Lionrampant's 2015 10x10 Challenge

A blog to record my thoughts as I play through the 2015 10x10 challenge.

Archive for Aaron Thorne

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Game Played (92 of 100) - E9

Aaron Thorne
United States
Valley Park
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Play Report: Another game of GWAS:Mediterranean, and this one took less time from start to finish than the last game took just to get the ship recrods setup and organized. This time we played Western scenario 12, which is a very small engagement of five Austrian destroyers going up against a total of five British, Australian, and French destroyers at the Otranto Barrage. The game went quickly, and I (playing the Allied forces) lost badly, 15 to 3 even before any points were scored by the Austrians for bombarding the barrage zones. There were two engagements. In the first, my two British destroyers ran away from the five Austrian destroyers. In the second, my four destroyers went up against the Austrian destroyers. Though outnumbered, I got extra points for sunk Austrian ships, so if I could take down two of them I could win. Sadly, while I hit with a lot of gunnery attacks, all that I ever accomplished was disabling tertiary cannons. Meanwhile, the Austrians rolled very well for torpedo attacks, and by the end of the first combat turn I was down to one ship, the rest having been sunk by torpedoes. I fled, and that was the game.

Probably the most interesting thing about this scenario is the fact that it led me to learn about the Otranto Barrage, which I had never heard of before. I found the following article enlightening: http://www.russellphillipsbooks.co.uk/wwi-otranto-barrage/
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Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:15 pm
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Game Played (91 of 100) - E8

Aaron Thorne
United States
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Play Report: Moving back to Great War at Sea, I have now moved into the Western map scenarios. The random pick was scenario 1, which is a doozy, pitting a few dozen British warships against even more Austrian warships in a no holds barred brawl for control of the western approaches to Greece. This is a non-historical scenario set in 1913, and I am assuming that this is loosely based on some actual plans or scenarios wargamed by one Admiralty or the other. Anyway, I played the Austrian side, and man did this one take a while to plan out. The goal is to land your soldiers on one of two Greek islands. The Austrians start out closer than the British (which come from Malta), so I had no problems landing all of my forces. In addition, I have more troops to land, so as long as I don't lose a significant naval conflict, I win. And I did win, as no major naval conflicts even occurred. Not for a lack of trying, mind you, but we kept having the fleets pass each other in the night, and then the contact rolls were low anyway, so nothing much ever happened. I did have my minesweeper sunk (I had sent it out on its own to mine the most likely approach to the Greek islands, and it was so likely that he got found and picked off before he could get many mines down). Oh, well, that was only a 2 point ship. The Austrians beat the British, 74 to 50.
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Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:18 am
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Game Played (90 of 100) - G7

Aaron Thorne
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Play Report: The battle of Bussaco (Reynier's Assault) for C&C:Napoleonics is on tap today, and the French won 6 to 4, even with a large number of heinous dice rolls. The French started by using their cavalry to attack the Portugese on the French left. They didn't do much damage, but they did put a couple units in square and generally gum up the works over there. Then the French rolled up the British left flank pretty well. The French attack in the center was initially repulsed, but the British counter-charge (which worked well last game) didn't get the job done, and the French were able to inflict enough losses to win. One interesting thing is that the British spent most of the game with two units in square, and some of the game with three units in square. This really limited the options the British player had, and quite possibly led to the French being able to maneuver enough to win.

Commands & Colors: Napoleonics - 2/3 Impressions: I think I have the system down now, and I rarely find that we have played a rule wrong anymore. I'm still not sold on the different nationalities having different rules for the same units, but I am coming to peace with it.
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Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:01 pm
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Game Played (89 of 100) - G6

Aaron Thorne
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Play Report: The second play of C&C:Napoleonics for the day was the River Coa scenario. This time the French won (though only by a score of 6 to 5), and we learned a lesson that this is not the system to put all of your forces on one flank. Pretty early in the game the British player decided to use his cavalry to run around his left flank to harass the French, while retreating his left flank over the bridge. He was successful with both of these actions, but the French smashed up the center really good, leaving only one British Horse Artillery left in the center. Then, the British player stopped pulling cards that let him activate anything on his left flank, so for the last five turns all that he could do was fire with that lone artillery unit. It killed a French infantry unit, but the French ran roughshod over the suddenly frozen British and won the game.
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Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:13 pm
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Game Played (88 of 100) - G5

Aaron Thorne
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Play Report: Sticking with C&C:Napoleonics this weekend. For this play, the battle of Talavera was played. The game ended with a British victory, 7 to 5, but at one point the game was tied 4 to 4, so it was a close run thing. The French won the right flank, but when they moved to attack the Cerro de Medellin hills they took horrendous losses from British fire. Then the British used a Bayonet Charge in the center to eliminate two French units late (including an artillery unit) and the French could not recover.
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Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:28 pm
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Game Played (87 of 100) - G4

Aaron Thorne
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Play Report: More C&C:Napoleonics, this time the battle of Corunna. This one ended up being quite tight. The British hammered the French on both flanks, and got to five vp pretty quickly, but it took a long time before they could score any more points. Meanwhile, the French won the center, driving the British mostly off of the hills beyond Elvina and getting to five vp themselves. However, the game was decided when British artillery took aim at a nearby French line infantry unit and rolled four infantry to win the game. Six points for the British, and five for the French.

Commands & Colors: Napoleonics - 1/3 Impressions: This most recent game was the most enjoyable. I am getting used to the differences in troop types among the different armies, but truth be told that is still bothering me. In all other C&C games that I have played units are the same no matter which side uses them, so having to remember that British line infantry roll an extra die at range if they don't move, while French line infantry roll an extra die in melee is annoying. That being noted, it does lead to some tactical differences between the sides, which I guess is a good thing? Not sure, must play more games to come to a conclusion.
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Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:29 pm
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Game Played (86 of 100) - G3

Aaron Thorne
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Play Report: More C&C:Napoleonics, this time playing the battle of Vimiero. The French won 6 to 4. This game started out like the last one, with the British rolling terribly, but about 2/3 through the game that turned and the British started rolling really well for ranged attacks. In the end the British forces did good damage on their right flank, but the French had even more success on their right flank, smashing through almost to the British end line and utilizing combined arms combat to score the sixth point.
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Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:09 am
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Game Played (85 of 100) - G2

Aaron Thorne
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Play Report: I was able to get in another game of C&C:Napoleonics today. The next scenario in the book is Rolica (2nd position), so that is what got played. The French won 5 to 1, and to be honest the British player had terrible die rolls. As an example, he played the Rally card when he had a lot of infantry and some cannon casualties, and on six dice he rolled 4 cavalry and 2 flags. So... nothing. There's not much you can do in a game like this when your luck is horrid. The French were able to roll up the right (Portugese) flank of the British army, smashing units as they went, only taking losses once the British heavy cavalry moved in. It was too late by then, though, and the French got a heavy victory.
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Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:24 am
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Game Played (84 of 100) - G1

Aaron Thorne
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Play Report: Let's make some real progress and get in a play of the remaining game for my challenge, Command & Colors Napoleonics. This is my first time playing this game, though I am familiar with the Commands & Colors system from games like Memoir '44, Commands & Colors: Ancients, Battle Cry, and Battle Lore. So I think I know what I'm doing. Specifically, the way that the publisher, GMT Games, presents the rules and components as very similar to C&C:Ancients, so it all looks like it makes sense.

I played the first scenario in the book, Rolica (First Position). The French won a close game, 5 points to 4. The thing that took the longest to wrap my head around was the difference in units depending on the nationality. Unlike other games in the series, a unit can have additional (or fewer) blocks, or roll more dice, or otherwise not follow the standard rules depending on whether they are French, British, or Portugese. There are full-color reference cards for the players, but I'm not sold on these differences. I'm sure somebody thought these changes are historically accurate, but since when has that been this series' selling point?

Anyway, after a few turns, it felt like a C&C game and I was able to get into the flow of it. The British were able to capture the French right flank, but not the left. The French won because they took successful risks and charged in to attack at key points, killing both British generals (Wellesley provided the winning 5th point) after the British refused to engage the central French forces on the hills. The British player learned that you can't win a battle by artillery alone. Who knew?
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Mon Nov 9, 2015 11:12 pm
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Game Played (83 of 100) - B7

Aaron Thorne
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Play Report: More Lost Battles, this time jumping to the battle of Carhae, Rome vs. Parthians on a flat field. Rome won a clear victory by a 28 point margin, even with the Parthians getting extra points for the handicap. This battle was interesting because the Parthians are all cavalry (mostly light cavalry, at that), where the Romans are mostly legions. Light cavalry do bad against heavy infantry. The Parthians maneuvered all around the Romans, but when it came time to roll dice it just didn't matter, and the Parthians got smashed pretty hard.

Lost Battles - 2/3 Impressions: I keep occasionally screwing up a rule, but I am learning the system pretty good. It is still fun, and plays a bit faster now, which is nice.
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Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:01 pm
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