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Subject: Did I miss something ? rss

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Julien Busson
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Well...

I had great expectations with this one. Simple rules, great situation, good components, looked very good.

But...

OoB :

Well, not very convinced by it. Russian are stronger and you have everything on hand on turn 2. 1st AH army is not as strong as it should and going for Lublin as historically looks almost impossible.

Scale :

Don't try you won't be able to make a continuous line. Counter density seems too low as you don't have enough counters to cover even half of the battlefield.

Stacking :

3 corps in 9 miles is... well, a lot and not really realistic and historical in this theater. It encourages you to mass your troops to maximise odds on the attack. You can try to put one counter per hex but your opponent will concentrate and achieve high odds and destroy you bit per bit.

ZoC :

As ZoC do not block movement, you will see lots of Stosstrupen on the map. Infiltration to cut your opponent from its supply will be the goal.

Supply :

Well. Russian player, go to the south, cut the two rail lines and it's over the whole AH army is OOS. As you have more counters, as ZoC are not blocking, as there is not enough troops for the AH to cover these rail lines, you will achieve it. Poor AH player you can read, re-read, re-re-read the rules you CAN'T supply via the Krakow Rail line.

A question : How do you supply the AH troops in the Gorlice scenario as you can't connect to a rail line going to the south ?

Victory :

4 points for the russian to win. Well :
AH can (if lucky) get 2 points for Komarov and Krasnik. And if Russian move first, you won't get them.
Russia can easily take on Brody, Tarnopo, Czernowitz, Kolomea, Stanislav, 5 points.
So you need 1 more to win. Rava Ruska or Lemberg if it falls are not so easy target. But... well if you put OOS the AH army (see above) will be far easier.
To sum up it looks unbalanced in favor of the russian.

But maybe I missed something ?
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Michael McCalpin
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judgeju wrote:

...1st AH army is not as strong as it should and going for Lublin as historically looks almost impossible.

"Going for" Lublin is certainly possible, and the victory point schedule makes some AH offensive maneuver nearly essential, but just like in the historic campaign, taking Lublin is a near-impossiblity.

judgeju wrote:

Don't try you won't be able to make a continuous line. Counter density seems too low as you don't have enough counters to cover even half of the battlefield.

I don't believe the historical commanders tried to form a continuous line either, so I didn't worry about this.
judgeju wrote:

3 corps in 9 miles is... well, a lot and not really realistic and historical in this theater. It encourages you to mass your troops to maximise odds on the attack. You can try to put one counter per hex but your opponent will concentrate and achieve high odds and destroy you bit per bit.

I find the two concerns you mention above to cause an interesting tension, because tall stacks are easily flanked or even cut off, though short stacks are clearly likely to get hammered by tall stacks. Of course, one doesn't know who gets to move next, so the tall stack cannot assume his plan will come to fruition.
judgeju wrote:

As ZoC do not block movement, you will see lots of Stosstrupen on the map. Infiltration to cut your opponent from its supply will be the goal.

I wouldn't call them Stosstruppen, because these armies were not entrenched, were on the move, and generally had not a terribly clear idea of where the enemy is.
judgeju wrote:

Well. Russian player, go to the south, cut the two rail lines and it's over the whole AH army is OOS. As you have more counters, as ZoC are not blocking, as there is not enough troops for the AH to cover these rail lines, you will achieve it. Poor AH player you can read, re-read, re-re-read the rules you CAN'T supply via the Krakow Rail line.

I noticed this too and was puzzled about whether the western rail line was really intended to be unusable for supply purposes.
judgeju wrote:

To sum up it looks unbalanced in favor of the russian.

My two plays are 1-1, but I am inclined to believe you that this is a tough one for the AH.
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Julien Busson
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mmccalpin wrote:
"Going for" Lublin is certainly possible, and the victory point schedule makes some AH offensive maneuver nearly essential, but just like in the historic campaign, taking Lublin is a near-impossiblity.


Early offensive manoeuver for AH are too dependant of the chit pull. If 1st and 4th do not move before Russian, you won't get Krasnik and Komarov and imo no chance to win.

mmccalpin wrote:
I don't believe the historical commanders tried to form a continuous line either, so I didn't worry about this.


They at least tried to keep their troops under command. In the game you don't have any C&C constraints, so you can send your troops whenever you want far behind ennemy line if you want. After a few losses, this is quite a mess...

Supply constraint ? Well. Just send a cav behind ennemy lines to cut supply your opponent will have to divert many troops to take care of it...

mmccalpin wrote:
I find the two concerns you mention above to cause an interesting tension, because tall stacks are easily flanked or even cut off, though short stacks are clearly likely to get hammered by tall stacks. Of course, one doesn't know who gets to move next, so the tall stack cannot assume his plan will come to fruition.


Tall stacks look better to me. 1 army, 2 stacks. For Russian means 7/9 or 9/7 depending on the mix. The best AH can achieve is a 1:1 by concentrating everything they have thus exposing themselves. Flanking can be done easily with two stacks as well. Cut off is clearly a possibility but not so easy to achieve without risks. However if you have a lone 3/3 corps it can be attacked at 4:1 and even more. And as soon as you start to lose corps...

mmccalpin wrote:
I wouldn't call them Stosstruppen, because these armies were not entrenched, were on the move, and generally had not a terribly clear idea of where the enemy is.


Right, but again too easy to infiltrate...


mmccalpin wrote:
My two plays are 1-1, but I am inclined to believe you that this is a tough one for the AH.


Play Russian. Think just about cutting supply of AH army with your 8th army, which is far stronger than the 2nd AH. If AH try to counter you it means it did not cover other areas so you can easily take the needed VPs.
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John Gorkowski
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Julien

Sorry you don't like the game. How may times have you played it?

Cutting off the two southern rail lines as you recommend is practically impossible since the Austrians can move, ZoCs do slow the enemy, and the Russians are themselves vulnerable to having their supply lines cut.

Keep in mind that cavalry do NOT convert hexes; they control them only for the duration of their stay so they can easily run themselves out of supply when they try raiding. So, if one side's cavalry gets to bold it can soon find itself cornered and out of supply. And, if the Russians just lunge forward then the Austrian come around their flanks for the kill. Having actually played the game, I witnessed this. In any case, what you end up with is a series of mobile battles like those that actually occured.

This front was porous and highly mobile. In fact, in the battles for Krasnik and Komarov the opposing armies alternatively threatend to encircle each other - as often happens in this game.

OOB, scale and stacking are all consistent with history. Can you cite some missing Corps-level units? In 1914, a division (3 or 4 per Corps) was hard pressed to cover two miles of front; so allowing a Corps to cover 9 miles is actually generous. And, three Corps per hex does NOT encourage concentration, but it does permit it. Here again, when you play the game you will see how stacking that way invites encirclement.

Your Stoss comments are telling because the whole purpsoe fo Stoss was to restore the mobility of 1914.

I've played the game several times face-to-face and seen both sides win with none of the crazy results you imply are normal. Are you keeping track of Russian supply too? Are your Austrians reacting?

Thanks
John
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Michael McCalpin
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I would agree with John that the game plays very differently face-to-face as opposed to solo. It can often be hard to "forget" both sides' intentions.

I will put in a shameless plug for my recent AAR to show what happens when you cannot read your opponent's mind, you take a chance, and he rips your center open. With a couple of different chit pulls, this could have been an AH victory.
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Julien Busson
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Hi John,

Thanks for your answer.

Played two times ftf. Some can argue that it's not sufficient to give such a bad feedback but well... And that was so frustating that I am not really willing to play more...

1st game : Playing AH aggressivly. Moved north on left side and it was a bloodbath there, nobody taking an edge on this side. On the right regrouped around Lemberg. Hard fight there also but the RU 8th army cav popped up south and cut the rail lines south of Prezmyl. Tried to chase it but impossible to get on it. OOS vs OOS = 1/2 move for everybody... Can tell you I was really happy of the blood... designer who decided Krakow rail line was not a supply line...

2nd game : Playing RU. AH got lucky and moved 1st and 4th army first, moved on Krasnik and Komarov then back immediatly to reduce frontage. Hard fights around Lemberg and Rava Ruska (one of the key point of the game). AH did protect its supply lines this time, but I hammered the 2nd AH army (the weakest one) with RU 8th and part of 3rd and by 6th turn was able to move to the rail lines south of Prezmyl and cut the rail lines (when every corps is reduced, no more ZoC, so reduce, don't kill...).

Concerning your remarks :

We played supply for both side. But you can move (1/2 MP) when OOS and ZOC are not so restrictive, 2MP to move in, so a 7MPs cav can infiltrate pretty easily. And after a while when you don't have anymore fresh corps, no more ZoC. Cav control hex where they are (did not miss that one), so if you sit on rail lines it cuts the supply.

Cutting supply is not easy ? Well AH can't hold the east side of the map. So if your AH opponent don't cover the first rail line, send an INF to convert the rail lines and a CAV three hexs ahead south of the carpathians. Afterwards you can cut the second rail line south of the Carpathians. Very difficult for the AH player to counter that one if you don't put a unit on the first rail line in the mountain at start. Whatever, you will always have an opportunity to cut the Prezmyl rail lines. And if the AH retreats to defend there you have won (6VPs + Lemberg if it falls against 2).

Russian supply is not a so big issue as you have many rail lines and axes of advance. At time you can have some troops cut off, but not your whole army.

Concerning infiltration, OK that you must have the possibility to encircle your opponent but far too easy there and as you can see for exemple on Michael AAR you can have corps wandering miles behind opponent lines... Too fluid situation even for a very mobile front imo.

Personnaly I think it is unbalanced in favor of the RU IF you have in mind to cut AH supply.

Whatever I do not feel like playing the Galician campaign with this game. I played intensivly TitE which is a wonderful game, played SPW Galicia I enjoy a lot, played Clash of Giants Galicia, not so great, and Great War in the east Galicia interesting even if a bit old. Would place GoG last in terms of what I call historicity.

Again this is my own point of view and I can understand some enjoy the game as : components are really great, I think counter thickness is one of the best I have ever seen, rules are easy and it plays fast, but miss something for me.

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Gustavo Vazquez
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I believe I should add my opinion here. I have played only once the Galicia 1914 scenario and I admit reading Julien's review at first I thought he was talking about another scenario, because the things he described didn't happened at all... not even close.

I'll quote some comments and how I saw them:

judgeju wrote:
1st AH army is not as strong as it should and going for Lublin as historically looks almost impossible.


I was playing with the Russian (b.t.w, I loose), and by the end of the game it was very hard to protect at the same time Krasnik, Lublin and Cholm. The Austrian almost got Cholm. My friend didn't want Lublin per se, but if he really have wanted it, I believe he could have taken it (or get near it).

judgeju wrote:
Don't try you won't be able to make a continuous line. Counter density seems too low as you don't have enough counters to cover even half of the battlefield.


Can't see that as a problem, that is very common in wargames in general. In fact, one of the hardest thing we had to do every turn was making sure the opponent should pass through a ZOC - I mean, don't leave too many blank spaces, force him to spend 2 points at least to move through the ZOC - because otherwise he could send an unity directly to a city. 5 spaces to move is a lot...

judgeju wrote:
You can try to put one counter per hex but your opponent will concentrate and achieve high odds and destroy you bit per bit.


The advantage you've got from flanking is well worth the un-stacking. Many times we got two stacked units apart just to get the flanking - and it was worth it.

judgeju wrote:
Well. Russian player, go to the south, cut the two rail lines and it's over the whole AH army is OOS.


It seems almost impossible... In the last turn I did block Ungvar - South, but it was a desperate measure and I lost anyway.

judgeju wrote:
A question : How do you supply the AH troops in the Gorlice scenario as you can't connect to a rail line going to the south ?


I believe you use the Krakow - Katowice line. I believe you should consider that on Scenario 2 you are playing with the Germans.

judgeju wrote:
AH can (if lucky) get 2 points for Komarov and Krasnik. And if Russian move first, you won't get them.


Well, I really hope that everybody read those lines from the rules:
"Reduce the Russian VP total by 1 for EACH named location within the Russian Empire that was controlled by an in-supply AH unit AT ANY TIME DURING THE GAME."

As far as I understand English, this means that if the Austrian control a city just for one turn, or just for one round, even if they loose the city, the Russian already lost the point. It seems this rule was bypassed by some. Because it's a nightmare to avoid those pesky Austrian to get one of your cities. I mean, as a Russian you must cover every city you have. A good Austrian player can take those cities from the southeast one by one - just take one and leave, take another and leave, you easily get 2 points, or maybe even more. If you get Komarov and Karsnik - remember, for just one single turn/movement/etc. - then the Russian must have 8 points to win - the 4 Austrian cities (or less if you take a fortress, a hard thing to be done) + 4 from those Russian cities you lost. The Russian doesn't get the points back when he gets the city back. For each city he loses temporarily, he must get an Austrian city permament! This is something quite hard to do, in my opinion. It doesn't let you run with your troops to block the supply routes as easy as it's written here. And if you have placed one unit in each city you have so to avoid the Austrian taking them, obviously you are not as strong as you were if, let's say, you advance with everybody.

Well, those are my opinions.



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Gustavo Vazquez
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And another thing -

Even if the Austrians are defending, you can see that from some Austrian cities (Tarnopo, Rava Russa, Brody) you reach a Russian city using exactly or less than 5 movement points. If the Russian left those cities undefended (Proskurov, Volochisk, Komarov; Dubno is harder to get) or with just 1 or 2 units, the Austrian can go there with a larger stack, attack, make the Russian retreat, then advance after combat - and score 1 point easily. Even if the Russians take any Austrian city, in the next round you get back and just fight to get your city back with 1 permanent point under your belt. And if you are lucky you can go, get the city, and in the next round if you play before the Russian army you can just return to your city safe and sound. Of course you won't have problems with supply if you move your headquarter well.
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Julien Busson
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Hi Gustavo, thanks for your answers, always good to share game experiences even more when they are totally different !

vazquezramos wrote:
Can't see that as a problem, that is very common in wargames in general. In fact, one of the hardest thing we had to do every turn was making sure the opponent should pass through a ZOC - I mean, don't leave too many blank spaces, force him to spend 2 points at least to move through the ZOC - because otherwise he could send an unity directly to a city. 5 spaces to move is a lot...


ZOC treatment is one of the most critical in wargames. In GoG, added with supply rules, it looks not restrictive enough for me. I agree that war on this front was mobile, but not enough to have units wandering miles ahead in ennemy territory as you can see on Michael AAR for exemple. It's far too easy imho to infiltrate ennemy lines due to low counter-density, not so restrictive ZOC (2MPs is nothing for a 7MPs CAV), no command rules and supply rules which permits to operate OOS.

vazquezramos wrote:
judgeju wrote:
Well. Russian player, go to the south, cut the two rail lines and it's over the whole AH army is OOS.


It seems almost impossible... In the last turn I did block Ungvar - South, but it was a desperate measure and I lost anyway.


Just try to play in a strictly competitive way concentrating moving agressively on the east side where russian are stronger. KEEP you RU CAV alive. AH can't stand the pressure except in case of very bad luck. After a few losses, reduced units without ZOCs, you can cut the AH rail lines by popping up with the CAV. Remember that as OOS malus apply immediatly...

vazquezramos wrote:
judgeju wrote:
A question : How do you supply the AH troops in the Gorlice scenario as you can't connect to a rail line going to the south ?


I believe you use the Krakow - Katowice line. I believe you should consider that on Scenario 2 you are playing with the Germans.


3rd army is an AH army and in the rules AH can only be supplied through the south... Whatever, I can't understand why the Krakow rail lines is not a Supply source for AH as historically, they retreated that way...

vazquezramos wrote:
judgeju wrote:
AH can (if lucky) get 2 points for Komarov and Krasnik. And if Russian move first, you won't get them.


Well, I really hope that everybody read those lines from the rules:
"Reduce the Russian VP total by 1 for EACH named location within the Russian Empire that was controlled by an in-supply AH unit AT ANY TIME DURING THE GAME."


Did not miss this one. However, AH have to move first with 2nd army and 1st army to get a 4 points advantage. If RU moves first AH won't get them. I feel victory to be too much dependent on first chit pull. In one case, RU must get 8 points, in the other only 4...
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Gustavo Vazquez
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judgeju wrote:
Just try to play in a strictly competitive way concentrating moving agressively on the east side where russian are stronger.


Well, I'll try it the next time I play...

vazquezramos wrote:

I feel victory to be too much dependent on first chit pull. In one case, RU must get 8 points, in the other only 4...


That's also possible. I need to play it some more to say.

Anyway, have you tried the other scenarios?
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