Patch and Mark and I got together yesterday for some boardgaming fun. Instead of the normal SFB, we played Soldier Kings. It’s a simple multiplayer game of the Seven Years War that I’d gotten for cheap some time ago. As a multiplayer game, it would solve some of the problems with having a three-person group.

As with many multiplayer games, its obvious that it gets better with more people (it can take as many as eight), but it was still fun, and we hope to play it again. The three player version we played uses Spain, France and England; that is concentrating on the part of the war that involved the colonial powers. We did a couple turns to get used to the system, then started over with me getting England; Mark, France; and Patch getting Spain.

Unit density is a bit low. None of us felt we had enough to get on with doing what we should be doing, much less react to what the other powers were doing (which is probably historical enough…). The first year went well for Spain, and we had to work at making sure Patch didn’t have the points needed for an automatic win that winter.

For the second year, I had a decent plan, and things started off well for me. However, there were two critical flaws: one, we had only kept Patch from winning, we hadn’t really nailed him down far enough to keep him from easily qualifying for it again; second, my plan (which I’d seen more as consolidation in some of the not-so-great areas) put me on a direct collision with Mark/France.

Worse, I succumbed to temptation and diverted a force on its way to India to taking French West Africa. Further collision with Mark, and the aftermath was part of a really bad summer turn for me. So, Patch grabbed up more valuable territories in the Fall, and Mark and I were out of position to do anything effective about it. For me, a large part of the problem was the fact that I was still in the midst of reorganizing my naval deployments, so the RN was unavailable for transport duty.

So, Patch won because England and France were unable to refrain from going after each other….

We’re looking at our next meeting being on Jan 6th, and if we can find a fourth (or fifth, or sixth…) we’ll play this again. Otherwise there’s a historical SFB battle that I’ve been looking at doing.