From: Kinmel bay
Just a couple of suggestions really.
I'm currently playing the Uranus campaign and it is the first time I have used the dismissal rule. it is a month into the campaign and the balancing of it really seems to be working. It helps both players to focus on the strategic objectives from high command and we both seem to have enough prestige to keep us going. Apart from Stalingrad I have kept all my objectives and Olivier has taken most of his.
But what will be the real test is when I get my 'no step back' order from OKH. Hopefully I will still be able to hold onto enough to keep the game going, we shall see.
This leads me onto my first suggestion, is there any way to make the 'no step back' rules less severe? For instance, historically Stalin gave his no step back order yet at the same time gave the Soviet forces permissions for strategic retreats within the Caucasus. I like the no step back order as a strategic game function, I just think it is too strong. When the Soviets get the order the chances are they are already on the run. Perhaps the amount of prestige lost could be toned down? As mentioned above, I've yet to see the effect on the Germans but will report back when I have some experience of it. I suspect it will hit me just when I have a big hole in my lines where the minor allies used to be and it would be a shame to finish the game at a point where the Germans would be looking to give a little ground up and counter attack.
In summary, I like the no step back rule, but could it be toned down slightly to allow games to carry on a bit longer when using the dismissal rule?
Next point is the more time card. This gets very expensive very quickly. In the first versions of the game it gave 4 turns rather than four days, does this not seem more appropriate? The card very quickly becomes more expensive (I think it was up to 79pps in my game against Reconvert) so it is not a cheap get out of jail free card. I just think for the cost it should offer a bit more. Again, this helps with using the dismissal rule.
My next suggestion is particularly for the Trappenjard campaign, but to a point applies to Case Blue. In Trappenjard both Reconvert and myself (me in a couple of turns, middle of July) have ended up being dismissed (or would be if we were playing the dismissal rule). Yet we have both been very offensive minded. I am certainly not the best defender, yet Reconvert got nowhere near his objectives to save him from dismissal. Thinking off the top of my head could the Soviet player maybe have the opportunity to play an 'avoid Kharkov' card which would lead to him getting more defensive options after this? Obviously the card would have to be expensive, I would say set at a level that would mean it could be afforded by the Soviet player before he has to take Kharkov, but would mean it would use up about 90-95% of the pps he would gain up to that point. having not played the Soviet side I'm presuming this card isnt already there?
I dont know the solution to this, but some fine tuning is needed, I think Reconvert may have some suggestions.
Another suggestion is could there be an equivalent card to the 'more time' card for defensive actions? Not sure how it would work, but if you played the card you didnt have to hold objectives for so long? Again make it expensive like the more time card, but make it worthwhile to use?
Anyway, just musings really, what I really like about this game is the fact that High Command interferes with your strategic decisions and now playing a game with the dismissal rule on it really does give a full flavour of the high command interference. Yes people will have their own strategies, but it means that you are always playing with the historical situation in mind. I dont think it needs large scale changes, just some fine tuning needed as it would be great if most games could be played with the full rules on without an early dismissal being very probable for minor mistakes.