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Subject: A superb game! rss

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Robert Pollard
United Kingdom
Bristol
Avon
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Back in the day when this was released I avoided it. It was an area based game and at the time, my rather flawed thinking went along the lines of no hexes = no fun.

However, I have changed the error of my ways and have realised that I have missed out on many excellent titles! So off to EBay I went to get a first edition AH version of the game.

The rules are a double edged sword. They are really badly edited. Even after reading the manual twice, there were still a lot of concepts I didn't have a handle on. In the end I had to just dive in and make those mistakes as I learnt the rules.

On the plus side, I cannot believe how many intricacies of the Normandy invasion have managed to be modelled with so few rules. It's absolutely remarkable! It's a shame the bad layout and editing makes learning a rather simple set of rules a difficult task.

The highlights for me are the simple but effective supply system (as the Germans you pray for bad weather) and the combat system.

What makes the combat system unique is that unlike just about every game out there you should not commit all your forces to an attack - unless you know what you are doing.

Why?

The mechanics ensure that units used in an attack are spent. Spent units generally have much lower defense values than unspent units. This means that if you commit all your units, you end up leaving their area very vulnerable to counter attack.

It's this modelling for the need of maintaining reserves that I find pretty unique. In most other games there is no real advantage to not using all your units on the offense.

The above rules mean that the battles have a natural ebb and flow of attack and counter attack until both sides weary due to lack of supplies.

From a German perspective its about maintaining a fine balance between limited offenses to cause maximum disruption and preserving their meagre forces so that they can fight another day. This leads to some tough decisions early on as much of the defensive bocage country is inland. So you need to decide how many units to commit to the immediate beach assault and how many to move toward the more defensible terrain.

As mentioned above, weather plays a crucial part. It affects the combat results (quite drastically if the Germans attempt offensive operations in good weather), and it affects German supply. In bad weather German supply is almost doubled!

From the allies perspective it's about keeping an eye on your two objectives - breakout or victory points. It's also about not committing everything all at once. When learning the rules the British made the mistake of committing all their units which cost them Sword beach for much of the game. Again, it's all about maintaining a defensive reserve so as to fend of any potential counterattacks.

One subtlety that takes a little time to sink in is that the Allies main enemy is not the Germans - it's time. Everything they do is against the clock. Spare supplies can be used to buy more time (or as the Germans to reduce time). In addition, casualties can affect what's called the 'sunset marker' which has a profound effect on when a game day is likely to end.

As the Germans you are always trying to get the Allies to burn and fritter away their time - as the Allies it's the complete opposite!

The game does take a long time to play (took me around 20 hours), but once the rules are learnt it flows extremely well.

I found that the game is well balanced too - rare for one set in Normandy.

On my first game, I had thought the Germans had won, but the Allies just pipped it due to 2 additional victory points - one for having the advantage and one for having many high point contested areas.

The end situation at the end of the 26th:



So even after a full game, it went right down to the wire. I can imagine this game being a real eye opener with two experienced players.

The game plays very well solo as it always offers a number of tough decisions to mull over. There is no hidden information, so you can choose to play each side to the best of its abilities.

I highly recommend this game if you can get through the poorly written manual. It's a superb simulation of the Normandy Campaign with an extremely lightweight set of rules.

If you like Normandy (I do) then purchasing this game should be a no brainer!
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From what I heard the L2 rules are quite a step up.
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Peter B.
Germany
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Hi Robert,
does your photo REALLY show the situation at the end of the 26th?

It looks more like the end of the 1st week!?
In this case the Allies need more than 10 points for a victory and I see 9.7 (rounded up to 10, rule 22.4) without the advantage. It would be a draw.
If the Allies own the advantage, they have 11 points and it is an Allied victory.

But I don`t think that it is the situation at the end of the 26!? Otherwise the Allies would need more points for a victory.

Best,
Peter





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Robert Pollard
United Kingdom
Bristol
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[q="StarPit"]Hi Robert,
does your photo REALLY show the situation at the end of the 26th?

It looks more like the end of the 1st week!?
In this case the Allies need more than 10 points for a victory and I see 9.7 (rounded up to 10, rule 22.4) without the advantage. It would be a draw.
If the Allies own the advantage, they have 11 points and it is an Allied victory.

But I don`t think that it is the situation at the end of the 26!? Otherwise the Allies would need more points for a victory.

Best,
Peter



Hi Peter,

Looks like I misinterpreted the rules. The Allies finished with exactly 10 points - so I guess it's a draw.

The Allies had a really tough game. Part of that was my fault. As it was my first game, on the first move I didn't appreciate the importance of maintaining a reserve.

RobP
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Andrew Young
Wales
Wellesley
Massachusetts
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And if you never have, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.
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This is a wonderful game of tight ups and downs. All games have been very tightly played.
 
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