(This is available on the Two Sides to the Coin blog referenced in Tim's accounting of this session. This version differs from the original - it has been modified to fit your screen, er, website.)
The setting is a German rear guard holed up in a Belgian chateau that the Americans are attempting to take in mid-1944. Very much an “attacker storming fortified defender” situation.
I deployed squads with LMGs in the B7 building and M3 building. The rest of my force went into the chateau. After Tim deployed, I put the IG and weapon team behind the wall in the woods in hex D10. (This turned out to be a mistake, in retrospect.)
Tim started off by blanketing the chateau with smoke. He has off-board artillery in this scenario, and managed to successfully hit the entire chateau and one layer of hexes between it and his forces with only two artillery strikes. Smoke is what's called a hinderance in game terms – it reduces the attack strength of any shot going in, out, or through it. Tim's plan was apparently to give himself cover and run his troops up to the chateau in order to assault it. Here's the situation after the 2nd time trigger.
The other thing he did early on was take out my unit and weapon in the M3 building. Deploying there was definitely a mistake on my part – it was far too easy to be overwhelmed.
As time went on, Tim slowly moved his units up through the trees in front of the chateau and along the road on the other side of the tree line. THAT's where I should have parked the infantry gun. As all my units were now on one side of the trees, he had a free run to move up the road. Meanwhile, we were each taking pot shots at each other and generating what seemed to be a LOT of sniper events. In fact, the weapon team with the infantry gun was completely taken out by snipers. Eventually, he had tightened the noose to the point that he was about two hexes away from the front and right side of the chateau.
Right then, a breeze kicked up and removed all the smoke. Suddenly, I was in a target rich environment
I was trying to plan opportunity fire when he assaulted the chateau. Regrettably, I was out of Fire cards on the turn he moved in. Those flamethrowers are deadly inside buildings – no cover bonus against them. We did have a single assault in hex H6 – I played an ambush and then we went and tied on the combat result. This meant the units from both sides were eliminated. So much for THAT plan.
By this point, we had passed the sudden death spot on the time track. The game really could end at any moment, and as I recall, it ended when I uncovered a Time! trigger while defending against an artillery attack. Here's the final situation:
I had 27 Vps at the end, IIRC. The chateau had increased to a value of 18 (this is coincidentally matched by the fact I scrounged the Infantry Gun back into the chateau - in "story" mode you could say the chateau had an unknown weapons stash and was more important than expected), so had it changed hands, Tim would have won with 9 Vps. Also, I was only two units away from surrender, and Tim was a good 6 or 7. He could afford to make some high risk assaults.
This was the second time Tim and I had played CC:E. We've both loved it each time, despite the fact I've won both games. The game flows easily, and we only had one situation that we thought wasn't entirely covered by the rules (though I later found the exact passage in the rules that explained it.)
Things I learned:
1. The smoke was very effective from the attacker's point of view. Part of what you try to do as defender is accelerate the game by taking potshots whenever possible. The smoke made some opportunities impossible by reducing my attack factor below zero - making it illegal to attempt a shot.
2. I don't know what Tim's cards were like, but he fired too much on the way in. We had 8 time advancements in this game, and I believe half of them came as Time! triggers in Tim's deck.
3. This game is WAY fun to play. Even as the defender surrounded by smoke, I never found myself thinking "there's nothing I can do here." There were always little tweaks to try.
- Last edited Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:39 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:39 pm
This game is WAY fun to play. Even as the defender surrounded by smoke, I never found myself thinking "there's nothing I can do here." There were always little tweaks to try.
Couldn't agree more. Up until CC:E, my experience with CDGs has been limited to M44 (enjoyed it when I first got it, but basically very dull after a dozen or so games, and prone to prolonged bouts of paralysis if the cards in your hand don't suit) and Command & Colors: Ancients (much better than M44, and a game that I love, but has not been taken off the shelf since I got my copy of CC:E).
The victory conditions and multiple potential uses of the cards mean that even when the chips are down, one always feels that there is something worthwhile to do, and that there is always the possibility of a turnaround.
This is a brilliant game.