Well, I let my Dad talk me into trying a two-player game of Successors. I was hesitant, because I could tell that it really needed four players to work right. However, he’s much more interested in the Diadochi than World War I, so we eventually went for that.

It does actually work decently for two players. It isn’t as good as with four, but it is still a worthwhile game. Since we had to start with pretty much a full explanation of the game, it took a while to get going, but play accelerated nicely as we went along.

We did the four generals option, and I got Perdiccas, Ptolemy, Antigonus and Craterus. This gave me a fairly nice starting position, mostly towards the center and south. My Dad got Leonatus, Antipater and Lysimachus giving him a very solid block in Europe and Asia Minor, as well as Peithon, out east in Media.

The ‘extra’ cards your supposed to draw to make sure that certain events happen with enough regularity only did something twice during the game. The relative positions ensured that I was the Usurper (thanks Egypt, that 6 points does a lot for that). Most all the fighting happened in Asia Minor. I claimed the King of Asia title fairly early, while my Dad nailed down the Hellespont.

From there it was mostly a slow retreat eastward for me. I could (and certainly did) win battles, but it was hard to keep the same concentration of force in the area as he could easily manage. The later parts of the game featured front-line armies of 8 units (the maximum before attrition sets in) with a combat value of 16. I generally had a bit more to spare, and was working a scheme to join one army with another, and then hit him with the combined force all in one move, but it had yet to happen by the end of turn 3.

The battles see-sawed back and forth a bit, but I lost Perdiccas in the first turn, which in turn led to losing Phyrgia (as it turned out, for the rest of the game), as I didn’t trust a minor general to win against the remaining enemy forces, and it took some effort to get Antigonus up there (everyone else was busy), as well as taking on Demetrius early in the second turn. I generally ended up defending behind the pass in Cilisia.

However, the threat I generated eventually led him to abandon the low-level sparring that was happening in the east (some movement and a lot of worry on both sides), and march Peithon west to Asia Minor. This led to me eventually abandoning Champion status at the end of turn two, as I besieged Ecbatana and took it, eliminating all of his influence in the east from isolation.

Turn three was a desperate race against the clock for my Dad, as I had control of the heir, Heracles, and we were nearly equal on Prestige (I was three below him due to Condemnation, but that was it), and I had a comfortable eight point lead in Victory Points (which was narrower than it had been…). This led to a risky battle that he lost, but was about his only chance to open things up enough to destroy my VP lead, even temporarily. As it was, I barely won, and he couldn’t come up with much else during the turn. So as of the beginning of turn four, I declared Heracles King of Macedonia, with myself as Regent.

Again, it worked surprisingly well as a two player game, and I’d be less adverse to playing it that way in the future. It was a good time, and, I think, a good introduction of Card-Driven Games to my Dad. (Not that I’ve played any of them other than Successors.)