Ted and I started our evening by trying out the light wargame/card game entitled Lightning: Midway. I took the Dark Forces of the Imperial Japanese Navy, while Ted took the Free People's navy, aka the US Navy. Each of us played from a separate deck of cards representing the unique forces, tactics, leaders, and fortuitous events available to our navies.
Ted started with the island base of Midway plus three carriers. I had four carriers. My advantage seemed to be in sheer numbers of aircraft I was able to put in the air. Ted's forces seemed to have superior tactics and leaders. So, as with many games, my villainous imperial navy's strategy was to use sheer might to overpower his sneaky maneuvers.
This was our first time playing the game, so the first few rounds were tentative for both of us. Ted, going first, led off with a large strike towards my approaching fleet. Luckily, I already had a fighter screen in the air with some key tactics cards dealt to my hand. We battled back and forth in this first dogfight, both emptying most of the cards from our hand. Finally, Ted had to abort the airstrike and limp home, but I was also in no shape to strike back. I spent the next few turns marshalling my airfleet until I had six full squadrons of torpedo and dive bombers armed and ready to go. I launched them several times looking for Ted's fleet, but each time Ted was able to make sure I couldn't find his carriers. Ted struck back, but my Zeros continued to hold him off.
Finally, we both stuck paydirt and each lost one of our carriers. After using every plane I had to kill Ted's carrier, Ted struck back, and I didn't have a single airplane to defend with. He also had the knockout blow, which enabled him to attack multiple carriers with one strike. It looked like I was going to be toast! Luckily, the special power of one of my targeted carriers allowed me to draw one extra defense card. I luckily drew the "Lost Target" card, and Ted's attack armada was lost in the clouds. Whew!
Luckily, the loss only took away one of my Zero squadrons, so my strike fleet was still in tact. Again, I launched a series of assaults, and one by one, Ted's remaining targets were destroyed. Overall, a tense, engaging, fun game that took well under an hour to play.
Next up, Ted, Michael, and I decided to try out my new copy of Warrior Knights. We each mustered our nobles and deployed them to three corners of the kingdom being carved up. After a turn or two we figured out the basic mechanics of play, and another epic struggle for global domination was underway. Ted took a strategy of deploying fewer nobles, but had each packed with a greater number of troops. This enabled him to successfully assault cities in rapid succession, while Michael and I conducted a larger number of slow sieges. I took an early lead in victory points, staying safely across the river from the squabbling of Sir Ted and Sir Michael. I concentrated on maintaining my roles as head of the church, eventually declaring Ted as a heretic and placing a bounty on his head.
Ted meanwhile secured a powerful role from the Imperial Senate (aka Kingdom Assemby), which enabled him to buy a victory point each turn, though at a high cost. Somehow, Michael and I also allowed Ted to secure the kingdom's wine and spice concessions, giving Ted a hefty cash influx each turn, thus enabling him to buy these VPs. Ted, then deftly convinced Michael that I was winning and sent him across the river to attack my most powerful city. Argh! I could almost hear Ted doing his best Dark Lord of the Sith laughter impression on the other side of the table as Michael and I fought it out. Ted was a master diplomat in this game!
Warrior Knights soon entered its final stages with Michael firmly in control of the senate, but with the least victory points. I was somewhere in the middle, and Ted, unfortunately to the surprise of both Michael and I, with a solid win! I really enjoyed the game. Now that we know how to play, I'd like to add at least one or two more players to the game and perhaps a few more VPs per person to the central pool to make the game last just a bit longer.