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Sunday, 20 November 2016


For our latest Thursday game, Rick and I gave Quartermaster General: 1914 a try. With two players, I took the Central Powers (Germany, Austria/Hungary, Ottoman Empire) and Rick the Entente powers (Britain/US, France/Italy and Russia).
Initial set up.
Despite there only being two players, each 'country' has it's it's own turn, in strict order, using it's own themed deck and drawing from a limited pool of units. The object is to accumulate points in the scoring rounds (17 rounds, score on rounds 3, 7, 11, 15 and 17), when countries gain points for objective areas that they occupy.
The game in full swing.
During a turn each country has the chance to play a card from their hand, prepare (play face down) a card and use a card already prepared. Units are built by playing the appropriate card from the hand or recruited using event cards.
There is no movement in the game. Territory is gained by attacking a region, playing an attack card. The defender gets a chance to use any prepared defence cards. The attacker then gets to play any sustained attack cards they have prepared. An undefended attack or a sustained attack that exceeds the defender's cards removes the defenders unit. A unit can then be built on the empty territory.

The finite number of units and the means of expanding your territory mean that each country needs to have a plan that they stick to. It is possible to co-ordinate the actions of the powers, to an extent, but a lot will depend on the initial card hands drawn.

As we played the game, it became apparent that the card decks were important in more than one way. One other function of cards that are prepared, and some event cards, is to cause attrition. This means that the target country has to discard cards. As decks are not replenished, this means that the affected country loses potentially valuable cards and also it's ability to continue the war is reduced. If a country runs out of cards, they continue in the game, but lose victory points when called to discard cards.

In the game, the Austro-Hungarians started well, expanding to the south. The Germans and the British fought inconclusively in France and Belgium.Later in the game, the Russians started to affect the game, drawing troops away from Europe. The Austro-Hungarians/Ottomans ran out of cards, which allowed the French/Italians to hold off an attack on Italy.

Unfortunately, we did not have time to complete the game, and called it as an 18 point each draw after 11 turns out of the 17 completed after three hours. It will definitely be a Saturday game, when we have more time. Perhaps once we are familiar with the game, we can squeeze it into an evening.

It is an enjoyable game with subtle mechanics that give it an historic feel.

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