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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First games with my wife... rss

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Martyn Smith
England
Bourne
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"We don't see things as they are, but as we are." Anais Nin
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I fully realise that as a newbie to this game my, ahem, 'session report' will be rather amatuerish. Nonetheless, as a broad, generic overview of my first handfull of games with my wife I hope there might be a little of interest and certainly, on my part, a whole heap of humility...

Once I'd done my research and plumped for CCA as my first foray into wargaming I was very excited when it arrived. Aesthetically I found it very pleasing and strangely I even enjoyed putting the stickers on (even feeling ever-so-slightly-sad when I'd finished them... shake)

So, I set up the first battle and played solo to get a grip on the rules. The long story short is that no grip was got without the help of fellow BGGers and their ultra-fast and to the point assistance. I had the iPad at my side and when I encountered a problem that I couldn't resolve from the rules I put up a question in the forum and it was usually answered with clarity and speed even whilst I was still playing!! My gratitude goes to all of those who helped during this period...

I then played against my 16 year old son (who had been at the forefront of my mind in the buying of this game) and had some satisfying, if a little bit sketchy, games. I won each of these, not easily but well and we both enjoyed the experience. It also led to loads of fascinating conversational tangents, "would you have liked to have lived in that era day?"; "do you think you could actually kill a man in battle dad?"; "do you think it would've been better to die young, but in battle with your comrades or live a longer but more mundane life now dad?" Great stuff.

Anyway, I digress.

And so onto my wife. Well, to say that she is against adversarial games would be the understatement of the decade. We come from Euro-gaming stock and her favourite games are those in which we co-operate (Pandemic is her all-time best game) - she won't even play Carcassonne if we're 'too mean'... Gentle girl.

With HUGE reluctance, therefore, she shuffled towards CCA - the only reason that she'd play it at all is that she bought it for me (my birthday isn't until December and she says that isn't fair on me, so she now give me Birthday 2 half-way through the year - this year it came a little bit early )

She really didn't like that there were 'loads' of rules and she didn't like talk of 'battles, fighting, strategy, dying, etc'. This wasn't going to be easy...

The long story short is that she absolutely desimated me!!! And I mean complete and utter scorched-earth annihilation!!! sauron

I had nothing - really nothing that I seemed capable of doing in order to change the situation. So, we turned it around and I was the Carthaginians. Worse, much, much WORSE...

It felt like I was up against a brick wall, every foray I entered into failed, her ranged attacks murdered me and sent me into retreat. She was even driving me off the field of battle...

We set up a new scenario - I mean, it couldn't get any worse could it? Yup, the previous games had simply been a warm-up for her and now the destruction was complete. I came out with one (ONE!!!!!) victory banner to her seven zombie

The whole experience has thrown me into disarray - why am I so incompetent against her?

I admit that she's a scientist and a mathematician - but how could these abilities lead to such destruction in this regard? Her previously-held views on co-operative gaming still stand and yet now she is more than willing to play CCA and try all of the scenarios. In fact, pain of all pains, she is actually starting to feel a bit sorry for me as I lamely march towards what feels like inevitable destruction.

Sigh.

I guess it's all my fault - I wanted her to play and now she's happy for me to buy future expansions. Hmmm, maybe this could be turned to my advantage? If I KEEP losing (which currently requires zero effort whatsoever... ) then maybe she'll buy me the whole set, by which time I might even have found out what is going so abysmally wrong?

This then is my honest/humility post where, in front of fellow (albeit FAR more competant and capable) BGGers I admit my failings, hopefully eliciting sympathy, empathy and maybe a little bit of solace, catharsis and advice (and, I am sure, a well-earned dose of abuse blush)

I am off work today with my wife and we've set up a new scenario. Gulp.

I am still REALLY enjoying playing the game and it feels a LOT better now that we're getting a handle on the rules and the 'feel' of the game.

Once more into the breach dear friends...
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Steve Norton
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Great work, my friend. You lost the battle, but you won the war. Long live Ancients!
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Stephen Harper
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You are in for a very good time with this game and all of its expansions. One of my top favorites, still going strong via VASSAL.
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Jason
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'tis a great game, I only bought our copies because of my wife and she loves it.
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Kyle Smith
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Yeah, a math background will definitely help. Not just can you figure the odds of hitting off the top of your head, but you can guess at the odds of said unit surviving afterwards! More often than not I've lost not because I failed to launch a successful assault, but because I failed to consider the position I put myself in once the assault was over.
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Christian Holmes
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My wife really enjoyed CC:A and any of the other Commands and Colors games. She REALLY enjoyed them we played them quite often!

I say ENJOYED. We havent played in quite a while because I think she is tired of WINNING.

Almost every game turned out to be total annihilation for my side. It actually got quite funny! I would push up two red units with a leader. Ext to them, roll BUNCHES of dice and get nothing but a flag. Next turn, she would push up a green unit or two, and totally knock out one of them. I would spend a turn regrouping, and soon enough, the other red unit would go down. It was quite funny that when I attacked her, no matter how many dice I rolled, I could usually get her units down to one block, which she would pull back. She would put a few units forward, roll a few dice, and BAM! My unit is dead.

It saddens me, because I still LOVE the game!
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Martyn Smith
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"We don't see things as they are, but as we are." Anais Nin
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spaztian wrote:
My wife really enjoyed CC:A and any of the other Commands and Colors games. She REALLY enjoyed them we played them quite often!

I say ENJOYED. We havent played in quite a while because I think she is tired of WINNING.

Almost every game turned out to be total annihilation for my side. It actually got quite funny! I would push up two red units with a leader. Ext to them, roll BUNCHES of dice and get nothing but a flag. Next turn, she would push up a green unit or two, and totally knock out one of them. I would spend a turn regrouping, and soon enough, the other red unit would go down. It was quite funny that when I attacked her, no matter how many dice I rolled, I could usually get her units down to one block, which she would pull back. She would put a few units forward, roll a few dice, and BAM! My unit is dead.

It saddens me, because I still LOVE the game!


Goodness, we live in identical parallel-worlds!!! What would happen if WE played each other? Would we BOTH lose? What about if our wives took each other on???????
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Mathematicians are pretty good at sequential thinking and analysis. A thorough and in-depth understanding of probability doesn't hurt either, and mathematicians often remember things like how many Line Commands have gone - without having to try that hard.
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Minot
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Some people, too, just seem lucky . . . While the law of averages does work out over the long run and a large population, an individual can be extremely "lucky" over a finite period.

That, of course, does not define me, which is why I stay away from most forms of gambling (Blackjack excepted) like it's the plague.
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Martyn Smith
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"We don't see things as they are, but as we are." Anais Nin
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Goodness - this was two years ago - what a nostalgia-fest re-reading it this lunchtime

Unfortunately, since this original post I have been unable to get my wife to return to this game. To be honest, when mentioned she is dubious about whether she even played it with me at all! (This post will re-remind her )

I still play it with my son though, in fact, we had an absolutely EPIC session last week which reinvigorated our interest in this thoroughly enjoyable game.

Thanks for rekindling some very happy memories...
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