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Subject: Union or CSA, which is more beginner friendly? rss

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Finland
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What do you think?
 
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Mark McG
Australia
Penshurst
NSW
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Union ..
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武士に二言無し
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Union, but pay attention to firsts turns or you will lose quickly!

F.
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Jon Gautier

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This game takes a while to master. An experienced player will probably crush a beginner with either side. Between two beginners, the Union is probably easier to play.
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Chris Montgomery
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Joliet
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The Coat of Arms of Clan Montgomery - Scotland. Yes, that's a woman with the head of a savage in her hand, and an anchor. No clue what it means, but it's cool.
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Dieroll Honker wrote:
This game takes a while to master. An experienced player will probably crush a beginner with either side. Between two beginners, the Union is probably easier to play.


+1

I would go further and say that between a beginner and an "average" player, the beginner playing the Union usually has a decent shot. The CSA is nuanced to play correctly, and I can admit without shame that I have not reached that point, yet, despite having played the game about 10 times and the CSA twice.
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Jon Gautier

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Jeez, I've played this between 3 and 4 dozen times and I still suck.
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Chris Montgomery
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Joliet
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The Coat of Arms of Clan Montgomery - Scotland. Yes, that's a woman with the head of a savage in her hand, and an anchor. No clue what it means, but it's cool.
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It's STILL a fun game, even when you aren't playing optimally, because the narrative is so rich. I never become a master at games, and I never try - when you operate at that level, the game simply becomes cardboard moving around spaces with rules - an advanced game of Go. I want the story, and the narrative, and for that, I'm not sure how well it carries over to the master's skill level in ANY game. It's like being told there's no Santa Claus - at the master's level, the illusion falls away, the game is revealed as just a game, you aren't actually Jefferson Davis or Abraham Lincoln, your army counters are just cardboard, not armies, and you didn't just win a battle, you won a dice-throwing sub-game. I'd prefer to have my illusions . . . that's why I play games, and because of that, it's also why I don't seek to master them.
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Jon Gautier

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Agreed. I would have given this up long ago (and missed many fun games of it) if my goal was Pei-like mastery.
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Carl
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I understand where you guys are coming from re it being more fun not to master the game like Pei. However my hunch is that Pei would disagree that the games he has played at a higher level were unfun. It might be unfun to many to have to become an expert at the game (and that's fine and understandable) but I think that for those who are willing to put in that effort, the game actually becomes even more fun and intense. For some this kind of increased intensity makes it more fun whereas for others the increased intensity makes it less fun and more stressful. Different folk, different strokes.

As for the original question, I would definitely agree that the Union is easier to play as long as you are very careful at the beginning not to let the AoNV wreak havoc near Washington.
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Chris Montgomery
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Joliet
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The Coat of Arms of Clan Montgomery - Scotland. Yes, that's a woman with the head of a savage in her hand, and an anchor. No clue what it means, but it's cool.
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Well, not to be misunderstood, here, I would never presuppose to speak for how much fun another player has. Obviously, if a person has put in the time, study, and playtime to master a given game, he certainly must be enjoying it on some level. My post was merely to say that *for me* the fun from wargaming comes from the narrative, and there's sort of this law of diminishing returns where the more effort I put into being good at a game, at some point, the fun begins to drop off; though there is a sweet spot where I feel confident and good at a game, but the game still tells a great narrative.

My example I've used was Twilight Struggle. After about 20 plays, I was getting good enough at the game that I was starting to count scoring cards, try to remember which "big" cards had come out already, and doing the math on what scoring cards were getting ready to come up. I realized not too long afterward, that I was no longer having fun playing the game . . . it was an exercise in efficient rule application in order to get VPs to win. The narrative, the story, it was dead. So I stopped playing.

For other players, top-level masterful play, the appreciation and praise one receives, and the knowledge of knowing you are one of the best is a reward in itself. For others, they might never lose the narrative flow of the game. And I think, whatever turns their crank, that's great.
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Jon Gautier

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Yeah, Carl, I think you misunderstand a bit. I know I'll never be a great FtP player, so in that sense it is pointless for me to try. That said, I'm always trying to improve. But whether I improve or not does not diminish my enjoyment of the game.

As for Pei--make no mistake, that guy is having a blast playing FtP.
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Carl
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Thanks for your clarifications guys. Just to be clear I'm firmly in your camp as well. I have no desire to become an expert at FtP - there are just too many other good games out there - though I would like to improve as well if possible. Perhaps I was coming at this too much from a chess perspective where I found that a period of taking it very seriously greatly increased my enjoyment of the game. I'm not master level but around 1800 which is good enough to appreciate higher levels and to give most people a decent game. But chess is abstract and has no real narrative.
I also enjoy Twilight Struggle and would also have no desire to ironly try to calculate that all out. I play mostly by intuition and may do a bit of calculating when necessary to at least play a reasonably decent game.
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Thanks for the answers. It seems to me also that the overall strategy of the Union player is clearer.
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