Wednesday, November 09, 2005

#35: Web of Power

Recently reprinted as China (with some slight rules changes), this game of influence & power has become a classic. Web of Power [Mark: I like the original German name better - Cardinals & Kings] packs more game into 45 minutes than most 120 minute Eurogames. Amazingly, each game develops differntly, as players must react to their hand of cards & their opponent's plays.

David Fair: "One of the best three player games ever made."

Mark Jackson: "I've played some incredible games of this... including a tournament game at the Gathering with Rick Thornquist & Peter Sarrett with an ending score of 34-34-33-32-32. There is ample room here for skillful play."

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2 Comments:

Anonymous josh miller said...

I like Web of Power, barely, but have never understood why so many people consider it an all-time classic. You just can't plan ahead because you'll exhaust your hand most turns, or play down to just one card. And it's so important to get doubles that many of your card draws will be aimed at getting doubles rather than targeting any particular region for strategic reasons.

And Mark, I also have always thought that "Web of Power" was a stupid name, and that the German "Kardinal & K├Ânig" was far more fitting. Why didn't Jay just translate that and name the game "Cardinal & King?"

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan D said...

Conversely, I have never seen why people feel as though lucky card draws drive the game.

Even if all you do is try drawing for pairs, you'll typically have a pair and a single - this enables you to place two pieces in any of four different areas (or 3 including Frankreich). Then you still need to decide whether to place cloisters or advisors. When drawing, once you can get your pair, you'll often have a choice of which 3rd card to draw.

In summary - the system does limit your choices to force the game in unexpected directions, but gives the players lots of latitude of choice for strategy and tactics.

It's my personal favorite light game - it'll never burn your brain, it plays quickly, but still provides a rich and exciting game experience. There are often many difficult decisions, and in its 30 - 40 minutes a game narrative does evolve with a full beginning, middle, and end.

11:43 AM  

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