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Subject: Fierce war in East hands win to HRE rss

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Greece
Thessaloniki
Macedonia
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Last night me,
Christos Mallis
Greece
thessaloniki
Evosmos
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and
Stefan
Germany
Berlin/Thessaloniki
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had the opportunity to play a session of this game, with fourth player, the game designer
Lefteris Iroglidis
Greece
Drama
Macedonia
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as an opponent/tutor.

The first impression of the game components was good, but we have in mind that it was just some hand made components and not an official release. The map was very atmospheric, gives the impression of an old middle-age map.

Then we had the setup, which is a big + for the game. The whole setup takes place in less than 5' and another 2' we needed to decide the nations of each player. I took the Saracens, Christos the Byzantines, Stefan the HRE and Lefteris the Moors.

Another 10' were needed for Lefteri to explain fully and comprehensively the rules. The rules were simple. That means that the game is a light historical medieval area control game and not a strategic game or a wargame.

In turn 1 everybody tried to do some positioning to his units and some expansion to neutral territories. We all succeded except the Byzantine player who failed to conquer Crete. All the others conquered some neutral island in Mediterranean.
The next turn we had the first war between players, when Byzantines invaded the Saracen territory. Saracens failed themselves in invading Crete despite the admiral bonus but expanded succesfully in Africa, meanwhile Moors and HRE continued to expand to neutrals without problems. At the end of turn the 2 muslim powers formed an alliance.
Turn 3 shaw even bigger tension between Byzantines and Saracens, with Saracens landing in Minor Asia (Ephesus) and Byzantines continuing their march South with an army win in Jerusalem and an Navy win (with Admiral bonus) against Saracen Emperor in Alexandria. In West the Moors took Mallorca from HRE, but HRE gained 3 territories when the Army conquered Croatia, the navy Corsica and the Emperor suprisingly invated the Moorish Spain in Toledo. After turn 3 HRE had a clear lead to all others.

The time had passed so we decided to skip turn 4 and moved directly to Turn 5. Saracens launched a counter offencive to Byzantines. First they paid for an Armenian raid to Trebizond, then having seen the power of Byzantine Garrison, took back Sidon with the Admiral, won the Navy with Emperor (a paid move and attack) and tried unsuccesfully to defeat the Byzantines in Jerusalem. The Byzantines gained Arabia, Cyrrenaica from Saracens and they also had an Armenian raid in Aleppo. After that in West the emperors march in Iberian continued for HRE and along with the conquest of Serbia gave enough territories to HRE, with Moors only managing to conquer Sicily.

HRE finished first with 12 points, 9 had the Moors with Byzantines and Saracens a long way back to 5 and 4 points receptively.

My conclusions: The game was a very pleasant surprise, given the fact that it is a total effort by only one person. It is a fast entertaining, but still accurate area control game. The lack of luck and the meaning of good planning give the game more credits. So is it everything good in this game? Of course there are some points it can be improved. The designer explained that historicaly the battles were devided between East and West Mediterranean, but still it could have been more interaction, between the two parts of the map.

As for the strategy? Like in real life, prudent play and careful choise of how many battles and when to give them, proved better strategy than aggressive total war.

Overall I rate it "very good" in this draft stage and I hope that with small improvements in the final publishing it can be an excellent game.
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Mauricio Torselli
Brazil
Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo
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Christos,

Just finished to read the rules and I have a question about your post: For the battle, you have to pair 3 cards with the cards of the opponent. Since this pairing is face down, how can you say: "The lack of luck and the meaning of good planning give the game more credits" ?

Lack of luck? Planning? Can't see much of these here.

Am I missing something?

Thanks!

Mauricio.
 
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Greece
Thessaloniki
Macedonia
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Well obviously we have a different definition of the term luck

Not all the cards are the same and not all the cards have the same strong battlefields. It is up to you to divide your cards in a way to match your strategic goals. Of cource the same goes for your opponent. After that there is nothing else involved, no dice, no blind card drafting, no random factor. The best army in the given battlefield wins.

I hope I helped you

Stavros (Christos was another player and Οχιά means viper )
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Bob Shurig
United States
Springfield
Illinois
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In you session you said that "the time had passed, so you skipped turn 4 and went to turn 5". What does that mean by that, as I don't understand why you would skip a turn? Thanks
 
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Greece
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It was more a playtest game and we just skipped the turn We really were short of time and we prefered to skip a turn and finish the game, rather than play turn 4 with the risk to leave the play incomplete.
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