Cataclysm is very interesting game, and I had already chance to  try it multiple times. Thanks to its superb scenarios introducing you to the game (C.2 Introductory: Days of Decision, C.3 Theater: The Great Patriotic War, C.4 The Eagle and The Sun) you can easily learn it. However, to play a full-game, you probably need whole evening or more  and that when it gets problematic. In such cases online play comes handy.

The usual method for such play, even via email, is to use Vassal modules. However, thanks to Peter (BGG profile) I had a rare opportunity to try the game using the google presentation. That was really well prepared, easy to use and intuitive method. See here – should still work (if not, below you can find screenshots). A for the gameplay, we did the rolls through the BGG thread, reflecting all the moves in the google presentation. We have even solved issue of action cup by placing all the issues in the matrix and just rolling the dice to see which was drawn.

T0_1933
C.1 scenario starting situation (click to enlarge)

The game was played with vanilla rules although there is a lot of discussion on the forums to have some amendments made. As we will see below, those changes are needed otherwise the war tends to erupt too quickly.

Enough of the introduction, let us jump now into the after action report!

TURN 1 (1933-1934)

T1_1934
The situation after Turn 1 (click on the image to open in the new window)

Main developments of Turn 1:

  • First combat in the game was in China – Japan conquered Chahar
  • We also observed early end of Chinese Civil war with GMD victory; Gansu is in Japan hands, Germans also took part of China!
  • Not surprisingly, as almost always, France collapsed and lost all 4 VPs in Europe
  • What is unexpected, there was also collapse of United Kingdom! That resulted in the loss of Jordan & Iraq for the Commonwealth. Status Quo is GONE!
  • End of turn War status: Peace
  • End of turn points:
    • Fascists (Peter) 7
    • Communists (Denis) 3
    • Democracies (Michal) 0

TURN 2 (1935-1936)

T2_1936.JPG
The situation after Turn 2 (click on the image to open in the new window)

Key actions in Turn 2:

  • Germany attacked France, both armies were destroyed; France will held against Germans till the end of the game.
  • US mobilized while Germany annexed Czechoslovakia
  • War in Pacific started! US declared war on Japan, Carolina and Marshall islands occupied by US troops. At the same time Japan took Hebei.
  • Soviets invaded Poland, all ideologies are now engaged in aggressive activities!
  • End of turn War status: Limited War
  • End of turn points:
    • Fascists (Peter) 10
    • Communists (Denis) 4
    • Democracies (Michal) 0

TURN 3 (1937-1938)

T3_1938
The situation after Turn 3 (click on the image to open in the new window)

Turn 3 key points – most of the game was played here and the final outcome decided:

  • Global W ar is on: Germany destroyed 2 Soviet armies in Poland and the enormous struggle between Fascists and Communists started
  • On the Pacific, Japan conquered Philippines on their 2nd attack – key point to prevent the invasion of home islands
  • Germany got to the doors of Moscow, but Soviets managed to reinforce the capital just in time; after this (historically!) Germans turned south and got Donets & Stalingrad
  • Again, the battles for Moscow raged-on, where Soviet armies were destroyed, but Moscow still held.
  • UK joins the war – Rhur & Berlin bombed down
  • Japan islands cut off from all communication by US fleets, Tokyo is bombarded
  • Moscow falls to 4th German attack and France collapses.
  • Whole USSR Far East conquered by Japan armies
  • End of turn War status: Total War
  • End of turn points:
    • Fascists (Peter) 25
    • Communists (Denis) 10
    • Democracies (Michal) -1

TURN 4 (1939-1940)

T4_1940
The situation after end of game – Turn 4 (click on the image to open in the new window)

Couple of last actions in Turn 4:

  • Japan lost all fleets – the home islands are now completely dominated by US navy but no possibility for land invasion
  • Archangel finally captured
  • That results in Soviets surrender! Game ends with Fascism victory.
  • End of turn War status: Total War
  • End of War points:
    • Fascists (Peter) 28
    • Communists (Denis) -13
    • Democracies (Michal) -1

SUMMARY

The game was very exciting, USSR survived around 20 stability rolls but in the end surrendered. My Allied forces were unlucky – UK missed 3 declaration of war, and joined the struggle too late to change the course of events. US was unstoppable on Pacific Ocean but without Philippines unable to make a landing on home islands. All in all, that was great fun, very exciting and interesting play. To that extent, that we already had our second game using this method (that time it took us much longer 🙂

And one last look at the tool we used – it was 5 slides in Google PowerPoint, each depicting different part of the game:

Slide1
Europe map and short legend – end of game (click to enlarge picture in the new window)
Slide2
Pacific Map at the end of the game (click to enlarge picture in the new window)
Slide3
Our Record Display and Action Cup (click to enlarge picture in the new window)
Slide4
Axis powers display (click to enlarge picture in the new window)
Slide5
Allied & Communist forces display (click to enlarge picture in the new window)

I would like to thank Peter and Denis for fantastic game and for commitment to devote the time to the play! That was fun although the victory was not destined for me that day.