Monday, 22 June 2020

Urgent Arrival of New Rules

"Painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war." - Pablo Picasso

Both I and the stepladder have returned to the annexe. If the time spent decorating has taught me anything, it is that my previous practice of paying someone to do it for me was the entirely correct approach and one to which I should return forthwith. 

When we last visited the table, the British had a big hole in their line and needed to fill it. The normal route to bring on reserves in 'Square Bashing' is the reinforcement phase, which occurs right at the end of one's turn. There is also the option, in the opening phase, to select Urgent Arrivals as one's asset. Only one asset is allowed each turn, and that is presumably to speed up game play. I'm happy with that, but it has always seemed to me that some assets give more value than others, and so the same ones - artillery barrages mainly - always end up getting selected. If one rolls well then a barrage can do damage to a number of squares and an even larger number of units. If one rolls well when choosing, say, Hasty Defences one can put some sandbags up in one square. They just don't seem comparable to me. I therefore allow a modest upside to a couple of the asset classes to reward good (i.e. lucky) dice rolls. In this case the British rolled two sixes and three fives with five dice and thus two infantry units arrived and moved into the gaps. Not much else happened on the British turn until the very end. The game starts with a clock set to 21, and the defender rolls a D6 as the last action of their go to reduce it; when it reaches zero the game is over. Six turns is therefore a reasonable forecast for the length of the game. On this occasion the British rolled a one, implying that there are most likely still six turns to go. That rather suits the Germans.

So, the Hun commander decided to take advantage of this probable extra game length by not immediately assaulting in the centre, but giving himself an extra turn of barrage. Unfortunately the German artillery, having missed everything on the first turn, failed to even fire this time. The only assault that occurred was against the town objective where, having successfully rolled to use their Higher Command ability to add to the attack, the Germans were rolling thirteen dice against nine. Perhaps inevitably they nevertheless lost the melee. My tactics of constantly assaulting built up areas doesn't seem to be the right one after all. Still, a flamethrower unit has arrived and next time perhaps they will do better. British shooting improved and one German unit, which had failed morale based on last turn's shooting casualties and therefore couldn't move, took a bit of a pasting.

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