No surprise really when the Axis makes a surprise attack on the USSR.
AUSGAME 2020 1942 M/J – WORLD IN FLAMES
This week’s session commenced with M/A rebase, production and the M/J reinforcement. GERM rolled for the initiative and rolled a 10, which with their carefully husbanded +1 modified their roll to an incontestable 11, so the Axis took the initiative. The dice gods favoured the Axis with a weather roll of 4, fine everywhere but rain in the N Monsoon. With these omens from Mars the God of War, GERM broke the Russian pact, DOW against Russia, aligned Finland and launched Operation Barbarossa 1942 – the world is at war.
GERM took a land, Italy a no cost(oil) Comb and Japan a paid Comb. With the Russian dispersion of its front-line Germ elected not to ground strike using its massed bombers – Stalin was pleasantly surprised as he had expected an air from Italy as there were 4-5 Italy bombers set to strike the Russian defenders, not to mention a full suite of Stukas paused on runways with their engines running. The GERM balanced single inverted Russian units, electing to being able to rebase forward Ftrs and Land Bombers. Italy sailed a CA into the W Med high box to ensure presence, railed another Italian INF to France and redeployed its acft in support of GERM Land Ops. GERM advance into Russia was somewhat restrained conducting 8 attacks against Russian MIL and Garrison border guards. The first attack roll of OP Barbarossa and a portent of what was to come was an impressive 20!, double 10 against a 5.1 Blitz attack at +16 for an impressive modified total of 36! – it doesn’t get much higher than that. The average attack roll was 14 which did include a 4 as a motley collection of GERM Mil and Gar attacked a Russian defender in the Pripet Marsh, inflicting the only losses (2 x Mil) on the attacker on that first impulse. The Hungarians also failed to clear the border mountains with a modified roll of 13 for a -/- leaving the Russian 2 Cav to ‘run away’. GERM destroyed 7 Russian Corps, mostly Gar and advanced into E Poland and the Baltic States with little urgency.
The Japanese Comb saw them securing the Sea of Japan and landing a MIL in China. In a nicely executed attack against the 2 factor Part in Korea, the Japanese deftly eliminated it with a no loss ½ invert to secure the Korean resource and the rail line to Southern China.
Allied 1st impulse saw CW and the US take Naval actions with Russia and China Land. The US and CW sail into the Bay of Biscay with an invasion fleet under the cover of Land based air and CVs to threaten both France and Portugal. Convs were sailed and naval escorts placed – a GERM Sub attempted a search and failed to find as did the Allied escorts. In the W Med Allied FTRs/Nav searched for the Italian SCS and convs with the Axis reacting 12 acft to the W Med 1 box. Again, the Allies fail despite a find as their search roll of a 3 which is outmatched by the Italian’s 1, giving the Axis two shifts – continuing the trend of poor CW rolls v Italian. The air combat again favours the Axis, resulting in a loss of the only Nav, a handy Albacore and its pilot for no loss to the Axis. The Allies acft abort to the sea area and both sides roll 10’s!
In the East the CW and US sail fleets into the South China Sea under the cover of Land based Ftrs from Batavia to challenging the Japanese to fight for their NEI oil. Australian’s reinforce Singapore and the Iowa arrives in Pearl Harbour. China launches a communist +6 attack against a lone 5 INF Corps, and they continue their successful land attack rolls, with another high 17 for a top of the table roll, the Jap Corpse is eliminated, and the Commies advance another hex inland threatening the Japanese NS rail line.
Russia places its Res and realigns its line, which is all in good order as the Axis acft did not fly GS mission allowing the Russian a greater degree of freedom of action than he had expected. Spending 5 O/Points he reinverts Yeremenko to allow him to reinvert 3 x Inf Res units. The Odessa Factory is shipped to the East. The Russian advance and defend the Dniester River as this was not breached on the opening assault and will now form a substantial obstacle for the GERM, the GERM combat power is only marginally better than the Russian in the South and progress here will be slow baring the GERM expenditure of O/Points and high attack rolls – still early days. The GERM combat ratio is 135 factors in 35 units for an average of 4 in contrast the Russian has 155 factors in 32 units for an average of 5 – certainly the GERM will need to be cautious in his attacks. He has all his Stukas in the South so that will give him an advantage for a short time. In the North, the Russians withdraw to city and river defensive positions as they wait for much needed reinforcements as the North is significantly more vulnerable as the GERM/Russian combat ratio here is in the GERM favour. Russian long range Land Bombers arrive from Iran as Zhukov and Yeremenko reinvert 8 Res units to face off against the GERMs next impulse.
Axis 2nd impulse next week with the weather rolled - another definitive 10 – the GERM dice are hot tonight – fine everywhere, GERM will take another land as will the Japanese as they try and fill holes made by the Chinese attacks, and with fine in the N Monsoon the Nationalist may well have another go.
Two long impulses, GERMs Op Barbarossa land impulse and the Allied US and CW Naval impulse. With the world at war, it is now clear what the Axis strategy is - a limited war against Russia, inflicting losses on the Russian air and land units whilst minimise Axis losses or in military terms - their aim is force preservation. The heavy Atlantic Wall defence of France and Europe, denying an early invasion into France and W Europe, denial of the W Med with massed air/Nav and ensuring that there is no advance in N Africa based on a mountain defence line of GERM INF in the vicinity of the mountainous border of Algeria and Morocco.
The CW continued failure to find and attrition the Axis air forces has seen the Axis FTR/NAV air walls remain intact and remain a viable and potent defence. A check back on the air losses over the last two years of game time reveals that the CW has not been able to inflict an Axis Acft loss – either Italian or GERM since S/O 1940 – it is no surprise that the Axis is wining the current air war. Hopefully with the US contribution especially its massed 2 build point Ftr Acft this trend will cease; nothing will help of course if you roll 10’s on the search!
In winning the initiative and already two clear weather rolls the GERM continues to push into Russia inflicting losses on land units – how far GERM will get will depend on continued fine weather and the attack rolls. GERM needs to inflict maximum losses, gain territory, and minimise Axis losses, in order to maintain its combat power. Unless the GERM gets lucky in the South with its G strikes and attack rolls Russia has the ability to stall the advance of the GERM in the Ukraine as the Soviet has more combat factors, more ARM and AA/ATank guns – the GERM may struggle to make progress in the Southern Ukraine. Russia has the ability to counter attack, but failure (a poor dice roll) will be initially a greater risk for the Russian than the GERM.
Invasion fleet sails - France or Portugal?
W Med Air War - Axis supremacy
Army Group North Op Barbarossa start of GERM 2nd impulse fine weather
Army Group South Op Barbarossa start of GERM 2nd impulse fine weather
China - the Chinese are attacking and are being rewarded with high rolls
The Far East - Japan under pressure
The US and Japanese Fleets - The US and CW have sailed into the South China Sea
Central Pacific Truk still holds
Losses after the first impulses 7 soviet v 2 German