i played my first game of BOTB last night as the allies. despite it being my opponent’s first game and me studying the strategy articles here to put a strong defence, i lost big time. i hang on my a miracle in turn 5 and lost in turn 6. my post includes two parts. (1) a debrief from my game. (2) possibly strategy ideas and general comments. (3) rule questions. any feedback would be greatly appreciated. here’s a map for reference:
(1) on the first turn, germany killed or drove back all 8 of my hexes. the axis simply advanced all of it’s units west by one hex. here’s what i did, starting in the north and moving south. (a) art died, inf retreated to eupen. (b) inf died, one art retreated west. died. (d) died. (e) inf retreated west (so i could waste a supply from st. vith moving it there). (f) art died, inf retreated west. (g) inf and art from delutch retreated west. (h) died.
from here, i used 2 supply from eupen. 1 to bring in the art from the SW, and the other to move an inf out of eupen to the SW.
i burned 4 supply from st. vith. 2 to blitz the tank to there, 1 to move the retreated inf to the SW there, and 1 to activate the inf in st. vith but i opted to not move him.
that’s all i could move. to reinforce, i put everything on my northern chart into eupen, and i put my two tanks into bastonge. i also used only 1 truck and brought just two supply to bastonge.
(i was trying to prevent losing supply and truck to the enemy, and i succeeded. the entire game i never had extra supply that even could have been captured, and i never lost a truck. i also gave up on trying to hold a continuous line since i only had 10 units alive after the first round, i figured they would all just die if i spreaded them out.)
on the 2nd turn, i wont the initiative and struck out of eupen. the axis was able to advance one square west everywhere except for eupen. on the 3rd turn, i once again dumped all of my northern chart into eupen and everything else into bastonge. i won the initiative again and struck out of eupen. the axis advanced one square west everywhere except for eupen again and bastonge. on the 4th turn, and axis won the initiative and ended up driving out of both eupen and bastonge.
at this point, on the 5th turn, the axis had 19 points, and were threatening five 3-point cities: neuf, liber, orth, la roche, and verviers (i could afford to lose only 1 of them). i ended up abandoning la roche, and by a miracle defended the other 4 cities, but then i lost all of them on the 6th turn.
(2) after the fact, i realized that i had 8 trucks at the end of the game, but only used 2 at a time. what a waste. despite frimmels warning about risking losing these to the enemy, i think it would be smarter to bring in a truck with one supply to the front line just to provide two cover shots–provided there are at least 3 defensive units there. would it be smarter to dump the northern chart into eupen only once, and split the 2nd round troops into bastogne? i thought about it for a long time, and i decided that the allies just can’t afford to lose eupen.
(3) my opponent and i found some of the rules ambiguous.
(3a) specifically the state of a square going into “enemy control” and being in a “zone of control” were not 100% clear. when, exactly does this occur? do these hex states update immediately after the axis movement phase? or do they update after the axis reinforcement phase? or do they update after the allied movement/reinforcement phase?
for example, say in a hex the allied troops are forced back and the axis player moves his troops forward into the original allied hex. at some point, this originally allied hex become under enemy control, placing the retreated troops in a ZOC, but when? if a truck is there, it can still go off board, but my opponent and i found the allied troops are trapped.
for a 2nd example, say in city wierbomoar all the allied troops are killed, leaving a gaping hole in the line, an open westerly path to Huy, and the middle of the board wide open. if axis troops claim the city in the movement phase, does that mean an axis truck can drive along the road through wierbomoar (no longer hostle?) all the way to Huy and drop off troops Huy (provided of course that road isn’t in an allied ZOC)? then do they get to claim Huy as well?
(3b) i also found the rule about placing reinforcements ambiguous. the rule book states troops can be placed on the edge of board from the proper side if they are not “under enemy control”. then there is a 2nd explaination (with an image with green/red hexes) saying “on the proper side of the line” that doesn’t completely jive. we had an exception in our game.
consider this example. the allies have troops in the southern city of mar, and the axis kills all of them. during the axis movement phase, they blitz tanks through mar to the west, and end up with no troops in mar. so my question is, can the allies put troops from the southern chart straight into mar? according to the green/red chart, this is still on the proper side of the front line (it hasn’t updated yet). i think the city is controlled by the enemy since the blitzing tanks claimed it (right?), but, since there are no troops there, is it “under enemy control” for reinforcement reasons? i found “under enemy control” means has enemy troops in it, so we found that i could place troops there if i wanted (to cut off retreat). agree?