037 Totensonntag

3 years 4 months ago - 1 year 6 months ago #373 by alecrespi
Last edit: 1 year 6 months ago by alecrespi.

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3 years 3 weeks ago #556 by alecrespi
Replied by alecrespi on topic 037 Totensonntag
Due to some really bad british dice rolls Germans completely wiped out all opponent forces.
End Game result: Germans 19 - 6 British

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2 years 4 months ago #726 by alecrespi
Replied by alecrespi on topic 037 Totensonntag
Posting here some comments found online.
  • This one seemed to favor the Germans.
  • A gamey strategy for the British would be to place their units on the reinforcement entry spaces, so the Germans wouldn't get any back-up. I think this would break the scenario.
  • An unusual race-and-chase scenario. It's very difficult to get any trucks off the board when the defence is determined.
  • Race-and-chase element gives lots of fun. It's also quite quick thanks to lack of infantry.

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1 year 6 months ago #870 by JVHillegas-Elting
Replied by JVHillegas-Elting on topic 037 Totensonntag
Over the holiday week I was able to play ToI for the first time in quite a while, so I set this scenario up for solo play. The scenario attracted me because it seemed like it would be a relatively quick play, with only vehicle units and the wide-open desert terrain. As is my habit when playing solo, I like to run a scenario a few times.

Overall, I was less than impressed with it--the concept behind the scenario is fantastic, but the execution is lacking; it has a lot of potential, but comes up short, for reasons I'll outline here.

I played four times. The Brits barely won the first, on the final action of Round 7 (14-13). The Germans handily won the next two (14-2, 12-8), by the end of Round 6. On the fourth iteration, I applied a "gamey" approach further described below, and the Brits won easily (12-2) by the end of Round 4. Here's a little more information for each play-through:

** Game 1: Brits won, 14-13, on the last action of Round 7. They exited all three trucks, but the deciding action was when they heavily damaged one of the Pz III units, giving them the one-point advantage. I was surprised the Brits won, because of the way things went they didn't have initiative after Round 2.

** Game 2: Germans won, 14-2, at the end of Round 6 (the Brits conceded because they couldn't possibly win at that point). Brits couldn't even cross the bridge because the Germans had put-up such an effective defense there long enough for their Pz IVs to wreak havoc from the north; in the end, the Brits exited zero trucks and only destroyed two half tracks.

** Game 3: Germans won, 12-8, at the end of Round 6 (Brits again conceded). This time, the Brits crossed the bridge on Round 2, controlled initiative through Round 6, and exited one truck, but they still lost; the Brits only destroyed three half tracks.

** Game 4: Brits won, 12-2, with the Germans conceding at the end of Round 4. This was possible because the Brits based their approach on rules-as-written. Rules of Play p. 16 states "A player may not place reinforcements in a hex occupied by enemy units. If all of a nation's reinforcement zone hexes are occupied by enemy units, the player is unable to receive the reinforcements. Even if such hexes are later freed of enemy units, any reinforcements missed in prior game rounds remain lost." The Brits deployed their Round 1 reinforcements in such a way as to allow the Germans to deploy only two Pz IIIs. The Brits then had plenty of firepower to smash-through defensive positions at the bridge and quickly pick-off the Pz IIIs deployed on Round 2, all the while shielding their fragile trucks behind the hill hexes at the north end of the map until it was safe for them to fast-track it to the exit point. The Germans were never able to earn any Command, and so the Brits also controlled Initiative easily while being able to play a couple important Strategy Cards. The possibility of this "gamey" approach occurring is something that other players have noted before (see earlier in this thread).

The foundation of this scenario has a lot of promise--I like that it's vehicle-only (with an option for introducing squads, if desired) and that it encourages a dynamic, mobile approach where both players have to think in terms of offense and defense, concurrently. To address its shortcomings, however, I suggest the following changes:

1) Operations Card "Panzer IV Ausf. E" (019/038) should be in play. This reflects the fact that the standard Pz IV unit from the base game is broadly based on the Ausf. F2-J variants with long-barreled 75 mm main guns that were much more powerful than the short-barreled, howitzer-like 75 mm guns of the Ausf. D-F1 variants represented by this Operations Card--and the longer-barreled variants did not appear until late 1943. This scenario is set in November 1941.

2) Come up with a scenario-specific alternative to the reinforcement deployment rule-as-written. I didn't have time to brainstorm multiple options or play-test any possibilities, but the immediate idea I came up with was to allow the German player to deploy reinforcements during the Status Phase of any Round after Round 2, if the British player has blocked one or more reinforcement hexes, rather than lose these reinforcements altogether. Narratively, the rationale could be that those Brit units blocking the reinforcement hexes could be seen as providing a rear-guard screening action that delays the German units--but the Brits can't leave all their units blocking these hexes and still expect to exit any trucks. One might also add a wrinkle that allows the Brits to block these reinforcement hexes for only one or a few rounds, and then must move them. ToI has plenty of scenario-only special rules, so doing this would align with precedent in that regard.

3) Apply the Next Wave optional rule to disallow trucks from capturing Command Point Objectives. I played this way in all my iterations because I generally agree with both the logic behind it--"most trucks lacked radios, and drivers were not trained to call for artillery. Trucks cannot establish LOS for any purpose, and may only occupy friendly objective markers"--and that allowing trucks to zip across the map using roads and overtake key hexes on their own seems excessively gamey to me--outside of a Hollywood movie, there's no way in the real world a convoy of supply trucks would race behind enemy lines to "capture" key objectives. I also recall reading some discussions on Board Game Geek (or elsewhere) on this topic (though I can't readily find them now), so I know other players agree that trucks should not be able to capture objectives on their own.

4) If squads are not going to be used, also discard the "Disrupt Food Supplies" card. An existing optional rule in this scenario is for each player to add an equal number of squads. If players do not use this optional scenario rule, then the "Disrupt Food Supplies" card in the German players' Disruption I Strategy Deck should be removed--otherwise, it's useless and a waste of a drawn card.

The designer indicates that the scenario was play-tested, so it's surprising to me that the obvious oversights were not identified--for example, Operations Card 019 was part of the Days of the Fox expansion, and so the designer and play testers should have used it. These oversights also were not addressed in the January 13, 2009, FAQ and Errata document .
The following user(s) said Thank You: alecrespi

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1 year 6 months ago - 1 year 6 months ago #871 by alecrespi
Replied by alecrespi on topic 037 Totensonntag
Hi James,
I completely agree with your comment on Game 4 (gamey approach).

Brit player could easily block all German "R" hexes (see attached pictures).
By the end of round 2 German player should try to free some hexes to allow own reinforcements...

I've stumbled on similar problems with "objective hexes" or "exit hexes".
Even in this case trucks cannot exit if there is a German tank on the road...

I took the occasion to also add texts from "Scenario Notes" and "Designer's Notes" taken from Designer booklet, as a future reference.


round 1 - status
Last edit: 1 year 6 months ago by alecrespi.

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1 year 3 weeks ago - 1 year 3 weeks ago #1027 by alecrespi
Replied by alecrespi on topic 037 Totensonntag
Here are some comments found online.
boersma8 (Feb 25, 2013)
Played this scenario today with a friend. We found it to be a very balanced and fun scenario, although there are a few points which we felt needed further clarification and one big ommision in the special rules. the final score was 11-9 for the Germans.
It's a very fast playing scenario which can be played using the standard rules which means that only vehicles are used in this case. As an optional rule 2 British squads composed entirely of regulars come into play as reinforcements as well as 1 German squad.Victory points are scored by destroying or heavily damaging enemy vehicles (2 points for tanks; 1 point for half-tracks). The British also score 1 point for each truck they exit off the board. So far so good.(Although in such scenarios it can always become a problem that the side that's in the lead withdraws simply to consolidate the lead; e.g. the Kursk scenario in the FoTB expansion, even when it's obvious that the scenario is not intended to be played in that way.

We did have some important unresolved issues with the scenario:

1.) The British starting forces combined with the round 1 reinforcements can completely block (=occupy) the German round 2 reinforcements entry hexes. Another example of something which is obviously not the designer's attention,but which is not prohibited by the (scenario special) rules: British units may not be inside on or more of the German reinforcement hexes by the time of the latter's arrival. Why is this a problem? Well, because reinforcements may not be placed when there's no site available and are lost.

2.) The British score points for exiting trucks. But is it an option for them to also exit other vehicles? Not for scoring points but so as to prevent the Germans from detroying / heavily damaging them and scoring points. This seemed a legitimate and viable option to us and it also seemed to match the scenario description, but it wasn't clear whether this was a legal thing to do.

3.) The panzer IV is a panzer IV G or H (the one from the base game). the problem is that version wasn't available yet at the time of the scenario. A historically better option would have been to use the panzer E operations card in combination with the tanks ace card and or the elite tank crew one. Balance wise it seems to work, though, using the base game panzer IV.

So all in all, a very good and balanced scenario. If both players are willing to make it a nice scenario and have a good playing experience, then this is the case. If the British player just wants to win no matter what, he;ll block the German reinforcement hexes: he has enough units to do so. It would and should be an option to confront the Germans from one further hex away. It could also be potentially game-winning if they roll well, but it also opens up great possibilities for the Germans, if the British fail to roll well.

latro2 (Mar 13, 2013)
It was a very fun scenario to play with lots of fast paced action all around the map.

1. I do recommend playing with the optional rule giving the extra squads. It adds extra tactical options and doesn't slow the game down.

2. The current scenario rules/set-up have the major flaw of giving a guaranteed very easy win to the UK player if he occupies the german reinforcement hexes. For any self-respecting player this should be no problem though, simply don't do it … problem solved.

3. Because the whole scenario is all about a UK column trying to escape a trap, it would be logical that all UK units are allowed to exit the map and not just the trucks. I would certainly recommend this extra rule.

4. I agree with Kingtiger that the Pz IV's would be better off being a more historically correct version (buffed up by a few Operation Cards). Balance-wise they are fine, just for flavour.

Last edit: 1 year 3 weeks ago by alecrespi.

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1 month 2 weeks ago #1463 by alecrespi
Replied by alecrespi on topic 037 Totensonntag
Posting here a videlog from early 2023.

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