Normally I would post photos BUT my new I-Phone 13 which takes great photos won't download through my email account - god only knows why. When I find out what I am doing or not doing I will post later - technology should have stuck with my I7 Blah!
N/D 43 – EOT AND A NEW YEAR 1944
Allied 3rd Impulse continues with the weather being snow in the Artic and Temperate Russia’s Land Offensive is declared with two attacks against Army Group South. The attacks are a mixture of 50/50 success and failure – in part to the GERM flying all his remaining 6 x bombers to support one of the attacks, changing the odds significantly as every Axis bomber is cleared through, and a bonus with the Russian 7 Factor Ftr and its pilot being shot down on a handy 19. The poor attack roll results in a -/- with all the Russians fully inverted – a lesson there for the Russian if you are going to expend O-Points on an attack make sure you have Ftr cover to support the attack. Russia’s second attack is more successful on a +14 as they top the table - just - at 23, destroying a Div and a Corps as they advance upright and take another hex of Bessarabia. With the US and CW remaining land actions sees the Milan MIL in Norway eliminated with a top of the table attack by combined British and US land forces as they advance to the outskirts of Oslo. In N Africa the CW, together with the US land forces advance to Algiers the next roadblock on the road to Libya. US pacific forces combined sees naval units sail into the Solomon’s Sea and successfully GS Truk from its CVL air groups, Truk is now inverted but no invasion, acft are rebased including LL Air-Cobras to Russia.
Axis 3rd Impulse - Italy and Japan, concerned about their oil reserves take no cost combined. GERM takes a land and adjusts its line under the pressure of Russian land forces, stepping back a hex in E Poland to straighten its line, leaving an inverted Inf as a rear-guard to cover the withdrawal. Japan sends a Conv out to the Sea of Japan so that it can maintain supply to China/Manchuria – a US search fails to find. With snow on the continent there is little other activity. Italy, likewise, sails a conv to supply Egypt, again no find by the US acft or CA in the rain. No Axis EOT roll as they roll an 8, and the N/D turn continues.
Allied 4th Impulse – weather roll is 7(+1) for an 8, the same as the previous impulse, so no clear weather for the Allies in S/O or N/D – disappointment for the Western Allies – Stalin is happy with the snow. All the Allies take land impulses, Russia continues its ‘push’ under the cover of snow. GS have limited success with a Corps turned face down, in the skies above both the Italian and Russian loose a Ftr each. The attacks are again a 50/50 with the Russian attacking the line rolling an exchange – losing a 9 GBA INF, the Axis a 5.5 Italian Mech. In the second attack, success rolling top of the table eliminating another German stack and taking another hex of Bessarabia. The 7.4 Siberian is upgraded back up to 9.4 GBA status. In Norway the CW declare an attack against two GERM Corps (INF/MIL) North of Oslo and roll top of the table eliminating both units and advancing to the outskirts of the city which is now under siege and OOS. With one of its defenders already inverted its liberation by the Allies is now a certainty. In N Africa the US and CW forces move further East only limited by the rain, no inversions against the defenders in Algiers means no attack – they are in the mountains, and it is raining. A CW 7.6 MECH races across the desert to capture the Tunisian port of Gabes, another step closer to Libya. The Chinese ‘no cost’ land sees communist partisans in Southern China launch a 1:1 attack and with nothing to lose but themselves, do exactly that – 2 x PART lost on a roll of 5. It was clear weather, and they were hopeful of an exchange. US Pacific forces capture the two Iwo Jima Island groups off the coast of Japan as rebasing Acft, including the ‘Black Window’ arrive to operate from the forward bases – ominous days ahead for the Japanese
Allies roll an EOT 3 – initiative marker advance by 1 in the Axis favour – now in the zero sector with the Axis winning ties. Partisan roll sees them stay at home by their fires as none turn up, a great relief for the Japanese. Rebases, production and reinforcements for the New Year. The bonus impulse has helped the Allies inflict some 60 BPs of losses on the Axis this turn, a handy deficit for a winter turn.
The year of 1943, rather than being a defining year for the Allies has seen it favour the Axis in both the critically poor weather and short turns. This has constrained the Allies offensive operations and has set the Allies timeline back, giving the Axis a glimmer of hope that they can snatch a victory. We play historical objectives with an Axis victory declared if they hold 10 Objectives by the end of the game. The current objective count has the Axis at 26, when compared to their historical position of 33, so the Axis are currently 7 behind – mostly due to Japan’s poor position and failures in their early campaign. The Allies however must maintain the pressure and must capture a minimum of 17 more objective cities in the 10 turns that are left, 5 of which are poor weather turns – it will be an interesting race. The Allies will be hoping for longer turns and fine weather – both will be excellent. Conversely, the Axis will be seeking a similar trend in 44 as they experienced in 43. Ideally winning the initiative and short bad weather turns. 1944 will present the Axis, specifically the GERM with some significant challenges as the Russian build up is gaining momentum, as its air-force in both quality and quantity starts to bring pressure on the Russian front, compounding this will be D Day landing in Europe that the US/CW must commit too if they want to win the game. Certainly 1944 has not started well for the Allies with the Axis winning the initiative, bad weather – no clear or snow – but that is only the first roll, at least the Axis’ weather roll of a 1 has given the Allies some hope as it is now a ‘straight’ roll, no plusses, and an increased chance of a fine weather roll – at least it wasn’t a 10 – storm and blizzard.
Next session is the start of a New Year, 1944 with the Axis having the first impulse in rain.
Hopefully with a double photo shoot hahahaha