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Posts: 1572
Joined: 15 Sep 2001, 10:27 am

Post 19 Nov 2014, 2:44 pm

Hi all,

first off many thanks to Tom for his smooth GMing and for giving us a chance to try this variant.

I was going to try and give separate comments on the map but it affected the gameplay so much that that might prove difficult.

To begin with I was pleased to draw Germany. Its pretty clear its a strong power in this variant...but then so are France and England. My first criticism of the map is that it gives too strong an incentive for FG to team up on England. I honesly couldn't see a more viable strategy. Either we took England down quickly, or she'd grow too fast and it would become ever more difficult.

France was a willing ally in this idea and we set about England from the beginning. I spent plenty of time talking to Russia, Austria, Italy and even Turkey but the early diplomacy was mainly to just keep everyone from ganging up on Germany as the 'strongest power'.

Once we got rolling the FG just pushed East. The East was a bit of a mess and Russia decided to help me over Austria. Another problem with the map is that the dynamic in the East is really warped. Austria looks a horrible power to play and I'm really not sure what else Steve could have done with it this game.

Anyway, from there it was really just a push East/South until I could get close to the 18. Russia was happy to just make sure Austria/Turkey got hurt and France had committed to the alliance a while back. He was still in occupation of Switzerland at the end, an SC that we had agreed would be German but was still on loan to give him builds etc.

So, thanks to all. I doubt anyone will call this one a classic but it had its moments. I'd love to sit down with the game designer and talk him through all the things he could do to improve it. I'm reluctant to spend too long analysing it though unless there is a realistic chance it would get incorporated into the game. IMHO its simply not a finished map yet and still needs a lot of work and play testing. I do like some of the themes and ideas of what he is trying to achieve though.

Hope to see you all again soon.

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Joined: 13 Feb 2000, 11:18 am

Post 20 Nov 2014, 5:36 pm

I think Powell would love good, sincere analysis of his variant. It has already gone through several revisions and I don't believe he is locked into this as the final version. If I'm not being presumptuous, I could forward them for you or give you his email address if you don't have it. I know he is involved in developing another variant right now, but I think if you and the rest of us gave him an after-action report, he would not simply dismiss it.

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Joined: 12 Jun 2006, 2:01 am

Post 21 Nov 2014, 11:02 am

I wouldn't be too hasty to judge the variant based on this one game. There was an awful lot of really bad play in this game (not least from me) which contributed a lot to the imbalance. I've played the variant before and had a different experience.
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Joined: 29 Jan 2003, 9:54 am

Post 21 Nov 2014, 1:13 pm

I also wouldn't judge it on this one game. The variant itself is over 10 years old. My play was completely crappy. England should not have fallen has fast as it did even with being ganged up on by FG. My NMR really skewed the game in favor of the FG alliance.

One key Baron had in designing this map was eliminating stalemate lines. I think that is one of the things players have a hard time with. Almost all other variants have some kind of stalemate line so they are uncomfortable with being unable to find them.