After going through the last tutorial scenario for Operation Dauntless, Mark and I spent a little time with the classic pocket game GEV, and it’s initial “Breakthrough” scenario. I haven’t played it in decades, and while Mark is well aware of Ogre/GEV, he’s never played the series.

I took raiding Combine GEVs (12 for the basic scenario) for our first playthrough, while Mark took 2xheavy tanks, 2xmissile tanks, 2xlight tanks, and 2xlight GEVs for his six armor units (yes, we used the full range of ‘standard’ units, including Shockwave units, but not the more advanced bits like the GEV-PC and marine infantry). I came in with two groups, one of six GEVs unequally split between three hexes cruising up the river, and then three sets of two GEVs each headed through the gap in the forest nearby. Mark redeployed a little, but mostly hung near his initial posts as I got closer.

For my second turn, five of the GEVs continued up the river and then into the lake, while one went ashore to help the other set who advanced up to the stream before crossing it on the second move. Mark hurried a second heavy tank east, and sent a light tank and infantry that way, but other parts stayed put (including a missile and light tank in the west). I concentrated 6 GEVs against the heavies and killed one and disabled the other before scattering away from the infantry, while the group on the lake came ashore during the second move.

Mark moved towards the points of contact, and disabled a GEV in the lake force with a missile tank, while the two light GEVs were unable to do damage. Nothing else got into range, and the LGEVs took cover in the nearby town.

I moved up again, with the two GEVs that had headed west last turn concentrating on and killing a light tank, two GEVs hit infantry in the woods and killed a squad, while the other three in the center finished off the heavy tank, while the four functional ones in the NE killed the light tank up there with a 4:1. I poured through the holes left in the defense during second move, intending to leave the remaining defenders behind and exit.

However, there was just way too much infantry close by for that to be a good idea. I’d been thinking in terms of the strengths of the GEVs, and neglecting to dig out the infantry with all the cover available, and forgot just how powerful infantry is in overruns. Overall, Mark killed four GEVs in overruns, at a cost of five squads (and that’s after a disastrous combat where my disabled GEV knocked out two squads that couldn’t hit it).

Another three GEVs were destroyed in regular combat (including a lucky shot from one of the LGEVs), and one more disabled, suddenly bringing my force down to something a lot less capable.

I brought forward the previously disabled GEV, the remnant of the southern force hid in the town, and the surviving lead GEV prepared to cross the nearby stream and exit. I knocked out a LGEV, and three exposed infantry squads in combat and then exited the first GEV while the recovered one headed west. Mark moved up what was left of his forces but couldn’t get in range with a lot of things, only knocking out the #2 GEV with a missile tank after the other one missed.

I maneuvered to get in range of the center missile tank and killed it with a 3:1 and then scattered away and west. Infantry caught one and disabled it, while the remaining missile tank disabled the northern one. The only mobile GEV headed west and north threatening an exit. Mark put his LGEV in the way while the infantry overran and killed the southern disabled GEV, losing a squad in the process, and the northern one was killed by a 3:1 attack.

The last GEV maneuvered through the NW town, took a shot at the LGEV that missed, and exited.

Thanks to the early kills, and then exchanging for a few more later in, I got 63 VPs including the 16 points for exiting two GEVs on turn 8 or earlier. Mark got 60 for killing 10 GEVs, so I just barely managed a draw (need a lead of 21 for GEV marginal victory).

After that, we turned it around and went again, with Mark having a good lesson in overconfidence as a warning. I took 1xheavy tank, 1xmissile tank, 1xmobile howitzer, and 4xlight tanks for my defending armor, and split a little more of the infantry into two-squad sections for better cover. (The mobile howitzer is really an interesting pick here, as you can use the long stretch of road to speed it along, and try to counter speed with range… that said, a pair of missile tanks is probably usually better. Or maybe just four light tanks for lots of coverage.)

Mark sent a stack of five each into the woods gap, and the river, and the last two came up the road on the east side. I mostly stayed in place, and on the second turn, he continued up, with the pair transitioning onto the river. I started concentrating to the east, and then Mark sent his overland group to the west, crossing the first stream in his second move. At the same time, the ones  on the river came ashore, straddling the stream.

This sent me scrambling to re-center my defense, but at least the infantry was getting time to get into the forward line of forests. The mobile howitzer was in range, and disabled a GEV, with spillover fire disabling a second one. Mark continued west, getting ready to cross the second stream, with one pair heading back east to the river.

I mostly headed west in response, but I kept a light tank and some infantry in the area, while the mobile howitzer got itself on the road, with the hope of intercepting the eastern pair as they came ashore in 2007. The mobile howitzer destroyed on of the disabled GEVs, but the spillover had no effect on the other, and a light tank attack on a lead GEV had no effect.

Mark started north again, though most of the GEVs were stuck below the second stream for the first move. Combat was a series of low-odds attacks on infantry in the open, which killed one squad.

For the second move, he started racing north, and it was time to hit him with infantry overruns. However, they didn’t go so well for me, and I lost four squads to kill one GEV. Regular combat decent, with one GEV destroyed by the mobile howitzer, and three more disabled by 1:1 and 2:1 attacks. Two of the remaining GEVs pressed ahead, while the third moved into the board-edge woods (which Mark had nearly done earlier, but muffed his movement; if not for that, I think it would have gotten away). The formerly disabled one came up to the stream and destroyed a light tank in combat. The lead ones disabled my light tank that was blocking them, and then overran it in the second move, but a lucky hit from the tank killed another GEV. The two on the lake moved up to the clear shore, and reduced the nearby infantry by a squad.

In the east, my infantry caught one of the GEVs and destroyed it at the cost of a squad, and then the second one was disabled. The mobile howitzer picked off the one that had gotten through in the west, while the missile tank disabled the one in the woods, and the heavy tank got the last functioning one. One of the disabled ones was also destroyed, but the last two survived to recover on Mark’s turn.

This gave him three good GEVs (including the one that had been lagging behind because it had been disabled earlier). They combined to pick off the heavy tank, and then two of them hid in the town while the third went for distance. I picked off the eastern one easily in my turn, and the mobile howitzer made short work of the one in the open, but I couldn’t bring enough firepower to bear on the others, and Mark was able to easily exit them on his turn.

While he got 24 VPs for exiting three GEVs on turn 7 (leaving me at 54 for killing nine), he’d barely killed any of my units for a grand total of 48, and a marginal Paneuropean win.


The best news is that Mark had a great time with both games. GEV flows very well, and plays fast, and Breakthrough and Raid (which we need to get to) are great unique scenarios. We took three sessions to get through both games (at 2-3 hours per session, including socializing time).

Both of us failed to get many GEVs through. Considering that I exited on turn 8 as it was (the VPs for exiting go down after that point), making the schedule is really tough. I probably would have been better advised to take one more turn to try and soften up the infantry before trying to force my way through. As I found in the second go, two squads of infantry aren’t nearly as scary as three in an overrun, as one squad will probably be taken out when the defender fires first, and the one remaining squad can easily miss.

The mobile howitzer is great here since it can get 3:1 shots on GEVs at fantastic range, but it is vulnerable to being rushed as getting it reduces the number of things you can put in its way. Light tanks are interesting in this scenario, as they’re basically slow GEVs, but getting them in pairs really helps. The heavy tanks are scary to GEVs with their high firepower and decent defense, but that just invites three-on-one attacks for a 2:1 that the tank probably won’t survive. The missile tank can be a real problem for GEVs, but they’re also slow and therefore need to stay on/near the main east-west road like the mobile howitzer.