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Subject: Fix Bayonets rss

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James Lowry
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Mark came over again on October 26th, and we returned to Great War Commander with the second scenario. I took the French again, who this time are on the attack. It's still 1914, and the French are pulling back, but one unit goes forward with a counterattack, and delays the German army by confusing the line of communications.

We used the strategy cards this time, though I only used one during the game for a +1 bonus (both cards I had were otherwise unusable), though Mark cycled through three or four, also mostly for the roll bonus. The scenario also introduced us to the targeting rules, as the Germans have a mortar, and the French have off-board artillery. Also, the Germans get some foxholes, and there's a chance of buildings being rubbled in a pre-game bombardment (and one was, suppressing a German platoon in it).

Mark mostly set up in the village, with the mortar in the rear, and a platoon in the quarry in the rear of the other side of the map. I started in three groups, mostly lined up on my edge of the map, but with my overall commander and machine gun off forward in the woods (where there's a couple additional setup hexes). As I had been concerned, I didn't see any Move cards for an attack. However, I did have a couple Advance cards, which I used to get a little motion on one flank.

But before I even got to that point, I also had a good string of Artillery Request cards, and started pounding the German positions. I generally used the observer hex, and got good results. An early event also gave me an extra leader with pair of platoons, who showed up in the middle of my line. The overstacking caused by that was cured by a time advance, giving me my only true loss of the day.

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Time became my main concern. I was churning through cards pretty fast, and hit a time trigger about a third through my deck, churned through an entire deck, and then hit another three fairly early time triggers. Mark eventually hit a time trigger of his own most of the way through his own deck. His casualties were mounting, but for a while, advancing time was keeping it from meaning much.

I had at least two artillery draws that rolled '12' in empty hexes to cause a large number of shellholes in the map. After some early Advance, I finally saw a Move or two and headed for the first set of shellholes. My secret objective was, conveniently enough, extra VPs for the fountain in front of me (though the public one was 2 VP per victory location), so I concentrated on the town, and slowly ground up the forces there as I got in, and used Fire cards to get into a protracted fight in the center until I finally exhausted Mark's luck and ability to keep rallied. Eventually, I ground his forces down, and forced a surrender while time was still a couple spaces away from checking for end of game.

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Things certainly seemed to go my way the entire game, starting with a nice string of artillery attacks, which was generally fairly effective. Mark was low on Fire cards and couldn't do much when I finally did start moving. My main problems came down to lack of ability to move, and time ticking down fairly fast for a bit. But I felt in control of events the entire way through. So far, I'm really wondering how to mount an effective defense here, and how often games don't end with the surrender level being reached.
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