Pomigliano D'Arco - Napoli
This week-end a full session of Eurofront for us.
The problem was that my wife's birthday was on sunday and this week-end was a working one for her, so I had to find a gift before 7.00 PM.
I planned to buy it on saturday afternoon, after our session.
First game I was the allies and in Soviet Union I braced for impact (as usual). My army group center (ehm, the soviet version) was encircled by my opponent because I was caught by surprise by his starting setup, so things started to look grim in winter '42.
But in Africa my units swept Rommel and instead of invading Morocco I invaded Brest.
Successful roll for Vichy + almost zero Axis units left in France = my opponent conceded ...
It was past lunch time. We had to choose if starting a '42 or a '43 scenario.
My opponent really dislikes the '43 one, so we started the '42 bloodbath fully aware that we would never end it in time (next session COULD be on 7-8th of december, public holidays in Italy, or in january ...).
This time I was the axis.
I've got a gaming style very different from my friend. He's reckless, I'm cautious. He tries new (successfull) paths, I usually use the same old good strategies. His are fast and furious, mine are slow and inevitable.
He knows that, so I tried something SLIGHTLY different this time.
I attacked with all my units toward Tula, caughting offguard his 3-pips HQ. Instead of rushing toward siberian steppes, I slowly grinded away his southern units (full of mech and armor) and moved toward Moscow.
He could'nt afford to lose his capital, so he had to put ALL his production nearby.
I didn't rush, didn't waste my units and money. One by one his units were destroyed, and hexes were conquered.
By the end of '43 I was in a very strong position (all my units on the map, all full strenght, lots of elites, friendly terrain, impossible to be attacked).
On the other front I simply didn't attack Tobruck and retired 2 hexes away, rebuilding.
I also built an armor in Sicily and sent it as soon as my units were fully built.
So, as soon as he attacked my positions, I counterattacked with the DAAK, the armor and the german mech, all of them 4-pips.
He was completely wiped out.
So he tried the France invasion, but it was stopped cold by my garrisons (strenghtned by the money NOT sent to Africa).
So he tried the Morocco invasion, but it was very slow.
I had the time to move my Lybian units to Tunisia and arranged a defense.
His final assault was stopped by my units. We were both bleeding, but Tunis was still mine in september '43.
He noticed that in summer '43 I didn't attack in Russia and used my eastern production to build up my western units, while he was unable to attack my strongholds (while his steamroller dices were unfriendly).
His will to fight collapsed and he conceded.
Great feasts in Berlin.
On sunday afternoon.
Ouch, I completely forgot my wife's birthday.
But it's 4.00 PM !!!
I rushed, bought a safe gift and was home at exactly 7.00 PM.
Happy birthday !!!
(my wife was surprised because she knows me and was sure I would have been late and giftless ...)
What I learnt from this 2-day session:
- the north-Africa-3-stacking experimental rule is good. We succeded in having a 2-hexes-wide battle line and the desert campaign is less "swingy" and more tactical. A good rule.
- With some luck (I had lots) it's possible to slowly grind russian units while losing no units in the process. It's very difficult to foil this strategy, because (before steamroller) russian units are pathetic on the offensive, so the axis never risk a counterattack (very frequent in case you "rush the steppes")
- Axis HAS to garrison hard the France coasts. Allied Free France is a disaster and speed up the invasion of Italy by fully 6 months.
- Axis needs money in the west. Never leave it with 12 $. I had 32 for most of the game (and 37 in the end) and had the chance to have full strenght HQs and garrisons, while having decent units in North Africa.
- My opponent learnt that is impossible to win on your opponent's wife birthday. He rolled bad dice for hours and hours. In the end his spirit was completely crushed. All because I COULDN'T be late (and the dice sensed that).
Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
Thanks for the report!
Interesting to read about the 3 unit stacking for the desert, I will try that as well.
As for the Eastern Front strategy
I am currently playing EastFrontII, Summer '42 scenario. Talking about the Russian Steppes, I am stuck just before Saratov (sorry I do not manage to insert the picture). I screwed myself making a last push during October good weather but the following turn was winter weather amd that means the Russians gets to go first.....
I almost won as I retreated my troops South of the Tula Saratov line two hexes so the Russian assumed I decided to go for the South instead. Then I started a massive attack again against the Russians that opposed my abandoned line and I almost broke the line. Unfortunately he was able to reinforce the river and woods terrain and I had to abondon my ambitions.
A winning EastFront Strategy is extremely difficult but it was a close call. In EastFront I, going for the Russian entry hexes was viable; for every unit exited, the Russian player needs to exit two. With EastFront II, you keep driving, keep crossing rivers and in the end you are stuck in the middle of
Before the Steppes I tried the Tula attack and drive North but Tula when tula gets reinforced it is hopeless and the terrain East of Tula is easy to defend for the Russian player.
Consolidating and eating Russian units seem a good thing but you help the Russian as he is now able to rebuilt his army to full strength.
Anyhow, going for the steps is hopeless as the Russian can trade terrain for time too easily. Going for the South is the next thing up it is really dicey. I have yet to find a winning '42 strategy and it usually comes down to grave setup mistakes if you succeed as German.
The WestFront is VERY trickey. One mistake on the German side and you are doomed.Indeed you need production points badly. I usually retreat behind the Rhine (I am a defender rather than a Blitzer :-))
What incredible fun this is.
Pomigliano D'Arco - Napoli
Unless the Russian player is fool, the Axis can't win by going east of Saratov.
You have to go north-east of Tula and try to encircle Moscow counter-clockwise (but it's possible only against a very weakened opponent), or you have to go south, but you're stopped cold on the Caucasus mountains.
In the past my opponent (Axis) crushed me (Allies) many times, so now I learnt how to foil those strategies. Units in the wood/rivers of the north. Units in the mountains of the south.
Meanwhile resist and produce.
In the west you NEED production.
Starting from December '43 you have lots of problems manouvering.
And in june '44 you have the speed and agility of a turtle, so act like a turtle since the beginning and stiffen your shell ...
Yes, this game is fun if you keep your temper and never psych out ...