A little while back, I got in the new edition of Successors. Generally, it’s a four-player game, and we currently have four in the regular group. But, Jason tends to get busy between teaching duties and working on his advanced degree, and so he hasn’t been available.

I have a friend, who is something of an old-time gamer, but he’s in school and is generally busy. After the latest reshuffle of dates, I mentioned it to him last Thursday and he said, “Sunday? I can do Sundays.” ^_^;

So, the four of us (me, Mark, Patch, and Zjonni) finally sat down to it today, a little over two weeks after our initially scheduled time. Despite the extra time to prepare, there was of course the requisite amount of head scratching and misplayed rules.

I got Antipater and Lysimachus as the two generals of my faction. This was a very nice consolidated location, with initial control of Macedonia and Thrace. While everyone else went out on grand adventures, my policy was to play a quiet conservative game and try to slowly grow my power base without attracting undue attention.

Patch had Perdiccas and Antigonus which gave him Phrygia and Babylon, as well as initial control over the body of Alexander the Great. The initial maneuvering of course involved lots of claims of control over the bulk of the Asian territories. Patch expanded into Lydia, Mesopotamia and Susiana. Zjonni drew Peithon and Craterus, giving him Media and Cilicia; he moved south into Syria and parts of Mesopotamia. The first coup of the game was early in turn 2, when he played Treachery to spirit Alexander’s funeral cart out of Babylon and gain control of it. He subsequently marched the cart into the near east, and it rested for a while in Damascus.

Meanwhile, Mark got Leonnatus and Ptolemy, and therefore had Helespontine and Egypt. This also made him the Usurper. His initial expansion north into Judea and Syria ran into Zjonni moving south, and at the end of turn 1, we had the first battle of the game. Craterus lost the battle (barely), but Ptolemy lost his life, which left Mark in a much weakened position as he had to rely entirely on Minor Generals in that area for the rest of the game. Also, three Unrest Spreads cards turned up in the first two turns of the game, and the first two hit Egypt.

This caused the Usurper to become Patch on the second turn, who retained that status for the rest of the game. Mark ended up retaking Egypt and leaving it well garrisoned before moving out again. In the meantime, he spent his efforts around Helespontine working his way around Thrace, breaking my control of it, and working on controlling the entire Hellespont (worth 2 victory points). I had to start generating garrisons so that if he wanted to get into Macedonia (my worry) he would have to forgo his Champion status. As well, I moved into Bithnia to take control of it, and left a garrison behind in Nicaea, which frustrated Mark’s ambitions.

Most of the game for me was losing lots of troops in sieges, and beating those armies that did come my way (mostly the independent Illyrians). I did, after some struggle, take Athens, but I kept having to fight off other problems, rather than actually nailing down control of Greece. Admittedly, the plan was to put it off a bit, rather than draw the attention that the six victory points would generate.

Meanwhile, Patch drew Seleucus on turn 2, giving him a third general, and automatically got Demetrius on turn 3. He was in the lead, he had four major generals… and we had a hard time disengaging from each other to attack his position. Zjonni had a great plan to work over Patch’s back areas with the Indian Elephant Corps, but Seleucus arrived in Babylon with Anti-Elephant Devices and defeated that army handily. The fighting in the near east continued with Alexander being buried in Tyre, and then Mark managed to take it from Zjonni in a close-run battle.

I had ended up with Treachery in my hand myself and was wondering if there was any way to get an army out to the near east, spirit the body out into my army and then get it back for Pellas for a proper burial (10 legitimacy points, which would put me close to a victory on that basis–and it’s rare enough that just being able to say I did it would have been nice). But Alexander got buried before I could come up with anything, and that was the end of that plan.

Losing Tyre also wrecked Zjonni’s plan to win a surprise Legitimacy victory (which wouldn’t have worked because he hadn’t properly realized that Cleopatra needed a card to activate, not just a capture). In fact, none of the marriage cards, nor Plans of Their Own ever showed up in our game. One of the surprises in our playing was to realize that each turn only uses up a little over half the deck. I had expected that we would burn through most of it, after Surprises were burned.

I might have been able to disrupt Patch’s control of Phrygia, but I was still burning movement points like mad on seiges, and Mark gave up his Champion status to become a Successor, and started making threatening moves towards Macedonia again. This meant he no longer had anything to loose by attacking me, and I was free to attack him. Polypercheron (Antipater having died and been replaced by him) came up and drove Leonnatus into the sea at Chersonessus. Free, for the first time in the game, of enemy armies on my doorstep, I was getting to be in a good position.

However, at that point Patch managed to take control of a couple more provinces, and got the points he needed for an automatic victory.

We’re looking at the next meet being in a month. At the moment we’re looking at Conquest of Paradise, but we might end up with five people, at which point we’re thinking more towards Soldier Kings or Civilization.