Tim P.
United States
Thousand Oaks
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This is a session report for the two games of LAMPs we held at the Wargame Bootcamp at Pacificon over the Labour Day weekend, 2nd-5th of September.

For more details of what we do, see the following geeklists
Wargame Bootcamp at Pacificon 2016
Wargame Bootcamp at Pacificon 2016 - After Action Report (Image Heavy)

We were eager to show off LAMPs, it's easy to teach and has plenty of fun gameplay. This being a team game it is easy for players to substitute for a teammate if they need to human things like eat, take a break, etc. When they were really desperate even I was subbed in for another gamer.

On Saturday morning not only did we have enough for a four player game, but we had volunteers for a Sunday game too.

Saturday Game

Thanks to Robert Factor for this pic of me setting up the game.

With 4 eager volunteers, Richard, Thomas, Mark and Robert, the game got going and all picked up the rules well. Both sides played well, with the Western Allies and Eastern Allies being quite aggressive. the game flowed well with plenty of dice related drama at times yet neither side had an major advantage over the other. The major thing of note was that by late 1915 neither side had any Pn (aircraft) technologies, but their artillery was doing it's job.

Oh yeah, and Richard Handewith rolled a lot of 1's ;-)

Sunday Game
With the buzz we got on Saturday, we launched into the Sunday game with new guys and it was a doozy. Darin was the Western Allies player and had the strategy and the luck of the devil.

Belgium fell early but the Western Allies held on, gaining A1 artillery early, in fact they got 5 techs in 6 turns. The central Powers got C1 counter-battery tech and .... that was about it for CP Technical Innovation. While the Western Allies built more big guns and dominated the skies the Central Powers turned east.

Russia was under pressure, but with steady hands, and a little scorched earth, managed to hold on and slowly grow.

Jay (left) was the primary German player, while Darin was the Western Allies.

The drama on the Western Front continued, with Darin being very aggressive and attacking turn after turn even though the Germans had 2 trenches in Belgium. Fortified by bully beef and SRD Rum the French and British kept on coming. In mid 1915, backed by 2 heavy guns the 8 Western Allied armies struck again. Soon they were through the trenches and in a Big Push, Belgium was liberated with one fresh French Army remaining.

The exhausted Germans fell back into Hanover with their tails between their legs, onwards came the French in one last desperate attack. The German Generals asked for one last defensive 'They Shall Not Pass', but it was too much for the exhausted Germans when Jay rolled a natural 1 and so rearwards they trudged as Berlin seemed with reach for the victorious but exhausted Western Allies.

Note: Jay was a little disheartened at this point, he was playing well but Darin was on fire and had the tech advantage to help him. Jay had to go off to another game while Mark was subbed in as the new German leader. Would the new German leader be enough to stop the Darin Juggernaut ?

The Germans rebuilt again, but knocked out of position by the reverse-Schliefen plan all they could do was rebuild, they had no troops to immediately counterattack. Although the Western Allies were bloodied, and were resting themselves, they had enough to hold onto their gains while they prepared for the next Big Push into Berlin. The crisis in the West caused a shift in the East, Russia look on with glee as 2 German Armies left the lines in Poland and Prussia to defend Berlin. Could they capitalize on their allies success and push back the Germans while they stood in a stalemate with the Austro-Hungarians ? Even the Serbs celebrated as they raided into Bosnia, but were sent packing by local troops.

Marshall Darin launched everything, including the British Old Contemptibles, into the attack on Berlin. Hasty fortification were not enough to hold back the horde of British and French forces. Once again the German leadership called for a last desperate stand and declared 'They Shall Not Pass', but once again it was too much for the exhausted Germans when Mark too rolled a natural 1. Berlin had fallen while 5 exhausted German armies fell back to Posen.

With the bombshell of the German player/s twice failing the 'They Shall Not Pass' check with natural 1's, things were very bad for the Central Powers indeed. They tried, but failed to retake Berlin so we ended the game after the next turn.

The final Europe map after the Sunday game

The technology difference was a factor, but the failure to hold both Hanover and then Berlin at all costs was what had decided the game. All the players did well, they grasped the strategy and learn how to budget their PPs. More importantly they all had fun.

More thoughts on the gameplay of LAMPs
Go unrestricted with the U-boats, it costs the WA valuable PPs for a small effect on US Entry.

It was good to see lots of PP transfers in both games, this helped to make the secondary powers/front interesting, as well as the Western Front, also the team nature meant we subbed in spare players to keep the games moving.

The WA players have continued to ignore Africa unless the BEAEF is spent. Those PPs were badly need elsewhere.

LAMPs went down very well, it's fast, has plenty of drama, and lots of replayability. Having a fun and flexible strategic ww1 game is a great addition to our games.
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