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First play, and sadly I had to bug out before we got to the finish. But I was doing well! For a first play, I felt the game was opaque at the beginning, but over the first half of the game, it gradually revealed itself to me. I had to leave after 4.5 hours. I guess we may have spend as much as 1 hour explaining the rules to me. We were close to the end, and I encouraged the other players to continue, using a bot for me. I hope that worked out. I'd play again. But I will now know to allot more time to the game. Impressions: The political battles are the core of the game. This is a tug-of-war mechanism, complicated by there being three corners to pull towards. I would not find this interesting, except that there are multiple issues that can be at stake. So you have to decide what is important, and what to let go. The military campaign is a foregone conclusion. The Allies will win. But who will get the most out of the campaigns is unclear - so this part of the game has meaning. The covert activities/political alliance markers appear to be significant. Since I missed the conclusion of the game, I will have to ask my fellow players how this panned out. The biggest problem I had as a first time player was processing what was going on. I doubt anyone can understand this game well enough to be functioning at a high level on their first play. Going forward, I see having equal-experienced players will be an issue. During our game, I had trouble understanding who might be leading. We had neglected the score track for some reason. As I leftthey updated it, showing I had a lead. But lots of points were unscored, and some points do not score until game end. So knowing who is winning may be an issue. This is important, as you are constantly quibbling with your allies. You need to understand who might be the one you need to curb most urgently. All in all, a strong first impression. I will look forward to another chance at this game. 2nd Play - this time the shorter "tournament" game. I came into this play much more familiar with the overall play of the game. I didn't enjoy this game quite as much. The actual play is some fun. But the random rolling of dice to determine the winner at the end was not to my taste.