You want board games? Fine, I played Quartermaster General, 1914 for the first time tonight. Considering how much I’ve enjoyed the previous games in the QMG series, this one was a no brainer for me.
The basic rules are actually simpler than the original. Now, supply asks simply if you can trace it back to your capital. Units don’t die when out of supply. No need for shore support for navies either.
However, the card play itself has gotten more complicated. Now, EVERY card can be played as a response card, in a separate game step. You get two chances to play cards on your turn, your play step and your prepare step. Every card has a main affect similar to previous QMG games, and a secondary “response” effect. For example, Build Army cards have a reinforce icon, which means you can reveal them when one of your units is attacked to keep it alive. Of course, the attacker can reveal a “sustain battle” card to keep it going, and back and forth it goes. Kind of thematic, lots of cards being played, but the board changes slowly after the initial land grab is complete.
Another thing borrowed from the Alternate Histories Expansion is players controlling multiple countries. Austrians and Ottomans are controlled by the same player, as are United States and United Kingdoms, and Italy and France. This means separate build and battle cards.
Also what is very strange about this game the player count (3 v 2). This appears to be a recipe for unbalanced play, but Germany has many really powerful cards in its deck that give it multiple actions. It’s ally Austria (and the Ottomans in the same deck) are less active, but probably have the best scoring opportunities of any side.
I won’t call the game scripted after only one playthrough, and that is probably to harsh a word, but in the original WW2 game almost any sort of ahistorical thing could occur. Japan in the Western United States? Sure. Italy in India? Why not. Russia conquering Italy? Hey, it was the soft underbelly from above, too. 1914, however, seems to encourage certain paths as optimal, and I imagine a lot of games will end up looking very samey.
Regardless, I definitely enjoyed it, and it was notably less driven by luck than its predecessors.