Monday, November 2, 2009


Well, I got my wish.  Went to a game day, played a big game of Liberte.

What did I think?  Solidly MEH.  For starters, only one person had played before, and he'd played incorrectly.  So we spent a little over an hour figuring out the rules.  The written rules were rough, and the player aids were contradictory in places.  And we wanted to play the "Dagger Variant" which later I learned was proposed by a guy named Dagger instead of having to do with Backstabbing.

My biggest issue?  Frickin' tie breaks.  There were WAAAY too many tie break situations and way too many different ways to resolve them.  Usually you had to resolve by sacrificing a card from your display.  But sometimes it was a once around.  Sometimes it was a repeated sacrifice.  Sometimes it had to be a general.

Beyond that?  The elections took way too long.  Why is this an issue?  Because there are NO decisions in the election process.  Occasionally there is an interesting tie break situation, but even most of those are forgone conclusions.  Otherwise it was upwards of 5 minutes just to figure out who earned a handful of VP.  Boooorrring.

Other issues?  Who the heck let the purple region and purple cards let get published?  They are not even close.  We played a whole turn before we realized one region was empty because we didn't realize we were assigning two colors to a single region.  Inexcusable.

How did I do?  I jumped to first on the beginning turn and retained my lead until the last scoring when another player tied me.  How did I do it?  I just played a crap ton of cards and spread my influence everywhere.  Just like any other area majority game.  Did I pay attention to who was winning the election?  Nope.  I just concentrated on efficiently getting pieces on the board.  I never drew cards (maybe 1 or 2 the whole game.)  Why?  because I was going to get my hand refilled at the end of the turn.  Why waste my actions to fill something that would happen anyway?

Did the other players hate on me?  Yes, quite a bit.  How did I weather it?  Mostly I just didn't combat them. I concentrated on empty regions and stayed away from Paris and most of the VP spaces.  I did squeak out the first battle, but after that I stayed out of the battles since my Generals would have never lived.

Was there anything redeeming?  Ummm... actually, the more I think about it, no not really.  The theme was sorta cute, but really didn't come through.  The alternative game end conditions were slightly threatening, but not really.

Yea, this was totally not a classic for me.


  1. Half of the game decisions are about resolving ties. Given the order of resolution, what cards do you put into your display? How much do you commit early? What regions are important to you. Also, the more ties, the more blocks that get put back into the supply, making the next round longer.

    This is a must-have chart:

    Totally agreed on the pink/purple issue. I don't really expect Valley Games to do a decent job on this, but I will check out their upcoming Liberte reprint.

  2. That is an awesome chart! Thanks a bunch for pointing it out. I think that aid alone would have saved 20-30 minutes of rules discussions :)

    And I do see your point. Managing your displayed cards through all those tiebreaks does add a good chunk of "hand" management.


Behave. Your mamma could read this.