Versailles 1919, created by designers Mark Herman and Geoff Engelstein, allows you to experience this piece of history as one of the four leaders with a national agenda that must be satisfied. As one of the Big Four, you sit in a conference room gaining influence on the issues present in the room. In the waiting room sit other issues and personages who are waiting their turn to make their case to meet regional aspirations such as self-determination. Will you support Ho Chi Minh's attempt to free Vietnam from French colonialism? Help Prince Feisal establish a new nation in Mesopotamia or Chaim Weitzman create a Zionist state? Work with T. E. Lawrence to reduce unrest in the Middle East or with Ataturk in Anatolia? (Text from Boardgame Geek)
This wonderful game has a card-bidding mechanism to allow you to control the settling of each issue before the conference, allow players score points based on your choice of issue settlement and whether random events trigger changes in the military and political power of players . The game plays best as a 4-player version (although 3-player games are sufficient), and usually takes a little less than 2 hours to play. After the first move, it is a fast-moving game, with little dead time for each player, and it rewards thinking through your next move as the other players play. It is most fun if you get into the theme of the game because the scoring fits with the actual goals of the USA, Britain, France, and Italy. But the game mechanism is effective at keeping suspense about the winner well into the game even if you just think in terms of victory points.
Although the game was released in 2019 (on the anniversary of the Versailles Treaty), the pandemic means that fewer people have had a chance to play. I hope that new players will give it a try during the heats, and it is a “B” level game open to beginners.
Heats & Tournament Structure:
The event will use 2 Heats, each scheduled for 3 hours (because the game sometimes takes a little more than 2 hours), to select the 16 players for a Semifinal round and a Final game of 4 players. The plan is for every heat to have 4-player games, but 3-player games will be used if required by the number of players that show up. The GM and AGMs plan to play.
All games will use the full rules. The Heats and Semifinal will set the end-of-game card to be in the final 10 issue cards; the final will set it within the last 5 issue cards. Each game may choose to use the optional rule for a hidden agenda item proposed by Greg Schmittgens (< href=”https://boardgamegeek.com/.../secret-agenda-endgame-scoring”> https://boardgamegeek.com/.../secret-agenda-endgame-scoring), a nice variant which allows more uncertainty about who is winning as the issues-to-be-resolved dwindles down. But the variant will only be used if all players agree to use it.
This game will advance Winners only to a 16-person Semifinal using the rule that all heat winners advance, with winners determined by points at end of game. If a tiebreaker is needed to eliminate players from the Semifinal, points playing Italy will count more than points playing any other country, and points in a 4-player game will count more than points in a 3-player game. If necessary, a die roll will resolve any remaining places in the 16-person Semifinal.
If less than 16 people participate in the Semifinal, the same rules will be used to determine non-winner places at the Final table.
For the Tournament and WBC Laurels, places 1 through 4 will be determined by game results in the final table. Places 5 and 6 will be determined by using the approved WBC rule awarding 5th place to the semifinalist who came in second to the eventual champion and sixth place to the semifinalist who came in second to the second-place player.