Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Case Yellow

I am currently enjoying a play-by-email game of Ted Raicer's Case Yellow: the German Blitzkrieg in the West with my email buddy Andrea.

Andrea is controlling the Germans (with razor-sharp precision!) and I am bumbling about as the Allies.  Things are looking pretty grim.   It would have been a lot worse but Andrea has managed to roll a ridiculous number of 1s in his attacks these last two turns, and his terrible luck has been considerably more influential in preventing catastrophic losses than have the actions of this Allied commander!

The panzers have reached the channel coast, so I've now declared Operation Dynamo in an attempt to salvage some formations by embarking them from Oostende and in so doing perhaps gain enough victory points to stave off a German game victory. 

I don't think this is a game that I would want to play every week, but it has been very impressive so far to see the Germans in action. 

Here's a clickable screenshot of the situation on May 21st (end of turn 3).  To concentrate on the positives, the Maginot line is holding up pretty well!


  1. It's all about denying the German player a major victory. I think it is near impossible to win as the allied player. At least that was my experience playing France:1940

  2. Well, if you look at the overall campaign it's quite difficult, if not impossible, for the German to fail the historical outcome, but, from a gaming perspective, I think that the designer has done a good work with the victory condition, even in the "historical" scenario (never played the "what if" ones sofar).

    So at the moment, in the middle of the 4th turn, it's not so easy to be in Guderian's shoes and I'm pretty sure I won't reach a win: this should add to the gaming value of this title, since the Allies are never "out of the game" even if doomed in the overall campaign. This is anyway interesting to me for historical reason: lately I've had the option to visit some of the real places the campaign (Dinant and the Meuse river, the Maginot line at Fermont) and I actually felt how useless could have been the latter, with so many resources wasted in it: an important lesson, I think, even today in many fields!

  3. I see what you mean about the victory conditions, Andrea. It's hard to see what you could have done much differently - roll fewer ones?! I guess the fate of Paris will decide the game, as will your ability to put the Maginot line OOS (probably starting fairly soon).

    Completely agree re: the Maginot line lesson still going unheeded, but I will try not to go off on a rant ;-)


  4. Well, I agree, I think things could only have gone worse for me (apart for some recent tactical distractions in the last moves...) but here's the point: the victory conditions force the Germans to a nearly perfect execution of the plan, with the right forces'allocation to the diverse tasks and exposing them to the risks of some unlucky chits' draw or rolls, while the Allies should always wait for the option to crash the "perfect" plan.
    However, as you already said implicitly, if you're looking for fun, replaybility and the possibility to adopt different strategies in a game, this is not the best choice :) I agree


  5. Well, as always, Andrea, it is a pleasure to play with and learn from you!

  6. LOL You are the teacher !!! ...I've little to teach, I'm afraid... :)

  7. I have been intrigued by theis game as looking at the box it says it is a low complexity game, but after reading a few comments about it on BGG I was put off by the fact that france cannot win the game (it is historically correct) and the french player can only wing by slowing down the german player, they also mentioned that there are some fixed events that will take place no matter what. considering that would you still suggest it as a good game for a true noob for board war games?



  8. Hmm, to be honest I wouldn't recommend it for a noob unless you are a real fan of the situation or want to play it out solo. It is not so simple, either - there are quite a few twists to the standard hex & counter mechanisms and these all have to be learned.

    If you want a good introductory game that gives both sides a fair shake at winning, I'd recommend A Victory Lost, but it is out of print, sadly!

    What are you interested in? I know you are a Napoleonics buff, so you might enjoy Napoleon at Leipzig or Napoleon at Waterloo (the latter you can actually make up yourself if you can be bothered with the printing costs).

    If you like ACW or WWII I could loan you Blue and Gray I or The Russian Campaign. Drop me a line!



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