Having just got Churchill last week (after a couple of months of waiting - thanks to delivery companies...), I decided to do a quick first conference at the Tournament game to get me used to the bots ready for a two player game at the weekend. This session report goes over the this game in *a lot* of detail. This is both because I quite like sessions which step you through it so even if you don't know the rules, you can follow along. But mainly because I want to check I'm running the bots properly -- shout if you notice a mistake (or if you realize my strategy is just awful).
It's June 1944 - the allies meet in London for the PM Conference. The war against Germany is going slowly, with only the Mediterranean front having made much progress, ready to push into Italy. D-Day is ready to happen as soon as the Allies agree on the preparations, though Churchill is wanting to hold back until he can take out the Fascists in Italy. Meanwhile in the Pacific, the US has slowly started taking back the Eastern islands. But the Brits are just allowing the Japanese to burn the China-Burma-Indian theatre.
Whilst the war is moving slowly ahead, the allies have wasted no time in setting up their clandestine networks. Pretending they are just trying to help the various undergrounds against the Nazis, in reality they are setting the grounds ready to set up a new Government after the war who will do their country favours. The Cold War is already beginning...
The score is UK: 11, USSR: 8, and USA: 7. Tight, but the UK has the edge.
The conference card picked was the A variant:
D-Day is set to happen, while Russia starts to push into Finland (Something which got ignored later - ooops!). Meanwhile the Germans get ready to defend against the Western push. Despite the chaotic nature of partisan groups across Europe, they manage to co-operate for a few more months (ie, no networks are disrupted).
The staff hands are drawn. The UK has a reasonable mix, The USSR gets a mainly low mix as usual, whilst the US staff are mainly concerned over taking political control of the world after the war.
The Brits (ie, me) play Clement Atlee to ensure I will win the agenda segment and also get rid of a backstabbing staff member. The USSR rolls a 2, and so must play their high value card - Kliment Voroshilov (value 5). The USA rolls a 3 and so goes for their second highest card. Normally you would think this would be one of the three 5 cards they have, but looking on these forums, it looks like instead you go for the second highest actual value, and pick one of those cards. Which gives me Claude Wickard (value 3).
The Brits win, and grabs European Theatre Leadership (put onto the 1 space **EDIT** This is a mistake, it should be on space three as tabpub states below). I went for this to give the Brits three extra offensive points to try and help take Italy before D-Day happens. Potentially a risky move as D-Day needs to happens soon.
USSR now picks their two issues going for their highest cards with an issue actually mentioned on them. This gives Production and Directed Offensive. With multiple versions to pick from (US/UK Production, etc), I roll a die and randomly pick versions. Giving the US Production and US DO.
USA follows suit, and grabs two pol-mil issues. Instead of randomly picking these, I just grab the two highest. If I had to only pick one, I would just toss up between the 2/2 and 1/3 as the other two are really only if the other two have been grabbed in my mind.
I then finish the issues with grabbing the Global issue (so I can start placing political markers in Europe...) and the USSR DO (to help me with Italy).
Grabbing the second highest card, USSR picks Lazar (value 2+1) - he has no issue associated with him so I throw the D10, and pick one of the seven issues in the centre. He grabs the USA DO, and pulls it in.
USA is next - noticing that the Global issue is on the table, FDR (value 7) moves to the edge of his chair and extolls the virtues of the American World Order, pushing aside Henry (value 1). This moves the Global issue onto his chair. However, I can't allow that - so I send Ernest Bevin (value 5) to debate, stating how a Free Europe must be created first. Pulling the Global Issue onto 2 on the US Track. (**EDIT** Again, a mistake as you can only debate a leader with another leader)
Churchill then takes a break after the vigorous debating, waiting to see what the Allies will do next.
USSR grabs their next card - Kirill (Value 2), who takes the USSR DO (as the USA one is already in their grasp). The US remains silent, but the UK can't let this be. Sir Evill rants and raves about removing the Fascists must take priority and moves the USSR towards an agreement with sending some aid to the Med. (moving the USSR DO to UK:1) Regardless, Kirill managed to wrangle some support for the Eastern front so Stalin won't have him punished just yet.
Cordell Hull (value 5+1) starts talking about the political-military issues and grabs the 2/2 issue (randomly picked). The UK having debated, decides to wait rather than lose initiative. The USSR would love to react, but their leaders are just too weak willed to put the issue on their track, so stay silent.
The Brits once again take a break, trying to compose themselves after the appalling way Evill held himself.
Pavel (value 1) pulls the USSR DO in to the center of the table, whilst sorting out a deal for more support in the Far East. The allies agree, realising Pavel is talking nonsense -- Russia isn't at war with Japan yet, so why would they need any support? Madness
The US then puts William J Donovan (Value 2+3) to grab the other pol-mil issue (1/3). Churchill slowly re-lights his cigar. Internally thinking "Damnit, we must find a way to try and plant more networks, and get the US out of my colonies", but outwardly staying stoic. Stalin agains stays quiet, knowing his current staff are again too weak to argue.
The Brits finally decide to discuss an issue of their own with a cunning plan. Sir Ismay (value 4+1 for Churchill still hanging around) decides to talk about that 2/2 pol-mil issue. Why should we just let the Americans deal with the underground networks? Surely we should all do our bit? Stalin's eyes light up and gestures towards Andrei Zhdanov (value 2 + 1 for nyet) who uses his knowledge of such resistance efforts to pull the issue towards the USSR (goes from USA 6 to USA 1, then the debate pulls it to USSR 2). Churchill takes a long drag, happy that his plan is working - though maybe working a bit too well.
USSR passes after their victorious debate, leaving the US to bring out Frank Knox who talks about US Production and how it should be used for the US efforts. Everyone else agrees (USSR's staff are too weak to get it on their track), and so it moves to US:5, grabbing two naval support from FDR in the process.
The Brits go full out arguing about the 2/2 pol-mil issue. They need to be the ones to sort out the underground movements. It makes sense, since they have the most sway with the colonies. Stalin stands up and can not allow what is obviously a Russian issue to be cheaply talked away from them. His Chief of Staff calms Stalin down, and together they walk out of the room. (Pol-mil 2/2 goes from USSR:2 to UK:3, then to USSR:4 - this should have been USSR:5 due to Nyet; also the USSR forgot to grab two clandestine network markers...)
USSR passes, and the USA get Stanley Embrick (Value 3) out to talk about the USSR directed Offensive. Pulling it into US:3.
Churchill decides that the time is now right, and pulls the Global issue into the UK hands with a rousing speech. His heart holds out, but he decides he needs a drink, grabbing Mountbatten as he saunders out. (Global to UK:5). Stalin's staff decide not to respond; whilst the US would also love to but again, just don't have a strong enough staff to get it onto their track.
Stalin's team is winding down, as George Malenkov (Value 1) decides that the time isn't right for the US to go into the second front (as the only issue in the center of the table). The USA declines any response, polite as usual, and the UK feigns a sigh happy that they will take Italy first, and gain the glory.
Henry Stimson (value 5+1) then speaks up for the US Interests, pulling the heavily debated 2/2 pol-mil issue back into American hands. This confuses everyone at the table - why not grab the second front and start D-Day? However, Henry simply states that his expertise is with politics and that is what he will concentrate on. (Is this right? I'm not sure if #2 of advancing an issue on the bot chart takes precedence over #3, and make them pick the Second Front over the card's specialty).
The UK staff looks at all the issues, and knowing they have the last word, decide which to talk about to end the conference. Sir Tovey can see that there's no way for the Brits to win the conference - the Americans has got just too many issues. Instead he sees just two possibilities: Move the second front into the center and start D-Day, but possibly losing the glory for the Med front; or pull the 2/2 Pol-Mil issue out of the US hands, and let no-one get it. With a heavy heart, he goes for the latter, infuriating FDR but the hour is too late to argue.
The issues at the end of the conference:
The sides then go through their production. The Brits go all out in Italy, except for the support they promised for the failed D-Day operation. USSR is forced to support the Western Front with all their support; forgetting to set up naval fleets in the Arctic. The Americans then start their industrial machine - funding the 1/3 pol-mil issue (randomly picked), sending the aid to the Eastern front as promised (thanks to DO), and then spending it in the Pacific Front, annoyed that they won't be going into Europe just yet.
The Brits then decide to use their winning rhetoric about changing the World Order to firm up the era of Colonialism. Mainly to force the US's networks out of their colonies. Churchill did want to have a Free Europe, but he just can't allow the US to set up their political structures without some Good Ol' British ones as well.
Clandestine Networks and Political Alignment are then set, before the fronts go into action. The UK pull the US out of the DEI with their single network. The USSR randomly picks France which the Americans have a political hold over. The US regain control there, before randomly picking some other countries (Czech, Belgium and Bulgaria) - putting a second counter in Czech, and knocking out USSR and UK networks in the other two.
The war then begins -- The Eastern front stalls; whilst the Italian front breaks through all of Italy. The UK gained her glory today. The pacific
also stalls on all fronts, despite the Japanese navy being mainly based on the home islands for repair and refuelling.
Scoring up after this round puts the UK in the lead with 21 points. The US are at 12 points, whilst the USSR is stuck at 7. The war is starting to become critical -- the only way for the US and UK to take Germany now is to get D-Day rolling at the next conference, and to get at least one breakthrough past the German army. Meanwhile, they have just four conferences to move three spaces towards constructing the A-Bomb, whilst still needing to get Russia to declare war against Japan, and gain a island close enough to do the bombing mission. Desperate times are ahead.
Assuming I didn't make any mistakes in running the bots (please let me know if you think I did), the game ran pretty smoothly. There flowcharts are pretty easy to read and remember, which meant I wasn't having to constantly check them. Instead just taking the photos took up all my time! I'm going to continue this game (despite the mistakes in the Russian Navy and not giving Stalin his extra networks for debating) and see if I can get the UK to dominate the alliance after a successful war. But it is going to be tough. Best to keep this lead, and just push everything in the war in Europe and A-Bomb research. The DEI is just too long to do much with. It might be worthwhile to try and get the USSR into Japan and ignore the A-Bomb entirely. This would help the Brits to not get a 2 against 1 alliance after the war and save some resources. However, it will go against the Bots natural inclinations - something which means I won't be scoring much at all. Tough times!
- Last edited Wed Mar 8, 2017 10:59 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 12:52 am
Re-reading this, I notice I made the mistake of using staff members to debate an issue a leader had advanced, when only another leader can debate. Ooops! No doubt there's more mistakes, so feel free to let me know.
I've played a few more conferences, going up to the start of conference 10. Germany has surrendered, the US is in a B52 base (probably listening to Rock Lobster), and the USSR is in Manchuria. So I just need a successful A-Bomv test to win the war. However I'm over twenty points ahead of the USSR so I also need to ensure Stalin gets points - all whilst ensuring the US doesn't catch up.
- in the agenda segment: isn't the advancement the highest (Atlee net 6) vs the lowest (3 US) for net 3 spaces rather than 1?
Have to admit, only played this a couple times and perhaps there were changes in the reprint (which I assume you have, as you mention Stalin getting 2 Networks vs 1 in the original).
Nope, you're right on that one. Totally missed it up until conference 1, instead doing the difference between the next highest. Oooops, but good to realise the mistake since this changes the effectiveness of the agenda round.
I am using the second edition/printing, but this hasn't changed, it was just me doing the rule wrong
- Last edited Wed Mar 8, 2017 11:00 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Mar 8, 2017 9:39 pm