Friday, June 19, 2009

Now THAT's a tank (Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear)

Kozure and I gathered around our computers for a game of Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear on Vassal.

It's great to be able to play games such as these over the internet, because I rarely get the occasion to get together with Kozure to play wargames as it is. Anything that makes it easier gets my vote! I've only used this software once before, for a game of Lock'n Load a few months back. Vassal is a clumsy environment, so it always seems to take a while to get used to... and even then it leaves something to be desired. Still, it's far better than nothing! Having now played both modules, I'd say that the CoH one is a few notches better than the LnL one... due in large part to the fact that the CoH attempts to help you rather than just being a toolkit. Scenarios are setup for you, tokens that need to be placed at the beginning by the player are thankfully pre-organized in a "setup" window to make it quick and easy to get going fast.

The scenario we played was Firefight #7 "KV2". In this scenario, the Russians (me) has to defend a village that has been fortified with a number of makeshift roadblocks, defended by a handful of soldiers and protected by one... massive... tank. The KV2 is a huge tank which is dreadfully slow to act but packs a wallop when it does. A hidden anti-tank gun, truck and squad round out the defense. The germans (Kozure), a mix of footsoldiers and tanks, simply need to break through the defenses and claim the control marker behind them.

I've learned about myself that I frequently act too quickly in wargames, and leave myself defenseless as a result. I was determined to learn from my earlier mistakes. As Kozure advanced on my position, I passed repeatedly... neither revealing my hidden units or moving anybody out of position too early. Eventually, though, I felt I needed to act. With so few revealed units, I was forced to take an active role with my biggest weapon, the KV2. I chased a scout tank up and down a nearby hill, eventually destroying it. At this point, I had quite a lead in points and I felt confident I would eventually be the victor. Before the KV2 could get back into position, Kozure unleashed his Flak 18 and kept me pinned behind the hill for cover.

He soon started to rush my position, first with his truck (which blew up as it drove over my hidden mine field...) and then with other units. I lost a number of units due to poor play (I completely misplayed the truck and anti-tank gun, losing them and gaining nothing in the process). A single shot on the KV2 yielded a hit and then I drew the instant destroy token, which was bad. I was cut down and out of position. Kozure won.

It was a fun game, and I definitely hope we can do it again. I think we have pretty much played with all the rules by now, except the off site artillery. Although we had to brush up on many of the rules, once remembered everything flows quickly and smoothly. With the hurdle of learning the interface out of the way, the next game should be even better.

1 comment:

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