On Saturday six gamers got together at my place to play Conquest of the Empire. Steve was quick to grasp the bounty that Italy provided and jumped out to an early lead and never looked back.
Playing CotE with six players is fun but stressful. Ben summed it up best by saying it gave him a headache. I think 3-5 players is about the right number. Fewer than that and there is not enough confict, more than that and it's gridlock. Overall. it's a good game that requires a lot of skill and some luck to win.
Jose stuck around after the group left and we played a game of Twilight Struggle. He foiled my plan to knock the USA out of the game by turn 5. Instead he held out until the beginning of turn 9. For our next game of TS we have decided to try the optional rules at the back of the 2nd edition rulebook: Defcon status does not prevent realignment rolls and the ability to split up Ops points from a single card between different actions. We have also discussed bidding influence in the hope of improving the game balance.
Our last game of the evening/morning was War of the Ring+Expansion. I took the Shadow forces and Jose played the free people. The expansion adds all sorts of special actions and abilities, mostly for the free peoples. I swear Jose made up half the stuff. I pretty much stuck to the traditional Shadow strategy using the core rules. Gondor fell and Rohan was besieged. After defeating Gondor I pounced on the Fellowship to keep the Ring from moving while slowly tightening the noose around Rohan. My strategy worked and the Ringbearer succumbed to corrpuption within sight of his objective.
Overall. it was a nice day of gaming.