An early end to summer spoilt things for the Allies.
J/A 1943 EOT – THE AXIS GETS LUCKY
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.
S/O 43 GERMANY WINS THE INITIATIVE AND BONUS BAD WEATHER
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
ARMY GP SOUTH
or South West Front as I prefer to call it
ARMY GP NORTH
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
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