Actually, as an almost strategic level game, I found its 'simulation' value better than a lot of others when dealing with potential future events. A triumph of design for effect and a demo of how very clever JFD could be.
They Shall not Pass by William Sariego. The German devised a plan "Fall Gericht" ("The Place of Execution") to bleed the French white without counting the no. of bodies of their own. The French armed with their spirit "L'attaque a l'outrance"), dug in their hideouts deprived of the artillery guns (removed for the great Allied counter-offensive actions in the previous year 1915). Hot, rain and mud surrounding much of the field around the ancient city Verdun in the summer, no one would expect this war was not meant to be a slaughter. By the same designer of "Defiant Russia" fame, William Sariego put foward this small little game for players to recreate this unbrearable war experience to life.
I lost the game as the French and ended in a major German victory. My French didn't do well in the initial retreat, falling back behind the second and subsequent trenches well. The center part was ripped wide open and both flanks were therefore exposed to the German attacks. Fortunately, Rowan was cautious not to advance too early their Germans in order to maintain a good supply line along the road back to the HQs. The new French reinforcements were therefore able to maintain a defensive line at Vaux-Douaumont-Vacherauville. The player with higher VPs at the end of the game wins. VPs are won by capturing towns, destroying forts, eliminating or reducing units.
I found that my French was not staunch enough to take hold but just keep retreating to the rear in the beginning. They should have taken some opportunities to make some local counterattacks against the weaker German units worn out during their attacks. The French just poured in the men just to be bled to death. Despite the final counterattacks to take back some last cities, the 5 VPs earned by the German for a 2-1 losses ratio decided the game of a German major victory, adding the 14 cities captured along their advance. Verdun was not taken on February 29th, 1916 but the French lost too many a man than historically there were in doing so.
Overall, a great game that I would like to play again. This is the first game on Verdun WWI and so now I got a fair good view about what was going on this meatgrinder. The game balance might upset some people as the French are bascially doing a hold-out game wearing out the German most of the time. The German are on the show. The game is actually a lot better than I expected. You wouldn't find any solid trench defense line so typical of other WWI scenes as the French take time to bring in the new reinforcements. Hats off to the designer William Sariego again for another fine little game that can be completed in one session with meaningful campaign result. I am now looking forward to Roger Nord's treatment on the same battle later in the year with "Verdun: A Lost Generation" and see how he would have treated the sitution with his "The Big Push" system.
My first game of Twilight Struggle. I am playing the US, which I understand to be a bit more difficult than the Soviets. I can see that the early game is quite pro Soviet and I just need to hang around! But I am whining like a European soccer player; it is a bit early for that. It's a fun game, simple in mechanics, but I believe quite complex in strategy. Just finished off a game of Clash of Giants II, the Russians just pounded on the Austrians in Galacia. Not much of a match there. Also had RAF (the new one) on the table last week. Played as the RAF solitaire twice and I destroyed the Luftwaffe in just a few turns each time...hmm. Great game system, but I don't know yet if I was extraordinarily lucky, or just have a strategy that clicked.
Mainly just playing WinSPMBT/WinSPWWII. For those of you not in the know this a great computer game which is basically an "electronic squad leader". A lot of work has gone into this badboy and it's free. Check out http://www.shrapnelgames.com/Camo_Workshop/WW2/WW2_page.html if you want to learn more
Other then that mainly just Avalon Hill's 'Magic Realm'. A buddy of mine has thing for it.
Great community you guys have here.
oops. It was "1914: Twilight in the East". The biggest thing we did not like was the way combat was figured. Way too much. Here is my German opponent's review on our game. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/432997