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Subject: ViE 1939 Game Turn 1 rss

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Willem Boersma
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This is the start on an ongoing AAR which I will be updating regularly of ViE starting the game in 1939. I'm playing solitaire, though using the standard two-player rules.

ViE has been sitting on my shelf for a long time, but I've always felt drawn to it again despite having had to give up playing the three or so times I tried before, because of running into too many rules issues/ questions. Here's another go. Prior to starting I read the rule book v 1.1. again twice-which resulted in a number of rule questions, which may or may not have been answered previously on BGG, but I said I would post any questions I may have in this thread:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1619210/i-hate-post-ano...

which I will be doing some day soon as well. I figured, however, that once more actually trying out a scenario would be both fun (hopefully)- I was sure it would partially be fun, but running into rules issues can be frustrating, although it should of course not be forgotten that while getting familiar with a system it's only natural that you refer to the rule book frequently- and educational (for sure). After all, sometimes when you read something you may think you get it and then we you're actually playing it turns out you don't or vice-versa . Whenever I was in doubt while playing, I wrote down a question about it which I will post soon in the thread above but kept on playing as I the way I interpreted the rule as written or sometimes as perhaps intended.Anyway, all in all just the first game turn took me about 5 hours for all these reasons, but I'm sure that once one is familiar with the rules and system, it should be possible to complete an entire turn in half an hour or so.

Anyway, the above picture shows the set-up. I used the OOB given, apart from a few tweaks. For example, I put the French 4 strength infantry next to the Italian border, hoping to seize the initiative and attack the Italians in Milan. It seems a win-win situation; even if the French are not victorious, it will weaken the Italians who are low on pp's and will have a hard time making up for their losses.

I also used Ron's OOB for the Germans for the most part, though some units appeared to be missing which, according to the OOB, certain nations are entitled to and the starting strength on occasion sometimes also differed somewhat.I remember e.g. that the unit I placed in Stettin is on the 1939 set-up sheets and it's not on Ron's OOB.

I do wonder now, is everything set up prior to drawing the cards for the year or are cards drawn first? Will have to look it up in the rule book again...I do remember the rules say the Allies set up first...

Anyway, the Axis turned out to win the initiative...

Note that I shouldn't have set up the minor countries (with the exception of Poland). This is done when they are either attacked or acquired through diplomacy. Depending on who the attacker is and where it comes from, I guess it could make a difference as to where you decide to place the minor's units.
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Willem Boersma
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The above picture shows both sides' cards drawn for the whole of 1939 and the order in which both sides will play them (left to right). The Axis will have the initiative twice as the rules clearly state that in case of a draw the Axis wins and becomes player 1.

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Willem Boersma
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The above picture shows the moves made by all factions:

The red arrows show the Germans' land moves attacking into Poland (Warsaw and Krakow). For the main attack on Warsaw Germany mustered two infantry units and a full strength three step tank unit (which will benefit from the card drawn later!) for a total of the three army units allowed. The other two units are a fighter and a leader (Guderian at full strength). As It turned out, I'm not sure if I didn't overuse a border in hindsight, because of the river (border 1) which was obscured from me by the units. Though the units fit onto the map with a little bit of goodwill, it is prone to blocking out terrain detail because of its small size and all the units on it...Anyway, I think I should be OK, as the leader and air unit don't count against stacking.

The infantry unit from East-Prussia takes a small detour so as to take control of Danzig by moving through it.

These two moves use up the two Axis Command from the first card play.

The black arrows show German naval moves. I thought this was probably going to be a bad idea, but I just wanted to get some naval movement (and combat) in, just to see the mechanics. As this was a solo game, I thought odds would be pretty high The British and French would try to intercept them! I figured it would probably be wiser to first build a few more naval units for Germany and get them up to strength, but well, I'll do that when it's a competitive game rather than the learning game it is now! The underlying thought of these moves is to threaten the convoys, that is move into them on the next Axis turn and attack them.

The green arrows show the Italian moves. The cruiser is placed off the coast of Rome so as to make an easy capture of Rome by amphibious invasion unlikely.

The Soviets mostly move adjacent to Finland so as to possibly attack it on the next turn as they have card called winter war, but more on that later...The blue pawn indicates the air unit took a double move as it didn't move into combat.

The British navy (CV from Belfast and the vessels stationed at Scapa Flow- yellow arrows, the double yellow arrow indicates two units)indeed moves to intercept the German ships with some air support provided by a Spitfire (white arrows). The yellow pawn indicates the BEF which is move to Calais as per the card effect.

The French Battleship from Brest is dispatched to intercept the U-boat and also has an accompanying fighter which will attack the sub as a secondary target.

The action taken against the German navy uses up the two Allied CM's.

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Willem Boersma
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This picture simply shows a close-up of the moves for a better visual.
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Willem Boersma
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The battle for Warsaw on the battleboard ( a file I downloaded from the file section here on BGG. A shame no official one came with the game. Would have made for a nice stretch goal for the KS campaign, or perhaps it should just have come with the game anyway. Terrific job, nonetheless. I really like the looks of this battleboard!)

It turned out the Germans needed to reduce Guderian by 1 step to obtain an additional round of combat as two steps of Polish infantry remained after the two regular combat rounds. Anyway, as Warsaw was cleared and there was no way it could be retaken, I figured the battle for Krakow could just be skipped as the minor's capital had fallen. I later read that a minor doesn't surrender until the start of the diplomacy phase (10.2 rules version 1.1.), so I guess I should have followed through with battle B/ Krakow after all. In hindsight a poor allocation of a precious CM as it turns out Warsaw can almost certainly be taken thereby eliminating the necessity to take on the other Polish unit as well possibly resulting in further unnecessary German losses.. Then again, I suppose the Allies could then spend a CM on moving that unit into Warsaw as a reinforcement possibly making matters a lot worse for the Germans. I assume the Allies can actually control the Polish armies and of course this would also require them to have that CM left, which they don't as they went after the German naval units...That's one of the things I personally like very much about this game: a limited number of battles either side can start thereby leading to very tough choices to be made!

By the way, the red pawn and the card are to remind me the panzer benefits from the effect of the card!
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Willem Boersma
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As the Allies initiated this battle, the Germans-player 1- are the defenders here.

The picture shows the end of the battle. The two blue arrows indicate that the two German units at strength one wanted to retreat on their second battle turn, but as it turned out, all borders through which a return to a friendly port within range would be possible, had been used by the enemy to engage them and this retreat move was therefore not allowed. They therefore had to stay and fight another round, which, hardly surprisingly, they didn't survive, each having only a single step left. As I had figured, perhaps the German navy set sail somewhat prematurely, but I'm glad I got a feel for the naval rules...

I do wonder, as per 7.4,:

1.) May the loser in NAVAL battle regroup? In a land battle, this seems to be the prerogative of the victor, but 7.4 doesn't explicitly seem to forbid it...I don't really seem to get 7.4 too well anyway...

2.) According to the latest semi-official and perhaps soon to be the official rules used by Ron and others, units can only regroup to friendly spaces, no longer to vacant spaces. I assume this doesn't apply to sea zones, rather only to land units?

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juerg haeberli
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Thank you very much for this interesting report.

I see the Allies did not attack the Italians yet.
Luckyly after this opening the might still have time to do so.

If you are interested in my personal point of view of how to kick off the campaign game you could read my strategy article in this forum.

The cards you drew for the Axis can not be topped. Very lucky draw.

I recommend you load down the factory sheet and put the factories on it. This gives you a little more space on the map.

Looking forward to seeing how this continues.

Best regards.

Jürg
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Michael Bluth
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To answer your question about Naval units, it is easier than you think. If you are the winner you either:

1) Occupy the space the battle took place in.
2) Move to an adjacent friendly or neutral sea zone
3) Move to a friendly port within your movement range through friendly or neutral sea zones (not land areas)

If you are the loser, you only have options 2 or 3 to choose from.

If you are a submarine, you have the same options as above (depending on whether you have lost or won) except you CAN move through enemy sea zones or land borders.

Hope that helps

By the way, although I enjoy the game quite a bit, and love the board and own a copy of the game, I never play the actual board game. When I play with my son I play on Vassal with both of us sitting in the same room. The map clutter is just too much, and setup time is reduced to literally a matter of seconds. (and it avoids the issue of accidentally hitting the board and knocking pieces flying). Note, I want to make it absolutely clear that you should support this amazing game by purchasing a copy and then playing on Vassal. It is the only way to make sure we continue to have great quality games - by supporting those who put in the time and effort to produce them.
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Willem Boersma
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Garret0507 wrote:
To answer your question about Naval units, it is easier than you think. If you are the winner you either:

1) Occupy the space the battle took place in.
2) Move to an adjacent friendly or neutral sea zone
3) Move to a friendly port within your movement range through friendly or neutral sea zones (not land areas)

If you are the loser, you only have options 2 or 3 to choose from.

If you are a submarine, you have the same options as above (depending on whether you have lost or won) except you CAN move through enemy sea zones or land borders.

Hope that helps :)

By the way, although I enjoy the game quite a bit, and love the board and own a copy of the game, I never play the actual board game. When I play with my son I play on Vassal with both of us sitting in the same room. The map clutter is just too much, and setup time is reduced to literally a matter of seconds. (and it avoids the issue of accidentally hitting the board and knocking pieces flying). Note, I want to make it absolutely clear that you should support this amazing game by purchasing a copy and then playing on Vassal. It is the only way to make sure we continue to have great quality games - by supporting those who put in the time and effort to produce them.


It does. I just wish it were this clear in the rules, of course assuming you are correct.the game certainly does have a lot going for it.
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Willem Boersma
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This picture shows the end of the fourth and last battle of turn 1. As I said, I personally like the fact that players are limited by the number of CM when it comes to the number of battles they are allowed to initiate. It both leads to tough choices to make and greatly speeds up the game. I also believe it's actually quite historically accurate considering the scale of the game. Only on rare occasions did truly massive offensives such as Barbarossa, Bagration or D-day occur. the cards with the higher command values will actually allow you to recreate these. Also taking into account that many factions sooner or later will also be considered to be dealing with the Japanese (threat) in the East which will use up available CM's off-board, I again feel this limitation is actually quite realistic. My compliments to the designers for this!

This battle was initiated by the Allies. A French BB with air support attacked a German U-boat, but suffers relatively heavy casualties and the UB survives.

Note that subs attack surface ships at B1, as stated in the rules. The block, however, only shows B2, which is their attack value against convoys. It would have been useful had the block shown B1/ B2 to decrease the odds of players forgetting these attack values actually differ per target type.
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Willem Boersma
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Above the situation is shown after the combats in Poland. The yellow pawn indicates that the resource is Krakow has been acquired, but is not usable until the next turn.



The French battleship has returned to port, the air unit has returned to a friendly space within range (is this the printed range on the block or whatever is remaining after having deducted the movement points used to fly out into combat? This is one of the main points that isn't clear to me by just reading the rules. An illustration would have come in incredibly handy in the rule book here to clear things up beyond a doubt).The U-boat remains in place, hoping to move into the convoy zone on the next movement phase and attack it in the combat phase. I do wonder, by the way, at which point it really becomes worth attacking these convoys. It seems to me at this low value (1), A the Allies can do without, B it will probably result in many more Axis PP's destroyed than Allied ones and C once the Allies have built up the convoys to such a degree that they are worth 3 or 4 pp's, most probably they will also be escorted by powerful naval units protecting them. Then again, those same naval units could then not assist in the preparation and/or execution of a sea invasion...
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Willem Boersma
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Axis diplomacy. The Axis successfully acquire Belgium through diplomacy. Should make a future invasion of France easier now that they don't have to battle their way through Belgium, but can either just move through or even have the Belgians take casualties rather than sacrificing German troops in the process. Normally this would require a 9+, but because of the proximity rule (+1 to the result of the double die roll)the double 4 rolled turned out to be exactly enough!

Below the Allied/ Soviet diplomacy. Finland is successfully persuaded to join the Allied cause. Note that I initially rolled for the Soviets, but because of the blue card, this should have been an Allied (British/ French) roll. CM's can be shared freely until the Soviets are at war, but not diplomacy.

BTW, who gets the resources for Petsamo? The French or the British or is that the Allied player's choice? i missed that in the rules. the same would be true for the Axis concerning Germany or Italy.

Note that these resource points become available right away, as they are acquired through peaceful means.

I take it the Soviets and the Allies can never attack each other?

It's anyway a blow for the Axis as Finland is a nice Ally to have against the Soviet Union and the fact that it is now controlled by the Allies also makes an Axis invasion of Norway a much more complicated matter.

Did you know that the Allies were actually on the verge of sending troops to Finland to assist the nation in the winter war against the Soviets? Therefore it's not even such a strange thing to happen, it's just that the timing is slightly different than it was historically, though not by much...The Soviets were already amassing at the Finnish borders, after all!



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Willem Boersma
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In the production phase all nations built additional factories, as most of them had more resources than factories to put them to use. In game terms this means that nations receive fewer pp's than they might otherwise do. especially the usable pp's for Italy and France are shockingly low!

Most also built some new units and increased the steps of some, pp's allowing.
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juerg haeberli
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AF movement:
The movement factor on the block can be used once flying out and then again when returning.

Resources go to Germany or Britain.

I usually attack convoys after the fall of France out of Brest.
Preferably with 3 subs.

The attack against convoys is B2.
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Willem Boersma
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haeberich wrote:

AF movement:
The movement factor on the block can be used once flying out and then again when returning.

Resources go to Germany or Britain.

I usually attack convoys after the fall of France out of Brest.
Preferably with 3 subs.

The attack against convoys is B2.


Thanks. I seem to recall I read that too once somewhere on BGG, but it would be nice if the rules stated so explicitly, with regard to the movement points and resources.When it comes to the mp's this could still be inferred (it says "within range" and the range value is printed on the block). Then again, the other explanation I wouldn't call entirely nonsensical either. When it comes to the allocation of the resources, correct me if I'm wrong, I read the rule book twice very recently, but I really don't seem to recall reading anything about that, so that would seem like a "must-add" to me to rules version 1.2.

Yes, I know the attack against convoys is B2; surface ships B1. What I was trying to say above is that a designation of B1/B2 on the block to remind players that its attack value differs, would have come in handy. But of course that's a minor detail.

As for Brest, I know that historically it was a godsend for the Germans to have U-boat bases on the French coast enabling them to directly enter the Atlantic rather than running the gauntlet while trying to cross the North-Sea or Channel and evade the Royal Navy. In the game I fail to see why the British can't just as easily follow the subs into the Atlantic. Am I missing something?
 
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Marten Tjaart Raadsveld
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The air movement is quite clearly explained in paragraph 6.1 of the rule (even with an example!).

The rules do state that card color deternimes diplomacy. So a green card means that Italy gets the diplomatic roll and hence the resource if the rollis succesfull. Early in the war, there are two Western Allies active, so theoretically the resource could go to France.

All blocks show the firepower for primary targets only. In case of the U-boat, the primary target is convoy with a B2.
 
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Willem Boersma
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mtraadsveld1 wrote:
The air movement is quite clearly explained in paragraph 6.1 of the rule (even with an example!).

The rules do state that card color deternimes diplomacy. So a green card means that Italy gets the diplomatic roll and hence the resource if the rollis succesfull. Early in the war, there are two Western Allies active, so theoretically the resource could go to France.

All blocks show the firepower for primary targets only. In case of the U-boat, the primary target is convoy with a B2.
y

And what about when a combined force conquers an area? Player's choice?

The poster above claims resources go to Germany and Britain respectively, so which is it?

As i said, the point regarding the fp of subs is a minor one.

Well, maybe it's me, but i don't really understand te air movement example.it seems to me 2x4 is also 8...

Thanks for your input, though! I appreciate it!
 
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Marten Tjaart Raadsveld
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You are correct: two times is 8 and the unit could have been given a movement rating of 8. The advantage of given it a rating of 4 (and allowing to fly before and after combat) is that you do not have to remember how many mp's have been spent. This can become quite tedious (e.g. in Axis & Allies kind of games).
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Willem Boersma
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mtraadsveld1 wrote:
You are correct: two times is 8 and the unit could have been given a movement rating of 8. The advantage of given it a rating of 4 (and allowing to fly before and after combat) is that you do not have to remember how many mp's have been spent. This can become quite tedious (e.g. in Axis & Allies kind of games).


I think I get it now and yes, you're right about Axis and Allies!I wouldn't even be surprised if some of the confusion among players can be traced back to players'experience with games such as Axis and Allies where e.g shore bombardment and aircraft range work differently. This is hardly the designers'fault, obviously, nor can the rules be blamed for that. Sometimes a person's experience with similar games and their rules just leads one to read things into something or take things for granted. For example, I remember playing Axis and Allies battle of the Bulge for the first time and both me and my opponent just kept on feeling the urge to place units from the opposing sides into the same hex/ area, as this is how previous editions of A&A had all worked. the rules actually clearly stated that units from opposing sides did not actually move into one'another's hexes to engage one another, but we somehow both somehow read that part but failed to register it, as we both incorrectly assumed we already knew how it worked...

Now if I tell you that I have at least 6 strategic ETO games, which sometimes have only subtle rule differences from one another, I guess you can appreciate why sometimes I may get confused. However, this also means that a rule book needs to be entirely clear and unambiguous, IMHO.
 
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juerg haeberli
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The question about resources was discussed here in this forum.
Rons latest answer was that resources are either British or German.

Since there is a convoy unit in the convoy space the allies can only defend with 2 ships against 3 subs.
Subs fire first and have an excellent chance to sink 2 convoy steps and then return to their bases.
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Willem Boersma
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haeberich wrote:
The question about resources was discussed here in this forum.
Rons latest answer was that resources are either British or German.

Since there is a convoy unit in the convoy space the allies can only defend with 2 ships against 3 subs.
Subs fire first and have an excellent chance to sink 2 convoy steps and then return to their bases.


Jurg, I'll gladly believe that, but there's no mention whatsoever about it in the rules, which I believe there should be. Also, clearly Marten has been playing it differently.

I am glad to hear that convoy hunting can actually pay off for the Germans!
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Michael Bluth
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For what it is worth - here is Ron's answer to a thread I started 4 months ago:

"Resources from diplomacy go to Britain, Soviet Union, and Germany. Resources from conquest go to the conquering country, or your choice if multiple countries were involved.

For example, Britain gains Greece as an ally and the Greek army seizes Albania. Britain would get the resource. If say a French unit was also involved in the conquest, a player could choose which country gets the resource. This cannot switch between rounds.

It's usually not hard to remember which country owns what resources and players can write it down if necessary. Giving France and Italy more than one of two captured resources is typically a waste because they don't have the force pools to build many more units.

I hope this helps. Thanks for the interest and let us know how your games are going.

Ron"
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juerg haeberli
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Great,

Thank you Michael.

Another small mistake ironed out in my games.

Follow up question.

What happens with a conquered resource if the conquering power collapses ?
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Willem Boersma
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Garret0507 wrote:
For what it is worth - here is Ron's answer to a thread I started 4 months ago:

"Resources from diplomacy go to Britain, Soviet Union, and Germany. Resources from conquest go to the conquering country, or your choice if multiple countries were involved.

For example, Britain gains Greece as an ally and the Greek army seizes Albania. Britain would get the resource. If say a French unit was also involved in the conquest, a player could choose which country gets the resource. This cannot switch between rounds.

It's usually not hard to remember which country owns what resources and players can write it down if necessary. Giving France and Italy more than one of two captured resources is typically a waste because they don't have the force pools to build many more units.

I hope this helps. Thanks for the interest and let us know how your games are going.

Ron"


Hopefully this and other clarifications will be incorporated into rules version 1.2. if and when it comes...
 
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