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Subject: Our first game of the new Wallenstein (pictorial) rss

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Merric Blackman
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Waubra
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I have played one game of the original Wallenstein and a handful of games of Shogun. A recent board game sale at my FLGS allowed me to pick up this new edition, and I brought it to the table yesterday. Sarah, John and Garth - all newcomers to the game - helped me break it in. I chose not to use either expansion included with the game (The Emperor's Court and Landsknecht).

The initial seeding of the cubes saw all seven of my blue cubes pop out, but everyone else had 3-4 cubes remain in the tower. The initial placement around the provinces saw the map develop as shown:



Sarah was playing red, John took black, Garth took purple and I was blue. Unfortunately, I couldn't take green, as it's the colour reserved for revolting peasants. This actually caused me some trouble throughout the game, as I rarely play blue (normally I take a white/cream when green is unavailable), and I kept on forgetting which pieces were mine!

Sarah had a plan of gaining points for buildings around the board, but the actual play of the game was soon to disabuse her of that notion.

The first turn was free of major military manoeuvres, with the attacks happening quite late in the piece after reinforcements were placed. The main action occurred around Onnabrück, which Sarah used to attack and capture Erzbm. Köln, only to have Garth attack Osnabrück from the other side - his attack just eliminated all the forces in the space.



Summer saw John eliminate Sarah from the west of the map, in a conflict that saw both sides eliminated (a hallmark of this game). John and I built up our forces in the centre, with me moving out of Würzburg. Otherwise it was a fairly peaceful turn, with some building going on.



Autumn saw John extend his control over the west, while Garth took him out of the north. Sarah's castle in the north was too tempting a target for me, so I attacked it in force, only just capturing it.

Garth expanded south-east, and Sarah found herself with very few troops or provinces on the board. Her attempt to dot herself around the board had not worked out well.



There was then the strangest winter revolt in Garth's Augsburg, where six purple cubes just vanished...

First Winter Scoring
Garth 22, John 17, Merric 17, Sarah 9



Osnabrück saw itself invaded by Garth and then John, with the latter being the one to hold it. John was menacing my centre holdings, but I struck first, taking control of Hessen-Darmstadt and all of the castles in that region, destroying a large reinforcing army in the process. Unfortunately, that left my forces almost non-existent, and John had a large number of forces to take advantage of my weakness in place.

Sarah took Augsburg, and had a LOT of gold. I didn't, as John had wiped out my gold-producing territory with an attack. She also repelled an attack by Garth on Böhmen, but it was looking increasingly difficult to hold.



More skirmishes in the centre saw me holding on (barely), but Sarah took the south-eastern province of Steiermark from Garth as Garth attacked back into Augsburg. I recaptured Würzburg from John, but lost most of my forces into the tower.



The final autumn turn was very entertaining, although not particularly good for me, as John managed to eliminate my forces in Hessen-Darmstadt and Sächs. Lande... while not being able to actually capture them himself. Two perfectly expensive castles died that way.

Sarah was more successful, holding off the counter-attacks from Garth while conquering another province. My big armies in the north didn't do that much - too big, too much out of position.

I managed to take a northern province and church off Garth, but I lost most of my centre holdings this turn. Not so good. John was badly stretched everywhere, but he had enough food to feed everyone, so he was fine.



All that was left was the winter revolts - which only affected Sarah, who had two food left after spoilage, and needed to survive two revolts. Vogtland and its church were destroyed in the revolts, but the other one was weathered successfully.



Second Winter Scoring
John 23, Merric 19, Sarah 19, Garth 18

Final Scores
John 40, Garth 40, Merric 36, Sarah 28

Tiebreaker: John had more money left, and so won the game!

The game - as it now stands - is not all that different from Shogun. The region-specific events are gone, but I haven't played enough of the original Wallenstein to know if that's an improvement or not. The different map configuration does change the game; I'll have to bring Shogun out so Sarah can compare it. As it was, she was hurt by her initial strategy and spent a rather frustrating game having hit a level of no return (at least for novices like us).

It did make me wonder how much the Landsknecht expansion would have changed the game, as it gives bonuses for controlling areas in several regions; it certainly makes Sarah's strategy more viable.
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Mike Spartz
United States
Golden valley
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The bonus from being present in multiple regions is the main focus of which territories I take in the drafting phase. Those cards go really well with the King's court as well since you can use those to add troops to the tray and then you can take those troops to gain courtiers. Not actually sure if that's the correct order of play but that's how my group does it.

Landsknecht is also REALLY REALLY useful if you lose a wheat or tax territory before that order resolves. They are especially useful for missing taxes (you can max that bonus at 10 per year I think) less so for wheat (max bonus of 3 per year).
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Troy Spencer
Canada
Halifax
Nova Scotia
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Necro alert.
Just bought this game, got it on sale for $25.00. There isn't alot of info on this version of the game on the site. Thanks to Tom and the dice tower there is a few videos. This session report was really well done and I enjoyed reading it quite a bit. Was great to see the game unfold with the aid of the pictures.
Much appreciated for a guy waiting as this game is in the mail.
 
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Merric Blackman
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Waubra
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I hope you have a great time with the game when it arrives!
 
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Glenn Darrin
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Wallenstein is such a fabulous underrated game. One of my highest rated and I don't get tired of playing it. And my kids love playing as well, which makes it that much more satisfying as they can learn a little European geography and history while we play. Great job!
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