I like Wallenstein well enough, but I’ve never been a huge fan I admit. I played it a number of times when it first came out, and while it’s a decently fun little game, it never grabbed me. I think there are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, it seems like a game that is all middle. Most games have a vector of some kind, they go through opening, middle-game, and endgame phases, as you build up resources or board position or whatever, and the nature of the game changes. Wallenstein seems more like a blob, you start with some pieces on the board, you push them around, but you don’t really build up or jockey for position much. For me, this makes the game hard to get in to.
Secondly, this has always seemed to me like a game of glorified Risk. There is some fiddly stuff with taxes and harvests and whatnot, but at the end of the day these don’t seem to matter that much and it ends up with whoever manages to grab land while avoiding being attacked by his neighbors, wins. It seems that if I’m going to play a game that is mostly about being a weasel, I’d rather play Intrigue or Quo Vadis.
Lastly, and probably a major element, is just that I find the visualization and planning of the event queue fairly easy. I’m not quite sure why this is, but I’m also pretty good at Wings of War and Gunslinger, so I sort of lose out on the interesting challenge of planning your turn (too bad this isn’t a skill that’s very useful in real life).
Anyway. Wallenstein isn’t bad, one I’m happy to play with my friends. But it isn’t one I’d suggest.