more hearts and another spade. I wonder if Prussia knows it's 3rd army is sitting in diamonds? What if he as just maxing his movement? I smell opportunity! Austrians advance!



1741 - turn 2 - Austria - battle


Ok, he did have a few diamonds but nothing compared to my hearts. Unfortunately, he escaped with the handy use of a Reserve card and the loss of a single troop.




1741 - turn 3 - France


French armies assail the good guys on multiple fronts.



1741 - turn 3 - France - battle


The French and Prags fight to a standstill, with the Prags totally out of diamonds. No losses to either side, On the homefront, the stacked French juggernaut invades the spades near Prag. General Traun sends the invaders packing, though only for a minor victory. Prag holds... for now.



1741 - turn 3 - Prussia


The Prussian counter offensive was both impressive and unexpected. Three armies, three suits and a complete surround face off against the defender of the realm Neipperg and his eight troops. Looks like my aggressive play is going to make this a quick game... or is it?



1741 - turn 3 - Prussia - battle


Through sheer dumb luck I survive. My heavy heart hand allowed me to easily defeat the first attacker and get away with only a flesh wound verse the second. I earn my first Major Victory, causing the Saxons to begin wondering if they are on the wrong side of this war but, unfortunately, my once mighty heart hand is now quite depleted. The Austrian offensive is no more.




1741 - turn 3 - Austria


The Prags and France call a ceasefire to deal with the surging Austrians while I make a silly blunder, thinking one of my armies is out of supply when it actually wasn't. I had a shot at the Prussian supply train but with a dwindling card count and the threat of Prussian winter reinforcements looming I get cold feet. Hindsight being the annoyance that it is, I should of gone for it. Instead, Austria is in full withdraw mode.



1742 - turn 1 - France


French and Bavarian armies, newly reinforced, advance into Austria proper. The battle for Melk commences...


1742 - turn 1 - France - battle


...and ends with another Austrian Major Victory. The Bavarian forces retreat in disarray but my Austrian hand is now completely void of diamonds and Reserves.



1742 - turn 1 - Prussia


My orderly withdraw from Silesia turns bad as Neipperg (General 5) is caught. After a brief exchange I accept a minor loss but am forced off the main road and into diamond territory.


1742 - turn 1 - Austria


Luckily, I draw a few diamonds. I've since decided I messed up by not taking out the Prussian Supply Train. I can't let the Bavarian get away too. In the north Neipperg gets back on the main road but is unable to get out of the diamond sector.



1742 - turn 2 - France - The turn it all went wrong


Turns out chasing down the Bavarian supply train was a bad idea after all. Go figure. The French stack of doom moves south and engages my stack at Linz.




1742 - turn 2 - France - battle


An Austrian minor defeat soon follows. I played all of my newly acquired diamonds and just managed to escape. The Austrian hand is now down to just three cards. surprise



1742 - turn 2 - Prussia & Austria


I forgot to take a pic after the Prussian turn. I'm sure it had nothing to do with Neipperg getting his butt kicked without playing a single card... Nope, I was calm, cool and collected. Was that sweat on my brow? No way, you must be mistaken. Austrian's don't sweat. You ever see the Terminator break a sweat? I didn't think so.

Neipperg, my once proud army of 8 has been reduced to a tiny force of only 1 troop. In response I shift over my Northwest army to the Silesia front. I advance a depleted army of 1 towards the Bavarian capitol. If I can take it perhaps I can stomp out the Bavarian threat for good.




1742 - turn 3 - France


I have the Bavarian army marked wrong. It's actually only at strength 1.


1742 - turn 3 - Prussia & Austria


Prussia aggressively pushes into clubs. Knowing that I have 0 clubs I opt for a counter offensive. Lucky me the Prussian player left his supply train vulnerable. Yoink!

The Holy Roman Emperor is elected and France gets it with Prussian support.



1743 - turn 1 - France


At this time I'll direct your attention to the Political track. You'll notice that I played a Reserve for 16 points and then, realizing at the last second the Saxony becomes an Austrian Ally card happens this year, I decide to conserve. This allows two cheap political victories by the French and Prussians who both move the Russian slider a combined three spaces. The locked away Prussian army is freed and he gets +1 TC to boot. Ouch!

The Bavarian army is strongly reinforced and sent back into the field. On the Flanders map the French waltz into Mainz, gaining them the Electors Victory Marker.



1743 - turn 1 - Prussia


Cut off from supply the Prussian player quickly pulls back towards home. His newly freed 4th army + supply train move south to meet them.




1743 - turn 1 - Austria


With a fresh Prussian army on the way my deep thrust is endanger of becoming surrounded yet again. And once more Austrian grand plans for Silesia and beyond are cast aside as I make a move to pierce the retreating Prussian armies and get back into friendly territory. Battle ensues but the Prussians escape with hardly a scratch. My southern army camps comfortably in spades where I feel I have a strong hand.




1743 - turn 2 - France


Yet, not strong enough. The valiant efforts of Khevenhuller (what a name!) are no match for the massive French hand weighing in at almost the same size as a fresh deck. The last French Victory Marker goes down. Game over, the French take the win!


On the plus side the Saxons became Austrian allies that very turn... too little too late.



So, observations:

A strong opening hand for Austria is merely an illusion! The early heavy fighting was fun but it cost me a lot of cards for not enough gain. More importantly it made me look strong and the board reacted accordingly with the Prags taking all pressure off of France. Of course this didn't have the effect the Prussian player wanted as I tended to avoid conflict with the powerful French hand and threw most of my efforts into Silesia where I felt I had a chance. The result was a more or less easy victory for France. Though I have to say I was surprised I lost that last battle. I felt going in that my spades were good.

The Prussian player revealed afterward that he had 0 hearts through the first year of the game while at the same time I of course had very strong hearts. Through all of our games if the Austrian player has a good heart hand then Prussia is in trouble. Flanking east or west has yet to be effective due to the limitation of Prussia having only one supply train. I don't know how others deal with this problem but for us it's been a big deal. Prussia has yet to have a successful game in our group.

I've noticed we typically don't spend too much on reinforcements on the Major Powers but the minor guys like Bavaria get the undead treatment. No matter how many times you kill them they always come back!


I'm curious how I could of played this differently. I couldn't convince the Prussian/Prag player to pressure the French on the Flanders map and I knew I wasn't up to taking out the French forces in Bohemia. Should I have just annexed Silesia and moved to deal with the French? But that would be giving up several Victory Markers and allow the Prussian player to build up just so he could renew an assault on my northern border at about the same time my moved armies would be engaging the French. If anyone has any words of wisdom I'd be happy to hear them.


I really enjoyed playing the Austrians. It felt like such an uphill battle but every moment was very intense and for the first two years I was doing pretty good on winter scoring.

38 
 Thumb up
5.50
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Diz Hooper
Japan
Osaka
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A great session report! Feel free to post more like these. Reports like this really give people who don't have the game a good sense of what the game is like. Much better than a wordy review of the game rules.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon
Canada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Great fun. Thanks for doing it for us.

Although I have Friedrich, I know next to nothing about this game. Now I know something. Cool!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Konstantin Hamann
Germany
Dresden
Germany
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great session report!
Makes me want to play it again!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
richard sivel
Germany
berlin
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mb
A great session report! Thank you very much!

Strategically, I think Austria should have waited in Silesian hearts instead of attacking the Prussian general in diamonds (Brieg). The encirclement and 3-suits-crossborder counterattack was too risky!

Furthermore, eliminating the Prussian supply train in 1741, turn 3, was a must. (Even if Austria is oos. Remember that you do not have to stop moving when eliminating a supply train (in difference to Friedrich).


When looking at the moves more deeply, I find some anomalies which can be rule mistakes:

1741, turn 2, France: B1 moves only 2 cities. Instead it could have moved 4, with the last 2 being forth and back, that is: the end position would be the same, but Linz would have been conquered.

1741, turn 3, France: B1 moves through Linz, but it is not marked conquered. Later, there suddenly is a conquest marker on Linz.

1741, turn 3, Prussia: P3 moves through a Hussar. The hussar should be removed from the board.

1742, turn 4 (you call it turn 1): Austria stops moving on Linz, but the conquest marker is removed from the map. This is not correct. You only conquer on exit (you have to leave the fortress!)

1742, turn 5 (your turn 2): It seems like during Politics, Saxony went neutral. However, the Saxon pieces had not been put back on their set-up cities. That is not correct.
(In your game, you seem to have put the Saxony back after Prussia's move)

Remember also that once Saxony is neutral, the Saxon pieces are allowed to move inside Saxony. The Austrian player makes these moves.

Remember also that a neutral Saxony votes for Austria in the imperial election. On the electoral college, you should mark Dresden with an Austrian election marker. (I interprete that you managed the electoral college in difference to the rules, and adjusted it only for the cities on the Bohemia map)


1743, turn 7 (your turn 1), France: F2 and F3 move through Zwettl which is protected by A3. However, a conquest marker is placed on Zwettl. That's wrong.





8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tacitus Sleven
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
wrote:
1741, turn 2, France: B1 moves only 2 cities. Instead it could have moved 4, with the last 2 being forth and back, that is: the end position would be the same, but Linz would have been conquered.

1741, turn 3, France: B1 moves through Linz, but it is not marked conquered. Later, there suddenly is a conquest marker on Linz.


I can answer these two.
Turn 2, I didn't think about it, completely missed it.
Turn 3, we forgot to add it and later just added the VP to the board when we realized the mistake.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Evans
United States
Richmond
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Richard you don't miss anything, you're killing me! I was hoping to sneak a few of these through. lol

Quote:

Furthermore, eliminating the Prussian supply train in 1741, turn 3, was a must. (Even if Austria is oos. Remember that you do not have to stop moving when eliminating a supply train (in difference to Friedrich).


I totally agree. I labored over the decision for quite awhile and then chickened out. It's not that I thought the rules prevented me, I was just worried about another surround and my lack of cards. I knew my opponent was confident in Spades and that worried me. Also, I knew he could just buy another Supply Train and with winter approaching he might beef up his armies and just take the oos hit. But I agree, I totally should of gone for it. The decision not to is still killing me!

Quote:

When looking at the moves more deeply, I find some anomalies which can be rule mistakes:

1741, turn 2, France: B1 moves only 2 cities. Instead it could have moved 4, with the last 2 being forth and back, that is: the end position would be the same, but Linz would have been conquered.


I believe this was merely a non-optimized move. He utilized the back and forth tactic several times later in the game.

Quote:
1741, turn 3, France: B1 moves through Linz, but it is not marked conquered. Later, there suddenly is a conquest marker on Linz.


I think we merely forgot to put the counter down until after I took the picture. That actually happened a couple of times.

Quote:
1741, turn 3, Prussia: P3 moves through a Hussar. The hussar should be removed from the board.


On the Austrian turn you can see the Hussar is gone so I think I just snapped the pic in haste.

Quote:

1742, turn 4 (you call it turn 1): Austria stops moving on Linz, but the conquest marker is removed from the map. This is not correct. You only conquer on exit (you have to leave the fortress!)



When putting the pics together I noticed that one too. Thinking back to the move I was dithering on where to place the army. I knew I had 4 movement and so at first had moved back to Emms (in order to capture the fortress) for whatever silly reason I ended up deciding I'd rather be on Linz and merely used 3 movement but forgot to put the marker back. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Quote:
1742, turn 5 (your turn 2): It seems like during Politics, Saxony went neutral. However, the Saxon pieces had not been put back on their set-up cities. That is not correct.
(In your game, you seem to have put the Saxony back after Prussia's move)


We at first thought the Saxons had to move back to home on their turn as quickly as possible and that is what is caught in the picture I think. A later read through of the rules revealed they actually teleport home instantly.

Quote:
Remember also that once Saxony is neutral, the Saxon pieces are allowed to move inside Saxony. The Austrian player makes these moves.


Ooh, this I didn't know. I remember Tacitus saying the opposite. Very sneaky Tacitus, not wanting me to set up for a Prussian push! I keed, I keed.

Quote:
Remember also that a neutral Saxony votes for Austria in the imperial election. On the electoral college, you should mark Dresden with an Austrian election marker. (I interprete that you managed the electoral college in difference to the rules, and adjusted it only for the cities on the Bohemia map)


hmm, sounds like you really did catch us on this one. Totally slipped my mind. Any other mistakes on the electoral college front are just that, mistakes. We were trying to play by the full ruleset. whistle

Looking closely, I see we forgot to mark the electoral college for Austrian Control of Koln and Dresden as well as French control of Trier. Unfortunately the difference wouldn't of been enough, as I count it the French/Prussian political alliance would of still had enough votes to grab the crown for France. But you're totally right, we goofed there.

edit: I think we merely forgot to update the Electoral College board until the time of the election. In the 1743 turn 1 (turn 7) picture you can see we had the Electoral College correct (save for Dresden of course). At least I think it's correct. It's totally possible I'm messing up another rule. eek!


Quote:
1743, turn 7 (your turn 1), France: F2 and F3 move through Zwettl which is protected by A3. However, a conquest marker is placed on Zwettl. That's wrong.


I totally caught this one when writing the original post. I was jumping out of my seat! lol. You hear that Tacitus? You sneaky man you. You wouldn't of won! Austria lives to fight another day! Nevermind that whole illegal stealing of Linz thing I pulled earlier.



Richard, thank you for the post. It's always way cool to get comments from the designer (even if he is telling you how much you screwed his game up! ). I suppose there is only one thing for us to do... we're going to have to play another game of Maria! Eventually we're going to get it all right and then I don't know what Richard will do. I guess by then he'll have a new game out and the process will start all over,

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tacitus Sleven
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Quote:
1743, turn 7 (your turn 1), France: F2 and F3 move through Zwettl which is protected by A3. However, a conquest marker is placed on Zwettl. That's wrong.

I totally caught this one when writing the original post. I was jumping out of my seat! lol. You hear that Tacitus? You sneaky man you. You wouldn't of won! Austria lives to fight another day! Nevermind that whole illegal stealing of Linz thing I pulled earlier.


Man completely missed that. I don't think the outcome would have changed much, just added one more turn I think. I was holding 6 10s at the end of the game (Nevermind they weren't in Diamonds)

Quote:
Quote:
Remember also that once Saxony is neutral, the Saxon pieces are allowed to move inside Saxony. The Austrian player makes these moves.

Ooh, this I didn't know. I remember Tacitus saying the opposite. Very sneaky Tacitus, not wanting me to set up for a Prussian push! I keed, I keed.


No, no, remember I was the one who moved them when I played Austria


wrote:
Quote:
Remember also that a neutral Saxony votes for Austria in the imperial election. On the electoral college, you should mark Dresden with an Austrian election marker. (I interprete that you managed the electoral college in difference to the rules, and adjusted it only for the cities on the Bohemia map)

This was the important one I think. If France had lost the election Austria would have won on winter scoring if they could have held on
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anton Telle
Germany
Berlin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice report. I liked to think through it.
A small mistake, I think: It looks like in the winter between 1742 and 1743 Prussia bought a supply train and moved in its turn. You cannot buy supply trains in winter, only armies.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Evans
United States
Richmond
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dang, got us on another one. I just assumed supply trains could be bought during the winter. Thanks for the correction.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Curtis
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Furyn wrote:
Dang, got us on another one. I just assumed supply trains could be bought during the winter. Thanks for the correction.


Just so you know, my first few games playing our group had waaay more mistakes than this game had
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Curtis
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Any reason why the Prags decided to run away at turn 3 and then just do nothing?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Evans
United States
Richmond
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It coincided with a Prussian defeat. He wanted to take the pressure of france so france could hurt Austria thereby enhancing his Prussian position. He was planning to engage again with the Prags, and started to at the very end, but he waited too long. A similar tactic had been done in an earlier game and it payed off when a fully stocked and rested Prag beat down a depleted France in only a 2-3 turns. Essentially, in this game France won before he could make his move.


Still, I think this game a is a good example of what not to do on several levels....

Austria, no matter how nice their starting hand, needs to play defensively.

The Prag/Prussian player needs to play aggressively on both game boards. You have two chances to win so take both opportunities.

If the French (or presumably Austrian) player can convince one of the other players to back off his odds of winning go way up. This same strategy is not helpful for the Prag/Prussian player (at least not directly) as he isn't fighting a multi-front war out of the same hand of cards like the other players are.



I can't help but think, in this game, had I conceded Silesia to the Prussian he may of no longer seen me, Austria, as the only threat on the board and some semblance of a true three way fight may of occurred. Of course, It also seems to me, had i gone this route, I would of been in the weakest position of the three and so really my chances of winning might not of gone up at all. I'm still not sure what would of been my best play. Gun for Prussia and hope to win before France gobbles up my home land, cede Silesia and try to play the other two off each other, or some other idea that hasn't occurred to me yet.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Curtis
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Every French victory I've seen so far is due to the Prags not bothering France enough or at all. And the Prussian player inherently thinks if he keeps the pressure off France, France can use that power against Austria, and give Prussia a better chance to win. The VPs it takes to win though and everything else I've seen shows that Prussia can't win the VP race against France though and has to use the Prags to fight.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Delano
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Dexsting wrote:
Every French victory I've seen so far is due to the Prags not bothering France enough or at all. And the Prussian player inherently thinks if he keeps the pressure off France, France can use that power against Austria, and give Prussia a better chance to win. The VPs it takes to win though and everything else I've seen shows that Prussia can't win the VP race against France though and has to use the Prags to fight.


It should be pretty obvious why. The France/Bavaria card draw is bigger than the Prussia/Saxony card draw, and Saxony will probably go away at some point. If the Pragmatics sit on the sideline there's almost no way Prussia will win the race.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ty Wyman
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Interesting post. I have struggled to deduce the relative significance of political versus military use of TC points. With its scant reference to the former, this report suggests that the political aspect of the game doesn't much matter in the outcome.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Evans
United States
Richmond
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
oh, I disagree. Politics is extremely useful for the Austrian player. In this game I didn't play as heavily into politics as I should have and well, I lost. I think the best way to go as the Austrian player is to be very conservative on the field for as long as possible while being very aggressive on the political board.


Politics is also very important for the Prussian as losing Saxony as an ally is a very real possibly. Also, the Prussians begin play with an army off board. Strong political play can essentially field two extra armies for the Prussian player. This is not negligible.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tacitus Sleven
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I would have to agree, in our games so far the political track has been very cutthroat and Prussia hasn't been able to keep up if Austria plays agressively. The best Prussia can usually hope for is to keep the sliders close to their start points unless Austria ignores the politics.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Curtis
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Politics can also be influential in choosing the trump suit. If you're about to attack someone in that suit and calling it trump; if your opponent uses a card, it is less armies they have for the battle.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
eryn roston
United States
San Diego
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
this game looks a lot like my first game of Maria where the Austrians and Prussians seem to spend all their time on eachother while france just dances across the board for the victory.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.