Saturday, October 31, 2020

World in Flames via FB - 2

 AUSGAME2020 - 1939 SO (Cont)

As predicted with the sunny autumn weather continuing GERM makes a DOW on the hapless Netherlandian folk, invading the lowlands and attacking their capital with surgical precision and high odds. This was just as well as they only rolled a 6 city assault for a modified 24 ‘top of the table’ roll, so no losses, no inversions. The Netherlands air-force, tpt, sub and 6 convs all set up in their S American Colony of Dutch Guiana – with the rest of the Navy’s CAs based in Amsterdam, one was captured by the occupying GERMs but the other two and other convoys were able to escape to the UK. The US Senate was not impressed with the continuous aggression of the GERM and met for dinner to discuss sanctions and to draft a strongly worded note to the GERM Ambassador – another chit added to the pool. The GERM Army in Poland boarded trains and headed West. With Bessarabia claimed by Russia Germany allows the claims of Hungary and Bulgaria. Japan took a no cost land to move additional land and acft units to Southern China in preparation for the Summer offensive, but due to rain and limited supply elected to keep their ‘powder’ dry and conducted no attacks, much to China’s relief. With a confidence of those in the ‘winners circle’ the EOT roll was a defiant 9, they needed but did not want a 1.
The Allies sensing a collapse of the minor country line of defence decided to pass – all but France who took a land move to reinforce their line. The irony of the pass impulse and the EOT roll was not lost on everyone as a 4 was rolled – they needed a 3 – “just missed by that much.” Everyone blamed France, which seemed the right thing to do at the time – if they had passed the turn would have ended.
Axis impulse five, with no saving EOT roll, and yes, another clear weather impulse as a 4 is rolled – five clear impulses in S/O 1939 – not seen in any of our games previously. Next in the game of minor country dominoes was Belgium, and with the sun at their backs GERM DOW on Belgium (they had been there before) – only Norway and Spain left – the Allies are now very, very nervous! In the US, a second strongly worded note is sent to the GERM Ambassador as another chit is added to their pool. The US Senate has sought extended sitting time to discuss the European crisis and to look at their options, which has significantly increased from a few to many in just a few weeks. The GERMs launch their attack from Netherlands and France and elect to assault the capital Brussels as they have done so for Warsaw and Amsterdam. However, in the first of several poor rolls, the 150mm 4 Factor ARTY Div fails to invert any of the Belgic defenders and it is left to the ground forces to go in against an alerted defender at +13.5, in the second poor attack roll with only a 4! The GERM army fails for the first time on a modified +17 1/1 (Belgic Cav dies) and takes a loss (7.3 INF) and becomes all inverted - the German offensive has finally run out of steam – the Wehrmacht was simply exhausted. With no HQs left and all their acft inverted the GERM war machine for this turn is finally spent – the Allies, especially France, sigh a huge relief. Japan takes another land and moves forces adjacent to the Chinese front line, capturing a resource but electing to not attack as the odds were marginal and next turn their acft will be reinverted – the joys of attacking, ‘in supply’, double stacked Chinese in the mountains. Oh yes, and the Italians, yep continue to enjoy the excellent Sicilian Reds. The GERM now wanting an EOT in a mirror result of the Allies previous EOT rolls a 4 – needing a 3, the Allies get an inpulse.
The Allies get excited for the first time in S/O as the GERM Army is inverted, Brussels is still in Allied hands, and there is a single 5 factor on the French border guarding an inverted GERM Ftr facing three French hexes. The CMWLTH takes a Comb and land a Corps and Div in Atwerp, a 7.6 Brittish MECH advances into Brussels to the hails and jubilation of the Belgic Government and it peoples. British Ftr squadrons rebase into Belgium to provide air cover. France attempts to GS the GERM 5 factor but fails, but launches an assault regardless – rolling an ordinary roll it eliminates the GERM 5 INF corps and they overruns the FTR. The GERM defence is defiant as it inflicts two losses on the French who lose a MIL and a valuable ATK Gun. Advancing into the hex secures the Belgium front line for an impulse.
The Axis 6th and the turns last impulse, sees a weather roll of 8 as rain falls in the temperate and storm descends in the monsoon – the bad weather finally arrives, +1 on the next roll. GERM takes a no cost combined to save its last oil and sails the Scharnhorst to the North Sea to escort its Baltic convs. In an act of bravado the GERM 4.1 Gar seeing its compatriots eliminated by the French, counter attacks at 1:3 in rain, in a suicidal charge, well a suicidal trot – it is a GAR unit – it fails to get the optimistic high roll exchange and is eliminated. Japan does little as it is mired in storm other than rolling a 1, to end, what has been an interesting and surprising turn – initiative track moves one towards the Allies. Partisan roll sees one turn up in Burma astride the Burma road (2 rolled by the Brit) and two of them turn up in China, denying one vital resource to the Japanese.
The US Senates deliberation sees them very active, lend leasing resources to the Allies, and to the Chinese and imposing sanctions on the Japanese. Both sides rebase, build and place reinforcements.
1939 N/D
The initiative is rolled by the French and with an 8 they win the initiative for the Allies, this is not contested by the Axis, weather roll of another 8, Snow has arrived early, and the Allies are well pleased. The Allies to start next week’s 1939 N/D turn feeling a lot more comfortable than they were at the start of the session.
Reflecting on the turn that started so well for the Axis with five clear weather rolls, the GERM player had a dream start but was unlucky not to take Brussels, it was a +13.5 attack so it had a capacity to fail, but if his GS with his 4 factor, 150mm Arty Div on the surprise turn had inverted but one of the defenders, Brussels would have fallen and the GERMs would have been well advanced and adjacent to the French border by the end of SO 1939. Now they must smash the defenders in Brussels and Antwerp and with the Allies winning the initiative and rolling snow it has just got a whole lot tougher as reinforcements will no doubt march to the front, they may have to spend an OChit or two. Remarkably interesting how one dice roll shifts the balance of a turn. Meanwhile the Italians remain at home drinking excellent Sicilian reds.

Just to add to Mike's excellent commentary: there should be a French AT in the losses and a French Mil in the Cadre pool.  This equates to 4 Build Points lost for the French versus 11 BPs for the Germans.  Very nice.

Also, not shown, but a Soviet HQ has moved to the Finish border along with two fighter wings.

Friday, October 30, 2020

World in Flames via FB - 1

Well, we are back playing WiF.  I'm trying my hand as the Soviets again, but swapping China for France to give a little bit of a different experience.  The posts will be direct copies of those that Mike makes to the Facebook World In Flames Players group.

We wish the great creator of our endeavours, Harry, all the best and a speedy recovery.
We are back having reset the game, drawn counters and made the first appropriate DOW with GERM crossing the borders in strength, so not leaving anything to chance – with Poland first posture! The US Senate received the news whilst having their coffee and doughnuts and decided to have a meeting about the ‘European situation’ and Her Hitler after lunch – one chit added to the pool. GERM Stukas bombed the cities of Lodz and Warsaw with mixed results, so its Armies concentrated on eliminating the Polish field Armies and risking a next impulse rain or worse a 10 for Storm – the allies crossed their fingers and prayed. Japan took a land to capitalise on the clear weather and launched an attack against Wuhan, rolling top of the table, but their undisciplined troops committed atrocities which were dutifully recorded by US correspondents covering this minor war – a chit to the Japanese pool, and a raised eyebrow from the US Senate, well at least from the Republicans. Italy enjoyed the last summer of peace and drank Chianti and some excellent Sicilian Reds.
The Allied response was muted, with the French and CMWLTH response not ruffling the US Senate who nodded in approval of their DOWs – no chit lost as a rare 10 was rolled. The CMWLTH took a Naval and sent a Gort to France to start the preparations for the arrival of the BEF, not trusting Gort, Wavell arrived in Gibraltar with the rest of the Royal Navy sent out on convoy duty and patrols of the N Sea. An attempt by a long-range bomber to hunt the GERM Convs was wasted with the pilot obviously getting lost and rolling a 9. France went a combined, called out its Reserves and started to ‘dig in’ on the French Belgium border. A long-range GS and Arty inverted several GERM units as the Polish pilots decided that Poland was a lost cause and a trip to the Latvia and an internment camp was a better option than getting shot down by the Luftwaffe or a GERM or Russian POW Camp – good choice. China stepped back a hex or two, sent its warlords to the front and waited with bated breath for the bad weather.
Axis 2nd impulse, and sadly for Poland and France a 4 is rolled, clear everywhere. GERM places its reserves and continues its encirclement of Warsaw and Lodz, with two lucky 3s inverting the last two Polish Corps in both these cities. Warsaw is attacked and falls, top of the table, no loss, no inversions. Japan likewise attacked the city of Changsha on a +8, another top of the table roll and two Chinese MIL Corps perish for no loss and no inversions. This time the troops are more disciplined or have removed the foreign correspondents, and no chit for the US. Italy continues to enjoy the Chianti and excellent Sicilian Reds.
The Allies, response again remained muted, with another Naval by the CMWLTH ensuring Wavell arrives in France to keep an eye on Gort as the Royal Navy mines the Norwegian waters. An ordinary roll of 7 sees the Norwegian Govt slightly annoyed, but not enough to help the GERMs other than disbanding one of its few Army Inf Corps – why, you may well ask. Russia, seizing the opportunity while GERM is distracted, occupies the E Poland which annoys the US Senate, whilst demanding Bessarabia from the Rumanians. GERM, busy in Poland supports the handover of the territory to Stalin. China steps back a hex and double stacks its Southern line and bolsters one or two hexes of the Northern line – again praying for bad weather, as do the last defenders of Lodz.
Axis 3rd impulse, and sadly for Poland a 5 is rolled – clear except the Monsoon (Rain). This ended the session, three clear weather impulses, with no low attack rolls, and the Axis have had a dream start. Poland will fall, there will be a DOW against Netherlands – it is clear weather, still multiple impulses to go and not a single loss of any description for the Axis – it does not get much better. The only minor irritation is two chits extra in the US pool – small compensation for the Allies. A positive for the Allies, is that at least the majority of the GERM Army is still in Poland and not Belgium and France during this third clear weather impulse and the 5 weather in the Monsoon will limit the Japanese a little. Next session should be very interesting – especially if the weather gods continues to bless the Axis! One bad weather roll is all it takes – the mantra of the defender.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

2nd Punic War Carthaginians versus Late Eastern Imperial Romans

This week at the club I ran my Carthaginians as they are supposed to be, complete with elephants.  Dave went with Romans.

I had to deploy first.  

But I then had a slight advantage in moving second.

By the end of Turn 2 we were oh so close!
The Numidians had already tasted blood.

Even though the Romans using their Decisive Initiative got to charge first,
with the exception of the Spaniards, the Carthaginians stood their ground.
First time I had used elephants and they performed perfectly.

But then when the elephants stomped into the flank of the Roman heavy cavalry,
look what happened!
All those dice and not a single hit!!

So I then charged with the cavalry commanded by my general.
This activates all the other units.
Just look at those hits - five of 'em!
The Libyan spearman received one hit (from just three dice).
 Their cohesion roll of 4 turned this into one real hit :-(
The Romans rolled a 2 for their cohesion test resulting in one real hit for them.
A tie!

But by the end of Turn 4 the Roman heavy cavalry had been routed.
The elephants now have the tricky job of stomping the slingers.
However the Gauls have received a severe set back.

But the final turn saw the Gauls make a decisive charge,
routing the enemy legion and their general.
The Carthaginian general was hanging on with the cavalry, just!

What a battle!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Holland'44 Q3 2020 - Turns 8 to 11

Mike and I completed another day of this epic struggle to secure a bridge too far.

Mike continued his run of poor combat die rolls, but as the German player, he has the forces and resolve to withstand the losses.

Two attacks on the 1st Para.
While in town terrain, they are not as well protected as their compatriots in Arnhem.

The Germans make an attack to try and reinforce Helmond.
Not going to happen! 

Big picture end of Turn 8 (which is night turn for 19/20 September)

82nd Airborne have another crack at Nijmegen.
Lead elements of the Guards Armoured Division have arrived 
and will be able to assist in further attacks.

A very successful set of attacks to secure the left flank south of 'sHertogenbosch
(a roll of six for each combat)

A 7 to 1 attack to take Helmond.
The defenders were able to escape.

The Germans attack the 1st Paras again (and again and again)

The Germans try and secure their position to the east of Nijmegen.
The Allies will have to clear them away to get better odds against Nijmegen.

End of Turn 9.
Allied reinforcements (43rd Division) are racing up the highway.

Another attack on Nijmegen,
this time with help from Guards Armoured, 
fails to dislodge the defenders.
But the other attack shows the Germans that their time south of the Waal is limited 
(benefits of hindsight as you will see).

Two attacks trying to secure the German penetration around 'sHertogenbosch.

The British paras are in trouble.

End of Turn 10
The afternoon of the 20th of September.
Note allied forces securing the northern part of the right flank.

11th Armoured securing the right flank.

Guards Armoured fight to close of Nijmegen.
Lead element of the 43rd Division has now arrived.
This fresh division will be tasked with crossing the Waal.
To counter this the Germans have started withdrawing troops across the Waal.

German attack on the isolated British paras.
They find them well fed and tough to beat.
It was fifty fifty, but they survived all their nighttime isolation rolls.

An opportunistic German counterattack on the right flank.
It is successful unlike their other attacks,
but doesn't produce any casualties.

A German spoiling attack on the left flank sees their Stugs flounder in the plodder.

End of Turn 11,
night of 20/21 September.

At this stage the Allies appear to have their flanks well secured, however the Germans have built up a good defensive line on the Waal.  The Allies need to still take Nijmegen and get the 43rd Division up and force a river crossing and then survive the inevitable counterattack (which, with backs to the river could result in unacceptable allied casualties).

So far the Allied losses have given the Germans six victory points.  If that rate of loss continues the Germans will win an automatic victory (they need twelve).  The trapped paras outside Arnhem represent another two and a half VPs ripe for the picking.