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Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile Review- Heavy is the head that bears the Crown

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06 Apr 2021 22:23 #321766 by Andi Lennon
It is a well-worn adage that ‘history is written by...

Apparently Peter the Great sought great amusement in the sight of naked dwarves jumping out of a pie. How will history recall your empire?

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07 Apr 2021 20:36 #321767 by mc
Great write up Andi.

The "rub" is what stopped me from going in on this one; still think I made the right decision but boy would I eat this up in the right circumstances.
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07 Apr 2021 21:06 #321769 by Andi Lennon

mc wrote: Great write up Andi.

The "rub" is what stopped me from going in on this one; still think I made the right decision but boy would I eat this up in the right circumstances.


Yeah, without a dedicated group you simply won't see the best of it. It can still be fun in single sessions but it takes awhile for the complexities in strategy to settle - so even then, familiarity is your friend.

For the less committed then you can't go past Cole's other effort Pax Pamir 2e which is not only much quicker to flow but probably the better game overall. The playstate is easier to parse and lets you get on with scheming and plotting with a freer hand. It has a drier though no less engaging theme and enjoys the refinements that a second edition brings to streamline the experience. They're the two games hitting my table most frequently of late.
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07 Apr 2021 22:31 #321771 by charlest
Great review Andi. The buzz for this one keeps growing. Curious to see how it shakes out regarding Cole's other games.
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08 Apr 2021 00:03 #321773 by Andi Lennon

charlest wrote: Great review Andi. The buzz for this one keeps growing. Curious to see how it shakes out regarding Cole's other games.


Cheers man. The hype is real. It's just below Pax Pamir in my esteem but both offer the kind of satisfying play that engages the brain without burning it. Oath probably has more frustration baked into it when things aren't going your way but it also has a far grander scope so, swings and roundabouts?

Would you believe I've not played Root yet? I recently acquired a copy and hope to remedy that shortly. I imagine Oath may have less of a breakout mainstream appeal but who knows? I eagerly await John Company 2nd edition for an even weightier beast even if it means I'm doomed to read up on the Dutch East India company in the interim. William Dalrymple should be paying royalties to Wehrlegig at this point.
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08 Apr 2021 03:54 #321774 by mc
So true re: Dalrymple.

Pamir basically IS Return of a King in boardgame form.

1e was mostly there, but 2e really nails it.
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08 Apr 2021 05:26 #321775 by sornars
Excellent review, I love seeing photos of this game in the real world! It might be the circles I've found myself in but there does seem to be a buzz around this game that might break through the "mainstream" even with the requirement for multiple plays to see the full picture.

On Dalrymple, if you can wait until June you can get the box set :P: www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-company-quartet-9781526633354/
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08 Apr 2021 06:18 #321776 by Andi Lennon

sornars wrote: Excellent review, I love seeing photos of this game in the real world! It might be the circles I've found myself in but there does seem to be a buzz around this game that might break through the "mainstream" even with the requirement for multiple plays to see the full picture.

On Dalrymple, if you can wait until June you can get the box set :P: www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-company-quartet-9781526633354/


Oh man, there's a box set? I just picked up The Anarchy in anticipation of John Company 2e. All good, at least now I can see what the next two Wehrlegig titles will be about!

Return of a King was fantastic, a pity Dick Cheney never read it.
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08 Apr 2021 09:37 #321777 by charlest

Andi Lennon wrote:

charlest wrote: Great review Andi. The buzz for this one keeps growing. Curious to see how it shakes out regarding Cole's other games.


Cheers man. The hype is real. It's just below Pax Pamir in my esteem but both offer the kind of satisfying play that engages the brain without burning it. Oath probably has more frustration baked into it when things aren't going your way but it also has a far grander scope so, swings and roundabouts?

Would you believe I've not played Root yet? I recently acquired a copy and hope to remedy that shortly. I imagine Oath may have less of a breakout mainstream appeal but who knows? I eagerly await John Company 2nd edition for an even weightier beast even if it means I'm doomed to read up on the Dutch East India company in the interim. William Dalrymple should be paying royalties to Wehrlegig at this point.


I am surprised you haven't played Root due to it being so ubiquitous , but John Company was basically out of print immediately.

As someone who hasn't played Oath yet, I'd go:

1. John Company
2. Pax Pamir 2nd
3. Root

I haven't played An Infamous Traffic unfortunately.

I also think he hasn't received enough credit for his excellent development work on Vast: The Mysterious Manor, a game which was a clear improvement on it's predecessor.
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08 Apr 2021 20:33 #321821 by Andi Lennon

charlest wrote:

Andi Lennon wrote:

charlest wrote: Great review Andi. The buzz for this one keeps growing. Curious to see how it shakes out regarding Cole's other games.


Cheers man. The hype is real. It's just below Pax Pamir in my esteem but both offer the kind of satisfying play that engages the brain without burning it. Oath probably has more frustration baked into it when things aren't going your way but it also has a far grander scope so, swings and roundabouts?

Would you believe I've not played Root yet? I recently acquired a copy and hope to remedy that shortly. I imagine Oath may have less of a breakout mainstream appeal but who knows? I eagerly await John Company 2nd edition for an even weightier beast even if it means I'm doomed to read up on the Dutch East India company in the interim. William Dalrymple should be paying royalties to Wehrlegig at this point.


I am surprised you haven't played Root due to it being so ubiquitous , but John Company was basically out of print immediately.

As someone who hasn't played Oath yet, I'd go:

1. John Company
2. Pax Pamir 2nd
3. Root

I haven't played An Infamous Traffic unfortunately.

I also think he hasn't received enough credit for his excellent development work on Vast: The Mysterious Manor, a game which was a clear improvement on it's predecessor.


I'd really like to try An Infamous Traffic but it's rare as hen's teeth and well pricey on the resale market. I'm curious but not $200 plus postage curious. Hopefully a reprint is in the works given Cole's flourishing fortunes.

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08 Apr 2021 22:22 #321824 by Not Sure
I bought a copy of An Infamous Traffic secondhand a few months ago, just before total Cole-mania hit the world.

I figured it would go well in my collection since I have all the first editions of his other games too.

I'd be super interested in getting it played on TTS sometime.
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09 Apr 2021 02:03 - 09 Apr 2021 02:34 #321836 by Andi Lennon

Not Sure wrote: I bought a copy of An Infamous Traffic secondhand a few months ago, just before total Cole-mania hit the world.

I figured it would go well in my collection since I have all the first editions of his other games too.

I'd be super interested in getting it played on TTS sometime.


It certainly has been a bit of a Wehrle-wind of late. Eh? Eh?
I'll... I'll see myself out.
Last edit: 09 Apr 2021 02:34 by Andi Lennon.

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09 Apr 2021 04:19 #321837 by sornars
The consensus seems to be Werhlegig's next Kickstarter after JC is fulfilled is going to be a 2e of An Infamous Traffic so you have that to look forward to in 2022.
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09 Apr 2021 11:25 #321856 by JoelCFC25
Thanks for writing this--it's an absorbing read, rich with detail on how it feels to play. Really well done!

We still need a few more games in our chronicle and hopefully some in-person sessions before I settle on where it stands for me.
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09 Apr 2021 17:50 #321877 by Andi Lennon

JoelCFC25 wrote: Thanks for writing this--it's an absorbing read, rich with detail on how it feels to play. Really well done!

We still need a few more games in our chronicle and hopefully some in-person sessions before I settle on where it stands for me.


That's fantastic to hear, cheers man. Reviews that are a recitation of rules very rarely give me a sense of what a game feels like so I'm glad I could capture it with a more narrative approach. It's a game that's been living in my head since I first cracked the shrink. I hope you enjoy the physical version, it's really a thing of beauty. And nothing beats the feeling of playing face to face where you can malign the virtue of your opponents mothers in high fidelity.

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