So, the game finally arrived couple of weeks ago. I read and played Playbook, read the rules, played the playbook once again. And decided to continue the second Playbook game for a while… and one more turn… and one more turn… (have you played Civilization series on PC? – “one more turn” syndrome is very addictive!)
I prepared deck for short play, so 3 winters (if I recall correctly). I played with each faction, executing best move possible. No bots.
=> Saw a clash of Romans and Belgae – Ambroix can do really nice damage, and actually 3 legions went to fallen! (with 4 on track, fulfilling one of two Arverni victory conditions)
=> Romans tried to react and did some damage
=> But all that gave a lot of time to Arverni, which took advantage and decimated Aedui, expanding into western regions of Gaul
=> First winter saw Arverni short 1 ally from victory… But with almost all warbands built up, they seemed to be in good position to win soon!
=> Arverni decided to start looking for additional ally disc in Sequani region, which proved to be big mistake
=> Romans lost almost all subdued regions, and decided that they need to restore Supply Line (Sequani of course)
=> Belgae very cleverly stayed off the fight, and used 7 Germanic Warbands to harras Arvernin owned Mandubii
=> Auedui built two citadels (Birbicate, Avaricum) and started slowly to rally
=> Second winter saw Romans in very poor position (8 points), Arverni and Belgae close to victory, Aedui in the middle
=> that was year of miracles; first Belgae – using 7 German and 10 own Warbands, completely razed Mandubi region, taking control of it (and finally building the citadel); at this moment in time Belgae had 18 points – so close to victory if game just finished!
=> but it was not to be so! Romans decided to strike back, and completely obliterated Atrebates region (with 3 Belgae Allies and 3 points for control)
=> Arvernin moved from Sensones, and devastated 3 regions to stop spreading of Aedui disease…
=>… but nothing could stop Aedui now! They built up warbands in previous year, and now used them to gather resources and with Suborn, place allies, remove allies or add their warbands. It was so powerful Special Ability that they took over Venetii, Brittain and even Gergovia! Also contested Pictones. Devastation was not able to stop them in in the end THEY WON! A result no other faction was able to forseen!
What a game! Arverni so close to victory! Then Belgae dominating decisively, and in the end – Aedui winning. Nobody wile tell me that Aedui is weak faction, oh no. You can really make a lot of noise with them – just need time to prepare, gather resources, and sent agents everywhere.
Romans, well… Tended to keep too much forces in one place and their supply line was always threatened…
Final image of my game:
Now time for 54 BC scenario – I like it as start is from minimal number of forces, and whole Gaul is open!