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Subject: First Solo Game Attempt; Never Played Before rss

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Steven Dolges
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At some point I'll likely do some Youtube videos on this game once I get a stronger handle on this but here is an AAR/session report on my first solo playthrough of DG's World War I Deluxe Edition. I am fortunate enough to have convinced my wife to give it a try this weekend with me but figured it would be good for me to run through so I can better teach the rules.

Firstly I'd like to make a suggestion for folks with the game. The game comes with a color rulebook on non-glossy paper, with the important charts of the game in the middle pages (intended to be carefully removed) and a few on the very back pages of the rulebook. I don't want to mess with the staples or page removal so I took the PDF of the rules and printed out pages 15, 18, 31, and 32 of the rules (both sides of paper printed, stapled together) to form separate player aid packets. I did two copies so when playing with someone each player has their own packet and we don't need to pass the rulebook back and forth or anything like that. I also ended up printing off two copies of page 25 so the Turn 1 special rules could be added to each packet for ease.

PDF of the rules can be found here:
http://decisiongames.com/wpsite/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/B...

I will add new comments to this thread as I go.

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Set-up:
Set-up took maybe half an hour, with me carefully picking out the required counters and placing them on the map. I had the counters barely organized into baggies of Allied major powers, CP major powers, minors, and then a fourth bag of all the other markers. I think when I clean-up I will endeavor to separate the miscellaneous markers into separate baggies to improve sorting. Maybe even separate army counters needed for 1914 set-up and others for ease of setting up in the future. Not sure.

As you can see in the picture below the map is fairly sparse at the beginning. Even the neutrals have some of their units set-up. I have opted to have the Austria-Hungarian Second army set-up against Serbia as opposed to Russia, hoping to crush Serbia as quickly as I can. The German Nord army is set-up in Wilhelmshaven for no particular reason. All other armies have set placement in hexes.



All things considered the counter density here isn't very large, we have just one German army in the East against Russia. Obviously there will likely be a whole bunch of action on the Western Front where the concentration of armies is thickest. Since the game starts with Central Powers driving the action, I'll point out my broad CP strategy is to do the Schlieffen plan and figure things out from there.

I will be playing with all the optional rules, but how often I will make use of them is going to be up in the air and dependent on what happens as the game goes on. I will be keeping the game to just ten turns rather than extend the game.

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Turn 1:
There are a variety of special rules in place to keep the game to history for turn 1. I won't reiterate the scenario information but basically only Luxembourg, Belgium, and/or the Netherlands can be invaded. No entrenching allowed, AH can't do anything squirrely and must pick an enemy to focus on, Germany can't invade Russia, Russia must make 2 attacks, etc.

Should be noted that the Germans have already violated the neutrality of Luxembourg and so I believe the Allies start with 1 VP.

Initiative Phase: Skipped on Turn 1, Central Powers have initiative by default.

Diplomatic Phase: Skipped on Turn 1.

First Impulse:

Movement is done by the initiative side, in this case the Central Powers, one front at a time until complete, then attacks are performed one front at a time. Then its switches to the other side, in this case the Allies. On the first impulse all fronts (Western, Eastern, and Middle East) can be activated but on the 2nd and 3rd impulses you must spend a Plan campaign marker to activate one. This may mean nothing happens on the 2nd and 3rd impulses of a turn of the players are low on Plan markers.

Getting into things Germany does the obvious and violates the neutrality of Belgium. Thus providing the Allies with 10 VP, bringing their total to 11 VP. I'm not sure how exactly one should track VPs or when, but as it is relevant I will notate VPs for stuff that won't go away for territory being re-taken, etc. You get more VP for making enemy powers surrender sooner, so time is ticking.

The first turn is a Summer turn, so all units have 5 movement points though I probably won't need them all. For the movement phase on the Western Front: The German Sixth army moves to Metz to occupy forts against French attacks. The Second and Third army bypass the Liege fort to approach Brussels. For movement on the Eastern Front: AH Second and Fifth move forward towards Serbia, the First approaches Ivanograd, while the German Ninth uses rail movement to Glogau-Breslau then regular movement to take Lodz with an eye on Warsaw. No movement in the Middle East due to the lack of units.

During combats the Germans take the Liege (easy with the special turn 1 rule) but it costs the Germans 3 MP (ouch). The two armies attacking Brussels cause a 3/3 results, so Belgium is hanging on, with the fort at Antwerp untouched. Other attacks on French units don't do a whole lot but bleed more MP, with a 4/2 results. In the East, attacks on Serbia are not done as it seemed too pricey at the moment, while an attack on Ivanogrod fizzles with a 3/1 result. Overall things could have been better.

For Allied movement the British Egypt Army parks itself on the Objective hex. On the East front, Montenegro and Serbia move their units to the front, and Russia maneuvers to defend Ivanogrod and Warsaw while an attack is set-up against Germany. On the Western Front slight movements are made, with the BEF coming up to support the Belgians.
During combats the French A-L army manages to destroy the Mulhausen fort, but at a terrible cost (3/2 result but a reserve army attacking alone double attacker losses for 6 MP losses!). Another attack in the 'middle' accomplishes little while a concentric attack nets a 3/3 result with doubles to 6 MP losses for Germany. While it could not have forced a unit destruction, the MP loss is heavy. On the Eastern Front, an attack on Lemburg ends in disaster with the Russians losing 4 MP. A mini-Tannenberg occurs, though not too bad. A 2/1 result has the Germans retreat to Konigsberg and the Russians losing 2 more MP.

Second Impulse:

The CP have not made the progress they wanted in Impulse 1. Losses have been a bit heavy but to make use of the advantages of Turn 1 they need to keep pushing. A Plan marker is expended to activate the West Front. No other Plan markers are used for this impulse. A 3 army versus 1 army attack eliminates a French army allowing a slight advance (1/5 result). The destroyed French army goes to the available box. An attack on Brussels provides a 3/2 result, which has the Belgians retreat to Antwerp and hit 0 MP. The capital has been taken, which is also a Mobilization hex, which may mean the Belgians will collapse later in the turn. Since Brussels is the only on-map mobilization, resource, and/or objective hex for Belgium it being taken satisfies enough criteria for collapsing/surrendering.

The Allies spend two Plan markers to activate both the Western Front and Eastern Front. By special rule, on the second impulse France (and only them) can entrench. So on the Western Front every French army spends its move entrenching. In the East the Russian armies near Konigsberg close in for an attack. During the combat phase I realize the Russians really can't make a dent there but moving is over so it is too late... A second attack on Lemburg ends up EXACTLY like the last one, me rolling a 6 for a 4/0 result. The Belgians stuck in Antwerp and the BEF launch a concentric attack on a German army in Brussels. Wasn't really too worthwhile, taking 2 MP from Germany but Britain in return losing 2.

Third Impulse:

The Central Powers use another Plan marker to activate the West Front. The ZOCs created by entrench French units make it hard to move so we just go into combat right away. 2 German Armies versus the Belgian army in Antwerp results in a 2/2 result. It was difficult to figure out to take these losses as Belgium. Ultimately I decided to retreat the BE army two hexes back toward France (it can use French supply hexes) and let the Germans advance into the Fort. Had the Belgians taken the army loss instead (they have no MP left to lose so have to lose something) it will have meant the fort stuck around and would be tougher to take later but the army being alive keep the line stronger to defend France. Might be the wrong decision, oh well. Another attack on a French entrenched unit forces a de-trench plus 2 MP losses, though Germany lost 3 too. I should point out that this has put Germany dangerously low on the MP chart, down to 2. I have no idea if this is common or I have just accepted too many MP losses in lieu of other possibilities. Germany isn't really in danger by going to zero, as the other collapse criteria have not been met and likely will not be.

The Allies are careful here, if they decided to try to push on attacks against Germany to bottom out their MP and force army elimination they are just as likely to have to suffer the same results (France has 6 MP left). So with that they play one plan marker to activate the east again. One of the Russian armies near Konigsberg detours to Thorn-Graudenz. The attack there is 1/2 result, draining Germany to 0 MPs but the fort remains intact. An attack at Lemburg (again) gives a 3/1 result. Again not to great. As a final action (and seems to be regardless of front activation) we replace the BEF with the British First Army. This can be done on any Allied impulse. This allows us to build the 2nd though 5th armies as well now. The BEF is now considered eliminated, but I'm unsure if that means we can rebuild it. Does anyone know if the replacement is permanent? I will just not rebuild the BEF until I have a clearer answer.

Strategic Warfare Phase:

So, a special consideration here, Germany has 0 MP but you cannot go into negative. So, if there is a naval campaign battle and Germany loses, it doesn't have as much to lose. Might seem a bit gamey here, as you would there should be some other penalty for this. A bad roll has GE take 5 MP losses, but rather than combat where you have to take unit losses or something there is nothing else to lose on a naval roll. Again, I think Germany being so low on MP is probably abnormal this early. If the CP can get a good enough Naval result they can disrupt the blockade providing more MP accruals and keep the Allies from getting VPs while gaining some for themselves. The CP play their naval marker and the Allies play theirs in response. A die roll of 3 is an Allied Tactical Victory, giving Britain 5 MP, though both players get to keep their markers for next time. It is possible, on other results, for a player to need to return their naval marker to the purchase-able pile, meaning the fleet is damaged/reduced and needs to be rebuilt (costing MP). Finally we check for the collapse of Belgium, whose threshold is 3 for the capital and mobilization hex controlled by the enemy (same hex). A roll of 1 means Belgium collapses. Now, due to the fact we are using optional rules the other Allies can send MP to Belgium to keep it from surrendering, but depending on battle losses we can still end up seeing Belgium surrender in another turn.

Mobilization Phase:

Firstly, the Central Powers spend one of their National Will markers to increase the number of MP received for Germany for its mobilization hexes by 50% rounded up. They feel the need to get as much as they can to make up for the heavy losses. The Allies don't use theirs, hoping to save them for later since it is difficult to get them back. Right now Germany would get 40 MP for mobilization hexes normally, but now instead gets 60. 15 MP from resource hexes brings Germany to 75 MP, then 5 more for MP turn modifier to 80. AH gets a total of 30 from hexes plus 5 from turn modifier bringing them to 51. For the Allies, Montenegro gets none, Belgium gets none. Serbia gets 5 bringing them up to 11. Russia gets 25 from hexes (don't forget Baku on the ME part of the map) and 15 from the turn modifiers, bringing them up to 55 (note 10 comes from off map mobilization icons on the Russian transit box). Frances gets 35, up to 39. Britain gets 20, up to 27. The turn modifiers are positive for now but later will be negative, representing the breakdown of economic structures.

And now I need to spend all those goods putting together new armies. Germany spends 10 MP buying 2 strategic campaign markers and 3 tactical campaign markers. Then spends another 6 MP to get 3 more plan markers. Then finally spends 30(!) on building 6 active armies. One is deployed next to Konigsberg, 3 in Berlin to head East, and the final 2 near the West Front. They are left with 34 MP.

Austria-Hungary builds 1 active army, 1 Alpine unit, and 4 reserve armies. Most of this sit outside Budapest to be moved to various fronts for support. One of the reserves is placed near Trieste in case of an early Italian entry. They now have 32 MP. France builds 3 active armies for 15 MP, bringing them down to 24 MP. Britain spends 15 MP building the Desert Mounted Corps, an active army, and 2 expeditionary units. They are down to 12 MP. Important to point out that I'm not doing this in any particular order though I had CP go first since they had imitative. CP Major Powers are at 66 MP. Russia still need to spend and how much they spend will determine who has imitative next turn. France and Britain together have 36 MP so if the Allies want to have initiative Russia can't go below 31. They would leave them with 24 floating MP to spend. This seems fine except no one has spent to buy campaign markers for the Allies. Russia buys 2 strategic markers, 2 tactical markers, 3 plan markers, all for 14 MP. Two active armies are built and deployed around Warsaw. This leave Russia with 31MP and enough for the Allies to take initiative in turn 2. The rulebook doesn't cover what order mobilization should be done in and I can imagine some weird situations of watching your opponent so I will keep to the idea that the side with initiative spends first to keep it more fair.

Final thing to note here that since the blockade was not broken, the Allies get 7 VP, bringing their total to 18 VP.

And here is the map at the end of turn 1:

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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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This game seriously needs its own folder. Beyond theme, it has little if anything in common with the Jim Dunnigan design for which the World War I folder was created. The Joseph Miranda design you're reviewing isn't a version of the original; it's an entirely different game.
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Stephen Oliver
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First I'd like to say thanks Steven for the AAR.

Quote:
Beyond theme, it has little if anything in common with the Jim Dunnigan design for which the World War I folder was created.


Second, I had no idea this was the case...
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Terry Lewis
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Sphere wrote:
This game seriously needs its own folder. Beyond theme, it has little if anything in common with the Jim Dunnigan design for which the World War I folder was created. The Joseph Miranda design you're reviewing isn't a version of the original; it's an entirely different game.


"Sphere," I agree completely!!!

It is a major disservice to both games to have them on the same BGG game site.

I have been enjoying the original version World War I: 1914-1918 [1975; SPI (S&T # 51); James F. Dunnigan; Redmond A. Simonsen] for forty-three years.

[ImageID=https://boardgamegeek.com/image/64711/world-war-i]

I don't even know if I will add this new game [the so-called" Deluxe edition] to my collection. Nothing I've heard so far leads me in that direction, and WWI is one of my favorite eras to study, as well as for collecting and playing historical conflict simulations.

TML [a retired professor in Oregon and a War-Gamer for 50+ years]
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Steven Dolges
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Sphere wrote:
This game seriously needs its own folder. Beyond theme, it has little if anything in common with the Jim Dunnigan design for which the World War I folder was created. The Joseph Miranda design you're reviewing isn't a version of the original; it's an entirely different game.


I understand there are some differences but this is the only page I have to post this AAR to. At this point it seems like a distinct Jim Dunnigan version hasn't been printed for awhile so this is all I've got. That said, I am genuinely enjoying this particular game so far. I am a big WWI guy and it is interesting to see how it is portrayed in this game versus more meatier/longer games.
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Turn 2:
Initiative Phase: Allies take the initiative by a hair.

Diplomatic Phase:

Allies will get to attempt to activate one Neutral Power via diplomacy. If a side fails the attempt that is all they get this turn, so each side gets 9 diplomatic attempts and the dice rolls can be tough. You have to be choose-y on which countries you make your attempts on. The Allies have four options: Greece, Italy, Romania, and the United States. Modifiers come into play and thus make things like the US coming into the war in 1914 impossible. Really the best chances now are Italy or Romania. Seeking an opportunity to apply more pressure on the Central Powers, the Allies attempt to pull in Italy, but just barely failed with a die roll of 4.

The Central Powers now attempt to bring in the Ottoman Empire. They would normally need a 5 or 6, but because Germany controls Lodz (a Russian city), the minimum needed is only a 4 due to a +1 bonus. Unfortunately the die roll is a 3, so no new entries in the war at this time.

First Impulse:

With all fronts activated the Allies have an opportunity to strike back at the Central Powers, especially on the West Front where there has been no entrenching yet. Britain sends the Second Army to Calais and the MEF to Port Said. France moves forces forward and a kill-box is made surrounding Brussels. Since the CP couldn't entrench yet they have no ZOCs to stop this. A concentric attack permanently destroys a Germany army in Brussels and imperils another in Antwerp. Attacks in the East mostly fizzle, even a 3 army versus 2 strength fort due to a bad die roll.

The Central Powers react quickly to move units to the fronts from their mobilization hexes and set-up for some counterattacks. Several Germany armies on the Western Front entrench. Attacks made on Brussels destroy the Belgian army re-occupying the capital but no advancement is made due to the kill-box. Various other attacks elsewhere due MP damage but a 2 army vs 1 outside Konigsberg destroys a Russian army.

Second Impulse:

With my foolish play allowing a Germany army to be permanently destroyed, if they are knocked down to 0 MP they could collapse. The Allies decide it is worth a full scale attack. Two plan markers are used to activate both the Western Fronts and the Eastern Fronts. Both tactical markers are used and Germany takes various MP hits but it is still relatively strong.

The Central Powers spend 2 plan markers as well and on the West Front, with the aid of 2 tactical markers, manage to destroy both a French army along the line (allowing a safe advance) and the destruction of a British army holding Brussels. Again no advance is made due to the danger of a kill-box. Attacks in the East deplete some MP but a Russian army is permanently eliminated due to concentric attack. The Russian position is a bit compromised now.

Third Impulse:

Allies use 2 plan markers for the West and East. In the West units move up or entrench, in the East the Russian armies in danger retreat back to form a line near Warsaw but the Northern part of the front is dangerously exposed. Attacks are attempted but there jsut isn't enough to push Germany down low enough to collapse. There is still a chance via a naval battle plus strategic warfare though...

CP spends 2 plan markers for West and East. Attacks are made, some with very good odds but bad die rolls. Germany is sucked down to 2 MPs after several rolls of '6', the worst result. AH may need to be the one buying campaign markers now...

Strategic Warfare Phase:

Allies smell blood in the water and use both their strategic markers, however the CP use both of theirs to negate the attempts. Germany contemplates playing the naval marker but it runs the risk of going to 0 MP, which could bring on a collapse roll. Not willing to gamble the war on Jutland, the CP hold back. Now we would check for the surrender of Belgium if the capital was still under control of the Germans, but since it isn't no check is required even though the Belgian MP is 0. This is good because I forgot to lend MP to them last turn! My msitake of letting a German army get perma-destroyed means Germany has to be careful of hitting 0 MP now, but they slip by with 2 this time.

Mobilization Phase:

MP increase breakdown is as follows for the Allies: Britain 12 -> 32; France 5 -> 40; Russia 15 -> 55; Serbia 6 -> 11; Belgium 0. It is occurring to me here AH should be more aggressive in trying to bring Serbia down. Now the Central Powers: Germany 2 -> 62; Austria-Hungary 23 -> 58. Totals for initiative (Major Powers only) before purchases are 127 Allies versus 120. If the Allies want to retain the initiative they can't outspend the CP too much.

In keeping with my idea to have the initiative player buy units first the Allies will do all their mobilization before the Central Powers do. First Britain buys 3 strategic markers and 3 tactical marks for the Allies costing a total of 12 MP. Britain then spends 6 buying the first 3 plan markers, while France spends 9 to get the 4th and 5th plan markers. They expect the Ottomans to enter soon and would like to be ready to activate all fronts if needed. British spend 5 on rebuilding the First army, France spends 8 building an army and the CEO expeditionary unit, Russia spends 25 on building 5 active armies. No MP is spent lending to Belgium, the rest of the Allies will defend their territory for now so no need to try to rebuild the Belgian army. Belgium can't make use of any lent MP this mobilization turn anyhow. Allied Major Power Total after purchases is 62.

If the Central Powers want the initiative (to best exploit the open Russian flank) they can only spend 58 MP to tie at 62 MP leftover, in which CP wins ties. AH spends 12 MP on 2 strategic markers and 4 tactical markers. AH then spends 10 more on buying 4 plan markers bringing their useable total to 5. AH doesn't buy any armies as its force pool it pretty well built out already except an expeditionary unit. Germany builds 3 active armies and 1 expeditionary unit, for 18 MP. CP Major Power Total after purchases is 80. I don't spend to the minimum to help create a buffer later and so I can go a bit wild in attacking. Does make me wonder if perhaps in a face-to-face game the players should write their purchases down secretly then reveal simultaneously so you can't jockey the numbers?

Final thing to note here that since the blockade was not broken, the Allies get 7 VP, bringing their total to 25 VP.

And here is the map at the end of turn 2:

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Turn 3:
Initiative Phase: Central Powers take the initiative with some extra to spare.

Diplomatic Phase:

Rather than go for the Ottomans again, the CP want to take the wind from the Allies sails and attempts to ally with Romania. There is a base roll needed of 5, but the CP get a +1 bonus for controlling Lodz (a Russian city). A die roll of 5 is successful! This takes us into ahistorical territory and is devastating when you consider Romania's access to Russia and Serbia. I wonder how realistic it is for Romania to be a CP option, will need to do some fun historical reading! This also reduces the number of possible other countries the Allies can bring in (Greece, Italy, and US left). Romania would have been the easiest to pull too. With this in mind the Allies attempt to bring in Italy to even the odds, but once again fail with a roll of 1.

First Impulse:

The Central Powers are feeling good. Both Romania and Germany can make gains in the regions of Russia lacking units (at least until the Allied impulse). A mad dash sees the taking of Odessa, Serbia is encroached upon, and German armies move to be able to attack Riga, Kovno, and Wilna is occupied as part of the Kovno attack. Riga and Kovno fall. Warsaw also falls when a tactical marker is used and leads to a Russian army being eliminated. Various other attacks have marginal effects except for the first use of an infiltration attack. The Romanians use it to infiltrate-attack Nish, taking the hex and causing Serbian units now be out of supply. I ended up doing attacks on Serbian units before remembering I could infiltrate attack to put the units out of supply. Oh well. Oh and the German expeditionary unit amphibiously lands in Reval. Not sure this is a good move but oh well. It is important to point out that due to the control of Rgia, Warsaw, and Kovno we satisfy the special collapse/surrender criteria for Russia. This is good and getting here so early could be a big deal for the Central Powers. They just have to keep it.

The Allies go and they are in trouble at least in the East. I debate invading Greece to open up the Balkan front a bit more since I have British forces waiting in the wings but doing so removes the Greek armies and gives the opponent 5 VP. I hold off for now. Russia tries to improve the bulge in Warsaw and pulls back. The five new Russian Armies rush to Riga and Kovno in the hope of taking it back. A massive concentric attack on the German army in Wilna permanently eliminates a German army. A valiant out-of-supply Serbian attack on Nish unfortunately results in a 5/1, so one Serbian army is permanently destroyed. All the Allied tactical markers are used in other marginal attacks. These were probably wasted but I was hoping for some big rolls. Russia has managed to stay lively though, which is good. If need be, the Alleis can always rely on National Will markers to keep them up.

Second Impulse:

Needing to get things back under control, two plan markers are used for the West and East. In the West a French army is eliminated but that is all that can be done on this front for now. In the East a well placed tactical marker allows a AH army to destroy the Montenegro unit. I had been teaming with a Serbian units to threaten Sarajevo but now that threat is ended. A sginel army attack on Belgrade fails to take the fort but the remaining Serbian armies are eliminated easily since MP can't be used to take losses since they are out of supply. Various attacks are made across the East as forces move forward. A Russian army is destroyed in the center but Kovno is barely holding out from being surrounded. Ivanogrod was also taken fortunately.

Likewise two plan markers are expended by the Allies. A massive Russian attack on a supporting German army outside of Kovno doesn't quite do enough to knock the army out. Other Russian units do the protective retreat, forming a line with the Kovno group. In the West not much occurs but a few attacks meant to drain German MP but don't do much.

Third Impulse:

CP uses two plan markers again. Belgrade is taken finally though just barely. I'll eventually send a reserve AH army down to Nish but the rest of the armies here are going to support the war against Russia. Kiev is basically surrounded and one of the units defending outside of it is permanently destroyed. Another Russian army is just regular eliminated and Brest-Litovsk is taken. An attack against the Brits in the West does little.

Allies also spend two plan markers and the Russians make a strategic retreat in the East to buy time. Hopefully they can get some new armies back out there. In the West several attacks are performed to drain Germany MP. The idea here is to his them with strategic markers later and hopefully bring them down to 0.

Strategic Warfare Phase:

Germany is watching the strategic marker situation but wants to try breaking the blockade. It is a gamble. The gamble pays off a bit! A die roll of 5 gives a CP tactical victory. Both markers are retained and Britain loses 5 MP and Germany gains 5 MP.
The Allies play all three strategic markers, two of which are negated by the CP. The third's die roll is a 2 unfortunately, no effect. Russia avoids having to roll for collapse. Serbia must roll, but since the threshold is a 6 it is automatic. Serbia has collapsed. I'm not sure if we roll surrender in the same strategic phase a country collapsed, anyone know? Either way unless the Allies can somehow take Nish Serbia will surrender next turn.

Mobilization Phase:

MP increase breakdown is as follows for the Allies: Britain 1 -> 21; France 6 -> 41; Russia 18 -> 53; Serbia 0; Belgium 0. This was the last turn Russia got the bonus 15 for turn modifiers. All downhill from here. Now the Central Powers: Germany 13 -> 74 (55 from hexes, 5 from turn modifiers, 1 from Riga); Austria-Hungary 11 -> 46; Romania 1 -> 11. Totals for initiative (Major Powers only) before purchases are 115 Allies versus 120. If the Allies want to take the initiative they would need to spend a decent bit less than the CP.

As always since I'm playing solo I am making the initiative player buy first. Firstly AH spends 12 getting all the tactical and strategic markers back. I could get the unrestricted sub warfare marker but I'm not sure I am even going to use it. The less likely chance the US joins in the better for the CP. 4 plan markers are also bought by AH for 10 MPs. Then 3 more MPs are spent on building an AH expeditionary unit. Germany spends 12 MP building 2 expeditionary units and 2 reserve armies to try to make up for the German armies lost. CP Major Power MP is 83.

Britain spends 12 MP restoring the strategic and tactical markers. Russia spends 6 MP to buy 3 Plan markers (total of 4). France builds 1 active army placed in Paris. Russia is left with 8 MP in order to take initiative and builds an army and a reserve army. Allied Major Power MP is 84.

Final thing to note here that since the blockade was not broken, the Allies get 7 VP, bringing their total to 32 VP.

And here is the map at the end of turn 3:

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Donald Johnson
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If the BEF unit ever goes off the map for any reason, it cannot be rebuilt. I think there is an asterisk on the unit to indicate this, this is also true for other units with an asterisk.

The BEF unit represents the small professional army that the British had at first in contrast to the conscript armies of the others. The ability to build the 1st to 5th BR armies represents them going to conscription, so their forces are no longer small and professional.

In the actual history, the term BEF was used for all the forces sent to France. Due to losses and the need to fill the ranks, the British professionals were diluted by adding so many conscripts that they no longer could operate as professionals (in game terms, the special BEF unit) after the first turn.
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Steven Dolges
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Don Johnson wrote:
If the BEF unit ever goes off the map for any reason, it cannot be rebuilt. I think there is an asterisk on the unit to indicate this, this is also true for other units with an asterisk.

The BEF unit represents the small professional army that the British had at first in contrast to the conscript armies of the others. The ability to build the 1st to 5th BR armies represents them going to conscription, so their forces are no longer small and professional.

In the actual history, the term BEF was used for all the forces sent to France. Due to losses and the need to fill the ranks, the British professionals were diluted by adding so many conscripts that they no longer could operate as professionals (in game terms, the special BEF unit) after the first turn.


Thanks for the clarification Donald, that is what I figured but wanted to be sure. I do appreciate the game reflects the history. Would have felt weird to be able to rebuild the unit.
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Tom Swider
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srd5090 wrote:
Sphere wrote:
This game seriously needs its own folder. Beyond theme, it has little if anything in common with the Jim Dunnigan design for which the World War I folder was created. The Joseph Miranda design you're reviewing isn't a version of the original; it's an entirely different game.


I understand there are some differences but this is the only page I have to post this AAR to. At this point it seems like a distinct Jim Dunnigan version hasn't been printed for awhile so this is all I've got. That said, I am genuinely enjoying this particular game so far. I am a big WWI guy and it is interesting to see how it is portrayed in this game versus more meatier/longer games.


Well put. I played the original once back in the 80's and am glad that the game has been made available to today's audience. Hoping to play it soon either face to face or via vassal.
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This needs its own forum...too confusing
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I'm honestly interested in seeing the rules to the original '75 game because based on some inference on here and elsewhere they don't really seem like all that different of games. Big differences between editions, but fundamentally similar games related to one another. Maybe I'm missing something.

World in Flames 5th edition and the latest edition share the same BGG page and they are pretty different games really, but the relationship is there. If the new WWI Deluxe Edition is a major revision of the same game... it might still be the same game.
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srd5090 wrote:
I'm honestly interested in seeing the rules to the original '75 game because based on some injavascript://ference on here and elsewhere they don't really seem like all that different of games. Big differences between editions, but fundamentally similar games related to one another. Maybe I'm missing something.

You are indeed.

srd5090 wrote:
World in Flames 5th edition and the latest edition share the same BGG page and they are pretty different games really, but the relationship is there. If the new WWI Deluxe Edition is a major revision of the same game... it might still be the same game.

We're discussing World War I, not Down in Flames.

The 1994 Decision Games version was something like what you're speculating about. It extended the map a bit, changed some rules and the graphic treatment, but was still recognizably a version of the 1975 SPI classic.

The current game from Decision depicts the same historical events and uses the same title, but is as I said above an entirely different game. Look at the O.P.'s narrative: naval blockade, diplomacy phase, mobilization phase, etc. etc. None of that has any relevance to the original game.

I have no idea why you'd dispute this without having seen the original. Should you ever have the good fortune to play it you'll find out for yourself.
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Unfortunately, I don't have a scanner but I was just comparing the 1975 edition with the Deluxe Edition (As stated in the rulebook: "This is the fourth iteration of the classic 1975 SPI game published in S&T #51."

Rules that are identical:

1. The starting points of the powers identical (Called Combat Resource Points in 1975; Mobilization Points in the Deluxe.)

2. The Combat Results Table between the two versions is identical except the Deluxe has a -1 column and 7/2 for the die roll of 6 in the 10+ column.) Needless to say combat resolution is very similar between the two versions.

3. The combat factors on the units are identical with some variations in attack and defense; 1975 Edition does NOT have an entrenched side.


Rules that are changed:

1. Scale is now 36 miles per hex; 1975 version was 43.5 miles per hex.

2. Sequence of play is radically different - 1975 version had Allied move, German move followed by THREE ATTACK phases with Initiative (Superior) attacking first; Deluxe Edition has Initiative movement AND Combat followed by non-initiative movement AND combat with two additional move and combat if a Plan marker played. (I remember a criticism of the 1975 Edition was the Sequence of Play...)

3. 1975 Edition did not include the Palestinian or Mesopotamian Fronts. The 1975 Edition only included 11 hexes of European Turkey north of Constantinople.

I did not check out the naval blockade, diplomacy phase but it appears non-existent in the 1975 Edition.

I will stop there with comparisons. I do not own the Deluxe Edition but I would most likely buy it if I had the money to spare.

But until then I will continue playing my 1975 Edition
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Sphere, I brought up World in Flames as a point of comparison as another game on BGG that could conceivably be split but isn't. There are differences between editions, like a lot of games... but it isn't as though '75 edition was hex and counter and this new edition was a card game or something. You will note that I AM the OP. There are a lot of games with major revisions and changes between versions yet they all share a BGG page. I make it pretty clear in the first paragraph of the original post I am taking the new Deluxe Edition.

Snowdash, thank you so much for doing a comparison for us. I had heard the Middle East front was originally an expansion or something for an older editions not sure if it was for the original '75 one.

Honestly everything comes down to opinion. The game is 40 years old and has seen some changes but I'm not buying the different editions are wholesale different games. Other folks may feel differently as evidenced by the fact there are a couple of responses on this thread that have been about version differences rather than the content of the session report.

Surely there is some other thread where folks can belly-ache about that?
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srd5090 wrote:
Sphere, I brought up World in Flames as a point of comparison as another game on BGG that could conceivably be split but isn't. There are differences between editions, like a lot of games... but it isn't as though '75 edition was hex and counter and this new edition was a card game or something. You will note that I AM the OP. There are a lot of games with major revisions and changes between versions yet they all share a BGG page. I make it pretty clear in the first paragraph of the original post I am taking the new Deluxe Edition.

Missed that you were the O.P. - my post should have referenced "your own" narrative than "the O.P.'s".

Substantively it doesn't change at all. I could point out dozens of other games with versions that were split into different forums based on far less substantive differences than the two World War I games we're discussing.

Game taxonomy is inconsistent; wargamers can't even reach consensus on which games are wargames and which games are not. Some people call any game that has plastic figures "Risk games", yet BGG has dozens of separate folders for various incarnations. How much difference is there in the rule sets for Risk, Risk (Revised Edition)Risk (Revised Edition) and Risk: Édition Napoléon?

I'm not sure who is supposed to benefit by lumping these two together. I spend a lot of time helping to answer rules questions for people on games with which I'm familiar. I used to do that in this forum, but had to unsub because the original has an 8 page rule book and the new game has a 32 page one, and even when the rule someone asks about is common to both, the answers are in some cases different.

The ratings are rendered similarly useless; in most cases people don't add a comment specifying which version they are rating. Some might prefer all the detail and extra processes added to the game on the left in the image below, while others might prefer games with the elegance and brevity of the one on the right.



So if somebody acquires a copy and gives it a rating, which game is it given for? How about playing time or complexity, which one are we talking about? The answers are clearly different, and I can't see how lumping them together in a single landfill folder helps a new wargamer who is trying to research their next WWI related purchase any more than it helps someone trying to get an answer to their rules questions.

The new game is dramatically different. It needs its own folder.
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srd5090 wrote:
I'm honestly interested in seeing the rules to the original '75 game because based on some inference on here and elsewhere they don't really seem like all that different of games. Big differences between editions, but fundamentally similar games related to one another. Maybe I'm missing something.

World in Flames 5th edition and the latest edition share the same BGG page and they are pretty different games really, but the relationship is there. If the new WWI Deluxe Edition is a major revision of the same game... it might still be the same game.


Nope -- different.
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Sphere, I would say BGG had examples where games are broken up and cases where they are stuck together. All the things you mentioned as reasons to split are valid for all the game that are lumped together today. There doesn't seem to be a uniform way of handling it.

To be clear, I'm not advocating to never split the game page. It doesn't matter to me either way but my point on this has been to challenge the hyperbolic statements I've seen saying they are completely different games which I maintain isn't quite true, but it is a matter of perspective.

Here is a hard truth folks may need to accept: There won't be many people buying the 1975 version of this game. The folks who love it will hold onto it. The few copies folks are selling are 40+ years old and getting older. Someone interested in 'World War I' is likely going to end up getting the DG version at this point. It is what is available. The only other recourse would be to demand DG do a "1975 Classic Edition" which would be fine by me. Otherwise most folks are simply never going to play that version. If someone wants to send their copy to me, cool, but at this point I'm certainly not going to bother buying a copy.

But again, there are better places to complain about this. Your only replies on this thread have been divorced from the intent, which was a session report. The very first reply is to complain about game pages. Your time is better spent messaging a BGG admin/moderator.
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Snowdash wrote:
Unfortunately, I don't have a scanner but I was just comparing the 1975 edition with the Deluxe Edition (As stated in the rulebook: "This is the fourth iteration of the classic 1975 SPI game published in S&T #51."

Rules that are identical:

1. The starting points of the powers identical (Called Combat Resource Points in 1975; Mobilization Points in the Deluxe.)

2. The Combat Results Table between the two versions is identical except the Deluxe has a -1 column and 7/2 for the die roll of 6 in the 10+ column.) Needless to say combat resolution is very similar between the two versions.

3. The combat factors on the units are identical with some variations in attack and defense; 1975 Edition does NOT have an entrenched side.


Rules that are changed:

1. Scale is now 36 miles per hex; 1975 version was 43.5 miles per hex.

2. Sequence of play is radically different - 1975 version had Allied move, German move followed by THREE ATTACK phases with Initiative (Superior) attacking first; Deluxe Edition has Initiative movement AND Combat followed by non-initiative movement AND combat with two additional move and combat if a Plan marker played. (I remember a criticism of the 1975 Edition was the Sequence of Play...)

3. 1975 Edition did not include the Palestinian or Mesopotamian Fronts. The 1975 Edition only included 11 hexes of European Turkey north of Constantinople.

I did not check out the naval blockade, diplomacy phase but it appears non-existent in the 1975 Edition.

I will stop there with comparisons. I do not own the Deluxe Edition but I would most likely buy it if I had the money to spare.

But until then I will continue playing my 1975 Edition


Agreed on continuing to play the 1975 edition! I don't need another strategic simulation of WWI in my collection, and I don't see anything compelling in this new game, the so-called deluxe version, that would entice me. I have nearly 70 WWI simulations in my collection and about 10% are strategic [some are one mappers, others are multi-mappers]. About 10% are naval. The rest are operational [some are one mappers, many others are multi-mappers] except for three or four tactical ones.

BTW, the rules for the 1975 SPI ORIGINAL simulation of World War I: 1914-1918 [1975; SPI (S&T # 51); James F. Dunnigan; Redmond A. Simonsen] are available on line. I just downloaded them -- will print and add to my original game as a back up. And, further more, alternative counters for the original 1975 game are available on line. Look for them!!

Post Script: Please note that many games on BGG that are major revisions/updates of original games are given a separate BGG game page to keep all discussions, ratings, and so on, clear and distinct from one another. For example, War in Europe [SPI 1976] and its 1999 redo as War in Europe, Second Edition by Decision Games have separate BGG game pages, even though only 23 years separate them in contrast to the 43 years between the original 1975 version of World War I: 1914-1918 and the new 2018 Deluxe Edition.
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TCLCATSPAW8MCHS wrote:


Nope -- different.


Difference of opinion perhaps, then I suggest you message a moderator about splitting the page. If you don't care to read this thread for its intended purpose it is just a waste of your time...
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srd5090 wrote:
TCLCATSPAW8MCHS wrote:


Nope -- different.


Difference of opinion perhaps, then I suggest you message a moderator about splitting the page. If you don't care to read this thread for its intended purpose it is just a waste of your time...


Your opinion is duly noted.
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TCLCATSPAW8MCHS wrote:

Your opinion is duly noted.


Likewise. cool


Anyways, for those actually interested in a session report and not arguing and whining about BGG pages, I hope to get to turns 4 and beyond this week. My wife and I ended up not playing since I wanted to try to complete this solo game first and time has been constrained. I'm getting quicker with play now that I think I have the rules down so it should be pretty quick. Writing that actual report takes longer than the amount of gameplay I'm describing.
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~ First Solo Game Attempt; Never Played Before
srd5090 wrote:
Anyways, for those actually interested in a session report and not arguing and whining about BGG pages, I hope to get to turns 4 and beyond this week. My wife and I ended up not playing since I wanted to try to complete this solo game first and time has been constrained. I'm getting quicker with play now that I think I have the rules down so it should be pretty quick. Writing that actual report takes longer than the amount of gameplay I'm describing.

… looking forward to it Steven!
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Turn 4:
Initiative Phase: Allies take initiative.

Diplomatic Phase:
Reaching the winter of 1915 the Allies are in a tough strategic situation and need to alleviate the problem. Of the three remaining countries that can be allied by the Allies the U.S. is impossible to succeed for now, Greece is tough, and Italy is slightly less tough. Italy also happens to be the most useful between it and Greece and so they Allies make the attempt. And yet a die roll of 3 fails.
The Central Powers have sole access to the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria, Italy is no use at this point in the game (the modifiers are funky), but Greece is still an option and would deprive the Allies of a potential option. The Ottomans are past due to enter, but if we hold off and force Britain to attack them we get VPs. Thus, a die roll is made for Greece. A die roll of 1 fails...

First Impulse:

Unfortunately the Allies have limited options. Russia deploys an army to keep Kiev from being surrounded and protect another transit destination hex. A light attack is made on AH just to do MP damage. In the West a British army arrives in Calais and a French army moves up from Paris. One attack against Germany does very minor MP damage. The winter turns provide a defensive strength bonus so it is tough to make progress in such a tight front.

The Eastern Front advances, various units deploy to the Italian border to protect for the future. Sevastopol is approached though it will be awhile before it could be taken. 3 tactical markers end up getting used in the East to middling effect though a tactical die roll of 6 allows two German armies to eliminate the Russian army in Wilna. Once more Russia is in major danger. A final tactical marker is spent on an attack on the British in Brussels and just narrowly misses eliminating the army, causing 4 MP hits to Britain bringing them down to 5.

Second Impulse:

Two plan markers are spent by the Allies for East and West. Some required maneuvering is done and a few tactical marker supported attacks due chip MP damage in the East. The Allies just can't find a place to really hurt the Central Powers heavily. The defensive bonuses make even attacks to drain MP just aren't economically viable. The Russians could have almost kicked the Germans out of Reval but the die roll just wasn't there.

Two plan markers are spent by the CP for East and West. Several movements and attacks later sees the British sitting at 1 MP. The Allies will need to get the British pulled back in favor of French units to protect the British units from elimination and aiming to protect Brussels.

Third Impulse:

Not seeing a way to improve the Eastern front at the moment just one plan marker is played by the Allies to activate the Western front. The British unit is pulled back and replaced by a French army, though the movement required causes the entire Allied line to become untrenched, though no gap in the line means the lack of ZOCs won't be a big deal.

CP spends 2 plan markers to get West and East going. Some moving occurs but the only signficant thing on movement being that the Alps are garrisoned for the possible Italian entry. A few attacks do minimal MP damage across the board until a die roll 1 allows the Germans to eliminate a Russian army and a safe advancement. Kiev can't be cracked due to the weaker AH reserve units, I maybe should been more picky with my tactical markers. An attack on Brussels ends in disaster with a die roll of six, providing a 6/1 result. Germany has managed to have quite a bit of MP so they can take the hit this time without too much concern. Germany is awfully strong at the moment and with Russia starting to fall apart the CP are even more emboldened.

Strategic Warfare Phase:

The usual when Allies have the initiative, 2 strategic markers are used but blocked by 2 CP strategic markers while the Allies' 3rd marker gives a success result which is used to do a die roll of MP damage to Germany. The roll is only 1. :\

The Central Powers feel well situated for a naval battle and the die is cast. A DIE ROLL OF SIX! This is the first instance of a CP Strategic Victory. Firstly British MP go to 0 (1 minus 5) and Germany's is increased by 5. The Blockade marker is no longer in effect and can't be purchased until a future turn. At least that is my reading of the rules, so we end the turn with the blockade broken. Otherwise the Allies would jsut buy it back immediately. The Allies also lose their naval marker to the available pool while the CP keep theirs. This is significant as the Allies will need to purchase it again or risk more favorable die roll odds in the future for the CP. Germany and AH also get some at-large mobilization hexes worth of MP during mobilization. All great for the CP here.

In terms of collapses and surrender there are a couple of things to cover. Serbia surrenders, there is no way to avoid it. The mobilization hex in Nish will now provide AH 1 MP during mobilization. For Russia: Riga, Wilna, and Warsaw are controlled by the CP. This is enough to trigger a collapse roll. The threshold would be 6: 3 for the hexes mentioned above, 2 for 2 perma-destroyed Russian armies, and 1 more for checking for Russia. So basically, there is a 1 in 6 chance they don't collapse. The Allies feel this is obviously too risky. A precious National Will marker is discarded, down to 2. This prevents the die roll for one friendly power.

Mobilization Phase:

MP increase breakdown is as follows for the Allies: Britain 0 -> 25 (5 bonus from turn modifier); France 26 -> 61; Russia 33 -> 53; Serbia 0; Belgium 0. Now the Central Powers: Germany 41 -> 108 (55 from hexes, 1 from Riga, 1 from Wilna, 10 from lack of blockade) however 95 is the max; Austria-Hungary 15 -> 56 (5 from lack of blockade and 1 for Nish); Romania 11 -> 21. Totals for initiative (Major Powers only) before purchases are 139 Allies versus 151. CP probably has the next initiative in the bag. This poses a problem with a pattern, at this rate initiative is bouncing back and forth which is caused by playing solo. I thought no big deal but I'm realizing the Allies are getting stuck with initiative on Winter turns. Will need to figure out a more randomized way to deal with this while playing solo but for now will continue as usual.

France spends 12 MP restoring the strategic and tactical markers. France then spends 6 MP to buy 3 Plan markers (total of 4). Britain spends 5 MP rebuilding the Allied naval marker. France builds 2 active armies for 10 MP. Russia desperately builds 4 active armies for 20 MP, with the goal of holding onto the remaining hexes for dear life. There is a chance the Allies can rebuild National Will markers later on so we could see Russia go the distance. Allied Major Power MP is 86.

Germany spends 12 MP on tactical and strategic markers. Then 10 MP on 4 plan markers (total of 5). Then finally 3 MP on building their last reserve armies. AH is sitting on MP with nothing else to build, so can afford to take punches a bit going forward for now. CP Major Power MP is 125.

Final thing to note here that since the blockade WAS broken, the Allies stay at 32 VP. Conversely since we end the turn with the blockade NOT in effect the Central Powers actually get 5 VP. In addition, we had a minor power surrender (Serbia) in 1915, providing 20 VP. So the permanent VP tally at the end of turn 4 is 32 VPs versus 25 VPs.

And here is the map at the end of turn 4:


-----------------

I'm not going to be able to play much more this week. I'm lucky enough to be attending a game convention this weekend.
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Managed to get a little more played before the weekend!
------------

Turn 5:
Initiative Phase: Central Powers take the initiative with some extra to spare. The CP has a decent MP advantage right now and need to push it.

Diplomatic Phase:
Central Power diplomacy die roll for Greece fails. Worth a shot. Maybe we should be going for the Ottomans but the die roll was a 1 anyway.

Allies roll for Italy again. And fail again. I think maybe next time I play this I will try the historic entry option. It is fun to see the ahistorical entries (like Romania this game) but the die rolls can be a bit aggravating if you keep failing.

First Impulse:

After various of minor movements for positions numerous attacks are launched using 3 CP tactical markers. One Russian army is destroyed but for the most part the attacks roll pretty poorly typically costing the CP more than the Allies. The desperation to crush Russia is being held up. An attack on French occupied Brussels almost succeeds but just misses eliminating a unit.

For the Allies a tactical marker support attack on Reval kicks the Germans out and eliminates their expeditionary unit. This helps protect a transit hex. A second tactical marker enhanced attack on the AH near Kiev fails miserably. Kiev is holding and it is a fight, but the Russians can't seem to get a break. Emboldened the French attack on the Western Front and roll a 1 for a nice 1/4 result on the Germans. several attacks in the west meant to drain German MP just drains France's. Not a great summer for offense it seems. By the way, should point our Britain moved an army back to Calais. A difficult decision has been made...

Second Impulse:

Two plan markers used by CP. Movement is made, the typical positioning. The last tactical marker gets used to attack Kiev and succeeds and eliminating a Russian army and advancement to take the resource hex. I also realize that I had been playing things wrong with Sevastopol and the Romanian's take it and remove the fort. The fort does not have a LOC so couldn't have been taking loses as MP while cut-off from access to Russian transit hexes or mobilization hexes. Oh well. That's another objective hex. The Russian army pinning against Riga is destroyed. Another one is destroyed in the bulge around Minsk. An attack on Brussels succeeds with a die roll of 1, eliminating a French army and allowing a fairly safe advance into Brussels once more. Belgium is in danger of surrender now.

Two Plan marker used by the Allies. The Allies declare war on Greece. Yes, Greece. The Allies can't afford for the Greeks to join the Central Powers and while invading Greece give the CP 5 VPs, they can get those points back by forcing their surrender. This also applies pressure on the CP to defend another front. CP goes to 30 VP. An expeditionary British unit from the British transit box is placed in the sea hex adjacent to Salonika. The French CEO expeditionary unit is placed next to Athens. Other units are moved, such as a British unit to fill the west front gap and defensive retreats by Russia. During combat, the special 13.6 Greece rule causes the Greek units to be removed from the game. Salonika and Athens have fallen. Other attacks in the West are marginal.

Third Impulse:

Two plan markers used by CP. Romania forces are sent back West towards Greece. One unit is in place already with a ZOC but won't survive long by itself. The last Russian unit near Kiev is permanently eliminated due to being OOS and that piece of the Eastern front closes. The bulge of Minsk gets smaller but the Russians are buying as much time as they can.

Two plan markers used by the Allies. West and East as usual. British Second Army is landed in Salonika after the expeditionary unit advances to face a Romanian unit. Allied attack on Brussels drains some German MP. A few other marginal attacks hurt the Allies more than they really hurt the CP.

Strategic Warfare Phase:

Central Powers spend their strategic markers which are in turn blocked by the Allies. Then we go for the naval die roll. In hindsight maybe they Allies should have gotten to buy back the Blockade marker last turn so they could put it in place again at the beginning of the phase. The rules for the marker make it sound like the Blockade marker is played at the beginning regardless of initiative. Then that way another naval battle can impact the status. We will call this a trade for the Romanian lives lost at Sevastopol and leave it for later. Die roll of 3 is an Allied tactical victory. +5 BR MP, -5 GE MP; both sides keep markers. Allies use their last strategic marker and get a success, forcing Germany to lose a measly 2 MP.

Belgium could surrender and so a die is rolled but fails with a roll of 6. Russia is in sorry shape and could collapse. At this point, with all the hexes taken so far a die roll isn't even needed. However, the Allies expend another of their national will markers to prevent said die roll. Technically I think this would be played during the Allied action for marker use in this phase but no big deal really. Allies only have one left now. Though again they are thinking they could regain them later, it requires no taking any action beyond the first impulse of a turn and discarding two strategic markers during the mobilization phase. There is also the case for Greece. Assuming again (I guess?) you have to collapse in one turn and surrender on the next if at all, we roll for Greece. The threshold is 3 if we don't count their armies being removed. I don't know if they count as permanently eliminated in this case. Even if they did the die roll is 5 so Greece sticks around.

Mobilization Phase:

MP increase breakdown is as follows for the Allies: Britain 18 -> 43 (5 bonus from turn modifier); France 13 -> 48; Russia 10 -> 25; Serbia 0; Belgium 0. Now the Central Powers: Germany 19 -> 86 (55 from hexes, 1 from Riga, 1 from Wilna, 10 from lack of blockade); Austria-Hungary 39 -> 81 (5 from lack of blockade, 1 for Nish, 1 for Sevastopol, 5 for Kiev); Romania 16 -> 26. Totals for initiative (Major Powers only) before purchases are 115 Allies versus 167.

AH spends 12 MP on tactical and strategic markers. Then 10 MP on 4 plan markers (total of 5). Then finally 3 MP on building their last reserve armies. Germany spends 3 MP on rebuilding their expeditionary corps. And now for a tough thing to figure out. As best as I can tell I can buy the Stoss armies marker in a 1916 mobilization phase like this one and it seems as though I could immediately play it. This would allow me to build Stoss armies right now though limited to one per power a turn. This would also allow the Allies to build Stoss and tank units next turn, even though they haven't played their tank armies marker and wouldn't be able to until 1917. At least that is how I'm reading it. This needs clarification by the game designers. Maybe the Allies have that 1917 Tank units marker in case the CP never build the Stoss marker? I decide to just go ahead and have Germany buy the marker for 3 MP and immediately play it. One hitch in all of this is that you cannot turn an active army into an assult army unless they have a LOC and are not adjacent to any units. My problem is most of my units are adjacent to the enemy. So some goofiness has to occur. AH spends 10 MP turning an active army near Kiev into the Isonzo assault army and then immediately rebuilding the replace army in Budapest. Germany does the same, replacing a unit in Riga and rebuilding immediately in Konigsberg. These assault units are meant to run to the Western Front ASAP. Had I paid more attention to the rules I would have planned better for this. CP Major Power MP is 122. And yes, that means if the Allies spent nothing the Central Powers would still get to have initiative.

Britain spends 12 MP restoring the strategic and tactical markers. Then spends 10 MP to buy 4 Plan markers (total of 4). France spends 10 MP rebuilding the Blockade marker. Allied Major Power MP is 86. Britain also spends 8 MP on building an expeditionary corps and an active army with plans to send them to Greece. France spends 13 MP on building an active army, a reserve, an alpine, and an expeditionary unit. All in preparation to defend France when the assault armies come. Russia builds 2 active armies for 10 MP. They need to keep some MP around to take losses to come. Allied Major Power MP is 53.

Final thing to note here that since the blockade is still broken the Central Powers get 5 VP. Brings them to 35 VP against the Allies 32 VP. Again depending on how you interpret when the Allies can get the blockade back there could be a very large swing here. Could be 30 VP against 39 VP. Will see how this all pans out.

And here is the map at the end of turn 5:

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