Mervyn and I went to Mark Simonitch's house today for some Saturday afternoon wargaming. We started off with a Successors' III playtest and then finished off with a quick game of Friedrich. The random general distribution was a follows (Lysimachus and Leonnatus are not used in 3-player games):
John Boone : Antipater and Peithon
Mervyn Dejecacion: Perdiccas and Craterus
Mark Simonitch : Ptolemy and Antigonus
As I started with the lowest VP total at start I chose Mervyn to go first and I would go last. The first turn was pretty much a land grab using the looser rules for placing garrison markers in the 3rd edition. Now you are not limited to only placing garrison markers within 2 movement points of your garrison markers that existed before the start of the Tyche segment. This makes it possible to string them out from markers just placed. Additionally each marker need only be within 2 MPs of one just placed. After claiming most of the areas in turn 1 The victory points were Mark - 21, John - 22, and Mervyn in the teens but he ended up with the most Legitimacy. All players still had Champion status.
In turn 2 Mervyn picked me to go first and I started a campaign in the 6 VP province of Greece but it was cut short when Antipater had to return first to Macedonia (after first defeating the Greek Army) to deal with the Autariatae and then Thrace to face the threat of Antigonus who moved into the Hellespontine. Peithon sat for most of turn 1 and 2 in Atropanene facing a threat from offshoots of Perdiccas' army. Mervyn sent Craterus to Phoenicia to contest some of Mark's holdings while starting Perdiccas' march towards Pella with Alexander's body. Seeing this Mark used his naval dominance (3 fleet points vs 1 each from Mervyn and I) to attack Perdiccas (11 strength) in Celaenae (From Tyre through Cyprus, Pamphylia, and on to Celaenae). After asking Mervyn "you only brought 11 strength points into my province?", Mervyn rolled an 11 and defeated Ptolemy's and Antigonus' (Mark) army of 19 strength points sending them both to the displaced box. I decided to go after Perdiccas with my 18 strength (oops only 14 after the Royals refused to fight) vs Mervyn's now 10 strength army. A few die rolls later and victory was ours as Perdiccas went to the displaced box! I now had AlexIV, Heracles, and the body. It was now Mervyn's turn and he sent Craterus against me but now I had the legitimacy lead and his Royals sat out the fight. In the end I was the only one with Major Generals still on the map. On my final card play of turn 2 Antipater returned to Pella with the body and won the game with 19 Legitimacy points. The game ended so quickly we had time for another so we set up Friedrich. I would like to play this one again as we didn't get a chance to see/use most of the new cards.
Some of the differences in Successors III I remember:
1. Map changes in Europe for Greece, Aetolia, and Macedonia
2. Approx dozen new cards with changes to existing cards
3. Looser garrison marker placement with Tyche cards
4. Using Tyche card Ops value to move a general. Number of Ops is number of movement points. [Edit] Actually this is how it is done in 2nd edition and currently in the playtest. Mark had mentioned before about using the OPs number as a movement die roll. So if you had a 3 rated general playing a 4OPs card would allow him 4 MPs, a 3 OPs card would give him 3 MPs and a 1 or 2 OPs card would give him 2 MPs. This version is what I was thinking about.
5. Asia Minor fleet requires control of only Caria.
6. Legitimacy for burying Alexander's body is tallied different. If buried outside of Pella you still earn 2L but it is now tied to the location, so you can lose it! If buried in Pella you get an additional 8L that you can't lose.
7. There is a new heir for Antipater, that has the same rating, when he dies on turn 3. Can't remember his name.
In Friedrich the sides were randomly drawn:
John B : Prussian/Hannover
Merv D : Russia/Sweden/France
Mark S : Austria/Imperial Army
Merv and I had not played the game since BBG Con 2006 and Mark had not played it even longer. This game ended before we even made it to the third card deck, turn 4? I believe. As I have won with France twice I'm always watching out for him when I play Prussia so I was weaker than I should have been on the Austrian front. Too aggressive play on my part allowed Austria to surround my 9 strength point army (in diamonds) and destroy it when I could not retreat. The Imperial Army then finished off my 8 strenth point army again in diamonds when I had no more diamonds to defend. With 17 points of army strength gone and no army in the immediate vicinity of Austria to defend objectives we called the game.
Maybe one day one of us will have played enough times to win with Prussia.