Running a blog can sometimes surprise you very positively. You write your experiences with broad variety of games, creating session reports, reviews, some strategy tips, etc. However, not everybody is lucky to have enough friends willing to play boardgames, especially wargames. So when on one November day Lukasz contacted me via email, stating that he is fascinated with Pericles but had no opportunity to play it yet I did not hesitated even for a moment – we need to meet, I will organize couple of my boardgames friends and we will play!

Pericles has superb system of introducing new players to the game so we started with Vignettes. We played with Lukasz, his friend Leszek and my often companion Marcin. Below some details how the evening went.

Vignette 1

14.1.06 B “Sparta Declares War” – cards

Instead of describing how to conduct a debate, it is much easier to ask new players to play one! Leszek and Lukasz quickly grasped fundamental mechanics, also using the brain trust concept and acquiring strategos by playing appropriately aligned cards.

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Fierce debate, Sparta will declare war!

Vignette 2 & 3

Once familiar with political segment we played two battles, explaining how the units works, their strength, order of battle depending on type of theater.

14.1.10 B “The Battle of Arginusae”- battle

Both battles were from the final years of the conflict. Arginusae was won by Lukasz:

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Close victory by Lukasz

14.1.08 B “Battle of Mantinea” – battle

However, the enormous battle of Mantinea – also thanks to well drawn card – was a total carnage for Athenians. Leszek got his revenge:

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Spartans (Leszek) decisively defeats Athenians (Lukasz)

Vignette 4

Ok, enough of quick introductions, let us see now how it all works on the board! I find Theater Vignettes as superb way to show this to new players. Everybody have a predefined issues and strategos, we play one turn and do not score end of game bonuses. These are already scenarios which cause a lot of emotions and fight for internal (politics) and external (war) victory.

14.1.01 A “Battle for Central Greece” 1 turn theater scenario

The set-up looks like this:

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Initial situation (click to enlarge)

Me and Leszek were Spartans, while Marcin and Lukasz played as Athens. This is pretty straightforward play, with only couple of theaters active, but still allows for some tricks to be tested. One of more common things which happens, are the battles in Corinth and Boetia:

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Isthmus of Corinth Battle

Both were decisively won by Sparta, and if you add the fact they were preceded by couple of very effective raids, the result can be only one:

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Situation at the end of scenario (click to enlarge)

Good test play, allowed for all new players to grab the fundamental mechanics.

Vignette 5

14.1.09 A “War in the Aegean” 1 turn theater scenario

First short scenario went smoothly, so it occurred that we have time for another one. This time we move to almost the end of Second Peloponesian War. Let us have a look at the initial set-up:

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The set-up (click to enlarge)

Again, me and Leszek played as Spartans, while Marcin and Lukasz led as Athens. The main tactics were raids in Athens, but also very bloody battle sin Hellespont. First, Sparta concentrated its units and took hostages in naval battle:

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First Hellespont battle

However, the Athenian counter attack took us completely off guard, devastating the whole Spartan/League fleet and allowing for 25 points switch:

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Second Hellespont battle

As you may see above, for reporting purposes we are leaving all the issues in chronological order next to theater they were played.

In the end, surprisingly but full deserved, the Athens were victorious!

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Final situation (click to enlarge)

Very enjoyable evening! Funny that I finished introducing that fantastic game to another set of boardgamers. I hope next week to have possibility to play with them the full scenario.

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