Saturday, 3 February 2007

Guards to Poltava

I have been running the Guards to Poltava Russian Civil War campaign for Triumph of the Will from the TooFatLardies featured in their 2006 Summer Special. The first two games went to the Whites but they took a bit of a beating to win the second game and it meant that they needed both a decent plan and good luck in order to win the third. Unfortunately they didn't fare too well with either and so the third game became the White high tide mark.

We all still like the Triumph of the Will rules, albeit they have a few rough edges which could do with smoothing, and they give a somewhat brutal but fast game. Given that we usually only have time for 2-2.5 hours gameplay we need rules that will work with multiple players on each side and allow us to reach a conclusion in the time available. TotW does both admirably.

We had a discussion after the game about the pros and cons of ladder campaigns and the difficulty of maintaining some sort of balance so they provide a challenge but don't end too rapidly. For a game to be fun it can't be dependent on one side making no mistakes whatsoever.

Whilst this campaign allowed the Whites to refight the scenario with the reinforcements they would have met up with at Poltava the conclusion was that they would still have had a tough time of it. It did provide an excellent example of the interesting aspects of the TotW rules with units being sized by their morale and determination rather than physical numbers. Also the need for control tests when a unit reaches five or less figures gave the Red Militia (starting with 6 figure units) plenty of worries. It did also show the need for proper consideration of counter battery fire too.

It looks like one of the chaps may try the rules for the Russo Finnish war next.

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