With Friends Like These

Games like this are fun but we can also learn priceless, real world lessons;

This is a good example of team player dynamics.  Radu (red dragon crest) moves first.  The path to Castle Dracula is wide open!  Radu moves into Poliesti. 

Now Radu can talk to the black crest player:  “Let me take your 6 Troops with me!  That will get me up to full strength so I can take Castle Dracula.”

“Heck no”, says the black crest player, “Those are MY Troops.  That will leave me with nothing.  If Dracula attacks I’ll lose my siege and get crushed.” 

“That’s ok,” says Radu, “You can march back to Rumelia and raise new troops.”

“YOU march back to Rumelia and raise new troops.”, responds the black player, “I’m taking down THIS Castle.”

If they can’t agree, what happens?  They are each in control of their own Troops.  You can’t make somebody give you their Troops.  Unless of course you are the Sultan.  That is an interesting twist but not the case here. 

Ok, so rebuffed, Radu continues his march north.  Maybe now he won’t have enough to Storm Castle Dracula but he can at lease Siege it. 

Next up to move:  black crest.  After thinking this over for a bit, he now sees a chance for glory.  He marches up the valley to have a little chat with Radu. 

“Hey, I think this will work better, if you give me your Troops now, I can attack Castle Dracula and take it down this turn!” –says the black crest. 

“Yeah right.” responds Radu, “Why don’t YOU march back to Rumelia and get your own Troops.”  

Same problem.  Same result.  Black crest marches north to Siege Castle Dracula.  It’s the best he can do.


Notice how this plays directly into Dracula’s hand.  Dracula moves later in the turn:

  • He can strike at Poliesti and cut off Supply to both Muslim armies;   OR
  • He can crush the black crest army at Castle Dracula;   OR
  • He can cut through the mountains and smash Radu in the valley. 

On top of that, how many penalty tokens are the other Muslim players going to give Dracula for wanting to knock their (Radu & black crest) heads together! 

To wargamers, this is often disturbing.  “That’s not the BEST move!  That’s not what they should do!”

 I know.  Isn’t it great?!  🙂  Guess what?  It happens all the time in real war with real officers.  You may think this game isn’t very ‘realistic’ because it doesn’t have thousands of counters and a 100 page rule book. 

I’d argue it is more realistic because of messy, command issues like this.  I’ll also argue it is more fun as well! 

The average person off the street can relate to this.  Everybody has to deal with conflict like this. 

How many times have you seen the ‘imperfect move’ being made at work?  You tried to persuade co-workers and management to do things differently but they didn’t listen?  Did it hurt your team’s performance?

Games like this are fun but we can also learn priceless, real world lessons;  and they are games everyone can enjoy playing together.       

3 thoughts on “With Friends Like These”

  1. This looks like a wonderful and rich multiplayer game. Your posts have me very interested. However, most of my game playing is either two player or solo. Can you share how the game plays with two where the multiplayer “chaos” of the Turkish side is absent. Does the Dracula side have a more difficult time when all the Turks are controlled by just one player?

  2. Yes, I almost brought this up but then figured it was better put in a separate blog.

    This is very much like Pub Battles. It is a strange thing. Both were designed from the ground up to be a Multi-Player systems. The result is a very good solitaire or 2 player game. Go figure?

    As you can see from this example, both sides have lots of interesting questions and decisions to wrangle with.

    The only downside I see as a 2 player game maybe that Dracula might need a little help. We assume that the Muslims will be making ‘incorrect’ moves like this from time to time and be giving Dracula a few penalty tokens along the way. One Muslim player will play a much tighter game.

    I think this would be easy to balance by giving Dracula a few tokens from the start.

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