As usual, I’ve taken the week after Thanksgiving off, and have been visiting my parents. It’s a nice relax-a-week. (And apparently, there’s been a bunch of rain back home, good timing!)

Also, as usual, I’ve taken a bunch of games with me for me and my dad to play while down here. However, I had a feeling I only needed one of them, and I was right. We’ve played three games of Sekigahara over the last few days. Neither of us are fast players, and my dad was taking a while to consider his moves, so the first two games went over four hours. Today’s game moved much faster, and was no more than three hours.

For the first game, I took Ishida, as Tokugawa is considered the easier side. (But what do I know, I won with them the only other time I’ve played.) I pretty well dominated the game, managing to get a good Uesugi hand early on to take out the Date army and hold down that recruitment center. I was able to scatter the initial Tokugawa armies in the west, but fighting raged over most of the map the entire game before getting a very convincing win on VPs, though it was actually a very close game all the way to the end. My dad certainly put up a good fight, and came up with a clever idea: send pairs of three mon blocks off as detached forces for sieges and the like. Deploy them both, and that’s 7 Impact and a dead block.

The next day, we played again, and switched sides. Yes, Tokugawa is much easier to work with. While our final VPs were about the same as previous, I didn’t really feel concerned after the first couple of turns, while I was struggling to keep all the plates spinning the entire time with Ishida. My dad did manage to assemble the western armies into one big super-force at the beginning, which kept me out of there until it could split up again, and I could start taking on pieces of it. However, I got a good start with the Date army, and knocked Uesugi out of the game early, which gave me a comfortable lead  in resource points, and while he blocked up the Fukushima recruitment (except for the second-to-last turn where he uncovered it for a moment, and I promptly recruited two blocks in there), I took most of the rest of the board and got back in there near the end.

Today, we played our third game, going back to our original sides. Unlike the previous two times playing as Ishida, I didn’t have a strong plan of action going in, and couldn’t think of what I wanted to do. This led to immediate problems, as I frittered away my opportunities in the west and did not manage to get into the Ise Bay area (the two south-western Tokugawa castles) until midway into the game, and I couldn’t get my armies sorted out into anything I liked.

I did muster a couple blocks for Uesugi, and got a strong hand for them on week 3. My dad had mustered even more blocks for Date, and also got a hand full of Date cards at that point, and went first. The battle was very bloody, and reduced the Date army quite a bit, but I still lost, and it wrecked Uesugi power for the rest of the game. I did manage to kill a couple more blocks, and forced him to spend more time finishing Uesugi off when I won a follow up battle with loyalty check card (won 3-0, and the defector was the only block I deployed), and followed that up with a 1-0 win against the remainder of that force.

After my muddled opening, I finally pressed forward in the north, and gave the Maeda army a nasty defeat. I wanted to follow up by taking their castle/recruitment center, but right after that another 4-5 blocks mustered there, and I never followed up on it. This was a good thing—for my dad, who admitted he never had any cards for that army for the rest of the game.

Meanwhile Tokugawa pressed up the center, took Ueda castle, and, with some effort, reformed his main army on the Nakasendo road before moving on to Gifu. Gifu was a huge battle, at 7-8 blocks, and almost everything deployed. My dad had the Tokugawa cards however, and the cumulative bonuses for a mostly homogenous army carried the day. I soon counter attacked, and won that battle (my dad had to be careful not to deploy Tokugawa himself, as he wasn’t sure he could avoid losing him—and the game—on the last turn). I won with my picked force, but didn’t think, and reduced him to two blocks, which retreated into Gifu castle to hold it at the end of the game.

Final total was 10-18, Tokugawa’s favor. The losses favored me all game, though I fell behind on resources after my poor opening, and only drew two bonus blocks all game (my dad got one every turn), though I managed to hold more castles most of the time. I also managed to confine most of my early losses to sieges, which helped the card count. I also paid much more attention to my special attack bonuses, which allowed me to get some good similar type bonuses in a couple important battles.