Wargames on your table - August 2016
James
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
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We're back again to ask: What wargames are on your table this month?

Who are you playing against? Solo? Vassal? Face-to-face?

We want to know and we lurve to see pictures... Game on!


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101. Board Game: Prussia 20 [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
Board Game: Prussia 20
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In Battle for Moscow and Hammer of the Scots, I messed up a few rules here and there, but usually picked them up during play. With my first run through the Eylau scenario here, however, I don't even know half of what I missed... I think the blasted snowstorm made me screw up every rule possible regarding movement and terrain-combat modifiers.

Such as it was, the French secured a pretty rapid victory. A few quick routs saw the Russians scattered, and it all went decidedly pear-shaped when Dokturov's lot vacated Eylau to mop up the French cadres sneaking along the southern road, only to find themselves tossed clear off the board.

Think I'll give the relatively warmer Jena a spin before heading back into this particular blizzard.
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102. Board Game: Cedar Mountain: Prelude to Bull Run, August 9, 1862 [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:5156]
Board Game: Cedar Mountain: Prelude to Bull Run, August 9, 1862
Jon Quinn
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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and I are playing Cedar Mountain: Prelude to Bull Run, August 9, 1862. Steven took the Union and I the Confederacy. Photo was taken at turn 5. We made it through turn 6 and will pick up there. We would have made it further but some guy neither of us had ever met came by and wanted to rent the place (Steven's)where we play games (I know... I know... happens all the time in the middle of a game to you too, doesn't it...).

Anyway, here is a photo of the game. Though things were looking nigh unto impossible for Steven's Yanks, they withdrew slightly and then opened up. They scored hits all over the place while my Rebel return fire was not nearly so effective. I am placing my die under court martial for its incompetency and we will continue next week.



From gallery of jwquinn
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103. Board Game: Next War: India-Pakistan [Average Rating:8.32 Overall Rank:3894]
Board Game: Next War: India-Pakistan
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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On my solitaire table - taking my first crack at Next War. Going to run the smallest standard scenario (Kashmir) to get a sense for it before jumping into something deeper.
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104. Board Game: Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62 [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:1578]
Board Game: Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62
Gordon J
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
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Been playing Colonial Twilight solo the last few days. Does the universe have room for a 2-player COIN game? Does the world really need one? I believe the answer to that is yes. Even though one of the things I love about the regular COIN games is the multiplayer nature and interaction and smack talk you get with a four player game. The two player implementation of this system provides some very unique challenges you don't find in the four player games.

From gallery of patton55


One subtle change, I think, is the resource situation. For the FLN (insurgent) player it's not really different than say the Taliban or FARC players in past games, but the French Govt in this one is really hampered by resources. More so than the normal limitations the government has in other games. At least when I have played, taking Limited Operations and more events, are common, in order to survive, to preserve your limited resources. This happens in other COIN games for sure, but not on a regular basis as it does in CT. It makes for some really tough decisions.

From gallery of patton55


The other thing different, of course, is how you take actions. You don't use the normal action selection chart, there is a new Initiave Track.


From gallery of patton55


The new tension in this game is centered around taking your turn and how you will maintain or lose initiative. If I am first to go, I can take a full operation and do a lot of stuff, but then my enemy, going second, sure will get sloppy seconds, and won't be able to do much, but then I lose initiative and my enemy will go first on the next card. So, if you do something big, you end of losing initiative, basically giving your opponent the chance to go twice in a row, which if you are the insurgents, that could be devastating, as the Govt could swoop in and Sweep, exposing your pieces, and then since it has initiative, then could Assault you, knocking your pieces out.

So, you now have the new decision to keep initiative. If you are first to go, you could do a limited operation, not getting as much done, but you keep initiative, so you get to play first on the next card. First crack at the next juicy event that might pop up. So this means you will end up doing more limited operations, to not only preserve resources, but to keep the tempo of the game, to hold out for a better opportunity on the next card. And this dynamic makes the two player COIN very tense and tough. Because being able to do a limited operation, followed by being first on the next card can significantly change the landscape, that I think is harder to do in the four player game.

The French Government in CT may be one of the most tricky factions to play in all of the COIN games. Sure you can spend a ton shit of resources on a big push one turn, but then you have put yourself in a fragile position until the next Propaganda card. You take baby steps, do surgical strikes here and there, preserve your resources, and try to hold on.

Yeah, the more I play this the more I like it.

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105. Board Game: Pacific Fury: Guadalcanal, 1942 [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:7171]
Board Game: Pacific Fury: Guadalcanal, 1942
Lance McMillan
United States
Lakebay
Washington
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Picked this up at CSW Expo (back in July) and can't get enough of it. Such a brilliant minimalist design, condenses the entire campaign down to its essential elements. Less than 100 counters and only four movement areas on the map, but the game feels very chess-like in that you'll end up staring at the board for 15-20 minutes each impulse trying to figure out what your best move is (and you're only allowed to make one move). Amazing depth for such a simple game!
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106. Board Game: B-17: Queen of the Skies [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:1471]
Board Game: B-17: Queen of the Skies
Royce Reiss
United States
Brookeville
Maryland
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Got a few games of this in flying 4 A/C on each mission


Msn CITY & TARGET TYPE Wx @ tgt On TGT BOMB RUN AVG%
5 St. Omer--airfiled G 4 4 32.5
6 Abbeville--Airfield B 3 0 0
7 Rouen--Rail Yard G 4 1 7.5
8 Lille--Industry G 4 2 17.5
9 Abbeville--Airfield G 4 1 18.75
10 Rotterdam Ship Yard B 4 0 0

5. St. Omer—airfield: milk run

6. Abbeville—Airfield: A/C Lost: Bad Clown flak inbound - crew POW except for Nav and Bombardier who successfully evaded capture.
Crew losses: Busted Flush (BF) LT Phillips (Bomb) KIA, LT Chulack (Nav) KIA

7. Rouen--Rail Yard: 1st mission for Carolina Queen replacing BC
1 Kill: Carolina Queen (CQ) 1-ME110 Sgt Rodriguez (Tail)

8. Lille—Industry: CQ takes near fatal damage - 2 KIA, 2 LW
Crew losses: CQ Cpt Davis (Pilot), Sgt Vance (Radio)
2 Kills: CQ :1-ME109 & 1-FW190 Sgt Rodriguez

9. Abbeville—Airfield: CQ takes major damage
2 Kills: BF: 1-ME109 MSgt Bruno; Bama Tiger (BT) 1-ME109 Sgt Russell


10. Rotterdam Ship Yard: BT msn aborted -jumped over the channel heat in cockpit knocked out, 1x 109 kill MSgt Bikel (Eng), Sgt Russell SW-IH
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107. Board Game: Day of Days: The Invasion of Normandy 1944 [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:5680]
Board Game: Day of Days: The Invasion of Normandy 1944
Royce Reiss
United States
Brookeville
Maryland
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Starting a Vassal game with a friend – Commonwealth Beaches scenario

Will probably run into next month

Sword and the Drop Zone after the 2nd wave landing

From gallery of RHReiss


and Gold and Juno after the 2wave landing

From gallery of RHReiss
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108. Board Game: Germantown [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:4945]
Board Game: Germantown
Germantown is on my dinner table and ready to be played tomorrow night.
I've soloed it over the weekend and it seems a great engagement of forces, in which every piece of terrain seems to be a hell to conquer.

This will also be my first attempt at the Battles of the American Revolution series.

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109. Board Game: MBT (Second Edition) [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:4282]
Board Game: MBT (Second Edition)
Eric Walters
United States
Chesterfield
Virginia
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After messing about with this solitaire (to learn the Advanced Rules), I was able to lure a friend of mine into the Basic Rules and an outing with Scenario 1: First Clash (on the Czech Border). I had the company of T-72AVs, he had the covering force of M60A3 TTS tanks. Using the advanced rules, it's a wild engagement and quite tricky for NATO; using the Basic Rules, it's quite reminiscent of the first scenario in basic PANZER. Here's a river, here's some bridges/fords, now go take them.

Anti-tank combat in this system is quite lethal, especially when the forces close. The U.S. has the range but not the punch until they get up close; the Warsaw Pact smashes any tank it can hit but has to get closer to hit. Hmmm. We ended up tying the game as the map was littered with Brewed Up wrecks and nobody wanted to stick their nose out to have it whacked off by survivors.

We're playing this again with the Advanced Rules for tank/anti-tank combat, formations, command, and all the extras next time!

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110. Board Game: Desert Fox Deluxe [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:9739]
Board Game: Desert Fox Deluxe
Tony Doran
United States
Columbia
Tennessee
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Just pushing counters around right now, but I am really liking this game.
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111. Board Game: D-Day at Omaha Beach [Average Rating:8.25 Overall Rank:577]
Board Game: D-Day at Omaha Beach
Royce Reiss
United States
Brookeville
Maryland
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I got 4 games in using DG’s computer version of the game. The only significant difference I see is that the losses are randomly assigned. One narrow win out of the four games. Managed to get just enough units off the map.

From gallery of RHReiss
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112. Board Game: FAB: Golan '73 [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:5202]
Board Game: FAB: Golan '73
Sean McCormick
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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Punched and ready to go. The setup errata is a bit disconcerting, but thankfully the map appears to be accurate in every case.

Love FAB and looking forward to seeing how this one unfolds. The map looks empty at the start!
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113. Board Game: Sicily II [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:5446]
Board Game: Sicily II
Jeffrey D Myers
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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My second foray into OCS....
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114. Board Game: Star Trek: Attack Wing [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:1290]
Board Game: Star Trek: Attack Wing
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
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While I have a solo game of Panzerkrieg going on, Dan and I finished a rousing game of Star Trek: Attack Wing. We battled for control of the planet Ramatis III, where Dan commanded the Federation squadron tasked with defending the planet against a Klingon invasion fleet. The order of battle was thus:

Federation:
- Battleship Excelsior, commanded by Captain Sulu
- Cruiser Enterprise, commanded by Captain Kirk, in overall command

Klingon:
- Cruiser Kronos One, commanded by Captain Kor, in overall command
- Cruiser Rotarran, commanded by Captain Koloth
- Cruiser D-7, commanded by Captain Krell

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Federation squadron clears for action

I split my attacking force, with Kronos One and the D-7 proceeding around the near side of Ramatis III, while the Rotarran cloaked and set course for the far side of the planet, head long into the Federation squadron. Using advanced weaponry, Rotarran fired photon torpedoes while remaining cloaked, reducing Excelsior to 25% shields. However, exceedingly fortunate gunnery by the Enterprise resulted in the shocking destruction of the Rotarran at long range.
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Destruction of the Rotarran

The rest of the Klingon fleet was able to swing around Ramatis and take the Federation ships in the flank. In the ensuing exchange of torpedoes and phasers, Excelsior and the D-7 were destroyed, leaving only Kronos One and Enterprise.
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Kronos One and D-7 preparing to engage the Federation ships

In a final exchange of fire, Kronos One suffered extreme structural damage and a potential warp core breach, but the Enterprise was completely destroyed by a salvo from Kronos One. The Klingons had won a narrow but satisfying victory for the Empire!
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Death of the Enterprise

From gallery of desertfox2004

From gallery of desertfox2004

From gallery of desertfox2004


When played faction and era pure, STAW can be a quite proper space naval wargame!

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115. Board Game: The Lamps Are Going Out [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:4082]
Board Game: The Lamps Are Going Out
Gregg Keizer
United States
Creswell
Oregon
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Second solo this month of The Lamps Are Going Out, which I'd forgotten I had pre-ordered.

I lean towards hex-and-counter with more bits to push around, but this has been addictive, in part because the turns play quickly even though there are often excruciating decisions about where to push, where to stand fast, and how to allocate the precious production points.

Not really sure how I feel about the cards, and their place in the design. This is my first game with cards of any kind, and while they don't inhibit solo in any way, I may be too set in my ways to adapt to cards in a wargame.

From gallery of gkeizer


The action shifts to the Western and Italian fronts after the collapse of Russia (in Winter 1916...I've had difficulty keeping the Central Powers from capturing four or more areas, even, as in this play, the British were able to send production points because they'd opened the Straits), and before the U.S. gets into the action (U.S. entry was also Winter 2016, so it should have the first army in France by Winter 1917, and its production flowing to the Western Allies by then as well).
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116. Board Game: Hands in the Sea [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:1614]
Board Game: Hands in the Sea
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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Well, the dream is becoming a reality. The game is in transit to my house, and I'll be checking the mailbox every day, either dancing like Snoopy or walking back to the house, droopy-shouldered and dejected like Charlie Brown.

I haven't been gaming this month because I've been busting my butt on building this. Turns out I learned a lot of Vassal tricks these last 18 months. I found ways to make the module work even more smoothly, for faster game play.

It took about 2 weeks, and I'd guess about another 80 hours of work and a bunch of nights where I saw 2 AM and thought, "Man, work comes early, but I'm on a roll!" But it was worth it, as I got this thing right where I want it. Now, I'm play testing it, looking for annoying hidden bugs.

Here's a peek at the module (click the magnifying glass to zoom in on it). I talked to Don at Knight Works and the tentative release date for the module is October 1st, which gives me plenty of time to play test it.

From gallery of airjudden
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117. Board Game: Successors (Third/Fourth edition) [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:1206]
Board Game: Successors (Third/Fourth edition)
Einmal ist Keinmal
United States
Andover
MA
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"I love beautiful melodies telling me terrible things." -TW
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Saturday, we played a 4-player game of Successors.

Factions were:
Ptolemy/Antigonus
Antipater/Perdiccas
Craterus/Leonnatus
Lysimachus/Peithon

Summary is that since the Perdiccas faction drew Antipater as well, that player (after looting the treasury at Babylon), force marched Perdiccas with the funeral cart towards Pella. Other factions saw the dilemma, and conspired to prevent the auto win. Perdiccas decided to instead bury Alexander in the capital of Phrygia. (Perdiccas successfully sieged it when Antigonus went on campaign against the island of Rhodes.)

Ptolemy, with control of the heir Heracles could have won the game when Heracles came of age, but foolishly commited his navy to an unneccessary battle, causing the dispersing of his fleet, and resulting in the loss of the 3 VPs from largest fleet. Doh! (Guess who played the Ptolemy faction? whistle )

Craterus had the loyalty of the Silver Shields, but no one was brave enough to engage his army in combat. Lysimachus and Cassander work to get control of Greece for a time. The Greek Colonists (in the East) were never activated. Antipater defeated the Greek Army early on. Susa and Ecbatana were also looted for their treasury. Craterus player successfully implemented "Repercussion of Defeat" event card--this one seems difficult to pull off, and I think this was the first time I've seen it used.

Alex V was murdered when coming of age and the Craterus/Leonnatus faction wins on VPs.
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118. Board Game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:370]
Board Game: Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ?
Einmal ist Keinmal
United States
Andover
MA
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"I love beautiful melodies telling me terrible things." -TW
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Played a 2-er of Labyrinth as the US player. Let's Roll scenario.

First turn saw the US play GTMO which prevents Jihadist recruit ops for the entire turn. In hindsight, this was a mistake, as I was holding several Jihadist events that put cells on the board (which is not "recruit", so entirely legal). Since I can only hold or discard one of these cards, this meant that the Jihadists would appear on the board despite not doing so by recruiting.


US invades Afghanistan for regime change. Prestige drops low. It's a long time before the US can have any decent chance at war of ideas (WoI) rolls. I spend ops disrupting and WoI in order to get non-Muslim countries to match US "hard" posture. While still bogged down in Afg, Iraq deteriorates to Islamist rule (IR). Quagmire forces 2 discards! Some plots in Muslim countries keep the funding rolling in. US still having trouble getting the world to Hard posture, so plays Jihadist event that causes US posture change (or was it a reroll?). In any case, posture changes to Soft. US withdraws from Poor govt Afghanistan in order to later regime change Iraq. Syria falls to IR. Both Prestige rolls bring Prestige UP!!!

Now, I can start WoI (+1 Prestige mod, and no World Posture penalty), and bring the Muslim world to the west! Too late. Afghanistan is overwhelmed with jihadists and (being a besieged regime) falls to IR. Jihadist resources at 6 (Iraq (still green regime change marker), Syria, and Afg).

Game ended at about 3/4 of the way through the first deck.

I was teaching the game to my opponent, and I find that I'm focused so much on her learning the game and understanding the concept that I overlook things on my side. I should've kept GTMO and used it for OPs rather than the event, given the Jihadist cards I was holding. Further, I probably shouldn't have invaded Afghanistan. It's been a while since I've played, so I'll have to relearn some of the events and consider the repercussions of some of the US operations better.
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119. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #6 – The Spartan Army [Average Rating:8.46 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.46 Unranked]
Board Game: Commands & Colors: Ancients Expansion Pack #6 – The Spartan Army
James Lowry
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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Patch and I just finished our usual pair of C&C:A games between bigger games, this time playing the Battle of Piraeus from Expansion #6. The Athenians have a lighter army, but have occupied a hill near the center of the board, while the main line of Spartan hoplites are way back on the baseline.

Patch led off with a Line Command as the Spartans in the first game, pushing his Auxilia into the hills and doing one block damage. After a couple turns for both of us to get better positioned, an Order Mediums brought more of the line up, and Patch killed an Auxilia on the hills. I Out Flanked to deploy the wings of the army, and then Two Right followed by Inspired Center Leadership allowed him to occupy much of the hill while killing four light units at a cost of two blocks.

I Ordered Four Center to finally engage my hoplites (uphill), and a lucky hit killed Pausanias, and further attacks got the unit he was with at a cost of three blocks across two units (it would have been much worse with the leader). Patch used Line Command to bring up the left half of his force and we traded a couple blocks. I Ordered Three Center onto the hill, knocked out his Warriors, chased off an Auxilia and traded blocks on the flank. Patch Ordered Three Center in turn against my weakened line, but couldn't quite kill any units, and took one more block than I did.

I used Clash of Shields to order five units... including a LS adjacent to a pair of fresh Spartan Hoplites, and two units that were down to a single block each. I picked off the two easy units, but couldn't get his leader or a MC, and while a lucky roll reduced a Spartan Hoplite to one block, it also chased it away out of range of my last active unit. That managed a solid three-hit strike against his last intact unit in the area, but got eliminated in turn. Patch Ordered Mounted to activate most of his army, and finished off an Auxilia for the win. 5-6

External image


I also led off with Line Command as the Spartans, but ended up splitting my line in the process. However, I nearly wiped out a LS as it evaded out of range, caused a hit on his other evading LS, and forced a LC to lose a block by retreating into the baseline. An Order Left and Line Command got me barely onto the central hill, where I chased off a Light with damage, and my Warriors traded two blocks with a leader-led Auxilia. Patch used Move-Fire-Move to reorder his flanks, but only did a single banner. Order Three Left continued my advance on the hill, and destroyed an Aux. Patch Ordered Four Right to force a couple units back, and cost me a couple blocks, but I also forced his leading Hoplites back to the rest of his line. A followup Darken the Sky did a little more damage, and finished off an Auxilia.

Order Lights weakened his flanks a bit, but Patch used Leadership any Section to finally get the main line of Hoplites engaged but, having to fight uphill, traded three blocks for five. I used Leadership any Section to keep my left going, but took two to one losses. Patch used Line Command to order the entire center, and eliminated my Warriors and a Hoplite for minimal losses. Order Three Center put good units in action, but the only good result was eliminating a weakened Hoplite, and driving off a leader. Patch Ordered Mediums to knock out the remaining Hoplite on my left, but blew a roll against my 1-block Auxilia and lost his Hoplites instead.

I moved up my remaining left units, and Patch had Inspired Center Leadership to continue the fight for the hills. He blew another attack against my Auxilia, and lost another Hoplite unit to them, but knocked out a 3-block Hoplite in two attacks that cost him two blocks, and also traded two blocks between an Auxilia and my remaining engaged Hoplites.

I used Leadership any Section to keep the remnants of my left flank going again, and my slingers finally finished off his LC at range, while my MC finished off a 1-block Hoplite. 6-5

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Afterword

Both plays of this battle were unexpectedly brutal. The Spartans have a great force hampered by having the Hoplites so far back, with everything else in the way. The Athenians start with a position on the hill, but their truly good units are a bit far back. Both times it looked like the Spartans were going to have a pretty good time of it when some timely die rolls or cards gave the Athenians what they needed. I was worried about a shutout in the first game until that lucky leader loss, and in the second game, my hand went steadily from 'pretty good' to 'junk', and I never had much I could do to engage my right flank.
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120. Board Game: W1815 [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:2376]
Board Game: W1815
Ron A
United States
California
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Fiery the angels fell
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Playing around with solo bots. This time I tried a revision on the '7th Coalition'' bot.

Instead of plugging away with the Grand Battery, it was one shot vs Hill with Kellerman, and then once Hill was in squares, go after him with Reille. It turned out to be extraordinarily bloody. Kellerman, Reille and the Alliance Reserve all ended up without any pieces left. Then the Guard started attacking Hill as well. The 'bot is kinda strange, because it will attack with Uxbridge BEFORE trying to roll for Blucher. Uxbridge rolled a '1' which caused 2AC, while there aren't any bad results for rolling Blucher. At the end, Allied casualties reached B, giving the French a win.

I need to remember all of this next time I play a live person.
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121. Board Game: Hold the Line: Frederick's War [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:6276]
Board Game: Hold the Line:  Frederick's War
Aranubis
Austria
Vienna
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From gallery of Aranubis


Testing my new War of the Spanish Succession scenarios for Hold the Line: Frederick's War with individual unit counters. Works fine with my new vassal module.
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122. Board Game: Commands & Colors: Napoleonics [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:367]
Board Game: Commands & Colors: Napoleonics
Neil Mooney
United States
Quincy
Massachusetts
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Boris Karloff as General Nikolas Pherides in ISLE OF THE DEAD (1945)
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Learned this one last year, but only played briefly. Very busy with work and family matters lately so it's fun to relax with a straightforward and very "colorful" game. Whenever I set this up I'm brought back to fond childhood memories of toy soldier battles... And I mean that in a good way!

From gallery of DerTroof

Rolica 2nd Position: Sir Arthur has a tough nut to crack with the French set up on ridges facing four narrow approaches. Must get the artillery up!
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123. Board Game: The Chosin Few [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:8570]
Board Game: The Chosin Few
Royce Reiss
United States
Brookeville
Maryland
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I recently got this game, part of VPG summer sale order along with Cruel Necessity and Ottoman Sunset. One of them will be the next solo wargame played.

As expected the first couple of plays were quick losses while getting a feel for game play.
The Marines got overrun fairly quickly in the four losses.

From gallery of RHReiss


It appears that keeping the number of times a unit is attacked in a turn low is crucial to survival. But when the attacking units get bunched up and can be pinned by interdiction a win can happen.

From gallery of RHReiss
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124. Board Game: The Next War: Modern Conflict in Europe [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:4522]
Board Game: The Next War: Modern Conflict in Europe
Patrick O'Halloran
United States
Asbury Park
New Jersey
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Bubba
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Breaking it out old school for the last hurrah before school starts (I teach). Continuing my solo run through of the Fulda Gap scenario with Air. It is turn 4 of 10 and here is the situation on the ground:
From gallery of patricko


The bigger story has been in the Air war where the Warsaw Pact has become decimated. Here is what they have available for turn 4:
From gallery of patricko


Here is what Nato has available and the incoming US reinforcements.
From gallery of patricko

Sorry for the grainy images.

Edit: Darn heavy fingers strike again.
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