JTCS - Western Front Tutorial Mission

After reading Doug's post about John Tiller's Campaign Series (JTCS) and then doing some research about what the game has to offer (hundreds of scenarios, a full editor, etc.) I decided to spend the $29.99 to purchase the game.

The bad: The graphics have a 1999 feel to them (this is less important than it used to be for me, don't let it dissuade you from looking at the title).  The UI takes some getting used to. Scenarios with more units than the handful I commanded this morning would be immense undertakings in terms of time.

The good:  Great depth in missions. Full editor.  The Action points system (which covers all unit actions) is easy to understand.

Turn 2 Allies: I am moving my LMG into some woods parallel to the fortified German chateau I am assaulting. While my infantry crosses a stream headed for some woods south of the German positions.  The cross-hair is from my mortar section which is just out of sight. 
Turn 5 Allies:  This is the second attack on the chateau.  The first was repulsed.  The highlighted LMG section is providing covering fire while the infantry assaults.  At this point however I hadn't figured out the assault mechanic (I am reading the rules as I play).
Turn 7 Allies:  I've figured out the assault mechanic and pushed back a German platoon from one of my objectives.  The German obj across the street from me is fortified and has held off multiple attacks.  I am actually feeling pretty good about this.  However, the Axis still has to move and they promptly seize the objective from my platoon with their final movement/assault.
The German player wins.  

This was my second attempt at the game  since I purchased it.  It is better to play the tutorials first as they introduce fewer troops and don't include all of the mechanics (no air attacks or mechanized units in this one).  The EF, WF and Pacific modules included within this game each have 3-4 tutorials.  So there are plenty of options to acquaint yourself with the rules before you take on one of the more difficult scenarios.

Firing and maneuvering is key.  With movement I found it is better to conduct a unit maneuver in a series of short steps rather than one click on the desired location.  The game helps you manage the action points each unit has, so you can save APs for firing after movement.  I found this to be a great feature.


Doug Miller said…
Try turning on unit bases and on-screen "thermometers" (T key). Doing so makes the units a lot easier to see and to see which units have action points left.

I'm finding that the company is the basic maneuver unit in this game. I'm tending to group two to four units in a hex to concentrate firepower and move them together once I'm in contact. I a movement to contact situation I'm doing exactly what you said: move a single unit a hex at a time to recon. If I get to the end of a movement without provoking an enemy reaction, I'll tend to move up the rest of the company in groups of two to three units at a time. It makes for pretty quick turns rather than moving each unit hex by hex individually.

Yes, the game does reward fire-and-maneuver tactics. Saving APs for firing, and stopping a move in a concealed location in a place where you'll be able to move and fire next turn rather than running out all your APs this turn is big. So if concentration of force. The graphics are ugly, but tactically this thing is right on.
Chris said…
I am looking forward to firing up another tutorial today. Thanks for the suggestions on the bases and T key.

I will have to try the company movement. What was the Not Heinz Guderian scenario you played? I will try that after a few more tutorial scenarios.

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