Wargames on your table - September 2017
James
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
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Greetings Wargamers!

A new month starts today so - as our heroic tradition demands - it is once again time to ask the eternal question: What wargames are on your table this month?

It doesn't matter if it is solo or opposed, physical or digital, hex & counter or cards & cubes. If it feels like a wargame, it probably is one and we want to hear about it.



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1. Board Game: Empire of the Sun [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:694]
James
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
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I played one turn of Empire of the Sun, solo. Totally mind melting stuff.
I used the Japanese historical hand for T2 went after Malaya and the Philipines and started gobbling up the Dutch East Indies. The allies had to sit around and take it but they did get the Edwin Booz ASP and launched a quick raid on Kwajalein, which I think will have severe consequences for the US Navy in turn 3.
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2. Board Game: Autumn For Barbarossa [Average Rating:7.84 Unranked]
ER Bickford
United States
Auburn
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Replay of Autumn for Barbarossa
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3. Board Game: Washington's War [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:387]
Jim Ransom
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
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Scott and I gave WW another try. This time he (British) had better cards, and I had less luck winning battles. As a result the French didn't arrive until 1780, by which time Scott had gobbled up all the southern colonies.



Still, my Americans had a chance to eke out a win with the game set to end in 1780. Scott had Cornwallis and Howe in position to flip MD and DE to get his minimum of 6 colonies for the victory. I played "John Paul Jones Raids" to get him to discard his last card, leaving me with a 3 Ops and Minor Campaign. Three chances to win 2 battles to dislodge Howe and Cornwallis from Wilmington DE and Fredericktown MD. GW and Rochambeau each with 5 CUs ready to pull it off! Would have been epic!

But I couldn't get it done. Sigh.

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4. Board Game: Julius Caesar [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:671]
Scott Henshaw
United States
East Bridgewater
Massachusetts
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Finally got around to playing this highly rated block game from the Hammer of the Scots family and was suitably impressed enough to schedule another game of it at our monthly wargame meet up, SNEW (Southern New England Wargamers).
Looking forward to playing it and actually having a vague idea of what to do.
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5. Board Game: Enemy Coast Ahead: The Doolittle Raid [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:6242]
Tim Parker
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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Three greatest chess players ever: Bobby Fischer, Mikhail Tal, and Victor Korchnoi.
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Just played over the first scenario. This game reminds me so much of Carrier in terms of approach (we'll see about complexity). I've always been a big fan of the programmed approach to complex wargames.

So far the fun factor is very high too. I had some very lucky rolls during my 30 seconds and finished with 6 damage points on 2 targets.

I plan to play all the 6 attack scenarios then take a break to digest (maybe with some missions from Israeli Air Force Leader) then go back to dive deeper into the game.
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6. Board Game: Time of Crisis [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:1513]
Jon Quinn
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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At our monthly meetup in Joliet, Illinois four of us took Time of Crisis for a spin. I was the only one that had played it before. I had played it twice with 2 players. This was my first 4 player game. As you might expect, though the 2 player game is fine, the 4 player game is really great! Opening up the whole board and having 4 players with crossed purposes has a fantastic feel.

Players for this game were:

Roman Basilios
United States
Illinois
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Green - House of Viridi
Joe's beginning province was Africa


Steve Keifer
United States
Wheaton
Illinois
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Red - House of Rufus
Steve's beginning Province was Gallia


David Schoepke
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Yellow - House of Flavo
David's beginning Province was Galatia


And myself
Blue - House of Hyacinthum
My beginning Province was Macedonia



Several rounds into the game, Joe's Green had been beset by Nomad invaders from the beginning. Red had taken Hispania keeping Green from going north, and David's Yellow had come into Aegyptus and would take it, but this province would be afflicted by Nomads, a Pretender Emperor and become impossible to govern without a huge military campaign. Green had a difficut time, but would establish himself as Emperor briefly.

(By the way, instead of grabbing my second province on my first turn, I built up the one I had. I see it is always best to grab the second province instead. Unfortunately, Joe, thinking that since I had played twice before, thought I knew what I was doing and did the same thing. That will probably be the last time he will ever think I know what I am doing.)

Steve's Red not only took Hispania, but also came east into Pannonia on my borders, cutting my blue off from further expansion without conflict. But, I did manage to install a governor in Britannia and establish a military presence there.

David's Yellow began to take a lead here, and would really take off in the next few rounds. The Sussinids would invade several times, giving him points, and then he started recruiting them into his own army.

My Blue controlled three provinces at this time. Green had one. Red had three. Yellow had three but would shortly take Aegyptus but, due to the turmoil there, would not be able to hold it for long. Yellow also developed the best influence deck early on.




Getting close to the end here. David's Yellow is approaching his 60 legacy points necessary and then will seek to grab Rome. Everybody is trying to prevent that, Steve's Red invaded Yellow territory, mobs in the street were incited, and it took Yellow down a few notches. Red was climbing fast. I decided that Yellow's progress had been stopped and the real worry might be Red, who, earlier, had played the first aggressive card on me by inciting a mob in Thracia. So, I attacked Gallia and took it from Red. That gave me my 4th province and I was strong. Time to catch up. Next round all will have the wonderful opportunity to see me forge to the front! Or not...

Except for one thing. I will not get another round. David's Yellow, through clever play, amasses the needed legacy points and sails across the Sea to take the throne from a very weak neutral emperor and wins the game.

Hail Caesar David!

We had a good time and I expect will revisit this one sometime in the future.

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7. Board Game: Quatre Batailles en Espagne [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
Jason Sadler
United States
Olney
Maryland
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Going for a second shot at Salamanca from this iteration of the Vive l'Empereur ! system.

I played the first time with the basic rules and it was a lot of fun. It was about on par with the rules overhead of C&C: Napoleonics with all the expansions combined.

The advanced rules section is like a salad bar where you can pick what you want.

I had to go with voltigeurs this time, just so I could use the weird half counters with skirmishers on them.


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8. Board Game: Clash of Giants: Civil War [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:5537]
Steve Herron
United States
Johnson City
Tennessee
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Nearing the end of the 2nd day of 2nd Bull Run with Longstreet's coming on the Federals have made some attacks but suffered losses due to poorer quality troops and some vicious Confederate counter attacks. The Union has received six VPs due to delays of Confederate reinforcements. I believe Longstreet's troops are going to be the hammer blow to swing the game greatly to the Confederate side.
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9. Board Game: Wooden Ships & Iron Men [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1010]
Ron A
United States
Coronado
California
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Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet-Gen. Mattis
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The continuing saga from youplay.it.

This is a game I just started.

Our lead ship in the van squadron is about to lose his foremast-- that might get messy.

I spent most of August visiting Scandinavia. One of the places we visited was Copenhagen, site of the famous Napoleonic era sea battle, Battle of Copenhagen. Napoleon wanted to trade with Sweden, Russia, Denmark etc while he was fighting England; apparently Sweden was especially prized as a trading partner for her endless supply of trees suitable for ship's masts and spars. Anyway, they formed the League of Armed Neutrality, which gave England fits. In an attempt to split apart the League, the Brits sent a fleet to the Copenhagen to intimidate or use force to remove the Danes from the League.

Of course, intimidation failed. Nelson was only second in command, but was given the task of attacking the mostly anchored Danish fleet. The overall English admiral, Parker, was in deeper water with the heavy ships. After seeing 3 of Nelson's ships run around in shallow water and watching an exchange of gunfire for some time, he was worried about the outcome. He ordered the general recall signal flag sent up the mast, telling his flag captain, "I will make the signal of recall for Nelson's sake. If he is in condition to continue the action, he will disregard it; if he is not, it will be an excuse for his retreat and no blame can be imputed to him."

How well Parker knew his subordinate. Nelson saw the recall signal, but had no intention of retreating. He told HIS flag captain, Thomas Foley, "You know, Foley, I only have one eye — I have the right to be blind sometimes," and then he held his telescope to his blind eye (French souvenir from an assault vs Calvi, Corsica, 1793), and said "I really do not see the signal!"

Nelson continued the attacks and a few hours later the Danish Crown Prince sued for terms (at a tour of the palace we learned the king was at least partially non compos mentis, which was why the Crown Prince was running things).

The peace held for several years, and when the Danes started trading with Napoleon again, the British came back with another fleet in 1807 and bombarded Copenhagen, destroying much of the town.

Yes, a long story, but it was super cool to be at a place were such an historic event occurred. Touring the palace, we were in a room where the floor came from salvaged decking from the Danish ship of the line Mars, lost in the battle. It doesn't get any better than that.
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10. Board Game: Rivet Wars: Eastern Front [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:1649]
Keith Lewis
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Rivet Wars. Had this on the shelf for a year and just got to it. Didn't realize how much fun it was even solo.
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11. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1 [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:367]
Lev
United States
Spotsylvania County
Virginia
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So, this game comes out every Saturday morning, or at least that's the plan. It is the only time my son and I can play (darn things like work and school and whatever get in the way of play). This is a new phenomenon as my son has never shown an interest in hex & counter wargames.
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12. Board Game: Kampfgruppe Scherer: the Shield of Cholm [Average Rating:8.31 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.31 Unranked]
Jeffrey D Myers
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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"Always rely upon a happy mind alone." Geshe Chekhawa.
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KGS4 (From Matilda with Love).
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13. Board Game: Fatal Alliances: The Great War [Average Rating:8.22 Overall Rank:7000]
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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We are in December 1917. German morale is dropping; they've been pushed back to Warsaw in the east and in the west the French and Americans have pushed into northern Germany.

The Austro-Hungarians have lost Lemberg and Cernowitz and are hanging on in the Carpathians. They ALSO have fronts along the Bulgarian-Romanian border, and in Greece around Salonika (a British landing took pressure off of the Greeks), and of course along the Italian frontier.

The Ottomans are holding strong in the Caucasus but are finally falling back in the desert... while the Japanese, who joined the Central Powers in 1916, are defending their ill-gotten gains such a Manila.

A wild card - the High Seas Fleet and Grand Fleet (plus the French) are lumbering around the North Sea. A major naval battle could have significant morale implications...
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14. Board Game: Talon [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:1975] [Average Rating:7.73 Unranked]
Justin
United States
Kentucky
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This came in the mail last month. The plan is to try and learn it on my own and play both sides a couple times before trying to teach it to someone else.
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15. Board Game: Oil War [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:11845]
Lance McMillan
United States
Lakebay
Washington
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Got this on the table in response to post-AAR discussion to a game played by Fred Schwarz over on CSW. My main purpose being to test out a modification to the air system that I came up with -- so far, it looks to be working reasonably well...
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16. Board Game: D-Day at Omaha Beach [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:455]
Lev
United States
Spotsylvania County
Virginia
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This is a hold-over from last month... I'm slowly improving and may even make it far enough to actually need to calculate VP. Maybe...
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17. Board Game: Britain Stands Alone [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:5676]
Gregg Keizer
United States
Eugene
Oregon
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Britain Stands Alone

Still setting up this one. Found an unpunched copy at Noble Games. Frankly, I don't remember what led me to buying this -- it was certainly not on my radar -- but it must have been a thread here or perhaps on CSW.



Although the photo makes the counters appear readable, in reality the British land forces counters are among the most illegible I've encountered. The naval and air counters for both sides are also extremely difficult to read. I need my lighted magnifying glass for this game. YMMV.

But I'm eager to finish digesting the rulebook, and get started.

Also, check out this super AAR that Jakub Kircun did.
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18. Board Game: None But Heroes [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:3661]
ian morris
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Mids
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Three turns in, fifty to go...


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19. Board Game: Pocket Landship [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:7538]
Scott Allen
United States
Freeport
IL
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This is one of my own design, from the 9 card PnP contest earlier this year - a pocket size wargame.

Battle your landship (in various configurations using double sided cards that might even be 2 landships) against an enemy onslaught of different class landships, infantry, artillery, and/or mine field.


(I made some slight changes a couple months back and never printed out new cards for myself, so sorry for the hand written changes on the lower left card)

I also have a Solo Challenge going on with this game if you want to join the fun:
Pocket Landship Print and Play Challenge #2 - CLOSED
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20. Board Game: '65: Squad-Level Combat in the Jungles of Vietnam [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:5261]
Charles Lewis
United States
West Des Moines
IA
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The dust is finally settling after my recent move and I decided it was high time the game table got some wargame action.

Trying out the solo rules with Scenario 1. Here it is all set up and ready to go:

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21. Board Game: D-Day at Tarawa [Average Rating:8.22 Overall Rank:2221]
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Just received the most recent reprint (with mounted map board) as a present. Read the rules and the campaign history supplement. Trying desperately to get an initial play in.

September is looking busy, but I'll try to post an update if I actually have time for a session.

EDIT: Still on Turn 3. Interruptions abound.

EDIT 2: Up to turn 6, Player Actions. Lost all but 2 steps worth of tanks on the landing phase of Turns 4 and 6. I don't think I'm gonna pull this out...
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22. Board Game: Malta Besieged: 1940-1942 [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:5079]
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Played two incomplete games in the past week (traveling--couldn't leave the game set-up).

In the first game, I lost on the 6th card due to invasion. My Military Resource rating dropped to 0 and I couldn't fight off Operation Herkules.

In the second game, I made it into the 3rd card deck, but the AfrikaKorps had just taken Tobruk and were almost certain to march into Alexandria in the next few turns. I thought I had a solution until I realized that intervention by Cunningham cannot be used in North Africa. *sigh*

Hoping to finish a VASSAL-based session that I started before my trip. That one is looking optimistic at present, but we all know how things can go south at the drop of a hat...

EDIT: Thanks, everyone, for the thumbs! I'm still trying to finish that VASSAL-based game. Keep getting diverted by Real Life and my ongoing first play-through of D-Day at Tarawa.
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23. Board Game: Here Come the Rebels [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:2032] [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
Alan Sutton
Australia
Moruya
NSW
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Still playing this with Steve. On Thursday we managed another two turns and I didn't throw another Union Command Paralysis! A major achievement by me. I got two rain turns instead which meant I could move my units up from Washington although only slowly. Still, any movement at all felt like it was better than nothing. I think we only have one more turn until the Command Paralysis is reduced to a much less likely possibility so I should be able to start really doing things after that.

Here is a picture showing five corps of the Army of the Potomac finally on their way to the action.



Steve has managed to surround Harpers Ferry and the next turn will be the first time my garrison will have to roll to see if they surrender. He is also still in control of Frederick West county and so the VPs keep accumulating. The Confederates now have about 32 VPs (I think)so are half way to victory. Now my army is on the move, things should start to get more interesting for me.

Here's a picture of the whole map.



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24. Board Game: River of Death: Battle of Chickamauga, September 19-20, 1863 [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:5848]
Joe Hepp
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Recently got Dave Powell's books on Chickamauga and broke out this game to play while I read them.

Starting with the small Alexander's Bridge scenario as a rules refresher.

Wilder's regiments that are armed with the Spencer Repeaters are quite difficult to deal with.

UPDATE 9/4
Govan's brigade was able to push across the bridge but USA artillery fire and a regiment of Spencer armed men was able to drive them back across the creek.

The US was able to reoccupy the breastworks on the north side of the bridge and prevent a CSA victory.

Have now moved onto the Rock of Chickamauga scenario.
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25. Board Game: Arnhem [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:3297]
Jon Quinn
United States
Bradley
Illinois
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Steven Goodknecht
United States
Bourbonnais
Illinois
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and I played the old 1976 SPI Westwall Quad's take on Marketgarden. The game is Arnhem and is probably the best of the Westwall quads. It may not be balanced, but it is fun.

By random draw, Steven was the Germans and I was the Allies. It is critical for the Allies to keep the "line of communication" open to his forces. This means keeping the main road going from the bottom right of the map up to Arnhem at the top, left part of the map. It is also necessary to not lose too many units and to get as many British non-airborne units as far north as possible, across as many Rivers as one can stretch it while protecting the road. The game lasts for 10 turns.





Map oriented so East is at top; North on left, etc. The Brits landed south of Arnhem and rushed the only unit that could, take it from the drop zone into Arnhem proper.

The 82nd Airborne landed at the top of the map (east) and cleared out the weak German forces there and began to establish a defensive position. The 101st airborne did their job well in the southwest and went about establishing their defensive perimeter.

The Axis attempted several bridge demolitions and destroyed two canal bridges in the (bottom right)southwest sector of the map, but neither critical to the Allies. They also are blocking at the Numegen Bridge which is a critical crossing point. The blocking units are not strong, but adequate because of the city and river keep them from being surrounded.

Note Snoopy and Woodstock observe just off the map on the right.





The first of the British XXX corps ground forces arrive. These are the ones who need to get to "the bridge too far" while keeping the road opened. The airborne are somewhat restricted to the areas where they were dropped and cannot cover the whole road. Some of the newly arrived British ground forces had to be siphoned off the advance to block some freshly arrived German reinforcements that arrived at the upper right corner of the map and booked down the highway on the right side of the map.

The Germans have almost surrounded the British paratroops in Arnhem. It is very difficult to push a unit out of a main city hex - a 1 in 6 chance in the best of circumstances. Note also that among the British arrivals is a very important engineer unit that is a key to getting airborne across rivers where bridges are blocked or destroyed.





While the Brits would love to move everyone toward Arnhem, there is a sizeable group of German reinforcements that have entered at the top-right of the map and are heading toward the road. The road must be protected!

Note also that the British paratroop unit that once was in Arnhem proper is no longer there, having been pushed out and destroyed by overwhelming German forces.





The German Kamfgruppe continue their approach to the main road increasing the threat of cutting it. The Brit Engineers are posed with an American airborne unit ready to assist it in crossing the Waal River just down from Numegen.





More German reinforcements arrive from the west (bottom of map). This puts the road in extreme jeopardy! The Brits have suffered their first losses from among their XXX corps. Any losses really hurt the Allies. They need almost every unit to protect the road as well as advance (5 German VP per Allied unit eliminated; the Allies only get 1 VP for each German unit eliminated).

Also, the Poles have arrived. They will help secure the area as U.S. airborne cross the Waal River via the engineer and come in at Numegen from behind.






Good news for the Allies in that Numegen has fallen to the Allies. At least, that would have been good news if not for the fact that the Germans attacked the road from both sides and devastated the British ground forces. The road is blocked! VPs are raining down on Steven's head like fake snow in a snowglobe.

We go one more turn and then decide the bridge really is too far. The VP totals was something like 54 to 11.

We had a good time with this one. The Allied player needs to just accept the fact that he is probably not going to win. But it is a fun challenge to try. Actually, the Allies were ahead in Victory Points until turn 5. But then, the dam burst.

Must keep that road clear!

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