Despite the fact that we have more and more COIN series volumes, I still find Falling Sky as my favorite one. The main reason is probably because I am a big fan of Ancient Rome history and that this game has a perfect climate resembling that period – you can really immerse yourself in the ancient Gallica and struggle of Caesar to conquer it.
While I played pretty many session face to face (see here) it is often difficult to find the opponents for this game – and it really shines with four players. In such situation Vassal module of Falling Sky (see here) comes with help. The software if really great and the pool of people willing to play pretty vast – so when Brent asked me if I would like to play short, three winters scenario – The Great Revolt, the answer can be only one…
What follows is the session report of one of most volatile Falling Sky games I have played so far – I hope you will enjoy it!
YEAR 1 (52 BC)
The amount of drama and things which happened in first year was so huge that I hardly remember other Falling Sky session with such amount of ground-shaking events.
The summary of actions in first year:
- Following the one of most important rules of Romans – to have as many as possible disperse markers on board – I hit Bellovaci & Atrebates to at least save some of the territory before problems started to grow in the south.
- And they did. Vercingetorix not only moved south, but then acted pretty aggressively, devastating many of the regions adjacent to Provincia (it will have long lasting consequences later). However, he was caught there by Caesar, and – due to lucky for Romans card sequence – pinned down, crushed and executed in battle:
- In the meantime, the suppressed Belgae used the opportunity and started to spread their influence, reaching even Britain shores!
- Aedui is pretty quiet faction; they shown slow but steady development, especially into the West direction.
- While the great triumph over Vercingetorix was one of the most memorable Caesar victories, his preparation for winter 52/5 BC was a real calamity. To the extent that it jeopardized the whole effort – losing 3 legions and 8 Auxilia will have a very prominent consequences. Really, it is hard for me to think how did I allow this to happen…
- And just to sum-up, the capabilities gained by the factions during the 52 BC:
- Baelaric Slingers for Arverni
- Balistae for Belgae
- Baggage Trains for Romans
Summary of a year: both Romans and Arverni are greatly shaken to the point of being broken for the rest of the game; as next year will show that both Belgae and (especially!) Aedui will touch – but not achieve – victory. Let us see!
YEAR 2 (51 BC)
The year 51 BC was on one side time for Belgae and Aedui expansion as well as Arverni and Rome to recover. The trick was – while recovering – do not allow Belgae and Aedui too much advantage – or even – victory. Below summary of that fateful year!
- Belage starts to become famous travellers. After Britain, they conquest / settle Veneti!
- Arverni are gradually rebuilding their forces – Vercigentoix successors appears and new army is being mustered.
- Rome follows similar suit – focusing mainly on rebuilding Auxilia and capabilities (see below). That is neatly used by Aedui who are on the verge of victory. Thus Rome has to break its long-lasting alliance with Aedui and brutally pacify Sequai.
- As far as capabilities are concerned, in three winter scenario we do not have much time to use them. Taking them initially is fine but later on it has to be a great feature (or simply, desperate times). For me these were both and Legio X – one of the best Roman treats – is being raised in year 51 BC:
YEAR 3 (50 BC)
The final year has come – the Rome and Arverni are somehow rebuilt, Belgae and Aedui in quite good position so everything can happen. As you will see, the scores will be extremely tight when we finish the game… The action map follows!
- Having the forces raised again, Rome attacks Arverni region, killing everybody, burning villages as well as towns and in the end, dispersing three tribes living there. Same fate awaits Sequani. Southern flank secured:
- Arverni having their army rebuilt – as well as Vercingetorix resurrected – easily takes back what is theirs – Veneti region:
- Caesar march continues. Mandubi region is next victim and is entirely pulverized by Romans; in general, Aedui in that last year are unfortunate victim of the fight by other big powers
- Belage are of course active and grabs Treveri as well as both Germania regions; struggle for victory continues!
- The last phase of epic Roman march finishes with one last push into Belgica. Actually, everybody (including resurrected Vercingetorix) joins the fray!
SUMMARY OF THE GAME
The final scores were as follows:
- Rome -1
- Aedui -2
- Arverni and Belgae tied on -4
That was hell of a game – I have to admit that I went from enthusiasm of defeating Vercingetorix, into despair of losing half of my army up to the steady and precise recovery in last year, meticulously executed. Aedui (Mark) were for long time my trustworthy Ally, at one point was very close to victory – unfortunately, exactly then our roads departed. Arverni (Richard) had a really tough start and coupled with most difficult victory conditions of all factions, pretty harsh game. Belgae (Brent) quickly recovered and contested victory for most part of the game, losing it in last year mainly due to massive move of Romans and Arverni into Belgae, depriving Brent of control.
On a more general note, I find shorter, two or three winter scenarios of Falling Sky as most enjoyable – allowing for quick and fun game without unnecessary prolonging of the sessions. As there is not build-up of economy and progression of game, such length sounds perfect to me.