Friday, August 04, 2006

Gaming at Dragon's Lair, 7 Aug 2006: Shifting Sands and more

Join us on Monday, 7 Aug 2006, at Dragon's Lair in San Antonio for another night of board gaming fun. Rob and I will be playing the shiny new MMP game, Shifting Sands.

Bring your wargames, Eurogames, or whatever and join us for some fun!


At 7:46 PM, August 06, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

I will appear at Dragon's Lair between 1600-1630 hours.

At 12:42 AM, August 07, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

1600 donning my desert fox....or rat uniform.

At 9:50 PM, August 08, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

Shifting Sands Session Report:

Rob and I busted out the new MMP game, Shifting Sands last night. Rob signed on as the evil Germans, and I was the Allied forces of goodness. Wanting to experience the full goodness of the game, we decided to play the full campaign scenario.

Rob's Italians were lined up in Libya facing my angry looking British armor and Indian infantry. His Italian forces pretty much had East Africa dominated at the setup, and the rest of the map started inactive until card-driven events popped up later. Feeling in the mood to crush some Italian grapes beneath British steel, I started off by playing a series of cards which resulted in me launching a major offensive against Rob's forces in Libya.

I pretty much decimated him, taking Bardia, Tobruk, and Benghazi. However, I overextended, and Rob was able to cut supply to my precious British armor division, forcing me to spend precious action cards beating back his pesky Italian infantry. Still, things were looking pretty good for me at the end of 1940, as I was forming up for a move on Tripoli, which, if captured brings Allied autovictory.

Not so fast! Rommell appeared with his German armor and infantry pals at the start of 1941. Overconfident, I had failed to garrison Tobruk, which was safely (I thought) six zones behind the front line. Not noticing Rob's armor could move 6 rather than the 5 mine could, I was beside myself when he drove his shiny new German tanks into the city without firing a shot, while my massive British army was looking the other way! Argh!

Spending a huge amount of action points, I retreated my now out of supply army all the way back to form a line on the Egyptian border, recreating history in far too accurate a manner for my liking. Rob next started a revolt in Iraq and captured a victory space or two in East Africa, placing him within a couple points of Axis autovictory! Argh!

Luckily, I was able to bring in two divisions of very tough Australian infantry. I sent one to Iraq, which pretty much took on the entire Iraqi Army and won. The other division moved south to do the same to the fascists legions in Ethiopia.

All the while, events were occuring that caused each of use to adjust and make painful decisions along the way. Rob hit me with U-Boats and carefully applied artillery support, airstrikes, and the Italian Navy. Barbarossa started which siphoned off all Robs replacements, and I managed to get multiple convoys of supplies through to relieve my forces on Malta.

About this time (late 1941) as things were starting to get really interesting (we were pretty much back to even), we had to call the game due to time.

I need to play the game a few more times before I can give a firm review, but if you have an interest in WW2 North Africa, you'll love this game. Though the game is somewhat complex with lots of special case rules and exceptions, it does make for a tense, engaging play with minimal downtime. I really enjoy the card-driven wargame mechanic, and this one does not disappoint. Perhaps as an added bonus, I now feel even more motivated and confident to take on Paths of Glory sometime.

I'm sure we'll play more of this soon, so I'll update my reports as my experience with the game grows.


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