It's taken me a while to finish these fabulous castings, I hope I have done them justice.
Now I have enough figures to do Marengo.
Let's start with May/June production, always one of my favourite parts of this massive game.
The French are overjoyed that the British Bolshevist Collective have been booted from La France.
Following an early Brexit, Britain now stands alone although at this stage still have the enslaved races of the Commonwealth at their disposal to die for them.
British Imperialists try to take Aquitaine (Guiana in the local Occitan language), but have to settle on establishing a French puppet regime in French Guiana and seizing some islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
After skillfully winning the initiative (that include an reroll by the allies and them wining ties) Germany declares war on the USSR, not. Needing a modified garrison value of 119, they could only achieve 117.5 There are many things that could have changed this: had the last turn gone on there would have been 2 more points in the German's favour; if they had done better than pick two 1 chits that would have made all the difference; perhaps just one or two more units built an deployed east. But it is what it is. Peace reigns, or not.
Japan declares war on the USSR. Some one has to do it I suppose. You would think the US would be overjoyed, but they are not. A chit to them, on top of the ones they picked up for being shocked at France repudiating its abhorrent socialist ways and throwing off the British shackles. The US don't seem to know who their enemies are.
Germany gets busy creating the European Economic Community with a non-communist market, an expanding European Union which quickly grows to include Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria. The US, having lost access to pasta when Italy entered the war, for some unfathomable reason greets this news with alarm. Clearly they are being subverted by Bolsheviks! Their response is to move their fleet to Pearl Harbour. Is their plan to replace pasta with noodles?
For a previous AAR on this scenario see here. That post provides background as well as links to the scenario details etc.
For this third play through, Simon was the Germans and I was the Soviets.
Really glad I got to use my new German 50mm AT gun bases. Excellent game, but time to move on to another scenario.
Modern, as in post WW2, wargame subjects tend not to be my favourite and the more current they are the less so. I think it is a childhood thing - I'm reliving my youth. Anyway, Richard hosted this game which is based on the most recent Afghan war/occupation/intervention call it what you will, but not special military operation.
A distant plain is a four player game and we had Jeff as the Taliban, Simon as the Warlord, Richard as the Coalition and myself as the Government.
A distant plain is a challenging game. It is quiet a different type of game, being a mix of diplomacy, card play and combat. This complexity is not helped by some of the rules and card descriptions being a bit difficult to follow. Good thing we had four brains at our disposal. Also this was our first play.
What follows are some observations by the Coalition player.
Four things that went against the Government:
1. The really long turn where Government resources ran down.
2. The Taliban card stopping the Coalition being able to assault which really shielded the Warlords.
3. The Manpads shielding both the Taliban and Warlords from airstrikes.
4. Night Letters restricting recruiting by the Government.
Everyone was very close at the end, even so.
The Government/Coalition were on a roll right up until the Coalition wasn't able to assault (the Taliban Talks card) or use air strikes effectively (Manpads). At that stage the obvious target was the Warlords who were able to exploit the lack of molestation to traffic and build up a war chest to use for extortion. Having the Warlords in that position is dire for the Government.
The Taliban could have been a lot more aggressive. It was only with the last few cards after the Warlords had cut the Government down, that the Taliban started a bit of an expansion, just building up presence, rather than going after the Coalition especially since they had a couple of abilities which could have hurt them.
Looking at it from a Government perspective, it would be handy to be in areas where there is COIN control and Warlord bases, because if they traffic Patronage goes up too; just couldn't get there though. A few more turns could have turned the Warlord around.
The interplay between the coalition and government is very tricky. The Government want the Coalition to control an area, but not too well. The Government may not want to move Police into a province so as to avoid being able to improve support in the Propaganda phase which helps the Coalition, although if they don't move Police to a province and there is no Government base, they can't easily keep control of the place.
It was interesting how once the support was in place in the Warlord areas, this favours the Coalition as once COIN control is lost as the Warlord didn't seem to have an incentive to affect support.
One of the the great things about the game is variability. This is due to the cards, that each round can achieve a lot or nothing and also the other players and how they play.
The game is also suitable for solo play.
A quick war is meant to be a fun war right?
Finally in May/June 1941 we had some fine weather. The last of the stockpiled munition (or Offensive Chits as they are known in game parlance) were spent on von Bock for the all important final assault on Paris, but wait, there is other news. Italy declared war on France and the Commonwealth, and demonstrated its aerial efficiency in conducting long range suppression of rear area French forces.
After a brief bombardment, the Germans cleared the city and set about restoring it to its former glory. (A plus 13.5 assault with a 15.3 die roll produced a TOTT result - phew!)
Then it was all aboard the morning train, lunch time train and evening train to places east. But not too many. There were talks of French suicide attacks, but aside from encouragement to appelez-vous de ligne d'aide the Germans held the Seine River line and were just too strong, but still cautious as they carefully started to rotate troops out. Things were going good when all of a sudden the turn ended (just like in 1940) on the first opportunity. What was that about a quick war?
With Paris liberated, a more German friendly Government can be installed, one that is surely going to be hostile to Britain. The big question remains, is there enough time left to deal with the Communist menace? Or put another way:
It all comes down to who gets initiative in July/August and what the garrison values are.
M/J 1941 – FINALLY FINE IN ALL THEATRES
The second impulse of the January/February 1941 turn continued as forecast: snow.
As the war was supposed to have been over by Christmas, the German forces have not been fully supplied with winter camouflage.
1941 A NEW YEAR