The extra impulse in January February was spent in sortieing the German and Vichy fleets. The Kriegsmarine escorted the Swedish iron ore convoys while Vichy established supply lines to its African colonies.
Sunday, July 31, 2022
Saturday, July 30, 2022
Second game. This time I was the Central Powers and remembered to take photos.
The following are comments from Richard who was the Triple Entente player.
This game rates as one of my all time favourites, despite my (obvious) frustration with it revolving around competitive die rolls!
There are only a few things which I can criticise it for. Perhaps the effect of the blockade is understated somewhat, although historically it only really started to bight in 1918 and there are cards to reflect that (which didn't come up this game). I think anything harsher and the game would be almost impossible for the CP to win, so all, in all, it's probably justified in game terms.
Otherwise it has the most brilliant, really simple mechanism to make you play it like it was WW1 with you needing to send in wave after wave of assaults knowing you probably aren't going to break through and just to wear the enemy down, whilst simultaneously exhausting your own forces.
The Western Front was completely static after entrenching was allowed and the Eastern Front was fluid. I love all the little chrome elements, which reference things that happened during the war. If you didn't know much about the conflict it would be a great learning experience.
It was an exciting game from start to finish and so absorbing. After our last session on Tuesday I was totally exhausted from the concentration. I ended up going to bed even earlier than normally.
The game has the CP really up against it, which I suppose is a reflection of the historical issues associated with the likelihood of a CP victory. For a realistic chance of victory, I think the CP needs to go for broke on the first 2 turns to try and get to Paris. Whoever is the CP next time should try that strategy. Although, having said that, in this game, if the CP had Belgium it would have given them the win.
Although harder for the CP, in my opinion, there is no easy victory in the game, which is one of the reasons it's so good I think.
I know myself I made several strategy errors, which I'm definitely going to try and correct next time around. I think I'm going to make up a little "battle card" which lists the decisions you need to make (such as using gas) before starting die rolls. as we both constantly forgot things. I also have a specific strategy I'd like to explore as the CP which neither of us really did in either game.
In terms of this game, a CP victory was very close and would have only needed them to have had Belgium, which would have made it 7 more VPs than Entente:
USA Neutral +1
East Africa -1
So in game terms, forcing the CP out of Belgium on turn 1 ended up sealing the (eventual) victory so it was a very close run thing. Other than the first couple of turns the Entente were on the back foot for the whole game. It was amazing how the game turned around from turn 3. I think we were both expecting a short game with the Entente in Belgium and 6 Russian armies on Germany's doorstep.
In this game, you getting both U Technology cards early on really crippled the British, which meant fewer attacks in the west and thus more German largesse in terms of production transfers. In the previous game, me not getting Bulgaria as a belligerent early enough meant Turkey couldn't be reinforced and you were able to conquer it relatively easily. You raped the British with U Boats this game and the USA didn't enter. I did nothing with my U Boats in the previous game and the US entered with enough time to provide an avalanche of PPs and you had a lot of British points to prop up the French who were down to 3 PPs for the whole game, and you still managed to cling on in France and had enough forces to send 4 armies to Turkey. In neither game did convoys occur to the Entente...
Despite all that, it was still a struggle for both sides in both games.
Aside from an automatic victory, the eventual winner seems to be the side which does well in the Balkans/Turkey. The CP conquering or forcing Russia out is a pre-requisite of course. If the CP holds the Balkans/Turkey and does more or less historical on the western front, which would mean holding Belgium and the Somme at the end of the game, even if the USA entered and the Entente captured East Africa it could still win. If the Entente has any Turkish areas, it would make a CP win very difficult.
I think there are a lot of aspects to this game left to explore. What makes it really exciting is how certain events can really turn the game.
I feel, in both games, I should have paused to consider the strategic situation based on what had come up and then try and adjust. You just get so caught up in the game play sometimes to make this difficult - in some ways this almost simulates the criticism of the unimaginative generalship of WW1. I think one of the best things about the game is that you always feel like you've got a chance right up until the end.
All in all, a 10/10 game made better with a 10/10 opponent.
On further checking, Serbia is a VP for the CP since it was a enemy controlled area at the start of the game.
So that gives the CP the necessary 7 point margin.
I'm going to claim a moral victory on the grounds that not a single furrow of Flanders fields was touched, the rape of Belgium was called off before you could get your britches down and we did it all with leaky boats and no help from the yanks.
Thursday, July 28, 2022
I put together a very small game of Napoleon's Battles pitting Ott's force from Marengo against Desaix's force from the same battle reinforced with some cavalry and artillery to make it interesting (and so that all arms could be experienced). This was to show the rule set to Marc at the club, the well named but rarely played Napoleonic Wargaming Society. However on the night there were three other Napoleonic games on the go as well. Check out the club's post here:
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Sunday, July 24, 2022
Another new game to play and now played. This one a high level strategic game of WW1. Some innovative yet simple mechanics, quick playing. Interesting to contrast with Paths of Glory which is similar scale and format, perhaps with one more level of complexity, but still not complex. I think I preferred PoG for its agonising decisions although concede to Richard's view that Lamps is perhaps a better representation of WW1.
The following is from Richard who was the Central Powers player.
The final scoring was as follows:
4 for Russia
1 for Somme
1 for Belgium
1 for Rumania
1 for Serbia
-1 for East Africa
-1 for Anatolia
-1 for Austria
So a net 5. With Central Powers needing 7 to win.
It was a very close run thing in the end. I should have just concentrated on expelling you from Anatolia by sending a couple of extra German armies from Russia and holding everywhere else. That would have given me a net 7. I blame my post-covid brain fog and all the rescheduling for that bad decision. I'm going to claim a moral victory....😁 (We were stabbed in the back).
This game is SO much better than Paths of Glory. There are no really stupid gamey things that you can do and all the outcomes are really consistent with how WW1 was fought. No stupid supply rules and you can't just march into an "empty" space and keep advancing. There is a reason to attack and press on against the Russians, unlike in PoG where it's just not necessary at all. USA entry is well handled and they do arrive in the nick of time, unlike PoG where they might never appear. Lots of lovely chrome which doesn't interfere with game play.
Saturday, July 23, 2022
At this month's club's games day I had a much more relaxed opportunity to try this scenario again. Simon and Marc were the Carthaginians, Stephen and I were the Romans and I also had command of the Numidians.
Previous AAR and info on the Zama scenario for Basic Impetus can be found here:
Friday, July 22, 2022
November/December 1941 ended after just two impulses, which is the minimum. The only good thing is that short turns are hampering the Imperialists in their grand designs for European subjugation.
German oil stocks have been run down due to their massive investment in Italian arms manufacturing. What could possibly go wrong?
My mix of new and old Hellenistic troops were no match for Dave's Indians.