Sometimes the end has arrived and we fail to accept that fact, mostly due to hope for a better or improved outcome but mostly because of pride and not being willing to admit defeat. In our recent play of Churchill, at the end of the 10th and last conference, the Third Reich had crumbled and the Allies were on the doorstep of entering Japan. If the UK (shown here as the green marker) could get a lucky roll, they could invade Formosa gaining them 5VP. Meanwhile Russia was poised in Manchuria to make a run for Korea but needed to win some issues at the table, namely the 2 Directed Offensive Markers for the US, which would give x4 Offensive Support, equating to a +8 to their combat roll. They did win the issues and in conjunction with their own Offensive Support marker were able to muster an attack of +16. In the game, you then subtract from that number -2 for each cube (which represents a Japanese army unit) so in this case, that was a total of a -4 from my 16, leaving me with a +12. This meant that I didn’t even have to roll on the 10 sided die, because normally you have to roll under your bonus. So, I not only won the battle in China but was able to blitzkrieg and breakthrough all the way to Korea, thereby securing 8VP for the Russian cause. In this game, Japan was not forced to surrender as none of the Allies reached the Japan box so the US and UK lost out on several major Victory Point opportunities.
Another reason for the Russian victory was their focus on the development of the A-Bomb. Anytime the A-Bomb issue was placed on the table (either by one of the other players or through the conditions of a new conference), and I had the opportunity, I would typically use Stalin to move that issue into my box using his 7 power. His special ability doesn’t allow another Leader to debate him if used to move the A-Bomb issue and once it is in his box, it cannot be touched again. The reason for this strategy for the Russians is that for each step on the A-Bomb track they receive 3VP. So, as you can see below where the red marker is in the Trinity space, that earns the Russians 12VP plus if the Allies are kept out of the Trinity space, an additional 3VP. This earned me a total of 15VP at the end of the game and was a major coup and reason for the Russian’s victory.
The end score was 76VP for the Russians, 45VP for the US and 38VP for the UK. My VP broke down as follows: 15VP for the A-Bomb as mentioned, 27VP for Political Markers and another 1VP for a Clandestine Marker in the colony of Malaya, 15VP for winning 3 conferences (5VP for the Soviets if they win), 10VP for secret objectives which were controlling Yugoslavia and the Baltic States, 8VP for invading Korea, 2VP for invading Prussia for a total of 78VP. If both Axis powers have not surrendered, each player rolls a 6 sided die and reduces their score by that rolled number, which for me was a 2 bringing my total to 76VP. What a magnificent and glorious win for the October Revolution and the Soviet people! Churchill Big 3 Struggle for Peace designed by Mark Herman is an amazing game and I highly recommend it to any players who enjoy war games and strategic decisions. The conference table is the heart of the game and that mental tug of war never gets old and is such an amazing mechanic. Enjoy!