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Subject: Italy the " Rodney Dangerfield" of Third Reich rss

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sean dolbee
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This is an account of a 2 player Vassal PBEM game I am the Axis and my very compatant opponent is the Allies.

The game started in the normal way Poland falls with minimal loss Italy takes an Atrition against Yugo so as to save her air force against the British(they had set up with there armor sitting on ships in the Med)
and that's about where normal ends........I took an attrition option in the west in the spring so as to build up my forces for a quick push thru France.
I already had the low countries,and in the spring Italy DOW France so as to open the left hook.
The one crazy thing about this game is the the turn flip-flop.....oh yes the flip-flop.... if I could just remember that little part of this game..So in the spring of 40' I spent to the hilt the Germans built up the full amount and Italy would of also,so at the end of my opponents sring turn he has 161 BRPs and I have 160,so here it comes Italy's on the chopping block Italy just can't get any respect......

this is the Allies summer turn (there second half of the flip-flop)

The British have all three 4-5s aboard ships and the 2-5,they have grouped close together in Gibraltar and Oran,must be strength in numbers.



North Afica 40'
The British have pulled back forces for the invasion.


Italy I have a 2-3 at the beach south of Rome(not shown) In my thirst for conquest I have sent most of the Italians to Africa.
The French are mobilizing in the north of Italy to try and cut off any attempt by the Germans to get to Rome.
 


The Western Front.
The French have taken an atrittion in the west and are trying to cut to Germans in two.
 


The Aftermath.....

Rome is occupied...
 


The French armor splits the German army in two...
 


So this is the end turn for the Allies now I have to see if I can save this game as the Axis...hmmmmmm..let me see the Allies sit at 109BRPs at this point I'm at 160 i still need to save Italy or this one goes down as another leasoned learned..If I save Italy I can have a flip-flop back and maybe pull this one out of the fire.
So at this point the Italians have all 4 fleets the Germans have a 9 factor and a 6 factor fleet.
Now after he took Rome I was ready to throw in the towel but I found a weakness in this assault on Rome and with all the British fleets used I can sail to England unopposed...hmmmmm...I think I may have something here stay tuned next turn operation"Three Capitol Monte" which one will be under the cup....

I believe my opponent is going to post as well....
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fangotango
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I was in the middle of starting my own post, when I saw Sean had already posted, so I will just add my comments onto his thread.

After an unexceptional 1939, Spring 1940 presented the Allies with a chance at a double move, and a weakly protected Italy. Germany took an attrition option in the Spring, due to a lack of armor and air power. Then they spent almost half their BRPs on builds, including 5 new armor corps, and 1o air factors. Italy declared war, but could not take an offensive, as they started with 99 BRPs. I thank the Yugoslavians for that, as they pulled together a 2-1 attack and took out a 2-5 armor corps which left the Italian invaders undermanned to launch a 2-1 attack in the Winter, but which Italy also felt it needed to build back. So, the allies start their turn with 216 BRPs vs 160 for the Axis.







Having not played in over 20 years, and having read many General articles and BGG posts, I have all sorts of big ideas floating around in my head, so I thought "of course try to take out Italy!". One problem was that I did not expect the situation to arise, so was not well prepared. However, the French were able to get 2 armor units and air support to the Italian border to penetrate the first two of the three lines of defence, while the British managed to get practically their entire fleet to the Med along with all the armor units in time for a Summer invasion with exploitation to Rome. The German navy did maul one British fleet, destroying 7 factors. I consider it a small loss IF the Italian navy gets removed from the war, and any damage on the German navy can be significant because of it's small size. One problem is that Britain was in the middle of invading Norway, with a Bridgehead established in the Winter, and everything in place for 2-1 on Oslo. That had to be put on hold, as I needed the armor unit from Bremen in the Med, and couldn't afford an offensive option if I wanted a double turn. Supply becomes an issue too, as every fleet available is needed to invade Italy next turn. In the end Norway is left unsupplied in Summer of 1940 until the French SR a fleet to the Atlantic to reopen and prevent the loss of the bridgehead to the Norwegian infantry. That would have been difficult to live down. Luckily, the Axis did not have any units that could intervene in their next turn, either air units in range, or an invasion force in the Baltic. So the Norway expedition was somewhat safe as long as Britain kept a unit in Bremen.

The attrition in the West went well, gaining a single hex, which I used to drive one hex closer to Essen, where the paratrooper sits. I then sent an armor unit in, and the attrition in the Summer netted another hex, which allowed my armor to put his paratrooper in a ZOC. This was critical, as the Germans have overwhelming force on the French border, and all the Allied air and armor are busy in Italy. With the paratrooper, France would fall easily in the summer, without even an Axis flip flop required.

The Summer offensive went as planned. A French armor unit exploited North to help block a German liberation attempt, and the British invaded and exploited to Rome with virtually no opposition. The Axis were holding back their Air and Fleets for a counter attack. I covered as many bases as I could think of, with the French armor in the North, and British armor on both sides of Rome to prevent a direct attack, the effort to ground the paratrooper for one round, but there's always lots of things to miss in this game, and England is wide open for a landing.

I did forget that the German fleets would be available after they missed their interception roll in the Summer of some fleet movement to Gibraltor. Not sure how much I could have done about it, though. Hopefully, if the Germans land in England, and IF Italy is out of the game, maybe France can hang on a bit longer and Britain can push the invaders out. It's certainly an interesting game, and I have no idea how things will go.

I should have moved all three French fleets to the Atlantic....

I just found out that the Vassal map does not show the Qattara properly. It looks like there is a one-hex corridor at one spot. Checking the original 3rd edition map, it is clearly 2 hexes wide at that point. Oh well, it's all or nothing I guess.
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jumbit
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My, that is the entire Royal Navy, plus the entire Royal Armoured Corps less one 2-5.

 

Goodness, that is the Royal Armoured Corps again, vacationing in the Apennines. How ever did they get there? What was the Regia Marina doing?
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sean dolbee
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Well with 3 French fleets lurking around in the med I figured even if i won the battale with the French i would take loses that would give the British at least 1:67 to 1 for a +2 and then they get +1 for Nation and Italy with -1 makes for a +4 so I thought it better to try something else.....
 
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john bailey
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In my rather limited experience, playing on Vassal (vs. F2F) allows more room for forgetting small details... We do appreciate the folks willing to share...
 
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The Axis did find a way through to Rome. In my Western attrition, I got only one hex, and had to pick between grounding the paratrooper or cutting off access for armor units to move south and attack Italy. I chose to ground the paratrooper, and the German armor did roll south. Using their out of supply infantry to take out the more southern French armor, they created a path for German armor to exploit all the way to Rome. However, the 10 remaining German air units available in the area were matched by 10 British factors, so the best the Germans could get is a 1:1 with no room for any sort of exchange, because one armor had to stay outside of Rome to keep the exploitation chain intact. A nail biter. I flew the British in DAS, in order to force the German air to intercept. I was hoping to do some damage and cost the Germans more BRPs.



In the meantime, the Axis forces in Libya swarmed all over Egypt,capturing both Suez and Alexandria. Ouch and ouch. There goes 25 BRPs. I'd better hope Rome is not retaken. Also, the German fleets changed base to Antwerp, where an armor unit was waiting, and invaded England! Yikes! Even if Italy falls, it may end up a trade for Britain. Not so good. No need to panic yet. If Italy falls, then I'll have a chance to repulse the invasion, and it will be a few more interesting turns for us.

The sea invasion succeeds easily, so England is breached while the Royal Navy is distracted. The Germans also take Sedan, and eliminate the two two French units that had penetrated into Germany. I am glad that the offensive to try and retake Rome drew enough air and armor away to limit the offensive potential against France this turn.

Rome is held with a full exchange rolled. I certainly felt a weight leave my shoulders at that point!



The Germans build themselves down to 32 BRPs, so the Allies will keep the intiative for the rest of the year, and the Axis are limited to two offensives total over the next two turns, with no builds. With most of their armor tied up in Italy, Africa, and England, they have only two armor units on the French border, and 19 air units total. Maybe France has a chance to survive until the next YSS?

Maybe I should be worrying more about Britain surviving.....
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Stephen Rochelle
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Given that you're still showing a lot of Italian-controlled hexes in your last screenshot, you should note the provisions of 26.5 and 26.6 re: hex control. In particular, Yugoslavia and the bulk of Axis North Africa (certainly all of Libya) should be uncontrolled, and as a consequence German units in Egypt should be unsupplied. Note also that 26.7 doesn't apply; Italy didn't surrender under favorable-to-Germany rules.

The puzzle of whether Germany would prefer to target France vs Britain is an interesting one, but I try to avoid unsolicited advice in these sorts of threads until after the moment of decision has passed -- the game is yours and not mine, after all.
 
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It's funny you would mention that, as we have been discussing the status of that lone armor unit in Suez.

Would love to read your thoughts afterwards. And it is much more fun making one's own mistakes : ) I notice them on every single one of my turns.
 
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Stephen Rochelle
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fangotango wrote:
It's funny you would mention that, as we have been discussing the status of that lone armor unit in Suez.
Here's my take:

Even if every Axis-controlled hex in Egypt is in fact German-controlled (it's not how you've marked the map, but we'll take it as best-case for the Germans), Libya was Italian (7.1). Upon Britain's conquest of Italy, Libyan hexes become uncontrolled (26.6, Libya is a non-French colony). As such, no supply route from Tobruk or Tripoli can be traced (27.22). I would have assumed that Libyan ports would also lose their supply status upon Italian conquest, but that doesn't appear to be in the rules. The armor could receive sea supply directly into Suez, but I don't believe there are any Axis fleets remaining in the Med to provide such.
 
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sean dolbee
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Are you saying that the DAK could recieve supply thru Alexandria? there are 8 Italian fleet factors not show in the screen shot in the Med.
 
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sean dolbee
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My mistake was (which there are many) not having the Italian 2-5 attack Alex and having the DAK Exploit to Suez,instead I attacked both empty hexes DOH!
So at this point my Toe hold on England needs to be expanded.
I would gladly trade Italy for Britain.
And with British forces spread all over Europe I may be able to get to London if not London at least to Dougs House!
So Doug leave the light on for me!

Sean
 
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The problem with supply to Suez from the Med is that the Axis only control a single hex adjacent to the canal, so it is currently unusable by either side, and the port in Suez is isolated from the Med (rule 47.3).
 
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Stephen Rochelle
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dolbee123 wrote:
Are you saying that the DAK could recieve supply thru Alexandria? there are 8 Italian fleet factors not show in the screen shot in the Med.
DAK could receive supply through Alexandria (forgot, Suez Canal isn't open), but there are no Italian fleet factors available. Italy has been conquered, not surrendered under 26.7, and so Germany doesn't get any of the Italian fleet.

//edit: oops, this is incorrect: 26.72 does indeed say that Germany gets some factors post-conquest in addition to post-surrender. If and only if Germany (not Italy) first entered and thus controls Alexandria, sea supply is an option. If not, Alexandria is uncontrolled and the Suez Canal cannot be transited.
 
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Stephen Rochelle
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Separate from this particular issue, I do recommend that you guys hammer out and mark on the map exactly who has what hexes: Egypt and Italy both need to be clear on what hexes are British, German, French, or Uncontrolled, as that'll have a major impact on your supply routes, SR paths, and so forth. Similarly, you'll want that sort of precision marking in place for Libya and Yugoslavia as forces move back in; now that initial conquest for all these areas have passed, change of hands for BRP purposes won't impact hex control.
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fangotango
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Unfortunately, for my opponent, it was the Italians who occupied Alexandria.
 
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lomn wrote:
fangotango wrote:
It's funny you would mention that, as we have been discussing the status of that lone armor unit in Suez.
Here's my take:

Even if every Axis-controlled hex in Egypt is in fact German-controlled (it's not how you've marked the map, but we'll take it as best-case for the Germans), Libya was Italian (7.1). Upon Britain's conquest of Italy, Libyan hexes become uncontrolled (26.6, Libya is a non-French colony). As such, no supply route from Tobruk or Tripoli can be traced (27.22). I would have assumed that Libyan ports would also lose their supply status upon Italian conquest, but that doesn't appear to be in the rules. The armor could receive sea supply directly into Suez, but I don't believe there are any Axis fleets remaining in the Med to provide such.


There are a rules that definitely apply:

Quote:
37.3 If the Allies lose Gibraltar, the supply capacity of the
Egyptian ports becomes restricted. They may supply
only four ground units. Allied air and naval presence in
the Mediterranean is limited to a maximum of four
counters. Partial air/naval counters count one each even
if stacked together. Free French units do not count
against the limit, but all other Allied units do. In rare
cases units in excess of the limit might be able to trace
supply from a source outside the Mediterranean Front—
units in Spain via a Spanish port/sea supply line to
Britain, for example. Otherwise, units in excess of the
limit must leave the Mediterranean front by the end of
their next player turn or be eliminated. SRs from Egypt
via the Suez Canal, off the board around South Africa
and back on the board in the Atlantic are allowed—but
each unit counter thus moved counts as two SRs against
SR limits. The reverse route is also allowed at double
SR cost even if Gibraltar remains in Allied hands. Two
fleets may be needed if the escorted unit is to move on
into the Mediterranean by sea from Suez (in this case
Suez acts as a sort of two front port); a Suez-based fleet
must provide the Mediterranean portion of the Sea
Escort. Sea Escort is required for any non-naval unit
thus SR'ed, but is not doubled unless the unit moves to
and away from Suez in the same SR.

DQB Could either side carry supply to Suez in excess of the 37.3 limits
by using double supply fleets (27.23) in the same manner as double
SR?
A. No. Furthermore the Axis could not even supply the four units
allowed the Allies by 37.3


And some that might:

Quote:
27.22 A unit is in supply if it can trace a line of controlled
hexes, free of enemy ZOC, between itself and a supply
source. Enemy ZOC over the unit and/or the source
does not block this supply line as long as all hexes in the
supply line between the unit and the source are free of
enemy ZOC. Units adjacent to a supply source are
always in supply unless both the supply source and the
adjacent unit are in the ZOC of the same enemy unit.
Supply lines, like ground units, may cross water without
naval assistance at a Crossing Arrow. The controlled
hexes may be hexes controlled by the power tracing the
supply line and/or hexes controlled by allies of the tracing
power. Allies may not deny each other the opportunity to
trace supply lines over hexes which they respectively
control.

24.23 If hostile major power ground units are in the
conquered country, and can still trace a line of supply at
the end of the conqueror‘s Combat phase, the hexes
they are on and the hexes of their supply line do not pass
to the conqueror‘s control. The owner of the units in
question chooses exactly which hexes will be his supply
route (or routes if more than one is needed), but the
routes must be as few and as short as possible and must
go to the nearest port or controlled friendly border. The
conqueror controls all other hexes. He may not cut the
supply route(s) by SR-ing armor adjacent to them until a
later turn.



Would 24.3 apply?
 
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fangotango
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It's all been sorted out. Germany controls the port of Suez and the one hex to the west of it, but the rest was Italian controlled, as they moved first into Egypt. Since the Axis failed to retake Rome in the second half of the Summer 1940 turn, all the Italian controlled hexes become uncontrolled. So, the single 4-6 armor was out of supply the next turn: it's only controlled port was Suez, and the canal is currently unusable, so there was no way to supply it. It hadn't exploited, so it was out of luck, and has long since been removed. Germany has 8 Italian fleet factors, but no units smaller than 3 factors, so they couldn't even try a seaborne invasion of Port Said. As Sean said, he wished he would have used exploitation when he had the chance. We are in the Winter turn now, and the entire area from Morocco to the Turkish and Russian borders is empty. The French had a unit, but it was removed as an attrition loss before it could gain any territory.
 
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fangotango wrote:
.... the best the Germans could get is a 1:1 with no room for any sort of exchange, because one armor had to stay outside of Rome to keep the exploitation chain intact.....


FWIW, this does raise another question. There is a DQB item which specifies that the chain cannot be broken due to elimination in combat. So whether or not the Germans could have advanced in with one armour unit is in some question. As it happens, the full exchange appears to have eliminated both German units, so in this particular case the ambiguity is irrelevant.


fangotango wrote:
... the entire area from Morocco to the Turkish and Russian borders is empty. The French had a unit, but it was removed as an attrition loss before it could gain any territory.


Lol. Sounds like ancient times, where a plague killed off everyone!
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A plague of Englishmen!
 
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I don't see how you can argue that English tourists visiting Rome could be considered a plague... Unless Arsenal was playing... (ducks quickly)

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/SPORT/football/03/12/roma.fans.a...
 
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Back to the business at hand.

The Fall turn was definitely more placid than previous turns. The Allies took Attrition options on both active fronts, both to preserve resources, and because I didn't see much I could accomplish with offensives. I considered a 1-1 attack on the bridgehead in Britain, but a 5 would have been an unmitigated disaster, since I wouldn't be able to build in the ZOC. I will wait until I have more ground and air units at home. The Germans are in a corner, and don't have the resources to rebuild their air force, so there is at least another turn or two to do something. I will also be able to bring another unit to Norway, making a reasonable assault on Oslo possible next turn as well. Gaining an attrition hex in France would drive the German panzers out of Sedan.

The Western Attrition is a flop, with no hexes gained (on the 41+ table - and I worked hard to get it that high ), as is the attrition in the Mediterranean, with no losses to the Axis at all. However, the attrition combat wasn't the point of the strategy in Italy. While the Allies can't expect to hold onto Italy for long once Germany sets her sites on driving us out, delay is the name of the game. Also, like the British, the German forces are spread between three different active theatres (Bridgehead in Britain, France, and Italy), which cover two fronts, and their forces, especially armor and air, have been whittled down, without the resources to rebuild until the new year. So the British and French armor coordinate to cut the supply lines of the German Italian front forces, preventing any chance of real progress for the Axis as they must reopen their supply lines. The biggest thorn is the German armor in Spezia, as it is supplied due to exploitation. This forces me to surround it, using 3 of my 4 armor corps. But it was in position to possibly, even with ZOCs, move two hexes towards Rome, then advance again by attacking an undefended hex, isolating Rome.



The Axis turn went to plan, presumably, as they succeeded with all their actions. The armor unit supported a para-drop into Great Yarmouth, securing a port and immediately redeploying two infantry units in. British incompetence (in this case, my thinking the defender could counter-intercept interception of DAS, and saving it for countering interception of Great Yarmouth DAS - was that a 1st edition rule, or did I simply assume fleets can do it, so...) left most of the air units grounded, leaving ground units in France and Belgium unsupported against Germany infantry, despite an allied air superiority in the area. Never too old to learn. Supply to most of the units in Italy was also reestablished with the destruction of the French armor, albeit at the loss of some infantry.



So, the British have more units in Britain and can begin their counter-attack, although it will be a slow process with the extra German units having landed. However, the British do enjoy air superiority at the moment. The cat and mouse game in Italy has at least another season to go, and France is hopeful that it has a chance to hold on until the next year. Maybe the British can try to ground those pesky paratroopers....
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Stephen Rochelle
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OK, now that I can fill in after the fact: sea transporting something/anything into Great Yarmouth was high on my list of British actions for the Fall turn. German reinforcements via invasion would have been quite vulnerable to interception, but an Axis SR route makes the British defense that much tougher. I think, given what I've seen of the board, that I'd have moved one 3-4 from London to GY. Two would be preferable (voluntarily destroying the replacement there), but I'm having a harder time visualizing whether Britain would have the resources to then appropriately defend London.

Concur that "delay" is the appropriate mid-term goal for the Allies in Italy.

I couldn't settle on any plan that I liked regarding the French armor in north Italy and its supply issue. I assume that Germany destroyed it via the Western Offensive?
 
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I was only able to muster 6 ground factors into London by the end of my turn as it was, and the units I brought against the bridgehead brought the western attrition to the 41-50 table (which failed to help, in the end ),and the paratrooper was free to drop in this turn. I also calculated that I would be able to attack the Bridgehead at 2-1 next turn (which I am currently doing), since there was no way to get reinforcements to it, except the paratrooper, but the only reason to drop it would be to take Great Yarmouth, in which case a unit would have to move in, still leaving one unit on the beach. In following turns, I would just have the port to deal with.

Plus, fleet transport would have cost me an offensive option, and not increased the amount of ground factors in the attack, as I only had 4 infantry units.

The French armor was bound to be destroyed by the Germans, so moving it out of supply was not an issue. If it hadn't been eliminated, then a number of the German units would be eliminated due to supply issues, and resupplying the french armor would have been easy.

edit: I realize now that I should have parked the French 3-5 in Italy not Germany. I saved my opponent 15 BRPs he could not afford! And it would have been 99 percent as effective. Darn.
 
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sean dolbee
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See I'm not the only one making mistakes here!
I was woundering why he moved the French armor over the boarder? also I took an Atrittion in the Med and with no French units next to Germans he had to take the WDF as losses...
Learning the rules as you play the game seams to be the way to remember the rules.
This whole mess in Italy started with me thinking that the Italian 2-5 armor could displace the two 5-4 RAF units to France out of DAS range of Rome,you see he had just taken the City so I figured he couldn't stage there.....well as you can see they can,a rule I wont ever forget.
 
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Brilliant commentary on what must be an exciting and frustrating game. Thanks again to all of you!!
 
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