M. Kirschenbaum
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I'm on my first game, turn 9, and so far the villagers are having an incredibly easy go of it. The lads in the pub have even put down their pool cues and gone back to drinking pints, wondering what all the fuss was about--

The Invasion Marker is still only at 3, due in part to some poor rolls for Jerry but also the choice to consistently draw a British Strategy card (the trade-off between the Strategy and Tactics cards seems like a no-brainer, I figured that out PDQ).

The invasion itself didn't start until turn 3 and it was turn 6 before any Jarmans made an appearance in Birkham Stokes.

Most of the patrols haven't made it out of the Approach box; that the villagers get to shoot first seems to help enormously, and I'm able to concentrate two or three of them with ranged weapons against any threat. Infiltration and Advance don't help because there's always a villager blocking the way.

I've had a couple of villagers wounded. One measly German control marker placed. That's it.

I don't believe Dan designed a push-over, so either I'm doing something wrong (danged if I can spot what it is, though, I'm following the rulebook through each step of the SOP); or this first game is a total outlier.
 
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Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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ASL - other tactical wargames call it Sir.
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The invasion marker moves to the second space at the end of deployment so the invasion will always be underway from the first turn.

Agreed - taking the British strategy card is still by far the best option. I think this will need house-ruling in some way to bring the tactics cards more into the game.
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M. Kirschenbaum
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domus_ludorum wrote:
The invasion marker moves to the second space at the end of deployment so the invasion will always be underway from the first turn.


Ah. I did miss that, thanks. That would have put Germans on the board 3 turns earlier.
 
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Paul Aceto
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My first few turns went that too, but once the invasion gets going the Germans start swarming. Since the Germans win invasion roll ties, a +1 British modifier is not that great an advantage.
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Brian Workman
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In my second play of the game, I drew a German card first time and got the Cruiser tank yay!

Then for the next 8 turns I took a British card each time but failed every single roll. Every. Single. Roll. When I got down to turn 10 I had every German regiment in play and Panzers crawling around three sides of the board. It was ridiculous.

I had a better than 50/50 shot on all of those rolls and missed them all. Statistically improbable. I was so frustrated I couldn't even see straight. The villagers died to a man.

Are the blue dice loaded?
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M. Kirschenbaum
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On the one hand it feels way too early to me to start house-ruling stuff, but looking around at other threads I see various folks catching on to the ploy of drawing as many British Strategy cards as possible.

I'll add that for me this is the one moment in the SOP that breaks the illusion of the game since I catch myself thinking about what would be best for each side--only natural when you're being asked to make a deliberate choice--but then reminding myself that I'm "supposed" to "really" be the British.

So I wonder if one simple solution is just to combine the British and Germany Strategy decks into one single deck, draw the card, and let the choice fall randomly. Surely this would also better capture the ebb and flow of strategic events far beyond the village's control?


 
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Dan Hodges
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That's a nice solution, if you find it an issue.

You're right that it's obviously helpful to delay the German advance. The question I'd ask though is how often - when you draw a British strategy card - does it actually influence the roll?

Every time you draw a strategy card and it's ineffective, you've essentially wasted the opportunity to get reinforcements into the village. That's the trade off that's supposed to built into the design.
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Jackson Riker
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What do the modifiers on the board do?
I have combed thru the rules and missed it.
They start at -2 and go up by one every two spaces.
I'm sure they influence the Seelowe role but not sure how!
 
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M. Kirschenbaum
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They modify the number you need to equal or exceed on the 2d6 die roll for deploying a tactical event.

The net effect is that it's easier to get the tactical events into play earlier in the game than later (a nuance which also has bearing on the preceding discussion).
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M. Kirschenbaum
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In response to Dan above, I'd note that drawing a British strategy card if nothing else denies Jerry the powerful modifiers that come from his own deck, making the Seelowe roll a 50/50 proposition each time. It's not so much then that the British cards tip the scales in favor of the defenders as that they level the playing field.

Btw, I ditched the earlier game whose opening I've botched, and am on turn 9 (again) of the second. Tenser, more Jerries on the board and more dead/wounded defenders, but not yet a moment when the Church was ever in jeopardy. We'll see how the rest goes! The narrative is very, very rich.
 
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Jackson Riker
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Thanks
I am finding the equipment is LAME
3 jams and a dud so far
Great game, my favorite solitaire since Ambush
Wish the Sequence of play was printed on the map, w a chit
I keep losing my place ( as I look up events etc)
Cheers
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M. Kirschenbaum
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Yeah, I would have at least liked the SOP on the back of one of the rulebooks or maybe the setup card.
 
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Dennis Canning
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[q="So I wonder if one simple solution is just to combine the British and Germany Strategy decks into one single deck, draw the card, and let the choice fall randomly. Surely this would also better capture the ebb and flow of strategic events far beyond the village's control?[/q]

May be worth trying, but if you allowed the British to have the benefits of the tactical cards every turn, they are more likely to get additional reinforcements and useful events. Plus, the scoring system for the invasion progress may be thrown out of kilter with the Germans likely advancing faster and getting Regiments earlier. Perhaps that would cancel out, perhaps not.

I'm thinking of testing it thusly: 1) mix the British & German Strategy cards and draw one card from the joint pile each turn (except turn one); 2) draw a tactical card only in turns where you have gotten a German strategy card; and 3) at the end of the module, give three to five points in addition to those set forth in the rules for every space above 15 the invasion has progressed.

Still, I think the game as designed works well and the trade-off in selecting a strategy or tactics card is one that Dan Hodges indicated in his post above that he explicitly intended.

Lastly, the CFMC used this module for several years - until the American-led liberation of the UK. The renowned Teutonic thoroughness, coupled with the efforts of the BUF collaborationist volunteers, would surely have revealed any design flaws during that time.
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Paul Aceto
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How about allowing you to draw two British cards and picking one? And perhap allowing that only every other time you decide to draw British.

In my game I drew two British cards and neither was worth it. After the second, I never drew another.
 
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M. Kirschenbaum
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If I were to play by combining the Strategy decks I would only draw a Tactics card (or allow Deployment attempts) on turns when I drew a German Strat card.
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David Perry
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See bh-castle-and-garden in the Files section, nicely done SOP.
 
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