I find Cataclysm as a very interesting sandbox game, which gives you a lot of freedom to shape the geopolitical realities of 1930′ and 1940’s. It balances the need to be detailed in such endeavor with the relative simplicity of rules. We are getting interesting position, containing great introductory scenarios, main campaign but also an alternative set-up (Italy with Allies, fascist France).

Our boardgame group Cataclysm games:
C.1 Full Campaign Online, C.1 Full Campaign Live, C.2 Introductory: Days of Decision, C.3 Theater: The Great Patriotic WarC.4 The Eagle and The Sun

As for the full campaign it is sometime really hard to get enough live opponents – mainly due to the length of it – online games come handy. I have already described in my previous article – Cataclysm full game online – a game with Peter and Denis , utilizing completely new, easy to use and elegant method – Google Presentations. I will report our new, second game below but I would like to draw your attention also to the tool we used – you should be able to see it in a read-only mode HERE.

In our first game Peter won as Fascists, conquering Denis’s USSR. My Democratic forces completely obliterated Japan but were unable to do anything in Europe. Would history unfold differently this time?


C.1 scenario set-up – Europe (click to enlarge)
C.1 scenario set-up – Pacific (click to enlarge)

TURN 1 (1933-1934)

Main developments of Turn 1. Reasonably predictable turn, with standard moves as only Japan was at rearmament commitment; some interesting things below.

  • Heibei was quickly taken by Japan,a voiding provoking US (they usually support one of China Civil War sides).
  • A Civil War erupted in Spain and did not finish during that turn.
  • Nazi infighting started in Germany, reducing their effectiveness for the whole turn to 2.
  • France sent army to Romania (a bold move!) to secure the natural resource. It will be greatly missed during future German invasion…
  • Japan moved to mobilization, all other countries – except for Italy – to rearmament.
  • End of turn War status: Peace
  • End of turn points:
    • Fascists (Michal) 4
    • Communists (Denis) 2
    • Democracies (Peter) 5

TURN 2 (1935-1936)

Key actions in Turn 2:

  • Nazi infighting again, German effectiveness again down to 2.
  • Japan SURPRISE-ATTACKED USSR! Mongolia and Irkutsk are taken by them, two USSR armies are being destroyed, which result in a triumph for Japan and a disaster for Soviets
  • USSR and Germany moves then to Mobilization, Status Quo is thus finished
  • Germany attacked France, both armies were destroyed, Lorraine was taken but first attack on Paris was completely unsuccessful; however, Nazis succeeded in second attempt and France not only collapsed but also surrendered!
  • In the meantime Japan went to Total War while UK to Mobilization
  • Then we have a diplomacy struggle (called also “Denmark Loop“) between Germany and UK. The first took over Denmark four times, while the later five times! In the end a strong British force (tank and air force)  landed in that Scandinavian country posing serious threat for the Reich!
  • And then it almost happened – UK tried to declare war on Germany but failed on 3d!
  • Other then that Civil War in Spain finished with Right victory, Lend and Lease were enacted and Trade Marker was removed by US from from Japan
  • End of turn War status: Total War
  • End of turn points:
    • Fascists (Michal) 9
    • Communists (Denis) 3
    • Democracies (Peter) -6

TURN 3 (1937-1938)

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

  • The Global War is continuing! Exciting event still in front of us!
  • There was failed attempt to form UK & US alliance
  • Civil War erupted again in Spain which ended (again!) in the Right marginal victory
  • On the Far East front: Manchuria was retaken by Japan (Partisans / crisis caused loss of this); then the Maritime Territory were conquered by Axis and that success was followed by the COMPLETE DISASTER against Soviets in Siberia; they took advantage to regain some lost territory, but in the end a Status Quo ensued with huge forces on both sides and two Russian territories in Imperial army hands
  • Germany conquered Poland only after second attack; Axis leader decided that the only way to win the game would be to move EAST!
  • And then the Germany invaded USSR via Ukraine with EPIC FAILURE – twice the battle there  (3d vs 1d) was unsuccessful! Unbelievable!
  • In the attempt to stop the Fascist expansion, USSR went to Total War while UK again tried and failed DOW on Germany! 3d is not always a guarantee of success.
  • Finally Ukraine has fallen, and despite USSR counterattacks, was held by Germans
  • And then the fateful turn came – Germany (already in Total War) used 3 military actions and did a raid through whole USSR, conquering following: Belarus => Smolensk => Moscow. Even for the Soviets, experienced in the rolling for stability,  that was too much and USSR SURRENDERED finishing game in Axis victory!
  • End of turn War status: Total War
  • End of turn points:
    • Fascists (Michal) 18
    • Communists (Denis) -7
    • Democracies (Peter) -5
Situation on the European map at the end of the game (click to enlarge)
Situation on the Pacific map at the end of the game (click to enlarge)

And a look at the game components at the end of game:

Record Display & Action Cup (click to enlarge)
Axis nations displays (click to enlarge)
Allies & USSR displays (click to enlarge)


Again, the game was very exciting. France was destroyed pretty quickly but other then that the Allies held strong. Surprisingly, Italy was completely underdeveloped staying at Civilian status whole game. Also, I was at the verge of nervous break-down, when Peter tried to Declare War with UK on my Germans with huge force in Denmark and no units to defend against. He missed it twice! The Pacific seen a lot of the Japan-USSR action and the EPIC raid of German Panzers to Moscow was a phenomenal culmination of the game.

As for the sides which were not so positive was the fact that the game – in my opinion – too quickly descended into the Total War. We needed just 3 turns to finish the game – of course, last turn being very, very long.

All in all we had a lot of fun and the Google Presentation tool created by Peter was a great enhancement here! You will see more of this in the future, I am sure!