Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Shifting Sands - Brian Mars (Axis), John Boone (Allies): In the Beginning

After my ignominious defeat, as the Allies, in my first game of Shifting Sands with Nevin Ball I decided to give it a go again with Brian Marrs using Cyberboard. In my first game I played defensively as the Allies at the Egyptian-Libyan border waiting for Rommel to appear. This time I decided to be more aggressive from the start.

North Africa Map, at Start

I had recently read posts on Consim World about the Tripoli or Bust gambit where the Allied player goes OPs heavy in North Africa trying to get to Tripoli (at least El Agheila) early in the game trying for an Auto Victory. Steven Hope on Consim World, post 6367 in the Shifting Sands folder, had outlined a few conditions on when not to try the Tripoli or Bust strategy some of which I list below.

1. Allies do not get a Reinforcement Card on Turn 1.
2. Drawing Matildas and Compass on Turn 1.

Allied Hand Revealed

I did not get a reinforcement card on turn 1 but I did draw Matildas. Brian also managed to play Code Book Stolen as his second action leading off with the Italian Africa Division Reinforcement card placing the division in Addis Ababa with the Italian GDS division. Brian had a little bad luck himself drawing all 3 Italian reinforcement cards in his first hand.

Eventhough I did not draw a reinforcement card, I decided I would still be very agressive in North Africa while still covering all VP spaces in Egypt to protect against an Egyptian Uprising.

My first play was "Orders from Rome" as a Redeployment card. I bought a British Armor Battlegroup and Commonwealth Infantry Battlegroup (BG) out of the Reserve box to Halfaya and moved the British Inf BG to Sidi Suleiman from Suez in order to get ready for the Italian push into Egypt.

Brian's Italians stole the British code book and decided to go on the offensive in East Africa moving the Africa Division to Jijiga, the GDS division to Keren, and an Italian battlegroup to Shasha Manna. My second card was "Naval Shore Bombardment" for 2OPs to move the 4th Indian Division (Mersa Matruh, reduced) and the British BG in Sidi Suleiman to Sidi Omar. Who would pull the trigger first and where?

Opposing Forces Line Up for Battle

To be continued...

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