Fourth Time Playing After Action Report

  • Hello, everybody.

    I just thought I’d let you know how a recent game went for me and my friends.  This was with my normal group, and the first time I wasn’t playing with just my dad or brothers-in-law, so there were a multitude of opinions and levels of experience and aggression.  We played with three players, and we used the recommended division of one player as the central powers, one player as the UK and France, and one player as Russia, Italy, and the United States.

    I won’t give you a completely detailed breakdown, since I wasn’t writing down moves or anything, but we did use a tweak of the rules: the “railroad” strategic move option that Larry suggested, where units may be taken from one territory to another territory at any distance provided that they are connected by a continuous series of “owned” territories.  We decided that you could not “railroad” through the territory of your allies.  Also, it was decided that Switzerland was off-limits to invasion.

    Round One: Austria commits to attacks on Serbia, Romania, and Venice.  Through fortunate rolls, They take Serbia and Romania without being crippled.  Venice is contested.  Russia counter-invades Romania and contests the region.  They concentrate troops in Poland.  Germany invades Poland, Belgium, Lorraine, Nigeria, French Equatorial Africa, Belgian Congo, and decides not to invade Angola, because no one is sure if doing that will activate Portugal.  We decide it would, so the heck with that idea.  With air superiority, the Russians in Poland are devastated, but the region remains contested.  Belgium falls immediately.  Lorraine annihilates the German invasion.  The German and British surface fleets sink each other.  The French attempt to liberate Belgium, and the Germans barely hold on.  A French counter-invasion into Alsace fails as miserably as the German invasion of Lorraine.  The French activate Portugal.  The British reinforce Belgium, bulk up in India, and contest South West Africa.  All other German African colonies are essentially doomed, as the British destroy most land forces on the continent.  The Ottomans invade Sevastopal and contest it, conquer Arabia, and activate Bulgaria.  The Italians continue the fight for Venice.  America exists.

    Round Two: Austria invades Ukraine and everyone dies without even firing at the Russians.  They reinforce the Ottomans in Sevastopal, and the region remains contested.  Galicia is reinforced.  Albania is invaded and remains contested.  Russia continues the fight in Sevastopal and Poland with little change.  The Russian Navy hits a mine and decides to go home.  Germany reinforces Belgium and Alsace.  Southwest Africa remains contested the rest of the game, as no one there knows how to aim, it appears.  France feeds the stalemate in Belgium and attacks Alsace again, contesting it.  Britain successfully invades Persia, reinforces Belgium, and cleans up Africa.  The Ottomans fail in an attempt to attack Egypt, and Sevastopal continues to be contested.  The troops in Bulgaria go into Romania.  Italy reinforces Venice and Albania.  America exists.

    Round Three:  Austria reinforces Venice, Albania, and Sevastopal, which falls into Ottoman hands.  Tuscany is invaded by sea and contested.  An attempted invasion of the Ukraine contests the region.  Russia kills off the Austrians in Ukraine and reinforces Poland.  Germany reinforces Belgium, Alsace, and Poland, winning in Alsace.  France attacks Belgium and defeats the Germans.  Britain attacks and contests Mesopotamia and Trans-Jordan.  Attacks into Sevastopal fail immediately.  They reinforce Belgium.  Ottomans invade Ukraine and reinforce Mesopotamia, but they lose Trans-Jordan.  Italy loses Albania but regains Tuscany, and crushes the Austrians in Venice.  America exists.

    Round Four:  Austria invades and contests Venice again.  Austria also reinforces the Ottomans in the Ukraine and in Mesopotamia (from Sevastopal).  Russia reinforces Ukraine and Poland.  Germany wins in Poland and invades Belgium again.  Germans announce unrestricted submarine warfare.  France reinforces Belgium and fails in another attack on Alsace.  Britain reinforces Belgium and wins in Mesopotamia.  They also contest Smyrna.  Ottomans reinforce Smyrna and invade Mesopotamia.  They withdraw from Ukraine into Sevastopal, leaving it to the Austrians.  Italy reinforces Venice and Smyrna.  Americans land in Belgium and Picardy, and the American fleet kills most German subs.

    Round Five: Austria reinforces Ukraine and Venice, and invades Tuscany again, this time winning it.  Russia reinforces Ukraine and prepares to fight in Belarus.  Germany attacks Belarus and crushes it.  They also reinforce Belgium and invade Lorraine, almost eradicating the French there.  France attacks in Lorraine and loses.  Defenses are established in Burgundy.  Britain reinforces Belgium and invades Kiel, barely contesting it with one surviving unit. Britain wins in Mesopotamia and reinforces Smyrna.  Ottomans reinforce Smyrna and prepare to defend Ankara.  Italy wins in Venice again and contests Tuscany.  America reinforces Belgium and masses troops into Picardy.

    Round Six:  Austria wins in Ukraine, loses in Tuscany, and invades Venice again, contesting it.  Russia prepares Moscow for the invasion.  Germany wins in Belarus and invades Burgundy.  Belgium remains a stalemate, Kiel is taken.  France attacks into Burgundy and loses it to Germany.  Britain reinforces Belgium and lands troops in Karelia.  They also invade Ankara.  Ankara and Smyrna are contested.  Italy reinforces Venice and loses it.  The United State reinforces Burgundy and decimates the Germans.

    And then we called it a victory for the Allied powers.  It was a close run deal, and we had a blast doing it.  The Americans swung the war in the end– without their final intervention, France would have fallen.  It reached the point of inevitability.Moscow was doomed no matter what, but so was Constantinople.  I feel that the powers are fairly well balanced, it is just that the Central powers need to be aggressive and daring to win; they almost pulled it off.

  • So do you think the CP shouldn’t have any bid? I myself have to play this verision more to get an opinion but from the reports I read it seems that the CP’s are a little under powered. But agree if you are much more aggressize things could turn out well. On the other hand if they don’t it could be a fast game.

  • I am a bit confused by your round 2. What do you mean when you say Austrians die without even firing at Russians?

  • The Austrians dying without firing a shot meant that all units were lost in a single round of combat without scoring a single hit on the Russians.  Horrific bad luck.  It ended out working out on average.  I think if the CP get a bid, it would be a small one, and it would mostly go to Austria.  The Germans were operating on a shoestring budget, but they almost pulled it off.  Austria, though, was always trying to make some small amount of headway with insufficient resources.  I think they only did well because the guy controlling Italy mad bad decisions and kept letting Tuscany get contested or conquered.

    Also, without being able to move units quickly from one front to another (either through single territory to single territory “railroading” or simply doubling land unit speed as outlined in another recent post), the CP would not stand a chance– the logistics of shifting front to front have been impossible otherwise.  The first time we played we used vanilla rules, and the CP came close to Moscow and Paris, but it didn’t work for them.  Second game was crazy, with Scotland and Ireland invaded.  Not very effective-- the diversion of resources for sufficient naval assets only makes the US intervention even more decisive and France harder to manage.  Third game, France rolled really bad, and so did Italy.  Austria took Venice round 1 and was in Rome round 4.  Germany took Belgium round one, Alsace round 2, and contested Paris by round 5 when we called it, citing bad rolls as essentially spoiling the game along with an American player who insisted one building a uselessly large fleet that would never be able to get units to Europe in time.

    I guess this makes the overall record 3-1 for the Entente.  CP must be very aggressive, but they can’t survive a bad round as well as the Entente can, that’s for sure.  So, some mild bid, certainly just infantry for Austria, perhaps on the Italian border region?  This would stabilize the area in Venice and allow a little more to eventually go against Russia, which in turn takes the heat of Germany and the Ottomans, so the Germans can toss a couple more units at the French and the Ottomans a couple more in their doomed fight against the Brits.  However, that is just me chucking ideas at the wall and seeing if something sticks.

  • Thanks for the reply and opinion.

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