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Case Yellow, 1940: The German Blitzkrieg in the West» Forums » Reviews

Subject: First Impressions rss

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Robert McCoy
South Korea
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The Good

I was really impressed with the map being printed on both sides for scenario use. The intro map card for Scenaio #4 was a nice touch.

Counters and Rules are standard GMT fare of very good quality.

Some very interesting ideas in Scenarios #2 and 3 which should generate a lot of interest with gamers who can't get enough of blitzkreig games.

The Bad

Scenario #1 has too many iron-clad idiot rules. This historical scenario is too much simulation and not enough game. Also Germans didn't know how stupid the French and British were going to be, so I disagree with guaranteeing these mistakes being repeated in full. This scenario is crying for some options and more fog of war. Until then, I fear, it will not be played too often.

Upon reflection, the developer, I suspect, is overly focused on demonstrating the poor decisions made by the allies while ignoring just how risky and to an extent fragile, the German plan was. So,one not so successful counter-attack by De Gaulle's 4th armoured division will not send the German high command into a near state of panic. The German player knows it won't work.

The Ugly

The paradrop rules on Eban Emael should be used in all scenarios, not just scenario #3. Once the air transports leave the ground, all para operations are fraught with risk, so their success should never be taken for granted. In this sense, it is better simulation leading to more varied and interesting gaming.

However

I do look forward to playing this game. Scenario #2 option 1 looks like a good place to start.

Rob M'cCoy
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eryn roston
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thanks for the write up! Im anxiously awaiting the arrival ofmine so it can sit on the shelf on not get played
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Mike Balint
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I am looking at this exactly from the opposite point of view. I think that it is important for a game that simulates the Battle of France to have a variant where it will play historically. Simulating bad plans and poor choices is hard to do without rules forcing you to execute the same flawed plans.

I think the designer strikes the right note here with the multiple scenarios. The options you want seem to exist in Scenarios 2 and 3. Passing on scenario 1 is perfectly fine. Putting scenario 1 in the "bad" column simply for existing seems unduly harsh, particularly in light of the fact that the other scenarios exist that may well accomplish what you want.

I would be dissapointed if the game allowed you the freedom to avoid the Dyle plan, as it would not simulate the campaign with any accuracy, and it seems that the designer has put forth a game that contains scenarios that accomodate your point of view as well as mine.

Nothing bad about that.

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Michael Taylor
Germany
Niederbachem-wachtberg
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I'm with you on this one Mike.

If you read about the state of the morale of many of the French troops, the generally very poor or absent leadership, the lack of co-ordination with France's allies, etc etc then you really do get the impression that the French didn't really stand much of a chance.

Yes, on paper the German plan was very risky, but their concentration of forces and air superiority, combined with the French weakenesses really conspire to give the impression that althought there were a lot of what-ifs all through out the battle, the reality was the plan had a very good chance of success.

The inability of the allies to mount more than two concerted counter-attacks throughout the fight, without even a division strength effort able to be co-ordinated, points at just how far from this being an even fight it was. That the Germans were surpised how easy it was also says a lot.

By the sounds of the variants they have put together, I look forward to playing the what-ifs. From How Mr Racier described it on another forum, it does sound exciting to be able to gradually fix the French weakeneses and play out how it might have affected the battle.

Basically, all that is a convulted way of saying I think this game looks like it can do a reasonable simulation of what happed in 1940, with the luxury of then being able to replay some nice what-ifs.

Would be great to try and find several pairings of similarly talented players to each take one of the scenarios and then play them out simultaneously. We could then see how they play out, without people learning to much the game system. This I think would provide some really interesting results - this assumes of course the basic game is sound, I guess we'll have to wait on that ;-)
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John Gant
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Mostly agree with Mike Balint as well. I am happy to see options.

Next up...

mtay69 wrote:
I'm with you on this one Mike.

If you read about the state of the ... French troops ... you really do get the impression that the French didn't really stand much of a chance.

...the reality was the [German] plan had a very good chance of success.


I don't agree with this.

The original Case Yellow had the bulk of German forces swinging right in to the waiting arms of the bulk of the French forces. That would have been a terribly bloody affair, with an uncertain outcome, and was a far more suitable kind of warfare to the French than what they actually wound up fighting. Only the very unlucky loss of the German plans to Allied forces resulted in the tremendous luck of re-evaluating their plan and going with Manstein's option.

This was a very, very narrow twist of luck, bad but then very good. The French prepared for and reacted very well to the original plan, but then the Germans executed a very different plan.

The outcome is history, but it was not pre-ordained.

I look forward to gaming some of these "what-ifs" a bit with this title.

--JokerRulez
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Jan van der Laan
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Leeuwarden
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JokerRulez wrote:
...This was a very, very narrow twist of luck, bad but then very good. The French prepared for and reacted very well to the original plan, but then the Germans executed a very different plan.

The outcome is history, but it was not pre-ordained.

....

Sadly enough this was the fate of the French for the last hundred (or so) years. In 1914 they intended to redo the 1870-1871 war and in 1940 they intended to redo the First World War. And that was exactly the reason the Germans had a reasonably good chance to execute Fall Gelb the way they did (and with the well-known results). Fall Gelb was brilliant but risky but Erich von Manstein took into consideration the poor French morale, the poor leadership on the Allied side and the outdated way of French (and British) tactical and operational warfare. The Germans had their share of luck but the warplans were solid and gave the Germans a fairly good chance of winning the campaign.
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Adam Parker
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Great game design makes the complex simple, replayability maximum, and abstraction credible.
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turboelec wrote:


The Bad

Scenario #1 has too many iron-clad idiot rules. This historical scenario is too much simulation and not enough game. Also Germans didn't know how stupid the French and British were going to be, so I disagree with guaranteeing these mistakes being repeated in full. This scenario is crying for some options and more fog of war. Until then, I fear, it will not be played too often.


I was wondering what people would think of this. Even without looking at the game, in thinking of simulating this camapign I believed that there would need ot be some chrome to make things "play right" historically.

1. Kudos to Ted for adding 2 optional scenarios allowing for the what-ifs.

2. To me this game looks aesthetically like the Avalon Hill of the 70's. Might be nice to step back in time so to speak.

Question

Why is the map double sided? The GMT game page mentions nothing of this?

Thanks for the honest impressions thread.
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John Gant
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Each side of the map supports different scenarios.

I had the same question for a while there. Great, great work by GMT to do this.

--JokerRulez
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Craig Ambler
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I am going to try Scenario 1 today with all the special rules and see how it goes. I agree with others here in that I am glad the proper historical game is here, and also that you get a chance to see what could have been.

All in all there seems to be something for most WWII fans in here.

Craig
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Mark Andrews
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Kendal
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Craig, How did your session go with scenario 1? An follwing you play of this game would you consider the imminent release from MMP of Blitzkrieg Legend?
 
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