Monday, May 11, 2009

WBC West 2009 - Sunday Evening into Monday Afternoon

Holy crap, we made it. Sometimes I didn't think it was going to happen.

After a hilarity-filled dinner at the Deschutes Brewpub in Bend, we made it to the Sunriver house (after Dave had a close encounter with Black Ade at the local Albertson's, don't ask). 

First up was a little 2-player action on Sunday night. Chuck and Mike tried out the first scenario from the Combat Commander Stalingrad campaign scenario, which Chuck's Germans did pretty well on, enough to advance to the Russian's backfield for the second game (played later on). Meanwhile, Dave and I tried out the newest incarnation of Dan Verssen's Down In Flames franchise, originally published by GMT. The new version streamlines the game in a lot of ways while allowing players to do more with cards. In all, I found it to be an improvement over the original in many ways, although purists will be disappointed to lose wingmen and randomized bombing. We played the Midway campaign (which had only four missions). We went back and forth, but Dave did well in his final attack on my carriers to force a Historical result (a draw). 

After getting a little sleep, we woke up bright and early to give Kutuzov a try. Perhaps a poor choice, as none of us was really tight with the rules and we ran into a major rules issue with the use of the term "staff officer" that we spent a lot of adrenaline and effort on to no effect. Something we'll need to nail down. Mike and I were the Imperials, and while we didn't make a lot of headway and lost a couple of levels of Attrition in the first turn, we never even flirted with morale problems, and stayed at the highest level throughout the game. In the second turn, when we'd knocked the Tsarists down to the next-to-lowest morale level and got to roll for the Will To Fight? marker, we didn't notice that we needed nothing more than a 3 or higher on one d6 to win, and Mike rolled a five. We continued on, thinking that we could take St. Pete's by the end of turn two and get the third Conquest roll to take the Sudden Death victory condition. However, to do that you had to be in Moscow or St. Pete's, and we were neither. That's when I realized that we didn't need to be in either to win the roll when the Tsarist's morale dropped low enough, so Mike and I ended up winning (with Mike totally taking the individual honors for all of those Baltic Ports he'd taken, including Riga). Me, I was stuck down around the Pripyet Marshes with Bagration and a ton of units hiding inside. The game was a bit of a mixed bag for me, but knowing the chrome better makes me more interested in playing this two-player.

We finished early, so Mike and I played the next installment of the CC campaign game. However, we ended up in Recon mode, and while we had a ton of units on the board, Mike lost a critical leader early and while he made a nice run at the end I pretty much flattened his Russians to win the campaign game in two sessions. Kind of a disappointment, although we may start it over. Dave and Chuck played Through The Ages, with Chuck (barely) winning out in the end. 

Sorry for the short post, I'll elaborate more on a lot of the games once I get home next Monday.

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