Finally had some of the gang over for gaming yesterday. Patch is busy vacationing in Canada, and Dave is actually attending a convention this weekend, so it was just me, Mark and Jason. Mark and I had tried Crown of Roses 2-player some time ago, and he was eager to try again, in multi-player.

I don’t know about Mark, I’d forgotten just about everything I’d learned the first time around. Combine that with being generally busy (partially with numerous other reading projects), so that I didn’t get through all the rulebook again, and we had a slow day. (Also, this was our first time with the living rules, which really has re-written a fair chunk of the rulebook, though I don’t know how big the changes really are.)

At any rate, I ended up with York, and started off with an aggressive policy of trying to trap a small army in Norfolk. This went badly, as Bad Weather Delayed the Attack, twice, and Lancaster (Jason) cleaned up the rest of the area behind me. On the other hand, he left a few more block scattered around, and I ended the first turn by bringing Henry the VI to battle and defeating him. This left Buckingham (Mark) in charge of the country by virtue of holding the Chancellor’s Office, but I had the more votes available. I promised Mark that I’d give him support for Chancellor and Earl Marshal if he voted for me for King. He duly did, and I kept my promise, even if I didn’t chip in very much on the latter (Influence Points go quickly…). I managed to grab the Exchequer, Ireland and North Marches for myself (on some minimal bids), while Jason also took Lord Admiral (he and Mark had spent large bids on Chancellor), Lord Captain of Calais went vacant.

Beginning of turn 2. Lancaster is opposite me, and Buckingham to the right.

Militarily, the second turn didn’t go any better for me than the first. I had actually lost one noble to the Inactive Pool after getting killed last turn, and this turn I lost Exeter to Treachery. I was slowly becoming uncomfortably aware just how much military might Lancaster had, and that I was wearing away faster than he was. However, there wasn’t much opportunity do much as Affairs of State ended the turn a bit early, while I had been busy getting my Minor Heir out, and taking care of a couple of Embassies. (The latter I used a Writ to pull an endangered block out of trouble.)

With our extremely slow start, that’s about as far as we got, though Henry Holland (of Lancaster) was voted King of England for the next turn. Mark wasn’t going to let me get two turns of Kingship in a row (with good reason!), and there were certainly no commanding leads in Parliament (I did have a small lead in votes thanks to offices and popular support). Everyone was about out of Influence Points so several offices may have gone vacant. Jason sounded like he was out, so it was up to me to try to outmaneuver Mark as Jason would likely resolve ties (or at least the important ones) in his favor.

I generally like idea of how the game works, but I do wish it was bit less involved. It’s going to take a bit of practice to get to the point where we have a shot at the cut-down 5-turn version of the main scenario in a day.