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Subject: 1st play, Central powers rip through allies in France rss

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Steve
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My first game, solo, and it ended in the third season with Paris captured and the game clearly moving toward its inevitable conclusion of a Central Powers victory. This will necessarily be more narrative than procedural, hopefully it is followable.

I decided before the game that my goal as the Germans would be to go for a pure western hammer strategy if possible, unless the Austrians or Germans in the East got into too much trouble. As my first game, I was just curious about the efficacy of doing this. I think that my occasional overlooking of some of the more detailed rules of defense and terrain, as well as staggeringly good dice, probably helped the Germans here, so I'm not taking anything from it.

The Germans start with the Guns of August, and move into Liege. From there they open an attack on the BEF and a more minor assault on the traditional German opening, Sedan. Combat started extremely well, rolling high for combat and the Allies rolling low. This would be a theme in the game. The combat on the BEF succeeds in reducing the BEF and Sedan is also taken. No German losses.

From there a slight cat and mouse game begins as the Central powers feint a continuance of their North strategy moving an army and corps to the north--the French move too many armies north in response, planning to hammer the small pocket opened up around Liege/Sedan. The Germans end up attacking into the teeth of the now smaller French defense near Mulhouse and south of Verdun and are devastatingly successful, taking little damage (corps/forts vs. armies is rough). Two forts are besieged and the French are pushed back. The French, in response, fail to do much damage to the armies in the more northern Sedan/Liege area with an attack. They manage to reduce a number of their armies without too much serious German army damage to show.

From there, the allies attempt to relieve the pressure in the West by beating up the Austrian armies with Russia but the Germans continue to push forward. The Russians do a fair job but don't put anything in serious danger, as the Austrians retreat to the mountains reduced but still intact. This lack of huge success allows the Germans to reinforce with a fresh army and continue to focus on the West. The French bring in British armies in response to London but German armies in the south border area take advantage of the Allies OPs lull and attack north to cut off Verdun, with help from the weakened Germans around Liege and Sedan. They are victorious and force the French behind Verdun to retreat, trapping an army OOS in Verdun. The Germans are playing a slightly dangerous game, counting on the new army in Essen to bolster the weak forces near the northern border.

The British come across the channel to Amien and the British and Belgians proceed into battle in the north. The Germans barely hold in the north, with an unlikely draw between a single German army and a fresh British Belgians. Landswehr reinforces troops behind Verdun and they push towards Paris while the new army moves in from Essen to bolster the Sedan. The turn ends, the OOS Verdun army dies and a fortress (even w/-2 for two turn) falls and frees up a German army. The outcome from there is pretty inevitable--Paris eventually falls to strong German troops in the South and behind Verdun while the allies frantically bring new British armies into play and try to stabilize the situation. The situation is stabilized in the swamps by the coast, but the Germans are safe in Paris and the rest of France's VPs are easily available in future turns.


Lessons Learned?


It seems like the first key to the game is getting into turns as the Axis or Allies where you can absord an OP without having to play an OP in response--then you can bring in reinforcements, play replacement cards, etc which put you out ahead in the long run. Of course, since the game seems to permanently put you into a state of set-your-teeth-on-edge-tension this is a rare situation...

Also, this game is clearly a statistical unlikelihood with regards to the great rolling by the Germans vs. the French. On top of that I know I intermitently forgot some stuff which hurt the allies.

German units are scary with that 5 full strength power.

It's easy to see that you can get trapped on one front if you get into a frequent OPs loop with the other player. The Serbian front didn't move and the Russian front only moved a tiny bit trying to hurt the Austrians and make the Germans respond while the Germans just had to move their units in Eastern front back into East Prussia and not vulnerable to a supply cut.
 
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Andrew Young
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Very interesting that the Germans were marching through the streets of Paris. Never seen that before in PoG though I've only played like 4 times. Great stuff!

I wonder if the Allied player got caught up in feeling the pressure. You need to respond to the pressure while always looking for openings to apply it yourself- causing the other guy to go back on his heels. Great game!!
 
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Andrew Prizzi
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Ah the joys of being a wargamer- trying to trick the other player with your feint attack "hehehe he'll never see this coming"....oh wait I am the other player!
 
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simon thornton
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I ve seen Paris fall to the Germans but at such a cost, the French immediately did a flanking counter attack the Germans lost heavily and had tp retreat.The retreat never stopped either and what was a very promising early CP winning position ended in a draw that was nearly an allied victory.
 
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Steve
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prizziap wrote:
Ah the joys of being a wargamer- trying to trick the other player with your feint attack "hehehe he'll never see this coming"....oh wait I am the other player!


hahahahahahaha, indeed!
 
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Chester
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What happened with Entrench? Being able to take an extra step loss and keep from retreating, in addition to the nice column shifts, can really make things much easier on the French. I think the Allies can weather a CP all-out attack without too much trouble. Both sides will be clobbered, but the Allies can generally get RPs more easily, so its kind of in their interest to see this happen.
 
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Steve
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Being new to the game, I wasn't properly considering the ability to take that extra step loss and keep from retreating--it wasn't clear to me when that would be valuable. I'm almost sure it would have helped the French from retreating in the south until they could be reinforced, you're right.
 
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Craig Benn
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Gary,

you shouldn't have been able to fight the BEF on the first card play without taking a step loss. The BEF fire on the 5 table normally, but start entrenched in Brussels so get a column shift to the right and fire on the 6-8 column....the minimum result on this column is a '3' which is enough to flip a German army.

The western hammer strategy can work, but the best way to counter it is to get the Russian hordes moving. For a while I used to play 'Guns of August' not as an event but as ops - 1st Army attacks Liege, then Koblenz and Metz flank attack Sedan. It gives you a better chance of doing 7pts on the French 5th army, and you don't lose a vp from Rape of Belgium and both sides will be delayed in getting to the Limited war decks. (You don't want Turkey in as it bleeds ops and vps from you).

Next card play attack Verdun with 20pts from Sedan and Metz and grind the French down. Use all your cards for ops and rps and not events. Don't fight the Brits or Russians and SR corps from your reserve box to keep the momentum going. The French will find it very hard to get enough replacement points to cover their losses, and if you conquer Paris the game is won. However although it can be done, and I've seen wins in turn 4, if the Allies manage to hang on, you are effectively screwed, as you will be well behind on war status.

It's fun to try once in a while though. The general consensus now is to get to your Total war deck as quickly as possible, by playing all the war status events as they come up. Welcome to a great game.

 
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Steve
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You're right. I also forgot that if you're using the BEF you *have* to take casualties for it first when attacking, something that would have made a difference as well. Now that I've gotten some more solo games out of the way and now an online game I'm in the middle of it's obvious that I missed a ton of rules, sometimes forgetting forts and trenches, I think. Most of those special rules benefitted the Allies in defense so that's why the game ended up the way it did I think.
 
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M@tthijs
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Crom Cruach wrote:
Next card play attack Verdun with 20pts from Sedan and Metz and grind the French down.


I would prefer hammering Nancy, since that's only a '2'fort - so the French can only roll on the 12 column. Once Nancy falls, the French will have a hard time not to be OOSed in Verdun. So they will probably have to 'abandon stations'.

I came quite a long way in getting to Paris. But I started wondering if it wouldn't be wiser to attack the BEF - since that's an Army he can't rebuild... Any opinions?
 
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