- There a couple of cards that should not be allowed to cycle through the deck. Even if the prerequisites to play the card haven’t been met, I think it would be wise to keep it in the hand until they are. I’m thinking mainly of the ‘Tsar Takes Command’ card. IIRC, there was another game we played where the central powers player didn’t play it as an event and had to wait for it to cycle back through the deck. Needless to say, the game was pretty much over when it came back to him again. I don’t think it is as big an issue for the Entente. Maybe the cards relating to US Entry fall into this category for them?
- You did a much better job of remembering to entrench than I did…The level 2 trench in Brussels cost me a lot of men.
- Yes, I did use attrition in the west. I was playing a lot of big replacement cards to keep the Russians from melting away (you pounded them pretty hard) and I didn’t see why I should ‘waste’ the French and British replacements by not attacking on their front. I also had some mandated offensives for the French and I was trying to wear down the Germans, which I think I had accomplished by the end of the game.
- I think taking replacements every turn is pretty much a must in this game. I know you felt you had the opportunity to do some damage by playing cards as OPS cards and not taking replacements, but armies can melt away very quickly in this game.
- I actually was worried that you were going to counter attack on the Italian front. The Italian armies, especially when they are reduced (like they are at the start) are not very strong. They’re good enough to capture undefended areas, but struggle against anything else… I was concerned that you would use the Austrian army in Trieste to punch through and capture Venice.
- Good use of the Rathenau card. I think in the past I’ve violated my first point and usually played it for OPS…:)
- You didn’t seem to get much use out of the Turks. I don’t know if it would have been worth it to build up some concentrations in the Caucasus or in Mesopotomia to threaten Baku or Ahwaz. In many ways the trick to winning POG is balancing the demands of multiple fronts and the Turks could be used to threaten those two areas (or if they’re very lucky, egypt). At the very least, they might force the Entente to spend time and OPS moving troops to the Med from other theaters.
- I think it would be a good idea to eliminate the Serbs. Destroying them frees up two badly needed Austrian armies and some bulgarian troops for use elsewhere (Romania?).
Paths of Glory
Played Paths of Glory this Saturday with Tim. Helluva game and unlike any other we had played in the past. We started at 2PM and, with the exception of a 1 hour or so break for dinner, didn’t finish up until midnight. For once we stayed on task although many Henry’s were consumed. Tim played the Allies.
For those of you unfamiliar with the game, here’s a link to the BoardGameGeek page. It’s their Number 2 rated wargame. Here’s another link to the living rules over at GMT Games. GMT is to be commended for their willingness to make the rules available along with necessary changes.
I managed to bungle the first few turns by misplaying the Falkenhayn card. This is a critical card that not only allows German forces greater operational flexibility but, when combined with combat cards, allows for a devastating attack on French fortresses.
Having missed that opportunity, I began to entrench along the Western Front. My efforts were generally successful, but set an ugly precedent for die rolling. To successfully entrench, one needs low die rolls. Unfortunately, this low rolling continued during several later critical combats where high D6 rolls are needed.
Frustrated in the West, I turned my attentions Eastward. Here, Tim had driven back my Austrians and it was only through some fortunate card draws for Austrian reinforcements, as well as a shifting of German troops to the East, that the front stabilized.
Stymied, I had no choice but to unleash the Mad Dog Bulgarians. Tim countered the threat posed by this crew of corps-sized-ants, by bringing Italy into the war. His lightning campaign in the Alps threatened Munich and Strasberg (!!!!!) forcing a southwestward shift of the already over-extended Austrians.
To compound matters, Tim activated the cosmetically challenged Romanians, creating a three-way “Titanic Battle of the Midgets” between Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. Once again, Austrians were used to stabilize matters.
While this farcical sequence of Balkan events was taking place, Tim began a series of attritional attacks in the West. Ignoring howls of protest from Paris, and accusations of genocidal Francophobia, Tim took a page from the Neville playbook and relied on the French Army to repeatedly pound the heavily improved German positions in Flanders. These attacks liberated Brussels, and forced me to once again use strategic cards for operational replacements.
The result was no Russian Revolution. The revolution requires the play of a sequence of cards after a certain level of victory points have been attained. Use the card(s) for other than the intended purpose(s) and the sequence is delayed until the deck is exhausted and reshuffled.
I still pursued an eastern strategy, and even managed to isolate Riga while advancing deep into northern Russia. However, these gains could not be followed up given the need to create replacements and feed Tim’s Western Front meat grinder.
We shut it down at the beginning of the Winter, 1918 turn. While the issue hung in the balance, Tim definitely had the operational edge. My only real hope of victory was to somehow draw the right Russian Revolution cards, releasing German troops for the Western Front, and Austrians to deal with the Balkans and Italy.
Unfortunately, all of this was about three turns too late, and required just a little too much luck. Sounds kinda familiar, doesn’t it?
Here’s a few photos of the situation, by front, at Journey’s End.