Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Onslaught first try and a most excellent game

Decided to play Onslaught at my Dads as it has very low rules overhead.
It turned out to be a really fun and exciting game to play. Simple rules means it is easy to get started and get into game. Despite simplicity of the design it actually simulates the campaign very well.
Allies have massive resources but need to capture Supply ports (especially Antwerp) to be able to move their masses effectively. Germans have potent Panzer and SS Panzers Divisions and decent Whermacht Infantry but lots of low powered Volksgrenadiers (standard term for all '2nd' line types).
Whilst all unit types are generic ie no named Divisions and all same statistics per type I surprisingly found no detriment to enjoying the game.
The sequence of play is very exciting as the Allies always get 1st Action in a turn (Action are Move -including Strategic Movement- Combat and Breakthrough Combat -Armour only-) then players dice to achieve next action with a tied roll ending the turn !!
So if you get an action you can conduct Movement (only) trying to set up attacks but no guarantee you will get next or indeed any action in the turn.
This makes for exciting dice rolling.
The CRT can be pretty brutal as well especially for attackers at anything under 3:1 odds.
At 2:1 its 50/50 as to whether the Attacker or Defender is damaged and with and minus factor for Terrain or being Out Of Supply a roll of 1 becomes 0 which at 2:1 odds is AE ie Attacker Eliminated (not just one division or stack but every attacker involved !!).
So risky attacks are exactly that and of course we both took said risks and suffered accordingly a couple of times.
As per most Western Front games the game sort of settles into distinct phases with Germans trying (and possible if they get lucky with actions and combat rolls) to crush initial landings (Allied units have already landed at game start no D-Day invasion phase as such) and if not to try to contain Allies in Normandy (no other options to invade elsewhere).
If and when Allies breakout then its a race (down to Action gaining rolls) across France to Westwall with Germans bottling up several units in Channel Ports (to deny supply options to Allies) and trying to form a defence along the Westwall.
Reserves and replacements are simply and effectively handled.
 'Bulge' type attack is an allowed option for 1 turn (between turns 12-18) with Germans getting a Supply boost and their only chance to seize Initiative (ie getting 1st phase in turn).
Op Anvil is abstracted by placing of some German and several Allied (mostly French) Divisions along a southern entrance area.
This keeps Germans honest in that they must be aware of an open back door.
Our game was decided in on the last two turns as I just about managed to cross the Rhine in the extreme north with 24 Divisions giving Allies a Decisive win.
Overall a really good nights gaming with this simple yet fun and exciting game.
Pretty surprised that this has not been re-done/issued as its an old (1987) SPI/TSR title. Although to be fair its graphics and mounted gameboard are both of good standard even by todays comparisons.



Turn 2 and Allies pressing for breakout from Normandy





















































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Germans trying to thwart Allied thrusts have gotten caught in mini-'Falaise' type disaster














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At same time they are trying getting some reserve Panzers in far off Germany



















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Westwall looking vulnerable as Allies have raced across French interior















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But Antwerp is still not captured (damn thing didnt fall until December !)







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Nearing the end the Germans are being pushed out of Westwall and back across Rhine




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Lower Rhine regions of Holland are weak spot that Allies managed to exploit flooding into Ruhr (lucky run of Action phases helped greatly)
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