This page contains the running commentary of my game of "Auspicious Beginning" (as a side note, I helped design the game--so I am not necessarily "unbiased").
I want to start this section by describing the set-up of the game. Here are some of my comments on the game in general:
A) The map is small, and it is made out of a material that is unique to gaming (as far asI know). The map is made of a "banner" material. It is glossy and it lays nice and flat. Needless to say I will not have to use my plexiglass to cover the maps.
B) The counters are unlike most (if not all-not including Master Europa) games on the market. The counters punch out with ease, and there is almost NO trimming of the counters needed. This cannot be emphasized enough, as in a large game, it will save one hours and hours of counter trimming time.
C) The rules are fairly short and easy to understand. Not to mention the game comes with lots of visual play examples. This is something many of the competetor games do not include.
Now, getting down to game itself. I set up the Germans and the Italians first. Pretty simple set up, and it is quite evident right away that the Axis just simply do not have the forces on the island to withstand the Allied assault. I tried to get Hitler to volunteer to watch the east cost of Sicily, but he said somethig about having already did his tour of duty during WWI. Excuses, excuses! Eventually it will be intesting to do a "what if" scenario where the Axis abandon North Africa, which then allows the Axis to heavily reinforce Sicily and southern Italy (full strength Herman Goering Pz. Div, 21st Panzer Div., 15 Panzer Div., 10th Panzer Div., 334 Inf. Div. etc. etc.)
I set up the Allies next. I used the Play Aide pictured here to help determine the number of units which could be carried in the available cargo capacity. Needless to say, this is not too important in this game, but in future games, it could be critical (i.e. Operation Sea Lion).
I then used the followng play aide to help determine which Allied units where to be grouped together and where they are to land:
This last picture is the initial German and Itilian set up: