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Subject: The free world remains free… rss

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Alex Schönbohm
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The free world remains free…
Our first play, I took US and Anja (my girlfriend) was the evil empire, which she didn't like at all.
First turn and my hand of cards makes me smile, just one red event card which is devoted to the first satellite in orbit called "Willy". The Russian bear cursed fate for a bad start with lots of blue event cards and so the first turn ended in +5 for the US.
After ensuring the Russians that future hands will be in their favour, the next turn started and VP swayed around the small plus US side. Europe seemed secured for the US but the soviet blockage brought control over western Germany and thus the gates were open for the red wave to flood western Europe. gulp This opened up the opportunity to take France as well and a fierce battle occurred around the control of Italy. But Italy resisted the temptations of commu-nism and for quite some time it was the last battleground in Europe to fight against oppres-sion. Meanwhile things got hot in the middle east but the US was able to gain some ground here and secure its position. Asia was a lost cause during early war for the US and the red empire spread its evil doctrine throughout Africa (taking control) and Cuba.
The US effort to improve their position in central America worked at the beginning but the red devil took control of Panama and the US couldn't do much about it. In the meantime the US took control of south America which was never really threatened by the USSR (but the $&§$’§$$ scoring card never showed up until last turn angry ). During mid play the VP score always was deep inside the red side, going even down to -18 but fortunately the European scoring card did not show its ugly head so that the struggle continued. Towards the end the iron curtain began to crumble and Poland turned to the light side of the force, East Germany could follow all the way but at least USSR lost control over it.
The last couple of turns the score was slowly creeping to the blue side of the track, in turn 9 it was at 0.
Fate was with me in the last turn when I was able to play Chrenobyl as headline event and of course I chose Europe. Anja had the south America scoring card, but I had to draw a card from Russia in order to discard it and draw this very card, aaaaaarrrrrrrggggghhhh there goes my 10 VP for control of south America. angry gulp Fortunately the USSR had to play their last ops card giving me 2 VP for holding the China card and after that I used the China card to gain dominance in Asia.
After final scoring the US won with a mere score of 1.
The US was always leading the Space Race while the USSR had some bad dice rolls there.

This was a very tense game where you always wanted to do more then you could afford and really hated to play enemy event cards as ops. I believe we played according to the rules and I am not so sure that I won because of superior play since it was so close at the end that anyone could have won with a little luck on his side.
It took us 6 hourse to finish the game but time flies by like nothing. I a looking forward to our next play though the playing time is a little too long for Anja's taste, let's see whether I can convince her to a further game...
 
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Philip Thomas
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Erm, how did you manage to a) score points for holding China Card at game end and b) play the China card on turn 10?

Anyway, a very nice session report , good to see USA winning for once.
 
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L. Scott Johnson
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Erm, how did you manage to a) score points for holding China Card at game end and b) play the China card on turn 10?


He didn't score 2 VP for holding The China Card at the end of the game (which would only score 1 VP), but rather from the USSR's last card play which the USSR used for Ops. That cards was probably Nixon, which is a US event, so while the USSR player got 2 Ops, the event gave the US player 2 VPs for possessing the China Card.
 
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Alex Schönbohm
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Rulemonger wrote:

He didn't score 2 VP for holding The China Card at the end of the game (which would only score 1 VP), but rather from the USSR's last card play which the USSR used for Ops. That cards was probably Nixon, which is a US event, so while the USSR player got 2 Ops, the event gave the US player 2 VPs for possessing the China Card.


Exactly how it happened...
 
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Jim Crimmins
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6 hours?!? Yikes... I've been reading that this is a 90min to 2 hour game... was there a lot of rules checking or deliberation? Just curious.
 
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L. Scott Johnson
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6h is at the high end, I'd guess.

90m is improbable, but could happen with luck.

I'd say 3h is closer to the "expected" time.
 
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Alex Schönbohm
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jcrim13 wrote:
6 hours?!? Yikes... I've been reading that this is a 90min to 2 hour game... was there a lot of rules checking or deliberation? Just curious.


Not a lot of rule cheking but indeed some deliberation, isome say that I am a little bit on the slow side when taking my turn. But I didn't have the impression that we had analysis paralysis, well at least not often So much to do with so few cards... But honestly I don't think that you can play a full 10 turn game wihthin two hours.
 
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Jason Matthews
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Excellent session report. I enjoyed reading it. In response to the play time question, I've found that most of my games with newbies take around 4 hours + if we go the distance. The main issue, beyond contemplation, is familiarity with the cards. Each card in each hand has to be read and considered. Combinations have to evolve in people's minds etc.

However, if you play the game several times, a full 10 turn game can be accomplished in 2 1/2 hours without much stress. I've done it routinely, but people need to know the events without reading them.

Jason
 
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Jim Crimmins
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Yeah, my 2 hour time frame came from serious wargamers who had played repeatedly and tagged it at roughly that length... obviously a 1st time play is gonna be slower... then factor in the personalities of the individual players and it can expand/contract from there I guess.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Of course, sometimes the game ends early!

I haven't played it yet. I have said 3 hours to my gamegroup and one of them, Calvin, is interested...I hope it isn't much more than 3 hours cos Calvin isn't very impressed by long games!
 
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