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Subject: Set-up of Economic Markers Feels Fiddly...Am I Missing Something? rss

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Paul Pressley
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I've read the rules, run through a couple of mock turns in preparation to teach this to my group, and I'm really liking what I'm seeing so far. Most of the game feels nicely streamlined, except for the placing of the economic markers during the set-up. Am I totally missing something here? Because I feel like things are progressing interestingly with the back and forth of placing single units on each city and then things screech to a halt when you have to tally the values of each city to determine the halved difference to adjust one army's economic marker. It seems fiddly because it's easy to lose track of which cities you've counted and you have to move each unit slightly to see the value of the city beneath it. Am I doing this correctly? Are there tricks folks have found to smooth out this process, like tracking the values as pieces get placed, or does it simply become more intuitive after a few plays?

(Frankly, it wasn't even entirely clear to me what was meant by "city" at first. Initially, I assumed it meant only the starred locations like Madrid and Barcelona, because I normally wouldn't refer to the likes of Ayamonte as a city--very sorry, Ayamonte!--but in the victory conditions, those stars are specifically called Victory Cities. And looking at the examples and at session reports, it's clear people are tallying everything to get a total of 67.)

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patrick stevens
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After placing all the disks on cities, we move them slightly off the cities to see the numbers. Then we count as we move them back onto each city. Both sides can count fairly quickly at once.
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Paul Pressley
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Simple enough, thanks for the tip. We'll give it a try in our next game.
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Cristian Cano
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pauljackson wrote:

(Frankly, it wasn't even entirely clear to me what was meant by "city" at first. Initially, I assumed it meant only the starred locations like Madrid and Barcelona, because I normally wouldn't refer to the likes of Ayamonte as a city--very sorry, Ayamonte


Hello Paul,

I'm from Ayamonte (although I live in Seville for work) so I'll try to answer you what is the possible reason for Ayamonte being on Popular Front's board.

Ok, it's true that Ayamonte is a little town but in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) was an strategic location due to being situated on the border with Portugal. There was high transfer of arms, ammunition and even food transported by smugglers through the river which separates both countries. Salazar's dictatorship had begun some years before the Spanish Civil War and he supported the Nacionalists same as other countries as Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy, even the US. They didn't want to see a socialist country so near, the USSR was enough.

Also three provinces: Badajoz, Sevilla and Huelva (in which Ayamonte is located) were very important from a strategic point of view in the first months following the Nationalist's uprising because this faction's priority was connecting the Northern front with the Southern one through a corridor to facilitate the supply of troops in the territory controlled by them.

Of course Madrid and Barcelona were more important (and bigger cities) in the SCW but Ayamonte also has a slot in this sad history that even nowadays has Spanish society divided despite the war finished more than 70 years ago.

Paul, I hope you like Popular Front as much as me.
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Paul Pressley
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Very cool background, thanks for the perspective. No doubt that Ayamonte played an important role in the Civil War, and if it came across that I suggested otherwise, then I apologize. I've spent significant time in Spain and really appreciate Spanish history, so this game was high on my want list. The fact that it's a wargame hybrid that supports multiple players makes it even more awesome. We had a chance to play it earlier this week, and my interest is even more piqued to explore further strategies. I definitely am enjoying it!
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
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One tip: since the total is fixed to 67 (the example in the rulebook is 30+37), you only need to count one side. We all help to count one side's points and it's easy and fast.
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Ken Shogren
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Here's another option...

Use a single running count as you place. One side adds to the total, the other subtracts. Halve the end result and remember who was adding vs subtracting to determine which side moves in on the starting position.

Red: (placing on a 2-city) +2
Blue: (placing on a 3 city) -1
Red: (placing on a 2 city) +1
Blue (placing on a 0 city) +1
Red (placing on a 1 city) +2 (difference = 2 => 1 point in at start)
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