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Subject: Review and a campaign 1939-45 session. rss

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Review and a campaign 1939-45 session.


Why a session as a review?

Well it is not much to write about in a kind of Tide of Iron component review. You find rules online, but it does not make the correct impression of TK! by just reading them. It is more like a User`s manual. Try to figure out a modern Surround Sound System by just reading the manual is impossible. You need to operate it while reading. The same goes with TK!. Reading while playing is essential and the game is not that complex. A session report is a review of TK! impact on brain and soul.


Players:

My son and I have played World in Flames and Europe Engulfed among other war games (read AH). This is a first TK! learning game – but I still find it interesting enough to make an AAR effort - based on pictures and memory.

Play and violating rules:

At the bottom of a learning curve we did a lot of errors. Not because it is complex – but after a few turns the game flows easy, and we just forgot to double check when the status changed in the game. It was more a kind of “Oops – I forgot to add another Italian last round” Or – “Oops – I have stacked two minors together”.
In general the rules are clear when you start playing. We did not discuss what a rule real mean. With the exception of beachhead. While we did the procedure wrong – the final die roll on CRT was correct.

Play and violating common sense and sound strategy.

Experienced players will certainly laugh. And I had literally sleepless nights while trying to figure how to get out a bad situation – and ended up even worse. Typically the emergency plan was destroyed by Military Aid and I had to adjust. And adjust. And adjust. I left strategic hexes open when US entered war (with partisans). Next turn I had to pull back valuable forces to fight partisans.

And now:




No Blitz Adolf – Champaign 1939 -1945.


Autumn 1939.





Picture: German units stuck in mud


I wanted a blitz attack in Poland so bad that I used the Luck marker for a -1 die mod. Anything, but 6. - And I rolled a 6. Adolf was tangled in a sort of diplomatic mess. I had to declare war first. The attack hit a prepared defense. Now I was stuck in mud. Polish cavalry is not just horses.
(Side note, in real Adolf postponed the attack, but changed his mind after 24 hrs. So this is more close to a real life than you may think. German Command was not that happy with the result and they studied, and learned from their mistakes. Valuable experience for the France Campaign – mirrored in my next option card Conditional Event (panzer steps). Proving that Alan and Kos have done their home work)



Winter 1939

Soviet was grabbing border land all over. Poland finally conquered. I dismantled my armies and moved them west to rebuild them next to France.


Spring 1940

Planned to blitz Norway – and you guessed it – rolled too high again. Not risking a long campaign with loss of airpower (needed in France) I did not dare to declare war. In next opportunity I declared war on Belgium, stretching the French defense.



Summer 1940.

Case Yellow. The small Belgium defense was really a speed hump. Paris fell very late, but comfortably at 9:1 thanks to airpower and paradrop.


Picture: Belgium speed hump



Autumn and winter 1940

Mussolini was so impressed that he joined Axis. Now I wanted Hellas for victory points. If you are unfamiliar with TK! – you need victory points to modify the Delay Box die rolls, bringing units faster back in play.
Moving south. No surprise that Axis failed all blitz rolls. Conquering Yugoslavia, Hungary and finally Hellas in the hard way, by declaring war. Some buildup in Africa on both sides, securing harbors.


And not forgetting the major disaster in 1940. Churchill press Vichy France to join Allied!



Picture: Attacking south. Target: Hellas.




1941



Preparing for Barbarossa. I did not dedicate enough power to finish off Vichy quickly. I tried to ignore them for better needs of my units, anyway, just blame my noobiness.
And guess what. Rumania got neutral! My Soviet front line was now a choking bottleneck in center. Stalin had an easy task to block the area around Pripet marshes.
Strategic situation:
Bad setup for Barbarossa. Fighting Vichy France. With Africa Vichy France wide open welcoming Allied forces there will be no need for Operation Torch. Facing a costly and loosing war in Africa for just Cairo, and a pointless war against Vichy and a probably slow moving campaign in Soviet, I had to just divert from the real historical well known WWII.
I was really on my own now. No familiar paths. It scares me.



Barbarossa. Rumania still neutral. Note active Vichy in France.


Late 1941


Revenge of Soviet border wars. Finally some good news. Turkey joined Axis to beat up Stalin. I decided to open a new Turkey front. Reason: Several new Strategic hexes within short range. Tying up Soviet forces. Moving Allied forces from Africa, with a long way to the front. It is a long way to Piccadilly Circus, folks.
Grabbing Crete first, I evacuated Africa quickly for a new southern front, dreaming of the Baku oil.
Due to lack of time I had to choose between sweet talking Finland or neutral Rumania to join Axis. Picking Rumania was a no brainer.



Picture: Rumania just joined the war. Outside pic – right hand, there is a new Turkish front. Note the Vichy still alive in Southern France
.


1942

Wanted to slow down the Allied (US) buildup, I geared up the strategic U-boat war. (Building the XXIII).
Allied forces moving faster than expected through Syria and Palestine, I had to stretch frontline to west to protect Turkish Capital, Ankara. I realized that there will be no Baku oil to lubricate panzer. But I was still satisfied with the situation, tying up Soviet forces and keep the Allied forces busy, and not able to plan for offensive damage somewhere else.




Eastern front. Passed the Pripet, I could start to “slide” forces down south to the new Rumanian front. No doubt I was behind a “real historic” schedule. There will certainly not be a Stalingrad for me.







Summer 1943


To avoid an early D-day I start to reinforce Atlantic coast. Vichy finally crushed. Moved to a defensive position in Turkey. Rommel Afrika Korps now defending the important city of Ankara.




Picture: Leningrad captured. In center you can see the result of an overstretching exploit. Two German units trapped behind enemy lines. In Turkey Allied forces are moving toward Ankara







Eastern front. Thanks to paradrop I grabbed Leningrad. And of course the old classic siege of Moscow. Down south things happened fast. Realizing that Ankara will fall, I wanted the strategic hex Sevastopol in exchange.


Counting in a haze of Analysis Paralysis, needing both an instant HQ and paradrop to have a chance to grab it. In next turn I just have to move forces back to center. Realizing that it would take at least two turns to grab Sevastopol, I cancelled the attack. Ref picture, you see that there is a heavy leak in my front. Absolutely no time for delay!





Picture:Eastern front leaking. Time to cancel the siege of Sevastopol Island and run north! Note that Ankara has been liberated by British forces. Axis moved back to a defensive position protected by the strait.



And now panic in the German Berlin HQ bunker! Looking into the crystal ball of `44 and `45 – no way I could not grab more strategic hexes. With a VP status +2 Axis Tide I could not see how to win the game. Except to use the Ring to Rule them All, or the No Retreat marker as you may call it. With this I could go for draw or maybe even a small tactical victory.
But I used it too early! OMG! I did not clean up the frontlines first! Everything stuck!



Autumn `43.

A lot of sea and air fighting in Mediterranean. Allied wanted a beachhead in Sicily. Delay Box was full of support units.

Allied was stuck in Sicily. I was blocking southern Italy with a few units, and took Allied a long time to beachhead mainland. Later an Anzio beachhead was necessary to bypass and siege Rome. Rome did not fall until winter `45.


Picture: Operation Husky. Allied stuck in Sicily.





Winter 1943/44

The tide turns. Soviet have now necessary power for stopping the Axis tide. And there is nothing to go for southeast of Moscow, just wasteland.
With everything stuck I just pick series of option cards to get as much defensive reinforcements as possible, without considering the political disasters that may follow. Lucky to escape a Command failure, but of course the Materiel Shortage hit the table.


Picture: The dam bursts. Eastern front. First there was a small leak down south. Next the center collapses. All units stuck. I want to do a strategic retreat from river to river! Just a single HQ could move in center. Valuable units were stuck east of Leningrad.



An early D-day, thanks to slow Festung Europa buildup. I was really lacking a few HQ in France! Throwing in my best defense unit in Paris and stack up the rest behind Rhine was all I could do. Now I could only sit and watch the Allies plays the game solitaire. There will not be any battle of the Bulge in this game…..






In the picture you can see Monty`s wet dream – crossing Rhine in Belgium /Holland. Those guys will be home for Christmas. South you can see US units bypassing Rome and rushing toward Germany.








Spring 1945.


And the rest is history.








Final map. Next turn Allies will take Hamburg, Berlin and Posen. Soviet will grab Koningsberg. (No place for future Axis replacements). Further, Soviet will liberate a couple of own strategic hexes. Germany will hold Leningrad, Warsaw and Kiev a couple of more turns. (Note Rome –just liberated. And much needed Axis forces stuck north of Leningrad! Sigh!)
No need for further play as Allied showed me next option card.
Next Allied option card was Separate Peace – extending the war for another year. No need for peace die rolling (mod too high) we declared Allied total victory.
If not for separate peace, and counting in the no retreat marker the result would be a +1 Allied Crusade win.

Final word:
I cannot see the need for 2.ed. Why not reprint as is to give wargamers the best ETO game ASAP?



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David Heldt
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Two panzer jocks in the South Seas hoping that soon they'll get lei'd--
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Quote:
I wanted a blitz attack in Poland so bad that I used the Luck marker for a -1 die mod.


Did they change the rule on luck markers? I remember them giving a reroll, not a die roll mod--
 
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Daryl Anderson
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Very nice - thanks !
 
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Ethan McKinney
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So, you absolutely blew it, but it still took them until Spring of '45 to take Berlin? How could the Allies win against a well-played Axis with average luck?
 
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davepanzer wrote:
Quote:
I wanted a blitz attack in Poland so bad that I used the Luck marker for a -1 die mod.


Did they change the rule on luck markers? I remember them giving a reroll, not a die roll mod--


You have 2 options:

1. Reroll
2. modify by -1 or +1.
 
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elbmc1969 wrote:
So, you absolutely blew it, but it still took them until Spring of '45 to take Berlin? How could the Allies win against a well-played Axis with average luck?


I have no experience with Allied/Soviet. But Soviet seems to have a slow attack buildup, and much more of defense.

Considering West Allied maybe the Axis Turkey campaign succeeded as intended? Some heavy units were fighting such as Patton and 15. HQ. It takes time to move them to Turkey and then back to England.

I let Allied have Sicily cheap, and then close the door on mainland. I must admit that I overcomitted defense in Italy. Should have those units in France.

Main reason for Allied win was my unbalanced West and Eastern front. My intention was to move forces from east to west in `44. With the No Retreat order the units were stuck in east.




If you check the final picture you see a large army stuck east of Leningrad, upper right hand. Those units should have been in France and behind Rhine.

This unbalance lead to a huge difference in Soviet - Allied VP`s, making the Separate Peace automatic.

Great Game!
kiss
 
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R Larsen
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This is such a fantastic, and in my opinion, rather overlooked game.
Thanks for the long reiew/report. Few games allow for the story telling that TK! does.
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R Larsen
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This is such a fantastic, and in my opinion, rather overlooked game.
Thanks for the long reiew/report. Few games allow for the story telling that TK! does.
 
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Bas de Bakker
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About the Ultimatum on Poland: You seem to have forgotten the -1 modifier due to the 1 VP Allied Crusade the game starts with.
 
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bassie wrote:
About the Ultimatum on Poland: You seem to have forgotten the -1 modifier due to the 1 VP Allied Crusade the game starts with.


Ah - Did not forget, but assumed it was only applicable to the Political Event Table.

But double checking now it reads "Apply modifiers both on option cards and event tables printed below".
Just another error.....
blush
 
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Mark Goss
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Great AAR! Enjoyed reading it and I especially liked the photos...although with my OCD, I really wanted to organize all of those counters....yikes! :laugh:
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Jeremy Fridy
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davepanzer wrote:
Quote:
I wanted a blitz attack in Poland so bad that I used the Luck marker for a -1 die mod.


Did they change the rule on luck markers? I remember them giving a reroll, not a die roll mod--


It used to do either. But with the -1 the attack is an automatic success because there is a modifier on the roll for the 1 pt allied Crusade.
 
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Scott de Brestian
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Quote:
So, you absolutely blew it, but it still took them until Spring of '45 to take Berlin? How could the Allies win against a well-played Axis with average luck?


The date is largely irrelevant. And the historical outcome was a massive Allied victory in game terms so lasting until Spring '45 isn't necessarily that good.
 
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Nice review and AAR. I have heard it said by a lifelong WiF player who also owned TK! that one may have provided some inspiration for the other. Looking at the map, you can see how they may have some similarities. I am curious to see how WiF Blitz! compares with either one. What was your opinion on the likenesses?
 
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There is a pretty much guaranteed Axis win by going East First though. Plan backwards, but you can actually get more tanks into Russia via Limited War, and the Wallies have to sit and watch. While beating the crap out of the Russians in Limited War with Case Yellow, I attacked France with just infantry, and ground them to dust in three turns...

I think the redesign fixes this problem...
 
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