July 5, 1942
So I started watching the turn, and his forces landed in the non-base hex south of Nikolaevsk. Clearly he means to march into Nikolaevsk and take the city without facing the guns. I find this terribly gamey (in WITP, one of my standard houserules was no non-base landings) so I sent an email back at rader. Hereís our exchange.
ME: I just started watching the turn and noticed you landed at a non-base/non-dot hex. I would like to ask for a house rule forbidding this kind of landing. There's no way we can defend every coastal hex and landing at an undefended hex allows one to get an unfair advantage (IMHO). In otherwords, non-base landings end up gaming the system.
I'm willing to play on from here as this landing will just speed up the inevitable fall of Nikolaevsk, but how about no more from this point?
RADER: Hm, I'm sympathetic to your concerns but I'm not sure if I agree. It strikes me as terribly realistic that you would land at a hex next to a well-defended base and then march to it overland. As I recall, this happened all the time, and I'm not sure it's unrealistic at all. The Western allies didn't land at Cherbourg or Calais on D-day, they landed on a (relatively) quiet strech of beach in between. Going around fortified areas is what made fixed defenses less relevant.
If it should be dissalowed, it would be because the game doesn't handle it well (and this may be true, I havn't thought about all the implications of this enough). I think landing *fragments* at a non-base hex to cut retreat should be dissalowed, and maybe landing on non-base hexes at all to cut retreat should be. But landing, say, next to Darwin to avoid the guns (46 miles down the shore from the guns) sounds quite reasonable to me. In fact, it seems like since you can't prep, you take really high losses just for landing (as I just did). This seems like it is then reasonable. I'm curious what others think, and would like to post it to the list (I'll do so tomorow AM if you don't get to it by then). I'm not 100% opposed to such a house rule, but I don't think the game is screaming for one either. I will agree not to do it again until we agree one way or the other, but I really do think it is reasonable in this kind of situation, and would like to see what the "majority" think.
ME: It may be (arguably) realistic in the real world but the game just can't handle it. In WITP terms all of the D-day beaches would fit into one hex called "Cherbourg" or "Caen". In other words, a base hex.
I'm guessing you are planning to do the same thing to capture Okha, Alexandrovsk, etc. and I will blow my top if that happens. Heck, why not load up the southern army and land them next to Vladivostok and grab that too while youíre at it? Go ahead and post on the boards but I'm not going to give in on this one.
I know you don't mean any harm but I'm getting the sense you bend things a little more than I'm comfortable. I regret giving in on the River invasion thing especially as I feel you took advantage of it to totally bypass Nikolaevsk. I know I wasn't explicit about it but I was assuming you'd combine an honest attack on the base in conjunction with "running past the guns". Having set it up just right so that your landing would commence in the 1st turn of the war was an extra slap in the face. Having the entire (or nearly the entire) southern army show up in the russian rear (untouched) in the first two days of the war is just ridiculous. Not to mention the fact that you've continued to sail up and down the river since then without a single attack on Nikolaevsk. Running past the guns once maybe but what're we up to now? 1,000 ships passing by? how stupid are these russian gunners? And now you land on the beach to take it without ever having had a CD gun fire at you. Your excuse that "it's historical" really rubs me the wrong way. It's just too much.
Dunno if Iíll be continuing. Open to feedback from any readers out there. Hereís a screenshot of the situation Iím talking about.