Monthly meeting, Saturday 4 December 2004

after action report


GMT's The Thirty Years War


Still have the same grand and epic feeling when playing this game.  A genius design from both Dr. David Fox and Dr. Michael Welker.  The rules are actually not that hard to understand as some have claimed.  In fact, the game play is crisp and the map is colourful.  A real joy to play.


The game system is a point-to-point movement, operations are activated by card play, with operations points to activate leaders equal to or smaller than the operation points on the card.  Historical flavour of the period and features are implemented by the eventual play of the historical events specified on the cards.  The game offers true historical simulation values with an intense battle model; one that hinges upon the abilities of the military leaders and the tactical advantages offered by the cards (a maximum of 2 can be played in combat).


Simon (Protestant) and I (Catholic) played this game starting with the Intervention scenario, extending into Apocalypse as we had some time remaining.  I let the Spanish Cardinal Infante's Army move up north to aid Wallenstein in view of the invasion by the Swedish under Gustavus at Frankfurt an der Oder.  We forgot that Infante is required to move back to the Spanish zone by the end of the following turn.  Eventually, Catholics controlled all of the electoral areas, only that later Saxony switched to the Protestant side through the play of the event on the card.


All the important and tantalizing leaders are present and are subject to a clever battle loss rating die-roll in which leaders die every now and then from fierce battles and sieges.  We had several leaders get killed in the battles (and we had fun with that!). Wallenstein's political influence went up to 18 out of 20 on the Wallenstein track.  So he wasn’t needed to be “assassinated” by the King. The Protestant hesitated in conducting siege warfare against the Catholic garrisoned cities or taking the initiative to conduct movement.  Instead, he focused on bashing the supply and foreign aid to the Catholic cause by closing the Val Telline Passes, inciting mutiny in the Imperial forces and inviting France early into war with the Imperials (Catholics). We saw several Catholics forces in France deserting and being disbanded.  Some serious devastation and looting of cities could be found in the Spanish Netherlands and Brandenburg.  Peasant revolts in Bavaria, however, were not able to spread much to harass the Catholic’s overall war efforts.


The early victory conditions would encourage players to adopt a more than historically aggressive strategy.  I think the Protestant in this game did not do as much aggressively as he could and thus lost the war.  However, for the first time of Protestant play, Simon had indeed done quite a good job.  In the end, the Catholic won the game by accumulating 50 VPs, the automatic victory condition on any game turn.  All in all, this is the best game on the subject I have encountered so far.  

Lawrence Hung

1/1200 Pre-Dreadnoughts 15mm Seven Years War
15mm Napoleonics Warhammer 40K


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