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Subject: G.A.A.R. -- 9/16/16 -- Celebrate Good Times, Come on! rss

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Gordon J
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We have lots to celebrate at First Minnesota: Rich getting a new job, Mathew getting married, Gordy and his twins. And of course the coming of fall, which means more GAMES, GAMES, GAMES! You always know fall has arrived when Mathew & Mark emerge out of their summer hibernation and get back to the important things in life--GAMING, BABY, GAMING! We also had reason to celebrate Sioux Falls Bill, who returned to the The Source Comics & Games for a full day of gaming. Also we have reason to celebrate another busy night of First Minnesota, where every table was filled, and much laughter filled the air. And to think a few years ago Jason, Drew, and I played a 3-player game of Andean Abyss, because we couldn't find a 4th person to fill in--can you imagine that?

Gaming got going early, but Frick & John were the first to arrive, playing some more MBT.



Evgenii & Rich playing some Breakthrough: Cambria:



Michael, Sioux Falls Bill, Classy, and Gordy played the hot spanking new Grand Prix:



Grand Prix was a hit in my book. It's more tactical and strategic--a little bit more to work for in this game. As Classy noted, it provides you more opportunity to screw up!



Later Mark, Alan, Bill, Gordy, Brian, and Damian got a 6-player game of GP in. It's interesting that a 6-player game is going to play differently than a 4 player game because the mix of NPC teams and neutral cars will change, and that has a huge impact on strategy and how the game plays.



It's interesting how GP is very similar to Thunder Alley, yet, so different. If you play GP the same way you play TA, you won't do as well. There is definitely a different style--they both feel different.





Rich and Andrew the Third getting down with Brian Trian's newest game--The Scheldt Campaign.



As with any Brian Train wargame, he always cooks up something different--and it sounded like the boys liked it a lot. Damn, another game I gotta get!



The Bloody Inn, Seki, 1812, and much more:



Deception with Chris, Drew, Jared, Red Jared, Matt, Evgenii, and others. It looked like a good time.



I, Spy with Alan, Gordy, Bill, and SteveV. Great game. WW1 espionage game that has you running around Europe creating havoc.



Xia with Bill, Doug, Evgenii, and (???). Doug who was the young guy playing with you guys?



Pax Pamir with Sean, Matt, Todd, Jared, and Drew. Glad to see this back on the table. Interested on knowing how this went.



Fighting Formations with Mark & Patrick & John:



Classy teaching Mark some Seki. 18xx.



Jason, Classy, Andrew, and Brian playing Tarot Card the boardgames:



The mass of humanity gaming:



More gaming anyone?



What is this? A Herr Dr sighting? Can't be...



I had a grand time last night. I gamed non-stop from 12 to 9pm. Thanks to Bill for stopping by--hope you come again soon! Matt, Todd, Brian, Mathew, Classy, and I stopped by the OC for a couple beers afterwards. Nice way to end the night--lots of laughing & talking. Loved it. I have work stuff next week, so I won't be there. So you all have a good time and see ya in two weeks.

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David Dockter
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Great AAR as always, Gordo. 40+? attendees.
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Doug DeMoss
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Quote:
Xia with Bill, Doug, Evgenii, and (???). Doug who was the young guy playing with you guys?

That's my son, Alex.
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David Combs
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What's the name of that Tarot game?
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Andrew N
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dhc3po wrote:
What's the name of that Tarot game?

It's the 2nd edition(?) of Condottiere.
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Matt Clark
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We actually got to run through Pamir twice last night which is awesome.

Pamir #1 was a five player game. Sean, Jared, and Drew were dedicated agents for the British empire and their influence dominated the board for the most part. Todd was a stalwart Afghan patriot and I almost immediately sold my countrymen up river to curry favor with the Russians. Todd and I spent a lot of time playing defense while Drew and Jared jockeyed for the most influence with the British. There was a prolonged intelligence war featuring spies spread far and wide throughout the tableaus. Many of the spies came to an unfortunate end in a brutal counter-espionage campaign. Being the lone supporter of an empire has its benefits but it is a tough slog when there are three other players supporting another faction. Drew was able to line it up and drop the hammer. British supremacy and agent Drew for the win on the third topple.

Pamir #2 was four player (Drew headed home). Todd went with the British and snagged the British Regulars card right away ensuring his military advantage. I was able to pick up the Dost Mohammed card (3 star political) and dropped some Russian loyalists in Kabul. This would prove highly advantageous to me. It kept everyone out of Kabul and we had NO other political cards come up in the market for ages. Sean and Jared kept hope alive for the Afghan Empire and Jared especially was able to rack up a ton of money. In stark contrast to the previous game, we had no good intelligence cards and in my case I had spies and no intelligence actions to mobilize them with. I was able to hang on to my Kabul stronghold and eventually picked up the win on the first topple.

Great stuff, thanks to everyone who played!
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Evgenii
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I had a 12pm-10pm day of gaming, and I'm happy

1) Me and Rich played Breakthrough: Cambrai. It is a very fun game. Rich managed to snatch a 2-point victory as Germans despite the worst die rolling I've seen in my life shake And after playing FAB for two weeks in a row before and this game, I think I might be hooked onto area-impulse games for now. They are fun and strategically challenging. I almost said "Let's just play again". Anyhow, it was a great session.

2) Xia was a blast as always. It was the first time I played with 4 players (btw, I hope Bill enjoyed playing it with us) and 3 NPCs, and at times the galaxy looked pretty crowded (who'd think, when there are only 7 spaceships in it). And again, super close game. I should play Xia more... Thanks to Doug for bringing it and his son for joining.
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Gordon J
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demoss1 wrote:
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Xia with Bill, Doug, Evgenii, and (???). Doug who was the young guy playing with you guys?

That's my son, Alex.

Cool. Yeah, Xia looked like a lot of fun.
 
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Andrew N
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Two big thumbs up for The Scheldt Campaign! At first, it seems pretty straight-forward. The Germans are backed into a corner and their beat-up forces are spread pretty thin. The Allies are a little dinged up, but have distinctly superior forces at their disposal. Should be a cake-walk, right? Well...

For starters, the Scheldt Estuary is terrible terrain to attack across. It's very flat, and very wet. It's tough to get around off-road, and Walcheren Island (where about have the German coastal guns that the Allies need to take out to win are located) is really tough to get ashore. At the beginning of the game, I couldn't see why the Allied player would risk blowing up the dikes on Walcheren for a chance to destroy the coastal guns (as happened historically). As I ground into the mid-game turns and ran into the tough nut that is Walcheren, I began to see the advantage (despite the fact that it makes the terrain worse).

Secondly, even though the Allies have many more command resources than the Germans, you can't just do everything with everyone all the time. The Staff Chits in the game govern what a player can do each turn. Every time you want to move a unit (which can be either a Task Force or a detached Tactical Unit), attack with a unit, re-organize a Task Force, or assign replacements to a unit, it uses a Staff Chit. They also have some other uses, and you have to carefully plan the order in which the Chits are resolved so that they're being utilized to the best effect.

Besides those things, semi-random hits allocated to both German and Allied units before the start of the game, and random German reinforcements of scratch battalions (all relatively weak, but some better than others) mean that the game will never be quite the same situation.

All-in-all, I think The Scheldt Campaign does a great job simulating the problems facing both sides in the campaign. It gives players the kind of decisions to make that real-life corps/army commanders wrestled with, and the rules overhead is very light. It's definitely going to be hitting the table some more.

Condottiere was a good time, too. We played Brian's second edition game, which was a bit different from the third edition that I'm used to. It's got a little bit less in the way of card options, but it's still a great bidding/bluffing/hand-management card game. Brian, Classy, and Jason were all shrewd players, and that made for one of the longer, more competitive, fun games of Condottiere I've played.
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Rich Horton
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Eofet wrote:
1) Me and Rich played Breakthrough: Cambrai. It is a very fun game. Rich managed to snatch a 2-point victory as Germans despite the worst die rolling I've seen in my life shake And after playing FAB for two weeks in a row before and this game, I think I might be hooked onto area-impulse games for now. They are fun and strategically challenging. I almost said "Let's just play again". Anyhow, it was a great session.

The good thing about playing the Germans is even when you roll snakes eyes three times in four combat rolls (the other one was a boxcar) the stakes usually involve only 1 or 2 units. It's not the same as failing a roll as the British and watching two whole divisions become exhausted at once.

I will admit it was a particularly fun game of B:C. Evgeni's Brits tore a huge whole in the German trenches and his initial push released nearly all his reinforcements on the first day. However, his continued high rolling hurt him as his tanks began to wear down after missing a lot of recovery checks. Having a day where he rolled only a 3 for an artillery refit didn't help either. The British did however, get to the winning 20 VP mark, but there were soft spots in the British line which allowed for localized counter-attacks by the Germans. Good fun first roll to last.

I too enjoyed The Scheldt Campaign. It took a little while for me to get the hang of how to maximize the German defensive effort, but I enjoyed the hard decisions and puzzle solving aspect of the game. "OK, how do I minimize the number of G-1 markers I play to get my reinforcement on board AND get it attached to the right Task Force, oh, while keeping enough G-2 markers on hand so I don't get absolutely frog-stomped by the Canadians?" is a typical thought process. The game even gives you the experience of trying to read your opponents intentions in a way you don't see very often. At one point in the proceedings I did a poor job of this and wasted 1/2 of the German C&C options when the Allies did little more than shuffle their organizational structure. As the game wore on I got better at saying "OK, they probably won't be attacking me as they have logistical things to take care of.... I can use the lull to focus on bringing in reinforcements."

It plays smoothly and relatively quickly after you get the flow down. There are a lot of turns, however, so even when both players are up to speed it will take 3+ hours to complete. Still, the enjoyment rating of this one is very high.
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Gordon J
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rhorto01 wrote:
Eofet wrote:
1) Me and Rich played Breakthrough: Cambrai. It is a very fun game. Rich managed to snatch a 2-point victory as Germans despite the worst die rolling I've seen in my life shake And after playing FAB for two weeks in a row before and this game, I think I might be hooked onto area-impulse games for now. They are fun and strategically challenging. I almost said "Let's just play again". Anyhow, it was a great session.

The good thing about playing the Germans is even when you roll snakes eyes three times in four combat rolls (the other one was a boxcar) the stakes usually involve only 1 or 2 units. It's not the same as failing a roll as the British and watching two whole divisions become exhausted at once.

I will admit it was a particularly fun game of B:C. Evgeni's Brits tore a huge whole in the German trenches and his initial push released nearly all his reinforcements on the first day. However, his continued high rolling hurt him as his tanks began to wear down after missing a lot of recovery checks. Having a day where he rolled only a 3 for an artillery refit didn't help either. The British did however, get to the winning 20 VP mark, but there were soft spots in the British line which allowed for localized counter-attacks by the Germans. Good fun first roll to last.

I too enjoyed The Scheldt Campaign. It took a little while for me to get the hang of how to maximize the German defensive effort, but I enjoyed the hard decisions and puzzle solving aspect of the game. "OK, how do I minimize the number of G-1 markers I play to get my reinforcement on board AND get it attached to the right Task Force, oh, while keeping enough G-2 markers on hand so I don't get absolutely frog-stomped by the Canadians?" is a typical thought process. The game even gives you the experience of trying to read your opponents intentions in a way you don't see very often. At one point in the proceedings I did a poor job of this and wasted 1/2 of the German C&C options when the Allies did little more than shuffle their organizational structure. As the game wore on I got better at saying "OK, they probably won't be attacking me as they have logistical things to take care of.... I can use the lull to focus on bringing in reinforcements."

It plays smoothly and relatively quickly after you get the flow down. There are a lot of turns, however, so even when both players are up to speed it will take 3+ hours to complete. Still, the enjoyment rating of this one is very high.

This is good to hear. I'm gonna have to get the Scheldt Campaign.
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Gordon J
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Herr Dr wrote:
Great AAR as always, Gordo. 40+? attendees.

40 at peek time. Pretty good night.
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Patrick Schifano

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Mark and I got Fighting Formations: Grossdeutschland Motorized Infantry Division on the table for a second week. It is quickly becoming my favorite WWII Tactical game. The playtime is definitely longer compared to CC. However the interplay of infantry and tanks is fascinating. Also the Germans and Russians have very different issues to deal with in general.

Our scenario was a German push on a river valley in preparation for larger operations later. A reinforced Panzer company(4 platoon) blasted the hell out of a couple Soviet rifle platoons and a couple lonely T-34s. However by the time the Panzers turned around to secure a bridge some reinforcements had arrived. Meanwhile a Soviet counterattack against against Germans in the woods turned bloody. Loses were high on both sides, but only counted towards Soviet VPs. A few times the Soviets even fired into actives melees. A couple Soviet heavy tanks using the woods as flanking cover put the hurt on lead elements of the Panzer force. Anti-tank planning is critical and I definitely learning how under powered the Russian AT equipment is. The scenario ended with Sudden Death, the German losses being to high to overcome lost ground.
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Brian Train
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Very glad to hear that you all enjoyed The Scheldt Campaign!

Thanks for giving it a spin.

Brian
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Brian S.
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wernervoss wrote:
dhc3po wrote:
What's the name of that Tarot game?
It's the 2nd edition(?) of Condottiere.
Apparently, it is version 2.5.


Grand Prix was good racing. Just as brutal as Thunder Alley and with more choices. Waaay too much passing to be true F1, but great fun as a game. Real F1 would make a boring game. I suspect I have only touched on what the NPC cars can do...
 
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Gordon J
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Vrooman wrote:


Grand Prix was good racing. Just as brutal as Thunder Alley and with more choices. Waaay too much passing to be true F1, but great fun as a game. Real F1 would make a boring game. I suspect I have only touched on what the NPC cars can do...

The important thing is that GP feels different than TA. And you're right, using NPC cars, knowing when to burn your soft tires, when to pit, will make learning this game fun.
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Andrew N
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ltmurnau wrote:
Very glad to hear that you all enjoyed The Scheldt Campaign!

Thanks for giving it a spin.

Brian

Have you considered applying the system to any other campaigns? I'd love to see more.
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Brian Train
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Yes, in my Copious Spare Time, I plan to do more campaigns using this system.

One already done, as you may know, is Next War in Lebanon - but don't get it as it was published, get the free PnP version from me, called Third Lebanon War:

https://brtrain.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/next-war-in-lebanon...

The system as used in this quite asymmetric game situation really shows its flexibility, I think.

Brian Train

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Gordon J
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ltmurnau wrote:
Yes, in my Copious Spare Time, I plan to do more campaigns using this system.

One already done, as you may know, is Next War in Lebanon - but don't get it as it was published, get the free PnP version from me, called Third Lebanon War:

https://brtrain.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/next-war-in-lebanon...

The system as used in this quite asymmetric game situation really shows its flexibility, I think.

Brian Train


Nice. I have this printed out. I got get that built.
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David Dockter
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sir_schwick wrote:
Mark and I got Fighting Formations: Grossdeutschland Motorized Infantry Division A few times the Soviets even fired into actives melees.

That sounds like realistic Soviet doctrine ... and a scene in Braveheart:

Longshanks: Archers.
English Commander: I beg pardon, sire. Won't we hit our own troops?
Longshanks: Yes... but we'll hit theirs as well. We have reserves. Attack.
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Brian Train
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Good, I think you will like it!

Brian
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Alan Carlson
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A post that's a bit circular:

"Some members of the world-famous First Minnesota got THE SCHELDT CAMPAIGN on the table. Further down the thread, there's some very cogent analysis of the strategic situation facing both players."

from Hollandspiele's FB page.

"World-famous?" Ok ...

https://www.facebook.com/Hollandspiele/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELIN...
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Brian Train
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Well, potentially world-famous ... if it's on Facebook, anyone on the planet with an Internet connection can see it!

Or maybe just "internationally" famous, because I am from Canada and have heard of them.

Brian
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Matt Clark
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ltmurnau wrote:
Well, potentially world-famous ... if it's on Facebook, anyone on the planet with an Internet connection can see it!

Or maybe just "internationally" famous, because I am from Canada and have heard of them.

Brian

We have a guild member from Croatia, so 1st MN must be world famous.

Hello!
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Tom Russell
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PScipio wrote:
A post that's a bit circular:

"Some members of the world-famous First Minnesota got THE SCHELDT CAMPAIGN on the table. Further down the thread, there's some very cogent analysis of the strategic situation facing both players."

from Hollandspiele's FB page.

"World-famous?" Ok ...

https://www.facebook.com/Hollandspiele/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELIN...

I dunno, whenever I read a post or session report from the First Minnesota Historical Wargame Society, I know I'm in for a treat. I just kinda assumed that other people in the world of wargaming (as small and as cozy as that particular world might be) felt the same way, and that some of those folks might be outside the US.
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