Leros: The Island Prize

Milton has been angling to start up a monster game, and after some wrangling (Milton is actually more of a Napoleoics guy) TCS was it. Omaha was offered up, but it’s huge and I find the situation not really to be that interesting. Screaming Eagles, my first choice, also was passed over in favor of Leros (my second choice, so who is complaining?).

We are using full free set up for both sides. I am one of three German players. We only managed to play one turn tonight, and things did not go as planned for the Germans.

Rather than spread out across the island as per the historical plan, we decided to concentrate on one area, in this case near the city of Leros itself. The costal artillery fire there isn’t too bad, it’s got a pier, the terrain doesn’t favor the defender unduly (unlike scrambling over rocky cliffs on other parts of the island), and being near the “neck” of the island it’s more flexible. Unfortunately, we discovered in fairly short order why the Allies rapidly decided to avoid cities like the plague during these things – the Brits had their main reserve, one battalion strong, right next to (or in some cases on) the landing zone.

We still have firepower and troop superiority at the point of conflict, but we took heavy losses coming in due to the inherently bad situation compounded by some fairly bad dice, with the landing craft getting badly pounded and the initial heavy air support completely ineffective. TCS, like OCS, can really be a game of player morale. Our situation is not good but far from hopeless, and the Brits with their awful command prep rating take forever to get going. No question the landing has put us behind the 8-ball, but we’ve still got a good shot.

I do like the TCS system a lot, I think it’s much better than the Gamer’s CWB. It’s still imperfect, though, and requires some collective suspension of aggressive gaming to work. And, like many of these big games, set-up can cause problems; this is why I like OCS and it’s typically fixed setups. The wide-open freedom to do the setup in Leros had an awkward feel I must admit once we sat down to play it; didn’t we have some sort of reconnaissance that would have detected these very large troop concentrations that the British used in this game? With zero pre-game intelligence it felt odd to me that this game may be decided mostly by how the defense setup counters the invasion plan. Anyway, not a major complaint, but still, perhaps an argument for Screaming Eagles or A Frozen Hell next time.

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One thought on “Leros: The Island Prize

  1. Pingback: Leros: The Island Prize, session two | Illuminating Games

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