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Subject: A Most Audacious Game part 5 rss

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Patrick Bauer
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Axis Spr40 Turn : Plan Audacious

The Axis have the BRP advantage and go first. At the outset, after having drawn variant 5, I decided that if an opportunity presented itself to take France out early then I would take it. And there is an opportunity right now: France can fall in the Spring of 1940! But the plan is risky at two points. The first point will collapse the grand plan but still allow for a hefty blow to France. It is the first part’s success that creates the opportunity for far greater loss or gain. I can win the first part and still hold back nearly crippling the Allied endeavor in France or I can risk it all and have a fair chance to eliminate France. But first thing first; I must move into position and then win the first battle.

There is no need for Italy, so they will remain neutral. An early French exit could allow a neutral Italy all sorts of options. Germany declares a West Front offensive. I’m certain that my opponents are not expecting this, and wonder how they’ll react once the peril is realized, especially if Phase 1 is successful.

Last session I said Steve made the game’s first mistake with a seemingly innocuous move. He had only a replacement in his force pool, he won a hex and decided that grabbing Luxembourg for 5 BRPs was a prudent move. But alas, to advance he had to either reduce his defense of Sedan where he could not build because of the enemy ZoC or vacate Metz and the Maginot and build the trainee force at the left of France’s vaunted defensive wall. He already gave one of the three fortress hexes without a fight on turn one. The heavy defense to the rear of the line has him over confident that I will not test these waters; a 10 defense is a hearty stand against a lone airborne attack. He opted for putting the replacement in Metz.

I start here:



I intend to attack Fortress Metz while dropping the airborne on hex P23 directly west of it in hopes of clearing the hex for an armored exploit to Paris and then a jaunt down Avenue des Champs-Elysees. You’ll note in the move that I have maximized the number of exploiting armor, and having an extra, I send it to Poland freeing four air factors to move west.



The attack begins with the declarations of air missions. I can only support the airborne with 3 times its value. So the best I can get is 12:10. But I decide to save some air and only fly enough for a 10:10, this is only a 1% increase in the failure of the drop mission and I need the other 10 air in the theater to intercept the French air that will fly DAS over Paris.



Both the German armored units attack the French recruits who are quadrupled at 8:4 --> a clean 2:1, I roll a 5(D) and am thankful I didn’t risk this as a 1:1. The airborne can now attack without fear of permanent elimination. I roll a gruesome 4(EX) everything on both sides dies in bloody combat, but the door is open. The infantry on the bridgehead and to the east attack Luxembourg lest I lose 5 BRPs; both France and Germany got 5 at YSS but since France took it from me in the last half of the winter turn I get a chance to take it back. The 3:1 is without loss.

Now I’m faced with an ancillary attack option. Looking forward to my occupation of Paris, there’s a good chance that I will do so on an exchange of some sort. If I can take Calais I will isolate the bulk of the Allied armies and greatly reduce the risk to my campaign. And damn it, I did not think of this during the move. I could have shuffled infantry so as to allow a 1:1, as it is I must make this as a 2:1. Since I am only risking 3 BRPs worth of troops, I roll on the 1:2. To my chagrin, I roll a 6(A) which would have been a (D) on the 1:1. This is a very bad omen. I end regular combat by moving the 6 exploiting armor to the breakthrough at Metz. The advance to Paris is designed to reduce aid from the south.



Germany flies no ground support; the attack on Paris will be 16:12 or 26:22, there is no benefit from flying the air, risking them, or destroying my future Vichy air wings. France flies the entire air force as DAS and I am obliged to intercept is. Only one French air is downed in the aerial stalemate, I think yay! more Vichy air than I thought.

Now it comes to it. Do I or don’t I? I spend quite a bit of time agonizing over this. If I stop here, I am in a commanding position with only a moderate risk of losing some of breakout. But I can build to take advantage of the ensuing chaos. Odds are France will fall next turn or the turn there after. But there is great reward for winning now. I taunted my opponents with the title Plan Audacious, the email banter was a mixture of dread and surprise, any roll but a 5 will at least throw the Allies out of whack. If I get the full exchange, they’ll have to counterattack with the French because there’s only one British armor in theater, so no exploit through Paris and the French will not allow the Brits to stay in Paris. To not attack would be prudent but timid.

I attack and roll a 5.

5


I build with a heavy heart and the knowledge that I must now not over build or face an Allied flip-flop that will lose Italy.

Looks like it’ll be a short game.




Part 6 at: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1007960/a-most-audacious...
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Patrick Bauer
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For those new to the game: my armored exploit advance started with the Ge 9th Arm. The rest of the armor reached their positions by following it and then moving onward. Had I won, either stack was eligible to advance into Paris.
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Doug Poskitt
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Theses screen shots take me back.

The French deployment at Metz allowed the shot, but IIRC Steve and I consulted along the lines that the ten French factors in the second line should in all probability dissuade the Hun from any reckless adventures.

Pat - true to form - took the gamble, and when he reached Paris had an 83.33% chance of success and there are many of us who think that is a good enough percentage chance to live with.

When the vlog files were posted ... and the PBE roller results hit my inbox ... I looked at the mapboard in horror as events unfolded in France.

I remember almost having a virtual heart-attack when the German airborne blew open the hole in the French second line of defense. It didn't need much imagination to picture his panzer units flooding through.

I had visions of a French collapse in Spring 1940, and as the British player, faced the prospect of being alone for longer than was comfortable.

The only result that could save the day would be if Pat rolled a 5 ... surely we wouldn't escape disaster by the skin of our teeth ???


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Doug Poskitt
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As the reader knows by now ... sure enough Pat (who we had started to address in our e-mails at this point as Herr Painter) went ahead and rolled a 5.

Phew! That was close!

I don't know about Steve, but I did celebrate that reprieve in my HQ with a glass of wine.

Afterwards, Steve and I did our best to console Pat ... pointing out that at least the officers and crews of all those panzer corps' were safe and sound ... in French PoW camps!

devil


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Steve Carter
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dougposkitt wrote:
I don't know about Steve, but I did celebrate that reprieve in my HQ with a glass of wine.

Beer is my drink of choice, but I needed something a lot harder than that when I saw those panzers all over the French countryside.

Sad to say, I did not learn from this experience, since (SPOILER ALERT) I managed to roll a '5' myself with a Russian attack that set back the Russian position for over a year (not to mention forgetting how powerful a panzer exploitation can be when a weak point presents itself).
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craig grinnell
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Ok... Admittedly I haven't played this game in 20+ years so I'm a tad rusty on this...
But I'm curious, given a chance at wiping out France, why didn't you send all 6 exploiting panzers to Paris. SE of Paris was 2 mp, sw would have been 2 more (4) and nw 2 more (6)
That would have been a 2:1 and a better chance at success.

But like I said, its been 20ish years so I may be way wrong
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Patrick Bauer
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The advance after exploitation must be taken in steps. The first unit can only advance two hexes. This was tasked to the 9th Arm and it could indeed have walked right up to Paris, but there it would in the French armor's ZoC, the next blitzing unit has to either forge a new two hex path or follow exactly the same path and then may advance two hexes farther but may not exceed its movement points: 2MP to the hex then 3MP more to the next hex -- there unable to advance farther. There was simply no way to get all 6 blitzing armored units adjacent to Paris.

"13.3 The ZOC of hostile armor units does affect movement. It costs two extra movement factors, for a total of three, to leave a hex in the ZOC of hostile armor, or to move from one such hex to another..."
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craig grinnell
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Like i said... Been a looong time... Was thinking zoc was 2 mp not 3...

Oops.

By the way, what happened to the jumping cheerleader? Kinda liked her
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Stephen Rochelle
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Patrick,

I think that's even more painful than an opening 4,6 in Poland -- certainly it's a bigger BRP hit. And Doug and Steve were polite enough to commiserate, rather than taunt, in that case, too.

Really enjoying the write-ups.
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Nathaniel GOUSSET
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Stupid question...

... but what did a 5 on the CRT result into ?
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Stephen Rochelle
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A 5, in a 1:1 attack, is the complete loss of the attacking force. Other possible results would have been an Exchange (complete loss of the smaller force, and matching-factor loss by the larger), a Counterattack at low odds for the French, or complete defender loss. This result is precisely why 1:1 attacks are regarded as more or less desperation measures under this system (a 2:1 attack sees this result ~3% of the time, and a 3:1 or better never sees it).
 
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Patrick Bauer
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IKerensky wrote:
Stupid question...

... but what did a 5 on the CRT result into ?


Good point:



A= Attacker loses all
D= Defender loses all
Ex= Inferior force loses all, larger force must match or exceed inferior force loss (Note when counter attacking the defender is at basic strength; we often refer to this as a small exchange)
CA1= counter attack on the 1:1 column
CA2= counter attack on the 1:2 column
CA3= counter attack on the 1:3 column
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I love theses AARs you are doing!

Enjoy reading each one - look forward to it.

================

A fond memory for me was back in 1983 when one of the more prolific writer/strategists met me for a game of this....he had a new Gambit...France Attacks in 1939!

Problem, I was like, this guy is an ace, I need to do something crazy (not knowing his plans), but knowing I was a rookie with a couple of dozen plays to his couple of dozen articles...had to get crazy....

I attacked France in Fall 1939!

See, he stacked and prepared to invade Lux and get ready to strike Germany during setup.

I hit him, got that 1:2 (yes 1:2) on Paris and rolled that 4, and he rolled that 5 on his 1:1 and I walked into Paris.

He ordered every 4th Frenchmen shot...

The 1:1/1:2 and even 2:1 table is some fuzzy scary stuff in 3rd Reich.

I turned around, took out Poland, setup the East Front in 1940 SPR, and we decided that SPR 1940 was the end of the Second World War.

Had it not been for dumb luck, it would never have worked.

Damned Dice Games!




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E Butler
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Well the Allies lucked out with the dice so I guess the strategy of giving away the French fortress during setup ended up working to your advantage.....
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Patrick Bauer
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Wilhammer wrote:
I turned around, took out Poland, setup the East Front in 1940 SPR, and we decided that SPR 1940 was the end of the Second World War.


If there's one thing to be taken from reading about the game Steve, Doug and I played, it will be: if you quit early you may miss a whole lot of interesting things.
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michael confoy
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Why you only do 1 to 1 attacks for big stakes only when you are disparate. It is also a reminder of some of the problems with the game. The French air force is too powerful for something that died in less than a week, the French at best should have one armour unit, and paratrooper units should not have a 3 attack factor.
 
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Doug Poskitt
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I think that Third Reich has its strengths as a game, but definitely not as an historical simulation, especially with regard to the distribution and strength the various combat units in the game.

Having said that, there are many who argue that, for example, in 1940, the western allies had more tanks, guns and planes than the Germans, but mismanaged their resources through an ill-advised battle disposition.
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Patrick Bauer
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papahoth wrote:
Why you only do 1 to 1 attacks for big stakes only when you are disparate. It is also a reminder of some of the problems with the game. The French air force is too powerful for something that died in less than a week, the French at best should have one armour unit, and paratrooper units should not have a 3 attack factor.


Usually the French air force is no problem. Germany can field 30 air, France 10. So that's 20 excess for ground strikes. It does become a problem when the Allies attack, because then the Anglo-French rules allow the RAF to be better utilized. Since the air stacks on the enemy during combat, the RAF can aid the French or help the BEF taking advantage of the usually used (and even more usually protected, ahem) inverted German air counters.

And that second armor is a necessary allowable build, otherwise France would never have any exploitation ability. Even Italy has a solo ability. At the start of the war France was considered a premiere world power. But Germany's superior use of unified armor corps drove through the dispersed French armor/infantry corps. It was tactics that got them to Paris and political lack of will that got France to surrender...that and the air.
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Mark Meck
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SewerStarFish wrote:


The heavy defense to the rear of the line has him over confident that I will not test these waters; a 10 defense is a hearty stand against a lone airborne attack. He opted for putting the replacement in Metz.



I stop here to snigger as the thought, he just doesn't know - or care - how foolhearty you can be, comes to mind.
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Steve Carter
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Wolven wrote:
I stop here to snigger as the thought, he just doesn't know - or care - how foolhearty you can be, comes to mind.

Oh, it gets a lot better than this later in the game...
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Keith Plymale
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There was a big battle at Hanut, Belgium that the Panzers won at cost that in the end showed the German superiority at C3I.

Great reports. Really takes me back. Second edition TR was one of the first games I ever got back in summer 1977.
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