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On April 1, Matt Geisler wrote:

My first playtest is complete. I used the standard rules, Your rule modifications, and some scenario-specific rule modifications for the Kosovo War. The version of the Kosovo scenario is the one posted on my Web page with the following clarifications: 2 maps are upsidedown, Map 1 A=north, Map 6 A=north. Santa Rosa was given to NATO (as Cyprus), we established a No connection between Map 6+3 rule (Bulgaria and Turkey share the Black Sea, not much land). NATO forces were given double air range.

Greeks got an extra IN4. 1 TF was placed in the black sea, another in the adriatic. Even though the chanel is blocked in 2 positions, only the Turkish half restricted naval movement. RDF forces arrived on GT 3. Otherwise the special rules were as indicated on the page.

The salient points were that 1) excessive airpower on one side leads to the other player having lots of small (1CV) counters all over the place. 2) The stacking limits favor the aggressive player. Deliberately overstacking (even with 1CV units) allows the attacker to redistribute his forces after the battle, thus flanking forces can join in an attack, then return to the flank afterwards. 3) Mechanized forces placed behind the front line make an excellent defensive strategy, and protect offensive operations.

An example attack: Elite Armor and infantry attack across a single hexside into a city (Auxerre), which has been blasted the last few turns with airpower. The defenders grind the attacking force into 2CV units, but fall. Normally a counterattack would retake the city, but not if 2 mech 4CV units were placed just behind the city during the attackers turn. I allowed defensive overstacking as well as offensive.

I'm guessing you mean that defensive units (mechanized) may respond to an attack and temporarily overstack the attacked position . . .

I'm guessing this requires that the attacker coordinate with air attacks nearly everywhere to limit a possible response.

Now the details: The war got off to a small start, Serbia gained initiative, and launched an attack against Nexon (representing Kosovoan refugee camps and guerillas), Nato tried to counter with air response, they swept Serbians out of the air, and ground the serbian forces into 2CV before they got rid of the Kosovan infantry. Nato airpower was allowed a free hand to destroy most of the serbian army stacks, there was no air response, but 3 CV of NATO aircraft did fall in a single month (mostly due to a few well placed 1CV artillery).

I think the 1PP cadre cost for infantry is a really good idea, Infantry are quite weak (as they fire last, thus often do not fire at all), so normally players would produce the Fancy types (Mech or Armor) instead. I think that this would easily make them more desirable, and there is some historical realism there too.

Yes, whenever I play I always end up building infantry as almost a last resort, especially when you have the elite blockset. There really isn't a reason to build them instead of something "fancy" as you say. I like this modification to the production rules.

Politically, Serbia delayed activation of bulgaria 1 turn, but turkey activated immediatly. This had the neat effect of puting a lot of 4CV units into a war which consisted of 1-2CV blocks. NATO ground forces swept throught the serbian army quickly, but were forced to keep a lot of blocks along the greek boarder. Surprisingly, the Bulgarian army dislodged the NATO salient in Reolen and Bois des Lupes, forcing NATO marines to retreat to sea, shooting down a lot of NATO aircraft and destroying the Macedonian Task Force. NATO quickly riposted by an excellent attack on Auxere (Belgrade) which fell in a single turn, and never changed hands. The arrival (through late) of the Turkish army drove back the Bulgarians, but again faced a real danger of being cut off by the Greeks, so kept a lot of blocks on the southern boarder, preventing them from entering Bulgaria.

At this point, NATO had accumulated 4 bad political reactions, and so quickly tried for a more diplomatic solution (which was not too hard as NATO tanks have sat in Belgrade for months). What was left of the serbian forces were hiding in the Massif. For some reason Greece never activated (would have made a different game if they did).

Although no unit was ever reduced from lack of supply, the supply rule did dramatically affect strategic thinking, and altered the course of the war.

Next time I will use the special Unit rules, including AA first fire, but 1/2 hits (Nathans rule), restrictions on friendly fire AA, CAP missions, Double defense for certian unit and terrain types, and the altered unit firepowers. I might allow the NATO units to overstack in this scenario, as these represent smaller and more tightly integrated units than their counterparts.


Thanks again for taking the time to playtest this and apply it to the present. It's amazing how those four maps lay out into something approximating the area in question. Sure, there are seas in the wrong place and the scale is off, but I doubt I could have come up with anything better . . .

If anyone would like to comment on this or other Victory Playtests, let me know and I will post them here . . .

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