[Note: you can find the continuation of below story in PART II and PART III. Have a nice reading!]

My good friend Kris migrated to Canada some time ago (over two years already?) – well, IT market is pretty international. So far we were remotely playing only computer games but I wanted to come back to good, old times when we spent a lot of time on boardgames. For this Vassal was ideal – great module to move your board game into cyberspace. That usually does not automate anything except for dices rolls or turn-end-clean up but that is completely fine – it feels like boardgame 🙂

The only thing to decide was choosing appropriate game – and we agreed on Churchill by Mark Herman. As this is 3-player game we added Martin to the mix. After explaining the rules we allotted the sides by random draw – me (USSR), Martin (UK) and Kris (USA) –  and connected by Discordzie (much better then Skype) we began.

On more thing – we played all Turns with version C of conferences.

TURN 1 (Casablanca C)

This was like 8th game for me and 6th for Martin, however only first for Kris. I decided that best way to train the game is start with full, 10-turn scenario rather then “Training Scenario” with last 3 rounds. You may ask why? Well, the map is not so congested / complicated at the beginning, all options are open, there is time to correct mistakes. In short scenario you really need to know all the rules and strategies – every move counts. In essence, in long scenario you can be “forgiven” for some errors.

Main actions of each turn will be presented on screenshots from Vassal – I marked  points of interest there and put some comments below as well as points status at the end of turn. You may always click to get enlarged picture.

Churchill - Turn1
Click on picture to enlarge

Main actions:

  • 1.1 – due to very well used special abilities of Churchill, Martin wins easily the Conference Segment
  • 1.2 – Kris is left with minimal production and thus able to move only 1 front in Pacific
  • 1.3  Martin plays really well as he takes over Leadership in Pacific and has bonus for this; however his roll on CBI front (80% chance of success) utterly fails
  • 1.4 – There are some positives for USA – they manage to make first step on nuclear bomb
  • 1.5 – USSR invests in long-term benefits – Arctic fleet is being built, allowing additional production from Turn 2
  • 1.6 – Martin makes nice move in Europe – due to won Global issue he installs 3 governments

Points situation:

  • Martin (UK) – 17 pts.
  • Michael (USSR) – 7 pts.
  • Kris (USA) – 1 pt.

Kris is still learning, Martin is king of the turn, and I am somewhere in the middle…

TURN 2 (Washington C)

Churchill - Turn2
Click on picture to enlarge

Key actions:

  • 2.1 – Kris learns on mistakes – now he outsmarts us and wins the conference
  • 2.2 – What is more, with minimal amount of resources spent but with great rolls Kris manages to moves two fronts in Pacific. Similar economy of valuable production allows Martin to move CBI
  • 2.3 – Krsi also learns importance of Theater Leaderships – he takes Pacific one from Martin
  • 2.4 – USSR wins atomic bomb issue (3 points) but USA has bad roll and no progress in that area
  • 2.5 – It is very bad turn for Axis – in Europe both Western Front (Battle of Atlantic) as well as Eastern Front moves on. Taking into consideration Asia, total 5 fronts progressed this turn!

Points situation:

  • Martin (UK) – 22 pts.
  • Kris (USA) – 11 pts.
  • Michael (USSR) – 9 pts.

That is definitely turn of Kris come-back. Me and Martin are progressing with points, but definitely slower that our allay from America (which is true both form games and his place of residence perspective 🙂 )

TURN 3 (Quebec C)

Churchill - Turn3
Click on picture to enlarge

Main events:

  • 3.1 – How he did this? Despite winning the Agenda Segment, Martin is beaten by Kris in conference. I have tragic conference which you will see in points summary  in a while…
  • 3.2 – Kris again moves both Pacific fronts – again, with quite moderate forces; however CBI front despite huge investment by Martin is not progressing
  • 3.3 – Americans research next level of A-Bomb, while USSR also makes progress here…
  • 3.4 – Very big events in Europe – after Second Front issue is being “won” (i.e. stays in the center of conference table), we are witness to operation Overlord and landing in Normandy (already in August 1943)! In the East the “red roller” is not stopping for a moment – Belarus falls.

Points situation:

  • Kris (USA) – 24
  • Martin (UK) – 23
  • Michael (USSR) – 12

Kris is going up in points rapidly, Martin and especially me are stalling behind…

That was tremendously sympathetic meeting, with tons of laughter, interesting events and of course – from time to time – cursing of the dices 🙂 And what is best we saved the Vassal log and plan to continue!

To be continued…