Last December, Mark and I started a game of Versailles, 1919 on Vassal as part of the preparations for trying it out in a FtF multiplayer day. We got about halfway through before that, and then finished up the second half afterwards.

The oddest thing about the two-player version is the use of simple ‘bot’ rules for a third American player, which goes after every player turn. It actually the player who just went playing them, with some moderate restrictions, but takes some getting used to.

At any rate, I had Britain and Mark France, and a die roll gave Mark the first turn. After we’d both settled an issue, everyone’s influence drained away, and military commitments started, with Mark putting an army on the 5 column for the Middle East (the lowest military space), and took an early happiness hit for it. I had the Americans settle Prussia, making France unhappier in the process, and then the Crisis caused further unhappiness (Rights March: 1 unhappiness per deployed military). Mark then had the Americans settle High Seas Fleet, which only has options to make Britain unhappy (since the others make the Americans unhappy, and you can’t settle an issue with the Americans so as to make them unhappy).

Mark used the conference event to force him to demobilize, getting him five happiness, and getting him back above me on that track (and away from a possible mutiny). We each took another issue, took another small happiness hit from Speech, and Mark demobilized a second army for another four happiness, and then got another two from John Maynard Keynes (I recovered influence instead). The Americans picked up the next few issues during this, and Disarmament sent me into mutiny territory.

After that, I finally started getting to resolve issues for myself, while Mark stalled out for a bit, and then, after sixteen issues had been settled (four for each of us, and eight for America), the first uprising happened, unsettling Disarmament (America was holding five Europe issues…), which I ended up with. Mark took Isolationism as his goal, and I took Outlawing War, leaving Reparations as the odd kid out. Then Constantinople became unsettled (American again, though it was only two to one for each of us) and went to Mark.

We each got another issue, and the Americans another two before another uprising unsettled Dalmatian Islands (thanks to the army I’d had in the Balkans since the beginning, which let me swing a tie to unsettling an American issue), which went to me. I then also grabbed Rheinland and Prussia when further European uprisings pried them away from the Americans, and I lost Korea to Mark in a Pacific uprising. My happiness eventually got down to 7, and Mark’s was getting low, so he demobilized his last army to get three happiness.

Game End finally showed up, and was fairly quickly settled on my American turn. I had gotten a fairly decent lead in number of issues, and had some high-scoring ones, so it looked pretty good for me. I had 48 in controlled issues, 5 in tokens, 20 for my strategy… and nothing for happiness, for a total of 73. Mark had 34+1+22 (including a doubled 6 VPs for happiness) for 57. (And the Americans were sitting on 27 VPs of settled issues.)


I’d felt like was sinking in the early part of the game, and unable to get anything to go my way, but between the sessions for this, and the FtF game, I got a fairly good handle on how to cycle the influence markers how I wanted. Combined with being able to take advantage of some high-VP issues coming back out of the American pile, I got into a very good position around the middle of the game.

In fact, it’s well worth noting that the dual American turns add a different dynamic to the two-player game, as they’re likely to get a large pile of settled issues, which means that a lot of unsettled issues are going to come out of their pile, and they don’t get to bid to retain them.