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Rommel in the Desert» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First Game: Boy, They Ain't Kidding About Those Supply Lines! rss

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Tom Russell
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Played the 1940 Campaign.

The game started slow; both sides got a lot of dummy supply cards. This month, one group would move, the next, another would move. It seemed almost like the only time units really got moving was during redeployment during Build-Up.

Being new to the game, I had to check a lot of things over again which really slowed it down. A couple of silly mistakes were made by both sides: for example, blocks would rush in to attack and in doing so remove themselves from their supply line.

By the sixth month, things were improving dramatically, and everything was coming up Axis: Tobruk, while filled to the brim with Allied defenders, was besieged and Allied casualties numbered seven or eight blocks (half from cut supply lines) compared to two Axis blocks. The Axis Player had no intention of trying to take Tobruk, being content with his assured Decisive Victory. All he had to do was keep the fortress besieged, and so he spent the seventh month moving the bulk of his forces towards the hexes that would keep it in that state.

But lo! One lone Allied unit had moved to the oasis at Jalo early on, and had seemingly been forgotten by both players. The Allied Player was taking a long time on his turn, thinking about how he could push back the Axis forces pressing up against Tobruk, when he spotted the unit at the Oasis. And he looked at the dispersal of Axis forces; one unit at Jebel el Matar, two at El Agheila (who were being refitted), and all the rest all up in Tobruk's business. He moved that single, solitary unit to Agedabia, cutting off the Axis supply line.

The Axis player diligently marked his 23 Unsupplied Units with coin markers (one coin per hex, of course) at the start of his turn. And with three dummy cards and one real supply card left, he did the only thing he could; he attacked Agedabia with the unit at Jebel et Matar.

The Allied Player did not refuse battle.

The Axis player needed to roll sixes.

Sixes were not rolled.

At the end of the Axis turn, all his units save the two being refitted in in El Agheila were disrupted.

The rules were consulted to see if the Allied Player's blocking unit was now out-of-supply. But no, the sidebar explained, a disrupted unit cannot block a supply line. Since all the Axis units besides those in El Agheila were disrupted, the Allied unit at Agedabia could trace his line of supply from one edge of the map to the other.

The Allied Player passed.

The Axis Player, having no real supply cards left, and with no reinforcements for the remainder of the scenario, also passed. All his units save the two at El Agheila, being out-of-supply at build-up, were eliminated.

The rules were consulted again; surely, 23 units eliminated in one go, a mistake must have been made. It turns out there had been a mistake; the units in battle hexes should have routed immediately when disrupted, and because they were out of supply, they should have been eliminated at that time, not at the end of the month.
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Michael Collarin
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Just started playing a couple games (PBeM on Vassal) of Pacific Victory and am enjoying it... But Rommel in the Desert is another one I hope to find some time to play in the near future. I like the supply aspect and being able to cut off supply lines as opposed to only being able to hopelessly ding and dent larger, superior forces. Makes for interesting strategies and tactics.
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Tim Taylor
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Thanks for the session report -- a fun read.

Your description of play illustrates why I still enjoy this game even after a quarter of a century!
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Caleb
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I really have to get this game. I've got no one to play it with now, but I have fond hopes of enjoying it with my son in about 8 years.

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Spain
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Last Saturday, I first played this 1940 scenario to teach this great game to another gaming club member. We played first month by the rulebook so that we could see the possibilities of British mobile defense. After that, we were on our own.

I played the Italians. Reinforcements from both sides were sent to ongoing battle in Sidi Barrani. However, I kept my Italian armor and a motorized inf. in the desert flank (Sofafi). I saw one opportunity to seize Mersa Matruth, only defended with a lone block, which I correctly supposed to be the British recon unit. I opted for an all-or-nothing approach: an Assault Option to this position. I had luck and wiped out the recon block.

For the sake of truth, I incorrectly advanced one more hex the motorized infantry, but it could have possibly been there by successful force marching.

Anyway, the consequence was disatreous for the British player because I cut all supply to his Sidi Barrani units, which became eliminated in his Final Supply Check after a bloody, desperate combat round. It was month 4 so by practical purposes I won the game. Italians were vindicated this time

No, they aren't kidding about those supply lines !

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Matt R
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This game is all about protecting supply lines when it comes down to it. Man I need to dig this game out and play it again sometime soon...

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Peter Hutchinson
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Yep; RitD is an oldie but a goodie. Too few plays for me however with few who seem interested in playing it ftf. It really shines I think with the campaign. So many games, so little time. shake
 
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Zak Dillon
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San Diego
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Thanks for the detailed report!

How did one player have 23 units on the board in the 1940 campaign? Am I missing something about the scenario rules?

Thanks
 
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Tom Russell
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zaksd wrote:
Thanks for the detailed report!

How did one player have 23 units on the board in the 1940 campaign? Am I missing something about the scenario rules?

Thanks


You know, I don't recall at this point. Probably either I got something wrong in the recap, or during play. :-)
 
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