Last Wednesday, after a few rounds of Mah Jong at our local club, I had two opponents for playing a game of the new "War and Peace". According to the set rules, when 3 are playing,one controls the French side (Guess who?) and one player controls Britain w/Austria and the other is the Russian. Prussia was neutral and remained so throughout the game.
The stage was set. The British immediately sought out building armies for future transport and improved their navy. I spent time as the French acquiring buffer areas in the east and engaged the Austrians immediately.
Russia took to the standard "Diplomacy" moves to "Sweden", etc. with a Navy and Army unit. The interesting area was Spain. I challenged the British navy immediately with the Spanish fleet and attacked Gibraltar with other units. My fleet failed but I knocked out the British from the Rock on the first turn. They were to never threaten Spain from this area for the rest of the game.
Turn after turn, back and forth, the French slowly whittled down the Austrian army. The player made a mistake by building a Navy and attempting to transport units around the boot of Italy but the French navy prevented any further advances. A Spanish fleet eventually knocked out the British from the South Atlantic and took and held Portugal to get an average of "6" build factors per turn. This kept the shores of Spain free of British takeover. Several beach landings by Britain would succeed in landing only to be eliminated on Spain's turn in a counter attack.
Eventually, a few Spanish units were able to be moved into France to hold the Southern coast. By the time the Russians had maneuvered into position, Austria surrendered. Russia, for some reason was focused on maximum transport ability via the Baltic and allocated a considerable portion of build points on Naval operations. France now had the "20" build points per turn with Austria removed from play and began the slow and steady March toward Russia. Too bad there were not any "weather" rules!!
What looked to be a very narrow contest and I admit also having at one point some thoughts that I may get whipped suddenly turned around to a French victory. I think the key was the Austrian surrender, followed by mistakes made by Russia on too much expense building Naval products. Spain perhaps was the real heroic nation, keeping the British out and eventually securing the South Atlantic, Med Sea and Central Atlantic!
The Russian player suggested that had he been in charge of France he would have invaded Britain for a quick end to the game. His claim was that while the navy was busy transporting and losing troops to Spain, the Brits were leaving themselves open in the English Channel, a few ships with calvary would be effective. One thing to watch. I was not watching my coasts properly and twice during the game I lost a fleet with nowhere to run due to an invasion to an area where my initial troops were defeated, thus losing the ship in the same invasion area, which amounts to a 10 build point loss.
I asked if they would be interested in playing the game again and I received an enthusiastic response. All in all, an interesting game that took approximately 4 plus hours to conclude.