Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

Dien Bien Phu» Forums » General

Subject: Thoughts After a Few Plays rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
sharpe08
msg tools
Ok so I played this multiple times in the last few days and had some comments. First off, there's the outline of a really good game here. Joe Miranda's idea to treat this as a quasi State of Siege game is really good since...this is a siege. The map is fantastic with four attack routes the VM proceed on all leading to the central French Command area. The chrome is also excellent all the way around. Airdrops, two different types of supply tracks to manage (general supply and artillery supply) use of French Air power for either strategic missions to hit VM AA and Artillery or for tactical air support of units on the map is awesome. Same with using the French heavy artillery for either strategic purposes or for tactical support.

You event pull at the start of each turn from a pool for the French as well as pool for the VM and this adds some real flavor to the game (never know what's going to happen) and provides some nice randomness. The flow of a turn (there's 7 in the game) is also good once you get the hang of it.

Having said all that though there seems to be one rather major problem with the game from what I can tell. On the opening turn it's possible to completely wipe out every attacking VM unit. What then happens is the VM go into refit and then French can run units right up to the edge of the VM bases during some of the impulse phases on either turn 1 or turn 2 to reclaim all the territory the VM had taken on their initial attack. It then appears this rather strange loop starts where the VM raise their morale by say +4 (+1 for each division refitting) while the French can then lower it by -4 (-1 for controlling up to the edge of each base) each turn.

This basically means the VM can never really refit and pressure the French in a serious way again after the first turn since their morale can be down towards 5 or 6 due to the massive casualties they took in turn 1. They might be able to roll some 5's or 6's to refit a few units but with the morale checks happening on a 2d6 the odds aren't really high. Even if they do get units refitted and back on to the map they then have these depleted battalions that just get crushed either trying to attack the French or from Strategic Air attacks.

There's great tension on the first turn as the French are swarmed but then after that first turn there seems to be basically no real possibility the VM can ever mount a serious ground attack again. Sure the VM AA and Artillery can continue to be a big pain but with no real further pressure on the ground it doesn't seem to be that big of a challenge.

In summary, I think the game needs to be more like a traditional State of Siege game such as Zulu's on the Ramparts, Empires in America etc, where the pressure is just relentless and you are simply trying to hang on and prevent the VM from reach the central Command Area before the end of the game. I have some ideas I'm mulling over on how to tweak the game a bit to do this but it's rather a shame to have to be thinking this way since what is here is so close to being a really fantastic solo game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bertrand Vilatte
Japan
flag msg tools
Interesting review & comments. Have you found ways to satisfyingly address the issues you've raised?

Sidenote: I've yet to understand how the designers managed to get the French flag wrong.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
suPUR DUEper
United States
Villa Hills
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Cross post from Consimworld.

Played my first two games today.

First game I did a bit of everything. Sent some planes and arty after the AAA and VM Arty. Kept a couple units off the front lines in reserve. Had the command failure event. Big problems. The 308th (the elite VM div) did not get dinged up at all and basically crushed everything in its path. Oops.

Second game I did things a bit different. Put every unit (save the arty) on the front lines. Used all the air and arty as combat support. Focused most of the arty and air on the 308th. By the fourth impulse basically every VM unit on the map was gone with relatively light French casualties. Will continue to play it out but it looks grim for the home team.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
suPUR DUEper
United States
Villa Hills
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The French are pretty brittle. If one front starts to crack, they are in big trouble.

The best way to stop this is to put everything forward in the initial set up and use most of the air/arty against the front with the 308. Doing some quick math:

The VM has 60 steps.

If the French throw everything in, they can fire:
65+ Ground
10 or so air
21 arty.

They will generate about 32 hits.
The 65 ground will get to fire again in the assault phase. They have a slight edge in shooting first in three of the four routes. By the end of round one most of the VM will be cleared from the door step.
The VM Tactical fire will be minimal due to the defensive terrain.
Rinse and repeat next impulse.

Of course, historically, the French kept a central reserve and tried to do some counter battery.

If the French front lines is weakened just a bit I think it might make the game a bit more balanced.....
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sharpe08
msg tools
HankyuBraves wrote:
Interesting review & comments. Have you found ways to satisfyingly address the issues you've raised?

Sidenote: I've yet to understand how the designers managed to get the French flag wrong.


I haven't gone back to the game and tested any of my ideas but basically my main thought was to make this more like a State of Siege game where the Vietnamese would be advancing and attacking on the various tracks each turn (probably determined by making a deck of event cards that would be flipped to see which tracks activate and attack etc, similar to the event cards in the SoS games). I think most of the current game could be kept as is with simply this modification to ramp up the pressure on the French.

The biggest problem I see with the game (and it looks like someone else on this thread saw the same thing)is that the there's no pressure on the French after the initial opening attack by the Vietnamese is repulsed. The game needs to better model the feeling of a siege where the French are hanging on by a thread.



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sharpe08
msg tools
TedW wrote:
Cross post from Consimworld.

Played my first two games today.

First game I did a bit of everything. Sent some planes and arty after the AAA and VM Arty. Kept a couple units off the front lines in reserve. Had the command failure event. Big problems. The 308th (the elite VM div) did not get dinged up at all and basically crushed everything in its path. Oops.

Second game I did things a bit different. Put every unit (save the arty) on the front lines. Used all the air and arty as combat support. Focused most of the arty and air on the 308th. By the fourth impulse basically every VM unit on the map was gone with relatively light French casualties. Will continue to play it out but it looks grim for the home team.


I went and read your posts on Consimworld and it looks like your experience was the same as mine. The VM get wiped out early on and that's basically it at that point.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
suPUR DUEper
United States
Villa Hills
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi,

I posted a variant in the files section. Made a number of modifications like:

Historical set up
VM refits units every turn.
They go into refit (i.e. stop assaulting) when they are beat up and not when their morale sinks
The French can't move beyond the VM control marker. No more running down the road once the last VM unit on a route is destroyed.
And a few others.

If you could, please give them a try! I played with them and the VM overran the last outpost on T7!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bertrand Vilatte
Japan
flag msg tools
sharpe08 wrote:


.../...

The biggest problem I see with the game (and it looks like someone else on this thread saw the same thing)is that the there's no pressure on the French after the initial opening attack by the Vietnamese is repulsed. The game needs to better model the feeling of a siege where the French are hanging on by a thread.



Agreed. During my first (and only) complete game, the VM ceased to threaten the French positions by turn 2. Rather disappointing.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bertrand Vilatte
Japan
flag msg tools
TedW wrote:
Hi,

I posted a variant in the files section. Made a number of modifications like:

Historical set up
VM refits units every turn.
They go into refit (i.e. stop assaulting) when they are beat up and not when their morale sinks
The French can't move beyond the VM control marker. No more running down the road once the last VM unit on a route is destroyed.
And a few others.

If you could, please give them a try! I played with them and the VM overran the last outpost on T7!


It sounds promising. Thank you for coming up with these changes.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.