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Musings of the Welsh Wizzard

What happens when dilution of the hobby becomes homeopathic

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April 22, 2021

Classic Warlord – the Designer’s feedback

after publishing my last post on Classic Warlord (it’s here if you haven’t seen it) Mike Hayes who wrote the game dropped me a mail with some comments on our first playthrough, so I thought I would post them here for everyone to read

Hi Mike,

On your recent Classic Warlord game.

Here is quite a long reply from the designer. I’ve put it on email rather than in the Welsh Wizard’s comment in case there is a capacity restriction there.

Switching the playing order after mountain-choosing to eliminate any starting advantage

I don’t know if you followed this “suggestion for expert players.” If an expert is playing with newcomers, it won’t bother him if he’s last in the mountain-choosing and the playing order. He’ll still probably win. But in general, between those who’ve played before, the reversal of playing order gives a balanced start for all.

Playing over just the two North West boards

There are so many choices for which 2 boards to take, each choice having its own special characteristics. For the two North West boards……

A plus: Empires build up quickly and fights start early.

A minus: With 4 players, each has only 2 starting-mountains. You need each player to start with 3, 4 or more mountains to fully experience deep strategic and diplomatic niceties.

Early attacks.

Early in the game, even if you win an attack, the forced placement of a limited-range A-bomb in often vulnerable territory can have perilous consequences – for example Blue’s placement of a 1-range A-bomb on Mercia [and Wales or London were probably safer sites but still problematic]. Personally, I like to wait until I have good chances of immediately generating a 2 or 3 ranger with a very safe place to put it. And rather than soon firing-off that bomb, it stays on the board as part of a deterrent and a deflection strategy…“the threat is greater than the execution…”.

Of course, if you ever see that your opponent has built up a bomb that can set off your bomb by chain-reaction, make sure that you set off your bomb first (and the rules always ensure that you have that opportunity)….“Get in your retaliation before you are hit rather than afterwards.”. In this game, see what happens when chain reactions are overlooked and a bomb explodes on Dogger.

What to do about that player who has the greatest potential for expanding his empire into rich empty territories

The easiest way of doing that is by foiling such a player during the mountain-choosing phase. But if a player has stolen a march on the others? In the illustrated game, what to do about Yellow’s almost unstoppable grab of the whole of Eastern Europe? Answer. The next two strongest players must come to an alliance very early on before the situation has become critical. This could involve Blue bypassing Leningrad and seizing Moscow on Round 5, prior to assaulting Yellow from the north.  In the meantime, Green has the harder task of attacking Yellow in West Germany – expecting to suffer before Blue can join the fight from the north. So Green should expect concessions from Blue in the UK and Ireland.

Meanwhile, it is likely that Yellow will enter into an alliance with Orange – leaving Orange’s Scandinavian empire alone if Orange promises to make little nuisance/partisan attacks on the Blue/Green alliance.

Eventually, the balance of power will change, a new “strongest player” emerge and new alliances emerge.etc etc.

In conclusion

I’ve focused on advanced strategic/diplomatic issues as (for a first game) the players seem to have a very good grasp of the rules. But in these early games, newcomers will of course want to be reassured that their interpretation of the rules and their logistics are correct. Just ask, any time.


Mike Hayes

Thanks so much Mike for your comments, it’s great to see your enthusiasm for game


One Response “Classic Warlord – the Designer’s feedback”

  1. Avatar
    May 20, 2018 at 10:33 am

    I remember playing this game around 30 years ago and have been trying to remember for years what it was called so thanks for mentioning this on the podcast!
    I will order my copy on payday this month

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