Mike and I made the trek out to Sherwood and Chris' place for Tuesday gaming. I'd recovered from the Sunriver retreat (I am getting too old for this little sleep over this much time), and was looking forward to some distractions from my 20 year old daughter's delusions of grandeur.
Chris wanted to burn down his unplayed games list, so out came Liberte. Plus, Dave wasn't there so other people had a chance to win. This is your classic Wallace title, with multiple people controlling three different political "parties" (it's hard to think of them as parties when a major part of campaigning involves chopping off the opposition's heads) in revolutionary era France. Despite color registration issues between one region on the board and the corresponding cards, plus a missing line in the rules, and that I had played a couple of times in 19-mumbletysomething and that was as good as it got, we did pretty well.
My initial hand was split between the reds and the blues, while Chris clearly was gunning for the white Royalists. I had exactly one chance before the fourth turn to get a white card without drawing randomly, and in fact I didn't have one in my hand at all until the final turn. Because this color has the fewest blocks, it actually gives the person with those cards an excellent shot at pulling off the counter-revolution, and my Reds were working hard to get this across to Mike, who was predominantly blue.
A critical mistake was when I chose not to play a general down and kill off Chris' general with a Purge card, but as I wanted to wait as long as I could, I held off one card play too long and Chris won an easy battle. Sadly, despite drawing about six generals in the game, I was unable to get one deployed and win a battle, and the tied battle in turn 3 was truly critical. Because, you see, Chris managed to get six more CR spaces on the board at the very end of the game to win an automatic victory. Me, I stalled out after turn 2 and only scored 2 points total for Langedoc. Very frustrating.
We did run through the voting process, as Chris hadn't realized he would win a counter-revolution, and it turned out that Mike pulled out a squeaker win due to cards still on the table. Had there not been a CR, of course.
I think that this is a great game, but you need more than three. It's too easy to just focus on one color, and Chris had enough white on the board that a CR victory was almost assured given the free extra space because of the battle. He was able to whip the pile of white blocks down in five or six rounds in the last couple of turns, and you just can't recover from something like that. Of course, if a couple of people are pushing white and you've got five players, the game can end in two or three rounds, so maybe that wasn't the problem. Regardless, this is a game that should come out more often. Too bad we have about a bazillion games like that.
Next up, Mike and I take on Dave in Return of the Heroes this Saturday (assuming I can talk Dave into it).