Not so long time ago I had pleasure to familiarize myself with Time of Crisis game. I must admit I quickly become fan of this fast-paced, straightforward but enjoyable game. It is perfectly suited for Play by Email (PBEM), has interesting deck-building mechanics and adds a random element (Barbarians) in a very well-thought although simple way. So when Brent asked if I want to join the Vassal game that was a no-brainier – I went for this!

We played in four of us – Brent, me, David and Mark:

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Initial starting positions and first turns (click to enlarge)

After first 2-3 turns of relative peace things started to stir. Let me guide you through some of the most interesting points:

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Things start to happen (click to enlarge)

(1) Mark moved to Britain pretty quickly. However, in the same time Brent moved north, contesting Gallia, finally winning long battle and taking over province.

(2) Pannonia was a place of constant struggle between Mark and David – not surprising, as this was a border between theirs parts of empire and everybody was willing to get “the third province”.

(3) Brent also took Aegyptus as Africa was constantly flooded with Nomads – they even managed to get to the Hispania…

(4) I was slowly building my empire, investing in legions, repelling the Sassanids and their leader (Ardashir). So far so good as for the first game…

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Middle of the game – Emperor throne first taken! (click to enlarge)

(5) Mark being under constant pressure from Barbarians (Franks), Brent and David really had no chance to re-build.

(6) Pannonia was finally won over by David. He also took later on Galatia from me. That is benefit of good central position. The drawback is that you are actually surrounded from all sides…

(7) Brent decided to go for emperor (as he said,  to survive 3 seconds) and I thought it could be fun to try get the throne for me then. I was not sure if I am doing this right, if this is not too early but… it turned out to be a really good move!

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The final situation (click to enlarge)

(8) Pannonia again changed hands and finally was governed by Mark. That was most contested place – although three attacks of David on Rome were also intense.

(9) Africa after some struggle was conquered by Brent but Nomads were coming, and coming…

(10) After 3 turns as emperor I was replaced by David (in third attempt! that was a real example of relentless pursuit of the crown!) only for himself to be replaced by Brent. It was also a moment when it occurred that this is indeed the last turn…

(11) The fact that we will be finishing (Brent as emperor and over 60 points) took me to some extent by surprise, but I learnt that it is good to have balanced hand each turn. Being last limits your option at the beginning of the game, but allows to you to do some interesting stuff at the end. And that is what I did, clearing scores of Barbarians, scoring for provinces and improvements and by sheer luck, winning by 1 point…

That was very interesting and informative game, I have learnt a lot about the strategies, game mechanics as well as interesting turns of fortune due to events. And talking about events – Plague really influenced our game, as increased causalities were both a nuisance and a way to deal with Barbarians.

Can’t wait to play again Time of Crisis!