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Cataclysm: A Second World War» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First (solo) play - C1 rss

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Paul Hodson
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VPs:

France (surrendered first) 0
Japan (surrendered second) -1
Britain (surrendered third, triggering the end of the game) -3

Germany 15
Italy 3
USSR 6
USA 6

Fascism 17
Democracy 3
Communism 6

Jed 2000’s variant:

Germany 1st
Italy 2nd
USSR 3rd
USA 4th
Britain 5th
Japan 6th
France 7th

What happened in the game? Germany mobilised quickly and fought a couple of quick wars against France, the second of which led to France’s surrender in 1937/38. Britain fought Germany for, and won, naval superiority in the North Sea, and kept its sealanes open in the Mediterranean. Germany put pressure on Italy to join the war and bring in its powerful navy; Italy was slow to respond; Germany built up its own navy and eventually carried out a successful invasion, from northern France, of Scotland.

Meanwhile, in the east, Japan kept the Washington Navy Treaty in force as long as possible. They crept down the coast of China and picked up Indochina after the fall of France. That put them in range of a diplomatic effort to take control of Java, and its resource – but the US, waking from the sleep of ages, pipped Japan to the post. [This was a wrong reading of the rules, you can't have interests across a sea area from a conquered country.]

Germany’s attack on Britain, by making Britain belligerent, caused the abrogation of the Navy Treaty. Japan declared war on Britain and attacked Burma with the significant forces it had built up in Indochina. Burma resisted. Japan never managed to try this again during the game.

The US directed its ever-growing forces to the west coast, built up a strike force in the Philippines [I failed to notice the "restricted" symbol, which would have inhibited this), captured Okinawa from there and then Honshu, the main island of Japan. The Japanese forces, still significant in number, refused to surrender and retreated to Hokkaido. [Again, I failed to notice the "restricted" symbol which reduces the number that could have retreated there.) After a failed attack on Hokkaido the US turned their focus to Korea, which they took easily. Japan, though, continued to resist. Belatedly and unsuccessfully, the Japanese deployed naval forces in the Pacific to disrupt America’s supply lines.

At the start of the game the USSR did almost nothing - only making a bit of trouble in China. Their plan was to wait, then attack whichever ideology looked like winning. Seeing the American offensive against Japan gather force while Britain held firm in the North Sea, they decided this would be the democracies and declared war on Britain. An ill-prepared attack into the middle east, aiming towards the British possessions there, gave control of Persia and nothing more.

Next, however, the British Isles fell to Germany. This led the powers to change their strategies. Germany remained determined to make the British government surrender. It could not pursue the government to Canada, where it had retreated, so decided to attack Britain’s remaining possessions in the east, via the Mediterranean. Italy, which at last joined the war, helped Germany capture Malta and invade Libya (which had earlier revolted against Italian rule and become neutral).

America, now seeing the urgency of avoiding Britain’s defeat (which would bring the war to an end), left in the Pacific enough forces to contain the remaining Japanese and switched the rest to the east coast of the US.

With the British fleet in the Mediterranean eliminated, Italy moved its fleet and air force to Ireland (a German ally) to provide support for the German submarine wolfpacks in the Atlantic.

The USSR declared war on Germany, withdrew its forces from the far east and middle east and massed them on the USSR’s western frontier.

1943/44 was a race between potentially game-ending projects:

1) Would the American naval and air units on the east coast, and the remnants of the British navy in Canada, overcome the resistance of the German U-Boats and the Italian naval and air units in Ireland and get a foothold in Europe?

2) Would Japan at last give up the fight and surrender, freeing the American forces in the Pacific to move against Germany and Italy via the middle east?

3) Would the Soviet land offensive break through into the German heartland?

4) Would Germany be able to get across the middle east and capture India?

In the end, thought, none of these projects was decisive.

The answer to the first question was no. The Italian occupants of Ireland fought stoutly, took some losses, but at the end of the game had not yet caved in.

The answer to the second question was yes. After Japan's surrender, America massed its forces in Java and the Bay of Bengal. But it had neglected to ally with Britain earlier on. This stopped it going further. As the game ended the USA was hoping to create the conditions for an alliance with the rump British state.

The answer to the third question was no. The USSR conquered Poland and East Prussia, but hadn't the resources to generate enough offensives to get further.

The answer to the fourth question was partly. German forces captured Egypt, gained control of Iraq through diplomacy, deployed via the Suez canal into the Arabian sea and, after a first abortive attack on Persia, were ready to launch a second as the game ended.

What caused the game to end, though, was that after surviving two surrender rolls in 1941/42, against adverse odds, Britain failed to survive a third - its home front roll - when this eventually came up in 1943/44. Britain’s surrender brought the game to an end, with Germany and therefore fascism far ahead on points.
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Michal K
Poland
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Thanks for report Paul!
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Adam Ruzzo
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Great writeup! Unfortunately, this is often the fate of the USSR. I've yet to see them win any game which ends early. They really can't do much until they get to Total War. 3 Resources just isn't enough to conduct enough operations in a turn to pickup more than maybe 1-2 VP, and that's only after they've gotten to mobilization. Their real power doesn't even reveal itself until they go to war (when their 3 industrial resources double their output).

I'm not sure if anything can be tweaked to give them more agency in shorter games.
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Jonathan Yedidia
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Thanks for the report! It sounds like it was fun, and I'm also glad to see that apparently you used my 7-power victory conditions, and that led to an interesting game for you.

I'm puzzled by one detail though. You say that France surrendered and had 0 victory points. When France surrenders they get a lot of negative VPs because they lose all their cubes, and then their colonies go neutral, and their home areas are either occupied or neutral. A power gets negative VPs for any cubes of a different color on its home areas and colonies, so if I understand correctly, that basically means France should have -8 VPs whenever it surrenders.

For that matter, the UK should have -13 VPs when it surrenders, and Japan should have -4 VPs when it surrenders, if I am not mistaken.
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