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Subject: Session Report rss

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Li'l Ronnie Post
United States
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After having this game in storage for 30 years without actually playing against anyone, I discovered a friend with almost exactly the same experience, and we decided to break the long dry spell! We were both quite rusty, but looking forward to a VERY long-delayed game.

The Germans had (what I think was) a fairly typical defensive setup, except for their perimeter ending at Normandy, leaving it relatively open (or so it seemed). The Allies invaded effectively at first, but a series of truly horrible die rolls (4 out of 5 rolls resulted in the 1/6 chance of "Attacker Eliminated" at 2-1 odds in large, critical battles).

A second breakout was affected however, just as the bulk of the German armor came into play, and a half dozen Allied armor divisions, a couple Infantry div's and a couple HQ units raced towards Lemans, across the Loire and on to Nevers, hoping to get around the Germans flank and wreak havoc in the rear.
Alas, they miscalculated as the German general deftly picked stragglers off as he resealed Normandy and slowly crushed the desperate units left behind.

Things looked very bleak for the allies, two to three months in. Two Allied armor divisions bravely sacrificed themselves to buy a shot at the Rhine for the last four divisions of their bretheren, just northwest of the Swiss border. At this point, the main bulk of the German forces - especially the hardcore SS units - had raced west to seal the fates of the hapless Normandy invaders.

A couple of Allied HQ units, who had dodged engagement and survived with the aid of a couple lucky die rolls were in Paris, and saw their chance as the last Armor (now down to three divisions) wheeled completely around the German rear guard on the far side of the Rhine. The brave HQ units, just as the German general realized his error, raced towards the inland ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam just as 9 fresh Allied divisions were arriving from Britain at the 16 week mark.

It was very close, but the timing was near perfect, the rogue Allied armor that had been playing hit & run with rear guard static units delayed German reinforcements long enough for the Allied HQ's to take control of Rotterdam (just!) and bring in the fresh units in time, again just barely, to race across the Rhine, thus fulfilling the Allied victory conditions in turn 16 after all hope had been apparently lost!

Could'a, would'a, should'a - it was that kind of game.
Good thing for me that we were playing the basic rules to ease back into things. In reality (and with the more realistic tournament rules), those armor divisions would never have been able to play rat patrol for two months that far behind enemy lines! If the Germans had left just another unit or two behind as they went west to Normandy, or had paid just a little more attention to my HQ's, they could have trivially quashed my sneaky little plan. Frankly, apart from that, my friend outplayed me, and should have won except that his one mistake was bigger than my more numerous mistakes.

All in all, a fun game - die rolls seemed pretty heavily weighted, though. Maybe it's psychological - I felt a single 6-sider doesn't give enough different options to weight outcomes well. Maybe I just like the feel of more dice in my hand.. Might be interesting to develop a less minimalistic Combat Results Table to give a more finely tuned weighting of results, instead of working in 1/6 (17%) increments. Discerning the intent of the authors is I fear, beyond me though...

The basic rules seem to allow for some relatively unrealistic things to happen, but hey, it's just a game. It also seems heavily weighted in favor of the Allies, making it tough - but certainly not impossible - for the Germans to fulfill victory conditions. Game time came in at just over 3 hours - and this was with plenty of talking, drinking beer, eating snacks, fussing with the fireplace, etc, so I imagine a second game would go more quickly. Set up time is not inconsequential, either - be warned!

I'll report back when I get the chance to play the advanced rules. Hopefully, it won't be another thirty years! Will try to post photo's if they turn out well enough.
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