Had Mark and Jason over over for a game of Versailles, 1919 back on the 22nd. Dave was available, so we had four, and Mark and I were eager to try it with a full player count. We had concerns that Italy might have a slightly weaker position than the other powers (mostly from a relative lack of options to have ‘flag tokens’ from my perspective). And as I won the two previous games, I took them, and somewhat random drawing gave Dave Britain, Mark the US, and Jason France (in that order of play, with me going last).

Dave, as the new person got stuck going first by die roll, and struggled to figure out what to do, but actually did well at first, picking up the majority of the first few issues. I was struggling through the early part of the game, partially from Mark particularly targeting me (with some justification, given my record), but by the time the first uprising happened, I had turned things around some and was in second place by issues, giving me third choice.

I believe Dave had first choice and took Global Trade, while Mark took Isolationism, I went for Reparations (not my first choice, I would have preferred to avoid happiness scoring bonuses), Jason took Outlawing War, and I think Mobilization was the extra. We all started with fairly good happiness; I demobilized first, claiming the 5 spot, and hitting 25 early on. However, Mark’s campaign against me was much more successful with the population at home than in the meeting room, and Italy’s happiness fell sharply before the first revolt.

As usual, events conspired to help with demobilization during the game, with only me and Jason retaining one army each at the end of the game. I had deployed mine to Europe, and gained Tyrol from Dave (it had been one of the first settled issues, and the target of the first revolt, though League Voting had become unsettled twice through events first), which put me in the European hot-seat (three versus two issues), and I retained it through use of the two-army bid, recovered it, redeployed to Europe… I think I lost 4-5 happiness that way. Even so, I ended the game a couple points above Jason’s France, whose happiness took a beating in the decisions on issues.

By the time Game End came up, I had a pretty good selection of settled issues, but I knew some of the objective scoring was going to be pretty good. I maneuvered for control of Game End, and eventually got it to the table and settled it. I had no idea if I would really win, but I certainly had a lead in issues, those 7 points would help, and my position wasn’t going to get any better.

Dave was in last with 42 VPs (31 issues, 1 British token, 2nd happiness for 4, and 6 for his strategy after deducting 3 for reparations); Jason was in third at 48 VPs (28 issues, no tokens, last-place happiness, but 20 on his strategy thanks to 11 self-determination and 6 containment); Mark made second with 52 VPs (24 issues, no tokens, best happiness for 6, and 22 for strategy including doubled happiness and 11 self-determination); while I managed first, again, with 58 VPs (42 issues, 1 token, 3rd happiness, and 13 for strategy, including doubled happiness and 6 containment).


Dave warmed up to the game a bunch as the day went on and things started falling in place. No surprise, the biggest problem with the game is the number of mechanisms that are not familiar from elsewhere, but once it gets going, it’s good.

Controlled issues are the largest chunk of VPs in the game, so that’s generally what I play to. I ended up with a good lead there (11 ahead of Britain, with the second-best set), but a lot of that happened late, and partially because of my ability to maintain control over Tyrol with the army. I knew that self-determination was going to be a high-scoring goal, and that had me worried for a win, but my issues lead was larger than I had supposed. (I’ll also note that if I didn’t get Game End, I would have been at 51 VP, and if it had gone to either Mark or Jason, they would have won.