1940 -J/F Happy New Year – well it was more so for the Allies
The Axis won an uncontested initiative and allowed the Allies to go first rather than lose their +2 on the Initiative track during winter, saving it for the summer, weather roll is 6; Snow Arctic and N Temp, rain in the Med - winter had arrived. Allies went first with the CMWLTH taking a predictable Naval and sailing to escort their convoys just in case the U-Boats get curious, heavy naval assets are sent into the North Sea and the 3 x TPTS in Norway head back to the UK and France to reload more units. Arty GS by both British and French Arty Divs fail to invert GER front line units. Two strategic bombing runs on Germany by bomber command end up being leaflet drops. France takes a no-cost combined to pick an INF from Syria, remaining out at sea in the E Med to tempt the Italian into a DOW. China moves a Div and a Cav Corps South to cover expected losses as the clear in Monsoon always spells trouble and losses for the Chinese.
Axis impulse and a Combined by the German sees additional units land in Oslo and head North to counter the British build up. GERM acft in Norway head South to offset recent Luftwaffe losses and prepare for the renewed Low-Lands campaign. Italy, despite being tempted by the French loaded Tpt passes up the chance and stays home. Japan takes a combined and lands more units in China and GS two S Chinese hexes – again the Chinese air-force flies in defence of its ground forces shooting down a 3 LND for no loss, all other GS fail on 1’s and 2’s, Japan elects not to attack without the GS plusses as they still have additional acft to fly next impulse.
Allied 2nd impulse, weather just got worse (8+1) 9 Blizzard in Arctic, and Snow in N Temp and Med. A combined by the CMWLTH sees GORT’s vacation in France cancelled as he is shipped to Norway, a search for Baltic Convs finds nothing other than a patrolling GERM HE FTR – in a continuing saga of poor performance the FTR is shot down by the British bomber as it returns back to blighty – ‘a close run thing’ The British acft relocate too and from Belgium and the UK, swapping poor quality acft for slightly better acft. France, another no cost combined sees their lonely tpt abort back to Marseilles with a very relieved 4.3INF please to be back on home soil – viva la France! China flips a DIV into the ‘pointy end’ so that at least there are 3 units in the mostly attack hex – giving away a +1.
Axis 2nd Imp and with little to do on the land the Germ Nord fleet led by the two BC Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and two CA’s sails boldly into the N Sea to take on the might of the Royal Navy, looking smart they roll a 1 – they have found their prey! But in equally brilliant seamanship the RN roll a 1 as well! The German Admiral was not happy, but in fairness the likely outcome should have been both fleets not finding, just a pain when you roll that cheeky 1 and your opponent does the same – back to the battle, the Nord fleet takes a 1/2/2 and the Blucher is sunk (almost historical) but the GERM was lucky saving both rolls on the BC’s who abort at their best flank speed with the Hipper back to Keil. The British loose the Dutch CA De Ruyter sunk, so despite a 3:1 combat ratio both fleets only lost a CA each – it would appear that the GERM shooting was better on the day. Japan again attempted multiple GS with 1’s – as is normal, but again with no success. With a possible EOT roll coming up they launch their attack with a +8.7 rolling a 6 for the dreaded ‘Squiggly 14’ 3/1 loss to the attacker – the Japs loose three Corps (luckily all with or adjacent to a HQ so they get back 3 x valuable BPs) – the Chinese loose that 1.1 GAR Div. Italy, pleased that it has done nothing celebrates a long festive season at home.
Allied 3rd Impulse sees the weather worsens with a 9 rolled +2 (11) Blizzard mostly everywhere and a Storm in N Monsoon – nothing happening anywhere – no oil spent and little acty by any of the Allies – they end the turn, no change to the initiative track , still at a +2 to the Axis.
Partisan roll was a 2 with the Norwegian Partisans getting together for the first time since their country was invaded and deciding that it was too early and cold -23C to become active. China however, delighted with the recent losses inflicted on the Japanese Army’s failed assault become optimistic with two more PART being drawn, one deciding to occupy the Northern Mountains, and the other the Northern iron mines of Shanghai denying that valuable resource to the Japs. Not a good turn for the Japs, losing 3 x INF/MIL Corps and another bomber for one Chinese GAR Div and no territorial gain – it was not the Axis’ night. But still it is early days. Having said that the Japanese have had rolled consistent +14 rolls on their attacks up to that point, just frustrating when you roll that nasty ‘squiggly 14’ on the assault table and lose three for 1 – it hurts and is expensive, especially if you don’t take the hex and have to ‘rinse and repeat’, hoping you don’t roll 14 a second time.
Reinforcements placed the Allies won an uncontested initiative and went first as the +3 on the weather roll meant that it was likely to be clear. The Axis did not contest as again they want to retain their +2 on the Initiative track for the summer offensive against the lowlands. Weather roll by the Allies was a 10 with a +3 for an off the table 13!, Fine everywhere! ... and a great decision not to have given away the first turn to the Axis. Germany muttered knowing that this was another missed opportunity, on top of what has not been a great night for the Axis, with little joy anywhere – still early days and a new year – next session in two weeks’ time. Clear weather everywhere – will the GERM choose to use O Points to break the French or British line in a bonus, probably one off M/A clear weather turn – it will depend on the GS from the Allies I guess who may well be forced to target the front line hexes or GERM HQs – next week will tell.