I went over to Friendless' house on Tuesday evening for some two-player gaming. The main game of the evening was a learning game of Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! - Russia 1941-1942. This is a fast-paced tactical WWII game designed by Uwe Eickert and published by Academy Games.
We played Fire Fight #1 - The Partisans. I played the Germans and Friendless played the Soviets. The objective of the scenario was to take and hold the crossroads. A victory point would go to whoever held the crossroads at the end of each round. A further victory point would be given for each enemy unit eliminated.
There were three Soviet units (a rifle unit, an sub-machine gun unit, and a medium machine gun unit (MMG)) defending the crossroads in cover of the woods. I, as the Germans, had two rifle units and two light machine gun units (LMG). I sent one LMG into a small wood to take on the opposing Soviet MMG. As my team were setting up the LMG they came under fire from the Soviet MMG and took a hit. Rather than pull them back I decided to fire. My fire was ineffectual and my LMG soon came under more withering fire from the Soviet MMG and was destroyed. Not a good start.
Meanwhile, my two rifle sqauds and remaining LMG team were moving through the woods overlooking the crossroads. As this was happening, Soviet reinforcements started coming on the far map edge. I was soon able to commence firing at the Soviets defending the crossroads. I scored a lucky hit on the Soviet SMG squad which caused it to go beserk and reduced its range to 1.
The tide of the battle turned when a single reinforcement unit of German Pioneers came in on the Soviet side of the board. This was an elite unit which had a fairly high firepower. I moved it into close combat with a defending Soviet rifle squad and eliminated it. The Pioneer unit then moved through some woods to attack the Soviet MMG.
Meanwhile, my squads had taken the crossroads and were pushing the Soviets back into the woods. There were some more deadly firefights, some daring close assaults and then the game was over. Victory to the Germans! Final score was me on 8 and Friendless on 3.
I really enjoyed the back and forth play of this game. I feel the Germans may have the advantage in this scenario so want to swap sides and play again using the Soviets against Friendless.
We had just enough time before I had to leave to play a quick game. Friendless pulled out Palago. Palago is an abstract connection game designed by Brisbane-born Cameron Browne. We played using a new Bakelite version published by Tantrix Games.
In Palago players place tiles to try and form closed groups of their colour. The players share a common pool of hexagonal arch tiles. Each tile contains a yellow arch and a blue arch, and my be oriented in three ways such that the corner colours are the same for each rotation. The game is won by the player who forms a surrounded island of their own colour containing at least one arch.
We played two games. Friendless was yellow and I was blue. In our first game (to 20 tiles) Friendless defeated me when he laid the 12th tile.
In our second we decided to play to 40 tiles. Apparently a new player will win a moral victory if he can deny the more experienced player the win by the time the 20th tile is laid. I was able to achieve the moral victory in our second game. We decided to continue playing and Friendless eventually defeated me when he laid the 38th tile.