I decided to do a self-play before introducing the game to my axis buddies that way we don’t spend 10 hours stuck in round one. First, hats off to the designer of this game. The board is beautiful and the map is a sight to behold. Yes, some more pieces would be helpful and the tiny dice are a bit strange but there are work arounds so it didn’t bother me. I was having too much fun conducting military maneuvers. This first game was completely by the book and included the RR. I know there are numerous fixes floating around on the boards but I wanted to play test the game on its merits, as it is, coming out of the box.
Here is how it went.
Aus: buys 4 inf, 2 art, 1 fgt
Attacked Venice, Poland, Serbia, Romania resulting in four stalemates. Lost total of 12 inf and 1 art.
IPC Total: 26
Rus: buys 5 inf, 1 art, 1 fgt
Attacked Mesopotamia resulting in stalemate. Moved everyone to Ukraine. Lost 2 inf.
IPC Total: 22
Ger: buys 4 inf, 5 art, 1 fgt
Completely wiped out the British navy in the Atlantic. Lost two subs. Attacked Belgium with combined forces of Alsace and Ruhr and wiped out all forces. Attacked Holland from Kiel resulting in stalemate. Lost 3 inf total. Moved 5 inf from berlin west and the rest of the forces east. Munich and Hanover moved to Alsace and Ruhr.
IPC Total: 40
France: buys 8 inf
Counter attacks into Belgium with combined force from Lorraine and Picardy and Holland resulting in stalemate. Germany rolls poorly resulting in 9 losses as opposed to only 5 for the French. France move Parisians to Picardy and fleet to SZ 14 activating Portugal and relocating N African inf to Portugal.
IPC Total: 27
Uk: buys 4 inf, 3 art, I fgt and puts it all in india. Attacks two german inf in angola with 2 inf and art resulting in stalemate. Activated arabia with 1 transported inf. Attacked Persia and wiped out all forces suffering 2 lost inf.
IPC Total: 33
Tur: buys 4 inf, 1 art. Attacks arabia resulting in stalemate. Attacks Mesopotamia resulting in conquest. 3 inf and 1 art lost. Forces in Constantinople activate Bulgaria.
IPC Total: 19
Italy: buys 2 inf, 2 art. Attacks Venice and takes the territory with 4 inf, 4 art left to spare. Activates Albania with forces from Libya. Reinforces into Tuscany.
IPC Total: 16
US: buys three transports
Austria counter attacks into Venice and moves its Galician stack into Poland. It conducts mopping up operations in the Balkans and Romania. Russia then decided on a dangerous plan of attacking Romania with 12 inf and 9 art. The attack failed as it scored few hits and lost its fighter. Russia relocated all forces to Belorussia. It appeared the writing was on the wall. I calculated Russia would fall without the revolution by turn five. However, a Russian battleship came in and did serious damage to German navy killing two cruisers. Germany reinforced into Poland creating a massive stack. They also took Ukraine with one inf. Ger declined to attack Belorussia. The Navy stayed in port. France poured everything into the Western Front including, Portuguese forces, and sailed up north to sz 8. Britain added one transport to SZ 8 and poured everything else into India. UK attacked into Mesopotamia and attacked a combined german force in Africa. Both resulted in stalemates. British troops then boarded American transports heading to Mediterranean. Turkey continued the stalemate in Mesopotamia and reinforced into Romania. They took Arabia as well. Italy attacked Austrians in Trieste with Albanian forces creating a stalemate while they took Venice outright. U.S. docked their fleet off the coast of Portugal.
Austria hung on in Romania with 1 infantry and massed their forces in Tyrolia. Russia kept their stack in Ukraine while Germany Followed Austria into Belorussia. Germany continued to pour forces in to the West but they were forced to cede Lorraine back to France. The UK made a disastrous attack into Jordan losing four inf to only 1 tur inf. British forces began landing in Picardy from French transports. Turkey withdrew from Mesopotamia and controlled Jordan with 4 inf and 2 art threatening Africa. U.S. moved into Mediterranean and plunked down more transports.
A disastrous round for the CP’s. This is the round when the CP’s flawed strategies (and built in allied advantages) kicked in. First, the CP’s got outmaneuvered by the Russians. Who withdrew to Ukraine and sat there until Germany moved into Belorussia. At that point they attacked with a combined force of infantry and artillery that totaled 36 from Russia and Ukraine. The CP’s had about 30 infantry and ten artillery plus air superiority but the Russians rolled well. A stalemate ensued but the entire Austrian army and a chunk of German infantry were taken out. Russia was depleted and lost the territory the next turn. But the dispersion of forces meant that Russia held everything but Poland and Belorussia and they had 8 inf and 4 art sprinkled in an arc around Belorussia while germany had 5 inf 9 art and a fighter in belorussia. In short, Germany would not have enough war material on the eastern front to overtake Russia and there were no supplies on the way. They were as standed as Field Marshall Paulus in Stalingrad. Furthermore, there was still a sizable Russian force in Romania (3 inf, 2 art) ready to hit the Turks in Bulgaria. On the Western Front Belgium continued to be fiercely contested but with the British now landing the odds were now swinging to the Allies. Austria was under siege as American transports dumped some Americans to join the Brits resulting in a stack of 8 inf and 4 art in Albania. Italy held Venice with 4 inf, 7 art. Turkey was putting up a noble defense and still held all its territories except for Mesopotamia.
Austria hit the allies hard in Albania but the resulting stalemate essentially deprived Austria of vital war material needed on the Italian front. Meanwhile, Russia went berserk. Sent lone infantry all over the place, taking Poland, Galicia and Budapest. They ended their turn with a whopping 35 IPC. Germany made a final desperate lunge into Moscow but were outnumbered 18-15 and despite the massive artillery barrage supported by air they stalemated Moscow and clung to their position with only 1 inf and 5 art and a fgt. Russia had 4 inf, 7 art and they were scheduled to go next. At that point, the game was clearly over. The CP’s were under siege on every front. The game was unqualified Allied ROUT.
First, this game isn’t WWII A&A and my tactics for CP did not adjust accordingly. The Russian strategy of just sitting in Ukraine while the CP’s tentatively move north is quite effective. By turn four Russia has produced another stack of war material equal to what Germany has in Poland after turn 1. Also, on turn one I diverted 5 inf west from Berlin. That was a mistake. Everything in Berlin needs to go east. Also, the CP rolls could have been better. But that doesn’t explain the CP’s complete collapse on the Eastern Front. Clearly, CP strategy was defective here. Another thing is the CP’s never bought any ships and the Austrian Navy did nothing. The CP navy basically acted as defensive shields keeping allies out.
But even if I had managed to take out Russia there would have been very little CP forces left and the Western Front was a complete mess for the CP’s. The CP’s may have still been able to win but the logistical problems for the CP are so severe that it would have taken at least ten more turns, probably more.