Seven nations sat around the table in the brand new GAME ROOM and stared in awe at the world which was theirs to conquer. All countries had been distributed at random, Russia was left out, and the world was already seeded for the conquest. After explaining the rules of engagement we began placing military units around warily. Only Austria and Spain had played before, so they were trying to fill in with all the tips they had learned.
That is until the alliances began forming. It would be the Dutch (Something Republics? Whatever they're called we called them the Dutch), Spanish, and British against the Prussians, Austrians, and French. The Dutch-British alliance was standard between the two world leaders, long known for a history of helping each other and kingmaking (which is not particularly frowned upon in my group), but their usual enemy, the notorious King Snacho of Spain (or BagpipeDan as some call him) wormed his way into the alliance. Ah well, we'll pick on France they decided.
Battles erupt instantly. In Germany the WWI buildup begins, while in India the Prussians and British size each other up. The Dutch clean up the East Indies, while the British and Dutch get their rears handed to them in the Americas. Despite the best efforts of the Dutch player and the British player to coordinate their actions, neither can help the other make any territorial gains, beginning what would be a long and cruel reign of French control over the Americas, which would last the entire game.
In Europe, small battles erupted in the Ottoman Empire and some Central Europeans were beat up for their lands, while the Spanish quietly and firmly dominated the Baltic and Mediterranean.
It was then noted that only the three powers Britain, Spain, and the Dutch had the foresight to train their armies. It was also noted that the British, Spanish, and Dutch were fighting a lot of wars. It was also noted that the British, Spanish, and Dutch were all heavily in debt very early in the game. "It's like free money!" King Snacho was heard crying, "I love this game!"
The turn ended with a two point Dutch lead (he wouldn't even count his corruption by the end), a tie for second between France and England (one corruption point and way too many for the first turn, respectively), a tie for third one point behind them between the Austrians and Prussians (nobody paid attention to their corruption), and then trailing by about 5 points was the highly unrestful Spain, with their iron grip on the Baltic and Meditteranean regions. Spain and Britian were very glad they had picked up some banking strategies right away.
The second war also showed an interesting thing. The alliances were the same. Through coincidence, and with purposes far removed from any desire to keep the same alliances, and through considerable debt on the part of Spain who REALLY didn't want to fight the Dutch, the war began to look very bad for the Austrio-Franco-Prussian alliance. The war was a simple one, with two main themes. Crippling conquest in Germany by the Dutch, crippling conquest in the Ottoman by the Spanish, and crippling conquest in the Caribbean by the British, which was then overturned by a spiteful France. Europe was divided between the Alliance of the Violent, while France and Austria picked up on the importance of training your army near the end of the round.
It was too late for poor Austria, though, who had not gained more than 2 points for that turn, with Prussia doing far worse. With a far lead for the Dutch, followed by a near tie between the British and Spanish, it looked like the Alliance of the Violent was going to cinch the game. That is until all the German tiles popped up, and the Dutch quickly saw their iron grip on the German States slipping away. So in came the Austrians, who were promised a German States holding and and Eastern European holding (enough to beat the Prussians, right?) and out went Britain. The entire war can be summed up with the very simple statement of: massive buildup in Central Europe, incredibly pointless buildup in Central Europe, and a lot of unrest for the Dutch and the British
Taking the advice of the Swedish, Spain decided to stay out of these fights and simply reform their government. Aide was given to a Dutch holding in the Mediterranean, and despite a very quick strike against Africa by the French which stole the country from the Dutch and Spanish, precious little property was moved.
When scoring came the draw was close. Austria had gained a bit, while Prussia not so much. France had shot ahead of Britain, who had been stripped of much of his poorly defended European holdings, while the Dutch shot ahead because of their generous Meditteranean dominating Spanish friends. But lo! the Spanish were wily and did take one small plot of Germany, giving them a tie for second there, while the Dutch were mired in the worst corruption imaginable, and were dragged down the seven points, those seven points needed to win. "I should have backed out of Central Europe," he would curse, but his greed had overcome him. The French cured their third place, slightly under the unrestful Dutch, and their 8 unrest points, far less than everyone else. "Why is Spain not punished for all that borrowing he did?!" the French leader would be heard crying. "Government reform, my dear neighbor," was all the reply he would receive.
And so Spain deftly dodged the major conflicts and gathered their wealth in the small pockets of unnoticed land, taking second in many lands and quietly working the alliances for themselves. And the Dutch, mired in corruption but proud in combat, brutishly enslaved much of Europe, nearly dominating the Struggle of Empires but for their strong-arm domestic policies. And the French, stern defenders of their American colonies, claimed third, but with the comfort of knowing they wouldn't have to worry about WWI because the Dutch owned Germany and come on, what're they gonna do?
And poor Britain, a strong and courageous member of the Alliance of Violence, which conquered central Europe, the Ottoman Empire, Germany, the East Indies, Africa, and nearly conquered the Carribean, was left with nothing. A shattered Empire, trying to feed its people from glories long gone, with only their massive army in Central Europe pinning away for their lost pride.
And the moral of the story is always get banking, because FREE MONEY! COME ON! Best game ever.
May you find the Perfect Shoe! xxx
Mostly offline, but trying.
Great report, Dan!