Here we are, on the penultimate turn (MAN, I love that word). The scores are neck and neck, but Germany hasn’t fallen and the Japanese are proving to be really really difficult to beat. So let’s start that famous Yalta conference, shall we?
And I’m dead. No more Roosevelt. Looks like “Give ’em Hell” Harry is taking over for the rest of the game. Also looks like the A-bomb is going to Stalin no matter what I do. Ugh. This is going to be a tough turn.
Yup, there’s a chance that he’s only worth a 4. I really wanted to get the A-bomb Issue so I could spend money on it to guarantee it’s success, but I doubt I’ll get it even with only rolling a ‘2’ for it’s placement on the USSR track. Luckily the Partisan Dispute roll was a ‘5’, so all my political markers are safe.
I’ve had worse hands. George Marshall is usually a good one to ditch to play my leader, but he could be worth more than the possible ‘4’ that Truman could be. Gah. Frank Knox’s ability to get me two Naval markers is great because I’m losing Navy to Kamikazee pilots and IJN all over the Pacific, so I’ll need him. Maybe Henry would be my best play since I’m pretty strong in Pol-Mil, and unless the other two pull strongly for them (and I haven’t seen a lot of that), I should be okay sitting pretty there. Yeah, I’ll do that.
Wow, did I overkill. Which is good for one Issue, but will make winning other issues difficult as the others held onto their stronger cards. Nuts. Ah well. I grab European Leadership and put it onto my ‘3’. I’m hoping the 2 extra Offensive Markers can get me 2 steps and land me into Germany this turn so I don’t have to do ALL THE THINGS on Conference 10.
Churchill puts Pacific Leadership and Strategic Materials onto the table, which is good because all these things help the war effort. I guess he wants a Condition 1 victory, too. As much as a die roll can ‘want.’ Stalin, on the other hand, puts a UK Production and Global Issue onto the table. I think he’s just mad at Churchill and wants to get his Spheres of Influence back, or at least get some funds to boost the Eastern Front (which ain’t going anywhere, in my opinion.
And because of that play, I’m going to put Russia Declares War and a USSR Directed Offensive onto the table. It may not get the Reds to march into Manchuria, but it will at least distract them from trying to mess with the Western march into Germany, which HAS to happen this turn.
No surprise, the arguments start with Churchill himself trying to steal the Global Issue. I hate that because it would steal the issue from me, since he already has Stalin’s issue. The ‘bot won’t debate because the A-Bomb is more important to it, so it’s in my corner. I hate to throw out my leader so early and possibly to not even pull the issue back to the center of the table, but a loss of 5 points would really hurt, so I’m going to have to try it. Mr Truman, if you will?
AND I ROLL A FIVE! The Issue only gets pulled back to Churchill’s ‘3’. Ug, what a waste! I might be able to snag that later, but it’s doubtful. Stupid Truman. And, of course, Winston doesn’t have a heart attack, so it’s all Churchill all the time. You would think the game’s named after him or something.
So Stalin grabs the A-bomb marker and gets it onto his chair, winning it automatically. Probably a stupid play because neither of us were going to grab for it, but sometimes you have to give the baby his bottle, right? So I play Frank on the Production Issue to gain my 2 naval markers. Luckily that’s far enough, too, that Stalin won’t debate, so that’s a win for me. Churchill grabs Pacific Leadership, but Stalin grabs it to his ‘2’. Looks like a lot of us are pretty tired from all of this arguing, besides our big Issues, we’re not going much past ‘2’ or ‘3’ on our tracks.
But hey, I try George Marshall, who gets +2 on Directed Offensives….and I roll a 5! So that puts it onto my chair! BAM! Looks like we might be invading Germany after all. Churchill then takes the Strategic Materials. Meh. Oh, Stalin debates it anyway.
Speaking of Stalin, I now steal the Pacific Leadership from him, moving it to my ‘3’. He’s out of cards able to get it back, so I sit pretty with my win. BOOM! Churchill tries to grab the Strategic Materials back, but only gets it to his ‘1’, so Stalin is able to debate that right back to his ‘2’. Then, just to be a jerk, I move the Global Issue off of the UK track. It only lands into the middle of the table, but I’d rather no one win it than Churchill. The UK debates this, of course, preventing Stalin from getting his debate bonus on it. Smart.
Now Stalin takes USSR Declares War Against Japan off the table, but he can only get it to the ‘2’. I’m okay with that.
Gah, Churchill snags Pacific Theater Leadership. It’s only on his ‘2’, but now I have to decide where my final play is going to be. Ewww, especially now that Stalin just debated it to his ‘1’. Ah well, I have to give up on Russia declaring war and take the Leadership position. Hrmph.
But that does leave me with 4 Issues to Stalin’s 3 and Churchill’s 1. 3 points for me! Hope that’s not too much!
I place the Directed Offensive on the Western Front. Stalin will have to use 2 of his production there. Big gains for me.
For Production, Churchill only has 1 to play (He gave another to me and is forced to play the other in CBI), so he places an Offensive Support into the Western Theater. Russia does what it’s supposed to giving the West another 2, but also puts 2 into the Eastern Front. Always the Optimist. And then I put a butt load into the Western Theater, as well as 2 into the Central Pacific. Churchill then gains 1 for leading the European Theater (which he puts on the Western Front) and then I gain 2 for winning the Leadership there. Guess where I put that?
I then gain 3 more in the Pacific for leading and winning the Leadership there. I put 2 Offensive Markers as well as a Navy in the Central Pacific. I then receive 2 bonus for having both Leaderships. I put one in the Western Front and one in the Central Pacific, just because I’m not sure where to lean.
Now we roll the A-bomb die. This is awfully important for a 50/50 die roll.
But it succeeds! We have Trinity! Truman is no longer ineffective, one of Japan’s surrender conditions is met and I can breathe a little easier. Phew.
Oh, and Churchill moves the Global marker from Self Determination to Colonialism. Jerk.
The only person who has any political maneuvers is the one Political Alignment marker Churchill has, so he places it in Greece. Now, the war.
GERMANY SURRENDERS! V-E Day!
However, yet another 20% failure roll to enter the Marianas Islands. *sigh* So we have the bomb, but no one close enough to drop it, and Russia hasn’t entered Manchuria yet. All those things must happen for a Condition 1 or 2 victory next turn.
Scores(ish) – US: 35 – UK: 42 – USSR: 32. The UK taking that Global Issue from me was a big hit. If I can get a double move in the Central Pacific AND get Japan to surrender, though, that’ll be a big 7 point gain for me and 5 point drop for UK and USSR. I’ll still be within the 15 point margin, so that should get me the win.
I just need the resources to back this all up.
Ugh. Good thing stealing that Global Issue isn’t my main goal. However, forcing the army in the Central Pacific is a bit of a hit.
*rollroll* <- remember playing Neanderthal and Greenland? Good times.
Anyway, the Global Issue is on Churchill’s ‘5’ and Siam was rolled on the Gov’t in Exile. Luckily I only had a Clandestine marker there.
So my last hand has some pretty strong numbers, though the Attributes are for weaker Production Issues. Henry Morganthau Jr. could possibly steal the Global Issue back, but the bot will move that onto his chair on the first turn, so I don’t see that as being worth it. George Marshall is good since Directed Offensives against the UK is a good idea. Make it a point not to go to the CBI Theater (since that will accomplish NOTHING good) and help Russia and myself cause Japan to surrender. Sadly, my only 5 allows me to get 2 naval markers, which, again, is really important now that kamikaze pilots are trashing the South Pacific. I think Frances Perkins will do her best to set the Agenda.
Looks like we all wanted it, and with Churchill’s +1, he’ll be leading. Churchill places a Pol-Mil 1/3 on the table. I guess he’s confident on the war ending and he wants to grab up the colonies. That’ll be a lot of points for him and less points for me if he gets it. Great, something else for me to worry about. Stalin puts down US Directed Offensive (grumble) and Strategic Materials. Ugh. This is going to be a thing, isn’t it?
I put down USSR Declares War, because, ya know, it’s NECESSARY TO WIN and the ‘bots don’t care. I then put down UK Directed Offensive to get more money to me or Stalin rather than the silly CBI track.
Churchill then puts UK Production (ooooookay) and the US Directed Offensive.
It’s at this point I’m glad you can’t flip the table in Vassal. I mean, c’mon! I’m going to have to fight for all this ridiculous crap, otherwise I’m stuck with a Condition 3 ending and then we have -1d6 for the highest scorer, -1d3 for second place and +1d6 for last place? I mean, what the hell? Who wants that to be the ending? Unless, of course, you’re in last place, but the scores are close enough now….though if I were Stalin, I might be thinking about it.
Stalin starts things off by moving the UK Production to his ‘4’. I don’t mind, and Churchill remains quiet. Okay, so far, so good. But now what do I grab, knowing Stalin will debate it onto his own track? Ah, UK Directed Offensive! This way I can get the UK to bankroll the Manchurian campaign while I can focus on the Pacific. Even though I play it to my ‘4’, Stalin has a card that pulls it all the way to his ‘3’, but that plays his strongest card, so I’ve stymied him quite a bit. I think that’s a good play.
Churchill makes a grab for the UK Production marker, but only gets it to his ‘1’ so Stalin debates it right back to his ‘3’ (I rolled his next highest card). Between the two of us, we’ve worn Stalin down already!
I then take a gamble on George Marshall to grabbing one of my Directed Offensives so Churchill doesn’t get it. I only roll a 2, but with his +2 that gets it to my ‘4’. Churchill then plays a ‘5’ to grab the UK production back onto his ‘2’! Guy holds a grudge! Stalin no longer has the ability to debate that back onto his track, so he pouts in the corner. Is he holding his breath?
Stalin just takes the Pol-Mil marker to his ‘1’, probably to make Churchill angry. I kind of dig the idea so I let him have it. I then play Frank Knox to grab the UK Production from the ‘2’ to my ‘3’. It also gets me my 2 Naval markers, which I put in the south in case the IJN shows up again.
At this point Churchill takes the Strategic Materials Issue. Can’t say I blame him, we’ve been grabbing all of his Production, so this, at least, will give him something. But Stalin has something up his sleeve…a card that gives him +3 on Strategic Material when it’s on someone else’s track! So with the +1 for the Nyet bonus, that gets it to his ‘1’!
At this point, Churchill’s jowls are vibrating.
I then quietly grab my other Directed Offensive, hoping no one will notice. No one does as Churchill takes the Pol-Mil token from Stalin and moves it to his ‘1’. Stalin, of course, Nyet’s the hell out of that, using his last card to get it back to his own ‘1’.
I then play a 2 and move the Pol-Mil over my way. Hey, it could happen. Churchill plays a 1 and moves the only card he can….the USSR goes to war chit….FORCING me to play a card to get it back into the middle of the table, lest we not get a Condition 1 victory. What a brilliant move! I would never have thought of doing that in a human vs. human game, but what a game of chicken that creates! What an ass!
Of course I use my last card to get it back, and Churchill has the final word with a ‘5’ strength card, and he has a pick of a lot of Issues, but he grabs the 1/3 Pol-Mil and ends the final meeting there. Phew, what a ride!
I win the Conference (and now I worry about getting TOO MANY points again) and strap in for the rest of the game to run itself (mostly).
USSR places the UK Directed Offense in the Far Eastern Front. Looks like there will be a bit of strength in Manchuria. Excellent. The UK also gives me 1 Production for that Issue. Poor guy only has 3 to play with, and HAS to put 2 where Stalin tells him. Not his game, was it?
So Churchill spends his one remaining Production to activate his Pol-Mil marker, gaining a Political Alignment marker and 3(!) Clandestine Networks. Russia stacks all of his Resources into Manchuria, giving 6 total Offensive Support, or a total strength of 14. Even with 2 armies against them, that’s an auto move forward. Excellent.
I then use all 7 of my Production to boost the Central Pacific Theater. The Marianas Islands are a B29 space, which means they are close enough that I can drop a bomb from there, so it’s a condition for Japanese surrender. I have a strength of 16 there. Considering I’ve rolled 9-9-10 there, I hope I won’t even need to roll. I use my bonus for Pacific Leadership in the Central Pacific, just on the off chance that I can get closer to Japan and gain more points. Hey, why not? (Yes, getting too many points is why not, but I was still behind at the beginning of this turn…)
So now Churchill starts with his Clandestine Networks. First he kicks mine out of the Dutch East Indies and adds his there, then knocks mine out of Vietnam. He then puts his Political Alignment marker in Poland. Weird. And now….*drumroll*….the end of the war.
With the 2 armies there, that lowers the Allies army’s strength to….10! That means automatic advancement and if a 10 is rolled, 2 spaces are moved! Well, a 1 is rolled, so into Manchuria Russia goes!
What the heck are these guys doing? Well, not much, but they have a 20% chance of moving into French Indo-China, so what the heck, let’s roll. A 7 means no.
Though Kamikaze destroys a Navy, I have one to spare and I have a 40% chance of capturing Kyushu. My luck continues in the Pacific with a roll of 8. No luck for MacArthur.
And now the biggie. The two armies off set two of my Offensive Support Markers. However that still gives me a strength of 12! I move to the Marinas and on a roll of 8 or higher, I can take Iwo Jima, too! Ah, a 6 doesn’t quite do it, but close.
Mommy’s all right, Daddy’s all right, it’s just that the war is oooover: Surrender, surrender, don’t…
I’m dating myself, aren’t I?
Now to figure out the score.
3VP per country or colony with your Political Alignment Marker
US: 12 (12)
UK: 15 (15)
USSR: 6 (6)
1 VP per country space without a political alignment marker where you have a clandestine marker.
US: 2 (14)
UK 1 (16)
USSR: 2 (8)
5 VP per Global Issue won
US: 0 (14)
UK: 10 (26)
USSR: 0 (8)
3 VP per Conference chit won by UK/US
US: 9 (23)
UK: 0 (26)
5 VP per Conference chit won by USSR
USSR: 10 (18)
2 VP for UK per colony space with no clandestine network or political alignment marker
UK: 2 (28)
8 VP per Axis country where they have a Front
US: 8 (31)
UK: 8 (36)
3VP for UK if Front in Northern Italy
UK: 3 (39)
2 VP for US if Front in Northern Italy
US: 2 (33)
1 VP per German Technology marker
US: 1 (34)
UK: 1 (40)
5 VP for US if Japan surrenders and is not occupied by any front
US: 5 (39)
3 VP for the USSR for each space achieved for the Manhattan spy ring
USSR: 9 (27)
3 VP for the US and UK if the US token is in the Trinity A-bomb space
US: 3 (42)
UK: 3 (43)
Scores: UK: 43 – US: 42 – USSR: 27
WOAH, that was a LOT different than I expected. Russia didn’t gain a point, and lost the 5 points from the Rivalry effect (Southwest Pacific being 2 spaces ahead of Central Pacific), plunging them 16 points behind the UK.
Which means we are in Condition 2 by ONE POINT.
Of course, since I’m not in first place, this is a GOOD thing. So, as a reminder, Condition 2 (in the first edition of the game, and the way I like it):
Roll a six sided die and add it to 15. If the difference between the high score and the low score is equal to or less than this new value, the player with the high score wins. If the new value is greater than the difference between the high and low score, then the player with the second highest score wins the game.
So in this situation, the war has ended, but Stalin is REALLY bitter about how Churchill went about it. He didn’t win any conferences, yet he politically is running the world? So he’s teaming up with me and we’re taking England down. Of course, since I have the upper hand in this relationship, it pretty much means I end up winning in this new world order. That is, of course, if d6 +15 is greater than 16. Which means as long as I don’t roll a 1, I win.
See how some people could be upset that it comes down to a die roll?
See how it could be AWESOME to come down to a die roll?
Maybe I should stop and take this time to mention my ko-fi page, if you’d like to go there and give me high five, or buy me a coffee whether I win or lose, it’d be great. If not, that’s okay too.
See what I did there? Those marketing classes are totally paying off.
Anyway. let’s roll that die.
And there you have it. A win by one point. I hope you enjoyed that playthrough and learned a little something about this fantastic game. I’ve played it face to face quite a few times, as well as play by email. All have resulted in much screaming and cursing and strained friendships, but in the best way possible. I recommend it wholeheartedly. It’s from GMT and the second printing is…still available? Maybe? If not, I bet you can p500 for the third printing, as there should be one.
Thanks for reading!