Played a 4 player game a couple of nights ago, and commanded the green army. I was teaching three other players how to play for the first time. They all caught on quickly after a brief explanation and we got started. My starting position was among a series of inland lakes and bays and included numerous forest hexes, and I quickly built two frigates.
Red was to my left, Black to my right, and Blue was across from me. Blue very quickly negotiated an alliance with Red and started attacking Black. I was simultaneously fighting Red and Black, and using my frigates to help shuttle troops back and forth between fronts.
I decided to focus on Red, and make some diplomatic overtures to Black giving myself a couple of turns of peace on that front to deal with Red exclusively.
Red had control of a long peninsula jutting out towards me and a mountain city at its point. Without any frigates to defend it by sea, that was an exposed appendage that was ripe for the picking. The city quickly succumbed to my amphibious attack and I reinforced it heavily preparing for a counterattack.
The counterattack failed but my diplomatic overtures with Black began to sour. Blue was poisoning Black's ear as to my intentions and urging him to attack my vulnerable flank. To sweeten the offer, Blue agreed to cease hostilities against Black and to join him in attacking me.
At this point I now faced all three opponents! I was alone, outnumbered, but undeterred!
My frigates valiantly ferried troops from one vulnerable position along my entire front to another, arriving just in time to stave off the next wave of attacks.
I'd like to be able to say that my forces prevailed, that through good leadership, skillful fighting, and a bit of luck, they managed to come through viktorious. But that will have to be for another session report yet to be written.
First Red would attack, and what Red didn't take, it weakened. Then Blue would attack, and what Blue didn't take, it weakened. Lastly, Black would attack and leave little enough behind in its wake. Against such odds, my cities began falling like dominoes, each one leaving its own legacy of honor and courage displayed amidst a desperate defense.
As the Blue and Black armies surrounded my capital, Red struck out on his own, ending the unity of the alliance against me, but it was to no avail. My capital still fell, the desperate counterattack failed, and for me, the game was lost.
With Blue now preoccupied by Red, Black gobbled up what little remained of my once mighty empire, and with a massive land army against Blue and with the frigates that once plied the seas in my navy used against Red, Black crushed them both and claimed his VIKTORY!
The game lasted about 3.5 hrs, which was probably expected, since three of the players were all new to the game.
"It is good that war is so terrible, else we should grow too fond of it!"