Jörn Mang
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Hello there,

I am contemplating to buy an OCS title, either The Blitzkrieg Legend or Beyond the Rhine. Since I'm leaning towards TBL, I'd like to pose questions to the pros:

1. Is the role of the Allies in this title too defensive? I mean, do they have opportunities to counter-attack and be aggressive in a way that makes it interesting for the Allied player(s) to play? Or is the Allies' commander an administrator of retreat?

2. Is the big campaign in this title managable in a 1 v 1? Is it possible in a 2 v 2 without becoming uninteresting decision-making/playtime ratio-wise for any of the players? Or what is ideal in your view?

Thank you in advance for any remarks you can offer.

Sincerely,
Jörn
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Antonio B-D
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I have yet to try TBL apart from the north mini map, currently I have Korea displayed, but you live within 2 hours drive, so many el you should consider more than 1v1.... just saying!
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武士に二言無し
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Hi,

1. In this game, German has the worst possibilty to reach and cross the Meuse River and isolate or close map A ports, because Allies are smart, have lot of SPs and react like a Star Trek ship!
Designers produced a game balanced, they do not want to repeat History so the French is iper-reactive.
I've played the Campaign five time, and never see the German win ... someone did? HOW?

2. Playing 1v1 give you more flexibility, you make all choices, you select where send SPs and units, reinforcements and air units, it'll be longer but fun.
2v2 is good, one on Ardenne and one with British and Holland, but you must collaborate with your colleague or you will pay hard for every error. It's a little bit faster and interesting.

But you'll see at the first attack in Ardenne's woods, losing one or two Panzer Divisions just to reach the Meuse River ... it's fun ... for French player.

Good luck with your search, but I dispassionately recommend BTR first.

F.

Edit: HOW?
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Austin Richards
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Hi, I assume you have other OCS games? Both TBL and BTR are very big to start with. I like BTR better, partly because the turns are easier. In TBL as the German player it takes a lot of time and concentration to get the best turn possible. In BTR the Broad front rule makes each Allies turn three medium turns instead of one gigantic turn.
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TBL is designed to explore this book:

Blitzkrieg Legend

There are rules (German start with double turn) that assist in making things seem more historical, or you can always houserule to achieve a certain level of ineptitude (French) or luck (German). There are some additional options in the errata file on the Gamers Archive site.

The Germans are more mobile, and you need to leverage this as much as possible.

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Jörn Mang
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Thank you for all your responses, I appreciate it.

@Antonio: I'll gladly play you, although I'm a student without a car.

@Filippi & Zenflash: You seem to disagree whether the Germans have a viable chance in this game. I'd like to know more. I'm okay with one side being a bit more challenging, the game just shouldn't be broken.

@Austin: I haven't played an OCS title before. I am also considering to take a dive first into Tunisia II. However it's the big scale that draws me to this series, I have plenty more manageable wargames. Or do you mean rules complexity? I think, me and my gaming buddies will be able to handle rules. All of them have experience in wargames and some of them including me are Law students who have to deal with much, much worse. Or is TBL just a particularly bad one to start it all with?

Also, do you guys think that the Allied player has enough opportunities of counter-attack?
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Bill Lawson
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I have seen the Germans win TBL. It is quite possible. I think the game is evenly balanced but the German has to really plan ahead.
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As you are OCS noobs, I think if you and your friends play TBL, the German players will be frustrated. You really have to know what you're doing, both in terms of OCS and TBL, to be successful as the Germans. Getting past the Meuse in a few turns is the main problem. Even taking Holland is a puzzle, and you have to be on top of your game. The Allies don't have to counterattack to win, but rather retreat well and defend skillfully.

I'd say BTR is the better way to go, more of an even challenge for both sides. Plus, the Germans can mount a major counterattack (Wacht am Rhein), but they don't have to.

Let's try a poll to settle the matter!

Poll
Which is a better campaign game for new OCS players?
TBL
BTR
      15 answers
Poll created by Arcology
 
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Eric Brosius
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Needham Heights
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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Arcology wrote:
As you are OCS noobs, I think if you and your friends play TBL, the German players will be frustrated. You really have to know what you're doing, both in terms of OCS and TBL, to be successful as the Germans. Getting past the Meuse in a few turns is the main problem. Even taking Holland is a puzzle, and you have to be on top of your game. The Allies don't have to counterattack to win, but rather retreat well and defend skillfully.

Think of BTR as a bicycle and TBL as a unicycle. They're both fun to ride, but one of them is much harder to make work.
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Bill Lawson
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BtR is a great game. I would suggest something smaller for noobs but if you want to jump into the deep end BtR is excellent.
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Jörn Mang
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Alright, it is settled. BtR it is. Thank you guys :-)
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Eric Brosius
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This is Rod Miller playing TBL:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5MjD3TYVzo
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Kev.
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Sir_Fortesque wrote:
Thank you for all your responses, I appreciate it.

@Antonio: I'll gladly play you, although I'm a student without a car.

@Filippi & Zenflash: You seem to disagree whether the Germans have a viable chance in this game. I'd like to know more. I'm okay with one side being a bit more challenging, the game just shouldn't be broken.

@Austin: I haven't played an OCS title before. I am also considering to take a dive first into Tunisia II. However it's the big scale that draws me to this series, I have plenty more manageable wargames. Or do you mean rules complexity? I think, me and my gaming buddies will be able to handle rules. All of them have experience in wargames and some of them including me are Law students who have to deal with much, much worse. Or is TBL just a particularly bad one to start it all with?

Also, do you guys think that the Allied player has enough opportunities of counter-attack?

Buy Sicily II. Try that.
Then cut your teeth on something bigger.
TBL is great and while solo I think the FRench can have the best of it, the Germans can win. Opposed also I think the Fr/Br can be tough. But once again you can win as Germans there though im a novice player versus other people here.

Sicily is a full campaign on 1 map and a good learning game.
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武士に二言無し
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Hi Kev,

Please, may you explain how German can win? Which tactic do you use? Just to know if I and other three people, after five full TBL's sessions, have made some mistake.
Thank you.

F.
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Kev.
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Filippo Chiari wrote:
Hi Kev,

Please, may you explain how German can win? Which tactic do you use? Just to know if I and other three people, after five full TBL's sessions, have made some mistake.
Thank you.

F.


My 2 plays - dropped Lowlands early.
Broke thru Dinant in 1 play and further South in another. Isolation of a large portion of French and allied forces, caused problems for the Allies in OOS mode.

These were a long time ago. Im not a super good player so no doubt if you are a 'pro' OCS player then its probably not going to happen. Tho Ive seen the Germans do well in a 4 player in Seattle also from seasoned vets.
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Nolan Hudgens
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Can the Germans win TBL?

Even without optional rules (such as the one giving them an automatic double move) they have several advantages. First, they have the first move. (And the first game turn consists of only the German player turn, so that the next turn has an immmediate Initiative roll before the Allies can move.) That lets them use their mobility and large air complement to dislocate the Allied forces. Trainbusting is vital to hinder Allied forces moving to block the Meuse crossings. So is Overrun supported if necessary by Hipshoot. Even if they don't flip the initative right away, that's just a matter of time. Eventually they will. Once they cross the Meuse the further advance isn't all that difficult, unless it takes several turns to get their double.

Second, they have supply coming out their ears, especially compared to the East Front games. They can actually use most of their gobs of artillery to blast their way into Liege and across the Meuse bridges.

Third, they have gobs of infantry, actually outnumbering the Allies there too. If they don't flip the initiative they'll need the leg types to beef up attacks. Did I mention they have the supply to attack large?

Fourth, they have the three Special Ops counters. Those can ease bridge crossings, though not all of them will be available to the main thrust. (unless the Germans use a markedly different plan than the historical Gelb) I'd count on just one of them on a critical bridge for PGK, with the others elsewhere. The other FJ units might be available for river crossings too, IF they aren't needed for such objectives as they had historically.

EDIT: For crossing the Meuse, don't ignore the HQ bridging capability. It can get troops across near a printed bridge, so as to leverage the crossing next turn. Naturally hipshoot and overrun can help them reach the river quickly. Still, ordinary barrage and attack (followed by reserve release) can be very effective, so that the "ideal" overrun scheme isn't the only possibility.

Fifth, time is definitely not the Allies' friend. Eventually the Germans will get that double turn, even without any optionals. If it flips early, the Germans can approximate the historical timetable. If it takes longer, they may need to take a more measured approach to their offensive, and wait for the flip using a methodical advance.
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Nolan Hudgens
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Reply to the Poll:

Both of the listed games can be very puzzling for even a veteran player who is new to OCS. Their Campaign scenarios both involve large map areas (BTR larger but not by much) and hordes of units. A player who's confident about diving into the deep end can try either without major trauma. However it's easier to learn the system with either a sub- Campaign scenario (both listed games have them) or a smaller game. I'd recommend Tunisia II, and have high hopes for Smolensk. (Several of the Out of Print titles can also be good, especially DAK and Hube's Pocket. If you feel like trading your firstborn for them. )

For my own part, there's an unstated third choice: "all of the above." arrrh
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Sure, but the poll was intended to help answer the OP's question: an either-or choice about BTR or TBL, nothing else.

My own experience in these kinds of threads on BGG is that when someone asks for an opinion on A or B, saying "Both" or C, D, and E, invariably pisses people off.

So does necroing.


 
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OK, simple answer:

BtR is a good choice. It has 4- map campaign scenarios, as well as smaller slices of the action which do very well as training scenarios. If I can compare it to TBL without confusing the issue, it takes a while to master the German side in TBL enough to make competent play. (Manstein is a pretty hard act to follow...) Once a player has done that, however, TBL is also very good.

"Necroing??" Whuzzat??? ninja

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Nhudge wrote:


"Necroing??" Whuzzat??? ninja



Bringing an old post back to life with a new posting.
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Fly by Night wrote:
Nhudge wrote:


"Necroing??" Whuzzat??? ninja



Bringing an old post back to life with a new posting.


OK, that's me: the Ungrateful Undead. goo Probably accompanied by White Walkers.
 
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Jörn Mang
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OP here. I did go with Beyond the Rhine. Haven't regretted it. Learned the system on a small map scenario (with the very high amount of troops it was a dive in the deep end though). I'm very impressed with the OCS system and am looking to get a smaller game (such as Tunisia II) to introduce other players to the system.

I don't mind necroing, though.
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