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.
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.