Mark came over for some FtF gaming yesterday; he showed me the basics of the Operational Combat System with the first few turns of Reluctant Enemies. Mark and Jason have played some OCS, but apparently haven’t done much with RE, so Mark didn’t know too much more than me about the situation. It had also been a while, so there was some self-refresher going on from the teacher.

I took the Vichy French, and started down the road of figuring out the administration of supplies. They start with a decent-sized dump off at the east edge of the map, where doesn’t seem to do much good, and is easy to cut off. I shifted much of it to a more exposed position that I was trying to protect, as it was a crossroads, and managed to bring a little all the way back to Damascus.

The initial British assault took out some of the border guards (little 2-5 units), but the main push at the coast and just inland stalled for a lack of supplies, and problems getting HQs sorted out. The Free French showed up in Syria on turn two, and spent a little bit of time getting to my main position, but knocked the center out of that easily. I had also maintained a position in a bit of rough terrain in western Syria, that did a much better job of holding of the Commonwealth forces, forcing them to retreat on the first attempt, and then retreating a hex on the second attempt, which left them still in the hills, but low on ammo.

Meanwhile, the inland valley in Lebanon was holding very well. Between the supply situation, the escparpment, and my local collection of troops, Mark wasn’t getting anywhere, and a very lucky bombing run (’12’) eliminated a strong unit while disorganizing another.

We only got through the first three turns, though that was enough to start getting the idea of how the game operates. I still have some confusion over supply distances and the such, though supply consumption I’m getting.

It’s impossible to not make some comparisons to EFS, and I do like how defending units are not just given a free pass for supply. On the other hand, I’m not sure I care for the ‘barrage’ system for artillery and tactical air support, instead of wrapping it into the combat system (though it does allow for more flexibility in proactively affecting units—disorganizing them—without actually attacking or waiting for an attack). I’m also generally happier with the air combat/support system in EFS for much of the same reason, and I really like the ready/flown cycle in EFS (especially the fact that most aircraft will not fly on a rain turn), but I have problems with the generic basing, and that is a welcome extra bit in OCS.