Sunday, January 15, 2012

Arkham gaming

Had some nice gaming sessions at the opposite ends of the time spectrum at Arkham Asylum this weekend.

On the one hand there was a quick, 45- or 50-minute game of Memoir '44 on Friday where my Germans were able to make short work of a large force of Russians during our continuing grand campaign game. Even though Tony's Russians had son many troops they overlapped the enire baseline by two ove rand each side and had two more reinforcements the Germans were just hot on the dice and had pretty decent cards to back them up as they rolled to a 6-2 victory.

On the other hand all day Sunday was spent in a grand campaign of another sort as we played Axis & Allies 1940 Global rules using the Alpha +3 revisions. Three fellows from the Hartford group came down to play myself and Roy at Arkham. Two of the Hartford gamers played the Axis, with one controlling Italy and Germany and the other Japan. A Hartford colleague controlled the British and the French, Roy handled the Russians and I handled the USA, ANZAC and China.

To make a long story short, I think things went relatively satisfactory for the Soviets (Moscow was at least 2 turns away from falling when we ended on Turn 5), the ANZACs (Homeland safe, fleet just took Okinawa) USA (large fleet parked off Japan, troop convoys forming in USA, Philippines never fell) and China (Almost all territory liberated) but this didn;t make up for a series of disasters involving Britain. The British player was aware of the threat of a Germa
+n Sea Lion on Turn 3 but he forgot to move the destroyer he intended to sacrifice to block the North Sea approaches. This, of course, created a cascade of negative effects elsewhere, despite the fact that Britain recaptured London on the next turn. Perhaps the most damaging effect was that Italy was basically left alone to rampage throughout Africa and the Middle East. Italy's economy got up to 50 + bonuses and Italian troops were as far south as the Belgian Congo and as far east as Western India at game end! The Japanese essentially abandoned much in the way of effort against the US and China to concentrate on the British and managed to take India on Turn 5. This second blow caused the Allies to concede, as we judged this was not a recoverable situation. While the Soviets could hold out to turn 7 or maybe even 8, there was no prospect of relief for them even then and the German juggernaut was just gathering stean and had substantial Italian troops available for devastating one-two punches against Russia. I had some hope of the US and ANZAC taking Japan by turn 8 or 9, but this would have been far too late as the Germans were poised to take London AGAIN on turn 6. With the fall of Moscow (and necessarily the third Soviet city as well) the Axis would win a European victory on Turn 6, long before the US plans could bear fruit.

A sea of green US pieces surrounding Japan does no good as disasters elsewhere doom the Allies cause.

It was good playing against such experienced Axis players, however. I picked up a lot and have some ideas of what to do for next time. We were really hurt by the British error, which negated some pretty good play on the part of the Soviets. I didn't feel too bad about how I was doing but the problem for the US is that it's hard to start to have a game impact unless the Brits can hold out.

Overall, though, it was a good game. I don't know when we'll do another Arkham Global 1940, but we may make a trip up to the hartford group's "Bunker" this spring.

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