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Major Duncan
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First campaign Fri, 29 November 2013 15:36
Just finished the Fall of Poland Campaign. Great fun. I didn't use any of my house rules in the end, except that I used the air sortie cards as directed by the special rules and had them as 2 dice air power (Stuka) attacks. Air srikes form the Air Power and Recon 1 cards remained 1 dice (fighter straffing and level bombers) attacks.

I'd played a few games of Tuchola Forest and Bzura River before I received my Equipment pack and Campaign Book Vol 2. Tuchola Forest seemed to me to give the poles a better chance of victory out of the two battles. Especially when I saw that the Germans only get five cards, rather than the six on the scenario in the archives. I therefore decided I would commit as many reserves as I could and took a Tank and infantry unit which I placed on my left side which is where I think the Poles can score some medals. The Germans could only get an infantry unit and some sandbags.

The extra polish troops were to no avail, and despite some success on the left, they were overun elsewhere and lost 5:3. On to Bzura.

Here I had already decided not to commit any reserves to what I perceived to be a lost cause. Typically, an inf + star roll litterally begged me to take a unit of Dragoons and I used my last token. Things improved when the Germans only received an elite infantry unit, although the halving of my only tank unit to a victory event roll wasn't great. My left flank was again moderately successful with 2 Dragoons and my tank, but again the Germans were simply too powerful and they again won 5:3. On to Warsaw.

I had high hopes that the terrain would severely restrict the Germans, and especially their armour. With no reserves I was happy the Germans only recieved two sandbags! I quickly occuppied the church to upgrade my artillery to long range, but an immediate German Barrage card took one of them out. The Game now developed into a very interesting dogfight in the suburbs of downtown Warsaw. A preponderance of German centre cards (4 at one point) drove the Germans that way and a fight errupted around the centre fortress. The Poles fought heroically, and when down to one figure they rallied back to three and fought on. But eventually I ran out of centre cards for the Poles, the heavy guns went quiet and the fortress fell.

The Germans now moved on to the next fortress on the on their right/centre boundary. But with assistance still not available from their centre, the three Polish infantry were evntually overwhelmed and the Germans won 6:3. An interesting point arose at the end of this game. The Germans assaulted the second fortress and killed the single figure there for 6 medals and victory. However the subsequent advance into the fort would give the Germans an objective medal. Irrelevant to the outcome of the battle, and in the event the campaign, but should the Germans have been allowed to claim the medal? Or should the game have ended before the advance? I think the latter, but gave it to them anyway as they had fought so hard to get it.

The Battle of Koch seemed a bit of an anti-climax with a German campaign victory assured. But as in reality the Poles fought on for pride. The Germans only got a tank unit and another sandbag. They would finish the campaigh with still 4 tokens. This was the closest battle though and the luck went all the polish way. At one point the bonus tank unit armour assaulted a three figure infantry in the clear with a bonus attack but only got two hits on eight dice. The Polish three dice reposte wiped them out!

The cards and dice were going the Poles way, and the score went 4:2 in their favour, but they were in poor shape. The Germans got back to 4:4 and had an easy kill lined up for the afformentioned single infantry unit. The poles issued a deperate Move out order and charged forward. A three dice dragoon attack against a three figure inf unit scored two hits and a retreat. Then a two dice attack against another three figure infatry unit scored two hits! and no retreat, which left a final one dice attack for victory. A flag, and the German tanks blasted the lone infantry figure for a 5:4 victory.

Final Campaign score; Germans 21 (20 if medal not allowed in the Warsaw battle) - Poles 13.

[Aktualisiert am: Fri, 29 November 2013 15:39]

      
boersma8
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Re:First campaign Sun, 01 December 2013 09:13
Great report!

I've been wanting to play this campaign too, but so far I haven't been able to convince myself yet to use US troops as Poles. I know it's memoir, but I'd really like proper Polish, Italian and French armies (and a "proper" French army isn't infantry only and in grey...)
      
Major Duncan
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Re:First campaign Sun, 01 December 2013 18:20
boersma8 wrote on Sun, 01 December 2013 09:13

Great report!

I've been wanting to play this campaign too, but so far I haven't been able to convince myself yet to use US troops as Poles. I know it's memoir, but I'd really like proper Polish, Italian and French armies (and a "proper" French army isn't infantry only and in grey...)


I know what you mean. I wanted an homgenous looking army, and as the Dragoons are grey, I used the French infantry, the Italian artillery and the Churchill tanks without any attachments.
      
Major Duncan
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Re:First campaign Thu, 05 December 2013 17:14
I have now thoroughly played the Poles. As I do for C&C Ancients, I play each battle four times. Here are my results:

1) Tuchola Forest - Germans win 5:3, 5:1 and 5:3. Poles win 5:4.

2) Bzura River - Germans win 5:1, 5:2, 5:3 and 5:1.

3) Hel - Germans win 5:1, 5:3 and 5:3. Poles win 5:3.

4) Kepa Oksywska - Germans win 6:3, 6:3 and 6:2. Poles win 6:5.

5) Tomaszow Lubelski - Germans win 6:5 and 6:3. Poles win 6:3 and 6:4.

6) Battle for Warsaw - Germans win 6:3, 6:5 and 6:2. Poles win 6:5.

7) Szack - Poles win 5:2, 5:2, 5:4 and 5:3.

8 ) Battle of Kock - Germans win 5:3, 5:1, 5:3 and 5:3.

So overall results are 22 German wins to 10 Polish.
      
boersma8
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Re:First campaign Thu, 05 December 2013 18:40
Major Duncan wrote on Thu, 05 December 2013 17:14

I have now thoroughly played the Poles. As I do for C&C Ancients, I play each battle four times. Here are my results:

1) Tuchola Forest - Germans win 5:3, 5:1 and 5:3. Poles win 5:4.

2) Bzura River - Germans win 5:1, 5:2, 5:3 and 5:1.

3) Hel - Germans win 5:1, 5:3 and 5:3. Poles win 5:3.

4) Kepa Oksywska - Germans win 6:3, 6:3 and 6:2. Poles win 6:5.

5) Tomaszow Lubelski - Germans win 6:5 and 6:3. Poles win 6:3 and 6:4.

6) Battle for Warsaw - Germans win 6:3, 6:5 and 6:2. Poles win 6:5.

7) Szack - Poles win 5:2, 5:2, 5:4 and 5:3.

8 ) Battle of Kock - Germans win 5:3, 5:1, 5:3 and 5:3.

So overall results are 22 German wins to 10 Polish.


Does that mean it's not perfectly balanced, in your opinion?
      
Major Duncan
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Re:First campaign Thu, 05 December 2013 23:17
boersma8 wrote on Thu, 05 December 2013 17:40


Does that mean it's not perfectly balanced, in your opinion?



It is definitely not balanced, but the campaign notes make that perfectly clear, and provide some optional rules to make them more so. I am a real historical gamer and so I don't paticularly like ahistorical stuff, like more Polish tanks, to balance thing out.

I would expect battles based on this campaign to be in the Germans favour, but with the chance of a polish win, which is how I think these scenarios are, and I like them for that fact.

[Aktualisiert am: Thu, 05 December 2013 23:18]

      
Sgt Storm
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Re:First campaign Thu, 05 December 2013 23:53
Its far from balanced and that's quite annoying. In fact, that's a shortcoming of most campaigns which reflects negatively on the campaign system (e.g., increasingly powerful victory die rolls) and the lack of interest in balancing scenarios for supposed historical accuracy. But failure to balance the final campaign scoring, to make up for scenario imbalance is a negative as well.

While the Polish should normally be soundly beaten in this campaign, at the very least the scoring at the campaign level could be adjusted to allow a win to the Polish side if they do better than the "historical" benchmark. The scenario/campaign designer should determine what this benchmark is and adjust objectives, campaign bonuses, whatever, to achieve balance. This then would give the Polish player at least a benchmark to strive for (e.g., 15 points is an outright win for Poles etc.).

I realize there are optional "What if" die rolls (or whatever they are called) at the beginning, but these do not achieve balance (or even approach it).

I realize the play testing required to achieve this balance is considerable, and I don't expect it in scenarios from the front, but I do from DOW products.

But in the end, its not lack of testing, but apparently a design philosophy with a "can't do it" attitude that detracts from what could make the campaign system a much more enjoyable experience.
That is, it IS possible to maintain historical integrity AND grant a win to the underdog player that does better than average, but there is no interest from DOW in seeing this happens. In fact, it is possible to do this at the scenario level, but whatever...

Alright, I'm done complaining about this for another year.
      
boersma8
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Re:First campaign Fri, 06 December 2013 10:32
Sgt Storm wrote on Thu, 05 December 2013 23:53

Its far from balanced and that's quite annoying. In fact, that's a shortcoming of most campaigns which reflects negatively on the campaign system (e.g., increasingly powerful victory die rolls) and the lack of interest in balancing scenarios for supposed historical accuracy. But failure to balance the final campaign scoring, to make up for scenario imbalance is a negative as well.

While the Polish should normally be soundly beaten in this campaign, at the very least the scoring at the campaign level could be adjusted to allow a win to the Polish side if they do better than the "historical" benchmark. The scenario/campaign designer should determine what this benchmark is and adjust objectives, campaign bonuses, whatever, to achieve balance. This then would give the Polish player at least a benchmark to strive for (e.g., 15 points is an outright win for Poles etc.).

I realize there are optional "What if" die rolls (or whatever they are called) at the beginning, but these do not achieve balance (or even approach it).

I realize the play testing required to achieve this balance is considerable, and I don't expect it in scenarios from the front, but I do from DOW products.

But in the end, its not lack of testing, but apparently a design philosophy with a "can't do it" attitude that detracts from what could make the campaign system a much more enjoyable experience.
That is, it IS possible to maintain historical integrity AND grant a win to the underdog player that does better than average, but there is no interest from DOW in seeing this happens. In fact, it is possible to do this at the scenario level, but whatever...

Alright, I'm done complaining about this for another year.


While I cannot say whether or not the campaigns are balanced or not in general, i do agree entirely with the rest of this post: while it may be a given that the Germans will almost certainly "win" the Polish campaign, this does not have to mean they win the game! Indeed, a better performance than the historical outcome should also result in a win for the side that historically lost!
      
Major Duncan
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Re:First campaign Fri, 06 December 2013 14:12
Sgt Storm wrote on Thu, 05 December 2013 22:53

Its far from balanced and that's quite annoying.


It is interesting how different people have different opinions. If the Poles won as regularly as the Germans I would find it dissatisfying and I wouldn't have as much interest in playing.

Each to their own. Scenarios are quite easy to balance by just requiring the side with the perceived advantage to obtain an extra medal or two to win.

Switching sides is also a time honoured method. If you lose better than your oppponent, you win!
      
boersma8
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Re:First campaign Fri, 06 December 2013 14:26
Major Duncan wrote on Fri, 06 December 2013 14:12

Sgt Storm wrote on Thu, 05 December 2013 22:53

Its far from balanced and that's quite annoying.


It is interesting how different people have different opinions. If the Poles won as regularly as the Germans I would find it dissatisfying and I wouldn't have as much interest in playing.

Each to their own. Scenarios are quite easy to balance by just requiring the side with the perceived advantage to obtain an extra medal or two to win.

Switching sides is also a time honoured method. If you lose better than your oppponent, you win!



Certainly valid points too!

PS: Currently playing the Bicycle Blitzkrieg campaign myself with a friend (we meet once a week or once every second week). After two scenarios the score is 9-7 for the Japanese (me!) Cool (5-3 Britain and 6-1 Japan, 1VP objective for the UK in the first scenario).

So far seems balanced enough to me. At the very least I'm certainly throroughly enjoying playing it!
      
Sgt Storm
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Re:First campaign Fri, 06 December 2013 18:43
Major Duncan wrote on Fri, 06 December 2013 08:12

Sgt Storm wrote on Thu, 05 December 2013 22:53

Its far from balanced and that's quite annoying.


It is interesting how different people have different opinions. If the Poles won as regularly as the Germans I would find it dissatisfying and I wouldn't have as much interest in playing.

Each to their own. Scenarios are quite easy to balance by just requiring the side with the perceived advantage to obtain an extra medal or two to win.

Switching sides is also a time honoured method. If you lose better than your oppponent, you win!



Yeah, I concede that switching sides as a decent excuse not to design scenarios to balance, because it is possible to fit two games within one hour.

But switching sides in a campaign means usually 8 scenarios versus 4, which is a larger time commitment that my opponents and I can't meet.

This is where the scenario design philosophy fails in my opinion.

I don't agree scenarios can be "easily" balanced by adding a medal or two. That's guesswork. True balance I think requires play testing and a different design philosophy (maybe meeting objectives rather than a killing spree). Besides if its so easy to balance, why doesn't DOW provide recommended balance adjustments with each scenario.

It is interesting how tastes differ. I find it strange that playing as the Poles and winning, meaning you had better results than the historical average, would be unsatisfying. That means that some percentage of the time, with the current scenarios, you feel unsatisfied winning as the underdog. I think it would be the opposite. I just like to win when I know thing are balanced, then I know what I have achieve.

Besides, I think scenarios aligned to historical achievements and objectives are far more interesting and deeper historically than those focused on a one dimensional win/lose decision. Scenarios that require attackers meet objectives to win tend to be my favorites. Maybe Memoir '44 just was designed for that kind of game, but I still remain hopeful.

Don't get me wrong. I really like the game. But, it could be SO much better.

[Aktualisiert am: Fri, 06 December 2013 18:44]

      
Sgt Storm
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Re:First campaign Fri, 06 December 2013 18:48
boersma8 wrote on Fri, 06 December 2013 08:26

Major Duncan wrote on Fri, 06 December 2013 14:12

Sgt Storm wrote on Thu, 05 December 2013 22:53

Its far from balanced and that's quite annoying.


It is interesting how different people have different opinions. If the Poles won as regularly as the Germans I would find it dissatisfying and I wouldn't have as much interest in playing.

Each to their own. Scenarios are quite easy to balance by just requiring the side with the perceived advantage to obtain an extra medal or two to win.

Switching sides is also a time honoured method. If you lose better than your oppponent, you win!



Certainly valid points too!

PS: Currently playing the Bicycle Blitzkrieg campaign myself with a friend (we meet once a week or once every second week). After two scenarios the score is 9-7 for the Japanese (me!) Cool (5-3 Britain and 6-1 Japan, 1VP objective for the UK in the first scenario).

So far seems balanced enough to me. At the very least I'm certainly throroughly enjoying playing it!


Yeah, that campaign was really good.

I'm probably just being to critical and maybe wishing for something even better that may not be possible.

I probably just need another expansion and suffering from withdrawal. Its been a while since DOW announced anything new for Memoir (and I don't want to want another 6 months). Sad
      
Major Duncan
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Re:First campaign Fri, 06 December 2013 19:02
Sgt Storm wrote on Fri, 06 December 2013 17:43

Major Duncan wrote on Fri, 06 December 2013 08:12



It is interesting how different people have different opinions. If the Poles won as regularly as the Germans I would find it dissatisfying and I wouldn't have as much interest in playing.



It is interesting how tastes differ. I find it strange that playing as the Poles and winning, meaning you had better results than the historical average, would be unsatisfying. That means that some percentage of the time, with the current scenarios, you feel unsatisfied winning as the underdog. I think it would be the opposite. I just like to win when I know thing are balanced, then I know what I have achieve.


You have missunderstood my comments on a Polish win. I did not say I disliked winning as the Poles, I said I would dislike it if I won as many times for the Poles as the Germans. On the contrary I love winning as the Poles, because it means so much more to do so and is a much greater achievement.
      
boersma8
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Re:First campaign Fri, 06 December 2013 19:29
Sgt Storm wrote on Fri, 06 December 2013 18:48

boersma8 wrote on Fri, 06 December 2013 08:26

Major Duncan wrote on Fri, 06 December 2013 14:12

Sgt Storm wrote on Thu, 05 December 2013 22:53

Its far from balanced and that's quite annoying.


It is interesting how different people have different opinions. If the Poles won as regularly as the Germans I would find it dissatisfying and I wouldn't have as much interest in playing.

Each to their own. Scenarios are quite easy to balance by just requiring the side with the perceived advantage to obtain an extra medal or two to win.

Switching sides is also a time honoured method. If you lose better than your oppponent, you win!



Certainly valid points too!

PS: Currently playing the Bicycle Blitzkrieg campaign myself with a friend (we meet once a week or once every second week). After two scenarios the score is 9-7 for the Japanese (me!) Cool (5-3 Britain and 6-1 Japan, 1VP objective for the UK in the first scenario).

So far seems balanced enough to me. At the very least I'm certainly throroughly enjoying playing it!


Yeah, that campaign was really good.

I'm probably just being to critical and maybe wishing for something even better that may not be possible.

I probably just need another expansion and suffering from withdrawal. Its been a while since DOW announced anything new for Memoir (and I don't want to want another 6 months). Sad



I hear you on the withdrawal sympthoms. Then again, there are enough other games to play. However, i'd like to have seen proper French, Polish and Italian armies by now; at least one of these. Its'been too long without anything new for memoir!

I wholeheartedly agree with you that scenarios that require objectives to be taken tend to be better: i.e. it's great if you destroy many German units in the assault on the Reichstag, but if you don't take the building itself, Stalin will still have you shot! It's great to kill many German units when assaulting Omaha beach, but if you don't actually make it OFF the beach...Well, you get my drift!

Memoir is not a very historical simulation of ww 2 and I guess it was never meant to be. However, it's an immensely fun game play experience! (and still remotely similar of ww2 combat).
      
    
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