Francesco
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Follow this link to read Part 1 of 3:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/381588.

Follow this link to read Part 2 of 3:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/382011.



Editorial note: in this AAR, I’ll rate the shifts in luck with this key:
amazing good luck
satisfying
disappointing
horribly bad luck



G. Allies strike back

Fifth Turn, Allies Phase. They have the ball, the situation is tense and risky for me.

Of course, they spend 10 Sup to refit all Forces in "Fortress Cambrai". Their Allied Operations Check add 2 Forces in the box: the 4th RTR and Chasseurs.

The West Region stays quiet; in the East, the 1st Army enters in Dinant, rushing against the Totenkopf.


For the statistics’ addicted, I’ll describe the battle step by step; otherwise, you can just jump directly to the result.

Allies BP: Press, AT Gun, Intel (- 2 Sup = Tot. 7)
Axis BP: Disrupt (randomly eliminated by Intel), AT Gun, Tactics, Press (all cheap BP, considering the Allies’ Intel); I’m resigned with the fact that Totenkopf will be swept away, so I’d like to have AT Gun firing three times...

Round 1:
Allies: just one hit, from their AT Gun; Totenkopf reduced;
Axis: my AT Gun fire back; 1st Army reduced (good).

Round 2:
Allies: 2 dice, 0 hits!
Axis: another hit by AT Gun; 1st Army reduced (very good!).

Round 3:
Allies: their last shot with AT Gun miss... and Totenkopf survives, even if reduced.




Final result: 1st Army destroyed and Totenkopf (reduced) become Veteran: 00-1-1. I think that this bunch of fanatics really deserved the upgrade!

Allies Supply: 5 Sup from Calais and Paris; but a dreadful 7th RTR enters in Caen and rush over my 25th Panzer... Another unexpected (and mostly unwanted) battle is fought! And, as we are in a Supply Phase, the battle will be fought till an death.

Allies BP: Tactics, Disrupt, Overrun
Axis BP: Dig-In and Air Raid (and my total Sup falls to 6)

Round 1:
Allies: the 7th RTR hits twice (one removed by Dig-In, one reduces my 25th);
Axis: I panic and miss.

Round 2:
Allies: my 25th is annihilated...
Axis: ...but at least retaliates, reducing the 7th.

Final result: the hateful 7th RTR, whilst reduced, earns the Veteran status; luckily a 11-0-0 counter is picked up, which doesn’t provide any bonus to the defence value.

Fig. 11 - After the Allied reaction




H. Struggling for victory...

Ok, this is the second last Turn: June 22 to 30 (8 VP). It’s now or never.
And I see only one viable strategy:
1) to attack and conquer "Fortress Cambrai", still defended by four enemy regiments at full strength;
2) to exploit back to Arras at least one surviving force, in order to occupy both Northern objectives (Cambrai and Arras);
3) to drive the 78th Artillery down to Caen, then destroy the 7th RTR, and finally exploit to Cherbourg.
I come to this conclusion after many thoughts; I can figure a lot of things that can go wrong! gulp

Accordingly with my plan, I charge in Cambrai with 15th and 31st Panzer, the reduced Totenkopf, 6th and 7th Infantry; and I direct the 78th Art in Caen. All those move require 3 Sup, reducing my total to 3.


I. The Second Battle for Cambrai

Allies BP: Intel, AT Gun, Artillery, Overrun, Deploy (1st Tyneside returns in play), Ambush (-2 Sup)
Axis BP: Intel (for countering the opposite), Overrun, Exploit, Air Raid, AT Gun

Round 1:
Allies: they hit four times, 2 by Artillery and 2 by the Regiments; both 6th and 7th are eliminated.
Axis: 1 hit from AT Gun and 4 by Panzers: all enemies are reduced.

Round 2:
Allies: 2 hits from Art., 1 from 3rd; the veteran Totenkopf is destroyed, 31st reduced.
Axis: 2 hits from Air Raid and AT Gun and 3 from Panzer!


What a bloody battle! But I can be really satisfied: 10 hits in 2 rounds is more than fair. The enemy is destroyed, while 31st becomes Elite.
15th exploits back in Arras: I now occupies two objectives out of three. If the 78th Artillery can complete its task...arrrh


J. The last battle

The 78th enters in Caen and points straight towards the reduced 7th RTR: I have the full strength and the attack value of 3; they have 3 Battle Plans, while I have to spend 2 Supply for Exploit (the very last Sup point is kept for the awaited advance in Cherbourg). I have to win, and in one round!

Fig. 12 - The last battle




Allies BP: Press, Ambush, Overrun... ouch! But the Press can be usefule, giving me one more round for fighting...
Axis BP: Exploit

Round 1:
Allies: miss...
Axis: miss...

Round 2:
Allies: miss...
OK, here we are: at the end of the day, everything comes to a single, final, damned die roll. I won’t have another chance: no more supplies, forces dispersed and reduced, plenty of Supply for the Allies. I won’t stand another round. I now I have 50% of chance. Head and tail.
It could seem unfair, but it isn’t: I’ve manoeuvred and struggled and battled and suffered all the way long to arrive to this final point and to give my exhausted 78th Artillery a single chance to win the whole campaign for me.
The die rolls and rolls and... YES! It’s a beautiful 2! The 7th RTR is eliminated at the very last round.

The rest is history: the 78th enters triumphant in Cherbourg.


K. After the dust has settled

It was a really tense campaign. I had one big opportunity, but wasn't lucky enough on my first assault to "Fortress Cambrai"; then I was able to catch the victory at the very last moment, when the Allies were ready to wipe me out from the battle ground.

What about Lady Luck?
Here you have the final count of my personal luck indicators:
Lucky Faces:
Unkucky Faces:

The final score is 10:5, that in my opinion exactly reflects the odds that you have to face at in this Scenario. After five matches, I’m pretty sure that winning the 1940 Campaign is not a joke. On the contrary, it’s a challenging task that requires cautious planning, enough luck and, last but not least, a great amount of perseverance. And here I admit that I had the right level of perseverance/doggedness mainly because of this AAR; without this scope clearly written in my mind, I think I had abandoned the battle at in the middle of Turn 5 (after the first Battle for Cambrai).

All in all, it was really satisfying to win as I won, with that final desperate assault. And always playing fairly (a part from the mistake underlined by the quiz), that is (also thanks to my [BGCOLOR=#FFFF66]House Rule[/COLOR]): giving the Allies the right chances to do their best move (as they’ve often done).


L. About the game

Few final comments on DVG - "Field Commander: Rommel". It’s a good, solid, enjoyable game.
The simulation is perhaps a little bit too feeble; and the operational choices are limited. But this was clearly stated by the designer and it’s absolutely necessary to keep the game system easy to grab and fast to play.

I like the two levels of challenge that FC:R offers to you: the strategic one (where to move/attack, how to plan the Supply expenditure, etc.) and the tactical one (which BP should I pick for this battle?). They merge in a nice smooth way.

In conclusion, I rate it 8/10 for my wargamer personality; and it’s a full 9 for my eurogamer mind's side. I heartily recommend it to light wargamer in search of an interesting solitaire pastime; moreover, FC:Rommel can really appeal the casual gamer too.
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Tjerk Feenstra
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Well writen session report, I really enjoyed it. Congrats with your win!
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Rob Derrick
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Mr. Panci wrote:
J. The last battle

The 78th enters in Caen and points straight towards the reduced 7th RTR: I have the full strength and the attack value of 3; they have 3 Battle Plans, while I have to spend 2 Supply for Exploit (the very last Sup point is kept for the awaited advance in Cherbourg). I have to win, and in one round!


Why did you have to spend your last two supply, or, rather, why didn't you spend them along with your 2 intrinsic BPP for the full strength 78th?

You should have had the Exploit and, something else, perhaps AT Gun and Tactics, or Air Raid.

Also, shouldn't they have had only 2 BP's. They were reduced.

Last, your chance of hit wasn't 50%, it was 66+% (hit on 1-4), right?

No big deal though -- in the excitement of a tense game, I lose track of my name. Very wonderful report!
 
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Francesco
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Thanks, Rob, for appreciating the report!

Quote:
Why did you have to spend your last two supply, or, rather, why didn't you spend them along with your 2 intrinsic BPP for the full strength 78th?

You should have had the Exploit and, something else, perhaps AT Gun and Tactics, or Air Raid.

It took me many weeks (more than a month, actually) to write down the third part of the report. So, I checked once again my records and, if in this time I'm in the right:
for the last battle, I had one Sup left; the other 2 points (used for buying the Exploit BP) were provided by the full strenght unit. The final Sup was used for the final move.
It was a really tense ending and I had to calculate how to spend each single point, so... no mistake here (albeit the mistake in the report!).


Quote:
Also, shouldn't they have had only 2 BP's. They were reduced.

Well, as far as I can remember, the Allies had enough Supply to add 2 BP; but I can be wrong.


Quote:
Last, your chance of hit wasn't 50%, it was 66+% (hit on 1-4), right?

Yes, you're right. Another mistake in the report, I think. I checked photo and records and I had for the second time 66+% chances of hitting.
I think this reduces the drama; but I still clearly remember the final 2 !!!

I wonder if I should amend the report...
 
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Rob Derrick
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Thank you for your reply.

Mr. Panci wrote:

Quote:
Also, shouldn't they have had only 2 BP's. They were reduced.

Well, as far as I can remember, the Allies had enough Supply to add 2 BP; but I can be wrong.


Yes, they could add 2 with Supplies, but the reduced 7th RTR added Zero!
So they would have only had 2 BP, not 3.

Notwithstanding, you were still in a tight spot, and knowing how tight spot rolls often go, you pulled Rabbit out of the Hat.

Good stuff.
-- rob
 
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Francesco
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Quote:
Yes, they could add 2 with Supplies, but the reduced 7th RTR added Zero!
So they would have only had 2 BP, not 3.

You're definitely right! I checked and I did a mistake, pulling 3 BP. gulp
I remember that the Press was the first one (I was happy for it), so I made things even worse without no reason...

Luckily I won, or I think I couldn't have forgiven myself!
 
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