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No Retreat! Polish & French Fronts» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Polish Front, AAR rss

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Trying my hand with the Polish Front scenario.

I set up the Polish units to establish some kind of continuous front, and I set up the German units trying to punch holes to create encirclements.




Stupid historical mistake blush => the fort should be in Gdynia, not in Danzig of course.
Since I bypassed the whole area, I didn't spot the mistake until end game.

Thanks to the initial cards and IMs, both sides got a rather good hand.



The German player will not use Reichenau, because the plan is to use the shock counterblows for eliminating pockets.



On to the first turn.
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Turn 1

The German plan had mixed results.

In the south, the CB eliminated an encircled unit while in low supply, sending it to the surrendered box. It died on the spot to a D result, precluding an advance, but it was no big deal.



But in the north, a timely play of Reservists blocked Guderian advance as the Polish division stubornly refused to surrender. They would surrender the next turn, using a surrender IM to deprive the German of 1 VP.



The Polish army was in no position to initiate any useful attack, and the units in the polish corridor were blocked by the Lutwaffe sweeps (no actions).
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Turn 2

The German advance continues, albeit rather slowly in the north.
Once again the units in the Polish corridor are slowed down.





The Lodz unit manages to stay in supply with help from the Polish Air Force (Cauldron Battle, during the strategic phase of the next turn), slowing the German advance once again.
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Turn 3

The German high command keeps making use of shock counterblows to speed the advance, this time bursting the Polish front open and reaching the outskirts of Warsaw, but surrounded Polish units keep slowing down the german infantry.

The slow advance in the north is also a concern as the units in the Polish corridor could still escape. Gdynia was not taken, depriving the German of an easy VP.





Note: I forgot that the Polish Forts were supply source, so it might have been a better plan to try to regroup around Torun.

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Turn 4

Thanks to the play of 2 Event VPs by the Polish army, the VP are only at 8, so there is no change in command and no change in the Soviet Stance.

The German Army pounces hard this turn to finish off the Polish Army. This has been the German "strategy" so far : destroy as much units as possible, surrounding them whenever possible.

Situation before the German combat phase :




Situation after the German combat phase, with the use of a few strong combat cards and Blitz IM.


The Polish manage to push back north of Praga, but their situation is now extremely dire.
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Turn 5

The German Army tries to surround Warsaw, while two Polish units are about to surrender.



The Polish Army mounts a very strong counterattack (well, strong compared to what they did so far), trying to evacuate out of Warsaw before it's too late. The German command reacts with a Hold order. To keep the pressure, motorcycles units and two CB are played. Two Shock CB are also used to start the assault on the forts.



Dispite the loss of one Panzer step, the result is not so good from the Polish perspective.



VP are now at 15 with 6 event VPs and 7 Polish units in the surrendered box.
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Turn 6

Hitler is indecisive, and orders no panzer attacks this turn (card 70).
On the other hand, realpolitik prevails in Moscow, lowering the soviet stance once more this turn.

Battle inexperience hits the Polish Army hard this turn with 3 IMs that can't be used.

The Germans send 4th and 8th Army north to reclaim Torun and Gdynia, while the offensive stalls a bit. The Polish Army takes the opportunity to regroup and establish a defensive line.





The German High Command is in a quandary now. It would take a long time to conquer the Warsaw forts, so they could just surround the city and unleash the mobile units to finish the Polish Army. But on the other hand, they already got 6 event VPs, what they need now is taking cities.


They will try to storm the city by force this turn, providing they get the cards and IMs for that.
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Turn 7

The Germans fall one short of Sudden Death Victory, so there is no change in command. However, the Soviet Army gets ready.

The German Army is hit by ammo shortages (card 69)but get the very handy artillery barrage to reduce the defenders of Warsaw (card 71).
They also get no shock counterblows, slowing down the assault even more. Only Modlin falls to Guderian this turn.

In the south, the 14th army continues to methodically destroys Polish units. It will soon be able to block the evacuation of the Polish Army.

Polish units move as fast as possible to the South, but stays out of clear terrain.

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Turn 8

Cards reshuffle, and Ammo Shortages is back. To make it worse for the German Army, the weather also turns bad.
But Realpolitik is back also, and the Soviet Army attacks.

The Polish manages to evacuate one unit in Romania (card 75).

Dispite the Ammo Shortages, a combination of Blitz and Counterblow finishes the last Polish defenders in Warsaw and Torun. The Germans decides to cross the Molotov-Ribbentrop line, confident that the Soviet Stance will improve next turn. The Blitzkrieg rolls on and almost all Polish forces are encircled.

On the Soviet Front, the weak Polish regional unites are encircled and destroyed.



There is not much left for the Polish Army to do now.



 
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Endgame :

I fast forward a bit for the end game.

Turn 9:

The Nazi-Soviet Line is activated.
The Polish government surrenders Warsaw, depriving the Germans of 1 VP.
The German player storms Lublin before it get a chance to surrender.

Turn 10 :

VP stands at 21, one short of sudden death, again.
Gdynia surrenders (0 VP).
The Red Army takes Byalistok. The German Army attacks Lwow and Brzesc to attrite the defenders.

Turn 11 :

The Red Army takes Lwow and Brzesc.

Turn 12 :

Game End.

VP Tally : Map VP = 21, turn 12 malus -4 VP, Soviet Stance 0 VP, 2 steps evacuated -1 VP, TOTAL 16 VP, Allied Operational Victory (sort of, since only one Polish unit evacuated).

With only 21 Map VP, I don't see how the German Player can win except by Sudden Death. With that in mind, I should have focused more on scoring VP and less on destroying scores of Polish units. The German strategy was rather lackluster with too many small encirclements that were not time-effective, and it was a big mistake not to take Gdynia and Torun earlier.


 
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Carl Paradis
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Torc wrote:

With only 21 Map VP, I don't see how the German Player can win except by Sudden Death. With that in mind, I should have focused more on scoring VP and less on destroying scores of Polish units. The German strategy was rather lackluster with too many small encirclements that were not time-effective, and it was a big mistake not to take Gdynia and Torun earlier.


There are 23 Map VPs, not 21.

Also, if you finish the game early you'll get +2 Bonus VPs (Turn 10).

It is true that Sudden Death is the way to go, note that if the German player is in a extremely good position, he could just wait Turn 13 for that Sudden Death to take effect (thus not capturing the last city before that time).


But it is peculiar that the VPs totals are the exact same as in the French Game! I'll check tonight to make sure there was not a "cut-and-paste" error during editing.


 
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Carl Paradis
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Well...

there seems to be a cut-and-paste glitch in the GMT rules, as the Polish Campaign End Game VPs are exactly the same as the French Campaign. All Victory levels are shifted one down. Oh darn... soblue

Correct numbers from my last playtest rulebook:

22 VPs or more: German Major Victory.
16-21 VPs: German Operational Victory.
10-15 VPs: Allied Operational Victory.
9 VPs or less: Allied Major Victory.


Historical Result:

VP Tally : Map VP = 23, Turn 11 malus -2 VP, Soviet Stance 0 VP, 6 steps evacuated -3 VP, TOTAL 18 VP, German Operational Victory.
 
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I want a playtester badge

I suppose the 2 last VP I couldn't find are Danzig.

If I had taken Danzig at the start, that would have made a lot of difference in the Sudden Death and Soviet Stance. I suppose a smart Polish Player should surrender Danzig and Poznan if he has the IMs.

Now I need to find a real opponent.
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Carl Paradis
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Torc wrote:
I want a playtester badge


Better watch out what you wish for!!! devil

The testers had a separate set of Test Scenarios. And somehow nobody saw the VP discrepancy when proofing the rules (not even me!). Darn...
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Also I played as if the maximum event VP was 6 (like in previous NR games).
Actually it's 12 VP.

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Carl Paradis
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Torc wrote:
Also I played as if the maximum event VP was 6 (like in previous NR games).
Actually it's 12 VP.



Yep, 12VPs. Way more Event Victory Points in this game.

If you want to play a real "Hair Raising" French Front solitaire game, do this:

- make the plan card Score Event VPs RIGHT AWAY when you check there scores during t=a sudden death turn. Don't just mark is as successful or not anymore. This will make those plans very very important, unless you want to see your leader "Booted out". meeple
 
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