[If you would like to read other session reports from my blog in English, just click on Category: In English]
My fellow group of gamers is always keen to help me get into the world of the new board games – that was the situation with Falling Sky (52 BC and 54 BC scenarios) as well as Churchill (report in three parts: part 1, part 2, part 3). We also played Empire of The Sun, but that waits in a queue for another time to write the story of our long games. However, today I would like to share how I introduced Marcin , Konrad and Jacek into a beautiful world of Pericles!
I fully agree with the statement of Pericles author – there are two reasons why games are being played and are popular – topic/climate and… length of game. Not everybody can devote 8-12 hours of continuous play to have full scenarios of some games played. With that in mind I started to explain the game to my group of gamers. Together with Marcin, Konrad and Jacek we played together 6 quick scenarios, which really well showed us game mechanics. That knowledge of course was be used to play further, longer scenarios…
1 and 2. “The Ostracism of Thucydides” and “Sparta Declares War”
The first two scenarios – or rather short vignettes – we played simultaneously. It was 10-15 minutes of play, which focused purely on internal debates within Athens and Sparta. What was very neat, was the fact that both scenarios were strongly connected to history – Marcin was debating with Konrad expelling Thucydides and I had been involved into interesting debate with Jacek whether Sparta should declare a war (later called Second Peleponesian) against Athens.
In the first debate the outcome was most surprising, as it was Pericles who was “ostracized” 🙂 Well, such things happen in games 🙂 In the second one however, while Jacek won the debate, I managed to prevent a declaration of war and game ended in a draw.
Two short games but so much fun – we started to grasp how to debate and what are differences to Churchill:
3.”Death of Brasidias and Cleaon”
The next game mechanic for us to learn, was how to conduct battles – and here also we had some mini-scenario prepared for learning purposes. The forces are of course pre-defined, as they reflect the true battle. We have started with the battle of Amphipolis, were two famous generals – Brasidias and Cleon – perished. Well, actually it had some positive effects, as after losing such outstanding figures both sides were much more willing to sign the peace treaty – what actually pretty soon happened and First Peloponesian War was concluded.
In our battle, Konrad and his Athenians (blue) and Delians (white) with great satisfaction crushed attacking Spartans (red) and Peloponesian League (yellow) of Jacek – to be quite honest, we are still amazed how he did this:
Second battle-orientated mini-scenario included both land and naval battle. And it actually was telling the story of infamous Athenian expedition to Sicily – well, if you need grain / granaries in game terms you are desperate to do everything. Historically, the expedition was a total disaster and losses in the native Athenians – irreparable (if I can say it that way).
5.”Battle for Central Grecee”
Now, another step on the learning curve. We already know how to debate and win issues, how to fight battle. Let us now combine all that and play some scenario on a main map. We have pre-defined issues, only some theaters open and one turn to play. Initial set-up looks like this:
Sparta was lead by me and Jacek, and our strategy was simple – strike at Corinth and try to get Nauptacus as a bonus – which worked! Athens – Marcin and Konrad – were mainly willing to finish war with Persia and were no match at land. It finished in Spartan victory – final situation on map:
Well, we’ve broken the ice! Now get ready for something more complicated…
6.”War in Time of Peace”
…which will be a full one-turn scenario, with all the elements of the game. So we first debate the issues, which we later will play in Theater phase. This time Sparta was led by me and Konrad, while Athens by Marcin and Jacek.
A lot happened during that one round, and we had really a lot of fun:
- Sicily was almost fully cleared from Athenian presence
- Corinth and Boetia – historically – had to give-up in front of Sparta might
- Aetolia was an interesting theater, where after some struggle, Sparta also prevailed
That was really crushing defeat for Athens…
That was a long Saturday evening, but a very productive one. We really enjoyed all the scenarios, especially the last two. However, a question arose – do Athens have any chance? They were crushed by brutal force two times in last two scenarios and we really did not have any idea what to do about it… Well, small spoiler here 🙂 we already had our second “Saturday evening with Pericles” and we found the answer. But that session report will be published some time later.
Couple additional worlds about actual reason for this article / session report: the training system for Pericles. It is simply fantastic – I can say this not because somebody told me or it is written in the Rule Book. I saw it in action, with 4 (including me!) players completely new to that game – the way it unfolds the parts of game, step by step, and then brings it all together, makes it much more digestible and easier to learn. Also, what could potentially repulse some of the more casual players (full blown game immediately) becomes much more accessible to a wider forum.