Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fulda Gap Ending

It was decided to end the campaign a little earlier than planned after 20 games played instead of 24. Since it was the last day of the campaign (this was about a month ago) Tracy and myself decided to travel to Oklahoma so we could play with the rest of the group. With nearly everyone together we finish the campaign with 2 team battles, played simultaneous. Both games were 2 versus 2 using the No Retreat mission. While no one had access to additional points, all the other special campaign rules were in affect including a few new ones. The US couldn't use laser-guided projectiles except with off-board artillery. The reason for this was to assume the US side had run low on copperhead ammunition since every US player spam them. The US reserve rules were change in that the roll succeeds on a 4+ instead of a 5+. Lastly the US morale rules were changed. As long as the total US force has more than 50% of its formations in Good Spirits and at least 1 US force commander on the table then no formation morale check is need. Once the percent drops below 50 then any US force that cannot make a formation check fails automatically and is removed at the end of US turn. All other morale checks follow the normal rules. The reason for this change was to make sure a player didn't get eliminated too early. In the end it didn't affect either of the 2 games.

I had plan to do a battle report of the game I was apart of but that would have require more time than I had. Battle reports greatly extends the length of a game because I have to pause after every turn to take pictures and notes. Since there was a very real end time and teams games have the potential take longer than one on one games, I decide to scrap the battle report plan. Here are some pictures I took of the game.

The US and Soviets forces each won one game. The US won the game I was apart of. The game was played along the length of the table and a river bisected the battlefield. It was ruled that the T-72s could cross the river with a bogging check but couldn't end their turn on it. We as the US players line the river with minefields. This made the river effectively a barrier that the Soviet didn't want to cross. Since they couldn't proceed with their swarm of T-72s and BMPs, the Soviets gamble by advancing their air support and had hopes of taking out high priority targets. Unfortunately for the Soviets, the US brought plenty of anti-aircraft fire to deal with the Soviet's air. Without ground support, the Hinds and Frogfoots vanish into balls of smoke and fire. With the rest of the Soviet's force stalled, it gave the US time to get reserves in. The US off-board artillery drop a minefield into the middle of a swarm of Soviet infantry and vehicles which locked them down and served as the final nail in the coffin. I brought six M109s and I could drop bombardments that could easily hit 10 or more infantry and vehicles (their first shot was to drop 2 more minefields). With so much concentrated firepower the Soviets were just shredded. By turn 3 one of the Soviet players were completely eliminated. The other Soviet player wanted to continue a little longer but after one more turn realize there was nothing he could do.

The results on the other table were vastly different. I wasn't able to follow what was going on but I did get a few highlights. Like our table, the US over there had plenty of anti-aircraft fire power. Realizing this Tracy loitered his Hinds off the board until the Soviet ground forces were able to deal with some of that AA. Once it was safe Tracy brought the Hinds back on the board, which took the US players by surprise. I think they completely forgot about the Hinds. The game was decided when Tracy's partner dash an unit on to the objective without the US players realizing it. The Soviet player didn't know dashing units cannot take objective but the US player now alerted to the danger was unable to contest or remove the unit so the Soviets won anyway.

During the game I had over heard US won air superiority. I still don't fully understand how the extra air assets is determine but apparently air superiority for one side is a possibility. What this means is that one side gets the maximum air assets available while the other gets very little. Now knowing this, there was a past campaign turn where I am pretty sure Soviets won air superiority. For the final games, this was another factor for the US on my table winning so big. Not sure how Tracy was able to manage on the other table but it seems the Soviets over there were in full control of that game.

The final campaign score was 70 to 54 (or something like that) for a Soviet victory. I didn't write down the final score but it was in that range. Overall the campaign was very fun to be apart of. The Campaign Manager came up with many interesting and unique mechanics for the campaign. Some I thought were great and added to the game, while others probably sounded better on paper than in practice. My personal favorite aspect of the campaign was that battles were based on real locations. Using google maps as a reference, I got to play on uniquely design game boards that players probably would never that thought to setup. Playing on these types of boards change how I see Team Yankee for the better. Now that the campaign is over, discussion can be done to improve the ideas used in this campaign so that the next one will be even better. At this point I am unsure if I will be able to participate in the next campaign though I will love to follow what's going on with it. In the meantime I will continue be working on Team Yankee models. Until next time!

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