Had the pleasure of completing my very first OCS game with
We played on Skype and by email using Vassal over the last two weeks. I had no previous experience with OCS at all and after a short learning game in Tunisia, which ended in nearly all my units being OOS after two turns or so
, we jumped into the Baltic Gap campaign game. I took command of the Soviets and Bas lead the Axis forces. I can't remember all the specifics from the game so I will just give an overview and some thoughts after my first game.
I struggled early on with how to punch a hole through the Panther Line and for the first few turns and threw myself against it all along the line while I advanced along the southern edge of the map to begin flanking Polotsk. I felt the pressure to do something early on so I wasted far to much SP and wasted too many steps on foolish attacks. This combined with below average supply rolls was disastrous for me. Around the fourth or fifth turn I started to get much more comfortable and started making some progress in the Panther Line by concentrating on attacking the weak Latvian units, and had FINALLY captured my first POP point, Shvenchionys, along the southern edge of the map. But at this point Bas had already earned 2 VP and there was no way I was going to catch up.
I didn't realize that the writing was on the wall at this point so I pressed on with my offensive with a new hope after my capture of Shvenchionys. Bas turned Polotsk into a fortress and when I started closing in around it he pulled back and left some supplies and the brave men of 389th Infantry Division to hold onto "Festung Polotsk!". They managed to hold out until the last turn of our game... how embarrassing
. The rest of the game consisted of me driving west as fast as I could,which I think I did a decent job of, and being totally ineffectual along the rest of the front where Bas dictated the pace of my advance entirely. Just when I would finally start thinking "Yes! This is my chance for a breakthrough!" he would pull back to a new defensive line and the whole song and dance would start all over again. *sigh*
I gained a lot of momentum near the end of our game with some very good supply rolls and was starting to put some real pressure on Daugavpils with a massive force. Fuelling and supplying this force proved to me much more than I could afford in the end due to my lack of converted rails and the distances between my forces. At the end of the July 22nd turn I had only 3 SP with all of my forces in the west. I won initiative on July 26th and still held out some hope that I could make something of this situation... then I rolled for supply... and rolled as low as I could have rolled. I stared at my screen for ten minutes trying to find some ray of hope. There was none. "Bas, I want to offer you my surrender, the only terms are that we switch sides and start a new game tomorrow." He gracefully accepted.
Here is an image of the extent of my advance.
My opponent played a fantastic game and did a great job helping me iron out the rules. I need to thank him for contacting me totally at random(still a little bit creepy Bas
) and asking me to play OCS with him because it has been a complete thrill ride.
I think I handled OCS quite well for my first go at it and I have to say it is easily the most rewarding and enjoyable experience I have had in my short time in the hobby. I now feel the need to own every game, and in fact I ordered The Blitzkrieg Legend: The Battle for France, 1940
half way through our game. Can't wait to play again.Some Thoughts
- the Soviets really need to start well and capture Polotsk early if they want to succeed
- don't attack everywhere at once! build up supply dumps and prepare for a proper offensive and hit hard and fast so there is no time to recover
- how the hell to you get into Pskov????!!!
- the whole game can prosper or crumble based on supply rolls
- how the hell to you get into Pskov????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- getting a rail network up and operational is very important to drive the attack further and further west
- how did I get so far behind?
- Stalin is very demanding with POP points
If anyone has any comments or advice please pass it along I want to learn as much as I can about this great game.
If you have advice on how to play the Soviets please PM me. Bas is playing them next...