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Subject: First Game - My impressions rss

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The Jigsaw Man
United States
Goose Creek
South Carolina
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Played my first game tonight. I played both NATO units, and the USSR units were split between J, who is a huge fan of hidden movement games, and L who is, in this case, a knowlessman.

I drew the south-east corner, Bravo, Charlie, Echo, Foxtrot. Good, because all my targets are clustered together, so I won't have to move much, and bad, because all my targets are clustered together, so the enemy won't have to move much.

As soon as the game started, I moved on Charlie. I quickly discovered that the shallow water I start in means my first two to three moves are VERY restricted, unless I charge for the deeps, and even that puts me in a position I didn't want to be in.

For the first turn, the USSR started moving supplies to Alpha and Charlie. As it turns out, this was a MAJOR tactical blunder, but we didn't realize it yet. The DDs moved partway to the A-B and B-C gaps. Only partly, because they were trying to conserve fuel. I'm not sure it's effective, but it felt right.

Turn two: damn these shallows. Six more spaces.

USSR turn 2: supplies arrive at Alpha and Charlie. Because I didn't read the rules thoroughly enough, the cargo ships immediately depart, and head back to Echo. The DDs determine that I could be further along than the eastern-most edge of the shallows, and might well be trying for either Alpha or Charlie. They search along the edge of my furthest possible advance, and successfully locate and drop charges upon my southern (green) submarine. Blue was more southerly than they expected, and wasn't located. The sonar search area is WAY bigger than I had expected.

USSR DDs end turn two by parking right outside Alpha and Charlie, and setting sonar watch. Supply ship is brought up near Bravo, to be handy for either DD.

Turn 3. Well, it's my first game. Might as well see how bad this is. I move into Charlie, even though there's a DD right outside. He can see me on Sonar Watch, but can't do anything about it. I destroy Charlie, and, because of the way they moved supplies, all but 1 weapons reload token. The surviving one is located at Alpha.

Blue Sub has to snorkel at this point, over near the western side of Bravo. I shouldn't have been so close, it limited my evasion options.

The USSR team goes into a panic. They can't hit me where I am, and only have one reload. The DD outside Charlie stays more-or-less where he is, and the other one comes running over, stopping to search for Blue Sub on the way. I think they hit him, forcing him to 400ft or less.

Turn 4+: Green sub is out of battery, and snorkels on the way out of Charlie. Blue swings around the south side of Bravo, but has to stop short of the shallows.

Both DDs together send Green Sub on eternal patrol. One parks right in front of Bravo. I could take it, but I'd lose blue. I move towards the gab between Foxtrot and Echo, Snorkeling as I go.

At this point, the game shop closed.

So, my observations:

The USSR really, REALLY has to start moving supplies out of Echo Base on the very first turn. If they lean on it, the Cargo ships can transport 2 tokens each to Delta or Foxtrot, and return to Echo to pick up another pair each by the end of turn 2. This means that the cargo ships alone can protect 8 tokens from the scourge of Alpha and Bravo going up in flame. I didn't count for the Supply ship, but I suspect it could run to Bravo, and protect 4 more tokens. If not, it can at least carry out two tokens. The overwhelming necessity of this move should be emphasized.

I took one lessen from Silent Hunter, and ignored one. I was wrong in both cases.

In SH3, one tends to stay at depth at all times. In TCU, this is unwise. It becomes the "expected" move, and thus gets you dead. I made this mistake.

In SH3, one also moves slowly, so as to not be detected. In TCU, you won't be detected at high speeds, strictly speaking, but you will have to snorkel more often. Giving the DDs a few turns of no-idea-where-he-is is good for your health. I forgot this too.

The first game was disappointing, but in retrospect, it is entirely down to our own inexperience, and failure of threat assessment.

I eagerly look forward to a second game, played with more insight, time to finish the game, and possibly storms.
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Mark Robinson
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Lancashire
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JgzMan wrote:
The first game was disappointing, but in retrospect, it is entirely down to our own inexperience, and failure of threat assessment.
Your report made for quite an exciting read though! Thanks.
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Leon Stansfield
Austria
Vienna
European Union
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TCU is very similar to Chess in many cases. The movement of the different units is easy to understand but not easy to master. The learning curve is very high. Remarkable session report by the way.
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Greg Love
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Excuse my ignorance, but what's a "knowlessman" ?
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The Jigsaw Man
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Goose Creek
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zombiewarrior07 wrote:
Excuse my ignorance, but what's a "knowlessman" ?
Funny you should ask.

It refers to someone who has not been initiated into a secret order. Masons might, for example, use it to refer to non-masons, but only if they were feeling really snooty, and had a flair for archaic words.

In this case, I'm indicating that L has not played many hidden movement games, and is also not noticeably a submarine person.
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