Thursday, September 30, 2021

Early Khalifs versus Maurikian Byzantines

Rather than risk facing Simon's blue Lancastrians, I lent him one of my Byzantine armies.

In one of the few wins for the Arabs, they actually out scouted the Byzantines.

The Arabs never once won the initiative,
in what was to prove a long game.

The Byzantine light cavalry clears the Arab left wing with ease.
This was the start of the Arabs rolling sixes for four cohesion tests in a row.

The Byzantines get to charge home,
nullifying the Jund Cavalry charge bonus advantage.

But then there was a turn of events.
A skillfully delivered flank charge by the Byzantines, 
failed to deliver any hits!

Arab warriors crash into the Byzantine foot.
The Byzantine light cavalry has been repulsed with heavy losses.

It was costly, but the warriors have wiped out the Byzantine infantry.
The Jund cavalry square up against their weakened opponents,
in what would be the deciding fight.
The Byzantine general is off chasing camels.
His Arab counterpart has been chasing the remnants of the Byzantine light cavalry.

Camels dispatched.
Cavalry engaged.

Can the Arab cavalry overcome the enemy before the Byzantine light cavalry comes to their rescue?
Can the Arab archers stop the enemy light cavalry?

The answer was no.

Victory went to the Byzantines in what was a very interesting game.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Arab Conquest versus Sassanids

Oh dear, my Arab foot are up against another cavalry army (Mark B's beautiful Sassanids).  This is going to be struggle.  However I didn't count on my opponent's inability to throw sixes.

The Sassanids out scouted the Arabs and went for an aggressive deployment.

As a result combat occurred on the very first turn.
Both sides nomad cavalry clashed and promptly headed off into the sunset.
The Arab general has lead his unit deep into the Sassanid formation.

Turn two and the Sassanids have a miserable time.
Their elephants charged and failed to do a single casualty.

While the Arab general fought the elephants,
the rest of the army defeated the remaining Sassanids.
Victory in three turns!

Sunday, September 19, 2021

World in Flames via FB - 40

An early end to summer spoilt things for the Allies.

Allied 4th impulse with another 1 rolled for weather - clear everywhere! However, the EOT rolls are now possible, a 1 from the Allied and possible pass options from Italy and Japan increasing the probability of Axis EOT rolled being successful, so forcing the Japanese to react and take an impulse is important. The US, CW and Russian take Combined actions. Russia sails its small Leningrad fleet of mixed SCS and subs into the Baltic on a hunt for the GERM Convs but fail to find. Searches by the US in the W Med for the unescorted Italian Conv, 5’s needed again fail to find. The two fronts Norway and Algeria remain in supply limiting attack options and the valuable cargo of Swedish steel and the stack of 9 GERM Convs remain untouched. In S China with unusually fine weather in the N Monsoon the Nationalist Chinese 4 Mil launches a suicidal charge against the OOS and inverted stack in Canton hoping to roll 17 or more – as expected an average roll and it eliminates itself but adds 1 BP/Cadre point – well worth the risk for 1 BP lost. Russia as predicted eliminates the poor Hung 3.3 rear guard in the Pripet Marshes and advances West another hex. Recently promoted Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky, victor of the Finish campaign is railed to lead the assault against Army Group North. In the Far East, she attacks a single Japanese 6.3 in the Manchurian mountains and rolls a 1/2 result destroying the Japanese defenders for two low grade units. GS in Egypt fail to invert any of the OOS defenders and the CW lands the London MIL in Norway. The allies rebase aircraft to forward bases taking advantage of the air moves offered in a combined impulse – the US in 43 get 8! The EOT roll of 1 is not realised as the Russian rolled a definitive 9 - much to the relief of the Allies.
Axis 4th impulse GERM takes a land and withdraws a hex on the Russian front to straighten the line, and in Norway forces are spread thin to reduce GS opportunities and to delay the Allied advance if the turn continues. Japan takes a Land and surrounds the US Divs that have landed in Korea – containing the landing and preventing any exploitation, the hole in Manchuria is filled as the line is ‘dressed’ and In a back door highlight the Siam TER advances into Rangoon capturing the vacant capital.
Axis roll EOT with a 1 ending the last guaranteed turn of 43 – the first chance of ending the turn by the Axis and they do, lots of groaning from the three Allied players as they see opportunities to inflict further losses on the Axis and cut the tenuous Axis supply lines evaporate. Partisans turn up in China and Algeria but in Poland and Norway they are supressed by the local security forces. Return to base, production and GERM get her Swedish steel.
Reinforcements, and the important initial initiative roll is won by the Russian’s forcing the Axis, led by GERM to demand a reroll – initiative track moved to the zero box, a modest 4 rolled by GERM wins the initiative as Russia rolled a less than competitive 1 – elation for the Axis as they go first. Lady luck embraces the Axis further with a weather roll of 8 (+1 to the next weather roll) – rain everywhere but a storm in N Monsoon, as the Allies bemoan the lost possible 1943 clear weather/long turn for the Allies being lost to Lady Luck’s disinterest in the Allied cause.
Axis 1st Impulse: GERM, Italy and Japan take Comb and Italy a Land. GERM having taken a land last turn (J/A) and with no threat from the Russian with rain everywhere and winning the initiative has little need to move land units to move, they elect to take a Comb. The U-boats and Italian boats sail from Brest and Italy to attack the weakened CW convoy lanes, some success as the Convs in the North Atlantic were found again with the damage of 3 Convs and 6 aborted. Again, like the U-boat attacks in J/A not a single find by the RN escorts and so no losses to the Axis Boats. The raider Kormoran again finds the Allied Convs in the Cape Basin but a soft split only aborts the Convs. These conv losses to the CW/US although not significant are affecting the CW operations. With no losses being inflicted on the U-Boats their threat and likelihood of significant lost Convs increases with each failed find by the Allied escorts. Secondly, and possibly more significant the losses in the convs, even aborts force the CW to take combined actions to fill the vacant conv lanes rather than a land, limiting land offensives. An attempted GS by a long-range ground attack FTR is roughly delt with by two 8 factor Ftrs rolling a 16 destroying the new plane and its obviously inexperienced pilot. The HQ Model who was destined to visit France is instead railed to the Eastern Front as a section of the frontline was OOS due to the mud and rain reducing supply roads to a quagmire. GERM land moves see the now upright units in Norway and Algeria consolidate their position. In Norway the GERM vacates Trondheim as he is short of land units to defend the mounting Allied pressure on Oslo and in Algeria Oran is finally double stacked and the valuable 9.6 ARM that was previously trapped in the Algerian mountains finally reaches the coast. Japan sails it submarines finding in sea area a single unescorted US conv. A nervous wait for the Japanese garrison of Peking as the rain has placed that garrison OOS and potentially in danger from the Communists who are still sore about losing it previously after recapturing it.
Allied 1st impulse next session, with few options and rain the Allies will be praying to the weather gods for clear weather and will more than likely take either naval or air turns to rebase reinforcements.


Lady luck has again smiled on the Axis with them rolling the J/A fine weather turn EOT with a 1, their first opportunity – yet again no long turn for the Allies. In fact in 43 there has not been a single long turn which has helped the Axis significantly. If this occurs in 1944 the Axis may sneak an unlikely but welcomed marginal victory. As previously stated, nothing is certain when rolling dice, poor attacks, lack of finds at sea, bad weather, short turns and complacency could see what was a certain Allied victory result in a potentially marginal Axis victory. Although Japan’s production and oil supply is very weak – they have not lost either of their Borneo oil hexes to the Allies, and the only ship loses since the Jan 43 fleet engagement, have been convs and only two CA’s! Italy is still in the war, due in part to the Allies inability to roll 1’s and 2’s in their searches in the W Med and is at a build of 9/10 BP’s – mostly acft and pilots. GERM is at a solid 30(+)BPs which allows it to replace its losses with better quality units. On the Allied positive side J/A loss ratio was looking great for the Allies with only 30 BPs lost to the Axis 90+ a 3:1 ratio which is not sustainable for the Axis, having said that J/A ended early and with the S/O turn now likely to be short and bad weather and with the summer campaigning season over the Axis can rebuild over the 42/43 winter which should see those losses replaced. It is tough work for the Axis and with them playing on, from what seemed and untenable position has seen them rewarded with a game that is enticingly, if not but a distant, a potential marginal victory. Finland has fallen, Norway and N Africa and even Egypt are now weakened and vulnerable. Next year, 1944 will be the test for Germany as the Russian air-force and their pool of O-Points will outstrip the Germans and a landing in Europe by the Western Allies an almost certainty. GAME ON!

LOSSES EOT JUL/AUG 90+ AXIS V 30 ALLIED The war of attrition is beginning to bite

The Russian front - raining - little movement

or South West Front as I prefer to call it

or West Front as I prefer to call it

Recently promoted Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky, victor of the Finish campaign,
hero of Helsinki and liberator of the Finish peoples is sent to lead the advance to Warsaw.

Western Front and the Norway build up begins

Norway - Axis forces vacate Trondheim

Western Med

Algeria and the 9.6 GERM ARM makes it to the coast

E Med and the GS have a go again

The Far East - the US6th Fleet dropped down a box and stayed in the China Sea

The Japanese celebrate the conquest of Burma with the capture of Rangoon

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Smolensk 16 July 1941 Again

Simon and I revisited this scenario at the latest NWS Games Day.  This time I went Soviet.  We had an historical outcome which was almost certain by the second to last turn. 

German 29th Motorised Division coming in on the left,
heading to Smolensk

Soviet 57th Tank Division attempts to halt the German advance.

The fighting soon reaches Smolensk,
there are just not enough Soviet defenders to hold a forward line.

The Soviets have to hang on to the city.
The Germans are busy securing all the approaches.

The German newly deployed rocket battery is very powerful in adding weight to German attacks.
Maybe too powerful for a balanced game?

Aerial view as Germans take out the last of the thinned down Soviet defenders.

While not a balanced scenario, it is accurate of the times.  The Germans won with one turn to spare, however their luck had been mixed so it could have been one turn earlier.  

Must look at the point values of each side.

And check that if an attack force drops below three stands in a hex after tactics are picked, do you still get to use the full number of Tactics?  The answer is that combats are resolved simultaneously, unless one side had picked Recce.


A quick calculation of points gives 56 for the Soviets and 87 for the Germans.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

World in Flames via FB - 39

Is the Soviet summer offensive running out of steam?

Axis First Impulse - GERM surprises all at the table with a Naval/Land spending 9 O-Points so that he can sail out convoys and SCS to secure his supply to his Norwegian land forces. Italian and Japan take combines. The Finnish Navy sail from their ports in Finland as the news on the peninsular is ominous with recent Russian advances – the Finish Naval assets will be valuable to the GERM when Finland falls. GERM sends HQ Von Liebe to Norway to organise the defence with him landing by Amph at Kristiansand. GERM U-Boats search in 3 sea areas with only success in the N Atlantic but with multiple finds, they sink 3 US Conv and Damage 3 and abort 9 other allied convs – good rolling by the boat commanders. The Royal Navy escorts ever consistent roll 3 x 5’s and fail to find a single sub. GERM readjust their front line in Russia with reinforcements arriving from Prussia sent straight into the front line. The GS by German and Italian Acft are somewhat costly with the Axis losing several planes for no loss to the Russian, but all the pilots survive, In Russia the 80 cm Railway Gun ‘Schwerer Gustav’ fires and inverts the entire Russian front-line stack – 6’s will do that. With the arrival of Von Liebe in Norway the GERM forces there advance to take up forward positions in the mountains, confident that their supply situation has been secured. A lone bomber and its escorting Ftr fly to GS the CW ARM stack in Norway and are intercepted by US CV air groups from the Hornet – a quick 6 and 16 by the GERM sees both 5 CVP Ftrs eliminated and the GS bomber successfully inverting the ARM. GERM reinverts the 80cm Gustav, and several hefty ARM/MECH corps that have recently railed to the front. Japan elects to take a combined, principally to escort transports in the Sea of Japan to protect its supply lines to its China Exped Army and drop off reinforcements into China.
Allied 2nd Impulse, and the US and the CW take a Comb with Russia and China taking each a Land. Success in the W Med for the Allies as the Italian transport in the zero box is found and sunk by the CW Royal Navy. The US coordinate an attack, led by Eisenhower against the inverted and OOS DAK and roll top of the table destroying the 88 AA Div and an INF Corps for no Loss. Less successfully, their attempt to reinforce their Divs in China fail badly as their Tpt carrying a 7.3 INF Corps is intercepted by the Japanese in the China Sea. In a moment of ‘Bushido’, the Japanese fly acft into the 2 Box and promptly get a 2-10 split in their favour, damaging the tpt and sending the US 7.3 Inf back home, worse for the US they lose a CVP Ftr in the fight. Interestingly the Japanese elect to remain in the 2 box rather than returning back to their homeland. The CW launch an invasion and Blitz attack against Kristiansand which is guarded by the 7 Norwegian MECH SS unit, despite air and shore bombardment an average roll by the combined Allies sees the Norwegian MECH eliminated but at a cost to the British of their 9.6 MECH – not what the Allies wanted – all inverted, Kristiansand is captured but only now held by an inverted US Para. The inverted GERM Amph escapes an overrun and then escapes being found by the Allied navies in the North Sea. Fearing a counterattack by the GERM to retake this important port and access to the Baltic, the US rebases three aircraft to Norway to deter evil intentions.
Russia’s Land sees the final act in Finland as they capture Helsinki +11 aslt roll 18 (29), the Northern Army Front Launches a second attack against Kaunas, taking the city and liberating Latvia. In the South another attack inflicts losses on minor GERM units as the Russians gain another hex. Zhukov reinverts 5 units that were GS and resets the line. An Attack in Manchuria and a solid roll destroys a Manchurian defender as the Russian advances into swamps creating a hole that will need to filled.
Axis 2nd Impulse GERM Land, Comb Japan and Italy. Italy sends out a Conv to supply the inverted and OOS GERM DAK, needing 5’s the Allies fail to find. The Germans land sees them step back the Army Group North to straighten their line since Kaunas has fallen another GS by the 80 CM Railgun and 5 factor Arty invert some Russian units, hampering the Russians future attacks. A sacrificial 3.3 Romanian INF is left as a rear guard in the South. Japan’s combined sees reinforcements land in China and a coordinated attack eliminates one of the troublesome Partisan on the coast. The line is re-stablished in Manchuria.
Allied 3rd Impulse and the weather roll is 6, N Monsoon Storm again and fine everywhere else. The CW needing to move its fleet and replace 15 convoys in the N Atlantic takes a Naval, Russia and China take Land actions and the US a Combined. A Port attack from the British CVs in the North Sea against Kiel targeting the aborted Amph and Scharnhorst sees the CV air groups get surprised with a 10 – 2 split against them and the GERM AA aborting the Acft back to their CVs the GERM Amphs 'lucky ship' status remains. The CW navy sails out and restocks the vital N Atlantic Convs, and escorts its sea lanes. Other Naval moves see the US Marine in Portugal attempt to slip through the Bay of Biscay – but the patrolling U Boats stop the Marine and its CW Amph, rather than attempt the dangerous ‘fight through’ option, they seek high box protection under the prepositioned 8 Ftr and the CV Courageous The Axis subsequent search sees the Luftwaffe react Ftrs and a Nav to hunt the loaded Amph, but luck was with the British as they shoot down both the Ftr and the Nav for no loss. The subs recognising that ‘discretion is the better part of valour’ return to the sanctuary of the deep water. CW and US searches fail to find the convs in the W Med and the Baltic – Axis N Africa and Norway remain in supply. US GS very successful in Norway both GERM Arty are inverted as well as Von Liebe!
The Russian takes a land and with their few remaining acft GS the GERM line hoping to invert a couple of stacks, with no results they are content with destroying a stack in the Pripyat Marshes (1/2 half invert) which included the Italian Mtn Corps, an expensive loss with winter coming. Three units, GBA’s and Marines are railed South from Finland to bolster the slowly advancing front and to replace losses. The US takes a combined, sailing 2 x CVL’s into the China Sea and search for the Japanese CA Mikuma and its FTR – FINALLY a search roll goes in favour of the US (it has been years says he) with them rolling a 2, after he picks himself of the floor the Japanese rolls a 7 for a comfortable split which sees a Japanese Long Range Ftr shot down and the CA Mikuma sunk. The US marines’ crosses into Korea and two more US Divs reinforce the now inverted Div to deter Japanese attacks. In Europe the US elects to land their Marine rather than risk another search.
Axis 3rd impulse and GERM takes another land. Germ conducts an orderly withdrawal and straightens its line in the North, a lucky GS by Axis sees the important Russian Katyusha Div inverted and several other targeted hexes GS as their bombers are cleared through – a bonus for the GERM Luftwaffe which has struggled in JUL/AUG, with them shooting down a 7 factor Russian Ftr for another cleared through bomber, on the -2 table, and a successful GS inverting the front line Russian MECH Corps. The GERM leaves a sacrificial 3.3 Hungarian Inf as a rear guard in the Pripyat Marshes to delay the Russian advance. In Norway, under increasing Allied pressure the Axis step back towards the Norwegian Capital, abandoning any thoughts of counter-attacking. Italy takes a no cost land to realign its land forces and strat moves one of their few MECH Corps to Poland. Japan takes a land and responds to the US incursion into Korea railing a HQ and moving additional forces. The Hong Kong Garrison withdraws across the straights returning to Canton as they commence the Japanese Army heads North under Chinese pressure.
Next session will see the Allied 4th impulse with another 1 rolled for weather - clear everywhere! The EOT rolls start to kick in with a possible 1 from the Allied and possible pass options from Italy and Japan which could help GERM forces who are under pressure on all fronts. Searching for the Italian Convs in the W Med and Baltic will continue in an effort to put these two fronts OOS. Russian offensive action has almost culminated as their acft have flown their HQs are inverted and their Arty are mostly face down. The critical Russian front is stabilising as Axis heavy units have arrived as well as additional FTRs from Central Germany and the Med to replace recent losses. Russia will likely take a combined in their hunt for the valuable GERM convoys and their cargoes of Swedish steel.

The Russian Front - still holding the Russian horde -
but winter is coming and in the New year a new batch of GBA's

Army Group South slow but orderly retreat -
a rear-guard 3.3 Hungarian is doomed for the dead pool

80cm Railgun Gustav - a great GS for the GERMANs BOOOOM BOOOOOM

Army Gp North the German line is now stronger with recent reinforcements
but the Pripet Marshes are now cleared

Saudi Arabia

The Far East - Japan has lost control of the China Sea Hong Kong abandoned

The US land in Korea

Russian Pressure in Manchuria

CA Mikuma is sunk by US CVP

The Pacific a US lake

The Western Front - France being stripped of defenders - bound for the Russian Front

Strategic bombers are now impacting on GERM production - three factories bombed.

FM von Leeb arrives in Norway

The important port of Kristiansand is taken by the Allies

Kristiansand defences are overrun by the Allies

Western Med - Axis N Africa back in supply

Some progress by the US with one GERM stack eliminated

US Generals view the N African battlefields with mixed success.

E Med - back in old hands - but for how long


Losses mounting for the GERM fighting on five fronts over 60 BPs for the first time in the game.

GERM Pilots won't need to be built for awhile 9 in the pool

A rare sight a Japanese CA sent to the bottom of the S China Sea