Had Jason over for a game on Monday. Yes, Monday—he teaches, and right now he’s got a free month, but weekdays are easier for him than weekends. So I took Monday off and we played Pursuit of Glory.

Jason decided to take the Central Powers, as most of his experience with the game is mostly with the Allied Powers. While my play is not going to go down in the annals of ‘how to win at PuG‘, my greater experience did show. I stuck with the normal Russo-British Assault opening, and knocked out a couple Turkish cavalry divisions on the Russian border, though I failed to do any damage to the troops defending in Mesopotamia.

As luck would have it, I got no CCs for the first turn, leaving me with a leftover Mobilization card in the turn 2 draw. Naturally, that was Secret Treaty. Jason played Persian Push late in turn 2, but did not take advantage of it, while I was set up to. I had moved the initial Azerbajani forces up to the Ottoman frontier, and put the troops from Sphere of Influence in their place, which then promptly moved into Persia. There wasn’t any cavalry to really gobble up distance, but I still got into position well.

In addition, I was able to start moving into Caucasia, and grabbed Van. This, along with the situation in Persia, was to rivet Jason’s attention for the rest of the game. Things went back and forth a little, though the situation steadily eroded for the Russians. MOs also tended to be “RU” for both of us, which fed the fires. Jason did a four Ops broad-front offensive on the final round of turn 6 (Winter 1916), and rolled ‘6’ on the two biggest stacks, which was a welcome relief to the Russians.

Meanwhile, Churchill Prevailed, and the RN successfully ran the Dardanelles and shelled Constantinople (but failed to destroy the Bosphorous Forts). With that in mind, I played Kitchener’s Invasion to put a force into the Gallipoli region fast (I came ashore at Suda Bay), and then played Salonika Invasion as a BR Reinforcements card to beef up the invasion. I was hoping to get some of the heat off of the Russian front, but instead, I had a free, if slow, run of things, and took over the entire inset map over the course of about a turn and a half to two turns.

Both Bulgaria and Parvus to Berlin came late (turns 4 and 5 respectively), though the Revolution was on track to go off at the end of Turn 9, since the Russians were quickly becoming a spent force. I was a turn late getting to Total War, and had drawn Romania early (turn 3), so racing my way though the deck again to get it out in time was going to become a problem.

At the time we had to call it, we were at the end of turn 7, VPs were at 2, Max TU RPs were at 19, and Jihad was stuck around 4-5. I had killed several tribes, and both Turks and Russians were tending to pile up in the dead pool. The direct route to Constantinople was still blockaded, but I was hoping to send troops (possibly the four French divisions still waiting on Lemnos) out to seize the ports along the southern Anatolian coast, and threaten all of the interior. I was about ready to break the line at Suez (I had tried once, and tied the combat 1-1), and I was finally starting to move in Mesopotamia (I had reached Kut, but was still a ways from being able to do anything about Baghdad). The Russians still controlled almost all of Persia, but TU troops were starting to push them back, had pushed them back into Azerbaijan, and the north part of the line was too weak to afford to do much about it. Bulgaria was in the war, but nothing had really happened there yet. (Thankfully, Bulgarian troops can’t enter Turkey to help stave off the British hordes….)

I figure I was either going to win in the next turn or two (likely), or Russia would collapse before the revolution, and I would have a long hard slog to make up the rest of the VPs, possibly going the full distance with VPs in the 2-8 region the whole time.