Piotr
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This is battle report of „Fall of Tobruk” scenario by Bill Jaffe and Dana Lombardy from Tide of Iron.

English is not my primary language so in advance I apologize for all mistakes (if you find some important – please let me know).

The objective of “Fall of Tobruk” scenario for Germans is to control victory hex on map 21B at the end of the game round and move two or more tanks of the board until the end of the round 8. British forces aim is to defend victory hex and of course try to destroy as many Germans tanks as possible.

In this scenario me

Piotr
Poland
Gdańsk
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played as a Birtish and my friend

Jan Kowalski
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played as a Germans.


British started a game with total of 13 squad bases, 2 QF 6-Pounder AT Guns (very important units in this particular scenario) with Artillery I and Desert Tactics I decks. Germans had 2 Panzer IVs, 1 Panzer III and 4 squad bases with German Air Support and Artillery II decks. In addition German player had strong reinforcements in Status Phase 1 (7 squad bases, 4 Opel Blitz) and Status Phase 2 (4 squad bases, 4 SdKfz 251 Half-Tracks and 2 Panzer IIIs)


Initial forces at the beginning of the Round 1



As you can see map in this scenario is divided by crevasse with only two bridges, so first rounds of the game German player moved into British positions, mainly using their Opel Blitz Trucks from reinforcements and separating his forces. Unfortunately for me Germans was able to move Panzer IV up the hill at 15A and firstly damage my QF-6 equipment (op fire didn’t help much – no hits with 9 dice !) and then, after taking over initiative, destroy it totally at the beginning of round 3. In my opinion it was crucial moment of this scenario – with only one QF-6 it seemed to be impossible for me to stop the rest of German tanks.

Beginning of round 3


Hero tank – the QF-6 destroyer


Situation started to be hard for Brits. The big chance for me was using double Mortar Squad (combined in squad transfer phase) and Artillery at the 17B. Some of mortar attacks was successful effectively pinning, disrupting and even routing some of German squads. Unfortunately it wasn’t a good day for Birts artillery, due to problems with targeting and establishing contacts most of attacks was missed.

Great opportunity for mortar crew and artillery


Mortar crew attack successful


With more reinforcements coming in SdKfz 251 Half-Trucks and devastating German Air Support attacks Axis started to dominate (German Air Support deck was so frustrating, without necessity of determining drift it is in my opinion the most powerful deck in the game). In addition German engineer squad used their movement points to remove razor wire – opening the way to victory objective for all German units.



Engineer squad opens a way to win for Germans




One of the missed Artillery attacks



Overhelming German forces



Meanwhile on the left flank HERO BRAVO UNIT tried to stop the Germans wave.


HERO BRAVO UNIT



Situation started to be very hard for Brits. After losing second QF-6 victory seemed to be unachievable. As SdKfz unloaded transported squads and started to attacking last of the defenders at close range the game was lost.

SdKfZs rushed Brits positions


Game ended at round 7, when Germans took victory objective and leave a map with 2 of 4 survived tanks.

Victory objective taken


Tanks leaving a map and winning a game for Germans



SUMMARY
Fall of Tobruk is a fun to play scenario but in my opinion it is unbalanced in favor of Germans. It doesn’t mean that scenario is broken like many others (mainly core set ones). I think that with some lucky dice rolls and good QF 6-Pounder AT Guns strategy it is still possible to win it by British forces. Unfortunately German Air Support deck is devastating for enemy. No need of drifting and bigger army creates huge advantage for German player in this scenario. Minefields aren’t dangerous enough because razor wire can be removed by tank or engineer. Apart from these drawbacks I still recommend Fall of Tobruk as a very interesting and fun scenario to play. I think that all TOI players are used to situations, where scenarios which aren’t perfectly balanced give us lots of fun. Fall of Tobruk Is definitely one of them.
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bill jaffe
United States
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well your bad luck completely mirrors one of the early play test games we had. the supreme trick to unbalanced or favored to one side scenarios is to make it fun for side that's going into the scenario as the unfavored.
This one worked out well

bill
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C M
Germany
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Move along, move along...
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Thanks for the AAR. Makes me want to get out my copy and play...
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Willem Boersma
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I seem to recall this particular scenario as being pretty well balanced, but it's been too long since my last play to say for sure.

Ideally many scenarios should give both players roughly a 50% chance to win it, but due to the almost endless possibilities regarding moves and card play, difference in skill and experience etc. this is very hard to establish. Having said that, even scenarios with, I'd say,roughly 80%-20% odds can still be a lot of fun if the 80% side is played by a newbie and the 20% one by a veteran. The important thing of course is that this is then made known to players that the scenario in question favors a particular side. Odds that are lower than 20% are usually no fun to me personally, but I guess you will also find players who will still enjoy 5% odds...

Seeing these pictures made me think that I've actually started playing a Stalingrad campaign I designed myself which is actually in possession of 1Agames, so maybe they'll actually publish it one day. I'll try posting some pics of this campaign here on BGG.

I'd like to see some more Stalingrad action over here at BGG, actually. Of course the long awaited Stalingrad FAQ might greatly stimulate such a thing, so I hope 1A are making progress. Because of the Stalingrad campaign I am now playing (solo), I took out the Stalingrad rule book again after a long time of playing other expansions and games and am in the process of writing a "FAQ"/ "houserules" document myself. When it's done I'll submit it to 1A. Maybe they can use it when posting the official one.
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Hss Hss
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I also recall this one as one of the very well balanced ones. I have both lost and won as the British. Both very close calls.

The victory conditions are very smart. The Germans has to watch both their tanks and infantry.



Now, I agree totally that the destruction of the one AT gun is very devastating. If it had been the other way around, it would have been much much tougher for the Germans. They would have had 1 less tank to fire at infantry, and had to be far more careful with their other tanks.

Likewise, the artillery deck is also a wild card. If you manage to fire it of and it works, it can be very very potent. But it can also simply drift away. Just imagine two panzer III in the same hex be struck by an 5 area attack, lightly damaging both, and then follow up with a double mortar on the same hex.

In this game, the tipping point came early and sadly the British could not recover from it. And yes, I agree that it is irritating, but this is a risk in any war game.

There are two small things however in this scenario:
-the double mortar only available by squad transfer is irritating. Many new players don't know about it, and it makes a hex of a lot of difference.
-If the British choose the desert tactics instead, they have access to a 'lay mines' card. It can be placed onto one of the bridges or one of the exit hex. That card alone can be used so munchkinly that it's irritating. That card can win or break the game alone.

I would recommend giving the Germans 'remove mines' op card actually.






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Hss Hss
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And by the way, nice pictures. Thanks
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Marcus A
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szutek wrote:
This is battle report of „Fall of Tobruk” scenario by Bill Jaffe and Dana Lombardy from Tide of Iron.

Thanks for the After Action Report. Good job.


Grand Stone wrote:
In this game, the tipping point came early and sadly the British could not recover from it. And yes, I agree that it is irritating, but this is a risk in any war game.

There are two small things however in this scenario:
-the double mortar only available by squad transfer is irritating. Many new players don't know about it, and it makes a hex of a lot of difference.

It does make a difference, but I don’t consider that a scenario flaw; perhaps you don't either. As you correctly suggest above, irritation is part and parcel of fighting a war. Getting your initial resources and forces configured effectively during a combat engagement is part of the tactical challenge of TOI.


Grand Stone wrote:
-If the British choose the desert tactics instead, they have access to a 'lay mines' card. It can be placed onto one of the bridges or one of the exit hex. That card alone can be used so munchkinly that it's irritating. That card can win or break the game alone.

That’s an important observation and I see your point, but I will offer this.

Although a minefield will certainly slow a tank down and even likely damage it, we could expect the tank to survive the ordeal and even retain most of its mobility. So, in most cases, the British would need to find other ways to stop such a tank from moving off the board or across the bridge.


Grand Stone wrote:
I would recommend giving the Germans 'remove mines' op card actually.

No objection here. Another option is to provide in the German set-up (play area) the “Vehicle Parts” Strategy Card from Supply Deck I. Thoughts?

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Hss Hss
Norway
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Quote:

Grand Stone wrote:
I would recommend giving the Germans 'remove mines' op card actually.

No objection here. Another option is to provide in the German set-up (play area) the “Vehicle Parts” Strategy Card from Supply Deck I. Thoughts?



It has been a long time since I played this scenario.
But it is one of the very good and balanced ones. Compared to other scenarios, this does not need much.

But, if we ever get to see the next wave version of days of the fox, it will see minor modifications to all scenarios.

This is also why I find days of the fox to be a very good expansion. There are many good balanced scenarios. (not all, but most of them are)
 
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