I like pleasant surprises. In this session, when I asked if anyone had a particular game they wanted to play, the request was for Kremlin. Now, that’s what I call a really, pleasant surprise. Kremlin is a cut throat game based on the power politics within the Politburo. Players – representing political factions – contend with one another to control, by way of secretly allocated influence points – the Party Chief (or his later successors) when he waves at the October Parade. Do that three times and you win. Do that once – as I managed in this session – and you get to watch…
We had six, so Kremlin was perfect. But it’s a game that demands a degree of patience to learn the rules as the systems and background are unusual; definitely not typical euro-fare. Moshe, Shlomi, Marina, Peleg and Abraham were patient and, I would like to think were rewarded with a fun night. There were purges aplenty, show trials, the odd denouncement and some sudden deaths and swift successions. In short, chaos, through which the players tried to steer a path to victory. We all managed to some extent; all except poor Abraham. He didn’t get a single wave. Peleg and I claimed one and Marina and Shlomi claimed two. But the outright winner was Moshe.
One of the tricks in Kremlin is having your controlled politician in the right place at the right time. You want to either be the KGB Minister or his successor to carry out purges. You want to be the Defense Minister or his successor to start investigations or hold trials. You want other people to elevate your guys to the power positions. It’s a neat and deadly use of the old Sigma File secret influence mechanism. Moshe’s key people were in the right place at the right time. The spooky thing was that three of his top four political nominees were the same as mine. He just got there quicker. Well done, Moshe.
We closed the night with the equally cut throat, but much swifter game of Metro. Shlomi was the, er, runaway leader, closely followed by Moshe, then Marina and Abraham. Peleg and I were at the end. Ok, I was last.