They arrived, and we decided on two three-player games. Anja had been keen on Wallenstein from the start, so she, I and Steve became a group. Adam, Sam and Hannah plumped for the equally-German Castles of Burgundy.
I was wished the best of luck, since I was up against two old hands at Wallensteining. Steve started the psychological games early, by reminding me of how I never stood up to Anja in the last game the three of us played. I stayed above it, vowing that it wouldn’t sway me from my tactic.
There was a quick rule refresher, during which I was briefly distracted by the fact that Burgundy (ie, the location of the other game) was on the map of the game we were playing. That both tables were playing a game in the same territory felt like a sort of Marvel-DC crossover.
The game commenced, and I leapt into action. This time I was determined not to wait for my opponents to build up their armies on my borders. Thus, when Anja threatened on my northern side, I attacked, despite being understrength. I got a result. I didn’t win, but I did nullify her threat, which allowed me to concentrate elsewhere.
In fact, tonight was not Anja’s lucky night. She fought one battle, and I put the armies into the tower, only to see her commanding lead vanish by a freakish number of farmers coming out too. The next time she went to war, she asked Steve to drop the armies into the tower, only for the same thing to happen again. She was sitting too far away to see, but there was definitely a stunned silence when Steve and I saw the result as we tried to work out how best to tell her. We tried to cheer her up by telling her that the tower must be packed with red cubes by now.
In the event, none of them came out until the very last battle. By that time, her strategy was in ruins. I had expanded from my position in the west, slowly but surely, eating into Steve’s territories and keeping Anja at arm’s length. I was helped by Anja and Steve fighting over Austria, giving me precious breathing space.
It was a long war, especially with Luther coming down for a visit mid-game. By the time we’d finished, Adam and Hannah had already left. Luckily for me, Sam stayed until the end so I got a lift back.
On the other table, it ended:
And on our table, it finished
Interesting to note how symmetrical our scores were: on Wallenstein, 5 points separated first from second AND second from third, while on CoB 26 points separated first from second AND second from third. Good work, everyone!
Wallenstein is great, if stressful. And it does tell a good story, in which alliances rise and fall and the path of history can change on the result of one battle. Not a game I fancy playing every week, but definitely worth a look every now and again.
On the form table, I think I reach a personal best! Sam squeezes into second on the best-most-recent rule.