Michael Edwards
United States
Everett
Washington
flag msg tools
YA R'LYAH
badge
Phnglui mglw nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah nagl fhtagn! With cheeze!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So, I finally got my first FtF play in of Fighting Formations, something I've been trying to get to happen for a while. I've played the game once - solo, Scenario 0, to teach myself how to play. It had been just a week shy of six months since I'd done that. Fortunately, I had the time to re-read the rules the day of play.

My wargaming buddy, B., wanted to get right into playing, and learn as we went along. I gave him the high level overview of how the game plays as we set up. B. chose the Russians.


The Report

It had been long enough that I forgot exactly where the Russian units start, and I set up my platoon of StuG's facing the roadway, leaving my flank open to the Russian T-34's. B. capitalized on this by firing into my exposed flank, and got an unconfirmed kill.

Determined to correct my mistake, I deployed into platoons and returned fire. This precipitated an extended exchange that pretty much took up the rest of the game. The StuG squads and the T-34's exchanged fire, using all the mid-range initiative cubes on the order matrix to do so. The Germans had some unlucky rally attempts, but the Russians were unlucky in trying to eliminate the final StuG squad.

All the very high-end initiative cubes were generally used to draw asset cards, and the lowest-end ones were used to play them. The Russians never quite committed to playing a Command token until late in the game, as I think we both believed that one or the other of us would finally get around to moving our main forces. As it turned out, we were wrong.


These would see a lot of use…


The Germans were lucky in their draw, gaining several artillery barrages and air support cards, but generally unlucky in the execution of the same. The Soviets much more rarely got support, but were able to discard many asset cards to improve the firepower of their T-34 squads - often with little effect.

Air power did end up eliminating a Russian squad, and artillery support accounted for another. Both sides supporting infantry platoons were reduced more as a by-product of efforts of such support to hit the tanks.

Towards the end, the remaining StuG squad rallied up, and assaulted the two remaining, shaken T-34's. One was eliminated via point blank assault fire. The second was lost in a subsequent melee attack. The whole time, the main forces took no action, as we waited to see who would gain the upper hand on the flank.

Finally, a Russian attempt to air strike the StuG failed, and the StuG - missing several times when trying to fire short range on the supporting infantry, due to wall hindrance - entered into close combat with the infantry as well. At this point, Sudden Death ended the game.


Wait, the game can end how?!


It seemed like it took all our effort to resolve the flank, and we were unwilling to commit command counters to the main bodies until it was resolved. At no point did any control markers change hands, although the Germans certainly appeared to be about to pick one up. Much hesitation resulted from it being a learning game, to be sure. I won, merely by "holding" on to the starting control markers, a win by default to be sure.


Thoughts


Playing Face to Face with a live opponent was pretty much as fun as I was expecting it to be - which is to say, a lot. Watching the tension and angst generated by selecting cubes from the Initiative Matrix, and deciding just how far one will send the initiative pawn into the opponent's territory, makes for delightful schadenfreude.

If anything, the asset cards seemed a little overshadowing - we spent a lot of time acquiring and playing them. However, I suspect this may be a question of experience. If one of us had screwed our courage to the sticking place, and moved out with the main body, that probably would have either diverted the opponent into spending orders reacting to that, or made it so a large force would be brought to bear with limited reaction from the opponent.

We are both looking forward to playing again, which, due to matching holiday vacation days, should only be a few weeks away. This game is exceeding fun, with interesting decisions. I can't wait to try it out some more!

Thanks to Barry Siebenthall and Chad Jensen for the photos, selected from the game's gallery.
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Edwards
United States
Everett
Washington
flag msg tools
YA R'LYAH
badge
Phnglui mglw nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah nagl fhtagn! With cheeze!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nope, I didn't take pictures. I might when we get together for our next play, however.

The Germans were in a slightly improved position before the game ended - having taken the flank, but with weakened troops. However, the Russians had just pulled three counter-battery cards, so I suspect the German asset play would have been frustrating.

And yes, the town certainly was where I battled it out in my solo play, but we just kind of got distracted/fixated!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.