Recommend
17 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

Andean Abyss» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Solo session report: surely we can do better this time! rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Todd Quinn
Australia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb



Well, back again for another session report of the solo game of Andean Abyss. This game does use the final solitaire rules, which were the subject of a few more changes after my last session report. Like last time, this report will contain the narrative of the game rather than a play by play. I shall also tell you what I am thinking as I progress with the game as I typed this report as I played.

However, do not take my moves as necessarily the right thing to do. I am still not that good at the game. But I am certainly learning from playing more. Additionally, also as before, events that occur, either played by me or the other factions, will be identifiable by their italicised text.

To recap, in the solitaire game you play as the Government against the three insurgent factions, which are played by the solitaire system. The game usually plays in four ‘campaigns’ each separated by a ‘marker’ for accounting of various things that happened during that campaign such as income earning, effects of propaganda and investment etc.

All four parties have their own separate victory conditions. The FARC revolutionaries are trying to foment opposition to the Government and build lots of bases (Opposition + Bases > 25). The AUC paramilitaries do not like the FARC very much and succeed if they have more bases than FARC. The Cartels wants stacks of bases (>10) and resources (>40). And the Government just wants the population of Colombia to like them (Support > 60).

So FARC is after Government, AUC is after FARC but sometimes messes with Government, Cartels just keeps popping up everywhere and Government just wants everyone to get along!

So let’s get into it. Government against the rest.

Do we have a chance of bringing stability to Colombia this time …?








1st campaign

All four factions deployed manpower at the start. Cartels protected their Bases in the east deploying Guerrillas there. FARC did much the same though deploying many more Guerrillas. Government trained all of its Troops and Police and sprayed a drug lab in Guaviare. AUC also brought out more Guerrillas and reinforced its Base in Antioquia.


Cali’s Gilberto Rodriguez Orijuela aka The Chess Player expanded his empire setting up new Bases in Sincelejo and Cartagena. He also managed to convince the local Sincelejoan Police to take a holiday elsewhere.

FARC built three more Bases (all 9 are now out) and generally further extended its reach and numbers. AUC became the cause of some localised police corruption and managed to insert themselves into, and remove some Police from, the larger cities of Medellin and Bucamaranga. This had the potential to cause the Government problems as you never know when and where the somewhat unpredictable AUC are going to blow something up. And the effect is amplified in a larger city.





Government conducted several Troop Sweeps. Two into the mountainous Huila and Santander Departments, and two more in Choco and Cali. Government was conducting an enormous expedition into Huila to try and remove and FARC and operations in Choco in the west were to try and remove any FARC presence from the west of the country.

Cartels employed Guerrillas in Cartagena and Sincelejo to protect their new Bases there. They also set up a new Base in Cartagena (their 8th) and the exposed Guerrilla in Cali ducked back underground.


FARC Marched several Guerrillas onto LoCs plus boldly sent several Guerrillas into both Bogota and Santander. Government hit back at FARC taking out most of its Guerrillas in Huila, its two Bases in Choco, and the Guerrillas it had sent into Bogota. However, the Government is now out of Resources.

Hopefully this risk of hitting the FARC hard early will pay off because we cannot do anything for a while now. AUC built a 2nd Base in its Antioquia stronghold.

With the 1st campaign coming to an early close, those FARC that had wandered into Santander lured us into a kill zone and three units of Police and one of Troops were wiped out.

Worse still was that with the end of the campaign in sight, FARC now had the numbers to cause a complete reversal of the Active Support we enjoyed there.

Cartels then built two more Bases, including a second in Sincelejo. Five of the Cartels ten Bases were in cities, which was problematic since spraying is the easiest way to get rid of their Bases but they do not let us spray the cities for some reason …







The first campaign drew to an end, much quicker than we would have liked. FARC managed to sabotage some of our pipelines in the centre and roads in the south. While we had firmly established control in Choco and Huila, we had no Police in either and thus did not have the capability to win these populations over. However, we were able to do so in Cali.

FARC had overwhelming numbers in Santander and used that to turn the population against us. Worse still, we had an election and the incoming President Pastrana, in his attempts to resolve the revolutionary crisis, forbade Government occupation of Santander, thus forcing our Base there to be abandoned and our troops to withdraw to Bogota.

The one positive for us was that before our Troops pulled out of Choco and Huila (because there was not time to build a Base in either) we were able to get some Police in there, which will provide future opportunities to win the population over.

FARC is now very close to dominating thanks to their hold in Santander. And since we cannot go in there now we will have to find other places to hurt them.

We were hoping AUC would have a go at them but they have not got around to it yet. We also deployed some Police on to our northern and central pipelines to ensure their future protection.


2nd campaign

The next campaign got underway with Cartels grower’s focussing on the heroin source by setting up shops in the mountains of Huila.

FARC deployed more Guerrillas and set up a Base in its new Santander stronghold, putting them in a dominant position and the country on the brink. We desperately needed AUC to start hammering away at them soon!

The Government conducted large Sweep operations into Huila and Meta East, even flying in some Troops from Santa Marta to help out. AUC then began its campaign of Terror against the FARC wiping out Bases in Guaviare and Santander (and doing our work for us there!) and taking out the lone FARC Guerrilla lurking in the AUC stronghold of Antioquia.

The concurrent reduction in support for the FARC quickly removed them from their dominant position. Very quickly.

However, no sooner did the AUC take out the FARC Base in Santander Caracas came to the aid of the rebels reinstating that Base for them. Good ole Hugo Chavez! Cartels established its 12th Base in Guaviare and provided protection for others including in Huila, which had become somewhat of a melting pot, with all four factions present there. Now Cartels was becoming dangerous.

Government followed up its Sweeps in Huila and Meta East with Assaults, clearing both Departments of any FARC (two Bases and eight Guerrillas). We also bombed an AUC Guerrilla unit in the Huila mountains as we were concerned it might try and set up a Base there.

AUC went on another Terror spree taking out a FARC Base in Arauca, a FARC Guerrilla in Putumayo and just making a mess in Atlantico, where things had been nice and quiet for the Government. FARC have been cut down to size now. We might have to try and control these random terror incidents before they impact us further. And do something about Cartels.


Cartels got their retail empire going which gave them a fortune and two new Bases in the northern city of Santa Marta. That made it 14 Bases, eight of them in cities. All of a sudden, Cartels was in a very strong position to take over the country.

FARC repaired some of the damage done by AUC by setting up new Bases in Arauca and Santander and reinforcing the others. They were back up to six Bases now. In Meta East, AUC brutality was blamed on the Army and our Aid dropped to zero.

To deal with the overabundance of Cartels Bases, Troops were sent into Sincelejo and were also airlifted into Santa Marta. We were quickly running out of Resources though. FARC made a peace bid which entitled them to another FARC Zone in Guaviare, another area we could not go near.

Cartels placed their 15th and last Base in Meta East and then had the nerve to send Guerrillas to Santa Marta to protect their two exposed Bases there! Just after we sent Troops there to take them out!

We really needed to hit Cartels but did not have the Resources to do it. Thankfully, our oil pipelines proved profitable just when we needed some dough. Let’s hope there would be enough time to use it.

AUC sent a lone Guerrilla unit to keep the FARC Base in Meta West company, ensuring all Departments containing FARC Bases had an AUC presence. Cartels started producing drug Shipments.

Then coffee prices dropped through the floor costing us half the Resources we just made from our pipelines.


Turns out some of our ex-officers had been advising the AUC paramilitaries which led them to send a Guerrilla unit from Antioquia to Choco and Ambushing both the lone FARC Guerrilla and Police unit there.

At this point the Government was in a strong position to pull Cartels back from their dominant position. But if we waited a bit longer the US may have given us some Resources. However, we could not take the risk and decided to use our last Resources to pull Cartels back in line.

We did this by Assaulting Cartels in Sincelejo (2 Bases), Medellin (1 Base) and Meta East (2 Bases). We also air-sprayed a Base in Putumayo. So our operations cut Cartels back from 15 to 9 Bases. However, we now had little Resources left to do anything.

Well I thought I had them, but it turns out I did not. The campaign was indeed coming to an end but Cartels had one last chance to get its dominant position back. And they took it. Needing to place two Bases to get that dominant position they did manage to place those two Bases, both in Putumayo.

By the way that possible US funding ended up being redirected to the Middle East and South Asia but that did not matter anymore as Cartels had done enough as the second campaign ended.


















Well, where did I go wrong. Perhaps I spent too long hitting FARC at the start. However, that is the best time to hit them, before they get too powerful. Cartels got a few really nice Events giving them several Bases in Cities.

Generally it takes Cartels a while to get enough Resources to be in a winning position. However, the combination of the Events giving Cartels Bases in cities followed by an Event that gave them Resources based on their (now large) presence in Cities was an extremely powerful combination.

You can always rely on AUC to hammer FARC but it is really up to the Government to keep Cartels and AUC in check. And Cartels just got away from me this time. I had to keep at FARC who were also about to win and AUC took a while to get their act together.

I am sorry the game only lasted to the second Propaganda Phase; just half way. However, I guess it does show that you cannot relax and take it easy at any point in the game.

As I am determined to win against the AI, this will not be the last session report you will see before the game’s release. I am sure I can win ... really!

[Edit: I forgot to say the images are from Joel Toppen's playtest VASSAL module. For what the mapboard will really look like, check out some recent images posted by Mr Ruhnke.]


9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joaquin Oliveira
United States
Framingham
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Todd , great AAR , I am excited for this game , as you know I love Labyrinth and with Andean Abyss having the same designer plus with a theme that I know very well for being from South America , the game looks like a lot of fun.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Volko Ruhnke
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Awesome AAR, Todd! Yeah, those Cartels can grow fast, like weeds. Looks like you had a tough sequence with FARC in Santander too, perhaps forcing you to focus on FARC more quickly than you otherwise would have.

Cartels won my last solo game too, just barely, on the final auto victory check.

Can't wait to read your next one! Best, Volko
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Williams
Australia
Googong
New South Wales
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the report.

Would I be right in presuming that you're part of the playtesting? I'm yearning the day the game arrives so I can play it both solitaire and 4 player. If I could play it now I would be!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Todd Quinn
Australia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ecka wrote:
Thanks for the report.

Would I be right in presuming that you're part of the playtesting? I'm yearning the day the game arrives so I can play it both solitaire and 4 player. If I could play it now I would be!


Hi Eric

Yes, I have been part of the playtesting for a while with my primary focus on the solitaire game. Sorry, I should have clarified that at the start.

Everything to play the multiplayer game right now has been made available and there are a few games going on here and there. Alas, that does not include the solitaire version.

I am very lucky to be able to play the solitaire version before it comes out. Part of the reason for doing these session reports is to repay that privilege.

Thanks!

Todd

[Edit: PS By the way, I am also from Queanbeyan! But living in the Netherlands at the moment!]
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Williams
Australia
Googong
New South Wales
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the reply Todd. Enjoy the weather over there if possible as it is starting to get to that special "Queanbeyan cold" here.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gordon J
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Print and Play Gamer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great report, now I only wish I had the Solo rules. Soon.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michel Sorbet
Poland
Lublin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
"A son seul aspect n'est-on pas terrasse? Nul n'est assez hardi pour l'exciter" Job 40:28
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Generally it takes Cartels a while to get enough Resources to be in a winning position. However, the combination of the Events giving Cartels Bases in cities followed by an Event that gave them Resources based on their (now large) presence in Cities was an extremely powerful combination.


I had the same situation during my game and the Cartels resources went to something like 88.

I had to constantly smash their bases to avoid losing
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Volko Ruhnke
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Welcome to the Drug War.
1 
 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.