Monday, July 31, 2023

Don't Mention The War - Part 47 via Facebook


JAN/FEB and MAR/APR 1945
Axis 2nd Impulse, With Snow everywhere and the evaporation of the Eastern front defences, the German takes a pass to help with the EOT roll – another impulse would be the end for Germany Luck is with the Axis as they roll an EOT. Partisan rolls 4 and 5, Partisans turn up in China. Production, Germany is reduced to Cadre points for its BPs as the Allied strategic bombing has destroyed its minimal production due to lost resources. Germany builds MIL, GAR, INF and 2 factor Ftrs. The Allies focus is on O’Points, INF and FTR builds – there are still bombers on the track which will arrive over the next two turns.
MAR/APR 1945
Reinforcements are placed, Axis win the first roll with a 5 v a Russian 2, but the Allies demand a reroll and win the initiative with a 6 v a German 5, no surprise the Allies elect to go first. Weather an 8 (7+1) fine everywhere – rain in the Artic, not what the Axis needed or wanted.
Allied 1st Impulse. US takes a Super Combined and it’s another long session, especially for the Axis as the US has a lot to do. Importantly it is fine in the N Monsoon so the US can attempt to find the illusive Japanese Convs that are keeping Truk, Hong Kong and Manila in supply. The CW take a Naval/Land with Russia a Land/Air and China a Land with France, taking its customary naval. The US Naval sees its fleets sail off Truk and Manila again in the hope of cutting Japanese supply and launching assaults against these two last Japanese bastions. The US finds the Truk supply Conv, but again fail to find the Japanese Convs supplying Manila/Hong Kong in two sea zones. GS from US CVs invert one Corps in Truk and all the units in Manila. The CW Far East Fleet operating in the S China Sea successfully GS one Corps in Batavia the and the Chinese Nationalists Airforce, one Corps in Canton. The US decline assaults on Truk and Manila, China launches an attack against Canton taking the city. In Manchuria, the Russian assault against Japanese and Manchurian units is called off as the defending Japanese Ftrs shoot down all the Russian escorting Ftrs, and both bombers attempting to GS for no loss – no attacks, as acft are rebased forward.
With the combined French, CW and US Naval moves sees massed ARM/MECH units from the US and Italy arrive off the coast of Germany. These disembark during the land phase bolstering the combat power of both Allies. The Strat bombing of German Cities with only Berlin being contested, 7 factories production is shut down – there will be no German production this turn.
On the Western and the Eastern, now the German Front, massed air from Russian, CW and US Acft GS most German defended hexes, the Luftwaffe loses multiple Ftrs with a few losses to the Allies. US and Russian GS are average with mixed results but with high odds attacks several German Cities and blocking units are destroyed with no losses to the Allies. The US take the Cities of Dortmund and Stuttgart. CW GS against Kiel are not successful as the City is ably defend by several high class Ftrs. Russia's push towards Berlin is relentless as the last hero city (Breslau) although heavily defended by two large Corps is eliminated from a 5 hex attack and the city is taken on a +18.9 assault with a ToTT result – only the Oder River stands between the Russian Army and Berlin. The US and Russia rebase massed air units forward to the front line. Tpts and Amphs at sea reinvert ACFT on the coast – both CW and US in preparation for round 2. EOT advances by 3.
Axis 1st Impulse. Germany takes a Land and Japan a Combined. Japan sends fleets to the Sea of Japan to secure supply to the IJA in Manchuria and Korea and moves several land units to bolster its line against Russia, it is not too concerned as it is raining here reducing supply and attacks. The Japanese vacate Harbin, straighten their line and are now mostly double stacked. Germany’s land sees again far too few units move to the Eastern and Western Fronts – the effects of lack of resources and the Allied Strategic bombing has reduced the build to only Cadre points with only a few MIL and single acft reinforcing the front lines. German defences were re-organised and only strong along the Oder River with several triple stacked hexes East of Berlin. Reserves are sent from Berlin to block hexes on the Oder River, but there are now holes everywhere. A few acft are rebased and several Ftrs are reinverted by HQ’s, especially the 10 factor FW190’s. EOT advances by 3.
Allied 2nd Impulse, False hope for the Axis as the Russian rolls a weather roll of 1! blizzard everywhere and Snow in the Med – The Axis might just survive another turn if they can roll EOT. Bonus for the Japanese with rain in the N Monsoon – halved air and a minus on the conv searches. The US takes a Comb and search and find the Japanese convoy supplying Manila but cannot attack due to rain. The other Allies all take land actions. In Germany, US forces advance into empty hexes pushing into the interior, one German MIL defending Hanover is consumed by a high odds attack, despite the Blizzard. CW land units similarly advance into Germany, no attacks in the Blizzard. The Russians attack the hex SW of Berlin, it is clear and was attacked from 4 hexes. Even with a blizzard slowing the Russians, the single 7 strength unit was overwhelmed at +19.6, again ToTT. A single Russian Arm Corp conducted a blitz to be on the outskirts of Berlin and was re-inverted for its bravery. Russians easily offset the minuses for weather when attacking from 4 - 5 hexes. Russians advance in the blizzard, edging ever closer to Berlin. EOT advances 3 – turn can end on a 2.
Axis 2nd Impulse, Germany takes a pass impulse as only a EOT will save Germany. Japan takes a combined. Japan attempts to resupply Manila, sailing a Conv which escapes detection. In Manchuria Japanese land units pull back from the Russian line, double stacking where it can. EOT roll, with a bonus -1 for the German pass the EOT roll needed is a 3, but Germany luck runs out as they fail the roll with an 8 – not even close. EOT roll Advances by 3.
Allied 3rd Impulse, Weather Roll is a 6+2 (😎 rain in the Artic fine everywhere else – not what the Axis needed. All the Allies take land actions as this may be the last impulse and the opportunity to drive the dagger into the heart of the Axis is not to be missed. The US declares an O-Chit on Nimitz to ensure Manila is viable regardless of supply status. The CW spends 2 O-pointsto search for the Japanese Conv in the China Sea and finds the Conv, Manila is inverted and now OOS in fine weather – it is automatic on a +25 roll. The British emboldened by the clear weather assault Batavia on a marginal +9.2 taking the City and liberating the NEI. The Chinese Nationalists assault Hong Kong on a +4 but only roll an exchange. With the Fine weather and Truk OOS, another inversion sees Truck Blitzed at a +9.8 and taken by the ARM Marines and massed shore bombardment.
With Germany’s decision “that little could be done” and a pass attempt to increase the chance to end which failed, and the fine weather roll, Berlin was weakly defended by a flipped (8 str arm HQ) unit with only a single fighter (10) to stop the horde of Russian tank busters lining up to the East. A para Corps was Air-transported unchallenged to assist that brave Arm Corps which had moved to the hex SW of Berlin to make room for more units. The last German fighter, FW190 D9 (10 factor) attempted to stop the mass of bombers but was overwhelmed quickly. A total of 22 air support factors were added to the 39 land factors from two hexes, for an overall +14.3 assault, guaranteeing the fall of Berlin. A bonus clear hex East of Berlin was also successfully attacked at a +10.8 blitz. The CW not to be outdone, did their bit and with one German Corps finally inverted launched an assault against Kiel taking the city and forcing the Kriegsmarine to rebase to Stettin, avoiding the patrolling CA's in the 4 box. France claimed the last Italian port of Genoa with an automatic attack, destroying the last of the Italian fleet which had no port to rebase too.
Russia's efforts in Manchuria/Siberia were less than glorious. Slow progress was made more by Japanese retreats than by the exchange resulting attacks. Annoyingly, the Japanese air force was very successful in shooting down multiple newly arrived bombers. With the war in Europe concluding with the fall of Berlin, Russia had commenced railing much stronger land and air units and a 3rd HQ to the Far East.
...and it is all over. With the loss of Berlin, Kiel, Batavia, Truk and Manila the Axis was reduced to only 5 Victory cities – Munich, Hong Kong, Seoul, Vladivostok, and Tokyo. Hong Kong would have fallen as it had only a single inverted, OOS Japanese Corps defending it and so would Munich, as it is surrounded by five US hexes. Russia would be now able to send all their HQs, GBA’s and all their reinforcements to the Far East and overwhelm the Japanese who likely lose Vladivostok. The British would have little to do and would have just made Tiffen and Tea and waited out the end of the war.
The Axis conceded and the Allies graciously accepted their surrender. A nice bottle of French Red was cracked and a toast to a well-played game.
The end of what has been a long game – partly, as a number of key players from both sides have been on holidays, and we have also not had our customary ‘day sessions’ which help speed up the game with 3 - 4 and sometimes more turns played in a day session. Compliments to the Axis and the Japanese player who played an excellent game. Could the Axis have won? Possibly, but as soon as Italy surrendered and the early German counter attacks failed - they did have three good odds attacks but rolled 3’s! The Axis in Europe were always going to struggle, having said that a few more short, bad weather turns could have possibly gifted the Axis the 9 Victory Cities needed for a win – it was always unlikely, but worth playing on.
Victory City check as at EOT – M/A 45
1 Germany
4 Japan
31 Commonwealth
17 USSR/France
17 USA/China
· ACFT – Aircraft
· OOS – Out of Supply
· TOTT – Top of the table a 23 or more
Germany as at MA 1945 - only Munich stands

The defence of Berlin air battle 1 v 5 valiant to the last

Free Italy
(When Mike posted this I was in hex 3122 moving to hex 3021) 

Only Hong Kong to be taken

NEI liberated by the British and Australians

The Russians - marching towards Vladivostok

Allied production - 95 O-Points

Axis Production

Heavy Axis Casualties - as expected in 1945

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Projects for FY2324

Ever optimistic, but here goes, starting with gaming projects (most of which are well advanced, certainly over the 80% completion stage):

  • Marengo 15mm Napoleon's Battles
  • Alexandros Campaign for Basic Impetus
  • Crete (at least a scenario for Rhethymnon - city of many spellings) using Rommel
  • At least one Rommel game using my Australians, but preferably adapt scenario for Milne Bay
  • Stolberg Corridor mini campaign using Rommel
  • Basic Impetus League participation (still have 4 games to complete)

Then we have painting projects, sometimes related to the above gaming projects, but often not:

These two images are from the new PSC Mortem et Gloriam Hunnic Cavalry range, 
that in their raw state didn't look too appealing and were being thrown out.
I mistakenly thought they were Romans and grab them.
But now I have enough to do all the light cavalry elements for a Basic Impetus Hun army.
Better still all painted and just need basing.

These have been seen before but the guy with the big stick is new.
Another rescued figure.
Just waiting for a varnish.

Cavalry casualty markers for Napoleon's Battles.
Just waiting for a varnish.

Limbers - some old, some expanded and one new,
enhanced do to adding in rescued figures. 
Just waiting on a varnish.

Well, at least they are assembled and undercoated

Just waiting a a decision about a camouflage system

For the Stolberg Corridor campaign.

Started as medium mortars until I found I had some heavy mortars.

The last (maybe) infantry of the weighty Soviet purchase

Odds and sods of Romans

Dacian camp that came with a purchase.
I've been mucking about with the trees.
Sadly Basic Impetus doesn't need camps :-(

More Romans and there are still more Romans I haven't photographed.
From having no Romans a year or two back I now have a super embarrassment.

Generals for my Swedish army.
Uniform details are a bit of a challenge as I am also using a mix of figures.
I think I am stuck deciding on which blue to use.

British casualty markers,
but I am now having second thoughts 
about the best approach to reflecting casualties in Napoleon's Battles.

Some fantasy figures

More WW2 kit and random fantasy figures

Still more fantasy figures which reminds me I have a HotT dinosaur army to finish 
and some zombies as well as a whole lot of John Carter Warlord of Mars things.

And there are still many, many more figures to sort and paint and base and get into action.

But for now I am off on holidays, back in August.


Thursday, July 6, 2023

Barbarossa Turn 12 Comparison

Having now played Barbarossa AGN, AGC and AGS on Vassal up to and including Turn 12 I thought it might be interesting to see how progress compares with the face to face game I am playing with Richard.

There are a few differences between the Vassal version and the one we are playing, mainly tweaks to the Order of Battle and some slight rule variations (which also incorporates mistakes on my part).  These variations are mainly in the scenario rules, not the standard rules.

Turn 12 represents the two days of 14 and 15 July, so at this stage a little over three weeks into the campaign.

In comparison with the following from the Vassal hosted game.

Main observation is that it is much easier to capture images in Vassal!

The following broad comments apply to the situation in the Vassal game.

Army Group North has made less progress possibly due to weather, but critically also the Soviet defence of Daugavpils (which didn't fall till Turn 10 compared to Turn 6 in the face to face game).  Possibly two turns behind.

Army Group Centre is also less advanced, but probably only one turn.

Army Group South is more advanced, but this is due to the Soviets significantly withdrawing.

I wish I'd kept better weather records, but the following is what I have determined:

Well that explains it!

Particularly for AGN in Vassal where I now realise I made a mistake in having three turns of mud in a row.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Barbarossa Turn 25

Another turn completed.  This one represents 9-10 August and means we are halfway through the summer campaign season (the dry weather).  There is a major logistics pause to come.

Capturing Tallin is giving all the indications of being a long drawn out affair.

Other combats by AGN clearing the eastern approaches to Leningrad

The juncture between AGN and AGC.

The critical part of AGC's drive to Moscow.

Somewhere else in AGC's theatre of operations.

The space between AGC and AGS

AGS stalled before Kiev,
now trying to expand the bridgehead.

In the central part of AGS another collection of Soviet units has been surrounded.

And the Romanians are starting to breakthrough to Odessa.

The situation at the end of the turn.

Out there on the Baltic Coast

The Axis look a bit thin before Leningrad.

There is Moscow beckoning in the distance

The defence of Kiev.

Romania overrunning southern Ukraine.

And here we will have to leave it for four weeks as holidays are upon us.