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RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR)

 
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RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/15/2012 9:29:04 PM   
composer99


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If memory serves the US Marine died attacking La Rochelle and the German INF didn't leave until after that happened.

Looking back, I ought to have recommended that the US invade the forest hex in between Bordeaux and Bayonne, if they had the ability to expand out of the beachhead the next impulse.

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RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/16/2012 7:09:27 PM   
Centuur


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From: Hoorn (NED).
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quote:

ORIGINAL: composer99

If memory serves the US Marine died attacking La Rochelle and the German INF didn't leave until after that happened.

Looking back, I ought to have recommended that the US invade the forest hex in between Bordeaux and Bayonne, if they had the ability to expand out of the beachhead the next impulse.

I don't think they would have that ability at that point. With the Yugoslavs and Italians around at that moment, I don't think they would be able to grab Bordeaux or Bayonne. Those ports were better defended (factorwise) than La Rochelle...

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Peter

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RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/16/2012 9:27:32 PM   
micheljq


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur

Defensive thinking is important, sure. But not before the summer of 1942 has ended in the utter destruction of the remains of the Soviet Union. If it survives: no way the Axis are going to win this game...



Agreed, that is why USSR's units must boldly retreat into the mountains as fast as they can.


_____________________________

Michel Desjardins,
"Patriotism is a virtue of the vicious" - Oscar Wilde
"History is a set of lies agreed upon" - Napoleon Bonaparte after the battle of Waterloo, june 18th, 1815

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Post #: 2463
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/18/2012 4:39:59 PM   
dragon_troop

 

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As the winter of 1942 begins, the western allies wait anxiously for the next hammer blow, whats next. The axis have overrun most of European Russia, Japan is in India, and roaming the Indian Ocean.  Western allies are evacuating France. Rumor has it that Turkey is about to join the Axis Alliance.

(in reply to micheljq)
Post #: 2464
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/20/2012 9:26:49 PM   
Red Prince


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From: Bangor, Maine, USA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur


quote:

ORIGINAL: Red Prince

quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

Do you have any plans for 1942. What are CW and USA plan to do? And Japan? Is Italy planning mischief?

These are just stray thoughts before going to sleep for the night, but I have been considering making a bid for Norway with Germany. I probably won't, since Klydon is right . . . first priority is setting up defensive positions and trying to clear out Archangel and Murmansk. But if the CW and/or USA tries to reinforce Norway, that's a bunch of troops that aren't going to be used in Morocco or Western Europe.

Italy will only go after India if the Japanese really falter there. They need to focus on Tahskent and putting some good units in Egypt.

The Allies need to build up. Sometime before mid-1942 I think there will be a large scale attack, either in Morocco or Portugal (maybe Spain), to get a true foothold in Axis territory.

Honestly, most of my plans for 1942 have already been put into motion -- about 8 months ahead of schedule -- so I'm playing catch-up strategically. That goes for both sides, really.

Defensive positions? India? Clearing Archangel and Murmansk? What is everyone thinking here? The USSR isn't dead yet! That should be the most important task of the Axis in 1942. Stalin should be made to shot himself in his bunker in Novosibirsk...
I've seen Axis players looking at the map end of 1941, starting to think defensive, because the USSR is proclaimed dead and than forgetting to exterminate those remaining Soviets in Siberia or not sending enough troops into Siberia to make sure that succeeds. That is a major trap in this game.

Defensive thinking is important, sure. But not before the summer of 1942 has ended in the utter destruction of the remains of the Soviet Union. If it survives: no way the Axis are going to win this game...


You're absolutely right. There are still 5-6 factory cities still to claim before the USSR faills. But Germany is fully committed to getting that job done, even if it means letting Portugal fall into the hands of the USA (but I'm going to try to prevent that). Clearing Archangel and Murmansk, as Orm reminded me, would be best done before the USSR falls, so that the USA is limited in the number of troops it can send to these cities. That's all I really meant by that.

As I said, those were stray thoughts before going to sleep.
-----
It's been 5 days now since I did anything with this game. It may be a few more before I get up and running again. A fresh look should be good for me, especially in trying to figure out the Allied precise goals for 1942, rather than just "a major landing in force". The USA needs to finish up a lot more air power and at least 1 O-chit before that happens. It might even want to recall much of its fleet from Adelaide -- it really can't threaten the Japanese yet, so why waste the ships -- but I have to look things over before deciding that.

Anywa, expect a few new updates in the next few days. The pace will probably be slower than it was for the last month or so, but with it being winter, I should still be able to get a few turns in in not-too-much time. Before long we'll see if the Russian campaign is going to end in Total Victory, or if the Soviets survive. I have doubts about the Italian drive toward Tashkent, but I think the Germans and Turks can take what they need to take. I think the first 2 Axis impulses of N/D '41 are going to clear things up a lot.

Until later, then.

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to Centuur)
Post #: 2465
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/20/2012 9:34:13 PM   
Red Prince


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dragon_troop

As the winter of 1942 begins, the western allies wait anxiously for the next hammer blow, whats next. The axis have overrun most of European Russia, Japan is in India, and roaming the Indian Ocean.  Western allies are evacuating France. Rumor has it that Turkey is about to join the Axis Alliance.

I can verify this rumor, indeed. The Turks will be pouring out of the mountains in no time at all. Most likely, they will target the last remaining Soviet HQ in the region if they can.

Thw western Allies have the initiative, and are actually beginning to think properly about how to wage war. Or, almost properly. In fact, there are similarities here to the actual war -- fairly inept Allied play with few victories early. Hopefully, I can turn them around the same way it happened in real life. I just have to plan my naval disposition much more carefully. I'm getting better at it, though it's not easy to tell, I know.

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to dragon_troop)
Post #: 2466
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/20/2012 9:39:24 PM   
Red Prince


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Just taking another glance at Post #2446 (the impulse summary), I conclude that the Russians might survive into the summer of '42 or possibly longer. Things should begin to average out a little, meaning that it's unlikely that the months of May-August can continue to last as long as in the first 2 years. That isn't actually an accurate assessment of probibilities, since each die roll is its own thing and separate from the existence of any other die roll, but I like to believe in the Law of Averages (even if it means deluding myself). As the Allies, what I'll want is short summers in '42 and '43, and then long ones again in the following years.

Anybody know how to determine the effects of El Nino in this game? Or of sunspots?

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2467
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/20/2012 9:45:02 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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From: Honolulu, Hawaii
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Red Prince

Just taking another glance at Post #2446 (the impulse summary), I conclude that the Russians might survive into the summer of '42 or possibly longer. Things should begin to average out a little, meaning that it's unlikely that the months of May-August can continue to last as long as in the first 2 years. That isn't actually an accurate assessment of probibilities, since each die roll is its own thing and separate from the existence of any other die roll, but I like to believe in the Law of Averages (even if it means deluding myself). As the Allies, what I'll want is short summers in '42 and '43, and then long ones again in the following years.

Anybody know how to determine the effects of El Nino in this game? Or of sunspots?

The defense against Japan should be strong enough to discourage any attacks, or at least to make failed attacks very expensive indeed. The idea is to completely block the Japanese advance along the single rail line through the mountains. If that isn't achieved, the USSR will have too many hexes to defend in both the east and the west.

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Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2468
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/20/2012 10:00:10 PM   
Red Prince


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets


quote:

ORIGINAL: Red Prince

Just taking another glance at Post #2446 (the impulse summary), I conclude that the Russians might survive into the summer of '42 or possibly longer. Things should begin to average out a little, meaning that it's unlikely that the months of May-August can continue to last as long as in the first 2 years. That isn't actually an accurate assessment of probibilities, since each die roll is its own thing and separate from the existence of any other die roll, but I like to believe in the Law of Averages (even if it means deluding myself). As the Allies, what I'll want is short summers in '42 and '43, and then long ones again in the following years.

Anybody know how to determine the effects of El Nino in this game? Or of sunspots?

The defense against Japan should be strong enough to discourage any attacks, or at least to make failed attacks very expensive indeed. The idea is to completely block the Japanese advance along the single rail line through the mountains. If that isn't achieved, the USSR will have too many hexes to defend in both the east and the west.

The Irkutsk MIL should be able to stall the Japanese for this turn, and then something stronger can be added (and with it) to Irkutsk at the start of next turn. If I can get 6-7 factors into Irkutsk before the Japanese reach it, it should hold (doubled to 14 factors). I can't remember off the top of my head, but I don't think the Japanese can get better than 1:1 odds against that without stripping more units from China and elsewhere.
-----
Edit: If it looks like I can spare the Sverdlovsk MIL this turn, I might send it by rail to Irkutsk in the 2nd or 3rd Allied impulse.

< Message edited by Red Prince -- 2/20/2012 10:02:01 PM >


_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 2469
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/21/2012 12:02:30 PM   
Red Prince


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I've started up the first Allied impulse of N/D '41, and I finally decided on a Naval Action for the USA, a Combined for the CW and France, and a Land Action for the USSR. In the final tally, I decided that the Soviets need more than 5 land moves to prepare for the entry of Turkey into the war, and also to make sure the Ural mountains are defended as far forward as they dare. That means they'll be as near to the Germans as they can be with good defensive terrain and little to no opportunity for the Germans to actually attack.

The reason I went for this particular selection of Actions for the Wallies is going to be unpopular, I know, but there is a sound reason behind the reason itself. The basic purpose was to evacuate France. That's what was expected, but I realized I could do it in such a way that it would allow for a USA DOW on Ireland next impulse . . . with 29 factors of units in N. Ireland and 12 factors (halved to 6) in the 3 and 4 Section Boxes of the Bay of Biscay. Also, there is a lot of Shore Bombardment and air cover available for the Surprise impulse -- a USA Land Action to be certain.
-----
I know a lot of you disagree with my ideas about Ireland. You think there are enough Major Ports, Minor Ports and land hexes in the UK to serve my purposes, and you are almost certainly right. This is the "reason behind the reason" I was talking about, though: from a strategic standpoint it may be a pointless act, but from a logistics perspective it's going to make things a lot easier on me. What I mean by this, is that if I can keep the troops and ships from the USA on one island, and the troops and ships from the CW on the other island, it's going to be a lot easier for me to form the stacks I want for deployment and invasions. It eliminates the need to keep UK cities clear for reinforcements, removes the potential that I might forget that extra movement point naval units need to leave a port when they are docked with friendly ships, and it also keeps me from screwing things up with the French TRS I've been using to transfer American troops to the "forward base". France and the CW don't co-operate in this game, so only Belfast and Derry can be used by the French fleet. By gaining 3 new ports in Ireland, there should always be a place for that transport to deposit its cargo.

There are actually 3 additional benefits that I sort of mentioned in the above paragraph:

1. Before I actually do deploy the American troops, having all of those hexes available makes it easier to create the stacks I want in the ports of my choosing.
2. Belfast and the 3 new ports all border on the Bay of Biscay, but Derry doesn't, so when I do deploy the troops to Morroco, I should be able to send a lot more troops to the same sea box.
3. If the very worst comes, Ireland is either another country that Germany/Italy will have to liberate or waste time invading. Of course, that is years down the road and unlikely to come around.
-----
Edit: I just want to note that I'm not arguing this as a logistical decision everyone would make for themselves. It is purely to help me, personally, to keep things organized. My struggle with issues of a Naval nature make this something that should cost practically nothing for the USA, but something that will help me as a player to keep things straight.

< Message edited by Red Prince -- 2/21/2012 12:07:35 PM >


_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2470
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/21/2012 1:20:43 PM   
Red Prince


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I've been looking at it for an hour now, and while the Urals should be fine for the moment, and the Siberian route should hold, I see no way for Baku to survive the turn, and I don't think I have enough units to hold Tiflis against the Germans once Turkey is in the war. The only hope of that is to pray that the weather turns bad at the start of next impulse, and that it stays that way. Right now I'm using mountains and ZOC to keep things from getting out of hand (I think), but there are only 6 Corps and a Division, totaling 41 factors to stand in the way of the Germans. All but 6 of them are doubled by the mountains right now, and when the weather turns bad it should improve things a little, but I can't keep the superior numbers of the Germans completely away from the city forever. Probably not even until next turn.

I'm thinking the best I can hope for is some Shatter results, so that I can move these units to the front in the Urals. Half of it is MECH and ARM units, so they'd be very useful defending the last factories. Right now, though, they can at least use up time and units that the Germans could be using somewhere else. But for how long?
-----
Edit: I also have 11 factors of Ground Support available in this region, but if/when things get too hot, it needs to rebase to the Urals. Unless it can truly make a difference here, but I have my doubts about that. There was one chance to Ground Strike HQ-A Rundstedt, but Germany flew CAP with a very powerful FTR, so I didn't bother trying.

< Message edited by Red Prince -- 2/21/2012 1:24:32 PM >


_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2471
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/21/2012 1:37:29 PM   
Red Prince


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The only attack the Allies made during Impulse #1 of N/D '41 (Turn #14):




And the results:

Attack on Dar es Salaam: Assault, Roll = 2+1 = 3 = -/1 (attackers disorganized)

This was a no-brainer, taking advantage of the good weather in both the North and South Monsoon zones to get the job done. The CW was lucky that Italy could only get 1 defender there, though, and even luckier that it was a TERR unit. It would be fine to sacrifice a CW TERR for the sake of liberating Tanganyika, but it's better they didn't have to. The disappointment, of course, is that the attackers are done for the turn. Kenya and Uganda will have to wait for 1942 to find freedom.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Red Prince -- 2/21/2012 1:40:19 PM >


_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

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Post #: 2472
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/21/2012 1:53:28 PM   
Red Prince


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To end the impulse, the Soviets rebased 3 vulnerable air units to Tiflis and the Urals. And then it happened, the Axis Empires got what they wanted from the very start of the war . . . Germany aligned the Turks!

In addition to the the 37 factors of units shown here, the Turkish navy includes a Battleship, 2 Light Cruisers, and a Convoy. All of those were placed in Istanbul, of course. I'll show the rest of it once I've decided what to do with these forces. I have to remember that only 6 of the 11 land and air units can leave Turkey, but the rest can participate in attacks if they don't actually cross the border after the attack is finished.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2473
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/21/2012 2:04:55 PM   
Red Prince


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Oh, my. I did screw it up for the Soviets. I thought I hadn't when I shifted things to block the easy-access routes to Tiflis from the Turkish border, but as soon as I placed the first unit, I realized the error I made -- I forgot the Turks had a MTN unit available, and that it could cross the alpine hexside. There is a defender in Tiflis, of course, and the MTN will be OOS once it makes the crossing, but it still has the potential to put at least the 8-5 MECH out of supply, too. It will need help from another unit to do that, but that shouldn't be a problem at all.

I actually don't know what else I could have done with the Russians available, and the Germans can't Ground Strike the MECH before it can escape, but it was still an error. I'll show you the rest of the plan once it's all set up.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2474
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/21/2012 2:32:30 PM   
Red Prince


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From: Bangor, Maine, USA
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This shows you the setup I chose for the Turkish units, and it also shows you the defense I thought might have the best chance to work for the Russians. I set things up to gather territory, maintain supply, and to block the borders.

I might continue the impulse later today, but I have to decide if I want to use a Land Action or a Naval Action for the Japanese. I probably will go for the Naval Action, since I really want to redeploy more units to India, but I also would really like to finish things up in Burma now. Well, that's for later today.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2475
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/22/2012 1:38:21 PM   
brian brian

 

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well I am quickly getting deeper in over my head in my busy busy time of year with 70+ hour work weeks, but have been working on the next post to explain what I was trying to say early on in this AAR. It took me a long time to figure out what was going on; for a long time I thought the Allied strategy was to simply get out of the Axis's strategy's way in some strange attempt to prove the brilliance of this Axis strategy. But I don't think the Allied collapse was solely a result of not understanding the techniques of defense in the game; it was more from a lack of experience on how to apply naval power. A clear example of that was after the fall of Gibraltar, when the Axis navies had the CW empire logistical links prostrate at their feet, and they harmlessly punted into a then value-less North Sea.

I now think an essential element of this game was probably a decision Red Prince made before the game even started. I now suspect he never played the Guadalcanal scenario. I wouldn't call this a mistake, more a sin of omission, and a very common one in World in Flames. Understandably, players want to dive in to the Global War as soon as possible. A little time with the Barbarossa scenario and we are ready to go, yes? After all, the sea zones are just there to figure out invasions somehow, think the panzer-heads. But one thing you take away from World in Flames is although the armies take the political objectives, they can't do that without the navies. The players that master the naval system go on to be the best overall players more likely to win the game. The players that never bother with it go on to always bidding high to play Germany or Russia, until the day comes when there are three such players in a group and one of them has to learn the hard way how to move all those ship pieces.

It has been gorgeous to watch MWiF in action. This game will now feature a true Atlantic Wall straight from Ike's nightmares.

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2476
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/22/2012 1:49:22 PM   
brian brian

 

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OK, here is another long one. I hope some of the ideas can be folded into the AI programming.


Although World in Flames is an excellent game because it is a crucible of strategy on several levels and areas of the world simultaneously, I have long thought that one rules system somewhat hobbles newer players in operating strategically: the turn initiative.

Initiative is critical in military operations. Professional armies can even teach their officers to attack at times they can't decisively win, merely to continue to hold the initiative for their forces. You want the enemy to be reacting to your decisions whenever possible in war. Otherwise, the enemy is more free to do something of it's own initiative; something designed to hasten your defeat.

But in World in Flames, each turn starts with determining who holds the initiative for the turn. That is separate from who goes first; holding the initiative allows you to select who moves first of course. But moving first is almost a given for a newer player of the game that wins the die roll to determine the game initiative. Aside from the implications of that decision, the problem with a variable system of who moves first each turn can appear in the player's mind-set. "Double" moves where one side moves last in a turn and then first in the next can produce dramatic results of course, but the whole system of rolling for initiative, deciding who moves first, and re-roll decisions, etc., is not actually what I want to discuss.

That whole game mechanism distracts players from a proper concern with the true initiative in the game. Initiative works on several levels and areas of the game simultaneously, just as I typed above. Holding the initiative means having the strength to force the enemy to wait to see what you do, or can even be seen when a superior force is not well led and thus waits for enemy action when it has no need to do so.

Clearly on the top-level, grand strategy view of the world, the Axis hold the initiative at the beginning of the game. The Allies have little choice but to wait and see what the Axis will do, and then respond to it, a clear example of strategic initiative. But initiative also works on subsidiary levels, such as in a single theater, that is more operational to tactical in nature. An example might be a Russian Declaration of War in 1940; upon launching a war of some sort, they would be on the attack and thus holding the initiative locally, even while the Allies as a whole side do not yet hold the overall strategic initiative in the game.

But despite not holding the true initiative at the start of the war, the Allies have one force that has the combat strength and depth to hold their own and then some with the Axis: the Royal Navy. Until the Red Army 2.0 is constructed and the USN joins the fray, Her Majesty's Fleet is the only such force. Well handled, the Royal Navy starts with the operational initiative to a large degree, and can hold that initiative throughout the entire game even, at least in Europe. There will probably be a period of time in the Indian Ocean where the RN must reluctantly cede the operational initiative to the Imperial Japanese Navy, but this time need not be that long in most games, and even the USN goes through a similar phase in the Central Pacific.

Now of course in the war at sea, many things are different from the war on land. But in a strategic sense, many things are the same. You want to use your military forces to accomplish your objectives: your country's war aims. These are controlling things on the land generally (the objective hexes), but control of the sea has a large impact on what your and your enemy's armies can do on the land. And what stays the same about military strategy at sea, compared to on land, is that you must complete operations that further your objectives, and one of your prime objectives is to keep the enemy from accomplishing their objectives.

Generally strategic and tactical objectives at sea revolve around three things: transporting economic resources, transporting & assisting (via shore bombardment) ground forces, and maintaining supply links from one area of land to another. You want to do those three things for your forces, while denying your enemy the ability to do those same three things. Of course destroying enemy naval forces is also important, but is just a subset of your navy's main tasks. If the enemy navy is eliminated, you can do those three things as much as your land forces require, and your enemy can not.

But the sea is a very big place, and military combat there is markedly different than on land. For the most part, a naval force can not form a line that the enemy must somehow assault and penetrate or flank the way armies form them on land. The sea is just too big for that in most areas. Additionally, the weather can have more of an impact on the operations of military forces at sea. One result is that even a large naval force can not be guaranteed to prevent a smaller naval force from accomplishing a mission in support of one of the three goals mentioned above, because until satellites came along, no navy could know where their enemies were with 100% certainty.

All of that flows from the fact that your naval forces can not be everywhere at once; there is always a chance the enemy eludes them. Now, let's finally return this to playing the game of World in Flames. When you fight at sea in the game, you will eventually realize that the most likely result of possible naval combat is: no combat at all. Many players ascribe this to bad luck. But the nature of the WiF sea-box system dictates that combat is going to happen in less than half of the instances of rolling search dice.

This has many implications in the game. The first would seem to be obvious, but given the game mechanics is frequently missed: your forces have to actually be out at sea to prevent the enemy naval forces from accomplishing their objectives. They can not do it by sitting in port. But they have to return to port at the end of each turn, or their combat efficiency degrades by moving them down one sea-box / turn. And given a player's overriding concern with those all-important objective hexes on land, their naval forces can too easily be sitting in port when the enemy decides to attempt one of their objectives.

So the first thing a naval force must do in World in Flames to prevent enemy objective obtainment is to stay at sea at the end of the turn. This carries risks to a degree, as your forces move down a box, eroding their tactical position. But if you don't have anything in a sea-zone, the enemy can sail out and do anything it desires, such as landing troops adjacent to or even right onto your navy's principal base. This is just an unavoidable consequence of the I-go-you-go alternating movement system of the game.

But even with forces at sea, they might fail to intercept enemy naval forces, who thus complete their objective. Thus is formed another very important imperative in the game: powers with a lot of naval objectives to meet, and sea areas to defend, must move their naval units early in a turn to do so. This maximizes their chances to find the enemy navy and engage it in combat (sinking their transports), and/or having the maximum possible amount of your forces present to defend against enemy attempts to prevent your objectives (your transports landing your troops). It can be difficult to pass up a key opportunity for your ground units in attack or defense on land, but for the most part it can be more important for the future of those land units to maintain control of the local seas via taking a naval impulse first each turn for the main naval powers in the game - the US, Commonwealth, and Japan. Not doing so exposes their light, holding naval forces to an extra impulse of risk from the enemy navy and the just discussed problem of units at sea too long losing combat effectiveness.

This imperative to move your naval forces as a priority also ties in with the strategic situation the Royal Navy is immersed in at start - their forces are larger than the Axis forces. In combat, attrition favors the stronger force. If it can cause losses to a weaker force at an equal rate to it's own losses, it will by definition win the conflict as the weaker force is eventually eliminated. But to cause attrition to the enemy force, they must be engaged in combat, and this is a bit more difficult at sea. So the number of chances to engage in combat must be maximized by the superior force, something which is achieved by moving your naval forces out to sea earlier in a turn rather than later.

Now, the Royal Navy does have one passive objective to attain: transporting resources from around the globe to the factories in the UK. Only the Axis can decide when or if to attempt to deny that objective to the Allies. So, should the Royal Navy sit in port and wait for the Axis to attempt this? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Well, mostly. It is good to have a reserve reaction force in port in the event of an Axis naval sortie. But overall, it is much better for the Royal Navy to use it's superior forces to blockade the Axis in their ports. And this, finally, is what I mean by the Royal Navy starting with and holding the operational initiative. If the Axis surface forces want to sortie to disrupt Allied naval objectives, the Royal Navy should be right there waiting for them, just over the horizon from the Axis base, i.e. in the first sea zone the Axis navy has to enter. If the Axis want to do something, they should have to fight to do it, plain and simple. If the RN sits in port and waits to see what the Axis navies do, it has handed the initiative to the Axis and taken the first step to losing the war.

Quite simply, the Royal Navy is more than big enough to always have a force at sea in the North Sea and the Western Mediterranean at all times, waiting for an Italian or German sortie. Why those two zones? To protect Algeria and the nearer approaches to Gibraltar, and to keep the German navy bottled up in Germany. Should the Kriegsmarine rebase to France or Norway, the North Sea becomes less important; also if the Axis concentrate their NAV forces there it won't hurt the Empire that much to let them muck about in the North Sea temporarily, unless an actual invasion of England or Scotland is threatened. In the Western Med however, you have to fight some even facing 2 or more Axis NAV. This might not go well, but this is what those nice carriers Parliament gave you in the 1930s are for. The flank approaches to Gibraltar simply have to be defended no matter what. Concentrate what CV fighter planes you can, and your ships with the best AA factors, operating in a large group. You can't beat them if you don't fight them, and at sea, even a just slightly inferior force can win a battle.

Now, I would suggest always having at least 2 Battleships in this sea area at the end of each turn, with 2 Heavy Cruisers as escorts. This is not hard for the RN to accomplish. 2 BB and 2 CA probably can't take on a large Kriegsmarine or Regia Marina force on their own, but have the attack and defence capabilities to make the Axis weigh carefully a decision to simply sail past them after a successful interception attempt, possibly giving the intercepting RN squadron a lot of surprise points to shoot up the Axis raiders with. And of course, these trip-wire forces have to be backed with more substantial forces in nearby ports. (Also worth noting that any and all WiF Commanders should use their Battleships whenever and wherever possible. Cruisers just don't have staying power in combat and have a more difficult time achieving their objectives as they are just too fragile. Especially the Light Cruisers, which should handle escort duties in the least threatened sea zones.)

Hopefully, by now you've noticed that this stay-at-sea tactic is designed for turns where the Allies aren't moving first. A wise Axis might actually have the Allies move first at times, particularly during the winter of 1940, saving up their own chances to move first for sunnier times ahead. Then things are simple for the Royal Navy: large blockading forces can set up in these sea areas and all RN naval objectives for the turn can be easily met.

Also note that success in naval combat does not depend on a standard odds ratio of 3:1 or better so strongly and classically advised on land. At sea, odds ratios and game unit factors are far less important, though of course if you fight with inferior forces too frequently, you will lose more units and battles over the long term. But for the Royal Navy, any 1:1 type fight should be considered a victory before the battle even starts. The RN has huge numerical advantages over the Euro-Axis navies, with a big green war machine to be added to their side sometime before the middle of the game. It is also very important for a CW commander in WiF to remember that he is not commanding real human lives, but merely pieces of cardboard or fleeting images on a screen. This game does not reward you for having naval units left at the end of the game; in the last 2 years of the war you will need a certain amount of shore bombardment factors, but otherwise a big healthy navy is just not needed all that much once the Axis navies are defeated. So the Royal Navy should fight hard, and fight often. There is very little reason not to.

I would also note that an aggressive posture for the Royal Navy is not effected by the status of the French Navy. The French Navy is a good asset on the Allied side at the beginning of the game. But it obviously isn't going to be around very long. All of what I have written here is a way the Royal Navy can operate regardless of whether France is still in the war or not. Even while it still is, it can be difficult for the French to select a naval impulse as their army is in quite a predicament. If they can choose a naval, that's great; I suggest adding a French squadron to most every sea zone the Axis can reach, both in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. They can always stay at sea afterwards and contribute forces to any potential combat next turn. The French should be played even more aggressively than the Royal Navy, but it is just not always possible to do so.

Returning to the realm of pure strategy for a moment, it is also worth noting that a prime directive for a superior force is to not let two separated inferior forces join. Thus the CW and especially the Royal Navy should fight with everything it has to prevent the Axis from taking Gibraltar. But the CW should fight ferociously to prevent the hex's capture with little regard for casualties. A round of naval combat may go bad, but the next one may go very well. I don't mean a last couple cruisers should make a hopeless last sortie no matter what; there is still the actual UK, etc., to defend after it's loss. A Kriegsmarine & RM combo based in Gib and Dakar or Lisbon can make maintaining the CW empire links to England very challenging. Best keep this from happening for as long as navally possible in the first place.

Now you may notice I have not mentioned air units. I can't give you every secret of World in Flames. Air units, both offensive and defensive, become increasingly important as the game goes along. In the first few turns, this isn't as true as a single NAV can rarely do much to a decent sized task-force, due to the anti-aircraft fire. But as more NAVs become available, everything changes. But overall, the CW can use their air units in the same way as their heavy fleet units - they fly out to sea early in the turn, and make the Axis deal with it. Of course, the CW does have to pick and choose carefully about what to build, but all of their long range FTR, both single and twin engine, are critical to the naval campaign from 1940 and onwards.

The result of the first year of naval combat should be decisive, clear, and not hard to accomplish: the Axis transports, most specifically the Italian ones, should be kept off the map by sinking them or damaging them whenever and wherever and as often as possible. If their TRS aren't on the map, your overseas possessions are perfectly safe. The CW should never pass on an opportunity to port strike them, intercept them during movement, and activate the sea zone for a search and combat every single impulse they are at sea.

For the most part, this is a simple strategy point I wanted to get across. The Royal Navy can single-handedly keep the Allies in the game while they wait for the USN and it's brother forces to ride into the game and change everything. I am no expert on British naval history, but from what I have absorbed of it over the years, the Royal Navy only very rarely ceded any amount of initiative to the enemy, from the tactical scale of a single ship to the situation across the entire globe. If World in Flames players operate it in the same way, they will take the first step to winning the game for the Allies. And I will leave you with this thought - what color are the CW pieces? What color is the sea? A coincidence? Most definitely not.

(in reply to brian brian)
Post #: 2477
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/22/2012 3:03:47 PM   
Red Prince


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quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

well I am quickly getting deeper in over my head in my busy busy time of year with 70+ hour work weeks, but have been working on the next post to explain what I was trying to say early on in this AAR. It took me a long time to figure out what was going on; for a long time I thought the Allied strategy was to simply get out of the Axis's strategy's way in some strange attempt to prove the brilliance of this Axis strategy. But I don't think the Allied collapse was solely a result of not understanding the techniques of defense in the game; it was more from a lack of experience on how to apply naval power. A clear example of that was after the fall of Gibraltar, when the Axis navies had the CW empire logistical links prostrate at their feet, and they harmlessly punted into a then value-less North Sea.

I now think an essential element of this game was probably a decision Red Prince made before the game even started. I now suspect he never played the Guadalcanal scenario. I wouldn't call this a mistake, more a sin of omission, and a very common one in World in Flames. Understandably, players want to dive in to the Global War as soon as possible. A little time with the Barbarossa scenario and we are ready to go, yes? After all, the sea zones are just there to figure out invasions somehow, think the panzer-heads. But one thing you take away from World in Flames is although the armies take the political objectives, they can't do that without the navies. The players that master the naval system go on to be the best overall players more likely to win the game. The players that never bother with it go on to always bidding high to play Germany or Russia, until the day comes when there are three such players in a group and one of them has to learn the hard way how to move all those ship pieces.

It has been gorgeous to watch MWiF in action. This game will now feature a true Atlantic Wall straight from Ike's nightmares.

Before I read the 2nd post, I just want to respond to this one: you're right, I never played the Guadalcanal Scenario. The reason is that when I started working on MWiF a year ago, the Naval Movement system was entirely buggy, as was the Supply system. It couldn't be played. It's actually one of the things on the list of things to test, but we have several other experts who deal almost entirely in Naval operations . . . so I never went back to play it. The things I was asked to test were related to conquest and surrender in the early summer, and then I moved on to editing the Players Manual. I just never got around to running a Guadalcanal.

< Message edited by Red Prince -- 2/22/2012 3:05:01 PM >


_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
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(in reply to brian brian)
Post #: 2478
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/22/2012 5:19:55 PM   
bo

 

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Wow Brian Brian wow, expertly written, well done. This is why we need an AI, hopefully a dumb one To play you would be folly on my part and boring on your part Hopefully Steve's basic training camp will prepare me to at least put up a reasonable fight against you, better than an inept AI [ not that Steve would ever put out an inept AI] that you may play once in a while. I like beer and pretzels games and that long post was way beyond beer and pretzels HELP Steve!

Bo

(in reply to composer99)
Post #: 2479
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/23/2012 12:22:58 AM   
ullern


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Great brian. so Much can be written about WIF, and this is just a small bit really.

(in reply to brian brian)
Post #: 2480
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/23/2012 10:30:17 AM   
Red Prince


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Moving on to Axis Impulse #2 of N/D '41, Germany made 2 Ground Strikes in an attempt to help with the clean up of the remaiing Soviets. Rostov was a failure, but near Baku they disorganized the Astrakhan MIL:




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to ullern)
Post #: 2481
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/23/2012 12:16:46 PM   
Red Prince


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Here's another one of those situations where I managed to take myself by surprise, even in Solitaire Mode. I guess there's just way too much to think about, when you consider all of the possible permutations for land moves alone. In post #2474, I talked about how I thought I had set up the Soviets the best I could, but that I made an error with the MECH because it could be put out of supply (and isolated) by the freshly aligned Turkish MTN unit. I also said that it shouldn't be too difficult to put it back in supply without disorganizing any units. Well, that's still true, but it is going to require me to move units other than the ones I expected to use to do the job.

Below is an image of the land moves I've been making with Germany and Italy. As part of the preparations for an attack west of Baku, I moved the Italian MOT up the rail line, thinking it would help to keep the Soviets completely defensive. It turned out to be a better move than I expected, putting HQ-I Timoshenko and the 39th Infantry out of supply, too. Timoshenko is stacked with the 13th MECH Division, which had to be disorganized to reach the hex. So, in all, 4 of the 7 Russian land units near Tiflis are now OOS and isolated, which you can see by the red indicator in the upper-right corner of the units. It was my intention to use the GARR to put the MECH back in supply, moving the MECH in Tiflis into the mountains to take its place and the 39th Infantry into Tiflis. But now I'm going to need to use both the GARR and the ARM to get everybody back into supply, and I can't move the MECH out of Tiflis. I think. When I get to the next Soviet impulse, I'll see if I can figure out something better, since I don't want to leave those mountain passes open. It might be better to disorganize the 39th Infantry with a move northwest. We shall see.

Anyway, this just proves yet again that you can even "trick" yourself in a Solitaire game.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
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(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2482
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/23/2012 1:22:07 PM   
Red Prince


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Three attacks this impulse by the Axis:

Rostov includes 10 factors of Ground Support (20 halved) and does not include HQ-I von Bock. Using him could increase the odds almost to 3:1 and he could try HQ Support, but I'd rather see if I can kill at least one of the Soviet defenders this impulse and still have him available to reorganize units in case that's all the Germans get. Without the MIL, the defense drops from 22 to 14, and if it ends up snowing next impulse that goes down to 7, which means another attempt can be made either way.

Near Baku, 4 factors of Ground Support are being added. They'll be escorted by the Italian FTR in Tabriz, not for protection, but so that the Soviets won't add their own Ground Support. They could actually add up to 9 factors, making this a 2.6:1 attack, but it would use up all of their local LND, and it would only postpone the inevitable while risking the destruction of those aircraft and pilots later in the turn (assuming they survive the Air-to-Air Combat). The Urals are better defended, and it's also where the defense needs to hold out as long as possible, so those LND have to rebase there. The benefit would be an almost certainty that one of the defenders could retreat into Baku (or be Shattered), but there are more important units that the Soviets need to try to save.

In Burma, this is an Automatic Blitz attack. Last turn I thought it would be an easy victory, but rolled terribly. This time I am taking no chances.
-----
Note: I haven't added the die roll modifier to the Baku attack because I'm a little uncertain what it's going to be. I think it is +3 (+1 for disorganized units, +3 for armor, and -1 for combat friction), but I might have miscalculated it in my head.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Red Prince -- 2/23/2012 1:25:23 PM >


_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2483
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/23/2012 1:59:45 PM   
Red Prince


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It turns out I was right in my calculations for the attack near Baku. So, here are the attacks for Impulse #2 of N/D '41:




And the results:

Attack on Burma [91, 123]: Blitz, Fractional Odds .672 (No), Roll = Automatic = */2B (Breakthrough)
Attack on Rostov: Assault, Fractional Odds .904 (No), Roll = 4 = 1/- (SS MIL destroyed, attackers disorganized)
Attack on USSR [68, 77]: Blitz, Fractional Odds .111 (Yes), Roll = 10+3 = 13 = */2B (Breakthrough)

At Rostov, the Fractional Odds Roll was a key factor in the attack. At either 2:1 or 3:1 a Blitz attack was out of the question. There was just too much risk of losing Rostov without making the Germans pay for it. The Assault CRT, however, even at 3:1 odds, has a 60% chance to hold the city and a 50% chance to kill off at least 1 German while doing it. At 2:1 odds that only gets better, with a 30% chance of killing 2 Germans and a 40% chance to kill some Germans without losing a single defender. Germany can afford to risk the losses, of course, but failing to eliminate any defenders would be unpleasant for them. The Fractional Odds Roll favored the USSR, and the Germans just barely missed killing a defender. It only cost a single MIL, but they won't be able to mount an attack of the same magnitude again this turn, most likely.

Near Baku, the Blitz CRT gauruntees that the attackers will remain organized, and there's a 60% chance that both defenders can be killed. If the Axis is lucky enough to get the Fractional Odds Roll, that improves to 80% chances. They did, and rolled wonderfully, and I really wish (as the Germans) that the rolls were swapped with the Rostov attack. That would still result in roughly the same thing, with 2 dead Soviets, but it would have captured Rostov. The price, of course, would have been the 7-4 Siberian and the 4-3 INF being Shattered -- to show up again in the Urals next turn -- but it would have freed up a lot of Germans near Rostov.

For the Soviets, in retrospect, I'm very happy I didn't add Ground Support. Even if all of it got through, the odds would shift to 3:1 and the same thing would happen. And a lot of LND power would be wasted. As Germany, I'm disappointed in the Rostov failure, but I've gained 2 Oil resurces and Baku simply can't hold against the next attack. Well, it can, but it would require a very bad roll indeed. With Baku cleared of Soviet activity, I can focus all of my land forces in the theatre on destroying the defenders of Tiflis. Once that is finished, a huge portion of the German military can seek its fortune in Siberia and elsewhwere.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Red Prince -- 2/23/2012 2:00:36 PM >


_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
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Post #: 2484
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/23/2012 2:15:36 PM   
Red Prince


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I made a minor error in placing HQ-I von Leeb during Land Movement. I thought I had him close enough to provide reorganization to some of the troops that attacked Rostov, but I forgot that it is the motorized movement rate that is used to determine how far away a unit can be and still be reorganzed by an HQ unit. So, I'll have to wait an extra impulse (probably) to make another attempt on Rostov. In the meantime, I rebased 2 fighter-bombers nearby to help out if an attack seems possible. This leaves little coverage in the Caucasus, but I think there are more than enough Axis units there to let a few suffer Ground Strikes if it comes to that. Besides, I doubt the Soviets will waste LND power here (unless it seems necessary) on either Ground Strikes or a ton of Ground Support. The situation is near hopeless for them.

So, HQ-I von Bock did his part, reorganizing 3 units:




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2485
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/23/2012 2:21:05 PM   
Red Prince


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On to Allied Impulse #3, and it looks like the winter is going to be mild. It started to rain in the North Temperate zone, and it's still raining in the Arctic, but that's all. At least the impulses will advance by 2 for the time being:




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2486
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/23/2012 3:49:58 PM   
Red Prince


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As promised, the United States made the DOW on Ireland, and it aligned with Germany.

The CW sent its fleets out, adding its SUBs to those of the USA in the S. China Sea, a small force from Brisbane to the Coral Sea, and also a very large force from Liverpool to Cape St. Vincent. This last force was only going up against a single NAV the Italians left there last turn to maintain supply along the Moroccan coast, and it had enough AA factors to abort or even destroy the NAV with a good roll. It doesn't have any Air Support, but it should be enough to force Italy to take either a Naval or Combined Action next instead of the Land Action that would help move things along in Russia. Unfortunately, the CW couldn't find the NAV. Italy will probably still need to alter its plans, though.

In addition to the fleet movements, a few more convoys were sent out to make sure all resources reached their intended destinations, and escorts were sent to vulnerable sea areas. The MIL in Halifax (the one covered in locusts ) boarded a transport in the E. Coast, and the Sydney MIL hopped onto a transport in the Tasman Sea, too. I'm not certain of their destinations yet, but they aren't useful where they are right now, and the transports needed to rebase this turn, anyway. I know that doesn't sound like good strategic thinking, but there are several options open for each, and I don't know which ones will be the most useful yet.

In the S. China Sea, the Allies ran into more trouble with die rolls, and had half of their forces destroyed, damaged, or aborted. In the Coral Sea, though, they were able to clear out the few Japanese ships that were creating some minor problems for the USA:




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
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(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2487
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/23/2012 4:10:58 PM   
Red Prince


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The CW made a lucky Ground Strike on the Irish INF in Dublin, preparing it for the upcoming American attack (top image), and the Soviets decided to risk an even-odds combat against the Turks flying CAP in Georgia (middle image). I didn't think I was going to try any Russian Ground Strikes, but I decided that if I could disorganized a few of the units in this stack (bottom image), it would probably hinder the German advance on Tiflis enough to be worthwhile. It was a semi-success, and the LND used can rebase across the Caspian Sea to a safe location. The other 2 Air Missions can be used later on to rebase 2 of the 3 remaining LND in the region toward the Urals.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2488
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/23/2012 5:10:07 PM   
Red Prince


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For Allied Impulse #3 of N/D '41, the United States attacked Dublin and made 2 invasions on the minor ports of Ireland:




And the results:

Attack on Dublin: Assault, Fractional Odds .142 (Yes), Roll = 8+1 = 9 = */2S
Attack on Waterford: Assault, Roll = Automatic
Attck on Cork: Assault, Roll = Automatic

The attack on Dublin was first, because eliminating the defender turned the invasion of Waterford into an Automatic attack by denying the Notional Unit benefits due to being in supply or in the ZOC of a friendly unit. The attack went off without a hitch, and both ports were won automatically, so Ireland is going to be an American "protectorate" at the end of this turn.

Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

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Post #: 2489
RE: MWiF Global War Hot-Seat (AAR) - 2/23/2012 5:25:53 PM   
Red Prince


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After rebasing some more American planes to the UK and 2 LND from the Caucasus toward Magnitogorsk, I decided to use MacArthur's reorganization abilities on a few transports in Belfast. There are still units to be gathered from the US of A, and the only one of the Allies left that isn't facing an oil shortage is the United States, so it isn't an issue on that count.

The second half of the image below shows something I considered for HQ-I Timoshenko. Having those 2 land units reorganized would give a little more flexibility near Tiflis, but in the final analysis, I thought it would be better to keep him active for a bit. The Germans can't yet destroy him (I think), and they also can't get to Tiflis in the Rain. I managed to get supply back to all 7 units, and only had to disorganize 1 unit in the process. So, no reorganization effort from Timoshenko this impulse.




Attachment (1)

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Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
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Post #: 2490
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