Sunday, September 24, 2023

Finished First Playthrough of Burma: The Forgotten War

I’ve finished my first solitaire play through of Mark Herman’s Burma: The Forgotten War from C3i Nr 35.  Here’s a quick look at how this game and it’s Empire of the Sun system is card driven.   Both sides get four cards in each of the four turns, but at the start of Turn 4 the Allies get a US B29 unit and through a successful Strategic Warfare turn have reduced the Japanese hand to three cards.   Of these, the best card is Col Tsuji, which if used as an Event card gives Japanese land units a boost but doesn’t allow any of the (still substantial) Japanese air units a boost.   The other two cards, if used as Offensive Cards rather than events, don’t activate that many units (the large number top right hand corner plus the HQ value of 1).

On the other hand, the Allies get four cards, all of which can be used as Events, in which case the number of units activated equals the Logistics value in the text of the card plus the HQ value of 1.  So the Allies can punch hard against the Japanese in the last turn.

And the final result at close of play.  The Allies have totally broken the Japanese lines.   One Japanese air and land unit at the top right is isolated and out of supply,  and their are only two Japanese land units left defending Rangoon.  The Burma road from Jarhat in North India can be traced all the way to Kunming in China, India is militarily safe (though politically a little wobbly) and China is still very much in the war, so one the Victory Points are added up, it’s an Allied decisive victory.

Somebody on Twitter (I refuse to call it by E Muskrat’s name) quipped that game designers are too fond of the word “Forgotten” but truth be told this is the only WW2 game I’ve ever played on the Burma campaign.  I have an MMP game on Burma which I haven’t tried yet, but I think that has a crunchier land war focus, whereas Herman gives you a good sense of the limited options available to the Japanese and the limited resources the Allies had to prosecute this theatre.   In another game I might explore the Chinese subgame more, where the Japanese can just defend on the map and use more cards for Chinese offensives (abstracted) which can drive down China’s ability to stay in the war and thus possibly yield more VPs.   Any Japanese cards that can be played to destabilize India are also worthwhile, as that does limit Allied replacements for their land units.

Good to play a hex and counter game again.  I recently purchased Mark’s South Pacific: Breaking the Bismarck Barrier 1942-43 game (C3i Nr 30) which also used the Empire of the Sun system, and now that I know the EoS mechanics I can give it a try before I try the big game.

Cheers, thanks for reading, and blessings to your die rolls.


1 comment:

  1. That looks a very tidy game, do the cards cause any significant problem for the solo player?


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