Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Barbarossa - Set Up

We are ready for a challenge.  Also, I must give full acknowledgement to Richard for actually getting this all set up.

Definitely won't be finished by Xmas, maybe by Xmas 23...

In order to obtain an image I have taken a video of the starting position, going from Odessa to Leningrad.  I don't recall ever posting a video to my blog before, hopefully it works and shows of the game to its full potential.

Alternatively here is a still image, top down.

But wait, there's more!


More reinforcements

The reinforcements are slightly complicated as they involve merging of a number of games, so care will be needed to avoid doubling up.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Don't Mention The War - Part 28

The first two impulses of July/August 1943 sees the Imperialists tighten their stranglehold on France, slaughtering the heavily outnumbered defenders with ease.  The partisans are encouraged to attack German airfields but their hearts are not in it and they melt away like phantoms into the night.

Fantômes de la résistance

Over in the East the Communists are desperately trying to breakout of the Dnieper bridgeheads.  The pressure is such that Kirov Rog and its vital resources has to be abandoned.  The losses have been heavy and if the line is to be held it must pull back.

The bumpy road of retreat

Lady Luck is doing her best to keep the reds at bay with the Soviet player throwing a miserable 5 in one attack.  It still produced a retreat but caused numerous Soviet units to be exhausted along with their supporting HQs.

Lady Luck
putin down the bad guys

Saturday, November 26, 2022

The Sword of Rome - Four Ways

After a miracle of schedule coordination, we were able to get all of us together to play this game again, but this time there would be four of us.  Simon was the Etruscans/Samnites, Richard the Greeks, Jeff the Romans and I was the Gauls.

Unfortunately these games can be a bugger to photograph, but at least with digital cameras it can easily be done and at no cost.  That said, maybe if I had to use an old 35mm SLR I would take more care in setting up the shot.

End of Turn 1.
Trans Gauls have invaded and reduced Gallic VP to 5
Romans have picked up one (possibly by card play) and now have 7 Vps
The rest are on their starting 6 VPs

End of Turn 2
The Trans-Gauls are still there and the Gallic VP should now be 4
(we were doing this wrong as home VPs don't count, 
it is only home lost and new ones gained that matter and these add or subtract each turn)
The Romans should be on 7 VPs
The Greeks are down to 5 VPs having lost Syracuse to the Carthaginians
And the Etruscan/Samnites are still on their starting 6 VPs.
There is a Roman-Etruscan alliance that saved the Etruscan mines from depleting
(as the Gauls had taken three provinces and another two were cut off)

End of Turn 3
The Trans Gauls have been dealt with, but the Samnites have talken a Gallic VP location,
so now the Gauls are down to 3 VPs.
The Greeks have recovered Syracuse but lost Thuria and should be down to 4 VPs.
The Romans gain another VP and are now on 8.
The Etruscan/Samnites should now be on 7 VPs.

End of Turn 4
The Gauls have recovered their home VP provinces,
but the accumulated previous losses leaves them on 3 VPs.
The Etruscans/Samnites should be on 7 Vps.
The Romans should be on 8 VPs 
and the Greeks go up to 5 VPs having taken Lilybaeum

End of Turn 5
The Gauls lose another VP as the Etruscans have taken a VP location along the coast.
Thanks to some successful battles, the Gauls have 3 VPs.
The Romans remain on 8 VPs.
The Etruscans/Samnites should be on 8 VPs as well.
The Greeks are now 7 VPs as they still hold Lilybaeum and picked up one in Sicily.

The game finished after Turn 6 (short campaign scenario) and was packed up too quick before I could take a photo. Doh!

At the end the Greeks had taken a VP location from the Etruscans and the Gauls had recovered Genoa.
So the Greeks would be on 10 VPs.  The Gauls on 3 VPs, the Etruscans/Samnites would be on 7 VPs. Despite the play of Desperate Times cards, the Romans remained on 8 VPs.

The four player game had become something of a stalemate, especially around Napoles for the Greeks and Romans. That said, an enjoyable, challenging and intriguing game.  Looking forward to playing again, possibly with five players.

Friday, November 25, 2022

A Base Full of Romans

My Roman expansion continues.  This unit has eight figures preloved to which I have added seven more.

A red wall to be proud of.
I much prefer the tighter grouping.

Second Class Republican Legionnaires from the rear.

The difference in flesh tones, shininess of helmets and tunic trim
are the exDBA figures that have been updated and rebased.

There are still a few more to go.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Parthians versus Parthians

This week my relatively new Parthians took to the table top to fight Mark B's equally newish Parthians in what was a very civil war game.

My Parthians won the scouting.
The lack of terrain is what you get with Table B. 

I decided to contest the wings,
having some immediate success on the right.

Things didn't go so well on the left,
 but the right is developing nicely.

Time to get the cataphracts moving

They are getting close now

My cataphracts sweep into the enemy foot,
but find themselves in difficulty.

Clash of Cataphracts!

My Cataphracts routed the enemy foot,
and that put the enemy at breakpoint.
However they were able to make a last charge 
and engage my weakened forces.
Very successfully wresting a draw from the jaws of defeat.

My general's unit was down to its last man! 

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Don't Mention The War - Part 27 via Facebook


M/J 1943 (Cont)
Axis 3rd Impulse Weather roll is a 9 – fine weather everywhere. Germany takes a land and Italy takes no cost combined action to conserve oil, so that they can contain/limit the Allied landings on the Brest peninsular. Four units are railed into W France and the coastal defenders shuffle, mostly Axis MIL units North and South of Brest move towards the Peninsular to help contain the Allies Exped force. On the Eastern front Germany GS, the two 12/10 factor GBH ARM units that had advanced over the Dnipro River and despite a handy 2 being rolled on the AA, the 12.5 GBA Arm is flipped, reducing the possibility of further Russian exploitation. Ftrs and bombers head West from central Germany, including several 7’s and 8 ftrs and a few bombers. Japan takes a Combined and deploys additional naval and air assets to protect its convoys. Several land units are moved to release them from the Chinese front line as the first reinforcements head to the Manchukuo border.
Allied 3rd Impulse– US takes a Combined, the CW and Russia take Land actions. Russia rails three more units the cities of the Far East. South of Dnipropetrovsk Russia launches a low odds blitz an another attempt to cross the Dnieper, rolling a very ordinary dice (again) they only retreat the German defenders for the loss of a 3.6 Mech Div but are fully inverted and no GBA. The Russians being fully inverted decide it will be too risky to cross the Dnieper and remain on their, the Eastern bank of the Dnipro River – but it is another hole in the line that the German has to fill. An attempt to bomb the valuable oil at Ploesti with two Hvy bombers fails, as the German Ftr aborts the first Bomber but remains to attack the 2nd– courage failing the Russian aborts the 2nd bomber rather than risk a loss.
The CW land the rest of their land units that are sitting on Tpts in the North Sea on to the Brest peninsular and a combined attack against a defending 5 factor INF, defending in the woods is declared at a comfortable 12+ Blitz, but drops down to a +10 as the Luftwaffe sneaks through a supporting bomber, which also shoots down an inexperienced US pilot and his Ftr – 19s will do that. With a very average roll (11), the hex is taken for the loss of a US Para Div as the German defenders are blitzed to the spiral – they shall return. With a half invert the Allies advance will be slowed. US and CW Ftrs are rebased from Norway now that the focus will be France, and the 1st US B17 is rebased to Greece!
Axis 4th Impulse– Weather roll is a 6, fine everywhere. Germany and Italy both take no cost land actions to conserve oil as they have few oil dependant units to move, it is mostly INF, GAR and MIL. Five Axis units are railed to the Cities in the Loire Valley in the hope of limiting the Allied landings on the Brest peninsular. and the coastal Axis defenders shuffle to contain the Allies as they attempt a semblance of a defensive line along the Loire River. Italy sails out its convoy to Sardinia again. Japan takes a Combined and again limits offensive action, happy to re-establish its convoys into the S China Sea now that the EOT rolls start. Another Japanese land unit is rallied to Sino-Russian border as concerns mount about garrison limits. First EOT Roll chance for the Axis to end the M/J turn, the 1 is not rolled and the Allies gets another impulse in fine weather.
Allied 4th Impulse– US, CW and Russian all take a Combined Actions. The British acft fly in off the coast of Italy and again find the Sardinian Conv rolling a 1, but so do the escorts – so 1’s rolled by both sides and evens A2A with the British Nav cleared through, damaging the Italian Conv. No second round as both sides roll two big. The US Subs sail into the Sea of Japan and are found with another 2 rolled by the Japanese, sinking the sub for no loss, but in the S China Sea, success for the US as a find by his subs sinks 3 Japanese Convs and aborts 6 others. The US regain Guam, destroying the single Japanese Div defending the Island – another airbase for the US as they inch closer to the Japanese centre. In another debacle for the RN, the CA Jamaica carrying the 2.4 AUS Div from Persia is intercepted in rain (rolled a 2) by a Japanese sub patrolling the Arabian Gulf, for safety it moves into the 3 box rather than risk fighting through. In what is proving a trend against the IJN when the RN fight sees another big split as the Jap sub rolls another 2, finding the loaded CA with the CW rolling a 10. A 2-10 split, X and D which the CW promptly fails sinking the CA Jamaica and its cargo of Aussies – the CW player grieving in yet another large split that has cost him another CA.
In The West the US aborts several loaded transports into the Brest Peninsular ports landing their cargos of US Units. The B17 that was rebased to Greece has a bombing run to the Ploesti Oil fields and although cleared through misses its target by 1 rolling a 6. The British Lancaster flying extended range to Breslau is more successfully as the factories production is shut down. In mainland France, the US/CW blitz attack against a second German 5 INF defending in the woods on the Brest peninsular is made again more difficult as an Italian bomber is cleared through despite Allied air superiority taking the hex to a 7-point defence and converting the +10 to a +8 – every hex is being defended valiantly. This time the Allies roll above average with a 14 for a 22 so they get the result they were after, 1 KIA on the Defender, no loss and no inversions, the British 8.4 remains in the open as US Paras occupy the now empty woods. The US successfully rolls the EOT, 2 needed. The US is delighted as the Japanese will not be able to replace the Convoys and their occupied oil fields will have to store their oil locally. The Japanese will have to expend 6 Homeland Oil (he has plenty but now 6 less) if he wants to maintain his production. Italy will also be down on its build as the Sardinian resource will also not be shipped.
Partisan roll sees one turn up in France overrunning an inverted JU88 and another turn up in Finland. Rebase, production and reinforcement. Finland is conquered as the US liberates it and approves its resource to be shipped to Russia.
J/A The Allies get the Jump and win the initiative – ominous signs for the Axis.
Both sides are keen to win the initiative, the Allies want to exploit their landings in France before the German reinforcements arrive, and more importantly there are number of German units that could be put OOS. In the East the Russians have several opportunities to exploit the weakened German line before it gets consolidated. Equally the German is desperate to ‘go first’ so that it can reorganise its front lines in both the West and the East and potentially GS some of the Russian big stacks before they get a chance to strike first. The Allies win the initiative and the Axis demand a reroll, the dice Gods favour the Allies as the CW rolls a definitive 10 against the German’s 7, so the Allies will go first and get the double tap. The weather is a 5, fine everywhere but storm in the N Monsoon. Next session Russia will go Land and assault several German stacks, and the W Allies will combine naval and land movement to clear the Brest Peninsular and break out into western Frances’s hinterland and onward to Paris. In the Pacific, Storm in the N Monsoon will limit the US opportunities but with no air, there is a chance that a small CA squadron can sink/damage or abort some or all of the Japanese Cons (9) in the S China Sea. But the main effort will be France and the landing of US ARM/MECH and rebasing of acft, with blitz attacks against some of the out of position German forces that will be caught out in the open.
· TOTT – Top of the table a 23 or more
· LOC – Line of Communications
· NCC - No Cost Combined – no oil used
· USE - US Entry
Western Europe - the Allies secure the Brest Peninsular

France - The Axis win the initiative - both German flank units will be put OOS and likely destroyed. The French campaign will begin in earnest.


Greece - the first US B-17 arrives - target Ploesti oil fields

The Russian Front

Army Group North - little movement here as all the action is in the South

Army Group South - lots of action by both sides - but the Russian is now over the Dnipro River in three places and will be hoping it can use its ARM to expand these bridgeheads

Japan - had to leave the Strike fleet out to maintain supply - (Amph) - to the S China Sea

The Japanese Area of Operations

Manchuria is becoming more interesting as garrisons on both sides build up.

The Pacific, another notch in the US belt as it retakes Guam

Losses M/J - lots of Acft on both sides - but the Germans has been very heavy this turn

Don't Mention The War - Part 26 via Facebook

 M/J 1943 – The Axis win the Initiative but the Allies get the Great Spring Weather.

The Axis rolled a 9 against the Russian’s roll of 2, the Allies demanded a re-roll and the US aiming to improve on Stalin’s rolling skills, rolled another 2, the German, similarly consistent rolled another 9 and wins the initiative of this important guaranteed clear weather turn for 1943. Axis go first, weather is an 8 – fine everywhere.
Axis 1ST Impulse– Surprisingly Germany takes a combined and launches its submarines, mixed success, despite multiple finds some escorts find as well as 9 CW Convoys were damaged and 6 aborted for the cost of two subs sunk. Germany attempts to GS two Russian stacks and promptly get both bombers shot down, no inversions for the German, worse his arty fail to invert any Russian units as well. Germany with limited land moves adjusts its line to reinforce the most likely hexes of Russian interest and rebase multiple acft forward, including allocating Ftrs to protect the valuable Oil Fields now that German Oil supplies have become critical. Italy’s NCC sees it fly a Ftr into the 2 box off the Italian Coast to protect any reacting NAVs – lesson learned from last months near miss when his unescorted NAV survived a +4 A2A roll against RAF Ftrs operating form Malta. Japan takes a naval and abort its Convoys, in the South and China Seas leaving a single convoy in each sea area – this manoeuvre is to limit losses from early speculative US Sub attacks and the loss of multiple Convoys on any large split. Japan escorts both sea areas, and the Sea of Japan with both air and naval units which are sent into the higher boxes as the IJN await the US players response. Naval units are rebased to Island groups where the US is threatening.
Allied 1st Impulse – US calls a ‘Super Combined’ with the CW a Naval and the Russian a land. The CW Sub off the Coast of Italy finds and sinks the Sardinian Convoy. In the West the US sails a Mar Div into Tallinn as a combined force of 15 Tpts and Amphs all loaded with US and CW ARM, INF and MARs sail into both the Baltic and North Seas. During the GS phase a bomber from the CV Indominable gets lucky successfully bombs the Helsinki Mil despite the Finnish air force intercepting. During the land phase the US Marine in Talinin advances across the Baltic strait into the hex adjacent to Helsinki, securing the bridgehead as the US lands the HQ Eisenhower and a 9.5 ARM and declare an attack against Helsinki, despite intervention from the Finnish bomber a TOT roll on a 14+ sees Helsinki captured, and the Finish are now OOS and are out of the war – a huge coupe for the Allies and especially the Russian. In the Pacific the US flies into the S China Sea and finds the Japanese – despite having a +4 advantage in the air they lose both their lead 7 Ftr, a NAV and a sub as the Japanese roll a 19 a 20 on the A2A table. The Japanese losses are minimal with a damaged LCV and a single Convoy – the Japanese were very, very lucky. One Conv in the Sea of Japan is found and puts the S China Sea OOS. US units are landed in the recently capture NEI islands as more US acft are rebased forward.
Russia speculatively GS the city of Kirov Rog and in a surprise to all, gets both defending German Corps inverted and declares an assault at +6.7 – rolling above average they almost take the city with a 19. They are not too unhappy as the 2/2 loss hurts the Germans more than the Russians – I can see a contemporary theme here. The inverted Russians are reinverted by a rear HQ as the desperate defenders call for reinforcements. Russia rails three more garrison units to the Far-East as the build-up on the Sino-Russo front continues.
Axis 2nd Impulse – Weather roll is a 10 – fine weather everywhere. To save precious oil, German takes a no cost land, Japan a Combined and Italy a NCC. Germany on the defensive, rails units and reinforces its frontline, the last German unit in Greece boards a train to the Eastern Front. Italy also rails a unit to Greece and rebases several Ftrs to the West and central Germany to release German Ftrs to the eastern Front. Japan’s combined sees them reinforce the S China and China Seas with fleets and acft to deter US interference.
Allied 2nd Impulse– US takes a Combined, the CW and Russian land actions, with the Russian sensing the time is right, he declares 9 O-Points to activate General Rokossovsky who is given a second, and possible last chance to redeem his poor performance of last month. The Russian launch a blitz attack across the Dnipro as they test the resolve of the German defenders. The Russian air force GS are again successful inverting two Corps. The attack is launched at 9.8 Blitz, but again the unfriendly dice Gods give Stalin a very Average 10 for a 19 (1/S) and half invert. Although no German units are destroyed, they take the hex, and the German units return to the spiral – another hole to fill as they upgrade a 10 ARM GBA and together with the 12 GBA ARM, both advance across the Dnipro – this will be a tough hex to take back, especially when the Luftwaffe flew 5 bombers in defensive air support to the hex. In the West more bad news for the Axis as the Second Front is finally launched off the French coast in the sunny weather of spring. The Brest peninsular is assaulted by a combination of Paras, Marines and Inf landing on three coastal hexes – Operation Overlord has been launched a year early much to the delight of Stalin and deep concern to Heer Hitler. The Luftwaffe, on Goring’s insistence fly three long rng bombers to each of the contested hexes – the bomber crews see this as a suicide mission as there are no escorting German ftrs and desperate times call for desperate actions as the three bombers attempt to change each defending hex from a defence of 2 to a 4. The RAF scramble Ftrs to intercept and as expected on +4 A2A combat rolls shoot down 2 bombers but clear through 1. Supported by 7 British BS in the North Sea all three assaults are TOT and the initial Overlord landings are successful, no losses and all upright – a relief for the Allies who thank the Axis for the excellent weather rolls.
In the Pacific, the US port strike the redeployed Japanese BS and Tpts adjacent to the Bismarck Sea – a massed CVP battle is fought, and luck is with the US as they even the ledger, destroying two Japanese CVPs, including a 6 range 7 CVP, sink a Tpt and damage a BS. The US is pleased as more land based air are redeployed forward as another island of the Philippines is recaptured by US marines.
Axis 3rd Impulse– Weather roll is a 9 – another fine weather everywhere roll. Germany and Italy will have to take land actions to contain/limit the Allied landings on the Brest peninsular. Japan will also need to consider when they send out their convoys or risk an EOT roll without resources coming into Japan. An interesting M/J turn that has stretched the Axis almost to breaking point, and like the boy and the dike there are a lot of holes to potentially plug and not enough units to do it with effectively. Unlike the 1942 M/A the weather has been fine everywhere which has been a huge bonus to the Allies who are now wielding their combat power and inflicting wounds on the Axis menace, will they be fatal, or will it be a death from a thousand cuts – time and dice rolls will tell.
· TOTT – Top of the table a 23 or more
· LOC – Line of Communications
· NCC - No Cost Combined – no oil used
· USE - US Entry
Western Europe the US has arrived

The Brest peninsular is assaulted as OP OVERLOAD is commenced a year early.

The Allies operating in the Baltic - Surprise invasion and assault on Helsinki knocks Finland out of the war.

The Russian Front

Army Group North sees Americans landing in the Baltic states - shortening the Russian line.

Army Group South - The river line is breached and a bridgehead established - the Germans under a heap of pressure and short of oil.

Russia - Sino front Garrison limits being tested.

The Far East - The US are pushing into reach of the S China Sea - Its on, 
as the battles at sea and in the air will determine if the valuable resources get through

The US landings - expanding their influence

The Pacific - getting greener with ever session

Losses - mostly air, from both sides.

Don't Mention The War - Part 27

The Imperialists and Communists continued their war of aggression during May/June 1943 which strangely provided them with plenty of fine weather*.  The train wreck that is happening to the United Europe defences continued at a slow pace, but with a back to back set of impulses secured as the war moves into summer the two front disaster is sure to accelerate.

This is not going to end well

The US and Commonwealth have captured a significant portion of the Brest peninsula and are poised to bring in more troops and with the double impulse will be able to exploit the broken German and Italians lines and drive to Paris, maybe not in the springtime, but certainly in the summer, which is bound to be long and hot.

In the East the Soviets have two bridgeheads over the Dnieper and with the double impulse should be able to easily retake Kirov Rog.  Annoyingly Ukraine won't let the Romanians enter their country to fight their common foe. Stupid lack of cooperation will cost them their country!  

Rubbing salt into the wounds, partisans appeared in France and destroyed some German aircraft.  Doh!

I will say this only once
don't park your planes outside a zoc

Whata mistaka to maka


While resources are still arriving from Ukraine, there has been nothing from Sweden for a long time and that now goes for Finland.  French resources have come under threat as well.  Add to that the Imperialists bombed Polish factories.


* May/June 1943 provided four impulses of fine weather.  In contrast, May/June 1942 provided three impulses, two of which where snow/storm.  That was the turn that Germany belatedly declared Barbarossa.

Going back in time, May/June 1940 it was fine, fine, rain EOT (just when the invasion of France was gaining momentum).  May/June 1941 it was four fine weather impulses which saw France finally fall, but an abrupt end to the turn (20% chance) before Germany could manage to get an essential extra one or two units to the east to break the garrison limit. While the May/June 1943 turn could have continued (it ended on a 2) the subsequent winning of the initiative by the Allies has given them a aback to back turn which should prove fatal for the Axis in both the west and east.