Saturday, July 19, 2014

Liberty Roads face to face

Got a game in with my Dad (first in ages) trying out Liberty Roads by Hexasim a game covering Western Europe in 1944/45.
Several options where to invade not just Normandy in this one. Some interesting chrome in form of Support Markers (which cover special events/units such as Tiger Bttns, Air Support etc), Hitlers Influence track (ie his dwindling favour can affect German reinforcements and support allocation), FFL Track and Op Fortitude (limiting German moves until Op ends).
Several types of beaches to invade (each type rated for defence level from 1 - 5) and Invasion areas (vary in numbers of beaches, size of initial and follow-up waves and available support).
There are specific support counters for Invasions for both sides in addition to the 'normal' supports.
The game has some rather different systems in particular units lack any ZOC (expect when tracing Supply) which makes things pretty fluid and dangerous !
The CRT is odds based but in addition to Attrition loss results there are Attacker and Defender Tactical Results (yielding Retreat and Exploitation results among a few others).
Usual effects of Terrain on combat odds but also sometimes on these Tactical Outcomes along with Support Marker effects and sometimes Elite unit status.
Overall a very nice game only downside we found were small counters (needed for non standard over-sized map footprint) and the need for 6 random draw 'cups' for the Support marker  (2 sets each) FFL counters and German Kampfgruppe counters all of which are usually drawn randomly.
Elite units are denoted by a tiddly medal icon on counters which was sometimes hard to discern although we could usually guess which particular Divisions were so classed.
The rules being converted from original French are a tad hard to understand at times but nothing we could not sort out (the Examples of Play booklet was indispensable in this regard)

In our game I invaded in Brittany as Allies and was quite successful in Invasion and was pushing south but having a hard fight against a line of Panzer units anchored on Avranches despite having cut-off and destroyed two SS Pz Divns (the lack of ZOC in effect). We managed to completed 4 turns out of the 9 for D-Day scenario(full Campaign game goes for 24 turns) and thoroughly enjoyed the game.

Allies firmly ashore at their 3 beacheads in Brittany. They later pushed East and South (Brest, Lorient and St Malo all fell later despite becoming Festungs)

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