First Game - Allies in A Rout



  • 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.

    Round 1
    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

    Round 2
    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.

    Round 3 
    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.

    Round 4
    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.

    Round 5
    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.

    Conclusion
    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.


  • 2017

    @Tyberius:

    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.

    Round 1

    US: buys three transports

    Round 2
    British troops then boarded American transports heading to Mediterranean.   U.S. docked their fleet off the coast of Portugal.

    Round 3 
    U.S. moved into Mediterranean and plunked down more transports.

    I didn’t think any US forces or equipment could participate in any battles as an attacker before DOW.



  • U.S. forces didn’t attack anyone.



  • @Tyberius:

    U.S. forces didn’t attack anyone.Â

    below is from the FAQ thread (pg. 14):

    As the United States is neutral before it’s at war, it has no friends or enemies; therefore it may not move units into territories controlled by other Allied powers.  It also may not load units onto transports before it’s at war.

    What you did was not Legal with the US., Sorry

    Kim



  • @KimRYoung:

    @Tyberius:

    U.S. forces didn’t attack anyone.�

    below is from the FAQ thread (pg. 14):

    As the United States is neutral before it’s at war, it has no friends or enemies; therefore it may not move units into territories controlled by other Allied powers.  It also may not load units onto transports before it’s at war.

    What you did was not Legal with the US., Sorry

    Kim

    Yes, according to the FAQ it was illegal.  But as I said in my intro, I played the game using only what was in the original rulebook.  The rulebook states the following:

    The United States begins the game neutral, but with Allied sympathies. While it remains neutral, the United States may not move land or air units into Central Powers-controlled or contested territories or attack Central Powers sea units. It will not enter the war unless either its units are attacked by the Central Powers or it loses income to a German submarine attack (see “Collect Income”, page 23). However, if it is not yet at war at the beginning of its fourth turn, the United States will enter the war at that time.

    I agree, the modified version as stated in the FAQ makes more sense.  But for now I wanted to test this game with rules straight from rulebook.



  • British troops on American transports is a little sketchy.



  • I really like this game, and have played OOB several times (only sniffed a CP win once). I would defiantly use the FAQ in your next game though. Even w/US unable to doing anything before the 4th turn the CP will have a hard time. Movement on land causes much trouble for the CP, and reinforcements come to slow (need to chose a direction and stick with it to keep fresh troops coming). Russia as you found out can be really tricky, and in our games Russia rarely attempts to bulk up in Poland, or Romania (it’s kinda suicide for them). We also see them move everything they can to Ukraine the first turn (tough nut to crack). You might try a major push with say Germany (nearly everything) to one front (have a few Austrians w/them), and have the other CP power(s) defend on the other front. It seems to serve them better instead of say spiting Germany into both fronts (and you don’t have quite enough on either to push through).

    The allies also have a major advantage at sea. Many ppl are reducing the French sz 15 fleet to only a cruiser (swapping BB for cruiser, and removing the transport). This isn’t an official change at this point, but Larry has acknowledged a problem, and it is likely to happen (and it has happened in his new tournament rules that also include faster land movement among other things). These are just suggestions, but I think it plays out better.



  • @Makoshark13:

    British troops on American transports is a little sketchy.

    It is sketchy.  But, according to rulebook, not illegal  😮



  • @WILD:

    I really like this game, and have played OOB several times (only sniffed a CP win once). I would defiantly use the FAQ in your next game though. Even w/US unable to doing anything before the 4th turn the CP will have a hard time. Movement on land causes much trouble for the CP, and reinforcements come to slow (need to chose a direction and stick with it to keep fresh troops coming). Russia as you found out can be really tricky, and in our games Russia rarely attempts to bulk up in Poland, or Romania (it’s kinda suicide for them). We also see them move everything they can to Ukraine the first turn (tough nut to crack). You might try a major push with say Germany (nearly everything) to one front (have a few Austrians w/them), and have the other CP power(s) defend on the other front. It seems to serve them better instead of say spiting Germany into both fronts (and you don’t have quite enough on either to push through).

    The allies also have a major advantage at sea. Many ppl are reducing the French sz 15 fleet to only a cruiser (swapping BB for cruiser, and removing the transport). This isn’t an official change at this point, but Larry has acknowledged a problem, and it is likely to happen (and it has happened in his new tournament rules that also include faster land movement among other things). These are just suggestions, but I think it plays out better.

    From my experience it seems like Germany has to commit to one front as well.  I was really surprised how quickly Russian infantry can pile up on the Eastern Front after four turns.  FAQ rules seem quite logical.  But I’d like to play a couple more games before adopting them.  But all told, your suggestions all make sense.



  • It’s pretty fascinating to me how splitting up forces over different fronts really hampers the CP.

    100 Austrians and 100 Germans (to use nice round numbers for the sake of clarity example) attacking the French (100 inf) in a territory is far weaker than 200 Germans or 200 Austrians

    Austrians 100@ 3= 50 hits
    French 100@ 3= 50 hits

    50 Austrians, 50 French lost

    Germans, 100@3= 50 hits,
    French 50@3= 25 hits

    That’s 75 on the CP, whereas if a force of 200 had attacked instead of 2 100’s, the casualties would have been 50.

    It’s worse to have a multinational army since the defender gets to fire at you twice. At first I thought that this was silly, but then I realized that there was a lot of disunity and lack of coordination between powers in WWI, so it is actually pretty cool (although then I guess it is a bit weird that there is no penalty for defending, but whatevers)

    This isn’t really news to A&A, but it seems in our games players are tempted to have multiple powers attack one territory more often than in other versions, which makes it pretty salient in WWI A&A.



  • So… let Germany unilaterally attack France with full force, while AH takes on Russia by it single-handedly?

    What you wrote on splitting forces makes a lot of sense, but I’m trying to figure out how it can help in an actual game.  =/

    @vonLettowVorbeck1914:

    It’s pretty fascinating to me how splitting up forces over different fronts really hampers the CP.

    100 Austrians and 100 Germans (to use nice round numbers for the sake of clarity example) attacking the French (100 inf) in a territory is far weaker than 200 Germans or 200 Austrians

    Austrians 100@ 3= 50 hits
    French 100@ 3= 50 hits

    50 Austrians, 50 French lost

    Germans, 100@3= 50 hits,
    French 50@3= 25 hits

    That’s 75 on the CP, whereas if a force of 200 had attacked instead of 2 100’s, the casualties would have been 50.

    It’s worse to have a multinational army since the defender gets to fire at you twice. At first I thought that this was silly, but then I realized that there was a lot of disunity and lack of coordination between powers in WWI, so it is actually pretty cool (although then I guess it is a bit weird that there is no penalty for defending, but whatevers)

    This isn’t really news to A&A, but it seems in our games players are tempted to have multiple powers attack one territory more often than in other versions, which makes it pretty salient in WWI A&A.



  • Yep, makes sense for the CP to have Germany go full tilt in one front, and Austria the other. We have seen Germany push France back to the brink, and Austria start off defending against Russia (and those damn Italians) then actually gaining the upper hand on their front as well with an aggressive Russia (they will need some inf from Germany, and the Turks). It is also helpful to have say a 10 unit friendly force with you to take out smaller adversaries, or grab more land so you don’t splinter off your main force. This can also help you to gain air superiority for the larger partner. Like Austria sacrifices a few inf and ftrs into a French stack just to force a dog fight and kill off a couple allied ftrs. Then Germany goes in full force, finishes off the air, and has very happy artillery.



  • AH softening France’s air force up to open the way for Germany to have air supremacy: this will henceforth be known as the “Happy Artillery” strategy.  Thanks for making my day, WB.

    @WILD:

    Yep, makes sense for the CP to have Germany go full tilt in one front, and Austria the other. We have seen Germany push France back to the brink, and Austria start off defending against Russia (and those damn Italians) then actually gaining the upper hand on their front as well with an aggressive Russia (they will need some inf from Germany, and the Turks). It is also helpful to have say a 10 unit friendly force with you to take out smaller adversaries, or grab more land so you don’t splinter off your main force. This can also help you to gain air superiority for the larger partner. Like Austria sacrifices a few inf and ftrs into a French stack just to force a dog fight and kill off a couple allied ftrs. Then Germany goes in full force, finishes off the air, and has very happy artillery.


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