Friday, July 30, 2021

Arab Conquest versus Classical Indians

Fanatic foot versus elephants?  This could be nasty, but my Arabs fronted Mark Woods' Indians all the same.

The Arabs were out scouted
 (as BI counts elephants and heavy chariots as mounted when it comes to scouting)

We got off to a slow start.

And things slowly started to develop

But it was still taking time to come to combat

Finally the two armies are in range.

A tremendous charge by the Arabs completely wiped out the Indian foot.

But then it was time for the elephants to even the score

But they didn't.
While they threw many dice, they got very few hits.
Attrited away, only the Indian chariots remain.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

World in Flames via FB - 36

The Allied 1943 summer offensive is off to a mixed start...

M/A EOT rebases, production and reinforcements and then the important initiative roll. The French are building roads (in Syria) and the GERM rebase a Raider into Italian Somalia. Japanese build drops due to partisan acty and large Conv losses. The Axis were desperate to win the initiative so a Conv could be run out into the Baltic to supply the OOS and inverted GERM Army of Norway. In the Med, and probably more important winning the initiative would allow them to commence the orderly withdrawal East of the GERM North African Army along the coast road before it gets trapped by the advancing Allies.
Drum roll, both the Axis and Allies roll 6’s – Axis win ties so the Allies demand a re-roll shifting the init track to the Zero box and win with a 4 versus the Axis 3 – disappointment for the Axis but excitement for the Allies. Weather roll 7 with fine except rain in the N Monsoon – no reprieve in the Artic for the Axis. However, the bonus for the Axis next and equally important J/A turn is that they will win ties, as they can now demand a re-roll and worse for the Allies, if they roll EOT the init track will shift to the +1 Axis.
Allies first impulse, CW take a Combined, US spend 11 O-Points to take a Naval and Land, Russia and China take a Land and France, a Naval. US Naval sees the Pacific fleet sail into the China Sea under the cover of 7 Factor Ftrs to again contest this vital sea area and to challenge the Japanese imperial fleet. The Japanese respond, flying multiple acft into the 2 box – but the split goes to Japan rolling a 1 v the US 7 – the Japanese declines combat despite the shifts in their favour as their fleets prepare to sail again during their impulse. Other US shipping sail a Canadian ARM into Narvik to support a CW attack against the OOS and inverted Defenders (14 points) of Trondheim, other shipping sail escorts and search missions into the North Sea - no find. In the E Med, a US CA searches for the Italian Conv suppling N Africa. The Axis decline to respond with air and are found with a lucky 2 in two successive searches, which sees the Italian Conv sunk – Axis N Africa is now OOS. French Naval, a French Tpt heads to the US pickup Bradley for his trip over the Atlantic. The land phase and the Russian declining to spend O-Points on a land offensive GS the GERM line with Arty, 3 GS including Shturmovik’s and several Katyusha Rocket launchers, mixed results with some inversions, and a Rumanian intercepting pilot destroyed in the air on a 20! In response GERM rolls a 5 and destroys another 6 factor Yak. Russia launchers three land attacks, with an 18 against the solitary Finnish Corps which is eliminated as the Russian’s advance West another 150km towards Helsinki. The Blitz attack against Army Gp North is a poor with a 7 on a +12 Blitz with the defenders sent to the spiral – no GERM losses half invert which generates a GBA. Against the Rumanians in Army Group South another poor 7 sees a second Russian ENG eliminated and a retreat – again no GERM losses full invert – Zhukov reinverts the attackers.
China declines any attacks. The CW assaults Trondheim on a +12 and rolls a 6, another Allied disappointing roll inflicts a single Div loss on the defenders with Trondheim remaining in GERM hands. The US and CW land forces in Morocco and Tunisia exploit the opportunity winning the initiative gives them driving East and cutting the coastal road and attempt to pocket the GERM forces trapped in Tunisia (Ed: that would be Algeria). No attacks as the CW took a combined limiting land attacks and the GERM astutely declared emergency supply. A US Para drops on a Norwegian mountain hex whilst it is OOS. The Allies were very disappointed as 3 out of the 4 allied attacks were very poor (6, 7 and 7) Trondheim was retained by the GERM, the Russian has lost two Eng and most of his HQs are now inverted – all for gaining 3 hexes of E Poland and destroying a Corps(FIN) on the first impulse of potentially a long clear weather turn – not the start the Allies had hoped for!






(Eh, um, Algeria...)



Sunday, July 25, 2021

World in Flames via FB - 35

The Soviet Baltic Fleet covers itself in glory.

The Axis 2nd impulse: GERM take a Land, Japan a Combined with Italy a Naval. Italy sends out her fleets into the E and W Med. In the W Med a sizable blocking fleet of their modern BS in the high 4 box is sent to intercept any attempts by the Allies to sail into the E Med. They search to hunt a couple of French SCS, but roll 9 - no find. In the E Med another loaded Italian Tpt arrives dropping of another GERM Corps into Egypt. Italy also sail SCS to escort Conv’s and Tpt’s. Off the coast of Italy a Conv is found and sunk by a British Sub – Italy down to 5 Conv’s. Further North, off the coast of France, Italian Acft supported by GERM Nav hunt for the British CV and Conv in the N Sea, again no find as both sides roll 9’s - nothing to see here. GERM land sees the Russian front line reinforced, and the Finns withdraw towards their capital, Helsinki. Reinforcements arrive in Southern France to occupy strategic cities. GERM HQ’s reinvert their AA and the reinforcements that Strat moved into Morocco in reaction to the Allied build up. Japan’s combined sees Tpt/Amph sail under the protection of the Japanese fleet (2 box) and drop off more land units into China, Acft are rebased and the Jap front line reinforced.
The Allied 3rd impulse – weather 1! blizzard – snow in the Med and rain in the N Monsoon – worst possible for this turn - not what the Allies wanted! With little to do at sea the CW and Russia take land actions, with the US a combined. The Allies Strat bomb Axis factories and oil but all roll low – weather obviously obscuring their targets – the Russian even (ed: considered only) flew long range to bomb Italy! In Morocco the Allies attempt to GS the GERM line, but superb AA from the 88’s again rolling nothing less than 5 of 4 dice, drives off the GS – the flank is secured The US and CW land forces are content to just push around the Southern shoulder in an attempt to outflank the GERM defensive line. Russian Arty arrive in Tallinn as does the Russian Marine, Helsinki is about to be shelled from the Baltic States.
The Axis 3rd Impulse – Axis Convoy time. Taking advantage of the atrocious weather, the GERM takes a Combined and sails 7 convs and the entire Kriegsmarine led by Bismarck on Conv escort duty into the Baltic Sea to re-establish supply to Norway and access the Swedish resources. Extraordinarily, searches by the Russian from their two aged BS and a couple of CA’s find their quarry, not once but twice, rolling two 1’s – extraordinary! Focussing on the Convs and helped by two splits (1 -6 and 1 – 5) they sink 4 Convs, Damage 3 and clear the Baltic of Conv’s. This isolates the GERM Garrison in Norway and cuts off the Swedish Iron ore. Both Russian BS survive only just, as the suffer the return fire from the Kreigsmarine with both being damaged – vodka all-round boys, GERM down to 9 Conv’s.
The Japanese Combined is similar to the GERM, sending out 3 Convs into the China Sea but in contrast to the 6 – 1 roll against the GERM, the Jap rolls a 1 – 6 split against the US Subs. Delighted the majority of the Japanese fleet including the Yamato and Masashi pulverise two US subs which are sunk for no further loss. The Italian takes a no cost combined and replaces its lost convoy off the Italian Coast to secure the Sardinian resource, Italian Conv’s 5.
The Allied 4th impulse, weather roll 7 +2 (9) and fine everywhere but rain in the Artic – Stalin mumbles, wanted fine or snow, GERM somewhat relieved. All major Allied nations take a Land. The CW flies a long range Ftr into the Baltic to support Naval Ops there. Sensing a change in his luck and an opportunity to destroy US/CW air assets (Ftrs/Nav) GERM rolls but fails to find, the Allies however do find with a split in their favour and elect to fight. The recently arrived US Ftr is quickly despatched by the more experienced GERM Ftr Pilots and again superb GERM AA from the GERM Fleet aborts the cleared through Allied Nav with another roll of 6 dice with none under 4 rolled. The North African campaign finally kicks off as both the US and CW breakthrough the desert in an excellent outflanking manoeuvre. A prospective attack against the GERM most southerly position in Morocco is yet again thwarted by superb work from the GERM 88 AA guns, as again they roll nothing below a 5 on 4 dice, aborting the GS Acft. With that option shut down, the Allies combined land forces strike out at the 2.3 GERM Algerian TER rear guard, supported by British and US Paratroopers. The assault is successful with a top of the table roll and the Para’s landing safely. The road to Algiers is open and the coast road supplying the GERM Army in Morocco is now threaten in multiple areas and future guarantees of supply to their front line is now significantly jeopardised. Russia declines any attacks against the GERM or the Finns preferring to conserve forces for next months clear weather turns. China elects the same, still constrained by the loss of Peking and Mao. The US attempt a GS against the isolated Jap land forces in the S China Sea, but with no results, elect not to attack. EOT roll ends the turn frustrating an attempt by the GERM to re-establish supply. Partisan rolls were 2 and 10 with 2 Parts turning up in China for the first time – they occupy resources in China.
Tough turn for the Axis with a 4 impulse turn for the Allies which included 2 land impulse which finally saw the US and CW make some progress in N Africa. Russia’s lucky searches in Blizzard with two 1’s clearing the Baltic, sinking Convs and putting Norway out of supply and cutting off the Swedish Iron Ore is costly BPs, compounded by a couple of Start bombing will impact on GERM production. Japan, down to 4 Convs is worse off with little opportunity to ship resources to Japan to build without these convs. This is a vicious circle that spirals down with few opportunities to remediate. Japan’s war just got a whole lot tougher. Convs are likely to be sailed in 1’s and only used to supply the Army in China. The M/G initiative is critical to the Axis – if they do not win the initiative, inverted units OOS in Norway are vulnerable and in N Africa the coastal road that supplies the GERM Army in Morocco will be cut in multiple places as the US and CW land forces will flood East. The Axis wins draws but with the initiative in the +1 Allies they will not get a reroll and will have to win the roll twice as a reroll will be demanded by Allies if they lose their first roll.

Chinese Partisans turn up with the fine weather

The Far East - Japan on the ropes

The Russian Front - hex changed hands

Finland - slow withdrawal - the Russian's are coming!

Army Group North

Army Group South

Trondheim captured by the GERM -
but an EOT roll has seen them remain inverted and OOS

The Western Front

W Med - Allied advances into Libya

The Allied land forces flood East into Libya - threatening the GERM Supply


Saudi Arabia

Losses - attrition warfare all nations taking casualties - Allied losses easier to replace.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Maurikian Byzantines versus Early Khalifs

An historic mid 7th Century match up.  This was an introductory first game for John who took my Arab army to face me with my Byzantines.  While a friendly, learning game it still produced lots of fun.

End of the first turn and the Byzantines are well placed to attack.
I was not going easy on the new guy.

They seize the initiative and do just that!
With this initial success I started to feel a bit mean.

But wait, one combat was not completed...
Disaster strikes as the Byzantine CnC and his unit is routed.

The Arab fanatics now start to roughly handle the Byzantine foot.

Both sides are one unit away from breaking.

But the Byzantines break first.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

From Salerno to Rome - Part Ten

The first impulse of February 1944 took a lot of planning and it was all we got through this session.

The Eight Army has struggled to close with the new German lines,
although the Canadians and newly arrived Poles had some success in the centre.
The Fifth Army fought hard to break the German lines on the west coast,
but didn't quiet make it... this time

The Germans make a successful counterattack against the Anzio beachhead

Will it be able to hold out?

With the exception of the Eight Army, the Allied forces are well placed to continue their offensive.

The Allies have more troops ready to send to Anzio
 or perhaps make some other landings.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

World in Flames via FB - 34

The Soviets start early summer offensive on the Eastern Front with a major effort being made against Finland.

Having won the initiative and rolled an 11 (8+13 for fine everywhere the Allies go on the offensive. The US take a double action, Naval and Air, spending 10 O-points, Russia take a Land and spends 9 O-Points on a Land Offensive led by Gen Rokossovsky. The CW take a combined to support the US Naval/Air. China took a ‘paid’ land. The US Pacific fleet had sailed into the China Sea to hunt for 5 Jap Conv points and the CA Tone escorting in the 3 box but failed to find either. The US pre-war slow BS had sailed into the S China Sea to support Land Ops. Other US naval units escorted British sea lanes and US Tpts sailed to N Africa and the UK whilst the CA Quincy WAS sunk as it had been surprised by the Italian NAV air in the E Med hunting Italian Convs supplying the Axis in N Africa. In the W Med the British fleet and a loaded Amph had sailed under the cover of Allied Ftrs with the Axis flying the majority of their Med air force in response, with neither side finding.
Strat bombing by British Bombers see only pamphlets of support to the Free French dropped on Paris, but Brussels is successfully bombed by the USAAF. The US attempt to GS the GERM line in Morocco but superb GERM AA sees the lowest of 4 dice roll (no lower than 5 5,5,7,8) driving off the attack.
The CW 6.4 Inf disembarked in Corsica securing the Island from Italian intervention, flipping the Amph. The one land attack by the British is in India as the British Army finally decide to start resolve the Partisan ‘issue’ and launch their first attack against a 0.3 Part in the forests of Central Punjab. Indicative of their lethargy, they roll a 1.1 snake eyes! Luckily overwhelming odds see no losses, but three aged Corps Commanders are relieved of their commands by Churchill – much ruckus laughter from the players, although the Axis would have like to have seen that roll against real troops.
In Russia the Russian GS the GERM line with some success as several GERM Corps are inverted, and importantly the two Finish Corps in Petsamo are inverted by the Russian Arty Divs. Gen Rokossovsky successfully leads the assault against the Finnish defenders at Petsamo eliminating both defenders with no loss, advancing three Corps into Finland and generating the 2nd Arm GBA – The Russians now have an 11.5 GBA Arm Corps to play with. On the Russian front Army group North is left unmolested as there were no inversions, Russian reinforcements are moved forward. In the South buoyed by the success of their GS the Russian launch a pincer attack against the GERM line. Marginal success as neither of the two attack rolls were high, but retreats saw the pincer movement well executed and another GBA 7 INF 10.3 generated. The half inverts were reinverted by HQ’s and a dangerous salient formed as a GERM stack is enveloped. China launches another attack against the 4pts defending Hanoi and in a mirror of last month’s attack, they roll another 5 as the Jap defenders repulse the less than motivated Nationalists – another Chinese loss, all inverted. Not to be outdone the Communist led by Mao, launch a Blitz attack at +6 but they also roll poorly and loose their 6.5 MECH Corps and are all inverted, poor planning by the Commies leaves Peking and its recently repaired Factory with only Mao and a div, both inverted and ripe for a counterattack. US Rebase multiple acft from the US, with long range Strats arriving in the UK and Ftrs rebasing to Greenland and Iceland – the USAAF is “on its way to save the day” and the British – God Bless America (music plays in the background).
Axis 1st Impulse, GERM a land with the Japanese and Italian taking a Combined. Japan sails two of their fleets to defend the China Sea under the cover of land-based air from Japan, They search for the US Pacific Fleet in the hope of bringing it to battle and teaching it a lesson for their impudence of sailing so close to Tokyo. They roll a 6 and the US a 2, giving the US a marginal split in its favour. Rather than risk their reduced air groups the Pacific Fleet Commander elects to sink 5 more Jap Convoys and the hapless Tone CA and then aborts back to Manila – Japan is now down to only 4 Conv’s. The US Commander knows he gets stronger every turn and decided that the risk to his remaining CV air groups too much to chance. The Essex Class Lexington II arrives in Manila loaded with two handy air groups of a 6 and 5 Ftr, as a CW Mosquito (7) and 6 factor Ftr rebase from Singapore. With the loss of the Convoys the Japanese Army in China is OOS as the Jap did not send out a Tpt with their fleet. Two JAP HQs decide the opportunity to retake Peking after that failed Chinese attack is too good to miss and declare emergency supply and flip to supply 5 land units – they launch their attack and roll well to retake the old Chinese Capital in a well-executed attack, cutting off supply to the Commies in Manchuria and sending Mao back to the Spiral. Italy takes a combined and sailed a Tpt to the E Med dropping off another 7 GERM Gar to bolster the Italian defence of Egypt. Germ rails two more Corps to bolster the Morocco defensive line.
GERM land sees successful GS on the Russian front and in Norway, pounding the British in Trondheim with his Arty – 3 x British Corps are inverted. The Finnish forces withdraw South to protect Helsinki. In Southern Russia, the GERM mass their ARM and MECH and launch a counterattack against the dangerous pincer move of the Russian against the best but now inverted (thanks to the GS) 29 point stack of Russian ARM/MECH – rolling below average they successfully shatter the defenders and retake the hex for the loss of a Mot Div. In Norway another success, with an above average roll shattering the British morale as the defenders of Trondheim are sent back to ‘Old Blighty’ – Germans advance and now threaten Narvik. A good round for the Axis as three successful land attacks sees the dangerous Russian salient restored, Trondheim finally taken, and Peking recaptured.
Allied 2nd Impulse, the weather is 7 with no mods, mostly rain with fine in the Med and N Monsoon. The CW takes a Naval and aborts its fleet from the W Med leaving the Amph protected by Allied air and a small but capable French fleet. The Axis search in the W Med and are found by the British – in the subsequent air rolls a superb 20 rolled sees an Italian Nav eliminated with its pilot, with a second destroyed, and another aborted but for the cost of two Allied Ftrs. The last remaining Nav, a GERM Condor is successfully cleared through and damages the Amph as the French AA is poor, rolling a 1. The Dunkerque is also damaged and aborts for repairs. The CW frogman launches an attack against Kiel and the GERM Fleet – hoping to catch the defences napping but typically for the RN roll a 9 with the GERM rolling a 1 – the frogman are eliminated before they get to Kiel – 6 months of wasted training. Reinforcements from the UK are rushed to Navik by Sea and additional convs and escorts are sailed to send oil to the UK. Paris is bombed successfully by the USAAF, further reducing the GERM builds. Russia takes a Combined and sails its fleet into the Baltic to hunt GERM Convoys, they find but with not enough to shift to surface the Conv’s are aborted by Allied air cutting the Swedish ore shipments. Russian land units advance further into Finland and the xx ARMD GBA, job done in Finland is railed to support operations against Army Group North. Russian air units are rebased forward as the rain settles in, dampening any enthusiasm for further attacks. A now chastened Chinese army pulls back from vulnerable hexes to mitigate against further losses. The CV Lexington II sails into the S China Sea to provide air cover to Manila with its two handy air groups of a 6 and 5 Ftr, and additional CV air support to slow BS. Further USSAF acft arrive in the UK, including Air Transports and Ftrs. Reinversions and end-of-session, with the Axis starting next weeks session in the rain.
Summary – a good turn for the Axis as three successful land attacks sees the Russian salient restored, Trondheim, Norway finally taken after two years, and Peking recaptured. At sea, a moral, albeit temporary victory as Japan reclaims the China Sea from the US Pacific fleet. The combined air-forces of the Axis maintain control of the W Med, forcing the withdrawal of British Naval forces for the loss of two Italian NAV air, whilst shooting down two allied ftrs. The downside for the Axis is the loss of Convs, with 5 more Japanese Conv’s sunk, only 4 Jap Conv’s are left. The GERM aborting the Baltic Conv’s will be costly to the Reich’s war production unless he can get them reconstituted compounded by the EOT, this made worse with the start of the Strat Bombing campaign with both Brussels and Paris factories being struck by the USAAF. Finland’s Petsamo resource has now been captured by the Russian and she will struggle to defend itself against the Russian Bear. Swings and roundabouts for both sides this turn so far.

Fortress Europa without a roof - Paris and Brussels bombed - and so it begins.

Trondheim successfully taken after 2 years of stalemate

Dunkerque damaged in its first battle against GERM Nav

Morocco build up continues 
- the Allies just need a land or two or three for the massing US and CW forces

Egypt Germany successfully stiffens the defensive line

The Russian Front

Petsamo taken by the Russians as they push towards Helsinki thanks to the early clear weather

Before - The Russian successful attack and a dangerous pincer action.

After - Germany launches a counter attack and re-establishes its line

China - just waiting for the partisans to turn up.
As sea Japanese Convoy lanes are cleared again.

Japan, launches a counter attack and retakes the old capitol of Peking