Thursday, June 1, 2023

Don't Mention The War - Part 43 via Facebook


SEP/OCT 1944 – EOT
The S/O reinforcements were placed with Germany balancing between threats from the East and West. The important initiative – they all are at this stage – was lost by the Axis on the first roll, who then demanded a second roll, defiantly winning with a 10. Russia with a +1 now, failed to roll the 10 needed and a huge sigh of relief for Germany as the Axis went first. The important weather result was mixed with a 7 – rain everywhere. Mixed, as it reduces the allied GS effectiveness from the massed Allied air-forces but also halves Axis supply and movement, EOT advances by 2 which was important to the Axis.
Axis Impulses - three. Germany took all Land actions and Japan a Combines. Germany took land actions to constantly react to filling the holes that the Allies an both fronts, Eastern and Western created at every impulse. Strategic withdrawals a rear-guard actions – trading time for land was well played by the German who is attempting to minimise his losses. The German is now defending the Reich as a succession of minor allies’ collapse under the combined weight of Allied pressure. The two highlights for this turn was that the Luftwaffe finally evened up the score board with a 2:1 loss ratio in its favour, something we have not seen for a long time. Secondly, the Russian rolled the EOT on a 2 ending the turn early and not costing a shift in the all-important initiative marker.
Japan mainly focussed on maintaining its supply lines in the Sea of Japan to ensure that the Army in Manchuria remains in supply and what few resources that can get through to the Japanese homeland do so. The Japanese Army in China was significantly reduced this turn as it remained OOS despite attempts to sneak a supply convoy through each impulse. The Chinese launched multiple attacks, some at low odds and were very successful in destroying half of that trapped army with over 10 land units destroyed for little Chinese loss. The only saving grace for the Japanese is that it has not lost acft and remains very strong in the air as is able to contest a single sea zone with 30+ acft – who needs CVs!
Allied Impulses – three. With rain everywhere the US initially took an air to cover sea areas, GS and rebased in both the ETO and PTO. US operations were limited by weather and combat power, but there was some progress in the advance into Germany with US forces now adjacent to Munich. Amsterdam was captured which liberates another European country from the oppression of the German yoke. Several German factories were bombed by US and CW Strat bombers as well as 6 Italian BPs that had been stored in Italian factories. In the PTO the US focus was on inverting the defenders of Truk and Manila in preparation for invasions and assault in the coming fine weather of the N Monsoon. They were very successful with full inverts in Manila, but only 1 Div in Truk. Hong Kong and Canton will be also vulnerable to US inversions which will certainly help the Nationalists. Some success for the US/CW subs as 4 Japanese Convs were sunk.
The CW initially took a naval land, followed by land actions so that they could follow up on the surrender of the Italians and prosecute the Yugoslav and Balkan campaigns. In Italy CW forces advanced along the coast and on the third impulse assaulted the Northern Mountain range to break the German defensive line and advance to the Po River. In Yugoslavia, advance against the porous Axis line saw a gradual advance to the Hungarian border and Belgrade captured, which forced the surrender of Yugoslavia at the EOT. Disaster for the CW in the Balkans as a high odds attack against two OOS and inverted units adjacent to Sophia saw the CW roll a 3! Losing units and becoming fully inverted. Also, bad news for the CW was the huge loss of acft in air combat over Europe – it appears that the Aces from German Air training schools have been called up as the loss ratio of CW:German acft was 2:1.
France’s actions were mostly Naval and supporting the CW in the Med by transporting units into Italy and Yugoslavia. Their acft were active supporting US air ops on the Western Front.
Russia’s Land saw few GS from Air and Arty as again most were too far behind the lines to be effective or reach their targets. Russia was able to conquer Rumania securing Bucharest after the US successfully GS the Capitals defenders. Russia also captured the Ploesti oil fields intact which now denies the German 3 oil and will allow US Strat bombers in the Med to focus on the Austrian oil and German factories. Russia advanced into Poland and crossed the Hungarian and Prussian borders. With O-Points in reserve and winter coming Warsaw and Konigsberg are both likely to fall and if the turn goes long enough, Hungary could be conquered as well. In the Far East, Russian units have advanced on the Russo-Sino front, in part as the Japanese has had to withdraw as well as a number of exchanges that is bleeding the Japanese and Manchurian defenders. Russia elected not to use o-points and conserved them for next turn.
China, with much of the Japanese Army OOS and some inverted attacked units at every opportunity. They destroyed 11 land units which was half the Japanese Army in China. They even captured the old Capital of Peking and are now looking at reclaiming Shanghai, Canton and possibly Hong Kong.
EOT – Russia aided the Axis by again rolling a 2 at the first opportunity to end the turn. A partisan turned up in Norway and three more in China. Rebases, production – which Germany gets to spend 8 bonus Italian BPs. Japan spends it oil to keep its INF/FTR builds up as they are now only tracing two resources into Japan. Conquest phase – Yugoslavia is liberated by the CW, Netherlands is liberated by the US and returned to CW control and Rumania is conquered by the Russians. Reinforcements are placed with additional German acft sent to the Russian front as German Acft losses this turn have been moderate compared to previous turns.
NOV/DEC 1944 – last Turn of the War
The important initiative which the Allies lose again, but demand a reroll, Axis gain a +1, Russia doesn’t need to roll as Germany rolled another 10! – that is twice in the two last turns of 44’ they have again avoided giving the Allies double impulse. However, Germany’s weather roll is a 7 Snow in both the Artic and Temp – Russia is delighted, not so much the other Allies.
Axis first impulse N/D 44 saw a massed withdrawal in the East to the defend the Vistula River and Warsaw, a withdrawal also to defend Hungary now that Rumania has fallen and, in the West, reinforcements are sent to block the US breakout in SW Germany and the Defence of Munich. The German cities of Saarbrucken and Aachen were vacated in order to straighten the German line. German Acft are rebased, with some additional acft rebased to the Eastern Front now that winter has arrived and the expected progress on the Western Front will be moderate.
Japan took a combined and slipped through a Conv into the China Sea. Undetected it secures the supply to the beleaguered garrison of Manila and the Chinese mainland. A fleet is sent into the Sea of Japan protecting a supply Tpt and multiple Acft react to the US sub search in that sea area – no finds. EOT advances by 2.
Next session Allied 1st Impulse in bad (Snow) weather– The Russian will attack in snow, may even use an O Chit, in snow there will be few opportunities for the Western Allies, as they will be hoping for a 1 or a 2 to be rolled for a Temperate clear impulse before 44’ closes, and the Axis a 9 or 10!
· ACFT – Aircraft
· LOC – Line of Communications
· TOTT – Top of the table a 23 or more
· AGN/AGS German Army Group North and South

Western Front - at EOT - Germany won the initiative rolling a 10

Eastern Front - GRIM

Italian Campaign - CW advance to N Italy

Balkan and Yugoslavia Campaigns - Yugoslavia is liberated and Hungary is threatened

The Chinese are on a roll - inverted and OOS units has helped the Chinese win this war

The Russians are coming - slowly as the IJA is supplied through the Sea of Japan and there is little that the Allies can do to cut it.

Casualties - EOT SEP/OCT 44 - the Chines reap vengeance against the IJA in China

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Barbarossa Turn 19 Soviet and Turn 20 Axis

In this session we completed Turn 19 and started Turn 20.  Turn 20, representing 30-31 July, saw mud in both the north and centre sections.

Talin under siege and the islands requiring additional rules to be read/comprehended.

AGN still has to take Pskov before it can move on to its main objective.
AGC on the way to capturing Smolensk

AGS before Kiev (and a bit of AGC in the north).

Let's not forget the Romanians,
and where will that cluster of Axis divisions go
now that the Vinnitsa pocket has been reduced?

Turn 20

It looks like AGN will finally take Pskov.

I failed to take a photo of AGC combats,
but they launched major attacks on the three areas marked in the above image.
They took a few casualties.

AGS tries to attack Kiev from the north west - it fails.

Vinnitsa pocket is wiped out,
and the now surplus Axis forces head to Kiev. 

Romania with some German help,
attacks all along the front.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Here I Stand for four turns at least

Friday saw us start another game of Here I Stand.  This time Richard was the Ottomans, Jeff the Protestants, Simon the Hapsburgs, while I was the Papacy and we had two newcomers to the game with: Mike playing France and Russell England.

Turn 1 and Luther gets off to a good start 
and it looks like piracy might breakout in the Mediterranean.
England goes to war with Scotland and France comes to their aid,
perhaps not fully appreciating that they are already start at war with the Hapsburgs and Papacy.
At some point the French fleet was completely sunk giving England mastery of the seas.

Turn 2 
Did I say Luther had got off to a good start?
The unpronounceable league has been established!
Hungary collapses bringing the Hapsburgs into a war with the Ottomans.
France went to peace with everyone but England who have an Irish War added to their woes.
(Note: an Irish war where both sides threw double 1s at one stage of the combat)
The Papacy allies with the Hapsburgs, lending them fleets to help fight pirates.
Genoa flirts with France before joining the Papacy.

Turn 3 and France is in the lead.
Luther and the Pope are busy printing and burning books respectively.
Pirates have been defeated.
French explorers fail to explore instead becoming tasty treats.

Turn 4 
England has a healthy heir after the Pope grants a divorce.
Pirates were again smashed and in following up the Ottomans lost Athens,
after the Pope provided the Hapsburgs with some professional rowers in their hour of need.
Halley's Comet appeared which was seen as a dark omen to Reformation.
The Pope claimed it was the Hand of God.

The version of HIS we are using is the part of the 500th Edition and has a few rule variations that we have not necessarily fully identified for the 2nd Edition rules.

Friday, May 26, 2023

ALEXANDROS BI2.0 - Granicus

See this post for background to the conversion to Basic Impetus of the Alexandros campaign (really just a series of linked games).

Turn 2 Granicus 334 BC

Macedonian Army 3.2 (plus one unit)  vs Later Achaemenid Persians 3.4 (minus scythed chariots)

The battlefield has the Granicus River running across the middle of the table, but is otherwise open terrain.  The Macedonians are the attackers.  The river is Broken Terrain about 1H in width.  The Persians set up first.

Special Rule: Alexander is deployed with the Hetairoi and can reroll a “6” on a Cohesion Test (once per test).

Ace in the Hole – Aggressive Deployment (in a rush to cross the river) 

Ace in the Hole – None 

There are numerous articles on this battle, but nothing definitive.  No mention of scythed chariots.  The Macedonian list has the Thracian javelinmen replaced by a unit of pike.  Not sure this should be the case and it might be better to have the extra skirmish unit and have the Hypaspists armed with Long Spear.

But on with the games.

Round One

Mark B is the Persians and I am Alexander.

Solid deployment

Alexander advances while the Persians manoeuvre.

The Macedonian wings evaporate
and the centre is not doing as well as expected either.
Oh dear.

Things momentarily look up for the Macedonians

But a very significant defeat befalls Alexander.
VD loss inflicted by Mark B 12 and lost by him 3 gives him a score of 9.

Round Two

A quick game is a good game and now it was Mark B's turn to be Alexander.

A different deployment this time
with pikes in echelon.

Persians get busy manoeuvring to face the threat caused by the enemy concentration.

Things are in the balance on the Persian left...

But the attention is now switching to the centre.

It's hard going for both sides

But the Persians centre collapses.
In the subsequent turn their left wing cavalry breaks and victory goes to Alexander this time.
VD loss inflicted by Mark B 11 and lost by him a gives him a score of 10.

This proved to be a very interesting scenario and worth playing again with the Hypaspists with long spear and extra skirmishers (which would be more in keeping with the Basic Impetus Army List options).

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Don't Mention The War - Part 43

Germany's dreams of a united Europe just require a little adjustment to what "Europe" means.  Certainly it includes Germany and Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, the Northern Italian Free State and West Poland, oh, and not to forget Bulgaria. 

The situation at the end of the September/October 1944 Turn.
If the Imperialist invaders get the initiative it will be very bleak.
Thank fully this did not occur.


Production was only maintained due to requisitioning of a large amount of Italian material.  There could have been more but the Imperialists mercilessly bombing the brave Italian workers as they tried to load various objets d'art on to trains, trucks, cars and bicycles.

Both the Hungarians and Bulgarians have upped their military contribution and rolled out some vintage planes found in their antique air collectors' garages.

Bulgaria has all the cockpit glass. 
Hungary has to go without

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Barbarossa AGS - Vassal - Madness - Turns 1 to 3

Time to play catch up.

The opening attacks all along the line.

The Soviets immediately implement a strategic withdraw.

Turn 2 sees continued attacks on the now fragmenting front line.

Some trapped Soviets try to fight their way out.
It fails miserably.

The Soviets continue to withdraw although as per the rules this is not at full speed.

AGS pushing ahead on the northern flank.

And bearing down on Lvov.

The Soviets have put a good distance between themselves and the invaders.

Barbarossa Turn 19 Axis

After the big move today's session saw us just do the Axis part of Turn 19 (July 28-29).

AGN trying hard to take Pskov,
but not there yet.

AGC attacking everywhere all at once,
but the main focus has to be Smolensk.
(Just follow the red line at the top of the above image)

Mud in the south doesn't stop AGS having a go at reducing the Vinnistra pocket.
Even the Rumanians launch an assault.