Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday evening Maria

A session of Maria for this sunday with Hiluksi and Jerno, the same people I've played the last three matches with. Our main interest was to see if with the lessons we had learned earlier we could prevent Prussia from winning yet again. It all hinged on Austria's aggression level, but as we found out, there's some strategic tricks the French can perform as well.

The aforementioned trick was carried out on the first turn. France moved one of the the armies it had against the Austrians back onto the Flanders map to face off against the Austrians and the Pragmatic army there. The reasoning behind this was that the pressure against Austria in the "Austria Proper" area would be diminished, so Austria could dedicate more forces against Prussia. The French would also have a better chance against the Pragmatics in Flanders now. The manoeuver couldn't be done without the moving army ending up out of supply, but it was only going to suffer during one turn. This shift combined with the fact that the Pragmatics simply forgot to move their rearmost armies during the first turn meant that the French were controlling the tempo on the Flanders map. Since it was well into the second turn that anyone noticed the mistake made by the Pragmatics, we decided not to rectify, as the French had already completed their next move.

The Austrians had learned their lesson and started to accept minor defeats against the Prussians to slow them down instead of burning all their cards in the opening stages. This worked well enough, and the Prussian advance became sluggish. What the Austrians erred on however, was that they left too few troops against the powerful Bohemian army, which capitalised on the situation at once.

By the end of the first year, the French were in control of the HRE electorate and in a strong position on both maps. The Prussians all but controlled Silesia, but also the Austrians were still very much in the game at this point.

The second year began with an important political event, the Imperial election. This meant that at the end of the turn, either France or Austria would get a permanent victory point. France started with an all out assault on all fronts, since their hand was quite strong. They fought 6 battles that turn I think, with only one defeat. At the end of their turn they were only one point away from victory, and this point would be granted by the election, should it go to the French.

The Prussians and the Austrians buried the hatchet on one front. The Prussians gave way to the Austrians so that they could retake the critical electorate city of Prague to tip the election away from the French. This carried the game to the next turn. On this turn however, the French won the game as their military campaigns had been succesful enough to take a handful of fortresses without facing opposition on this last turn.

Endgame at the Flanders map. The Pragmatics went out of supply during the previous turn after a misplacement of their supply train. It did cost the French one army though.
During the game, the toughest fighting was between the French and the Pragmatics, each claiming victories against each other, and between Austria and Saxony (a bit of a suprise). Austria attacked Saxony at the end of the first year and they both burned through a lot of cards. Austria won in the end and destroyed the Saxon army.

The final turn in Austria. The Bohemian army marched unopposed taking cities left and right, winning the game for the French.
It was refreshing to see someone else than Prussia winning the game. The army shift by the French and Austria being more careful made all the difference. Maria has been criticised by many thinking that the role of Austria is simply to act as kingmaker, but it certainly wasn't the case here. Next time, I think it will be my turn to play Austria so it'll be interesting if I can come close to a victory this time.

No comments:

Post a Comment