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Triumph and Tragedy

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15 Feb 2016 10:17 - 15 Feb 2016 14:49 #222487 by Gary Sax
Triumph and Tragedy was created by Gary Sax
3 player strategic WWII, but not really WWII since it starts in 1936. Saw that a 2nd edition is coming out of this---repoman posted his long impressions a while back in the games played thread which I just read through. Anyone else have any impressions? Did you play this any additional times, repo?

My only strategic WWII game is Totaler Krieg! which is on my shelf but is too complicated for me at this point in my life---but it is a similar alt-history approach which I prefer for strategic level WWII to the historical straightjacket, both in philosophy (I think many of the ways WWII played out in real life were actually relatively unlikely outcomes) and in practice ("players" in real WWII had no idea what was going to happen either). If this was any good I'd probably sell TK!.
Last edit: 15 Feb 2016 14:49 by Gary Sax.
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15 Feb 2016 13:24 #222520 by Msample
Replied by Msample on topic Triumph and Tragedy
A number of my gaming buddies have played T&T and liked it. They equate to like a Nappy Wars meets WWII as far as history goes. If you can live with that, go for it. . Its pretty high level/abstracted, moreso than TK. But it also plays pretty fast. I'm gonna keep an eye out for the 2nd edition .
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15 Feb 2016 15:46 #222542 by KingPut
Replied by KingPut on topic Triumph and Tragedy
I love T&T. T&T is my favorite game to come out in about 5 years. 9 rating onTOS. I've played 3 times. Once as Axis, once as Russian, Once as West.

Likes
easy and assessable rules
3 player Ameritrash interaction that you don't see in typical war games
So far it's not scripted like other WW2 games. I'm hoping somebody won't discover the Halifax Hammer, Dew north strategy or something like that.

Potential issues
Long 5-6 hours unless you get a quick win
Fragile game. It's easy to royally screw up. We've
Had games where the Russian player was ready to crush Berlin and had they're whole army cut from supply. We've also had surprise captures of London and Rome.
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15 Feb 2016 16:17 #222548 by Msample
Replied by Msample on topic Triumph and Tragedy

KingPut wrote: Long 5-6 hours unless you get a quick win


That's long ? Geez, you'll need to turn in your wargame man card.
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15 Feb 2016 17:18 #222557 by SuperFlySwatter
Replied by SuperFlySwatter on topic Triumph and Tragedy
yeah I've had my eye on this too

but you say "potential issues", but if youve played three times but it sounds like you describe in two of them ended up completely screwed up?

What do you mean by Ameritrash Interaction not seen in typical war games? And how would you compare it to something like Churchill, or Maria for that matter?

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15 Feb 2016 19:07 - 15 Feb 2016 19:11 #222572 by KingPut
Replied by KingPut on topic Triumph and Tragedy

Msample wrote:

KingPut wrote: Long 5-6 hours unless you get a quick win

That's long ? Geez, you'll need to turn in your wargame man card.


3 player game. 1 player can slow it down.

But you can do the math 1936-1945 is 10 years. 10 years x 3 players x 3+1 seasons at 3 minutes per turn is still 6 hours. So you can put that in your wargame card smoke it Msample.
Last edit: 15 Feb 2016 19:11 by KingPut.

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15 Feb 2016 19:23 #222576 by KingPut
Replied by KingPut on topic Triumph and Tragedy

SuperFlySwatter wrote: yeah I've had my eye on this too

but you say "potential issues", but if youve played three times but it sounds like you describe in two of them ended up completely screwed up?

What do you mean by Ameritrash Interaction not seen in typical war games? And how would you compare it to something like Churchill, or Maria for that matter?


Completely screwed up for 1 player in game is complete magic for the other player in the game. Can you image you're the German player and the Russians are about ready to march into Berlin and on your turn Rommel completely cuts off the Russian Army and saves the day. 2 turns later your German troops are marching into Moscow.

In Saturday's game, I was the Russian and I attacked the UK in Persia and India and moved a tank all the way the Egypt. Meanwhile the British player who evacuated India and the Middle East went all out for Italy and sacked Rome. But while the Britain was busy attacking Rome, Germany crossed the channel and took London.

I love Maria. I think I rate that about a 9 also on TOS. Churchill maybe a 7 and Churchill is less of a wargame than Twilight Struggle.
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15 Feb 2016 20:11 #222582 by Dutch
Replied by Dutch on topic Triumph and Tragedy
I don't think the T&T will generally take nearly that often. In my experience, (6 plays?) if it goes the distance, it probably means there hasn't been a ton of combat, which keeps the turns snappy. I think it should usually come in at 3-4 hours.

Unless I'm playing the Germans. Then it will only take 1 hour tops.

You hear that, Pete? I'm calling you out!
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15 Feb 2016 20:48 #222586 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Triumph and Tragedy
I put my P500 in for 2nd edition. Why not, it won't be out for like a year or two anyway and I'm sure I'll have money then, right?

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16 Feb 2016 09:20 - 16 Feb 2016 10:37 #222605 by wkover
Replied by wkover on topic Triumph and Tragedy
I love T&T. It's epic and clever, and the diplomacy stuff (with neutrals at the associate/protectorate/satellite levels) is great fun. The ~10 years of development really shows, and Craig Besinque has a strong presence on BGG to address any rules confusion.

KingPut and I just played 2 three-player games of T&T back to back this past weekend. The 'standard' game ended in 1940 after 2.5 hours; the 'short' game afterwards lasted about 6 hours. These were my 9th and 10th games of T&T, respectively. (Maybe 10th and 11th?) Here's a quick summary of my T&T game results. Games that I won are marked with an asterisk.

Russian military victory (Rome/Berlin; 1943)* - 7+ hours
Russian economic victory (1943)* - 6 hours
Russian military victory (Berlin/Ruhr; 1940)* - 2.5 hours
West military victory (Rome/Ruhr; short variant ending in 1943)* - 6 hours
Allied victory (two-player)* - called early after 5 hours but Germany could not have won
German military victory (London/Paris; 1940)* - 2.5 to 3 hours
German military victory (Leningrad/Moscow; 1943) - 7 hours; Germany should never have won, but Russian rookie screwed up badly with supply
Russian economic victory (short variant, only game so far that's gone to the end of '45) - 6 hours. West would have won, but lost control of the North Sea and London in the final year, so production dropped to zero. No production = no economic VPs at game's end.

# of games called early with no clear winner: 2 or 3. Before we realized how long the game could go, we didn't allow enough time to play. Even the short game can go 6+ hours, depending on the players involved.

My overall experience is that the earlier war is declared, the longer the game goes. As the West, I've been attacked in 1937, and that game went on forever. Yes, the game can end decisively (and early) if the Germans or Russians take two capitals with a well-planned Blitzkrieg, but in our games a hyper-aggressive attack often stalls out and the game sets in for the long haul. Unless someone makes a crippling mistake and inadvertently throws the game to someone else.

Notes:

I've never played a game with three players of equal experience. I'm usually the guy with the most experience at the table, and early military wins can often be at the expense of new players' strategic mishaps and rules misunderstandings.

There are 3 versions of T&T: 3-player standard (starts in '36), 3-player short (starts in '39), and 2-player (allies vs. axis). I've played all three variants and like all three. Mostly I've played the standard game, and usually as the West.

I've posted rules tips for new players here .

I'll make separate comments about the three sides below, as I worry about FAT eating my long posts. Live and learn!

I've never seen an atomic victory. I tried once as the Russians, but I couldn't get past atomic level 2. Bad luck with the cards, perhaps, though the level 3 and 4 cards are scarcer anyway.
Last edit: 16 Feb 2016 10:37 by wkover.
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16 Feb 2016 09:30 #222607 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Triumph and Tragedy
Awesome comments guys, I greatly appreciate it. Definitely going to get it, sounds like my kind of take on interwar/WWI.

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16 Feb 2016 09:33 #222609 by Columbob
Replied by Columbob on topic Triumph and Tragedy
Just to make sure, none of you guys mean Thurn & Taxis when you say T&T, right?
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16 Feb 2016 10:05 - 16 Feb 2016 11:03 #222612 by wkover
Replied by wkover on topic Triumph and Tragedy
Here are my comments about each of the three sides:

The West:

As stated above, I've played this side the most. The West is 3x tougher to play than the other sides, easily. Do NOT let the new guy play the west, unless you intentionally want a short game. Exception: An AP-prone player should be encouraged to take them on, as they have fewer decisions to make due to lower production levels; both of our extremely long games coincided with our two slowest players at the helm of the Axis.

Anyway, the West is in a really tight spot. Western activity in the early game is almost purely reactive, and depends heavily on Axis strategy. The big issue is that, against an experienced Axis player, the West isn't sure if the Axis is going to choose an all-land assault (early) or try for a Med/North Atlantic strangulation first, and then a land assault. Western unit builds should vary depending on which enemy strategy is chosen, but due to fog of war it's impossible to tell if the Axis is ramping up subs/fleets or focusing entirely on infantry! That sucks! And being cut down to 2-4 production due to sub chokeholds is the worst. But hey, in my 5-6 games as the West I've never once lost Paris. That's something.

The west is definitely playing the long game and wants the US to enter in '41 or '42, but if the game ends early in Russia (German win) or Germany (Russian win) the West is out of luck. I played an excellent Western game once and was preparing to win with American forces in '44, only to watch helplessly as the Russians misplayed badly (new player, rules goofs) and threw the game to the Axis.

Against inexperienced Axis players, I honestly have no idea what to do as the West. They usually leave the seas alone, so one option is to make a run for Rome. An invasion on German soil is typically only possible if the Russians press them on the east - which you have absolutely no control over. Perhaps an atomic/economic approach is the best vs. an inexperienced or slow-rolling Axis, though neither is easy to pull off.

The Axis:

I think it's fair to say that the longer the game goes, the less chance the Axis has to win. If the Axis stalls out, they get squeezed on both sides, lose resources, and can never recover. At that point, the Axis' best bet is to make a pact with whichever 'allied' player is losing. E.g., if the Russians are close to occupying Berlin, the Axis should broker a deal with the West so that both the Axis and the West can focus on stopping Russia.

Against an inexperienced Western player, the long game is irrelevant since the Axis can pull off an early win - particularly if the Axis player gets lucky and goes last in turn order for the first few turns (meaning they build last, and can ramp up with almost no enemy response). The German player under these circumstances has to worry most about being preemptively attacked by Russia or the West, which can cut them off at the knees in terms of production, and it also prevents the Axis from getting the FirstFire benefit. As the West/Russia, if the Axis ramps up too quickly, my goal is to deny resources (diplomatically) and attack early.

The Italians are a huge help with Med strangulation, and can also contribute to land assaults. Ignore building up the Italian units at your peril, since if the West gets into Rome all Italian units instantaneously disappear from the map. That's bad.

Russia:

All around fun to play. Long-ranging strategic movement and a sizeable neutral buffer between Russia/Germany makes Russian strategy extremely flexible. You can go for Delhi, screw around in Eastern Europe, go north into Finland/Norway/Sweden (and possibly invade England!), invade Turkey by land and sea, or mess around with technology (rocket artillery! insane!) or atomic stuff. Whatever floats your boat. The new guy should almost always play Russia, unless they have strong leanings towards the Axis and can play quickly.

Russia has to put *some* pressure on a western-aggressive Germany by 1937 or 1938, though - invading nearby neutrals, e.g., - otherwise Germany can walk to an early win.
Last edit: 16 Feb 2016 11:03 by wkover.
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21 Mar 2016 11:30 - 21 Mar 2016 11:36 #224627 by wkover
Replied by wkover on topic Triumph and Tragedy
One more T&T session to report:

Axis military win (Moscow/Paris; 1942) - 3.5 to 4 hours

As the Axis, I went last in turn order in '36 and drew 11 action cards. This allowed me to immediately take Spain as a satellite, which led to the downfall of a lightly defended Paris (and a Med blockade) in the very first year. I nearly received Poland and Turkey as satellites in 1936 as well, but that never panned out.

After the early fall of France, I played conservatively, continuing my blockade (soon a full Med/Africa blockade) and slowly expanding outwards to secure resources. I was only able to invade Moscow in 1942, though, because Russia inadvertently left the city open to a German invasion from Finland. A more experienced player would not have allowed this to occur.

If the game had gone to 1945, Russia probably would have won. America was gathering its forces in earnest, and the squeeze was definitely on.

This session is in line with my previous comment that, for the West to win, s/he has to hope that Russia and Axis don't screw up badly and hand the game to the other player.
Last edit: 21 Mar 2016 11:36 by wkover.
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21 Mar 2016 13:58 #224636 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Triumph and Tragedy
Thanks! I was reading the balance thread on BGG that the designer posted and their experience is pretty mixed, but sounds broadly similar.

I was pretty pleased to hear this was getting a rush reprint this year.

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