A majority of the original reviews were submitted by Charles Bahl and Robert Waters...Thanks!!!
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Game: Krieg und Frieden (TM Spiele)
Submitted By: Charles Bahl (The Quake Coast Game Club, San Jose, CA)
Krieg und Frieden (War and Peace) by TM Spiele is an engaging game of resource management where players assume the role of competing Medieval princes. Each turn players expend resources to win the king's favor or to complete one part of the realm's on-going cathedral construction project. Resources can also be spent to attack other players and to build up a production base of peasant farmsteads. There is much to do, and little to do it with, and players must choose wisely among a wealth of possible options.
Some gamers are ready to declare Krieg und Frieden the best game since Settlers of Catan. Others, however, are equally ready to declare it irrevocably "broken." Most negative criticism of the game concentrates on a scoring system that seems to give the final turn of the game an inordinate
importance--an importance, some say, that makes all turns preceding it essentially irrelevant. Others take aim at the game's set of balancing mechanisms that, they say, render long-term planning impossible. The author of Krieg und Frieden, Gerard Mulder, is not ready, however, to concede these points. From his point of view players can begin positioning themselves for the all-important final turn by skillful play beginning with the very first turn.
From my point of view, the game works quite well--even the scoring system. And although I don't see how you can develop a long-term strategy that would encompass the full length of the game, two- and even three-turn ploys
are possible. It is indeed true that the game is full of balancing mechanisms. But the skillful play of Krieg und Frieden seems to revolve around accepting and controlling the inevitable accumulation of disadvantages in some game areas in order to gain an accumulation of advantages in other areas. To me the fun of the game comes from the very precise management of resources required to gain the upperhand. Luck does play an important role, and some games of Krieg und Frieden will be won by luck alone, but over the long run, the game definitely rewards skillful play.