To start off, after several refresher sessions with the rules, I got "Barbarossa: Kiev to Rostov" back on the table. This is an interesting game. I love everything about it -- the highly complex rules, the beautiful components, the history... Yes, I love everything about it -- except actually playing it. Now I remember why I abandoned the campaign game I had started over the summer. The game devolves into a stalemate pretty quickly. The chariots don't exactly blaze in this one.
The culprit here is that is just too easy to defend. An attacker has to attack EVERY unit in its ZOC, making it virtually impossible to accomplish much of anything in any given turn.
Here are some examples from a recent playing of "Scenario 6: To Rostov."
|The situation a couple turns in. All the victory points are at the top of the map. It's basically a fight for the city of Rostov.|
In addition, forcing the player into multiple attacks uses up lots of supply, more than is available. In the 3-2-9 example above, a plausible offensive would require three or four separate attacks costing three or four attack supply points. The German player is generally lucky to have one supply point, forget four. Basically, once a defenses congeals in an area, it's all over for the attacker.
Even if it is historically accurate, it's not a very fun game. The turns are too complex and time-consuming for so little to happen. Maybe if turns were 1 week instead of 2 days things would play out a little more interestingly. Oh well....This one goes on the shelf.
Moving back in time about 3500 years.....
Now, these chariots blaze. I burn hot and cold on this game, too. I'm burning hot right now, though. After a few turns of the Astarpa River scenario (Arzawans vs Hittites), I'm having a great time.
|Hittites in blue, Arzawans in orange. The Light Chariots of each side surge forward. The Hittites definitely have the advantage in this battle.|
|The Arzawans swing across the front to strike at the Hittite light chariots. Possibly a mistake for the Arzawans. The Hittite heavies are poised to hit the lights in the flank.|
|And they do, scattering the Arzawan LCs, but taking cohesion hits in the process.|
|Taking the initiative, the Arzawan heavy chariots surge into the gap and slam into the Hittites. Their charge saves the light chariots from certain destruction.|
|Two Hittite units are routed. The heavies are now engaged. But who will win the next activation?|
|The god of fortune favors the Arzawans! The light chariots go next and hightail it out of trouble to the east, away from the Hittite heavies. Arzawan infantry advance, daring the Hittite chariots to attack them. (Spoiler: they won't dare.)|
|While the heavy chariots duke it out in the center, both sides' lights chase each other east across the desert, flinging arrows as they go.|
|The Hittites finish off the Arzawan heavy chariots and race away from the infantry. The field is now open for the ground-pounders to settle matters. The Hittites have their sights set on the Arzawan flank and rear now!|
|Routed units have piled up around the Arzwan standard. Lots of potential VPs for the Hittites -- if they can get to them before they rally.|
To be continued.....
Here's what's on the docket in coming game sessions:
|The Battle of Stones River, 1862-63. Regimental scale American Civil War. In hand now, learning the rules. On the table soon.|
|Single battle ziplock game from Revolution Games. In transit to my headquarters.|
|Sister game of Hastings above.|
|A game I've been looking at for a long time.|
Oh, and here's a strategy tip for the Washington game:
Until next time: Bomb's Away, Dream Babies!