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Jim Mason's Playtest - March 19, 1999

Last night I played a short game (1 1/2 hours) using these rules. We played not to "win" but just to give these rules another spin and see how it worked. We played with maps #2 and #4, with 2A up against 4A, making a long island in the middle where the bulk of the fighting occurred.

Each player started with 20 full strength units of their choice, and we were playing with the BASIC units only, no elites (my wife's insistence . . .).

An interesting development occurred as a result of these changes. Obviously we both "maxed" (now max is 6 units!) the 1PP cities on the center island but each left the other little towns empty. In the first few turns, each of us brought units into these 1PP cities and slowly moved units out into the countryside to make room. We then started pouncing on each other's little units here and there, with a back and forth that was quite costly and didn't really accomplish much. It did serve to chew up our air power however.

After a couple turns maneuvering like this, my wife attacked the 1PP city rather half-heartedly (IMHO) and took it, but wasn't able to knock out my ships still in the harbor. I chose to remain there in a blockade making her supply line to the city quite vulnerable. There was the building phase, and then luckily, I got the initiative and was able to cut supply to her units and launched an air attack using an HB on one of the "stragglers." It was brutal - she took major losses, but I wasn't able to get rid of her and she quickly restored supply and fortified the city.

At this point I decided to call off my other assault that was sneaking up the coast and headed for her soft underbelly (rats!) and decided to go all out and re-take my city. We quit at that point (it was getting late) but agreed that I would probably have re-taken it.

Notes on play:
We both agreed that the game "felt" different using these rules. We were discussing things that we would do differently next time, which I think is a good sign. While the game essentially ended with us in pretty much the same position as we had started, we also agreed that our reserves were starting to dwindle, making those 4 strength units really rather critical. We did notice that we were far more likely to include smaller units in an attack, and my wife said that the game "seemed faster." When I pressed her on what that meant, she couldn't really explain it other than that she liked it. (Hey Mikey!)

I've heard from several players in the last day that they are interested in playtesting these rules and providing their experiences as well. I will post their comments as I get them. STAY TUNED!

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