Yet another 1914 game report



  • Two more game reports:
    As if you didn’t already have enough game reports, here’s another one!  I actually played two games recently, as the first ended up being very short.  Here’s a report of the first game with some thoughts afterward.

    Game One:
    CP Strategy was to crush Russia first, then Italy/France second.  Russian Revolution rules were NOT used.  Overall assignment of responsibilities/tactics:
    Germany:  Main force heads East into Russia via Poland.  Navy delays British relevance as long as possible.  “Just enough” forces are sent West to stalemate France and the British as they arrive.  Reinforcements are split (roughly) 60/40 East/West, subject to changing with game conditions.  Africa units dance around as long as they can.
    Austria-Hungary:  Main force heads East, eliminating Russian client states of Serbia and then Romania.  Unify with Ottoman force and push into Ukraine.  Secondary contingent heads West into Italy.  Capturing Rome would be ideal, but strategic objective only requires drive into Italy in order to divert  Allied resources/attention while Russia falls.  Reinforcements to be spread roughly 50/50 between Western and Eastern fronts.
    Ottomans:  Dispatch two invasion forces into Russia.  One from Istanbul + activated Bulgaria troops unifies with AH in Romania.  The second attacks from Mesopotamia into Sevastopol.  Intent is for Ottoman forces to distract Russia, reinforce AH or Germany as needed, and capture lightly defended or conceded Russian Southern provinces, not to seriously threaten Moscow itself.  In addition the Turks must to defend themselves from British-Indian forces, and would like to be able to divert some British resources.

    Gameplay –
    Turn 1 –
    AH decides to not attack Romania on turn 1, focusing its effort on Serbia/Venice, and a naval assault into Tuscany.  Serbia and Tuscany fall, but Venice holds on, and the Italians inflict decent casualties in return. 
    The Russians fall back from Poland and concentrate their forces in Romania and Ukraine (leaving behind token defenders wherever appropriate).  End of R1 sees 14 inf & 5 art on Romania and 20 inf & 7 art on Ukraine with a newly built fighter in Moscow. 
    Germany marches into Poland, Belgium, Holland, and Switzerland, while sending its navies against both British (Atlantic) fleets.  The fleets off of SZ is destroyed without incident, but the battle in SZ 9 is particularly bloody, as every ship scores a hit in the first round.  The Germans are left with a damaged BB and two destroyers in 9 and 2 subs in 2.  Belgium and Poland are taken, but Holland (!) and Switzerland (!!!) manage to hold out due to overstretched German lines and some bad dice.
    France uses its navy to take out the two German subs in SZ2 and activate Portugal, moving troops Eastward and contesting Belgium. 
    The British begin rebuilding their fleet (2 BBs and a TRN) in SZ 8, activate Arabia, and attack Trans-Jordan but fail to capture it.
    The Ottomans attack Sevastopol and Trans-Jordan, but decide to leave Arabia alone for lack of troops.  They fail to reclaim Trans-Jordan and don’t get a single hit on the lone defender in Sevastopol.  The force from Constantinople activates Bulgaria, leaving a force of 11 inf & 3 art there.
    The Italians move in force into Tuscany, recapturing it.
    The Americans are shocked to hear that a war has broken out in Europe.

    Turn 2 –
    Both Ukraine and Romania look too intimidating for the Austrian forces, so the Eastern contingent stacks at Budapest while the survivors of the Serbian assault reinforce Bulgaria.  The attack on Venice is redoubled, and this time the territory is easily taken. 
    The Russians consolidate their massive forces into Ukraine.  The Ottomans are driven from Sevastopol.
    Germany takes Belarus with a light force (2 inf) and moves strongly into Livonia with their initial invasion force.  The first wave of reinforcements hits Poland, leaving two strong German stacks in the East.  Switzerland finally falls (!) as does Holland, but there are no reinforcements to Belgium this turn.  What remains of the fleet retreats to SZ10, where they are joined by a newly manufactured sub.
    The French troops from Portugal land at Picardy, and the Germans are pushed out of Belgium on G2.
    The British continue fleet construction and land a token force to assist the French in Picardy. 
    The Ottomans attack into Romania, Arabia, and Trans-Jordan.  Romania and Trans-Jordan are taken, Arabia remains contested.
    The Italians reinforce Tuscany and activate Albania to annoy the Austrians.
    Americans attend the premier of “The Birth of a Nation”.

    Turn 3 –
    The Austrians make their fateful decision, and fully reinforce Romania.  Troops in Trieste, slotted for Italy, are redirected into Albania, which they narrowly fail to capture.  The assault into Tuscany is a wash as neither side manages to shoot straight.
    Russia gambles, and sends the bulk of the Ukraine monstrosity into Romania.  Two Infantry are set into Belarus (which has a single German defender) and Moscow is reinforced.  The gamble pays off.  While no one manages a hit in Belarus, the Russians can’t miss in Romania, and completely annihilate the combined Austrian and Ottoman division, while suffering only minor casualties. 
    Germany, “chained to the corpse [of Austria]” launches a desperate attack against Moscow, despite poor odds and gets wiped out.  The CP concedes.

    Brief thoughts –
    The RR rules being what they are, we’ve decided to not play with them for the time being.  Having said that, while they certainly are open to abuse by the Allies, I think they on balance favor the CP.  In this game, Russia was able to maneuver its forces away from the core territories and inflict a strategically devastating blow on AH/O.  After this, despite having vastly superior forces present, Russia would have run the real risk of being forced into revolution were we playing with those rules.  (The Germans held Poland, Belarus, Livonia, could have easily taken Karelia, and while their odds at taking Moscow were slight, the Russians actually got a bit lucky in wiping out their attackers.)
    Attacking Holland & Switzerland with Germany in a “Russia First” campaign turned out to be stupid.  A Paris or bust strategy probably could use the expanded front, but even at 1 & 2 values, the German forces were so spread out, they were taking too many gambles, and just a couple of them coming up wrong spelled disaster for the CP.
    More thoughts after I post the results of our second, much longer game.



  • It’s funny you bring up attacking the neutrals w/Germany when you’re going Russia first. In our first game I attacked Denmark. This puts a good portion of your army out of position to def the western front, and gives another territory to worry about w/allied landings. I did collect the 2 IPCs for the entire short 5 turn game though lol.



  • Game Report #2!

    As you may or may  not recall, the CP suffered a quick and crushing defeat in our very first game of A&A 1914.  Luckily, they were able to press the “reset” button and try again!  Once again, RR rules were NOT in effect.

    The overall strategy of game on could be summed up as “Russia First”.  Given how terribly the game went for the CP, you might have expected wholesale changes.  Strangely, however, the CP proved mostly stubborn, and only made one significant alteration to their strategy.  In the 2nd Game, rather than having AH focus on Russia, AH sent a token distraction force East, and instead spent most (70%+, more as the game went on) trying to take Italy.

    Turn 1 –
    AH – Once again, attacked both Serbia (curse that rule!) and Venice, leaving Romania alone.  Serbia falls, Venice hangs on.  Decides against the Tuscany AA this time.
    R – Russians fall back, activate Romania, and reinforce Ukraine.  Sends the southern destroyers against the Ottomans, with the end result being everyone is wiped out.
    G – The German navy took out the SZ2 fleet without casualties, but managed to take out SZ 9 at a high cost – only a (damaged) German BB survived.  Because buying navy on G1 is dicey (risks getting hit by the Russian BB, assuming you attack SZ9), the German fleet was crippled by the end of its first turn.  German armies attacked West, taking Belgium, ignoring both Switzerland and Holland.
    F – Activates Portugal, attacks and digs in Belgium.
    UK – Plays more aggressive in the Mideast, attacking Trans-Jordan and Afghanistan (if only conquering Afghanistan was that easy in real life) to open up a relief convoy for Russia.  Activates Arabia. Rebuilds its fleet.
    O – Activates Bulgaria, pushes troops in Arabia and Trans-Jordan, both remain contested. 
    I – Does what it does, turtles and prays for help.
    US – There’s a war?

    Turns 2 – 4 –
    AH – Begins to make progress in Italy.  Contests and then takes Tuscany.  Trades Piedmont back and forth with both the Italians and later the French.  (Switzerland remains neutral almost the entire game as neither side wants to activate it against them.)  Picks up the random undefended territory in Russia here and there.  Income begins to grow.

    R – Dances back and forth with Germany.  Loses some territory in the South to AH/O in order to conserve forces.
    G – Continues to send “just enough” troops to the West.  Majority of fighting takes places in Belgium, with some lighter fighting Lorraine and Picardy.
    F – Slogs it out with Germany along the border.  Occasionally fights in Piedmont to contain the Austrians.
    UK – Reinforces both the Russians and the French.  Plays hit and run against the Ottomans.
    O – Constantly pressed for troops, can never seem to break out, always seems just a couple turns away from doing so.
    I – Gets pushed farther and farther back.  A single hold-out in Tuscany remains at the end of I4.
    US - ??
    Turns 5 – 7
    AH – Reinforces its fleet and begins making tanks.  The allies have an assortment of ships in the Med, but because of the attack alone/defend together rule, and effective stalemate ensues.  The starting transport is used to ferry 2 troops a turn from Trieste to Tuscany, getting them a turn earlier.  AH makes an initial attack on Rome on turn 6, and comes agonizingly close to taking it on turn 7.
    R – Germany wandered too close, and gets hit hard in Belarus, nearly wiping out the German forward army.  Luckily the Germans (barely) survived, and were able to thus delay Russia a turn.  Two stacks in Poland (plus a few stragglers and token AH support) deterred Russia from pressing further, but Russia remains secure.
    G – The Western “Lesser” front goes better than expected, as the Germans outmaneuvered the British, and destroyed a trapped BEF in Belgium.  The French remain strong.  The Eastern “Primary” front goes poorly, as the main force gets slaughtered in Belarus, and the Germans must fall back.
    F – The fighting with Germany is going well, but most divert some of its forces to help prop up the Italians, both in Piedmont as well as Rome (via the French navy, stationed in the Med).
    O - Constantly pressed for troops, can never seem to break out, always seems just a couple turns away from doing so.
    I – Clinging to life in Rome.
    US – On turn 5, the US decided to attack Spain.  Why?  It seemed like a good “shuck-shuck” location, and the additional 4 IPCs would allow the US to add/upgrade fighters and armor to its usual 4 inf/2 art buy.  Bu the downside was the US didn’t take Spain on US5, which mean the US couldn’t reinforce Rome on US6.  The AH7 attack on Rome left 1 Italian troop standing.  The US quickly disembark reinforcements into Rome on US7.

    Turns 8 and beyond –
    A lot of things going on here, but most of it is the status quo.  With British help, the Russians managed to regain control of most of their territory, but could never really push West.  The Germans fought both the Russians/British in the East and the French/British in the West to a more-or-less stalemate.  The Ottomans made slight inroads into Africa, but never seriously threatened India.
    Where the game turned was in Italy.  The Austrians had strengthened their fleet to the point where any attack by the Allies would have been suicide absent major additional naval investment, which the Allies could not afford.  The attacks on Rome began drifting away from the Austrians until two things happened: (1) some bad “defense” dice by the Allies and (2) Austrian tanks started showing up.  The Allies never counterattacked (being from multiple countries would not have worked out well), and the Austrians began taking less and less casualties on their assaults.  This was helped out by some bad Allied “defense” dice, but IMO that just sped things along.  Eventually the Allies could not hold out, and Rome fell.
    After Rome fell, and was sufficiently secured, the Austrians began redirecting West.  Austria was now badly out producing everyone else (including Germany) and the Allies couldn’t keep up.  The allies sued for peace before Paris fell, on turn 17(!)

    Some thoughts –

    The Germans, British, and Austrians all purchased large numbers of tanks, but only the Austrians benefited from them.  (On the other hand, the tanks basically won the Austrians the game.)  Tanks seem most useful to overcome the “attack alone, defend together” problem (for the attacker obviously).
    The Germans basically lost their fleet by the end of their first turn.  Because I don’t buy fleet with Germany on G1 (as anything less than a BB+Sub buy is asking for the Russian BB to attack), I never spent any money on German fleet.  On the other hand, Germany was able to (just) keep both the Eastern and Western fronts alive with a steady trickle of reinforcements, so perhaps not buying any fleet at all was a good thing.
    I’ve only played two games, but the Allied victory was fast, and the CP victory dragged on and on.  Sure, we were still learning rules, and things should go faster in the future, but this is a rough game to play in one setting.  I already find myself looking forward to some sort of Triple A/online version.
    I was constantly running out of German Infantry and Tanks sculpts, as well as chips generally.  Thankfully, I had other versions of A&A to raid.
    The Western front (and Italy) is way too crowded and the board seems seem to be strategically placed for maximum frustration.
    Overall, I like the game a lot.  I think it needs some tweaks, but this is the best I’ve felt about a new A&A game since Revised came out.
    8/10


  • Customizer

    Why attack Spain? If America needs a foothold Spanish Morocco is undefended.

    The Allies should leave tank building to the British; a large stack driving from Belgium to the Ruhr can be death to the German army. The French cannot really afford them, as their income never gets close to the British. Furthermore, the UK can ship tanks as readily as infantry over the channel, so build up a BEF of inf and art to defend, then drop in 8 tanks and go all attack.



  • So, of course, I agree attacking Spain was crazy dumb.  :mrgreen: I doubt that will happen again.

    Tank building (for those it didn’t work out for) basically boiled down to “tank too early”.  On the Eastern front, the Russian seized the initiative and dealt a serious blow, so the Germans were mostly playing defense/falling back (and obviously tanks don’t help with that).  On the Western front, the British built tanks before they had a good and sizeable infantry force to support them, and the Germans were able to cut the force off and destroy it.

    Early games, much learning remains to be done.



  • I like to attack spain on F2…i probably wouldnt if Germany wasnt going heavy on Russia but i dont see why not, you got the 4 units in portugal and the 3 in N africa, if you can take spain by F3 then you have 4 more income for the rest of the game 7+ turns, and France doesnt need those units immediatly against Germ unless Germ is not going for moscow



  • @Aristokles:

    Brief thoughts –
    The RR rules being what they are, we’ve decided to not play with them for the time being.  Having said that, while they certainly are open to abuse by the Allies, I think they on balance favor the CP.

    From the threads I have been reading, the only CP wins seem to be when the Russian Revolution was in play. Without it, Russia just seems to be a complete disaster. They have the ability to either turtle in Moscow with 60-70 units, or run around hitting stacks.

    Or if they know the inevitable is likely they can even take their massive stack of units and head south and obliterate the Ottoman army without repercussions.

    It seems odd that even though the rule is “optional”, it’s almost a necessity for the CPs to even stand a chance.



  • @Aristokles:

    Americans attend the premier of “The Birth of a Nation”.

    I laughed so hard.



  • @Aristokles

    You cannot loose the German fleet R1.
    It is absolutely unattackable by the 1 French DR or the Russian DR after eliminating the UK fleet (Yes, I use DR for Dreadnought!).

    G1 all ships wipe out British Fleet is MANDATORY!



  • @zanetheinsane:

    @Aristokles:

    Brief thoughts �
    The RR rules being what they are, we�ve decided to not play with them for the time being.  Having said that, while they certainly are open to abuse by the Allies, I think they on balance favor the CP.

    From the threads I have been reading, the only CP wins seem to be when the Russian Revolution was in play. Without it, Russia just seems to be a complete disaster. They have the ability to either turtle in Moscow with 60-70 units, or run around hitting stacks.

    Or if they know the inevitable is likely they can even take their massive stack of units and head south and obliterate the Ottoman army without repercussions.

    It seems odd that even though the rule is “optional”, it’s almost a necessity for the CPs to even stand a chance.

    It is not odd, but logical that the RR rule must be in play.
    In fact it cannot work for both variants to be balanced! Impossible!
    On another note a WWI game without RR (rules) isn’t a WWi game for me!



  • The RR definitely helps the CP, but as has been said, the Allies can ‘game’ it to minimize the damage.

    The RR is particularly useful if the Russians simply retreat everything to Moscow- the CPs take several russian territories and simply have to contest Moscow (and hope to continue contesting it at the end of the Russian turn to force revolution)/.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    BJCard have I missed something?
    Thought it was not necessary to contest Moscow; Russia could control it or contest it.
    I will check p14 of FAQs again.


  • Official Answers

    Not to hijack this thread, but we’re thinking about changing the Russian Revolution rule to allow the Central Powers to decline the armistice if they want to.  That would keep Russia from “gaming” the rule.  Of course, there is only one revolution, so accepting it is a one-time opportunity.



  • wittman, I thought the CPs had to contest Moscow- I don’t have the rulebook with me right now, please let me know your findings.

    Krieg, that potential rule change would probably be a good thing.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Nice idea Krieg.

    BJCard: Just reread the section and in the rule book it is as I said: control or contest.

    Should you be working you naughty man!



  • So all the CPs need to do is hold 3 territories bordering Moscow and one other (Poland/Sevastopol for example) at the end of the Russian turn?

    Man I’ve been playing this wrong!

    Work is overrated.  The new plant isn’t built yet!


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Yes, three bordering moscow(are 5 in total) must be controlled and a 4th original territory(not Serbia or Romania) either controlled or contested and Moscow either contested or still in Russian hands.

    Thought you were at your desk, excuse the presumption.
    One day I too will have constraints; not yet though.



  • Well, I am at my desk, so your presumption is correct; just not a lot of work to do for now.

    Good to get the RR cleared up.  Thanks!



  • @Krieghund:

    Not to hijack this thread, but we’re thinking about changing the Russian Revolution rule to allow the Central Powers to decline the armistice if they want to.  That would keep Russia from “gaming” the rule.  Of course, there is only one revolution, so accepting it is a one-time opportunity.

    That’s a great idea. It would indeed keep Russia from gaming the revolution. And it I love that the CP’s can choose to fight on for additional IPCs or choose to stop if things look bleak.



  • @Krieghund:

    Not to hijack this thread, but we’re thinking about changing the Russian Revolution rule to allow the Central Powers to decline the armistice if they want to.  That would keep Russia from “gaming” the rule.  Of course, there is only one revolution, so accepting it is a one-time opportunity.

    Excellent Idea !!

    Two Thumbs UP !!

    Kim


  • Customizer

    If the CPs decline the armistice, does the revolution nevertheless occur and, for example, make Russian controlled territory off limits to the other Allies?

    Does Russia still get a turn to fight off the Central Powers?

    Or does the Revolution, in this case, have no effect on the game?

    @Krieghund:

    Not to hijack this thread, but we’re thinking about changing the Russian Revolution rule to allow the Central Powers to decline the armistice if they want to.  That would keep Russia from “gaming” the rule.  Of course, there is only one revolution, so accepting it is a one-time opportunity.



  • @Flashman:

    If the CPs decline the armistice, does the revolution nevertheless occur and, for example, make Russian controlled territory off limits to the other Allies?

    Does Russia still get a turn to fight off the Central Powers?

    Or does the Revoluiton, in this case, have no effect on the game?

    @Krieghund:

    Not to hijack this thread, but we’re thinking about changing the Russian Revolution rule to allow the Central Powers to decline the armistice if they want to.  That would keep Russia from “gaming” the rule.  Of course, there is only one revolution, so accepting it is a one-time opportunity.

    I’m almost positive it probably means “No revolution happens”

    A thousand times yes on making that ruling official though.  Destroys gaminess without complicating things further.  Forces Russia to play like it wants to survive instead of “How can I self destruct for the most damage”.


  • Customizer

    Not very historical, as the Armistice was signed about 6 months after the Communist Revolution, and over a year after the Tsar was overthrown.

    In fact it was only signed after the Germans renewed the offensive when Russian delegates stalled in hope of more Allied intervention.


  • Official Answers

    It means that when the revolution conditions (as per the Rulebook) are met for the first time (once per game), the Central Powers have a choice.  If they all agree to an armistice, it goes down exactly as indicated on page 14 of the FAQ thread.  If any Central Powers player refuses the armistice, everything continues on as normal - Russia has a new government, but it has no effect on the game.

    Try it out and let me know what you think.


  • Customizer

    Should be an improvement. I wasn’t comfortable with the Central powers having to think if they really wanted to take Livonia/Belarus/Tartarstan; just too counter-intuitive.


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