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Subject: Churchill Tournament Session: Uncle Joe wins rss

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Matthew Roberts
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This is my first attempt at a session report of any detail. Apologies to
Steve Carey
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for copying his format.

Introduction
I played Churchill twice last weekend. The first game was played solo using the Training Scenario (3 Conferences) using the UK and US bots. It was just to help me get a better understanding of the rules before teaching two friends the game the next night. I made several mistakes during the solo game that had me re-reading the rules but that paid off because I knew the game really well the when I had to explain it the next evening.

For our three player game we decided to play the Tournament (5 Conference) set up.

I ended up with the Soviets

Summary

From my solo game I knew that the British would have an easy time dominating the agenda phase. Our 3 player game started the same way.

The Soviets
The Soviets concentrated on trying to win the Atomic Bomb development (and the easy VPs) and corner as much production as possible to push the Eastern Front along the track towards Germany. The US was always able to capture the Atomic Issue and some heated “debates” took place at several Conferences.

From the onset the UK and US buddied up and treated the Soviets like an undesirable partner. Attempts at diplomacy were difficult until later in the game when the US realized it was in a poor position and needed the Soviets to move on Japan.

The Soviets placed Naval markers in the Arctic to gain the extra production, slowly over several conferences. They won an American Directed Offensive twice, placing it in the Eastern Front both times. Most turns the Soviets were able to place at least 10 to 12 Offensive markers in the Eastern Front, sometimes many more. Mainly by debating the Theater Leadership Issue in Europe (2 supports!) and playing Staff cards with Offensive bonuses.

The Soviets reached Germany first during the last Conference to secure the VPs and bonus for being the lone conqueror (and 2 German tech markers).

The Soviets didn’t do much on the Far East front until American decided that Japan was to far away to conquer with invasion and that a surrender was the best outcome they could hope for. By this point in the game the US player had let the UK dominate their “alliance” and was in a poor position all across Europe and the Pacific. The US poured Offensive markers into the Far East to help move the Soviets forward but not enough for the Stalin to get to Korea.

The US

The US gave up on the colonies because of the UK pressure and lost out in the race to a Second Front. The stalling of the Western powers to the opening up of Normandy was the reason the Soviets were the only country capable of reaching Germany the last conference. The US also did little to stop the spread of UK Clandestine and Political Alignment markers in Europe. Soon there was a sea of green across Western Europe. The Pacific theaters were ignored early on, instead the US placed multiple counters of production into the Atomic bomb program each conference. The US achieved Trinity during the 9th conference. The US also realized that they hadn’t made much progress in the Pacific and the game was nearly over.

The UK

The British dominated the Conferences when it came to Mil/Pol and Global issues. They tried, and did, spread Political Alignment across Europe and kept the US out of the colonies. They successfully delayed the Second Front and pushed the Allied marker to the end of the Mediterranean tract early on. Churchill dominated the Global issues and enjoyed both a Free Europe and Colonialism by the end of the game.

Because the UK player was concentrating on Political Issues and the US on the Atomic Bomb their movement on the theater tracks was slow and would force them to help the Soviets in order to see the defeat of Germany and Japan.

Agenda

The British won 4 of the 5 agendas and the US won 1.

Conferences

The Soviets had one perfect conference that they won with the help of Stalin, the UK won 2 as did the Americans.

Global Issues

Churchill and dominated the Global issues and attempts by the Soviets were thwarted several times.

A-Bomb Research

The US won the issue each of the first 4 conferences and achieved Trinity during the 9th. Stalin was ready to grab the issue off the table but was never able to get a chance while it was at the center of the table.


Military

The Western theater only advanced to the Lowlands (no VPS). The US bought was delayed into Normandy and then failed to advance the Front the first time they tried (8th) Conference, reaching Normandy in the 9th and the Lowlands in the 10th.



The Eastern theater entered Germany in the 10th Conference and would have done so in the 9th, except for and incredibly unlucky roll. They had enough markers for a breakthrough on any roll but a 1....

The Mediterranean theater advanced all the way to North Italy during the 7th Conference.



The CBI only advanced as far as Burma.



The Far East theater advanced as far as Jehol China.



The South West Pacific made it the Philippines and the Central Pacific to Iwo Jima


Time

5 hours including explaining the rules, a mock turn, and several breaks of just talking WW2 and other games.

We did not keep score during the game, although at times we did spot check to see how each player was doing.

Final Scores

Churchill/UK: 64 VP 

Stalin/USSR: 32 VP <--- won the game under Condition 2

Roosevelt/US: 21 VP

Churchill crushed the other members of the alliance and in doing so nearly cost the Allies the victory over the Axis powers. He also activated Condition 2 for determining victory and so in the end lost the game to the Soviets.
Churchill spent too much time securing his own victory and not time enough working as a team.

Conclusion

We all had a great time. The game has a great narrative that plays out with all of the tensions of a real debate. We found ourselves telling stories about each card as it was being played. We added voices to the Staff members (and leaders - including my very Jamaican sounding Soviets) who may have been debating an issue. The cards added to the role-playing especially those cards requiring rolls for arrests, executions, battlefield deaths after being played (I had a Soviet staff member die on the Front after being played and I used it to deter the others from debating the issue...”He gave his life to advance the issue...”). Great game.

I highly recommend getting this game to the table. We plan to play again soon.
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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Nice session report, thanks.

But didn't Churchill actually win? Condition 2 is only valid if both Axis powers surrendered.
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Benji
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sos1 wrote:
Nice session report, thanks.

But didn't Churchill actually win? Condition 2 is only valid if both Axis powers surrendered.


I think they did? (Churchill NEARLY cost them the victory over the axis powers)
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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Benji68 wrote:
sos1 wrote:
Nice session report, thanks.

But didn't Churchill actually win? Condition 2 is only valid if both Axis powers surrendered.


I think they did? (Churchill NEARLY cost them the victory over the axis powers)

Oh, I see now they did. I misread the Soviet advance in the East.
 
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Matthew Roberts
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Yes, both did surrender(during Conference 10 - it was close, very close).

Sorry I didn't make it clearer.

Germany was taken by the mighty Soviet Army of the Eastern Front!

Japan surrendered after the US achieved Trinity and had a Front Marker on a B29 space (Iwo Jima) along with the Red Army in the Far East advancing past the Manchuria space. (they made it to Jehol China).
 
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Scott Daniel
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I'm unclear on why the USSR rarely won the A-bomb issue. If Churchill was winning the agendas, USSR can make it's opening move to use Stalin to grab the A-bomb and move it off the table.
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Charles Finch
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Can Stalin take th Europe front leadership for the points or only keep it from us and uk?
 
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Ingólfur Valsson
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I was thinking that under condition 2 the top player could still win if he has more points than both other players together.

If I understand correctly as this played out Soviets and US would ally against a huge colonial UK, but I would think with such a lead he could dominate both.

I understand that it isn't the rule but would it make sense? So if you are going overboard in points better do it properly.
 
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Steve Carey
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cfinchjr2 wrote:
Can Stalin take th Europe front leadership for the points or only keep it from us and uk?


Stalin can capture a Theater Leadership issue (2 support markers), but cannot command the theater - the Soviet player would have to designate either the US or UK for Theater Command (1 support marker).
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Mark Herman
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Steve Carey wrote:
cfinchjr2 wrote:
Can Stalin take th Europe front leadership for the points or only keep it from us and uk?


Stalin can capture a Theater Leadership issue (2 support markers), but cannot command the theater - the Soviet player would have to designate either the US or UK for Theater Command (1 support marker).


He can also win both for 6...
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Matthew Roberts
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This from memory a week old. In a quick summary - I never had a chance when it was at the center to move it to Stalin's chair. The conferences went something like this

6th conference it was on the UK track so even though I had the first chance to advance and issue it couldn't get it off the table. The other to brought the issue back down and gave it to the Americans.

7th through the 9th conferences : 1 Stalin didn't attend and could only debate. Another was won by the Americans and again the issue was moved to far off to get it. I can't remember why I lost it for the other conference but most likely it was already on the UK track. They two of them conspired against me to keep the bomb yo put of my hands. Any time I attempted to move on it it was pounced on. Somewhere during that time I decided to concentrate on winning the ground war in hopes of scoring those VPs.

The 10th conference no one brought the issue to the table. I wanted production and help on the fronts and the 3 VPs were far less then what I hoped to gain if I could have a break out and get to Korea and take Germany solo.

Hope this sheds some light on it.
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