William Jaffe on Sat, 18 Feb 2006 11:58:43 -0600 (CST)

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RE: [eia] my introduction

We used to have this experience in our face to face EIA group, which was
many years ago, and then we just decided that new players came in and played
what was there, that way they became used to the group.

Any long-running endeavor (and an EIA game definitely qualifies, whether FTF
or PBEM), is bound to have this problem.

Hence my comment about being marginally in favor of a restart, but not
overwhelmingly so.

Frankly, France is in a vulnerable position with Napoleon and an army in
England, and even from the passive start this Austria has built, things
could change, and rapidly. So, if we decide to stay the course, I'm more
than willing to just step in and play the hand that's been dealt...

FYI - although I haven't played in several years, I used to play this as my
#1 game of all time. It's a superior game, and very much fun!

William W. Jaffe

-----Original Message-----
From: eia-bounces@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:eia-bounces@xxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Kyle
Sent: Saturday, February 18, 2006 11:26 AM
To: public list for an Empires in Arms game
Subject: [eia] my introduction 

    My name is Kyle Haidet.  I am a 33 year-old high school math teacher in
Columbus, Ohio.  I have played France a lot in the past, but in the previous
game, I was playing Spain.
    Here's my history with Empires in Arms.  When I was 13, my step-father
bought me a subscription to Games magazine.  In one issue, they described
the best games of the year broken down into every conceivable category.
Empires in Arms was listed as the best strategy board game of that year.  I
found the description of the game to be so intriguing that, 5 years later,
when I had some money of my own, I ordered it from my local gaming store.  I
read the rules that summer, and was eager to try to play it.  I played
through a 2-player scenario with a high school friend of mine (Carl), but I
found that experience to be unsatisfying and hungered to play through a full
campaign game.  Unfortunately, at the time, I didn't know enough people who
might be interested.
    Fast-forward two or three years.  I'm now an upper-classman at BGSU, and
I have been in a stable gaming group with JJ and Mike for a while.  I
introduce the game to JJ and suggest that we give it a try.  Despite the
ponderous rulebook, he seems interested, and we begin recruiting other
players.  We end up with 5 players and start the 1805-1807 campaign.  Spain
and Prussia are UMPs, as per the rules.  Predictably, Prussia gets
annihilated by France.  The following summer, we play another 5 player
1805-1807 campaign (that is crammed into one full week of frantic gaming in
JJ's parents' basement).  Again, France annihilates UMP Prussia and is
    Then Mike, JJ, and I scatter to different grad schools, and there is a
long stretch without an EIA game.  But there are fond memories.  JJ and I
plot to revive the game, but we decide that it is only worth our time if we
can get 7 players.  The current Play-by-Email setup (that Joel has done most
of the work to create and sustain) is the fruition of that plan.
    Unfortunately, though, we have started and stopped the game 4 times now.
What usually happens is that somebody drops out of a game in progress.  A
new player is recruited to fill the opening.  Then the rest of the players
decide that it would be fairer to the new player to start the game over
rather than putting the new player in a precarious (often unwinable)
situation.  This propensity to restart the game whenever someone drops out
has been a great disappointment to me because it renders a long-term
viewpoint on the game essentially pointless.  Why plan for the future when
chances are good that we'll be starting the game over soon anyway?  Also,
what's the point of the bidding process if we'll never get to the end of the
game where victory points might actually matter?  The disappointment of
frequent restarts has seriously undermined my overall enthusiasm for the
    I do not mind starting over yet again, but I fervently wish there were a
way to prevent future restarts.  If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be happy
to hear them.


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