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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

× For those who like to push chits.

Versailles 1919

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22 Jul 2020 11:41 - 22 Jul 2020 14:48 #312325 by Gary Sax
Versailles 1919 was created by Gary Sax
New GMT game coming out from Geoff Engelstein and Mark Herman. Just heard So Very Wrong About Games review a preview copy and I am really intrigued---not so much that Mark Bigney liked it but that the Euro guy Walker *also* really liked it. 4p negotiation game where you in succession negotiate how the post-WWI world will look, with a French, British, US, and Italian player.

I find what the Great Statesman series GMT is doing really weird. They aren't really tied together mechanically, but mainly just they were initially all designed by Mark Herman, until Congress of Vienna which is on P500 now. Churchill looked a bit annoying, Pericles seemed like an interesting idea but a litte overwraught, but apparently this one is much simpler and straight area majority crossed with negotation. Also not very complicated? Could be cool.

Anyone tried this or heard anything through the grapevine? The design pedigree is pretty interesting. I have some people who I could probably get to play something like this due to the theme.

Here's a link to the game for reference, there isn't a ton of info out there yet:
www.gmtgames.com/p-711-versailles-1919.aspx
Last edit: 22 Jul 2020 14:48 by Gary Sax.
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22 Jul 2020 13:55 #312328 by OhBollox
Replied by OhBollox on topic Versailles 1919
I'm not that bothered about Herman, but the fact Engelstein is involved means I will buy it. I liked Churchill well enough, but not enough to actually buy it. Skipped Pericles.
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22 Jul 2020 16:20 #312338 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic Versailles 1919
I'm very much interested in this. Fan of both Geoff and Mark, and them working together sounds fantastic.

I plan on requesting a copy for review at some point, but at the moment circumstances make this a challenge.
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22 Jul 2020 17:43 - 22 Jul 2020 17:44 #312342 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Versailles 1919
Yeah, So Very Wrong About Games lives in Canada so there's some leeway for getting small groups of consistently the same people you're close to together.

Always value your thoughts if you get it, this isn't on my radar so it'll take some validation from some reviewers I trust to get in on it. Now that my TTS life has been so successful I'm much more willing to get playable length games like this if they'll have some online implementation.
Last edit: 22 Jul 2020 17:44 by Gary Sax.
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23 Jul 2020 11:02 - 23 Jul 2020 11:07 #312379 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic Versailles 1919
I'm kind of torn on the subject matter, given that we all know what occurred in the decades that followed.

Is the goal to secure the most loot for your country, or to fashion an agreement that won't result in World War: The Sequel?

I play An Infamous Traffic and fully understand that I'm dealing in suffering and death of thousands in order to secure a dapper hat in London. It's a bit of a cold lesson in human nature and makes for some pretty black humor during the play. I'm trying to decide if this runs in that same vein.
Last edit: 23 Jul 2020 11:07 by Sagrilarus.
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23 Jul 2020 11:12 - 23 Jul 2020 11:28 #312380 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Versailles 1919
I think this is pretty clearly secure the best deal for your country and loot the losers.

Imperial Struggle has brought this sort of issue up as well, in my view it doesn't handle slavery very well in terms of letting you know what flipping flags esp in the Caribbean really means during play. There are a limited number events and a space that lets you take slaving contracts as an advantage but otherwise you'd have to read the playbook. Chris Farrell decided to post about it recently:

Last edit: 23 Jul 2020 11:28 by Gary Sax.

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23 Jul 2020 11:16 #312381 by OhBollox
Replied by OhBollox on topic Versailles 1919

Sagrilarus wrote: I'm kind of torn on the subject matter, given that we all know what occurred in the decades that followed.

Is the goal to secure the most loot for your country, or to fashion an agreement that won't result in World War: The Sequel?


Is it not a bit irrelevant, seeing as the Germans did nothing but complain, exaggerated how punitive it was, never really honoured the treaty in the first place, and openly subverted the payments by not paying, defaulting, delaying, and then simply giving up on paying, all with the knowing co-operation of German banks and financial institutions. The resurgence of a militaristic German state is a certainty given that particular end of WWI, not the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty was just another further excuse.

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23 Jul 2020 12:43 #312384 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic Versailles 1919
If you conclude that nothing could be done to prevent World War II from occurring (and we can throw Japan and China into this conversation as well) then very well. Every man for himself would be an appropriate goal for the players.
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23 Jul 2020 17:54 #312399 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Versailles 1919
Yeah, I guess my read of history is not that the Weimar Republic had to die or that WWII had to happen but I'm not going to argue with you about it or anything. That said, this game seems a bit abstract but insofar as it illustrates much history maybe it will illustrate why the Versailles treaty led to the outcomes it did by setting the victory points up in that way.

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24 Jul 2020 13:53 #312437 by Msample
Replied by Msample on topic Versailles 1919
Eh, more virtue signaling than anything else. I am not trying to downplay slavery but in a game that covers such a wide scope of history, how do you give it the detail/respect someone might think it deserves vs bogging the game down ? IS already suffers a bit from having a lot more stuff going on that its predecessor. You can make the argument that MANY games gloss over some nasty shit . HERE I STAND - when you put a colony marker in the new world, or scoop up that 2VP chit for conquering the Incas, there was some ugly shit going on beneath that innocuous little marker. Does going into more detail ( whatever that may be - and if you're going to add it, what would be the effect be on the game play ? ) than already present sink the game ? Were any of the European powers significantly better at not exploiting the new world peoples ?

In IS, if you really want to get into the weeds, arguably you'd have three subsets of rules , one for each non European theater. In India/Africa you've got slavery as well as exploiting the Indian local government by the East India company - John Company anyone ? Caribbean you've got slavery. In North America both sides used the Indians as proxies at times. Designers can choose to go into each of these different issues with more rules...or try to homogenize them. There are notes in the Playbook about the effects on disease and its effect on slavery costs; winning trade wars sometimes results in more debt as a result of these increased costs.

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24 Jul 2020 15:29 - 24 Jul 2020 16:17 #312446 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Versailles 1919
I wrote stuff to this effect on Instagram too... it also applies to Versailles I think.

I don't see any virtue signalling in making sure that the basic gameplay does highlight any truly heinous things you are engaging in during the game so that the players know. I don't think it needs to scold you or anything, nor does it need any additional subsystems necessarily, but part of the value of this game re: slavery would be trying to contextualize the systems in the game. I don't think it would hurt to, for example, emphasize visually or textually on the board that the sugar trade is really a story about the sugar *and* the slave trade in the plantation system in the components, images, etc. I do think you could walk away from IS not knowing that the sugar subsystem is a subsystem not just about sugar but also a system jockeying for control of some of the most notorious and cruel forms of chattel slavery that existed. I don't think this is like some mortal sin for IS, which as you note discusses the issues in passing in the playbook and on a couple events and a space, but I just think the game would be better if it surfaced it a bit more.

The Versailles example could be useful for the same reason---a possible gameplay answer to why did the German arrangement end up being punitive (or a few historians would say not punitive enough), the choices around the dismemberment of the A-H empire and how they shaped the future, etc---because the game is saying all members of the negotiation didn't really care what the world looked like as a whole at the end via its VP conditions and therefore its play.
Last edit: 24 Jul 2020 16:17 by Gary Sax.

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13 Oct 2020 14:46 #315077 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Versailles 1919
Can anyone who has played this tell me if it's short enough for an evening play? I would be interested in playing a game or two of this on tabletop simulator so I can figure out if I'd like it in my collection.

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20 Oct 2020 12:23 #315365 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Versailles 1919
spacebiff.com/2020/10/19/versailles-1919/

God damn, Dan Thurot bringing it with my style of games analysis and criticism here. This is still definitely on my radar but I need to get a better handle on its length and if I'd ever play it.
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21 Oct 2020 13:36 #315409 by engelstein
Replied by engelstein on topic Versailles 1919
It should take around 2 hours for a normal game.

There's a thread over on BGG where people discuss it.

www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/2518937/real-game-length

Happy to answer any other questions!
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21 Oct 2020 14:59 #315412 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Versailles 1919
To be honest, I like Mark Herman's design philosophy and game values a lot better than I like his games themselves, they just haven't worked for me (for the people, empire of the sun, etc). Your participation makes me much more interested in this release from a gameplay perspective.

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