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Subject: What changed in Friedrich for Maria to be 2P listed, and how is it with 2P? rss

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Чебурашка, ты настоящий друг!
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It's a different war on a different map, with a different constellation of alliances. Friedrich was the Seven Years War, with three players all attacking one. Maria is the War of the Austrian Succession with three players all fighting each other (Austria vs. France and Prussia; France vs. Austria and the Pragmatic Army [controlled by Prussia]; the Prussian player playing a schizophrenic game controlling Prussia against Austria on one side of the map and the Pragmatic Army against France on the other).

The two-player game seems to be basically a learning scenario and only details the war between Prussia and Austria. I don't think it is worth buying if you are only going to play the two-player scenario. But I'll admit that I haven't played it.

The complexity is said to be higher than Friedrich due to the introduction of politics cards which you can bid for, but really the increase is only marginal. It's more or less comparable in complexity to Columbia-style block games.

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Чебурашка, ты настоящий друг!
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ldsdbomber wrote:
thanks. 3 is an odd number for a game relying on alliances, but I don't know anything about the history here, so perhaps they're moving or handled otherwise in the game.


The handling of the alliances is very clever: one player plays two sides that fight on opposite sides of the war--Prussia and the Pragmatic Army--which also fight on parts of the map that are not connected. This is not historical, but about game balance. The alliances are set so that everyone is fighting against the other two players. France is allied to Prussia against Austria on the eastern map, but fighting against the Pragmatic Army (controlled by the Prussian player) in the west; this is the other way round for Austria. It creates a very interesting balancing act and perhaps the best wargame for three.
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Reinhard Mueller
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Salo sila wrote:

The two-player game seems to be basically a learning scenario and only details the war between Prussia and Austria. I don't think it is worth buying if you are only going to play the two-player scenario. But I'll admit that I haven't played it.

With two players you also play all powers not just Prussia and Austria (One player controls Austria and Pragmatic Army, the second player Prussia and France). Maybe you mix it up with the basic game, but in the basic game it's also France + Prussia against Austria.
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etagimbo wrote:
With two players you also play all powers not just Prussia and Austria (One player controls Austria and Pragmatic Army, the second player Prussia and France). Maybe you mix it up with the basic game, but in the basic game it's also France + Prussia against Austria.


Quite possibly. As I said, I've never played it. To me it, doesn't sound much fun. What do people who have played it two-player think?
 
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richard sivel
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As a related aside, why do games companies list it 2-3 then (not just this game)... are they trying to get unsuspecting purchasers, or is it just too brave to list "3" players. Seems like anyone doing 1 minute of research might decide this is not a 2P game after all.


Since this question addresses me, I'd like to answer: The rules clearly state that MARIA is designed to be a 3-player game. However, there is a scenario for 2 players. This scenario is fully working, and it is fun. However, it is different in its nature -- and IMO less fun than the 3-player game. But it is working.

The rules clearly state that.

This leaves the open question what should be written on the box? 2-3 players? Or (2) or 3 players? 3 players?

The good thing of icons is that they are easily understood. The bad thing is that they lack detailed information.

---------------------

Regarding the initial question why Friedrich is 3-4 players, and Maria 2-3: Both games are independent games, handle a different conflict, and are very different in their playing style/feeling -- despite the fact that they share some mechanics.
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Bob S.
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As previously noted, the game is designed for 3 players. It has two versions - introductory game that lacks the political system and only takes place on the Bohemia map (ignoring the Flanders map); expert game that involves all rules and both maps.

There is also an adaptation for 2-players. This includes some rules modifications (provided) for each version (introductory and expert).

As it happens, I've only played the 2-player form (twice). (Just haven't had enough friends here simultaneously for the 3-player). While I expect the 3-player game to involve more scheming, negotiation, and more tension, the 2-player game is interesting (if more traditional). On both occasions I played Prussia-Saxony & France-Bavaria (vs. Austria-Pragmatic Army). In the first contest, my opponent conceded during the 3rd year, proclaiming that he shouldn't have tried to win solely by combat (bled himself of troops and Tactical Cards). In the second contest, fought earlier today, my opponent won one turn before I would have by placing all of the Pragmatic Army's victory markers. (He drove into France, nearly cleaving it in half.) If he hadn't done that, the following turn Prussia would have captured two more Austrian fortresses, placing its last two victory markers. (The Austrian generals protecting them had been sent packing during their turn.) As for politics, they seemed to favor Prussia this time.

So: the game is very playable (and enjoyable in a more traditional way) as 2-person. Recommended? - If you happen to have one friend available at the time.
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