Monday, September 30, 2019

WiF Barbarossa - Fifth Impulse and End of Turn

The weather roll is a 5 that becomes a 7 - fine everywhere! The Germans take a Land Action using one oil (three left).

The Germans use their 5 factor artillery unit to ground strike the Soviet mountain corps. It fails (roll of a 10).

Army Group Centre attacks.  

The Red Air Force interdicts, but is met by the elite of the Luftwaffe.  On the +4 column the Germans roll 2,3 which gives an AX result.  But the Soviets go one better rolling a 1,3 gaining a DX against the Fockewulfe (which I probably shouldn't have put into the force pool).  Both pilots survive. The attack goes in at 38 to 5 or 7 to 1 with a 60% chance of it being 8 to 1.  There is also a +5 from all the mech and armour the Germans are using.  It's an automatic blitz when the Germans get the 8 to 1.

The Germans complete a few air rebases but then they roll a 3 and it's turn over man.

Partisans appear in the Baltic States, however at this stage the unflipped German HQ and Nav provide 4 garrison factors against the Baltic's 1, so nothing happens.


This is the fun part.

Germany has 24 factories, 22 resources and 4 oil along with a Production Multiple of 1.  Saving all the oil that gives 22 Build Points plus 1 from Cadre.  There are no gearing limits at the start of a campaign.  As there are only five turns (that means four left) building things that need four turns seems a bit pointless. The Germans build two aircraft and five infantry.

The USSR has 28 factories (plus 3 in transit), 20 resources and 10 oil.  Saving 2 oil leaves 28 build points, but with a Production Multiple of 0.75 that converts to 21 Build Points plus 6 from Cadre.  They build nine infantry.


Germany conquers the Baltic States.  So ends the first turn.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

World in Flames - 9

The May/June 1940 turn is a long one, but not much happens.  Germany is going for conquest and does not declare Vichy.

China is down to just 2 Build Points due to Japanese strategic bombing and starts to recruit a garrison unit.

The USSR is way ahead building a mech division, a motorised corps, two infantry armies and training more pilots.

 The border garrison is starting to take shape.
The risk of an early attack by the Axis is receding,
helped enormously as I picked the 5 chit (what skills!) 

The Japanese went first in July/August.
Despite massive airpower they failed to inflict any successful groundstrikes.
On this front my skill is limited to my opponent having bad luck on the dice!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Fortress Europa - Part Two

This game has a few things arse about compared with more modern games (principally terrain effects), but all the same it is a remarkably good game.

 Things were going really well until this disaster.
Teaches me for not knowing the rules.
I didn't realise that the Germans could bomb the bridges.
That cut my Canadian Army's retreat.
That would only happen if the Germans threw a 6 in their attack.

Edit: Richard reminded me that at the time I landed the Canadians in the south of France that the warm weather wouldn't suit them.  How right he was.

 Of course that left them vulnerable to a counter attack.
Anything but a 1 and I would have cut them off.
Didn't happen.

 Back in Normandy and while things have improved,
my second breakout to St Malo ended in another disaster.

At least things have improved down south.
I'm expecting a race for Bordeaux.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Scenario One Again - Napoleon's Battles

This time it was Dave's turn to play, first time since Waterloo (I think that might have been the actual battle, not the more recent bicentenary).  We rolled dice and I went Prussian.  The aim was to test out my new disorder counters (success) and casualty markers (jury is still out).

 The Prussians deploy in column, the French in lines.
How odd is that?

Well, not odd if you remember that a brigade/regiment (roughly the formation represented by a set of bases in NB) in "line" is really deployed for combat, while in "column" it is ready for maneouvre.  Did I say Dave hadn't played in while?

 End of Turn One.
Unlike the previous game we got into action straight away.

 Some lucky shooting by Prussian artillerists routed this French unit.
Rout is depicted by randomly positioning the bases around a disorder marker.  
Note casualty marker.

 End of Turn Two.
A promising charge by Prussian light cavalry ended in disaster
when they got shot up on their approach.

End of Turn Three, 
seen from the Prussian left where they are cautiously advancing,
having gone on to the defensive on their right flank 
(note cluster of routed units behind the village).

End of Turn Five.
In the excitement I failed to take a photograph of the previous turn's end.
As it was we had run out of time.
I declared victory as the French had used all their Free Roll markers and I still had one.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

WiF Barbarossa - Second, Third and Fourth Impulses

Germany aligns Hungary and takes a land move using one oil (leaving them with 5).  The weather roll is a 9, fine everywhere.

They hold off on ground strikes, which would only have been for mopping up operations against trapped Soviets in the swamps and mountains.

 While AGS is stalled, AGC strikes towards Kiev with a 10 to 1 automatic attack.

AGN has an automatic attack on Minsk 
and a 3 to 1 plus 2 blitz in an attempt to cross the Dvina.
The Axis roll is a 9 and a 4 for a final score of 21 resulting in the Germans remaining unflipped 
and the Soviet unit going to the Production Circle to return July/August turn.

The Axis then do four aircraft rebases, two in the north to Minsk and two in the south.

The Soviets take a land action costing one oil (leaving them with 4).  Reserves are deployed to Odessa, Archangel, Vitebsk, Smolensk, Pskov, Kursk   The Vitebsk factory is railed to safety.  Troops are either left in place or subtly pulled back to form a new line.

At this stage the Soviet strategy is not to panic!

The weather is fine for the third Axis Impulse and they choose a Land Action.  Oil is down to 4.

A ground strike is conducted against the Soviet Mech Army defending Latvia.  It fails.

Army Group North attack anyway at 7 to 1.  They roll 3 and a 5.  Just not good enough.  
As the defender was a mech the Axis suffer a loss and have half their units flipped.
The loss taken is adjacent to the HQ (which was not used in the attack) 
and provides a cadre (bonus Build Point).

Army Group Centre makes two automatic attacks,
capturing Kiev and mopping up one unit in the marshes.
German aircraft rebase to Kiev.

The Axis strategy is to depend on a long turn of clear weather.

The Soviets deploy the last of their reserves, principally around Moscow.  The Odessa factory is railed to safety.  The Soviets take a land and oil is reduced to 3.  The delaying tactics seem to be working.

Both sides have their major deployments in the Ukraine.

The Axis fourth Impulse is greeted with snow in the arctic and storms in the northern temperate. This created a pause in play while I tried to understand all the impacts of this adverse weather.  Storm doubles movement and halves supply range.  Snow reduces movement and supply by one.  Both impact air power and combat.

The Axis decide to save oil and just mop up in the now frozen swamp with a no oil land action.

The only oil dependant unit to move is the Rundstedt HQ and a massive attack is launched against the remaining Soviet army in the swamp.  It is 49 to 4 and even with the snow penalty provides at least a +20.  As it is the final modifier is +21 and the roll is a 7 and a 9.  Soviet unit is eliminated (no cadre).

The only significant advance is in the north.

After rebasing some planes the Germans roll for end of turn.  The Soviets hope for a 1, but the German rolls a 10.  The impulse marker does move on two squares which gives the Soviets a fifty percent chance of the turn ending if they pass...

The Soviets decide to pass and are dismayed when they roll a 10.

Fortress Europa - Part One

You can never be playing too many games...

And Friday it was time for Fortress Europa with Richard.  I had never played this classic game before and wasn't too sure of what best strategy to follow, so I went historical.

 The paratroops got scattered and had to make some desperate attacks,
although looking at this again, they didn't have to attack as they were not in an enemy ZoC.
Luckily they survived.

 The Allies are successfully ashore and have even taken Caen.

 It was short lived.

 Two months later and despite almost breaking out once, the beach head has almost been split in two.
Desperate times.

A second landing has been made down south 
hoping to relieve some of the pressure on the Normandy beach head.


Friday, September 20, 2019

World in Flames - 8

May/June 1940 started with bad weather and the Allies with first impulse.  This saved China only a bit as eventually the Japaneses airforce found its target and their army completed the task.  Result, one lost hex. 

 The rain is in the southern region and does not really impact the main front.

The USSR has just shuffled around units garrisoning the border.
The Germans have started to rail back units form the fast shrinking Western Front.

Other events in this session were the Italians declaring war on the Commonwealth, again the US didn't seem to care, and the determination of the French to hold out in the south west.

Monday, September 16, 2019

WiF Barbarossa - First Impulses

This is very much a learning exercise to help me prepare for the coming attack in the Thursday night World in Flames game.

The Vassal module required purchasing, fair enough.  My computer needed upgrading (long over due).  Unlike my use of Vassal with GMT games, WiF required a lot of setting up, which now I come to think of it, makes sense, but it was a bit of a shock.  At least the Vassal module seems robust and easy to understand (mostly).

 I went with the standard setup which has the USSR deployed forward,
but the Axis with only a token force in Roumania.

I'm not sure what happens with Finland and Hungary, I'll have to read up on them.

(Turns out I forgot to align them, but easily fixed in coming impulses.  I also forgot to declare war, duh!  And to say that Germany was taking a Land Move.  More importantly this uses 1 oil.)

Army Group North has three very successful surprise ground strikes.
Army Group Centre has Lvov as its immediate target.
Only Army Group South failed with its bombardment of Cernauti 
(in retrospect this was not the ideal thing to do).

If subsequent attacks are successful, the unit on the coast and in Kaunas will be out of supply when attacked.  The USSR has no convoy to deploy in the Baltic (Option Rule 11) and Kaunas, as a secondary supply source, needs to be able to trace to another source).

 Army Group South has one attack at 25 to 6 or 4.16 to 1

Option 26 die roll is a 3 so odds stay at 4 to 1 which is a +8
The die roll is a 1 and a 7 so final result is a 16 on the assault table.
It's an x1/1 so AGS take the city, but lose two units and are flipped. The USSR unit goes to cadre.  The Axis lose the Romanian militia which goes to cadre and the German mountain division.

While a costly victory, it means the defenders of Lvov are out of supply.

For Army Group Centre the plan had been to attack the Russian cavalry corps first at 10 to 1 which would have put Lvov out of supply, but with the success of AGS this is no longer the case and the SS 9-5 and the Mountain Corps can attack Lvov at overwhelming odds.  It is still an assault, so no breakthrough move by the SS mech corps.

[Aside: As the USSR will be at a disadvantage if they lose both Lvov and Vilna in eastern Poland (as this stops lost units becoming cadres), the next attack might have gone in against the 2-1 garrison unit south of Vilna.  Having read the fine print, in order to become a cadre, the lost unit has to be in supply as well in a home country, so this is not necessary.]

The last two attacks by AGS are at least 10 to 1 blitz and produce automatic breakthroughs.

The first attack by Army Group North is against the 2-1 garrison corps and is an automatic breakthrough (to Vilna).  The USSR loss goes to the cadre pool.  The next attack is automatic assault on Kaunas.  Then there is the 8 to 1 blitz which has a plus 4 and is therefore automatic.  As Kaunas has fallen, the USSR loss does not create at cadre (was in supply, but not home country).  The breakthrough puts the Soviet garrison on the cost out of supply and produces an automatic 10 to 1 assault.

This just leaves the attack against the Soviet 5th Army.  29 to 5 (the railway gun is not being used).  That is 5 to 1 with an 80% chance of being 6:1 (it was not to be - roll of 9). 2D10 roll was a 7 and a 10.  Smashing victory.

There are no aircraft rebases as the number of air missions has already been used up by the four ground strikes.

The situation at the end of the first Axis impulse.

First thing the Russians do is call out the militia.  They arrived in named cities and are flipped. The Reserves are called out selectively with just one going to going to Minsk (roadblock) at this stage.  A Land Move is taken using one oil.  The Kiev factory is railed to safety.

 The situation at the end of the Soviet impulse.
No attacks, but a line of sorts.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Return to the Skies

At last Saturday's Games Day I only had a little time, perfect to fit in an old favourite, Wings of Glory.

Stephen N piloted the bad guys: Albatros D VA and Albatros D III (the one in red) top left hand corner.  In my flight was a Spad XIII (Nr 1) and a Nieuport NI 28 (Nr 10) bottom right hand corner.

 My plans narrowly missed colliding.

 The Spad climbs while the Nieuport has a shot at the red bird.

 The red bird flips and takes out the Nieuport with a single shot.

 The Spad returns and takes out one of the Huns.

I can only think that the Game Gods knew I was short of time and were helping things along.

 Is the red bird running away?


 I'm getting in some hits, but he's not dead yet.

 More mayhem.


Saturday, September 14, 2019

World in Flames - 7

Thursday night we finished the March/April 1940 turn and set up for May/June.  The weather which was unseasonably good over winter turned nasty in the summer.  Paris has fallen, but the French are fighting on.  Meanwhile the USSR has started to build up its forces on the border with Nazi Germany.

 It is going to take some skill to get this right.

At least the Iran issue has been resolved.

The bad weather (the previous impulse ended with rain) 
has provided a much needed breathing space for poor China.  

The Allies are also going first which helps (the Axis tried really hard to go first but failed when demanding a reroll).  The Japanese have used politics to close the Burma Road with the seeming acquiescence of the US Government.

Builds were one infantry corps for the Chinese while the USSR built one each of infantry, motorised and mechanised corps as well as training another batch of pilots.