After an abortive 1 turn game of Invasion: America on 6/18/04, we set up again and started the game over. (many of the pictures on this page are poor in quality, but should show the progress of the game)
This time around, Walt was much more careful about not leaving any open ports for anyone to simply waltz into. And it looked like a reasonable defense all around. Walt has trounced me in a couple games of 1 on 1 in this game. Steve & Rand are no slouches in the game either, having been dragged into this title by yours truly a few times.
The above picture is after the US/Can turn.
As you can see here, the SAU moved to invade up near Mexico City again. But this time, the ESC landed in the area of Houston. The one advantage I saw was trying to provide some air cover with the ESC carriers to the SAU.
Die rolls were strongly in favor of the invaders, however the odds were pretty decent for an invasion anyway. The initial ESC invasion pressed the US/Can to New Orleans, but was driven a bit back in the counter attack. The US/Can player tried to nail some of the carriers so he could engage the invasion with his air forces. Don't let the three stacks of seeming carriers fool you. There's only 6 carrier units in the ESC, but the ESC has stacked an extra Transport in with 2 carriers in each stack to reduce the threat to the irreplaceable units.
On another front in turn 1, the ESC had zipped in it's rapid deployment force of hovercraft (the 3 surviving units after the US turn pictured above) and captured a port in Florida. The US counter attack demolished half the invading forces, but by gaining a port, the ESC was in a good position to have two fronts on turn 2 against the defending forces.
Again, the PAL landed in the area of Seattle with little advance, but drawing a number of US/Can units in to engage them. The mobilization of defender's air forces brought in some strong counterattacks, nullifying the terrain benefit the PAL was seeking up north. However he did manage to hold onto his very narrow beachhead.
Turn 2 saw the SAU advance rapidly up to cut off defending units. The US/Can forces conceded the Mexican territory pretty fast, as the two invading forces looked certain to be linking up at any instant. The SAU was not even north in force yet, but the flanking effect of the ESC on the SAU's right was enough to be a serious threat.
In the original ESC beachhead near Houston, expansion was immediate as troops came off Transports in the Galveston harbor, and the careful withdrawal of amphibs meant an invasion on Turn 3 was imminent. The thin US/Can line along with the flanking position of the SAU to the left of the ESC forces was a strong motivator for the US/Can player to fall back and form a new line of defense.
To lend additional weight to the threat of the Houston invasion, the ESC brought replacements in on the port in Florida, peeling away the defenders in the way. By positioning a force ashore in Florida, both flanks of the US/Can front were threatened. This gave more grounds to the US/Can player to pull back.
Though I don't have pictures of it, about the only place the US/Can forces were holding was in the Seattle area, though the PAL had managed to bring a Special Infantry ashore with it's killer combat value. The US whacked that unit though and the beachhead, while intact, was certainly still threatened.
On Turn 3, the PAL establishes new beachheads that threaten the flanks of the US/Can position near Seattle. Though the picture to the left is blurred and difficult to make out, the PAL has pressed in against several locations down the coast, and is bringing yet another supply unit in to use as a port. The US/Can forces available are the extent to which the defense can now call upon. The whole coast is now open to threats and here too, the US/Can player will have to cede ground to reform a line that can actually hold.
At this point, the link has been made between the SAU and the ESC. The SAU advances onto the Rio Grande and presses his attacks to position for those valuable resources in the breadbasket.
The real telling invader advance is visible in the picture below though...
The ESC comes ashore now in a second invasion to drive into the extended flank of the US position. A careless placement of a protective LRB (long range bomber, actually more of a strategic air superiority unit the way the rules work), the ESC is able to bring a large amount of air power to bear on the US/Can front. The right flank of the Houston invasion crumbles into nothing, the units plying the defense in Georgia and the Carolinas are surrounded and crushed (leaving only one stack of Canadian Mech south of Birmingham. On the left flank, the ESC takes advantage of the advancing SAU forces to turn the US line and shoot north towards Kansas City (in the process knocking a couple of Rail units out with the cooperation of the SAU).
The US/Can line after 2 and a half turns of play is comprised mostly of air units and militia, the southern states have mostly been overrun, the Mexican territory has been taken, and the PAL is next in line for a breakout at this point. The US/Can player offers terms of surrender and is defeated.