New Campaign Underway!
After getting a little burned out with just playing week after week of "decide and era, build a list and drop dice", Mike decided to take matters into his own hands again. And that is when he came up with the idea for a campaign set in the Midwest USA.
Basically, think of this as a game of Risk. Everyone that wanted to join the campaign was given two territories - a rural and expansive territory and a "capital." So with 10 players, we took a map and went about splitting up Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.
But that wasn't enough...
Mike also decided that we would be given a "bank account" of 3,500 points to use in battle in Late War. Now a single battle could only go to 1,780 points. You could choose to use less if you wanted. And when you lost a vehicle, you lost the points. When you lost a gun, you lost a point. When you lost an infantry platoon, you lost the points. If a vehicle platoon runs from the table, you only "lost" what was left behind (i.e. destroyed vehicles). If a platoon of infantry runs, you lose 50% of the points. You lose more if you had 3 or fewer stands. Of course, if the entire platoon is destroyed you lose all the points. And for aircraft, you only have 10 total planes. If two get shot down in a single attack, you now have 8 total. So air will be at a premium and expect your bank account to go down.
But if you take a territory, you earn 250 points. If you take a capital, you get 500 points. So you are rewarded if you attack!
Players had to choose a nation and cannot change at all. We also decided that Canadians will not be considered British, rather they are their own nation. In addition, we can only use books or PDFs that are published and approved by BF. I, of course, went with U S of A baby!! American, F@#* Yeah!!
As to the map itself, Mike also rules that if you are on Lake Michigan or Superior, you can amphibious assault from the lake into another territory. Now you don't have to have a list that is "beach assault" and we are not running the "beach assault" mission, but it does allow you to traverse the map quickly. He also ruled that you can paradrop on any other territory on the map - provided you have access to a para list. And for our campaign, that means Soviets and Canadians do not have paras. As a note on that, this isn't a historical argument but rather a list issue in FoW.
Without further ado, here is the map after Round 1: (although two players have yet to complete Round 1)
I was given Milwaukee (USA) and the area surrounding the city (green in the lower right). CJ (Canadians) is to the west in Madison, Patrick (Germans) is to the north in Green Bay. Rob (USA) is up in the UP of Michigan with Mike (German) to his south in Wausau. Joe (British) is hanging out in Iowa, with Robert (Soviet) to his north in Rochester, MN. Ben (German) is in Minneapolis area, Kevin (USA) to his north in Duluth, with Pickle (his last name!) in Eau Claire, WI (Germans) and bodering almost everyone on the map.
To start Round One, Mike picked three players who could start the game by declaring their attack. If you were attacked, you don't get to pick a battle - you are now "spoken for." He will rotate this list throughout the campaign so everyone gets an equal chance. I was able to go second and in a quirk of map making, Mike had created an open territory in Illinois with a capital in Rockford. Well I had to go and liberate my Illinois Brothers! But I think someone forgot to tell Illinois that they needed liberation. To counter my move, CJ decided to also invade Illinois. That led Mike to declare that CJ and I will play Encounter! Mike decided to paradrop on Rockford for the easy points. But wait!! Joe also decided to paradrop on Rockford! Pickle decided to invade Minnesota and took on Ben. Patrick and I have a peace pact and he decided to attack Rob to the north! So four games all happening at the same time!
In my game of Encounter, I went with a 6 platoon Cav Recon list. To be completly fair, CJ wanted a short game and wanted to experience the TD stuff. Okaaaaaaaaay - I can do that! I deployed Jackson Sec Section, Towed Sec Section, 2 ID infantry. Chafees, and the two recee platoons were in Reserve. In a brilliant move, CJ decided to actually keep the high point totals off the board because he thought he would be wiped out. So he put 25pdrs, a Sherman platoon with 1 Firefly, Stuart Recce platoon and an infantry platoon on the board. His reserves were two Sherman platoons, an infantry platoon and an AA Crusader platoon that was split off from the HQ. He also got some special hero in a tank.
I won't give a full AAR, but basically the Shermans were dead Turn 1 before he even had a chance to play by virtue of my Towed TDs popping within 16". My zooks stayed in the halftracks and lit up the infantry platoon. The Jackson Sec Section stayed on the board and wiped the 25pdr command stand, staff team and the battery command team. The 2 ID dug in on one of my objectives. Turn 2 saw me kill the hero, two 25pdr (Jacksons popped) and the Stuarts. CJ passed the platoon morale. Now in his shooting over the first two turns, he did get 3 guns and a Jackson. Turn 3 saw my Chaffees arrive from Reserve in the perfect spot and move to assault the infantry platoon. But the Jacksons completely destroyed the 25pdrs, and with CJ below half and having lost the 1iC, the game was over.
What was "sad" is that I told CJ I wouldn't go completely crazy with the TDs - meaning I did not pop the Jacksons, assault the guns and run the platoon in Turn 1, which would have placed me on the objective and ended the game because he could not have moved over quick enough. And that, my friends, sums up a big issue with the TDs. The infamous Turn 1 win without the other guy really getting a chance.
To that end, I do want to thank BF for opening the official dialog on the subject of TDs!
In the other games, Mike fought to a bloody victory over Joe; Pickle took out Ben and Patrick took out Rob's US Paras.
I will keep folks updated as the campaign progresses!