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Subject: Dealing with that Pesky Second Invasion rss

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Rick Bateman
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I'm playing through a solo game of this ('61 rules), and I'm coming to the end of turn 8, which means it's almost time to start thinking about that second invasion. As the Germans, I focused most of my defense on the invasion zones that allowed heavy reinforcements; North Sea, Calais, Le Harve, and South France. I put moderate defense in Normandy, and only a token defense in the other zones. As the Allies, I tried my luck against Normandy, and the dice were on my side. The Allies made it the beach, and the Germans couldn't marshal their forces quickly enough to repel before a lot more Allied units got on the continent. So the Allies are definitely here to stay, but as the Germans, I'm still trying to keep this bigger invasion zones pretty well guarded, because of that second invasion. But then I realized that the effective combat strength of the Allied units on the continent is already nominally greater than what the Germans have, so I don't feel any need to hurry with the second invasion. They're in a very secure position where they can just wait the Germans out; if the Germans continue to hold a lot of their units on the coast, the Allies can just keep going with what they already have (or reinforce the old-fashioned way), and if the Germans pull their coastal defenses to try to bring them to bear against the Allies that are already there, then the Allies can send in the second invasion against the defenseless coast (which will put them much closer to the Rhine). So what do people commonly do in a situation like this? I know the odds of this game don't exactly favor the German player, but the designers must've thought the Germans had some kind of chance. My first impression is to just start wheeling the whole German force back toward the Rhine, and set up a defensive line, hoping that they can keep things secure until turn 16 and the replacements come along. But if they abandon the beaches, the Allies will be able to get to the Rhine in just a couple turns, and they'll still have forty more turns left to break the German defenses. On the other hand, I'm not even sure if the German forces defending the coastline would be able to hold off an invasion anyway.
Does anyone have any tactical suggestions that have proven successful for the Germans once the Allies secure a successful beachhead?
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Lee Trowbridge
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With the 61 rules (which are you using, 61A or 61B?) in general if the Allies get ashore, the Germans need to win the battle of attrition, holding out until their reinforcements take effect (they get 5 attack factors/turn starting turn 16, the Allies get none, ever). They do this by careful positioning of units behind defensive lines so that essentially all allied attacks are against doubled positions, requiring costly soak-offs and not-too-infrequent losses by exchange in which the Allied losses are doubled.

There are several such defensive lines -- combinations of rivers, cities, mountains and the West Wall -- and you ought not abandon them too soon. Any line can be broken -- including the Rhein -- and you'd better not give up the more western ones too early.

Exactly how you defend the lines, especially the river lines varies greatly between the 61A rules and the 61B rules.

As the Allies, if you're doing OK on the continent, it's best to keep the 2nd invasion dangling over the head of the Germans rather than use it. Keep enough force in England to launch the 2nd invasion behind his lines if he weakens the beaches too much.

I believe both 61A and 61B allowed the 2nd invasion any time from week 9 onward. There were multiple modifications (rule changes, really) in the AH General, but that didn't happen until after DD65 came out, so I suggest just pretending that you are playing in 1962 and use the rule as written. Realistically, the Allies probably only could have launched the 2nd invasion until sometime in the fall, but realism isn't a word I think of much when playing the game "D-Day."

Anyhow, ny 2 cents worth. Good luck, and have fun!

 
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Kim Meints
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Lee hit it on the head with his thoughts very well.YEs the 61A & 61B rules are a tad different. I never knew of the 61B until a couple of years ago and now have them.

Rick,you got me to pull out my 61 edition to play again.Sounds like you're having a great solo game and I hope you keep us informed with the action
 
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Rick Bateman
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E_T_Lee wrote:
With the 61 rules (which are you using, 61A or 61B?) in general if the Allies get ashore, the Germans need to win the battle of attrition, holding out until their reinforcements take effect (they get 5 attack factors/turn starting turn 16, the Allies get none, ever). They do this by careful positioning of units behind defensive lines so that essentially all allied attacks are against doubled positions, requiring costly soak-offs and not-too-infrequent losses by exchange in which the Allied losses are doubled.

There are several such defensive lines -- combinations of rivers, cities, mountains and the West Wall -- and you ought not abandon them too soon. Any line can be broken -- including the Rhein -- and you'd better not give up the more western ones too early.

Exactly how you defend the lines, especially the river lines varies greatly between the 61A rules and the 61B rules.


I'm using 61B, but I read both of them. They didn't really seem so much different to me; I had thought that 61B was just the same rules as 61A, but written in a more organized, understandable fashion. What are the significant differences between them? I may not have caught the subtleties.

As the Germans, I was counting on causing some attrition as you said, but they haven't been able to do much. I've played pretty conservatively, shying away from odds less than 3-1 so the Germans aren't the ones who get attritted (I swear, that's really a word), and I haven't been doing any soak-offs with them unless I can use the static infantry (I may have been too conservative in that, since soak-offs only result in A-back-2 as often as not, but since the Germans started out with so few strong forces at the main battle line, I didn't think it would be smart to burn through them so casually). The good news is, the Germans have lost only a single unit that wasn't static (and that was only because they got surrounded in Cherbourg after the successful invasion, and so they were eliminated by isolation), but the bad news is that the Allies have only lost five, and with all the reinforcements they've gotten from Britain, they've already got the Germans outnumbered. So it's basically a stalemate situation (since I'm not too hasty to casually throw away units as the Allies either--I guess such parallel thinking is one of the pitfalls of solo play), which is to the Allies advantage, because they don't have to outfight the Germans, they basically just have to get around them, because there aren't enough German units to block all the Allied units from advancing. That's why I was thinking about pulling the coastline defenders, but then the second invasion can just get them past the line anyway.

In fact, the issue is more specific than that; here's the real crux of the German's problem. The Allies managed to get eight units (in stacks of 2, natch) past the German lines, so if they can race up to the Rhine while the Germans are still occupied with the main Allied force, all I'll have to do is drop a few airborne units back there to hit their required number of ten divisions (plus one for safety, if I use all three currently active airborne units). I counted out how long it will take them to get across the line without obstruction (and there isn't anyone directly in their path except a couple headquarters units), and I believe it was turn 12 when they'd get across. So even if the HQ units were able to obstruct them enough to buy a couple turns, the Germans would barely even start getting replacements before the Allied victory conditions are met, and even if they did get a couple, what are 5-10 combat factors going to do against 10 divisions? Once the Allies get across the line, I don't think the Germans have enough combat strength on the whole map to get them out again. What's worse, I don't think the main German force can even catch up to those eight forward divisions at this point. Unless they stop for crepe suzette in Paris, the only ones who can catch them are the German units currently defending the coast.

So basically, the dilemma Germany is faced with is that if I don't stop the eight, then they'll get across the line and win the game, but if I stop them by pulling the coastal defenders, then the forces of the second invasion will most likely get across the line and win the game. Of course, the obvious third option is to keep some forces on the coast, and send the rest to stop the eight, but I feel like if I did that, the Germans would just end up with the worst of both worlds.

E_T_Lee wrote:
As the Allies, if you're doing OK on the continent, it's best to keep the 2nd invasion dangling over the head of the Germans rather than use it. Keep enough force in England to launch the 2nd invasion behind his lines if he weakens the beaches too much.


That was the plan that I decided on for the Allies once I saw how well they were already set up on the continent, but after so deciding I promptly realized how screwed that leaves the Germans, since I was counting on being able to throw all my coastal forces into the main battle lines once the second invasion happened. So that basically leads to the dilemma I described above. I feel like the Germans can keep their losses to a bare minimum (discounting static units) all day long, but they just don't have enough units to keep all the Allies from getting through.

E_T_Lee wrote:
I believe both 61A and 61B allowed the 2nd invasion any time from week 9 onward. There were multiple modifications (rule changes, really) in the AH General, but that didn't happen until after DD65 came out, so I suggest just pretending that you are playing in 1962 and use the rule as written. Realistically, the Allies probably only could have launched the 2nd invasion until sometime in the fall, but realism isn't a word I think of much when playing the game "D-Day."

Anyhow, ny 2 cents worth. Good luck, and have fun!



jackiesavon wrote:
Lee hit it on the head with his thoughts very well.YEs the 61A & 61B rules are a tad different. I never knew of the 61B until a couple of years ago and now have them.

Rick,you got me to pull out my 61 edition to play again.Sounds like you're having a great solo game...


Well, it's certainly a great game if you're rooting for the Allies. But, of course, that wasn't entirely unexpected. Having played the '91 version many times in my youth, I was prepared for this game to be similarly unbalanced, but I wasn't prepared for the fact that the major difference between the versions (I realize now) is that in '91, the Germans just have a few weak units on the whole board, and so it's hard for them to ever put up any kind of fight anywhere. But in this game, the Germans have a lot of really good units, but not quite enough to get that crucial 3-1 most of the time (unless I'm just really doing something wrong), so all those lovely combat factors are wasted, because the Allies don't need to fight to win, as long as they can get around the Germans.

jackiesavon wrote:
...and I hope you keep us informed with the action


Alas, I have so many games in my "to play" stack, that I recently decided the only way I'd be able to make any kind of dent in it is to make a strategic retreat and put a halt on a game for which the conclusion seems foregone. This thread is basically my last-ditch effort to figure something out for the Germans, but barring that, I'll probably raise the white flag and move on to the next game (which will be Waterloo, in case anyone wonders).
 
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Kim Meints
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LoL,Rick,your "To Play" stack must look like mine.I have a ton needing to get played.

Here are the differences between 1961A & 1961B complied by Joe Geistwhite which was provided over on Consimworld's D-Day folder.He was the one who informed me of the B rules which I was able to track down.Any mistakes are his ,I'm just typing what he has down

A=1961 original rules.B=1961 2nd printing which was done later that first year of being published

1.A allowed Paras to land in EZoC(same as 1977 ed). B prohibited landing in EZoC

2.B prohibited landing in Spain & Switzerland

3.A said the Defense factor of a unit,on a river Or one square away doubles when attacked from across the river. B said doubling was limited to units adjacent to river lines and only applied when all attacking units were attacking across a river hexside

4.A said Any unit that was victorious in battle may advance against a double oppnent.B specifies that the advance must be into the defended units hex(A left the possiblity of advancing into any adjacent mountain,fortress,town,across river(both A & B did not say only attackers could advance)

5 A said fortress is Doubled(trible from Ocean or across a river).B said Trible Always

6.A said attack out of a Fortress must attack All adjacent units.B said can attack units in Any hex

7. B says SHAEF & OB West HQ's can be replaced

8. A said nothing about accumulating replacements.B said you can accumulate replacements

9.A was never clear whether the Second Invasion had to occur on Week 9 if at all or whether it could start on week 9 or later. B was explicit-9th week orlater and there could only be Two Invasions per game

It came up a couple of years later in a Q&A in the General about the 5 hex range for Para landings. A said within 5 hexes of closet unit.many players the rules lawyers that they are said included Enemy units.The Answer addressed it to be "Within 5 hexes of a Freindly unit" 61B didn't correct that mistake
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Rick Bateman
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Yeah, I think I did just miss the subtlety on most of those. On the other hand, I think some of them are just for the rules lawyers like you said, for some things like #2 and the last one, I just assumed what was clarified in B even while I was reading, because that's obviously what they meant, even if it wasn't stated (how could you land in Switzerland when there aren't even any hexes there?). But still, that does help a lot, thanks.
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Lee Trowbridge
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I, too, didn't realize there was a 61B until a few years ago looking at posts here and on CSW. Geistwaite’s article is a great one and got me started on looking at the differences in the rules. But everything he said wasn’t correct.

In general, to get at the rules, you need to look in the "Instruction" folder, on the Combat Factors Card, in the Reference folder and the CRT. But then be warned, there are some errors and internal inconsistencies in these. Even then, it’s impossible to divine the designer’s intent completely -- there are still rule gaps and ambiguities. You’ll have to, in some cases, decide what makes sense to you.

Most differences other than those of a minor or semantic/legalistic nature are listed below. In many cases, players (1961 to 1970, per my personal FTF experience, in PBM games, and what I gather from the AH General articles) didn’t like certain rules and modified them. Rules highlighted with a "*" are ones I recall being often house-rule-modified.

Most significant differences in 61 rule versions:

1. The river defense rules (mentioned in a prior post). 61A: doubled if attacked across a river hexside or if the attacker crossed such a hexside immediately into the defender’s ZOC. 61B: Doubled only if all attackers are across a river hexside.

2. 61A: Hybrid odds: If defender is doubled against some, but not all units, odds are calculated in a way such that the defender retains its advantage against the former class. This was not in the rules, but on the Combat Factors Card.

3. Low odds attacks: 61A: round toward 1:1; 61B: round in favor of defender.

4. 61B says that rivers block retreat* yuk

5. 61A - all HQs are used. In 61B only one HQ per player (OKW or SHAEF in a 2-player game)*

Less significant differences:

6. Minor variations in post-invasion landing and sea movement rules. (61A: 2 units/turn in inland ports; 61B - any number per turn.)

7. Turn 2 Landings are allowed on invasion coastal hexes that are: 61A: vacant; 61B: allied-controlled.

8. 61A has an additional victory condition: "Keep all German units East or Rhein Ijssel line for 4 turns". (I call this the "French Strategic Victory Condition": The Red army takes all of Germany and France’s Cold War competition on the continent is a united Germany with the economy of the DDR! )

Common to both 61 rules, but sometimes said to differ:

9. In neither 61 version can a paradrop occur adjacent to a German unit. (in the 65 version, you couldn't drop into an Enemy ZOC; in the 77 version you could drop adjacent, even in an Enemy ZOC)

10. 2nd invasion: 61A: "...beginning the 9th week"; 61B:"...any week after the 8th week"; (Sounds the same to me, though some argued that pointshake). A 1964 TAHG ruling: "only on the 9th week" (clearly a rule changesoblue).

11. In both 61 versions HQ replacement is allowed (for the German side). Since replacement is by attack factor, they technically are "free."* A TAHG ruling in 64 explicitly prohibited HQ replacements -- again a rule change.

12. Both allow static division replacement (forbidden in later versions).*

13. Both: Rules are silent on accumulation of German replacement points (neither allowing nor forbidding such). A TAHG ruling in 64 explicitly allowed this.

Rules in both which differ from most AH games of this period:

14. Both: Attacks of < 1:6 are allowed... and "count" for soak-off purposes*.

15. In both 61A and 61B (but not later versions), HQ can't stack.*

Some of the more basic ambiguities and gaps in both sets of rules:

16. 61A "Coastal hex" is never defined; it's not perfectly defined in 61B.

17. Control for landing or supply purposes is undefined or incompletely defined;

18. In neither version does it specify say when advance after combat occurs (immediately? or after all combat resolution?). (In later AH games, this "became obvious", but in 1961 you obviously couldn’t rely on "future precedent."


Whew! gulp I didn't realize that was such a core dump until I 'previewed' it!
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Kim Meints
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Lee

Only You & Joe would do such a deep comparison between the two.I just use 61B when playing the 61 edition.

See you over on Consim
 
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Lee Trowbridge
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It was an exercise in nostalgia. D-Day (61A) was the first "real" wargame I had continuous access to. (I'd played Tactics II and Gettysburg 58, owned by another guy, but he moved away and I had no idea where the games came from for a couple of years.) Not Sears & Roebuck!
 
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Kim Meints
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Lee

My first 2 AH games(Waterloo & Gettysburg 64) were bought at J.C. Penney of all places. Oh those were the days!
 
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