Thursday, June 28, 2012

Franco-Prussian War 40

I dropped in on Bruce last night and he hauled out a new game: Victory Games' Franco-Prussian War 40. This is a very small game with simple mechanics but a lot of depth. There are relative few units in the game (maybe 40 total) so the maneuver decisions are tough.

The core of the game is actually the morale table, which determines victory. Each side's morale moves up and down based on table-top events. There are cards, but it is not a card-driven game in the sense of CCA or We The People. Rather, the cards have multiple uses (bring on reinforcements, affecting combat, hosing the other guy, triggering political events) but every unit can move each turn.

Germany starts bottled up and must break into France. The French are few but have a few good units. There is a race then: as the Germans push in and towards Paris, the French get more units and can threaten the German supply line or even counter-invade.

Above, you can see I've pushed in and blocked the French forces south of my line of advance while racing along the Belgian border to threaten the French supply lines and secure an approach to Paris. Bruce, to my annoyance, blocked my efforts at every turn (see below) but I did grab a supply base which has a recurring morale penalty for the French.

Rail lines are very important in sustaining the German advance and disrupting French redeployment. An interesting aspect is that once you are in a ZOC, you cannot back out (there is a mechanic, but it is costly).  This makes both sides leery of being ZOCed and then at risk of being dog piled--so there is a lot of maneuver but not necessarily a lot of battle.

In the end, my first assault on Paris was driven back but things were pretty dodgey for the French and we called it as a likely German victory. With secure German rail lines and the French way down on morale, I don't think the French could have fought back. It is a tough game for them and I think the key is to bottle neck the Germans right out of the gate to slow them way down. That might force the Germans south and delay their move west.

Up next: My vacation starts Friday so I have some painting lined up. More 10mm AWI, some 28mm HoTT, a HoTT Star Wars camp and perhaps some 28mm warbands. It is also the club on Tuesday.

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