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Subject: Pursuit of Victory Points - a Pursuit of Glory Game Report rss

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Wendell
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Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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I just concluded my second solo game of Pursuit of Glory, the excellent sequel to the late-twentieth century classic Paths of Glory. As for the first game, well let's just say I mangled a couple of key rules that might have skewed the game a bit! So, here follows the game report, turn by turn, as the Allied Powers and Central Powers (AP and CP) both fought - in Pursuit of Victory Points.

FALL 1914 - The Great War Spreads to the Near East.

War had broken out in Europe some weeks earlier, the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary facing the Allied Powers - France, Russia, Serbia, and Great Britain. The Ottoman Empire found itself courted by both sides, but quickly decided to commit itself to the cause of its good friend and (it was sure) the eventual winner, Germany. Russia and Britain immediately assaulted Turkey, north and south, the Russians attacking in the Caucasus, the British sending Indian troops into Fao and Basra (southern Mesopotamia). The Caliph declared Jihad, and pro-CP tribes sprang up in Persia (the Bakhtiari in Isfahan), Egypt (the Senussi in Sollum) and Arabistan (Bawi tribe in Ahwaz; Arabistan is the British-influenced part of Persia.) Turn ended with VP at +9.

WINTER 1915 - Turks Advance in Egypt

In early 1915, the Turks advanced to the Suez Canal, and (despite ANZAC reinforcements) quickly captured Ismailia and Suez (both victory point places). They then pushed on and by March captured Cairo (at this point the CP were at +17 VP - which would be their high point. +20 would have been an auto-win). Meanwhile, the Turks began to promulgate their ethos of Pan-Turkism, boosting Turkish morale and war effort, but spreading dissatisfaction among the non-Turkish elements of the Empire. Indian troops attacked Qurna in southern Mesopotamia, but got nowhere. The Russians retook Urmia in Azerbaijan after a Turkish division had captured it.

The Indians in Khartoum tried to retake Cairo, but sandstorms prevented them from attacking. They tried again, but couldn't dislodge the Turks. The Royal Navy set up its blockade of Turkey, and German subs appeared in the Med. Turkey moved into Limited War. The AP didn't - they hadn't drawn many cards that increased their war commitment. Turn ended VP + 15 (after the -1 for the blockade).

SPRING 1915 - Turks Attack in Caucasus

Again, Indian forces attacked Cairo, but could not push the Turks back. (The AP had a tendency to roll '1' on any attack involving British/Indian/ANZAC troops all game.) The Turks were on the offensive, as Enver went to the front. They played their Bull's Eye Directive, and routed Russian forces in Sarikand under Yudenich; but farther south, Russians captured Van in the heart of Ottoman Kurdistan. The Allies played the Egypt coup, which opens Cyprus up as an island base and possible point of invasion. The AP also played Secret Treaties (not the Blue Oyster Cult album) to let them violate Persian neutrality, but the Turks were quickest into neutral Persia, capturing the VP city of Hamadan. Turn ended VP +15.

SUMMER 1915 - Armenian Uprising; Bulgaria Enters War

A lot of card play for events this turn - Lawrence of Arabia appeared, reducing the Jihad number from +7 to +6. The Allies played Armenian Uprising, which made things a little difficult for the Turks, who eventually over the next year or so removed the three uprising markers. The AP played "Murray takes command", starting the countdown to finishing the Sinai railroad. A British/Indian attack from Khartoum against Cairo failed, despite a huge size advantage (AP rolled 1, Turks a 6). The Central Powers brought Bulgaria into the war. In other theaters, the Germans played the Gorlice-Tarnow offensive, forcing the Russians to withdraw a corps (LCU, large combat unit) for a year. And a key play - the CP played "Parvus to Berlin", beginning the countdown to the Russian Revolution. Turn ended VP +14.

FALL 1915 - Naval Assault on Straits Fails; British/Greeks into Salonika

The AP finally got the "Churchill Prevails" card, which allows the AP to attack the forts guarding the passages to Constantinople. But the navy failed utterly, doing zero damage. Very disappointing - another '1'. Later, British units established a beach-head at Suva. Germans and Austrians attacked out of Galicia and took Belgrade, and pro-CP Qashqai tribes appeared in Eastern Persia. The Allies sent troops to Lemnos in the Aegean, and the British and the Greek Corps of National Defense came ashore at Salonika. Off-map, the German offensive at Verdun followed by the Kaiserslacht forced the British to withdraw significant forces from the theater (or lose VP). The Turks tried to retake Van from the Russians but failed. Turn end VP +17, again high-water mark.

WINTER 1916 - Romania Enters the War; Enver Goes East; Arab Revolt

The AP played "Enver Goes East," a nasty card that forces the Turks to attack in the Caucasus - playing in early winter guarantees Turkish losses due to weather. But the Turks inflicted losses on the Russians in the process. The Allies again tried to attack Cairo from Khartoum and again failed; Indian attacks against the Bawi tribe in Arabistan also failed, as a string of '1' combat rolls for the Br/In/ANZ continued. The Russians played their Winter Offensive, taking Sarakimis in the Caucausus, and later capturing Eleskirt and Koprukoy; the Grand Duke to Tiflis card was also played at last, bringing more Russians into the theater. The AP had the Arabs revolt, giving them control of the VP/Jihad city Hejaz. VP at turn end +15.

SPRING 1916 - Allies Retake Cairo

The Allies brought Maude to Khartoum and FINALLY the British, Indians, and ANZACs recaptured Cairo. The Germans/Austrians took Nis in Serbia, connecting Galicia to Constantinople and allowing the Falkenhayn-Enver Summit. The Bulgarians attacked Craiova in Rumania, then the Germans/Austrians occupied Skopje. The Allies played other cards that finally put them into Total War, and Indian troops finally squashed the Bawi tribe in the VP space of Awhaz. At turn end, VP +13 and Jihad level 6.

SUMMER 1916 - Revolution in Russia Begins; Baghdad-Berlin Rail Completed; Serbia Collapses

The CP launched an offensive in the Caucasus (Yildirim Offensive), but couldn't move the Russians out of Kopruko. In Serbia, the Germans finished off the last Serbian combat unit, and Serbia collapsed at the end of the turn. The CP played "Treachery at Ft Rupel" to occupy that Greek strongpoint. The Indians attacked again at Qurna but despite using Indian Pugnacity & Tenacity, couldn't take it. At turn end, the Russian Revolution began - the Russians hadn't gained enough victory spaces to delay it... VP at end of turn + 14

FALL 1916 - Greece Joins Allies; Turks Kicked Out of Egypt; Heavy Fighting in Caucasus

The turn began with the Greeks joining the Allied cause. The Russians launched attacks against Rize and Erzurum, inflicting and taking heavy losses but the Turks held. Turkish forces attacked the British beachhead at Suva, to little effect (satisfied a mandated offensive). British/Indian/ANZACs attacked and captured Ismailia in Egypt. The Turks, weakened, retreated into the Sinai desert. VP turn end +11.

WINTER 1917 - Turkish War Weariness

The AP played Turkish War Weariness, which cost Turkey -2 replacement points each turn, forcing them to play RPs just to avoid removing units. The British sent Dunsterforce to Persia, and it captured Isfahan. In Romania the CP attacked but didn't take Bucharest, and captured the oil fields of Ploesti. The Turks attacked Russians that had approached Mosul; they also attacked in the Caucasus, to little effect. The French sent troops to Gallipoli, where they sat on a beachhead for the rest of the game. VP turn end +11

SPRING 1917 - Russia Collapses, Lloyd George Takes Charge

In Persia, British cavalry captured Tehran (VP) and Qum (a jihad city), and another division took Hamadan. In Egypt, the British and Indians finally ended the Senussi tribe's raids, destroying both of the tribe's raiding parties and taking Sollum. They also used tanks at El Arish to push the Turks out of the Sinai. The Turks again attacked Van, finally retaking it, and then took Urmia and Tabriz in Russian Azerbaijan. The AP played "Lloyd George Takes Charge." At turn end, the Russians collapsed as the Revolution reached State 4. VP at +11.

SUMMER 1917 - Allenby to Salonika; Romania Collapses

The Central Powers attacked twice in Romania, ending their resistance; the Romanians collapsed at turn end. The CP also played British War Weariness, which lowers the VPs the Turks need for an auto win. The AP reinforced Salonika, and the British/ANZACs under Allenby assaulted heavily fortified Doira in Greece, but the Bulgarians held on (5 defense/7 attacker losses). The Turks advanced against weakened Allied defenses in the Caucasus, attacking and besieging Batum. In the east, Maude and his Indian and British troops took Gaza, Beersheba, and Jaffa. VP +11

FALL 1917 - AP Takes Jerusalem; D'Esperey to Balkans

The Turks advanced further into Russia, taking Erevan and concluding sieges of Kars and Batum. But they were being pushed back elsewhere. The AP played D'Espery and sent him to Salonika (and Allenby to Gallipoli, which turned out to be a waste). Allies again attacked Doira and again failed (5 losses each), but then D'Esperey's forces attacked and took The Struma. In Palestine, Maude took Amman, and his armies, including the ANZAC Desert Corps, took Jerusalem. VP +11, jihad +5.

WINTER 1918 - Heavy Fighting in Balkans

Indian forces moved south into Arabia, and besieged and captured Maan. The Turks occupied Baku. Very heavy fighting - AP aain attacked Doira late in the turn, using the Haversack Ruse to rout the Bulgarians and take that important position. Suddenly, the Balkans looked naked for the CP. The Bulgarians and Turks scrambled to put defenses in place. The Serbs returned, adding their reinforcements to Lemnos. VP +12

SPRING 1918 - Allies Attack Sofia, Damascus

The AP (British, ANZAC, French) took Ft Rupel and Strumica, wiping out the last German forces in that region. They attacked Sofia but the Bulgarians held in heavy fighting; the Turks railed a corps into Sofia to bolster its defenses. Maude attacked Damascus but the Turks took extra losses to cancel the retreat. A Turkish corps with the Army of Islam HQ attacked Dunsterforce in Tehran but the British resisted successfully; however they could not hold out when the Turks attacked again. VP +10

SUMMER 1918 - Maude Takes Damascus; Allies Pound Way into Sofia

The AP (British, ANZAC, French) took Ft Rupel and Straiova, wiping out the last German forces in that region. They again attacked Sofia but the Bulgarians, Germans, and Turks held in heavy fighting; the Turks railed a corps into Sofia to bolster its defenses. The Allies again attacked; the Turks took extra losses to avoid retreating. D'Esperey sent the troops in for a third attack and this time, the Turks were wiped out. Sofia fell, and Bulgaria subsequently collapsed. The Allies had a clear path to Romania and Austria-Hungary, which the Turks again scrambled to cover. In the Levant, Maude attacked Damascus again, this time using the massed cavalry charge to nullify the trenches. In Mesopotamia, Turk-Arab troops made an attack (to fulfill a mandated offensive) against Shaiba and surprised themselves by winning; the road to Basra was open. VP +9

SUMMER 1918 - Turks Collapsing

The Allies first covered Basra with new reinforcements from India. The Germans, having problems of their own off-map, sent three SCU (small combat units, divisions) to occupy key victory cities in Austria-Hungary and Ploesti. ANZACs took Constanta in Romania. In Mesopotamia, Indians attacked Kut but confused orders kept them from advancing. The attacked again and took it. The Turks attacked and then occupied the last non-Turkish VP space in Russia, Tiflis, ending their German alliance. The Army of Islam tried attacking Eastern Persia from Tehran, but the British Persian Cordon defended well. The ANZAC Desert Corps besieged Medina, but as of the end of the war had failed to take the city.

After adjusting for oil fields (CP holds 3 of the 4), and other end-of-game VP adjustments, the final total was VP +7 - a "victory of endurance" for the Allies, the lowest level. "Both alliances are exhausted, but the Allies have gained a slight edge in the Near East and Balkans for a few years."

Comment. It was interesting how quickly - even after the Russians quit - the Allies were able to bring additional strength into the Balkans. The Allies did about as well as historically in Egypt/Palestine/Arabia, failed to take Baghdad (never even got close), and as historically was the case, broke thru the Balkan defenses in 1918 to threaten the undefended Austrian-Hungarian southern flank. The Turks did pretty well defending versus the Russians, and held big parts of Egypt for a long time. The Allies were hampered a bit by a slow transition from mobilization to limited war to total war, due to an inability to draw the right cards that increase their war status; the Turks by contrast got to total war very quickly.

edit: various dumb typos
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Doug Cooley
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Me rocking out with my band, which you can hear at www.raindriver.com
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Great report! You may want to switch the dice in this game out for another set that you are pretty sure is OK - the Axis die I got in Barbarossa to Berlin was weighted to roll 1's most of the time, as were the dice in Shifting Sands. Cheap dice are not balanced dice most of the time, and if you notice an unusual pattern in a single die over repeated rollings (even over the course of a game with as many rolls as PuG), there's probably an issue with the dice.

Thanks again!
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