Sunday, 25 February 2018

Wild Blue Yonder: Solo play of a mission from the Rommel Attacks land campaign - Return to Base

NB: if this is your first visit to this series of reports concerning Mission 6, don't read this account now, but scroll down to read the first instalment (3 Turns to Target).

There are now two turns remaining in this mission. All the Axis planes need to do is return to base. If they can do so without taking damage or casualties, the mission will be an outstanding Axis success....and the somewhat hapless British air ace Goodman's tail will be well and truly between his legs.

Here is the situation at the commencement of the first Home-Bound turn:

The lone Goodman faces off against 4 Axis fighters escorting 4 stukas. The two cards at the top right hand side of the photo are a reminder to me that Goodman has a 'veteran' counter, allowing him to play any cards as it if is a barrel roll or tight turn.

#1 Bf110s:  The German leader is feeling frisky. He has a strong hand to help him gain a good attack position on Goodman. In the Wingman Step, an In My Sights (IMS) 3 burst rating card is drawn!  Goodman is copping it already. He is caught unawares by the wingman and is forced to expend his veteran marker. In game turns, an IMS card is discarded, now treated as a barrel roll.  

Now it's the leader's turn. Sensing weakness, the element holds its current altitude. The leader attempts maneuver. No response from Goodman, so the Bf110 is now advantaged over the hurricane. Another maneuver follows, putting the German aircraft on Goodman's tail. Oh oh!  Goodman is in trouble, but as luck would have it, the German leader is unable to get a target fix (ie no burst cards). Draw 2 cards.

Goodman in a pickle

#2 Goodman (Hurricane):
   Goodman has 3 cards:  a half loop, an Out of the Sun (OOS) and an IMS. This could be his last gasp.  As he is now a lone leader, there is no wingman phase. In the Altitude Step, Goodman decides to dive to 'Low' altitude, and draws a barrel roll. Not what he was hoping for.  The German on his tail follows, also drawing a card.

Now Goodman attempts to shake off the German, performing a half loop. No response from the Bf110! The two planes are now in the 'neutral' position. But that is all Goodman can do. He can't close with his foe to use any of his attack cards. Damn. Discard 1, draw 3 (+1 horsepower for being at low altitude).

#3 CR42s: No wingman step as no enemy planes share their current altitude. Recognising an attack opportunity, the Italian leader dives, drawing a card. But he overshoots his target and is unable to bring his guns to bear. In game terms, he does not have any cards that will allow him to close with Goodman, giving him a burst bonus. Possessing a burst rating of zero, the Italian planes must improve their position to have any chance of scoring a hit.  Discard 3, draw 2.

#4 & #5 Stukas: simply hold position and observe their fighters make a meal of the hurricane. Discard 2, draw 2; discard 1, draw 1.

That completes the Turn.

Home-Bound Turn 2 - final Game Turn.

Can the pathetic Goodman (yes, I am joining the chorus of condemnation now too....) live up to his reputation...finally? He only has one opportunity left to him, before the stukas return to base.

#1 Bf110s:  The German wingman targets Goodman and lets loose with a 2B IMS - nice!  Sensing the attack, Goodman evades the stream of bullets with a barrel roll. 

No change of altitude...why would you? The Bf110 leader executes a half loop for a +2 gain in position. But now Goodman literally plays his 'Ace', expending his chit to allow a barrel roll card to be played as an ace pilot. The German can't respond to this, so is unable to tail the hurricane. Drat!
But all is not lost - the German is then able to successfully maneuver, so that he is now advantaged over the hurricane. His guns fail to open fire though....this verdammt Englander keeps evading a target fix!  Discard 2, draw 3.

#2 Goodman: This pesky German won't give him any peace! Only holding 3 cards, Goodman decides to dive, to 'very low'. The ground is rushing by. But the Bf110 follows him down, after discarding then drawing a card. In the Leader Step:

  • Goodman attempts to maneuver. The Bf110 counters with a tight turn.
  • Goodman plays another maneuver. No response from the other aircraft, so position adjusts to neutral. 
  • Goodman now only has 2B cards. One is an engine hit that he has been holding on to for some time, BUT he has just not been able to bring his guns to bear!!
  • Draws 3 cards.  It's a disappointing conclusion to a day be would rather forget.

But it's not over yet. The Italians are hovering overhead, awaiting an opportunity to strike.

#3 CR42s: No wingman action as at different altitude. The Italians dive, drawing a card. The leader is still plagued with a defensive/response hand, so has limited attack potential. He maneuvers successfully, and is now advantaged over the hurricane. This gives him a 1B burst ability, but he has no suitable cards and cannot close on his target. As this is the final time, no point in discarding and drawing cards.....

#4 & #5:  the bombers and their escorts safely land at their base: another successful mission means a round of schnapps in the officers' mess.  The lone and dejected Goodman returns to base, unable to have avenged the death of his wingman...and barely score any hits at all on the enemy. 


* 5VPs for destroying a hurricane
* 3VP for disrupting ground forces at Tobruk
* 8VP for 4 stukas returning to base undamaged


* zip, zilch, zero......

This concludes Mission 6 of the Rommel Attacks campaign......

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Wild Blue Yonder: Solo play of a mission from the Rommel Attacks land campaign - OVER TARGET

NB: if this is your first visit to this series of reports concerning Mission 6, don't read this account now, but scroll down to read the first instalment (3 Turns to Target).

This is the situation at the beginning of the 'over-target' turn:

A lone hurricane is left to fight it out with 4 Axis fighters, while 4 stukas make their bombing runs.

Zero Hour. The German strike force approaches the defensive perimeter of Tobruk. Hearing the planes, the Aussie, British, Czech and Polish defenders - the men who Nazi propagandist Lord Haw Haw will describe as rats - run for cover. By the sound of the engines, a pasting is on its way!

Above the dive bombers preparing bomb, the BF110s go first in the game turn. The Wingman Step is skipped as there is no target. The leader decides to climb, discarding a card. He has a weak offensive hand, but wants to rob Goodman of the opportunity to dive on him and gain another card. No attack...let's see what the Italians can do. The leader draws 2 cards.

#2 Goodman's hurricane:  Goodman is not good enough. He has plenty of burst cards, but dammit, still can't close with the enemy to let loose. Maybe all of his cylinders aren't firing. In predictable fashion in this dogfight, he plays a 1B Out of the Sun and targets the German wingman. The wingman draws an attack card - no use as a response card - so takes two hits. At least that's something!  Goodman discards 1 and draws 2. 

#3. CR42s:  The wingman targets Goodman (who else?) and draws his single offensive card. It's an Out of the Sun - 1B card. He takes a shot. Goodman sighs and plays a vertical roll, to disappear from the Italian's view.  Now it's the leader's turn, but dio mio, now is not the time to have a brilliant defensive hand. He can't improve his position against the English, so discards 1 and draws 1.

#4. Stuka Element 1:  Flying over their target, the unengaged stukas can't play cards in their wingman phase. In the altitude step, they do what stukas do....DIVE!.....ONE BIG SCREAMING STUKA DIVE. (If you have seen Chris Nolan's Dunkirk film, you know what I mean....take cover!!) They dive to very low altitude, but in this situation, the leader does not draw a card. 

For this 'over the target' turn, we now enter the Air Strike step. Screaming in, the stukas unload their bombs on to the reinforced defensive positions below.  Each stuka draws 3 cards: 1 for their bomb rating + 2 for a 'very low' altitude attack.

The results:  

LDR = 1 direct, 1 hit, 1 miss
Wingman = 1 vital, 1 direct, 1 miss

Tobruk is a fortified target, so the results have to be downgraded to 2 hits and 1 direct hit. Still deadly. 

But the stukas may not have it all their way. The flak guns are in a frenzy. The Scottish gunners are fired up. For this Ground Forces mission (3A), the flak get 1 +1 for targets at this altitude. This means that two Allied flak cards will be drawn against each stuka. 

The leader's first card is an In My Sights: a potential single hit. The pilot has a choice: take it or play a response card to avoid the flak. Only one such card can be played in response to flak by each aircraft, and the decision must be made before any other flak card is drawn. Well, he only has a Full Throttle card, which can't be used when you're loaded up, so the flak scores a hit. Luckily for him, the second card is a miss. 

Here, you can see the 3 bomb cards drawn beneath each stuka, showing the results in the bottom right hand corner of each card. The two flak cards for the stuka leader have also been drawn:  IMS (scoring a hit) and a Maneuver (miss). The flak cards for the wingman are face down, about to be revealed one by one.

The wingman is next, and emerges unscathed through the curtain of flak.

No cards may be played during the leader step. He then discards 2 and draws 1.

#5 Stuka Element 2:  now the other pair of stukas takes its turn, in identical conditions. The bombs fly to their target, scoring:

LDR = 3 hits
Wingman = 2 direct hits.

After adjustment for their fortified target, they score 2 hits. 
The Scots are still going crazy, pumping shells into the sky. 

The German leader draws the first card - a miss. The second is an In My Sights (IMS), but the pilot pulls off a barrel roll and avoids it. As he did not score any hits anyway, his desperate roll does not rob him of a bomb hit. 

The wingman's first card is also an IMS, scoring 2 hits. He decides to take the hits, rather than draw his single defensive may come in handy for that 2nd flak card. He's right! The second card is another IMS. The wingman draws his defensive card. It's a barrel roll!  Lucky guy...he avoids a cockpit hit, but loses one of his bomb hits. now scoring a single hit.

The leader step is skipped.  Discard one, draw one.

Here is the outcome of the bombing run by the final stuka element:

The stukas would normally have the opportunity to also strafe the target, but as it is fortified, strafing is not allowed.

Final Step:  Area flak now occurs, but as area flak is rated zero for this mission and target aircraft are at very low altitude, no area flak cards are drawn. The fighters rejoin the bombers, all at neutral. 

Consulting the mission card, after scoring a total of 3 hits and 1 direct hit, the Axis has scored 3VP and DISRUPTED Allied ground forces.

There are now only two game turns left before the Axis planes return to Goodman finally going to live up to his reputation?

Monday, 12 February 2018

Wild Blue Yonder: Solo play of a mission from the Rommel Attacks land campaign - 1 TURN TO TARGET

NB: if this is your first visit to this series of reports concerning Mission 6, don't read this account now, but scroll down to read the first instalment (3 Turns to Target).

This is the final turn before the Axis strike force arrives over its target. Time is running out fast for the Brits to take a chunk out of the bombers before their payloads come tumbling down over the heads of the stubborn defenders of Tobruk.

#1 The Bf110s. Sensing vulnerability, the German wingman targets his hurricane counterpart. He draws his one offensive card: a 1B In My Sights. Attack!  The hurricane pilots draws two cards...both are attack cards. Noooooooooo!! His plane takes a peppering....enough to reach his damage level and flip the card. That's what happens when you leave your rabbit lucky charm back at the barracks.

The Germans have no reason to change altitude. The leader can sense another kill and also targets the hapless wingman, who can now only draw a single defence card.  The leader has a 3 Burst card and two maneuver cards. He goes in for the attack:

* He plays a maneuver card
* The British wingman has only one's a tight turn.
* The German pilot counters with.....a tight turn!

* It's all over....the German plays his second maneuver card, so now has enough burst points to open fire. His Out of the Sun card delivers four hits....enough to send the wingman spiralling to the ground, out of control. A ball of black smoke rises into the bright sky........

The German draws 3 more damned Englander to finish off before lunch.

#2 The Lone Hurricane: Goodman can't afford to grieve the loss of his wingman. That will have to wait until he returns to base...IF he returns to base. Alas, still lacking the cards to support an attack that will make a difference, he decides to climb to medium altitude and rebuild his hand (discard 1, draw 2).

#3 CR42s:  There is now no target for the wingman. The Italian leader has a weak offensive hand, but elects to climb, discarding a card. No attack - draws 1.

#4 & 5 Stukas:  hold position, content to approach the target.

In the Final Step, all of the fighters break off. For this mission against ground targets, the area flak level is zero. There is no modification to this at 'Low' altitude for dive bombers, so no cards are drawn to determine damage. The stukas now commence their bombing run, while Goodman and his adversaries duke it out above them......

The next instalment in Mission 6 is coming soon.......

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Wild Blue Yonder: Solo play of a mission from the Rommel Attacks land campaign - 2 TURNS TO TARGET

NB: if this is your first visit to this series of accounts concerning Mission 6, don't read this account now, but scroll down to read the first instalment (3 Turns to Target).
So, it's 'Turn 2', but in mission terms, think of it as '2 turns to target'.

Here is an overview of the situation:

Neither side scored a single hit in the first turn. The hurricanes and the CR42s are at medium altitude, while the remainder of the Axis strike force is below them. The turn gets underway, one element at a time.

#1: The Bf110s. The wingman step is skipped as no enemy aircraft share their altitude. The leader only has 3 cards in his hand, so rather than attempt to engage with the hurricanes, he decides to hold position and bide his time. He draws a card.

#2: Hurricanes.  The wingman decides to attempt an attack against the Italian CR42 wingman and draws his one offensive card. It's a blue response card:  no attack. The leader decides to dive to 'Low' altitude and attempt another attack on the Stukas. Hopefully this time he can do some damage.  Diving, the leader draws an additional card.

Poor Goodman - again, all he has to work with is a 1B burst card. He targets a stuka wingman. There is no intervention attempt by the escorting Italians as the British have not improved their attack position, and decide not to invite a preemptive intervention.

Goodman lets loose another short burst from his cannons....

......and this time, the stuka is unable to avoid his bullets, taking one hit.  (In game terms, the stuka wingman can draw a single defensive card, resulting in a 2B - useless in defence).

Goodman is getting frustrated....every second, the Axis planes are a little nearer to the target zone. He's got to be doing better than this!

#3 CR42s: The wingman step is skipped as there are no targets at his altitude. Logically enough, the Italian leader dives, followed by his wingman, and draws a card. Emboldened by the acceleration of his nimble aircraft, the leader chooses to attack the British wingman.   He plays a 'Maneuver' card. The hurricane wingman draws two defensive cards.

Oh no.....! Neither of them are defence/response cards. Caught unawares, bullets from the CR42s guns tear through the skin of his aircraft, inflicting 2 hits. Notch one up for the Italians!

#4 and #5 Stukas:  Satisfied that their escort is handling the meddlesome hurricanes, the bombers maintain course, altitude and speed.  That's the end of the turn, and there's only one more to go before they reach their target...!

Friday, 9 February 2018

Wild Blue Yonder: Solo play of a mission from the Rommel Attacks land campaign - 3 TURNS TO TARGET

I recently purchased a copy of Wild Blue Yonder, which announces GMT's long belated return to its classic Down in Flames series.

After having a blast playing some dogfights with 3 and 4 other players at the local gaming club, I decided to fool around with the Campaign rules.  Herewith, is my 3rd mission and after setting up what appears to be a fascinating duel, I've decided to serialise each turn of it.

Read on to find out if a British air ace and his wingman can stop a powerful Axis bombing mission from unleashing hell on to the defenders of Tobruk!

Mission 6 of Stage 2 has been drawn: 4 x Stukas are tasked with bombing fortified positions at Tobruk. There are 3 turns to reaching the target, then two more turns to return to base.

The German side secretly selects escort resources, comprising 2 x FW110s and 2 x Italian CR40s.

Opposing them are two Hurricanes, After drawing cards for pilots, the Axis don’t gain anything additional, but the British leader scores veteran and air ace Goodman, allowing associated chits to be placed on his card that convey one-time use advantages.

Here's the set up, sans altitudes and bomb loads:

Due to the light bombers, the Axis elements need to select and declare their altitudes, before the British. After consideration, the Germans opt to have their Stukas at medium altitude, alongside escorting Bf110s. Above them, the Italian CR42s keep watch, intending to gain a card as they dive on any British foolish enough to engage the strike force.

The British decide to come in at medium, hoping to quickly get among the Stukas and blow them out of the sky!

The Axis wins the toss to see who goes first. Not so plain and simple for the Brits after all.

So, here commences TURN ONE.........

ELEMENT #1: The BF110 leader has a good offensive hand… this element goes first. The wingman step is skipped for the first element on Turn 1, so, maintaining altitude, the German leader decides to try and engage the British leader.

The German pilot plays: manoeuvre.
The British response is…….nothing.
The German aircraft is now advantaged over Goodman. He can now deliver up to 2 bursts.
The German pilot attempts another manoeuvre.
Appropriately enough, Goodman plays an Ace Pilot card!
The German has nothing in reply, so is unable to tail the hurricane.
Unfortunately for Fritz, he has no burst cards. The attack is over for now.
He discards and draws.

Here's a snapshot of the above action:

#2: Now, it’s time for the hurricanes to play their turn.

The British wingman targets the Bf110 that is engaged with his leader. Handily, he is able to manoeuvre, but the German aircraft counters with a tight turn.

Altitude step….the British dive, Goodman drawing an additional card. The advantaged Bf110 is having none of it, and discards and draws to follow his prey.

Which is exactly what the cunning Goodman has been hoping for. He puts his aircraft into a Vertical Roll, climbing (discarding a card). The dismayed German pilot can only follow if he discards 3 cards – his entire hand! He decides not to follow.

Goodman smiles in triumph. There’s now nothing standing in his way from engaging his main quarry: the Stukas! Their escorts have evaporated. But his glee is shortlived: he does not have any cards that can improve his position. All he can do is use his single ‘one burst’ attack card. For this reason, he decides to target one of the German wingmen, who can only draw a single defensive card. Goodman lets off a burst, only to see the bullets stream wide of his target as the stuka performs a barrel roll. Curses!

Goodman gets off a burst aiming for the cockpit, but the stuka evades it with a barrel roll!

There nothing for it, but to keep hold of his cards and draw 2 more.

#3: Watching the drama that has just been played out below, the Italian CR42’s decide to kick into action. There is no wingman step as the Italians are along at ‘high’ altitude. They promptly dive, the leader drawing an extra card. With the exception of the Bf110s, all elements are now at medium altitude.

The CR42 leader may have 2 ace pilot cards, and possess the ‘Agile’ ability, but what he needs now is to close with the hurricanes and open fire (with a zero burst rating, the CR42s must improve their position in order to score hits). Foiled! All he can do is discard and draw.

#4 and #5: the Stukas. Intent on their bombing mission, the Stukas are not able to attack enemy aircraft, unless engaged with them. In the Altitude Step, the Stukas dive to ‘Low’ altitude. (I don’t take a card for them as they are not allowed to consult their cards and would only have to discard one in the draw step…not sure if this is correct, but seems logical).

Diving is not only preparation for their approaching bombing run, but allows them to be re-united with their Bf110 escorts.

That concludes Turn 1 of the Mission. No hits by either side!

Stay tuned for the next instalment of ‘Death in Libyan Skies......’ 

Saturday, 25 November 2017

An Extraordinary Sequence of Events in Paths of Glory

Long-time gaming buddy Roger and I have recently turned our gaze to playing several games of the classic WWI CDG 'Paths of Glory'. I've played the game on and off over the years, while for Roger, this is his well overdue introduction to a game that perhaps more than most offers that beguiling blend of agony and ecstasy. In PoG, there is that frequent sense of 'so much I want to do' - now - but being only able to do one thing at a time.

In our first game, I took on the CP and it felt like a largely mediocre performance. The CP gained in the north on the eastern front, but the arrival of the Russian CAU Army set in train a steady demolition of the Turkish position. Then, by about early 1917, the Allies overwhelmed the Germans in the West and I folded after they were well into occupying Germany's west. Despite having played this game about 7-8 times, I've never reached the Total War phase, and this was no exception.

So, we changed sides for our next game, this time adopting the Tournament Rules. The removal of the entrenchment marker in Brussels helped the CP push westward and they were able to reach the Channel and dig in. A very effective strategy. Meanwhile, neither side had made any real gain in the east, with the Russians holding Warsaw with 3 armies. Gradually, however, the Germans and Austrians built up their forces in the east and, by the Fall of 1916,  they had the Russians on the back foot - as this screenshot shows:

As a result of the increasingly dire situation in the East, I decided to adopt a strategy of attempting to seize the initiative by setting the agenda on other fronts. Firstly, I did this in the NE, bringing the CAU Army into play and using any opportunity available to push deeper into Turkish territory (with a sense of deja vu as this is exactly what happened to me, in the previous game!)

Thanks to the Allies having the final card play of each turn, I was able to isolate a number of Turkish corps and seize control of a number of spaces through attrition.

Of course, my opponent's own strategy was similar to my own - in this case, preventing the Allies from having any real opportunity to push an aggressive agenda elsewhere on the map, by keeping the pressure on Russia.  Even if Turkey were to be knocked out, I wonder if their loss would be catastrophic to the CP cause. There are not a lot of VP spaces there.

Meanwhile, things were tough in the West. The Germans were well entrenched in their forts and in Liege.  The only way I could see making any headway at all was to simply try to launch a series of slugfest attacks to wear the Germans down and soak up replacements...and thereby keep the heat off the Russians. I also had a number of CC cards, allowing +1 drms to Allied attacks. Time to use them.

The first chance I got, I moved a French army and the BEF 5-3-3 into that notorious killing zone: Sedan.  I knew that this would provoke a CP attack from Liege, Koblenz and Metz (totalling something like 25 factors!), but I also knew that at worst, this would destroy the French army and allow the BEF to contribute to my key goal: an attack on Liege using 2, or even 3, +1 CC cards!

Sure enough, the CP hammered me in Sedan and after taking an extra French loss to remain in place, the BEF unit stood alone. In Liege, Roger also attempted to raise his entrench level to '2', but rolled too high and placed a '-1' marker.

There was nothing for it now, but to launch an attack on Liege at all costs. After some debate, I opted to use 2 '+1' CC cards, instead of 3 as doing so would have dangerously denuded my card hand.

Here is a screenshot as I was about to launch the attack on Liege:

I rolled on the 9-11 column, and got a 3, NOT good enough as I wanted to inflict 7 losses. Now I was wishing I had committed that additional combat card, doh! As we were playing this game via Vassal, I had invited the CP to play its own CC card during the log, but went ahead to do the CP roll. It was a 6. 7 losses. Goodbye most of the BEF, and I felt sure that the CP would absorb the 5 losses and stay put, given that 2 full strength armies were sitting in an entrenched position. End result - little achieved, apart from some CP attrition. I wrote: 'That's screwed it.'

But then, the unexpected took place. Roger played a 'Withdrawal' card, allowing him to restore his reduced Army, but then retreat to Aachen!  Woah. I promptly moved my surviving full strength stack from Brussels into Liege.

Pressure now on the CP to seize back the initiative and restore the situation in the West. Roger launched a 3-prong attack: Aachen + Koblenz (5+5+2 factors) vs Liege and Metz to obliterate the surviving remnant of the once proud BEF in Sedan.

First, Sedan was duly obliterated - but caused a German army to flip - nice. No advance.
Then, Liege. Roger decided to attempt a flank attack. The result?  A 4. Success.  Oh oh.
No CC cards.....and none from me either.
He rolled on the 12-14 column. Hmm...a 1. Lucky for me - 4 losses. But due to being a flank attack, the losses had to be taken before the Allies could roll. French army and French corps duly flipped.
Then my turn, now on the 7 col.

It's a 6!

5 losses. As a result, one Army has to be flipped AND there is only one way to take the remaining losses - to destroy the corps. Koblenz is left vacant!

Roger writes: 'Hm, now the CP is screwed.'

Indeed, it is. All I need to do is advance my stack in Liege in such a way as to isolate the entire German army in the west. PoG is merciless like that. Once your supply is cut off, you can't move or attack. Remain out of supply in the attrition phase and armies are eliminated. Permanently.

The CP called it quits....and once again, Total War had not been reached. Sigh.

This was an amazing sequence of events. I think the play of the Withdrawal card was instrumental in setting the scene for what followed. Then the die rolls completed what amounted to an entirely unexpected and rapid collapse of the CP.  Until then, I had thought a long and gradually crushing defeat of the Allies was on the cards.

PoG is overdue for a revision, but remains an awesome game!

Monday, 25 September 2017

Games on the table - update

Woah, it has been QUITE some time since my last blog entry. One may be forgiven for thinking that I had gone on sabbatical and entered a gaming-free zone, but in fact there has been quite a lot of gaming going on, both 2p, multiplayer and solo.

On the multiplayer front, via the local gaming club, I've played a couple of games of Time of Crisis, the new release from GMT. This is described as a hybrid game, blending - for example - a Euro-inspired deck building component with a wargame setting (in this case the chaotic world of Imperial Rome in the 3rd Century AD. This is a most enjoyable game, well received among club members, and I hope to get back to it soon.

With local gaming buddy Brett, we have also been playing Twilight Struggle, Combat Commander Europe and - now - 1989. Brett is a newcomer to these types of games and is really enjoying them.

On the Vassal front, gaming stalwart Roger and I have recently commenced a game of Paths of Glory. Given that we've developed a stable gaming partnership that has been going strong since 2013, or even earlier, it's amazing that it has taken until now for us to finally get a game of PoG happening.

We're now half way through 1915, with me playing the Central Powers. It's shaping up to be an epic struggle, yet already a major departure from the historical script, with the Germans virtually back to their start line in the West and the Austro-Hungarians being forced back almost to Budapest by a horde of Russian armies!

On the solo front, I have just completed a first run-through of my latest acquisition: FAB: Golan '73. This is the 3rd FAB game that I have owned and I really enjoy the system....which, for the first time, takes us far into the post-WWII world, with the traits of modern warfare, including SAMs, jet air support, electronic warfare and lots of mechanisation. Here is how my solo game ended up:

This is viewed from the Israeli (blue) perspective. The Israelis won the game, pushing the Syrians back to regain almost all of the dual VP areas (those with the yellow stars within orange circles). 1VP is also earned for destroying a unit (block) that has at least 3 dots of combat strength. As per the image below, the Israeli's destroyed 4 such Syrian units, earning them an additional 4 VP. Israel won with a 6VP majority.

In retrospect, I didn't push as hard with the Syrians as I should have.....though they were able to occupy Mt Hermon via a para drop, earning 1VP and negatively impacting Israeli artillery ability. 

 I look forward to hopefully playing this one f2f soon.