Friday 1 March 2024

Origins of WW1

 Another trip to Origins of WW1. I was Britain, Tim Germany, Russell France, John Austria-Hungary and Pete was Russia. This was an unpublished Jim Dunnigan game covering diplomatic actions in the lead up to WW1. Its better known successor was Origins of WW2, which uses similar mechanisms but is more complex. Russell has converted it to Powerpoint format so we can play it remotely. 

Basically each major powere has a number of Diplomatic Points they can play each turn on other territories (printed next to the country name, so I had 14 points a turn). You need 10 points or more to gain a Treaty with the target territory, and you can also make one diplomatic 'attack' a turn to reduce/remove another players diplomatic points in an area using a CRT which features a lot of Exchange results. For example, if someone has 12 DP in an area, and you attack with three DP at 1:4 and roll an Ex, you've unmade the Treaty in that area as the Ex removes 3DP. 

All very simple. The mind bending part is the asymmetric victory conditions. Each country gets different VPs for treaties with different areas, some countries get extra VPs for exclusive Treaty Rights in an area (so they have to kick everyone else out) and some countries have special objectives like denying Germany or Britain any Treaty rights at all, or in Britains case, stopping any other power getting more than 11 VP (in which case I get +10 VP). 

Which playing  as Britain means I need to keep track of every other country's VPs each turn and block the most successful ones. I can still lose, as if I don't get any Treaties, I only get 10 points and other people might get 11. Argh, my head hurts already.

Off we go slapping points down. My main objectives are to block Austria-Hungary and Russia, as they can both beat me with exclusive Treaty Rights in Serbia and Turkey respectively (AH gets a huge VP bonus for an exclusive Treaty with Serbia). I'm not so worried about France and Germany as they have mutually opposing objectives, so can knock bits out of each other, I do need to keep an eye on them though, as one of them has the bonus objective of blocking all British treaties.

I pile into Turkey and Serbia.

Bloody Russia! The Far East is an exclusive objective for Britain, worth loads of VPs, it is also worth VPs for Russia., so they put 8 DPs (green box) in the first two turns. You can only put 5DP a turn into an area, so I run the risk of losing the DP race in 'The Great Game', but I'm busy in Turkey and Serbia.

After  few turns, the British presence in Serbia has been reduced to a mere (red) 5, as AH (yellow) has 20 points left after repeated DP offensives to kick me out. Fortunately the Russians have piled 16DP in as well, which will keep the Austrians busy. I just need to get the Austrias below 10 here, I don't care (much) if Russia gets a Treaty. Russia gets far fewer VPs that Austria does for Serbia.

I apparently have loads of points in Greece, as does Germany (grey). This is a minor objective for both of us, and I just put spare points in as and when. I do need a Treaty with someone to avoid Germany getting a bonus for blocking any British treaties. Germany is busy in its struggle with France over Africa though. There is also a lot of interest in Italy.

A few more turns. Bloodbath in Serbia, I am down to zero, but so is Austria. The Russians emerge victorious, but I don't care much about that: Austria losing the diplomatic struggle  is worth -10 VP.

France and Germany both have strong Treaties with Germany, I have (finally) beaten Russia in Turkey. Shades of From Russia with Love. Greece is a Mexican standoff between Germany and Britain, neither wants to risk a 1:1 attack (33% chance of AE!). Both Rumania and Italy are jointly controlled as minor objectives by Austria, Germany and Russia (in Rumania).

The last turn and the final scores for treaties are:

France 5, A-H 8, Germany 11 and Russia 11, Britain 3.

However no-one has scored more than 11 points, so Britain has met its special objective and maintained the Balance of Power, so +10 VP, for a final score of 13. Britain wins! I think that also means we avoid WW1, for now. 

We got through that in an evening, so ran it again next day.

I just followed the same strategy as they day before, but with more concentration of effort in Serbia, Turkey and the Far East. I didn't get distracted by Italy and Africa, and I didn't make so many 1:1 attacks. I still failed to get any points for the Far East as I forgot I needed exclusive Treaty Rights, so I forgot to attack the Russians.

It didn't matter though as once again I managed to stop anyone getting more than 11 points, so got my bonus objective.

Final score: France 5, A-H 8, Germany 11 and Russia 6, Britain 3, but +10 = 13.

So in this game Russia did worse and Germany came second.

We've played this game several times now, as has John B with his group, and a British victory is a a more common occurrence than other countries, so I do wonder if Britain has an edge? Having said that, I played Britain in our very first game of this and the Austrians obliterated everyone else, so it may just be the luck of the draw.

No comments:

Post a Comment