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I stepped away from the game to give myself a chance to forget the exact combat value of the Central Powers in each hex. It was an embarrassingly short amount of time.
The French have several choices. With reinforcements coming next turn they could throw everything in front of the advance and hope to stop it or they could try to find a weak spot in the line and cut supply. They could also try to breakout into the Ardennes Forest or Alsace/Lorraine. The British could join either effort or make a run to reinforce positions in Maubeugen or Antwerp.
I decided that seeing a German block one hex from Paris would motivate a player to try to stop the advance. First thing’s first, air recon. The French do have a luxury here. The Germans, given the nature of the test, have not spend resources to advance the tech trees at all. Therefore the German aircraft is primitive without mounted machine guns. This allows the allied air to perform recon missions at will.
Although the attack towards the Ardennes is not only tempting but in true French spirit of the day, I decide to try to cut supply. The arrows show that I am going to through the kitchen sink at the line. I need to score 6 hits to clear the strongest point.
I empty the front as much as possible.
Side note: This move is possible because the strategic movement phase is next. As an element of the game this allows the player without initiative to make moves like this (leave hexes weak, knowing you can move blocks back during strategic movement). It’s intended to balance the fact that the player with initiative can strike first. The initiative advantage takes place at the start of each action phase while this one at the end of every other action phase thus the initiative advantage is two for one. The players simply need to be ready for this.
I leave the fortress in Verdun to fend for itself and a one hex gap in my lines. If I can’t cut supply all is lost anyway. As you can see from the photo supply lines were cut and the German army will be marked out of supply (or disrupted supply if between action phases) and no longer able to advance.
I have to consider that this test was solo and my intent was known all along. With a little deception, and a live opponent, results may have been different.
Regardless, I believe the extreme strategy of a straight line attack to Paris is not tenable. The supply line of one to two hexes is too narrow to hold. This is not to say that Paris is out of reach. It would seem that a broader approach including quicker work of Antwerp and at least a siege of Maubeugen is needed. The mobile war in its current form has 6 action phases. This test played through 3. The mad dash approach may have succeeded had the Central Powers player been more experienced than the Allied but for the purposes of playtest, I like to see what the game will do in the hands of experienced players.
If you have thoughts on the test or questions I would welcome your comments.