I will eschew cheap smutticisms and just say that I finally got the chance to play Maria on Sunday. I've been excited about this game for a while, bought a copy a couple of months ago, and have been itching to play ever since. Iain "the acceptable face of gaming", and his friend John agreed to try it out last weekend.
I loved it.
As Prussia/Pragmatic I played very poorly. Not really thinking about the implications of what I was doing, I hammered into Austria with the Prussians and into Northern France with the Pragmatics. Won lots of battles, but handed the game to the French. But this game is a beautiful beautiful thing. I love the subtleties of hand management interacting with the suits on the board. I love the positional play and the simple way that the flavour of 18th century siege warfare is captured. I love the look of the board and the pieces. Maria is currently well on the way to joining my exclusive 10-rated list, alongside timeless works of art like Civilization, 1830, and Tigris & Euphrates. When can we play again?