Tactical Turning Points

Today I would like to share with you something that I saw when playing a new friend, who is also new to war gaming.

In any game we play we often make mistakes. If you don’t then I imagine you are collectively boring your opponent, taking too long on your turn, and obsessive in an unhealthy way.

I may be wrong.

I often am, but since its my blog, I can say that. ;)

So lets assume the rest of us weee bit normal folks who play with little bits of cardboard for hours on end and make noise like ‘bink” , “pong”, “BOOM” ….ahem….anyway lets ignore the normal bit….work with me here.

So we are all playing a game, nice fast playing tactical situation, that is evenly balanced.

In every game there is that moment.

That dreaded second when you sigh inwardly, clench your butt, or feel a drop of sweat fall onto your hip, or man boob (which ever gravity slams it into) as you realize in an instant “I just lost the game”.

For some that is crushing, for others a challenge, then again different folks may not even realize they have lost OR won!

The feeling passes quickly enough. If we could rewind the clock we might have chosen a different path.

Its seems sometimes to fall away with a sense of false bravado you think to yourself “Maybe he did not notice” or “it will be ok I have a 1/12 chance of survival, the dice are rolling my way tonight”…. You know what I mean right! When on the inside you are screaming at yourself for being a complete idiot!

So here is a game I played recently. Let us see how many Turning Points pop up in one 5 turn game of Heroes of the Gap. I am sure most of you know the game, its squad based tactical action set in WWIII. The same system as the Band of Heroes set in WWII and several other titles from Lock’ n Load Publishing.  Its roots harken back to ASL, and I think (no one else does) Team Yankee.

If you understand the 3F’s : Find Them /Fix Them / Finish Them mentality you can play this game. So shall we take a look and see what the alternatives might have been!

At Start Positions

From the get go the Soviets elected not to shoot at the lone unit in the street ( a scenario starter story bit) who was worth 2VPs to the USA alive, or 1 if dead to the Soviets. The  Victory conditions mandate the capture of the enemy city building hexes.

Instead the Soviets focus on finding (i.e. spotting) the Yanks. Good idea as this will keep their units hidden until the US try and spot them.

During the alternating impulses the Hero unit makes it to the cover of a building.  The Soviet does not want to expose his units to fire again so he waits. Finally he spots and all hell breaks loose with  fire exchanged on all sides. The Units North of town do not fire however.

Whilst otherwise engaged the US close assaults the lone stack of 2 soviet squads. A somewhat bold move, but at 2:1 the US player thinks its a good gambit, and is not exposed to any potential Opportunity fires.

Disaster strikes and the first tactical Turning Point is reached!

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