Over the past weekend, I had a chance to play some of my board games and I thought that I would give a quick write-up of how they went down.
Merchants & Marauders
The first game that I played was Merchant & Marauders. My son has been wanting to play this again, but we usually only have an hour or so to fit a game in. The game usually ends up taking a couple of hours or so. In this particular game, my son drew more of a pirate captain and I continued my streak of drawing a merchant captain. We were neck and neck for the first 3 Glory points, with my son slightly in the lead. Unfortunately, after he bought his Galleon, he tried to switch to a merchant role, and he doesn’t quite grasp how to maximize that trading role yet. Here is the breakdown on the Glory points earned:
- 1 – Merchant Raid of 12+ Gold
- 1 – Bought a Galleon
- 1 – Defeated NPC
- 2 – Trade 3 or more In Demand goods
- 1 – Bought a Galleon
- 1 – Defeated NPC
- 1 – Found a Rumor to be true
- 5 – Gold Stash (50 gold)
Axis & Allies 1942 – 2nd Edition
Later that evening, I fit in a partial game of Axis & Allies with 3 other guys that I occasionally play board games with. This was my 2nd attempt of playing this game (albeit with a different group of guys). The previous time was called because the German player was in a hopeless situation. Unfortunately, we didn’t end up being able to finish this one. We only made it through 3 turns in 4 hours (probably 1 hour of that was game setup and rules explanation). I’ll try to give a quick rundown of the game turns. I played Russia & United Kingdom, so I might remember those turns better.
- Summary – The Allies were fairly fortunate in the combats this round, with both Germany and Japan having a couple of battles that went horribly. There were many interesting (imo) choices made by the players.
- Russia – Captured the German territory bordering Moscow. Didn’t send enough unit to hold the territory, though, so lost some valuable units. Started the movement of troops from eastern Asia toward Moscow. Bought a bunch of infantry.
- Germany – Unfortunate to lose two subs to a UK destroyer. Took back the territory that Russia had just captured.
- United Kingdom – Sunk the Japanese fleet to the west of Australia (no losses). Consolidated the fleet around the UK. Built a destroyer, aircraft carrier and a submarine.
- Japan – Opted not to attack the Hawaiian Islands, and withdrew the fleet to the west. Captured some of China and pushed into Northeast Asia.
- United States – Took back one territory from Japan. Destroyed an undefended Japanese transport. Didn’t buy anything first turn.
- Summary – This turn was more balanced on the battles fought. Germany probably should have taken Karelia, but it didn’t work out. The Allies were missing some of the pressure that could have been applied by the US. Japan’s land attack had faltered a little because he kept leaving the transports undefended.
- Russia – Reclaimed the territory lost to Germany previously (destroying some tanks in the process). Also moved into a vacated land. Bought infantry.
- Germany – Launched a large assault on Karelia, but had to retreat due to large losses. Started moving through Africa toward India. Big industrial bombing (5) on Britain.
- United Kingdom – Destroyed the German fleet in the Baltic. Dropped off some troops in Norway. Captured a 4 IPC island from Japan in the Indian Ocean. Bought transports, men, and artillery.
- Japan – Pressed further inland toward Moscow. Also captured some more land in southeast Asia. Consolidated the fleet around Japan.
- United States – Not a whole lot. Killed another Japanese transport. Ended up purchasing lots of boats and planes, with some infantry.
- Summary – Some back and forth in this round, but a little progress by the Allies overall.
- Russia – Germany’s failed attack the previous round had left it exposed, so Russia pressed toward Germany, provided a buffer to Caucausus and Karelia. Bought more men again.
- Germany – Reclaimed some of the territories that Russia had moved into. Captured Saudi Arabia giving them control of the Suez Canal.
- United Kingdom – The southern fleet moved to the waters around India. Captured the German land north of France. Liberated some lands in southeast Asia that Japan had captured. Bought artillery and infantry.
- Japan – Took out the last US presence in China. Continued the press toward Russia.
- United States – Moved closer to Japan and Germany.
When trying to recount this, I was starting to confuse some of the events. We might have actually played 4 turns instead of 3, but I can’t remember for sure. We also hurried through an additional ‘blitz’ turn, but since none of the moves were something that would have been done if there was a subsequent turn, they were some very lopsided fights. At the end of the other turns, I felt that the Allies had the advantage. Japan had conquered a decent portion of Asia, but without the transports, their attack was beginning to falter. UK and Russia were in decent positions to reclaim the territory quickly. Germany was starting to fall under pressure from the UK and Russia, and with the US arriving, would probably wear down. Of course, Germany and Japan still would have provided considerable challenges to conquer.
The game was very strange and many ‘odd’ decisions were made, but it was all fun in the end, which is the most important thing. I have no idea how it took us so long, but I will chalk some of it up to unfamiliarity.