Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
We’ve been playing this game for a while now, and we’re almost at the point of getting affected by group think. I like playing the Axis, as they are a challenge, and I was glad I drew Germany in this game. Jean was Italy while Don was Japan. Trevor was the UK, Tim was the Soviet Union while Ken was USA.
I got off to a good start, getting an event card that builds in Western Germany and eastern Europe. I would only hold Western Germany for a couple of turns, as Trevor built in the North Sea. He had a couple of status cards one which let him battle into Western Europe and build into Western Europe. So I wasn’t going to hold it. Jean had played an event card allowing Germany to build into the Western Med and North Africa, and I regret throwing away my sea battle card from my first 5 cards. I did get my bias for action card, so I was able to keep Russia at bay, allowing Italy to score points in Ukraine. Jean was able to max out at 9 pts on turn 8. But Ken had focused his attention in the North Sea and so I was forced into a defensive posture, hoping Italy could score points. Japan was left alone, scoring 9 pts around turn 15.
I had bias for action and I was short of build cards, but got the status card which let me discard two cards for a build action.The Axis had the lead most of the game, based on Don earning 7-9 pts a turn, and Jean maxing out at 9 pts, before Italy collapsed. Jean built an army in the middle east to keep a navy in the Bay of Bengal in supply for an extra VP, but that army was lost right away; I had wanted Jean to build in Germany for defence, but he did not agree, he argued that getting attacked in the Middle East took away an attack card from me. Italy would average a couple of points per round from turn 12 onwards.
Forced into a defensive shell, I made a couple of errors. I was desperate to get Blitzkreig out that I used a bolster card to exchange it for Bias for action, then tried to use Blitzkreig to attack Moscow, but Tim had a response card. Then when I used Blitzkreig next turn, Trevor had a bolster card which negated the effect. So I only got to use Blitzkreig once successfully attacking back into Germany. I should have been patient and played Blitzkrieg. My other error was when Germany was collapsing, I chose to leave my fleet in the Western Med out of supply. I had an event card which let me build back my armies; I should have retreated from the Soviet front to reform the supply line and that might have held out longer.
Against the weight of the US and UK, I lost Germany on turn 20. The Allies win on turn 20, with the US earning 10 pts, Russia with 4, UK with 3, against 0 for me, 0 for Italy and 9 for Japan. Scores: Allies:239, Axis 235.
US and UK overwhelm Italy and Germany. Japan almost singlehandedly wins the game. As Germany, I couldn't hold out for 1 more turn.
It was quite a tight game, with the Axis holding the lead until the final turn.
Game 2:Trevor was Germany, I was Japan, Ken was Italy, while Tim was UK, Don was the Soviet Union and Jean was USA. In this game, as Japan I was under the illusion that I needed to keep all 3 of my land battle cards, which I drew along with a couple of build navies, 1 build army and a response card. Now I like to think I have had success playing Japan in the past. I built a navy in the Sea of Japan, then built an army in China, but Don as Russia played the card that gets rid of an army in China. Then I never drew another build army card. Ken did not fare much better. He got maybe 1 square out of Italy and didn’t do much, so Trevor as Germany couldn’t do much. The Axis lost by 30 pts on turn 10. So it was one of those rare games where 2 people had a bad game, and they were both on the same side. Obviously if I were to rethink what I did, I safer move would have been to build in the Phillipines, allowing for growth southwards. I also could have made a smarter decision on what card to keep initially, instead of throwing away a status card that gave pts for Hawaii and bolster cards. Scores: Allies 114, Axis 80
As Japan, I really soiled the sheets, never getting out of the Sea of Japan. Ken as Italy was clutching desperately at 3 land battles and other "important" cards, which as it turns out were not that important if you are going to lose badly.
Game 3: Don was Germany, Ken was Japan, and Trevor was Italy. Tim was UK, Jean was Soviet Union and I was USA. After Don built in Western Germany, Trevor as Italy played a boslter card which let Don play into North Africa and a fleet in the Western Med, and another card which let Don build in the middle east. After turn 1, Don had 5 units on the board. It was going to be tough for the Allies. It was even tougher when Don was able to lay down Bias for Action, Blitzkreig, Atlantic Wall and another status card.
I did my best to support my Allies. I played the card which let Russia build in Russia and another spot. I let UK play a card and draw another. Tim actually had a chance to land battle into Germany but decided to land battle in another spot which I found curious. Moscow fell on turn 10. Tim had all of Germany and Italy encircled but didn’t put in a decisive blow. On turn 15, I went 13 against the Atlantic Wall, to allow Patton to get into Western Europe and knock out an Italian army in Italy, but it was too late. The Allies lost by 30 pts. Scores: Axis: 186, Allies 152.
The US and UK have Europe all surrounded but lost as Moscow is lost and UK cannot score too many points.
We had a tense game in the first one, a wipeout in the second, and engaging game in the third. With 6 players this game is a main staple. We’re all looking forward to the quartermaster general system for the new game.
Up Front fan, Cats were once worshipped as gods and they haven't forgotten this, Combat Commander series fan, The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me!, Fields of Fire fan
Slywester Janik, awarded the Krzyż Walecznych (Polish Cross of Valour), August 1944
Outstanding reports. As a wargamer of more than 40 years, I'm still amazed that this system gives so much of the feel of the whole of WW2 (and she much fun!) in such an elegant, little package.
Who knew trench warfare could be such fun?
Ashwin in front of Tiger 131
Always happy to play this. Great game.