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Subject: Albion 20 solo replay (an illustrated AAR) rss

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David McKenna
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Introduction

The third in Victory Point games’ Napoleonic_20_series, Albion 20 is based on a hypothetical situation: what if they French actually did manage to invade Britain? While this hypothetical situation initially put me off, I decided to give it a try anyway. The following AAR (my second attempt to do one for this game!) describes my experiences:

Pre-game (French morale 8, British morale 8)

British units all placed within 2 hexes of their initial starting position. As playing solitaire, DID NOT look to see what each marker actually was before placing it. French initial landing force at Folkestone, with 3 units within 2 hexes (again, did not look to see what was placed where). French then decide to land a second wave (-2 French morale) at Deal as British reinforce (-1 British morale). French then reinforce (-1 French morale), landing a random reinforcement at Deal. Both sides then pass in succession, and game begins with all face-down units revealed, as follows:

(Before)


(After)


Turn 1: August 25, Afternoon (French morale 5, British morale 7)

The invasion of England starts with the V corps near Deal moving up towards and through Sandwich (must be hungry!) as the Cadre unit moves south-west cross-country towards Lympne while the II corps moves on to the road and enters the woods to the north of Folkestone.

(random event = “The Mighty Duke of York”)
Since no British units are (yet) broken, this allows all their forces to force-march, for free. The SD1 corps moves south through Ashford along the road towards Lympne; Kent moves down the road towards Dover and LD heads towards Canterbury.

Situation at end of turn 1


Turn 2: August 25, Evening (French morale 5, British morale 7)

(random event = “Sacre Bleu!” -1 British morale)
The French cadre unit takes up residence in Lympne (could have gone further, but decided not to) as the II coprs moves north to engage Kent. V corps heads inland towards Canterbury, as the French Reserve cavalry lands at Deal and also continues to do the same (again, through Sandwich).

II corps force Kent to withdraw, but decide not to ‘take ground’.

(random event = “Intelligence gathering”. No effect as not using Fog of war)
Kent moves north to engage V corps as LD slowly makes their way towards the sound of battle. Meanwhile, SD1 corps arrives at the south-west outskirts of Lympne.

During the combat phase, they then force the Cadre unit to withdraw from that town. Further north, Kent forces the V corps to rout 6 hexes (-1 French morale for routing further than movement)

Situation at end of turn 2


Turn 3: August 25, Night (French morale 4, British morale 6)

(random event = “Dense Fog”. No effect at night)
During night, all movement allowances are reduced to 1. The (routed) V corps moves 1 hex south (to ‘free’ the LOC marker) before recovering as the Reserve cavalry utilises the road to move further inland. The II corps also uses road movement to head towards Canterbury, and the cadre unit falls back towards Folkestone, where the II corps has just landed. The Vi corps also lands at Deal.

The French then regain 1 morale point from rest, and another for having control of the channel.

(random event = “Grand Patriotism”. Associated roll = No Effect)
The British decide to sue the night turn to consolidate their holds. LD falls back to Canterbury, as does Kent. SD1 remains in Lympne; SD2 arrives and moves towards Ashford. The British then regain 1 morale point from rest.

Situation at end of turn 3


Turn 4: August 26, Morning (French morale 6, British morale 7)

(random event = “Naval activity”. French LOC at Folkestone is improved)
III corps moves north-east from Folkestone to engage the Dover garrison as the V corps force-marches (-1 French morale) south to help. II corps also force-marches to the south west of Kent corps, and Reserve cavalry does same to their north-east. VI corps moves through Sandwich, and IV corps lands at Folkestone.

During combat, the Reserve cavalry and II corps combine to attack the Kent corps, who commit their reserves (-1 British morale). Kent is forced to withdraw, and breaks instead (as this was a hazardous retreat) (+1 French morale, -1 British). III and V corps both combine to attack the Dover garrison, with both sides committing their reserves (-1 French morale, -1 British morale). Dover garrison is able to hold off the French onslaught (rolled a withdraw, but able to retreat 1 less space due to fortified terrain).

(random event = “March to the guns”. 2 British units gain +1 move if, and only if, end nearer a French unit)
Both SD1 and SD2 corps use this to move along the road towards the cadre near Folkestone (only 1 needed to do so). British Reserve corps arrives near, and moves into, Faversham

During combat, said cadre routs 3 hexes (-1 French morale), and Dover garrison decides not to attack

Situation at end of turn 4


Turn 5: August 26, Mid-day (French morale 4, British morale 4)

(random event = “According to plan”. Reshuffle cards)
IV corps leaves Folkestone, heading west towards SD1 corps as both the II Corps and Reserve cavalry move to the outskirts of Canterbury, with the VI corps not gar behind. No other French troops land.

During combat, IV corps forces SD1 to withdraw and ‘takes ground’. Both the Reserve cavalry and II corps combine (and commit reserves for -1 French morale) against LD in Canterbury, who also commit their reserves (-1 British morale). LD routs 4 hexes, chased by the French Reserve cavalry. II corps then captures Canterbury. Finally, III and V corps again both combine to attack the Dover garrison, with neither side committing any reserves this turn. Dover garrison safely routs 2 hexes (roll of 5, -2 for elite status, -1 for in fortified terrain) and III corps captures Dover for the Emperor!

(random event = “Hearts of Oak”. Channel is now ‘contested’)
Neither of the two routed units (LD and DG) opt to move; neither does the Reserve corps in Faversham. SD2 moves along road into Lympne, and Volunteer corps arrives at south-west of Faversham.

The only combat that takes place is between SD1 and the IV corps outside Lympne, with the result that the IV corps is forced to withdraw. SD1 remains in place.

Situation at end of turn 5


Turn 6: August 26, Afternoon (French morale 3, British morale 2)

(random event = “Bataillon Carre”. All French move allowances increased by 1)
Reserve cavalry swings round to the north of LD, as II corps advances along road towards Faversham. VI corps continues heading inland towards Canterbury. Meanwhile, Cadre, III and V corps all move to attack the Dover garrison in the woods outside Dover, and IV corps moves up to attack SD1. Sole remaining French reinforcement lands at Folkestone, and it’s the Imperial Guard!

Cadre, II and V corps all combine to attack the Dover Garrison, causing that unit to rout 4 hexes (roll of 6, -2 for Elite) (-1 British morale) and the III corps ‘takes ground’. Reserve cavalry and II corps also combine to attack LD corps, and decide to commit their reserves (-1 French morale). LD breaks (+1 French morale, -1 British morale), ending the game with a French decisive victory!

Final situation


Final thoughts

So, it looks like I’m going to have to learn a new language!

I’m quite glad I decided to try the game: with no historical precedent to ‘fall back on’, Albion 20 is, in many respects, a lot ‘freer’ with what can and cannot happen. In this game, I think the British were let down by their inability to control the channel for most of the early part of the game, allowing the French time to land their troops (particularly in Folkestone). With most of their own army overseas, it fell on the locals to repel the invaders: a situation that they just were unable to cope with! Although the invaders never even made it as far as Faversham or Ashford, it was only just a matter of time before they did …
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Lance McMillan
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Re: Albion 20 solo replay
Very nice AAR, David. Albion is perhaps the "wildest" of the games in the series because so many vitally important elements (sea control, reinforcement arrivals, etc) are not in the player's control.

One thing you might want to consider: during playtesting we found that it was often to the British player's advantage to call an end to the pre-game maneuvering segment as early as possible since most of the opportunities available during that phase tend to favor the French.
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Darrell Pavitt
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Re: Albion 20 solo replay
Quote:
the invaders never even made it as far as Faversham or Ashford


Must have caught Eurostar then.

I demand a counter to represent me, back-dated to the ninteeth century, that sets up south-east of Sandwich. Which isn't a swamp, btw, and I don't resemble Shrek (too much).
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Kim Meints
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Albion I feel is a very under rated game of the series.Maybe it's the fantasy nature of the game and not a ture historical battle.

I re-found out again when I re-did my variant for the game and played it again how much I enjoyed it still. I forgot how much fun the Pre-Invasion planning made the game and set the tempo for the main game.

During testing the original version got to be sort of dried & set for what both sides were doing but once the Pre-Invasion rule got added the game really came to shine.

I hope more will buy it and look at the the many decisions that have to be made.

It was good returning to an old friend again.
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David McKenna
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Morale over course of game


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