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Subject: Questions after some playtesting. rss

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Alberto Natta
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Greetings, finally me and my friend managed to playtest more with the '39 scenario this time.
We had a few struggles on various matters though, maybe rather measly ones but well ... let us beging.

-- Reverse Engineering is bad.
Many, many cards makes reference which are unexistant anymore in the rules, or states things which are unknown to a player with no knowledge of potentialities.

Examples:
Blue Water Navy / Project Catherine -- Not stated anywhere that the UK Navy cannot go in the Baltic, not anymore at least. We get a card that cancels this...

Home Guard -- The spelling has been changed, now it is obscure, misterious and we cannot understand it. Previous spelling meant that all the UK Home Regions got a garrison. Now the issue is that the manpower is choosen on where to be allocated? Which means?

Sorted through reading Volksturm card - thought it is still poorly spelled, the Home Guard card.

Reserve Front, Siberian Reserves -- It is written anywhere the Soviet Unit cannot move them or build them before the use of these cards? Are other RE units buildable, and if so, where?

Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact -- Written nowhere the Germany cannot conquer the whole of Poland and the Baltics. It is up to player agreements then? Is the Soviet really up to play Icebreaker and play on 4 cards the whole game?

Red Army Purge -- What it is the Red Army Conspiracy? It is written nowhere to be found.


Finland, Winter War and its Fate.


What prevents the Soviet player to conquer Finland? With only 4 manpower, Finland it is a faceroll for the Soviet player. Why the Soviet player should refrain from conquering it all except by keeping a 2 Ops card in his deck?
Also how does the Finland use its Mountain unit? (We accounted it as deployed already at the beginning and deprived Finland of 2 Manpower).

Manpower Industrial Allocation
If I remember well such was allowed only during wartime, but have not found it written anywhere? Soviets have a plethora of infantries then due to massive manpower and Conscription.

Sorted, it is written in Peacetime Footing part. I would replicate it as well into the Industry allocation part, at the cost of making it redundant.

Allies Superarmy
It can happen Phony War does not enter in game. Allies keep playing 4 cards per turn, resulting in a very large and capable France army which can stall for a lenghty amount of time German advances.

Edit: Sorted, France was using some UK resources.

Weather: Snow - Terrain: Mountain
To read it correctly, a unit needs to score let us say a double, for assault and armor - to have it count. So if I have a 3 step armor unit, and rolls: 5, 5, 4 it would give only 1 assault hits. Next unit as well has the "soaked" up damage.

Graf Spee
It is out of supply since the start. We have read it can be considered in supply though due to the free docking in neutral countries. Though can it move and try to return back to a supplied location (quite a rare case though).

Bulgarian Garrisons
We noticed there are Bulgaria Garrisons in the '41 scenario. Can actually an Axis player use Bulgaria garrisons and locate them in the named places, Salinika and Skopje?

Phoney War
Both Churchill and Finest Hour cancels Phoney War.
Is that correct?
If Churchill is played before Phoney War is played, it also prevents it though?

Posted those first questions I have to test it more, at the moment it seems that the Axis is struggling already against France; the decisions overall running along the historical line (build marine and invaded norway; poland taken.).
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Alberto Natta
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South and North Atlantic - Sea Combat.

Does air support reaches there or those are considered always off range?

Pre-War Italy.
Italy being a major is entitled to collect resources when at war.
Though can the Axis player also move, produce and such their units with its ops (we are playing as so since otherwise they would be very weak and UK can fill up the central med already forcing then the italian navy into an opening attack fight.)

Edit: Even worse, we sorted out that Peacetime Footing nations must keep ships in the docks. This simply would cripple italy beyond oblivion.
Also Italy seems to require a unit in Albania, which instead it is missing, as they have only a garrison at the start.

Italy seems very poorly set for the large (and inefficient) army they got.
Also I would suggest to keep Italy on a war footing but not belligerant (they were preparing for war to join the Axis actually), allowing them to keep fleets outside the docks and the airforce of Italy being fully ready when they join the war (not affected by clear to mud, and winter change in '39 - '40) - with a free 1 OPs or a Supreme HQ activation per Season to represent their slow gearing up.
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Alberto, I'd say you and your friend did a great service in providing player feedback. Even if they all have an answer, your questions are important in clarifying matters for the final version of the rules. Well done!
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Alberto Natta
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Card Ultra - Response.

Can it be used as opener with its effect?
Can it be used on a card played as event - but of military type?
Or can only and exclusively be used as response to a card specifically played as OPS?

Resource: All - Ploesti.

This means that it goes to Romania, if belligerant?
There are quite many cards about it. Just making sure.
Plus it seems Germany is way too short of oil - accounting their needs and the ease of which it gets consumed without those extra tiny bits (they have 3 cards in early war, which are All: Ploesti alone, means if mobilized Romania would take 3 oil points!)

River Crossing / Entrench and Assault Hits.
How have we to behave when attacking units have fired already and they get assault hits from defenders?
Or units take both the step loss AND are routed in this case?

Possibly sorted. In combat is told as well that units crossing a river -must- take the routing. Even if they fired already. Yet I would rather specify the latte.

First Card / Opener
What if no card is eligible to be played as opener? Or extremely bad options only at avail (Example, all events with a pre-requisite which is not met or having just Pearl Harbour as playable.)

(Example: Germany blitzs in Lithuania. 2 Panzers blitz through, and go into Latvia, to meet C quality infantry. A/B Panzers fire first vs the Infantries, then surviving infantries fires back and get assault hits. What happens to the panzers, since they fired already?)

Production: Canadian Army
Where does it appear? In the USA box or normally into UK (yes only 1 ops for transit of difference, and eventual interception).

Sorted: it is not under production, but into the explaination of the map macro-areas. - It is produced into USA. Not really intuition easy to find, and spotted it by reading all over the rules.

Italian Entry events and their Military / Supreme HQ activations
Does the activations / OPS must be into the interested geographical map?
Also in case of Transfer, does the destination region is the one that matters? (example, sending the DAK produced in Germany, and thus outside from the interested Southern Europe - to Tobruk or a desert area?)

Near East and Egypt
Egypt: In the assumption the Axis does not advance in Egypt, the UK needs to bring Egypt in as ally before to move in Lybia from it?
What if the Axis plays Arab Coup in Egypt, therefore removing all the influence of Egypt except its own - what happens to the UK units into it?
If UK attacks Egypt then, as it is uncapable of influencing it and it can be brought into Axis - does such breaks the League of Nation VP rule?

Same applies for all minors in Near East.

Operation Lila and Axis declaring war to Vichy
What exactly prevents to the Axis to declare war to Vichy - as the Allies can move into Vichy without declaring war or something similarly (yet obscure?).
Also about the ships captured through Operation Lila, does they get converted into Axis ships? Italian ships? Added to the blocks of the Italian navy? Using the French Blocks as Axis?

Checken Insurgency card
It seems the Germany can play this even during peacetime with Russia.
This means the region, if not having a Soviet block into it, turns to be German. This means the Germany owns the region.
If so, can Germany place a garrison through 1 Ops here - and earn oil through it if cards happen to provide any to ALL, even if it would need to pass through Sovietland?

Lebensraum
Just making sure, for the extra OPs for future cards, new units cannot be produced for instance - as Germany as a whole is not in Eastern Europe, correct?

Railway Guns
It requires Air Supremacy to work. How then this card is actually useful since even the crappymost plane can take off from a region from a Fortress, or can fly from an adjacent one?
It would require that the opponent has actually no airplane on the Sortie Box, which is potentially something never happening unless it is some fresh winter turn AND you take initiative.

Goering and Die Vergelthung

Goering card states that at least 2 industries need to be allocated to Air (not specification of Fighter / Bomber -- even if the Play Aid depicts it on 2 fighters).
The latter instead demands 1 bomber or V-Weapon.
Does placing 1 in bombers sate the latter and half of the first requirements?

UK Fleets in Central Med - past Vichy.
Does the Malta port supplies properly them if they are Steel Quality?
In our playtest the UK simply moved 4 ships in the central med, and the Regia Marina went to the bottom of the seas before end of '40 virtually.
The germans does not have enough subs of yet to be a threat in the Atlantic either.

Vichy:

We play as home rule that France -must- accept Vichy as soon as a Home Region is lost to Germans. Simply the Allied player has no interest in giving out Vichy.
Also what prevents the Axis to declare war on Vichy?
Can Axis influence Vichy to bring it by its side too (making some more sense to Catapult card).

There is an apparent automated Vichy process in the Vassal Module, though the Free France Fleet appears in Southampton instead of being eliminated as specified in the phase.3 detailed in the USA Play Aid.
What is the correct?

Italian Surrender?
How Italy exactly surrenders?
It is written nowhere. It can only be conquered by taking Rome (ahistorical option.).
As alternative, the Allies can use Balkan Coup if they manage to get enough influence in Italy. Yet I do not see how they can manage that as they seem able to have cards to place influence on nations not at war.

When Italy turns into a Minor, does it retains its Garrisons?
Milan factory - once Italy is a Minor - gets used by the Germany or?

Vassal Module Suggestion
Variable weather "on click" pick up random cube. We are arranging through rolling, at the present.

Conquering and Resource Collecting.
It is said on the ruleset:
(The conquered nation) Its resources may be collected by the conquering power.
-- Does this means that if I get let us say a card stating:
Paris - Cadre or Poland - Manpower; but Germany has conquered them, does it actually provides those materials to Germany, or must be "ALL" marked for?

Multiple Activation and Engagement / Reserve.
It is said that if units of different activacation gets into a contested region the attacker must attack at the weakest degree.
Though what if a unit moved by let us say the Supreme HQ is kept in reserve, and 2 that moved in activated by a steel HQ engages; would the two engaging battle with assault terms? (I think so and we did so in the playtest, as it sounds the most logical).

Battle in Engaged Region
How does exactly the swapping between Engaged and Reserves work?
If the defender has 2 units Engaged, the defender automatically can bring up to the maximum of the engagement limit correct?
If the defender has the maximum of engagement limit, can put one in reserve and a new one in engagement? It requires an activation of sort?
How exactly this whole process continues?

It is very dark to me not the first engagement that is very, very clear; but the subsequent rounds; where maybe only a part of units is activated; how many can swap from reserve to engage - and do they need activation; reserve blitz capable units needs to be activated to exploit or they can just be passively here; etc etc.
It needs polishing and clarifications on the ruleset in my opinion. Massively.

Amphibious Assaults
It is a bit unclear to me. I have to count Sea Zones (technically, the seas with the boxes), or the Sea Areas (the one that I count for Air Range - which is more realistic actually?). It concerns me the Allies can virtually invade Italy from UK.

First part clarified, Sea Areas are counted.

Also what prevents the Allies to build early their marine and invade some Home Region witn an ungarrisoned port (this forces virtually to leave a block in the Rhur always as they got 2 ports and one can be attacked by the sea therefore any German navy in that port is subject to being destroyed. Each event play the UK can activate up to 4 fleets and bang something which is not in a raiding box. Even in the Baltic after the event card makes them free. Air support is not exactly scary when Germany can field so few naval units and cannot spare oil to bring them high in strenght.).

Minor Power combat
Example, Romania moves 1 block in Bessarabia (free move, both home regions of Romania) and Germany moves a unit as well through the Supreme HQ.
Both units fire with attrition combat rules right - as the minor is entitled of assault combat still but limited by the German attrition capable only unit?

Calais / Forts
Calais has engagement limit of 3 if I am correct; this means safe airborne assault as well the germans are to engage with 3 units vs 4 for the first round.
Does fortifications count for the engagement limit? Both Maginot ones, and the ones that can be "upgraded" garrisons?
Isn't it simply easier at the present to just go through the Maginot line (2 * Forts negates the first 2 Armor and first 2 Assault hits.) - Given it is suprise, with a German bomber and air superiority, Germany would have a total of 3 Air Support (1 of the bomber, plus 2 off the best available chit.)

Mobilization
When a minor gets to war - we play it (even if it is written nowhere) that all the manpower it has, if blocks are at avail, get immediately converted at the side player leisure.
I think should be a rule instead of waiting a slow build up.
Same could be applied to Italy I believe once it joins the war mayhaps?

Ultimatum and War
Can a nation proclaim an Ultimatum and then declare war the next round or so to that Nation? (Example, ultimatum to take Salonika, and then go straight into Athens - if it would ever serve a purpose but it is an option.)
I dreamt to have read somewhere a nation getting an ultimatum and suffering it, mobilizes?

Limited Supply and Permanent Elimination
Do units in Limited Supply suffer from permanent elimination if they are destroyed - as they are treated as out of supply by all means except that they do not suffer step loss each end of round of their supply phase.

Defender Order
Think it is an omissis, we use it as discounted; a unit cannot use a defence order more than once per round, and once "activated" for one must be facing down or so ... else a Soviet player could potentially keep using reserve orders with manpower based HQs as well, to endlessly swap reserves across the battles (as the battles are subsequential) AND in accord to movement rules, you can move a unrevealed unit (thus in reserve) from a contested area to another friendly contested area as long as it is put in reserve (virtually preventing blitzing past the first surprise round.).
Not that the Soviets appear to lack cavalry or mechs to parry Blitzs.

The Stand Fast cards. Retreat meaning?
Both Soviets and Germans have one of this kind.
It states their units cannot disengage (movement off contested territory without a rearguard), cannot withdraw (defender's order), and cannot retreat (what's a retreat? rout?)

Their Finest Hour (resources)
The third resource is not listed as "All" but as France. Is it normal?

Tito

If Yugoslavia is aligned, such side can build up the Tito unit ?

Air Supremacy
It states the best avaiable chit is used. Though is it referred to the specific used plane, or as an absolute to the side? (example, a german bomber 1-1, in air supremacy, uses a 1 or 2 Value Air Support?)

Industry Allocated to Ships
Does it logically requires to be a factory from a dock?
Example: As German can I allocate Bohemia factory to something to sate the Z-Plan?

Industry Reallocation
It is said one reallocate only spent industry.
If it means I have an unspent factory in bombers, I have to keep it no matter what until a bomber step is produced?



Maybe I am missing something overall, and a rule here or there ... also need more practice, my Barbarossa was to conquer only 1 province of the baltic states out of 3; still stuck in Bessarabia and Eastern Poland. And Allies have wiped submarines (only 1 step still afloat) from the seas and the regia marina; in Winter '41 such is the situation.
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Michael Tan
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Sorry for the delay in replying. It's been convention season here the past few weeks and I haven't had much time to reply to BGG posts. Thank you for taking the time to create this list. This sort of thing is invaluable for the development process. Many of these issues are unique to the Vassal module (I've stated for the record I'm no Vassal expert) but some are valid issues for the paper and dice game as well.

Cohen wrote:
Blue Water Navy / Project Catherine -- Not stated anywhere that the UK Navy cannot go in the Baltic, not anymore at least. We get a card that cancels this...

Project Catherine card has been dropped entirely. I had not selected a suitable replacement event at the time the alpha Vassal module was released. There are a few card changes since then that I will be sure to include in the next update.

Cohen wrote:
Home Guard -- The spelling has been changed, now it is obscure, misterious and we cannot understand it. Previous spelling meant that all the UK Home Regions got a garrison. Now the issue is that the manpower is choosen on where to be allocated? Which means?

6.7.2 Militia represent a nation’s home guard. They are abstracted and not placed on the map like other units. They automatically appear whenever a minor power’s home regions are attacked and manpower is available (15.5.10). Militia defend only and may never attack.

So the Allied player can use any manpower in his stockpile as militia units to defend home regions as per the rule above. Otherwise militia units are only available to minor powers.

Cohen wrote:
Sorted through reading Volksturm card - thought it is still poorly spelled, the Home Guard card.

Volkssturm is the parallel Axis version of Home Guard. Same exact rule.

Cohen wrote:
Reserve Front, Siberian Reserves -- It is written anywhere the Soviet Unit cannot move them or build them before the use of these cards? Are other RE units buildable, and if so, where?

6.6 Units with a white box behind their ID are placed in the restricted box (not eligible to be built) and enter the force pool only through events.

Printed on the Soviet Play Aid:
Military Districts - Newly built Stavka reserve (Re) units must be placed and remain in the Far East. Cancelled by Reserve Front(Spring 41) or if opposing units occupy a Russian home region.

Cohen wrote:
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact -- Written nowhere the Germany cannot conquer the whole of Poland and the Baltics. It is up to player agreements then? Is the Soviet really up to play Icebreaker and play on 4 cards the whole game?

Printed on the Axis and Soviet Play Aids:
Molotov-Ribbentrop - Germany collects Soviet trade. The Soviets may not attack a major power, Hungary, Norway, or Romania. Cancelled by Icebreaker or if the Axis: attack the Soviets, control five (5) victory cities, or are adjacent to a Russian home region.

The last condition prevents Germany from conquering Eastern Poland and the Baltic States without violating the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact. Lithuania is the only region you mention that can be conquered by Germany without restriction and that is actually historical.

Cohen wrote:
Red Army Purge -- What it is the Red Army Conspiracy? It is written nowhere to be found.

This is an Axis card that is not currently in the cut of 55 Vassal cards. It may be reintroduced in the final version of the game but ignore that text for now.

Cohen wrote:
What prevents the Soviet player to conquer Finland? With only 4 manpower, Finland it is a faceroll for the Soviet player. Why the Soviet player should refrain from conquering it all except by keeping a 2 Ops card in his deck?
Also how does the Finland use its Mountain unit? (We accounted it as deployed already at the beginning and deprived Finland of 2 Manpower).

Viipuri, Oulu, and Lapland are marsh so the attacker scores attrition hits only. This means the Soviets much roll approximately 27 dice on average to eliminate the Finnish manpower. That will drain the Soviet player of so many ops and manpower, it will make him even more vulnerable to Germany in 1940 or 1941.

The Finnish alpine unit can be built once it is controlled by a major power.

Cohen wrote:
Weather: Snow - Terrain: Mountain
To read it correctly, a unit needs to score let us say a double, for assault and armor - to have it count. So if I have a 3 step armor unit, and rolls: 5, 5, 4 it would give only 1 assault hits. Next unit as well has the "soaked" up damage.

Correct.

Cohen wrote:
Graf Spee
It is out of supply since the start. We have read it can be considered in supply though due to the free docking in neutral countries. Though can it move and try to return back to a supplied location (quite a rare case though).


As you stated, in the revised naval supply rules it is in Limited Supply if it is adjacent to a neutral port. The Graf Spee was scuttled after sustaining minor damage because they could not find a friendly port to effect repairs.

Cohen wrote:
Bulgarian Garrisons
We noticed there are Bulgaria Garrisons in the '41 scenario. Can actually an Axis player use Bulgaria garrisons and locate them in the named places, Salinika and Skopje?

Yes. The playbook not rulebook will outline these sorts of possibilities in more detail.

Cohen wrote:
Phoney War
Both Churchill and Finest Hour cancels Phoney War.
Is that correct?
If Churchill is played before Phoney War is played, it also prevents it though?

Neither card PREVENTS the Phony War. Churchill prevents Appeasement.
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Alberto Natta
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Then I have a further question about Militias.
We played that one deploys them when someone else attacks; let us take the Winter War example (which the Russian player waits for better weather often for):
The russian player attacks both Oulu and Viipuri with its units. Finland has still 4 manpower as their starting pool. Is the Finland to choose then if to put like 3 in Viipuri and 1 in Oulu?
Cause if this is the case the Soviet just eliminate the one in Oulu and then can freely march in Helsinki as example.

Also how are militias deployed then? Can the Allied player let's say use 0 militias in Lublin and Lodz, and keep a stack of 4 and 2 in the pool to soak up attrition, paired up with the C3 infantry in Warsaw (as it is the lone province that matters.

----

Also about the Ribbentrop Molotov: Quite sure it is intended as choice; but if they do not take Bessarabia off Romania, this means as soon as the Romania joins the Axis, the R-M pact falls due to Bessarabia.
So it can be a double edged knife here.

___

I also choosed to not remove the issues I solved through deeper readings, but to add the found solution in italic underneath (like the Canadian unit).
 
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Mark Luta
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Bessarabia would never be a 'home region' for the USSR. Thus, if the Axis gain Romania as an ally and the USSR had not previously taken Bessarabia (presumably through ultimatum or card play), then the Molotov-Ribbentrop conditions would only be broken if the Axis actually placed a unit in Bessarabia.
 
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John Benn
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Can Germany play the Chechen Uprising card as their military event on the 1st turn in a 1939 scenario? Does Grozny actually become German controlled? It seems strange for some reason...
 
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Alberto Natta
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If it was my opinion, I would say Checken Insurgency can be played only if the Soviets are at war with a Major Power as limit. It should imply the locals would not dare to rebel to the autorithy being unsupported or with the major forces of the soviets tied to a proper threat handling.
To counterweight such though the Axis would need an extra military card imo, some event converted into military.
 
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John Benn
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I've been fooling around on things in Vassal and I've realized through many German draws that it doesn't seem as likely as it should be that they can go 1st in Fall 1939. That's a problem IMO.
 
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Playing 'Chechen Insurgency' right away gains the Axis nothing, since the Soviets will simply move in an army and crush the insurgency. The time to play the insurgency is when Germans are approaching, though if you want to get the card out of the Axis hand for some reason it could be played just to bother the Soviets, and deny them a few resources.

If the Axis play a '3' card in the headline phase, they will surely go before the Allies, who in the early war have nothing higher than a '3' op card. The USSR could possibly choose to go first by playing a '3' card, but what would this gain them? They will be playing only 3 cards in the season anyway, and possibly leave themselves open to a real surprise of an invasion if Germany sees that last Soviet card play made and realizes they have 2 more card plays, plus a good chance of getting the first winter play, that is 3 moves in a row, even with mud and snow the possibility for a disaster for the Soviets should loom large! (The way the card mechanics work, if a side has played its last card before the conditions for playing another card during the season are met, the 4th or 5th card is not playable until the following season. Thus, if the USSR get invaded before they play their third card, they can play a fourth (and a fifth, if that card play is the Great Patriotic War and conditions are met). But, if they have played all 3 for peacetime footing, and are invaded that season after that play, they get no more card plays until the following season!)
 
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John Benn
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The problem is that you HAVE to play the card for the Event to go first. You can't just play any 3 ops card. So you need a 3 OPS Military Event. There aren't that many really.

You're nearly guaranteed to get two card plays before the weather turns bad if you have initiative, but after that it's fairly likely you won't get 3 and almost impossible to get 4.

Germany can't afford to wait to attack Poland IMO.
 
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Johnny Awesome wrote:
I've been fooling around on things in Vassal and I've realized through many German draws that it doesn't seem as likely as it should be that they can go 1st in Fall 1939. That's a problem IMO.


If the intent was to railroad players down a historical path, I would agree. I'm intentionally allowing for players to explore alternate historical paths such as the Appeasement event changing everything. I think the odds of Germany going first are still quite high - in the neighborhood of 85%.
 
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Cohen wrote:
If it was my opinion, I would say Checken Insurgency can be played only if the Soviets are at war with a Major Power as limit. It should imply the locals would not dare to rebel to the autorithy being unsupported or with the major forces of the soviets tied to a proper threat handling.
To counterweight such though the Axis would need an extra military card imo, some event converted into military.


There are already so many restrictions and pre-requisites on cards that I am trying not to introduce any more if I can avoid it. Your logic makes perfect sense but it is really a sub-optimal play for the Axis to use this card before being at war with Russia unless they REALLY need a military headline event. I think the problem fixes itself because it is rarely played before 1941.
 
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Johnny Awesome wrote:
The problem is that you HAVE to play the card for the Event to go first. You can't just play any 3 ops card. So you need a 3 OPS Military Event. There aren't that many really.

You're nearly guaranteed to get two card plays before the weather turns bad if you have initiative, but after that it's fairly likely you won't get 3 and almost impossible to get 4.

Germany can't afford to wait to attack Poland IMO.


I'm going to calculate the odds and if it isn't in fact 85% or higher I will add another 3 ops military card that is playable at the start of the game.
 
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Cohen wrote:
Then I have a further question about Militias.
We played that one deploys them when someone else attacks; let us take the Winter War example (which the Russian player waits for better weather often for):
The russian player attacks both Oulu and Viipuri with its units. Finland has still 4 manpower as their starting pool. Is the Finland to choose then if to put like 3 in Viipuri and 1 in Oulu?
Cause if this is the case the Soviet just eliminate the one in Oulu and then can freely march in Helsinki as example.

Also how are militias deployed then? Can the Allied player let's say use 0 militias in Lublin and Lodz, and keep a stack of 4 and 2 in the pool to soak up attrition, paired up with the C3 infantry in Warsaw (as it is the lone province that matters.

In the Finland example, the Axis player would decide how the manpower are allocated. If the Soviets attack both regions I would suggest not placing 3 manpower in either region. 2 is usually more than enough. Poor placement would definitely hurt the Axis player's cause.

Your Poland example is a legal deployment as the rules are written. I was hoping to avoid making the rules overly complicated but it seems that they can be manipulated more than I was hoping. Although this may not be the final wording, I'll likely add an extra line to 15.5.10: "At least one manpower (if available) must be allocated to a region unless a minor power's capital is also contested.
 
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markluta wrote:
Bessarabia would never be a 'home region' for the USSR. Thus, if the Axis gain Romania as an ally and the USSR had not previously taken Bessarabia (presumably through ultimatum or card play), then the Molotov-Ribbentrop conditions would only be broken if the Axis actually placed a unit in Bessarabia.

It actually isn't clear the way the rule is written whether it is the presence of units or the control of a region that establishes adjacency to a Russian home region. I do not want the control of Bessarabia to become the determining factor as to whether the MRP is violated. Therefore I will revise the player aid to read: Molotov-Ribbentrop - Germany collects Soviet trade. The Soviets may not attack a major power, Hungary, Norway, or Romania. Cancelled by Icebreaker or if the Axis: attack the Soviets, control five (5) victory cities, or have units adjacent to a Russian home region.
 
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Cohen wrote:
Card Ultra - Response.

Can it be used as opener with its effect?
Can it be used on a card played as event - but of military type?
Or can only and exclusively be used as response to a card specifically played as OPS?

It can be played as an initiative card but all the Axis player needs to do is go last for it to have no effect. It can also be used on military cards that are played for the event.I've reworded the card as follows: Play immediately after an Axis card play with operations. The Allies may use this card for operations first.

Cohen wrote:

Resource: All - Ploesti.

This means that it goes to Romania, if belligerant?
There are quite many cards about it. Just making sure.
Plus it seems Germany is way too short of oil - accounting their needs and the ease of which it gets consumed without those extra tiny bits (they have 3 cards in early war, which are All: Ploesti alone, means if mobilized Romania would take 3 oil points!)

You've caught a mistake! Those oil should go to the Axis. That is probably one of the reasons why you are having such a tough time with the Axis. All Romanian oil that read "ALL: Ploesti" have been revised to "ALL: Romanian Trade (Ploesti)"

Cohen wrote:
River Crossing / Entrench and Assault Hits.
How have we to behave when attacking units have fired already and they get assault hits from defenders?
Or units take both the step loss AND are routed in this case?

Possibly sorted. In combat is told as well that units crossing a river -must- take the routing. Even if they fired already. Yet I would rather specify the latte.

(Example: Germany blitzs in Lithuania. 2 Panzers blitz through, and go into Latvia, to meet C quality infantry. A/B Panzers fire first vs the Infantries, then surviving infantries fires back and get assault hits. What happens to the panzers, since they fired already?)

Panzers are routed even though they already fired. This has been clarified further in the rules now.

Cohen wrote:
First Card / Opener
What if no card is eligible to be played as opener? Or extremely bad options only at avail (Example, all events with a pre-requisite which is not met or having just Pearl Harbour as playable.)

Play a card with an event that does not occur, collect resources, and place the card in the reshuffle pile. This will happen from time to time.

Cohen wrote:
Production: Canadian Army
Where does it appear? In the USA box or normally into UK (yes only 1 ops for transit of difference, and eventual interception).

Sorted: it is not under production, but into the explaination of the map macro-areas. - It is produced into USA. Not really intuition easy to find, and spotted it by reading all over the rules.

Good point. I'll add it to the British player aid as well.

Cohen wrote:
Italian Entry events and their Military / Supreme HQ activations
Does the activations / OPS must be into the interested geographical map?
Also in case of Transfer, does the destination region is the one that matters? (example, sending the DAK produced in Germany, and thus outside from the interested Southern Europe - to Tobruk or a desert area?)

Per 9.2.3: One card play must be an event or all operations performed exclusively in the Near East and/or Southern Europe.
Thus the transfer must originate and end in the Near East and/or Southern Europe. So the Axis may not transfer units from Germany to North Africa, or Italian units from Italy to the Eastern Front. Often players use Italian ops to transfer units destined to the Eastern Front to Bulgaria and then "walk" them to Romania or Russia with Supreme HQs on subsequent turns.

Cohen wrote:
Near East and Egypt
Egypt: In the assumption the Axis does not advance in Egypt, the UK needs to bring Egypt in as ally before to move in Lybia from it?
What if the Axis plays Arab Coup in Egypt, therefore removing all the influence of Egypt except its own - what happens to the UK units into it?
If UK attacks Egypt then, as it is uncapable of influencing it and it can be brought into Axis - does such breaks the League of Nation VP rule?

Same applies for all minors in Near East.

Sorry the Vassal module does not have the most current Arab Uprising Card. It presently reads: Perform a coup in one (1) eligible nation in the Near East that does not have opposing units occupying its capital.
Egypt has been the subject of much conversation with playtesters. Technically Egypt was a sovereign nation during WWII, but for all intents and purposes it functioned as a colonial possession. For simplicity sake I am leaning towards making Egypt British aligned to start the game. The other option that has been discussed is eliminating control for desert regions that are not a national capital. This would make desert combat much more fluid but has some potentially bizarre supply and blitz implications that I haven't fully explored or tested. I welcome comments and suggestions.

Cohen wrote:
Operation Lila and Axis declaring war to Vichy
What exactly prevents to the Axis to declare war to Vichy - as the Allies can move into Vichy without declaring war or something similarly (yet obscure?).
Also about the ships captured through Operation Lila, does they get converted into Axis ships? Italian ships? Added to the blocks of the Italian navy? Using the French Blocks as Axis?

Once the Axis declare war on Vichy, the immediately align with the Allies so they can transfer units to Vichy regions. Use the French blocks for Lila - just rotate them in the same direction as all Axis blocks. This may be an issue with the Vassal module - let me know and I'll add to to do list for next revision.

Cohen wrote:
Checken Insurgency card
It seems the Germany can play this even during peacetime with Russia.
This means the region, if not having a Soviet block into it, turns to be German. This means the Germany owns the region.
If so, can Germany place a garrison through 1 Ops here - and earn oil through it if cards happen to provide any to ALL, even if it would need to pass through Sovietland?

In most cases lack of region supply (17.2) would prevent the resource from being collected.

Cohen wrote:
Lebensraum
Just making sure, for the extra OPs for future cards, new units cannot be produced for instance - as Germany as a whole is not in Eastern Europe, correct?

Correct.

Cohen wrote:
Railway Guns
It requires Air Supremacy to work. How then this card is actually useful since even the crappymost plane can take off from a region from a Fortress, or can fly from an adjacent one?
It would require that the opponent has actually no airplane on the Sortie Box, which is potentially something never happening unless it is some fresh winter turn AND you take initiative.

Air units cannot sortie from out-of-supply regions (8.3.1). I'll reiterate it under region supply (17.2). The fortress rules have changed (they used to be a region within region) so they were much easier to cut out of supply. You are correct that this card now has limited usefulness with the fortress rule changes. I've revised the card to now read: Use this card for operations. For this season only, Axis units may score assault hits on one (1) designated fortress if they control an adjacent garrisoned or home region.

Cohen wrote:
Goering and Die Vergelthung

Goering card states that at least 2 industries need to be allocated to Air (not specification of Fighter / Bomber -- even if the Play Aid depicts it on 2 fighters).
The latter instead demands 1 bomber or V-Weapon.
Does placing 1 in bombers sate the latter and half of the first requirements?

1 bomber allocation fulfills both requirements. Either fighters or bombers fulfill the Goring industry requirement. The depiction on the Play Aid is not totally accurate.

Cohen wrote:
UK Fleets in Central Med - past Vichy.
Does the Malta port supplies properly them if they are Steel Quality?
In our playtest the UK simply moved 4 ships in the central med, and the Regia Marina went to the bottom of the seas before end of '40 virtually.
The germans does not have enough subs of yet to be a threat in the Atlantic either.

This is a very big deal! Malta is out of supply as long as the Central Med is blockaded by the Axis. British naval units on steel steps CANNOT legally enter the Central Med unless they have a supply source. This makes Malta and Tobruk EXTREMELY important! Usually the British need to fight their way in to the Central Med with 3 and 4 step naval units one action round to get Malta in supply, then reinforce it the next round. This makes the Regia Marina a bit tougher than the way you have played. I'll clarify under naval supply sources (17.1.2) that that you cannot trace range with out-of-supply ports.

Cohen wrote:
Vichy:

We play as home rule that France -must- accept Vichy as soon as a Home Region is lost to Germans. Simply the Allied player has no interest in giving out Vichy.
Also what prevents the Axis to declare war on Vichy?
Can Axis influence Vichy to bring it by its side too (making some more sense to Catapult card).

There is an apparent automated Vichy process in the Vassal Module, though the Free France Fleet appears in Southampton instead of being eliminated as specified in the phase.3 detailed in the USA Play Aid.
What is the correct?

Playtester James Doughan argued quite persuasively that the Axis should be able to win an auto victory if Paris is conquered and/or Churchill hasn't been played. I am working on some combination of that concept to encourage most historical Allied behavior with the creation of Vichy.
The Axis can bring Vichy on their side.
Play Aid is correct - Vassal is wrong. Vassal automated process was written by the prior developer and I haven't figured out how to fix it.

Cohen wrote:
Italian Surrender?
How Italy exactly surrenders?
It is written nowhere. It can only be conquered by taking Rome (ahistorical option.).
As alternative, the Allies can use Balkan Coup if they manage to get enough influence in Italy. Yet I do not see how they can manage that as they seem able to have cards to place influence on nations not at war.

When Italy turns into a Minor, does it retains its Garrisons?
Milan factory - once Italy is a Minor - gets used by the Germany or?

There is no Italian surrender per se. They are either conquered (18.4) or couped (13.3) - which is the game equivalent of their historical surrender. The Allies may also coup Italy after capturing an Italian home region (typically Sardinia or Sicily). They lose all garrisons because they are a land unit - I've clarified this in the rules.

Cohen wrote:
Vassal Module Suggestion
Variable weather "on click" pick up random cube. We are arranging through rolling, at the present.

Good suggestion. I will add to next major Vassal revision.

Cohen wrote:
Conquering and Resource Collecting.
It is said on the ruleset:
(The conquered nation) Its resources may be collected by the conquering power.
-- Does this means that if I get let us say a card stating:
Paris - Cadre or Poland - Manpower; but Germany has conquered them, does it actually provides those materials to Germany, or must be "ALL" marked for?

No. Only resources marked "ALL" may be collected.

Cohen wrote:
Multiple Activation and Engagement / Reserve.
It is said that if units of different activacation gets into a contested region the attacker must attack at the weakest degree.
Though what if a unit moved by let us say the Supreme HQ is kept in reserve, and 2 that moved in activated by a steel HQ engages; would the two engaging battle with assault terms? (I think so and we did so in the playtest, as it sounds the most logical).

I've added the word engaged to 15.3.1 so that the example you cited is no a legal procedure - as I agree it is logical. 15.3.1 now reads: If engaged attacking units in a region required multiple activations, then the weakest activation takes precedence; i.e. units activated separately by steel and oil steps may engage in assault or attrition combat; units activated separately by steel, oil, and manpower steps may engage in attrition combat only. If any engaged units were activated by supreme HQs or individual activations, then only attrition combat may be chosen.

Cohen wrote:
Battle in Engaged Region
How does exactly the swapping between Engaged and Reserves work?
If the defender has 2 units Engaged, the defender automatically can bring up to the maximum of the engagement limit correct?
If the defender has the maximum of engagement limit, can put one in reserve and a new one in engagement? It requires an activation of sort?
How exactly this whole process continues?

It is very dark to me not the first engagement that is very, very clear; but the subsequent rounds; where maybe only a part of units is activated; how many can swap from reserve to engage - and do they need activation; reserve blitz capable units needs to be activated to exploit or they can just be passively here; etc etc.
It needs polishing and clarifications on the ruleset in my opinion. Massively.

Most of it is explained in 15.5.1. Defending units that are already engaged from a previous round of combat must remain engaged. Defending units never need to be activated to be engaged, whether it is the first or subsequent round. For attacker, any units that were not activated this action round must be in reserve. It states under 15.6 that exploiting units must be activated whether engaged or in reserve.

The rules governing entering and exiting contested regions are covered by 11.2.2 and 11.2.3. When entering you are free to choose engaged or hidden (reserve) as long as one unit is always engaged. Reserve (hidden) units may always leave a contested region. Engaged units must leave a rearguard or are subject to pursuit fire.

You've uncovered a number of rules ambiguities which I am thankful for. I think this is one area where the rules are concise. There is a lot of information to take in and it is scattered across 3 sections - this is unavoidable. I think an extended example of play will be very helpful to clarify.

Cohen wrote:
Amphibious Assaults
Also what prevents the Allies to build early their marine and invade some Home Region witn an ungarrisoned port (this forces virtually to leave a block in the Rhur always as they got 2 ports and one can be attacked by the sea therefore any German navy in that port is subject to being destroyed. Each event play the UK can activate up to 4 fleets and bang something which is not in a raiding box. Even in the Baltic after the event card makes them free. Air support is not exactly scary when Germany can field so few naval units and cannot spare oil to bring them high in strenght.).

It requires a 3 op card to land in the Ruhr port on the Baltic and steel strength naval units cannot enter the Baltic. Therefore it would be tough for the Allies to capture the port and maintain supply. The Allied amphibious unit would be permanently removed from play if it is eliminated when out-of-supply. I suppose the British could spend two ops to land in the Ruhr on the Atlantic side, but the Axis could smash that unit with ease.

Cohen wrote:
Minor Power combat
Example, Romania moves 1 block in Bessarabia (free move, both home regions of Romania) and Germany moves a unit as well through the Supreme HQ.
Both units fire with attrition combat rules right - as the minor is entitled of assault combat still but limited by the German attrition capable only unit?

Correct.

Cohen wrote:
Calais / Forts
Calais has engagement limit of 3 if I am correct; this means safe airborne assault as well the germans are to engage with 3 units vs 4 for the first round.
Does fortifications count for the engagement limit? Both Maginot ones, and the ones that can be "upgraded" garrisons?
Isn't it simply easier at the present to just go through the Maginot line (2 * Forts negates the first 2 Armor and first 2 Assault hits.) - Given it is suprise, with a German bomber and air superiority, Germany would have a total of 3 Air Support (1 of the bomber, plus 2 off the best available chit.)

Yes fortifications count towards the engagement limit. The Maginot Line is tough but not invulnerable. I wouldn't say it is easier to go south. I believe it is balanced so that the Allies cannot overload one region or the other. When I play the Axis, I almost always attack both regions at the same time and concentrate my armor on the region I perceive to be weaker.

Cohen wrote:
Mobilization
When a minor gets to war - we play it (even if it is written nowhere) that all the manpower it has, if blocks are at avail, get immediately converted at the side player leisure.
I think should be a rule instead of waiting a slow build up.
Same could be applied to Italy I believe once it joins the war mayhaps?

This was done intentionally as most nations were completely unprepared for war in 1939. Those that were, are listed as mobilized on the play aid. If you feel additional nations should be mobilized in 1939, please let me know which ones.

Cohen wrote:
Ultimatum and War
Can a nation proclaim an Ultimatum and then declare war the next round or so to that Nation? (Example, ultimatum to take Salonika, and then go straight into Athens - if it would ever serve a purpose but it is an option.)
I dreamt to have read somewhere a nation getting an ultimatum and suffering it, mobilizes?

The minor power is mobilized after an ultimatum, so the benefit of performing an ultimatum then declaring war is limited.

Cohen wrote:
Limited Supply and Permanent Elimination
Do units in Limited Supply suffer from permanent elimination if they are destroyed - as they are treated as out of supply by all means except that they do not suffer step loss each end of round of their supply phase.

Yes.

Cohen wrote:
Defender Order
Think it is an omissis, we use it as discounted; a unit cannot use a defence order more than once per round, and once "activated" for one must be facing down or so ... else a Soviet player could potentially keep using reserve orders with manpower based HQs as well, to endlessly swap reserves across the battles (as the battles are subsequential) AND in accord to movement rules, you can move a unrevealed unit (thus in reserve) from a contested area to another friendly contested area as long as it is put in reserve (virtually preventing blitzing past the first surprise round.).
Not that the Soviets appear to lack cavalry or mechs to parry Blitzs.

Agreed. I will most likely amend the rules to prevent this.

Cohen wrote:
The Stand Fast cards. Retreat meaning?
Both Soviets and Germans have one of this kind.
It states their units cannot disengage (movement off contested territory without a rearguard), cannot withdraw (defender's order), and cannot retreat (what's a retreat? rout?)

A unit that leaves a region because it is routed is retreating (see 15.7).

Cohen wrote:
Their Finest Hour (resources)
The third resource is not listed as "All" but as France. Is it normal?

Typo. Fixed.

Cohen wrote:
Tito
If Yugoslavia is aligned, such side can build up the Tito unit ?

Yes.

Cohen wrote:
Air Supremacy
It states the best avaiable chit is used. Though is it referred to the specific used plane, or as an absolute to the side? (example, a german bomber 1-1, in air supremacy, uses a 1 or 2 Value Air Support?)

With the 1-1 bomber only a 1 air chit may be used. I revised 15.4.5. to clarify: That side automatically receives air support equal to the sum of the unit’s bomber value and the highest air chit that was available for selection (regardless of which chit was actually selected).

Cohen wrote:
Industry Allocated to Ships
Does it logically requires to be a factory from a dock?
Example: As German can I allocate Bohemia factory to something to sate the Z-Plan?

That would be logical but that's just too much for a player to remember so no such requirement exists.

Cohen wrote:
Industry Reallocation
It is said one reallocate only spent industry.
If it means I have an unspent factory in bombers, I have to keep it no matter what until a bomber step is produced?

No. Industry for home regions can be allocated whether spent or not. The restriction applies ONLY to captured industry.

Cohen wrote:
Maybe I am missing something overall, and a rule here or there ... also need more practice, my Barbarossa was to conquer only 1 province of the baltic states out of 3; still stuck in Bessarabia and Eastern Poland. And Allies have wiped submarines (only 1 step still afloat) from the seas and the regia marina; in Winter '41 such is the situation.

The learning curve is steeper for the Axis player. When both players are inexperienced, the Allied player has a big advantage. This should even out with more plays. Also the Ploesti oil resources and naval supply rules that I clarified above should help the Axis cause.
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Alberto Natta
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Quote:

UK Fleets in Central Med - past Vichy.
Does the Malta port supplies properly them if they are Steel Quality?
In our playtest the UK simply moved 4 ships in the central med, and the Regia Marina went to the bottom of the seas before end of '40 virtually.
The germans does not have enough subs of yet to be a threat in the Atlantic either.
Quote:

This is a very big deal! Malta is out of supply as long as the Central Med is blockaded by the Axis. British naval units on steel steps CANNOT legally enter the Central Med unless they have a supply source. This makes Malta and Tobruk EXTREMELY important! Usually the British need to fight their way in to the Central Med with 3 and 4 step naval units one action round to get Malta in supply, then reinforce it the next round. This makes the Regia Marina a bit tougher than the way you have played. I'll clarify under naval supply sources (17.1.2) that that you cannot trace range with out-of-supply ports.


This is technically incorrect. As per meanwhile on the paper it is how the rule is, Italian Navy is forced in the docks due to peacetime, meanwhile the Royal Navy can go blockade the central med since the first turn, therefore the sea is friendly to the Allies and Malta in supply.
This forces the Italian B2 navy to be in the docks and blocked.

At the preset we allow peacetime port rebasing through Supreme HQ activation, which with the current ruleset makes the Italy mass their fleet in Naples as it has openings on 2 seas, and is stronger to deal with Port Strikes alltoghether.
 
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Mark Luta
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I think Mike is referring to the start of the 1941 scenario, where the Italian fleets actually dominate the Central Mediterranean--although it looks like Tobruk is still in supply as well, possibly need a rule change that a besieged fortress can not be used for supply as a port.

It makes no difference where the Italian fleets are while on peacetime footing, they are not at war with Britain or France and so can freely transit and supply throughout the Mediterranean (and similarly, the Italians do not interdict the Allied naval movement until at war).
 
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Cohen wrote:
This is technically incorrect. As per meanwhile on the paper it is how the rule is, Italian Navy is forced in the docks due to peacetime, meanwhile the Royal Navy can go blockade the central med since the first turn, therefore the sea is friendly to the Allies and Malta in supply.
This forces the Italian B2 navy to be in the docks and blocked.

At the preset we allow peacetime port rebasing through Supreme HQ activation, which with the current ruleset makes the Italy mass their fleet in Naples as it has openings on 2 seas, and is stronger to deal with Port Strikes alltoghether.

I might add a rule to Libero Scambio prohibiting the Allies from blockading the Central Med until Italy is at war. I don't like the pre-emptive nature of the blockade as it would not have been a plausible British reaction. I'm not sure the strategy works though. The British have 6 naval blocks. Presumably if 4 are placed in the Central Med, that leaves 2 blocks in the Atlantic to deal with the Kriegsmarine. As the German player I would immediately start building naval steps if I saw the British player send 4 blocks to the Central Med in 1939. After France falls I can launch an invasion of England and bring Italy into the war on the same turn. I threaten two sea zones (North Sea and Western Approaches) and have 2 u-boat and 2 fleet units built up to nearly full strength so I should be able to smash the 2 measly British blocks presumably split between the North Sea and Western Approaches. The Italian C2 fleet and submarine blockade the Western Med, thus delaying the return of the British naval units in the Central Med.
 
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The idea of preventing the RN to be in the Central Med, and the French Fleet is simply better.

The RN can sit with a mixed force with French at the beginning there. Once the French Fleet is gone, 2 UK ships are more than enough to keep Malta open, and if the Italy attempts anything, sallying out his navy, the reaction falls down like a hammer.

In the other case the RN needs oil built up ships to engage as you said to reach the central med until they get a proper port for.
 
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1. Does the Conscription card actually give the Soviets 14 Manpower and 1 Oil in one go?

2. What's the best use of the 6 Polish Manpower for Militia when opposing Germany?
 
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Historically, the Allied policy actually was to patrol the Mediterranean with massive fleets, precisely to keep Italy out of the war. The threat of invasion and the massive step up in the U-boat war during 1940 was what changed that, and so to get the Royal Navy out of the Mediterranean, the Axis player needs to think along similar lines as Mike points out. Even before invasion, if there is not much Royal Navy presence in the Atlantic, this gives the opportunity to put large U-boat forces in the Western approaches, perhaps even along with surface raiders. Not only will the toll on convoys be severe, particularly prior to the play of Naval Ultra, but it is possible the attrition will favour the U-boats over the escorts--if this swing is unchecked, a very dangerous situation can develop for Britain where the threat of invasion becomes very real.

This game rewards players who can figure out what they want to make their opponent do, and then finding a way to force him to do that. Overwhelming attack forces are not the best option in many cases, sometimes a great deal can be accomplished with a small handful of forces in the right place and time.
 
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