Western Front debut ...
Brute Force made its debut this year as a trial event
with a four round Swiss format. Two very interested new players
and two more experienced players showed up for the demo on Wednesday.
In Round 1 Wednesday afternoon Bob Runnicles squared off against
Marty Musella in a 1940 Blitzkrieg scenario while Ernie Copley
took on Rob Beyma in the same scenario. Bob bid 13.5 to play
the Germans and Rob bid 13. The standard number of VPs to win
the scenario is 12.
Bob pushed the panzers through Belgium and into northern France
the first couple of turns. The Maginot front was quiet. The French
were doing a good job of slowing the German advance but couldn't
stop them. By the middle of the scenario the Germans were pressing
the Allied line hard. The French counterattacked a Pz XXX at
3-1 (-1) in an attempt to check the German advance but rolled
a 1 (AX). Marty conceded a short time later.
In the second 1940 scenario, Rob concentrated most of the
panzers and drove through Luxembourg and southern Belgium. A
secondary attack was made through Liege towards Brussels. The
Germans continued to exert heavy pressure all along the Allied
line from the Channel to Nancy during May and June. On the July
1 turn the Germans broke the Marne line and exploited into central
France. The Allied situation deteriorated rapidly at that point.
The Germans survived a setback in a major air battle that saw
three German air units go down in one air phase.
In other 1940 games, Rob bid 14 to play the Germans versus
Marty and Richard Beyma went to 16 in his game versus Ernie.
Richard broke through a lightly defended section of the Maginot
line. With the Germans developing an attack in both the north
and central France, Ernie surrendered early in the game. In the
other game, Rob gambled on a 5-1 versus the Maginot line near
the Saar while airborne units dropped behind the Maginot line.
The main panzer force attacked through Belgium. The attack on
the Maginot hex was successful and a panzer corps, a motorized
corps, and Kleist exploited through the gap. The French countered
well to contain the breakthrough and eliminate the paratroops
on turn 2. In June, the Germans transferred Kleist back to northern
France and drove towards Paris. Marty took advantage of a too
aggressive exploitation and made a 5-1 (-1) counterattack versus
a Pz XXX. Unfortunately, he rolled a 1 (NE) but did eliminate
a panzer further south on a 3-1 counterattack with an EX. Having
dodged a big bullet, the Germans broke the game open in July.
The six turn Norway scenario was also very popular. The small
number of units and its short length made it a good scenario
for players wanting to try a game. The scenario, which also introduces
naval units, was generally perceived as about even. One German
player landed at both Bergen and near Oslo on turn 1 but most
German players opted for a more conservative landing near Oslo
and marched overland towards Bergen. Two Allied players elected
to send the Royal Navy into the Skagerrak on turn 2 to intercept
German convoys to Oslo. However, both times the German land based
air units made the British pay a heavy price. Ernie gained narrow
victories against both Brooks Beyma and John Stup using the Oslo
first strategy to earn his second place finish.