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The war that broke the bank...

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The war that broke the bank... - 6/6/2017 9:39:13 PM   


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This is the story of the war that blew past the 8,000 counter limit. It goes back a long time, from the first days of the game's release, and is still going on now, with a game date of 1944 heading into 1945 and no end in sight -- we chose the long game. The story is filled with blunders, missteps and huge strategic mistakes on both sides.
It all begins, as it usually does, in Poland.
The first German campaign was a marred and terrifying disaster. A 3 on Lodz slowed things down, followed by horrible weather which resulted in Warsaw not falling until N/D. Even then, it cost an ENG unit which the Germans did not replace to their long and painful shame.
France was no better. The Axis decided oil was the thing and failed to build those stunning Stukas. The result was predictable. Both O Chits had to be burnt and the progress was snail-like. The Wehrmacht's armour force was reduced to a single mech and the Luftwaffe's fighter force consisted of one three factor fighter by the end. A stunning and lucky counter attack by the allies prolonged the agony. Paris only fell because the allies, drunk with success, repeated the trick and failed badly.
With their forces butchered, the Germans had to make some alternate plans. And as it happened the Italians opened up new possibilities. Mussolini had been pressing slowly but surely into the southern mountains of France, and had made it all the way to the mountain factory. Now, mused the Germans, why Vichy at all? Yes, their forces were weak but the French were prostrate after the lengthy Great War rematch. It took the better part of a year, but France was reduced to a single factory surrounded by Germans, and US entry was far below average. The allies decided not to surrender France. And so the USA stood by.
Meanwhile, the Kriegsmarine was given full access to German industry. The U-boats were pouring out of dockyards and wrecking havoc on the British Merchant Marine. In this game, the UK has been completely cut off from resources at least three times. CP losses were staggering. Complicating the UK's position was a combined Italian and German assault aimed at Casablanca while France was being slowly crushed. The objective was clear in the axis mind, but the threat may have not been so clear for Churchill: With Casablanca in hand, the axis air force bolstered by every four-range fighter and reasonable Nav available, could force a terrible choice on the RN: either fight and die over Cape St. Vincent, or watch Gibraltar go out of supply. They watched Gib go dark. Then they watched the prepared and positioned air, and Marine landing take the rock. Uhh ohhh... Spain was called.
None of this came without a price for Germany, the USSR was slamming everything they could into the border count, and Germany was only barely holding the garrison, sometimes by as little as a single point. Still... it worked.
After the Rock came Greece, Suez and then preparing for war with the USSR. Suez was fairly easy. The UK was having enormous difficulty getting a grip on its convoy lines now that Germany and the Italian fleet sat right on top of their routes like a giant vulture. The Azores fell in a snap invasion of Portugal, making a terrible situation very much worse. Greece, however, was a giant boost for crumbling allied morale. A poorly prepared assault faltered immediately, and some bad die rolls ensured the country stood for much longer than anticipated. Short on units, the Germans had to fly every last plane to the East front to maintain the garrison. It only just succeeded. Finally Greece fell, and Yugoslavia was ripe for the picking the moment Rumania was aligned.
And so it came to pass that Barbarossa was launched in the middle of winter in N/D 42. Not much happened. Rumania joined Germany. Yugoslavia quickly followed.
Germany feared massive Soviet reprisals on the East front. But 43 was quiet. The USSR instead turned violently south. Stalin had about all he could take of the German march torwards the Indian Ocean. That was his after all. The best of the Red Army was packed up and shipped south. A considerable German force that had made it to Baghdad and was threatening Persia, was blasted in a few months. But anxious to keep the momentum going, the USSR chose B results rather than forcing retreats. By the time the Red Army reached Beirut with a insane chain of HQs behind them, the German army's OB was not noticeably different, except units that were in Iraq were now making their way to the East Front.
A bit bemused (well angered) by the desert supply rules, the USSR simply turned 180 degrees around, and gave its best HQs instructions to prepare for war with Japan. Suez remained in German hands.
Not willing to watch as the Red Army swept across the plains of the mideast, the Red Air Force was blasting away at Ploesti. A highly successful attack into Bessarabia had brought fighter cover well within range to support the Red Air Force's entire force of four-engined bombers, with instant and terrible effect. The Kriegmarine stopped sailing. All activity stopped. Fuel priority was handed to fighters and the army. Not even the synthetic plants could keep up with the demands of the navy, air force and army in late 43 with nearly everything built. Choices had to be made. The RN breathed a giant sigh of relief. The tide had clearly turned.
It was at this moment when the western allies jumped in, throwing their troops into a fairly tangential attack on Norway. There was not a lot of choice. The combined forces of Italy and Germany, plus an attack on India by Japan (as we will see later), had withered every arm of His Majesty's forces. The RAF was simply incapable of challenging the robust Axis air force in the North Sea, and the USA with its extremely late entry did not yet have the mass fighter support required. It had to be Norway. Germany shrugged, But not without taking a look at the length of time left in the game and doing some unsettling math on US and USSR production. And so, that is the story so far for Europe... next time it will be the trials of China. And after that hopefully, more of the actual game...

< Message edited by CanInf -- 6/6/2017 9:55:17 PM >
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RE: The war that broke the bank... - 6/7/2017 3:48:26 PM   


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On to Japan... The USSR perhaps missed an opportunity early in the game to punish Japan for going heavy into China. The Imperial Army committed everything and soaked up virtually all production for the first year at least, and was handsomely rewarded. A forward defence by China ensured the death toll was horrible, and they never quite recovered. Coupled with a late US entry and Japan's use of an offensive chit to crush the last remnants in the south, China was conquered just prior to US entering the war. The heavy commitment to China meant the first war impulse with the USA and CW was less than spectacular. Pearl Harbour was particularly pointless with only a few old battleships bottomed. But the release of the army in China meant Japan could pursue several major campaigns at once with significant force.. Singapore fell quickly, the Phillipines were somewhat annoying but faced with a huge army they too fell.
On the seas, the Japanese fighter force supported by a few nasty NAVs kept the USN at bay in key areas leading to the fall of Rabaul and other smaller ports. With the Chinese factory and resources kicking in, plus a new build factory and all the synths, Japan's economy was on a roll. The seas surrounding Truk were soon in shadows due to the air cover through 43 and 44. American CV production was terrifying, but for the moment, Japan looked to India. A quick stab resulted in the fall of Calcutta, and by the last turn played, a significant force was making its way westward across central India along the railway line. The object was to meet up with Italian and German forces operating out of Aden.
Keeping the pressure on the UK was the central policy of all three Axis powers, and so far it had worked. BY the end of 44, the RAF's bomber force was non-existent, and its fighters were barely holding their own with the Luftwaffe. The fact every fighter in the Italian force pool was flying certainly helped.
While the USA was corked for the moment in the Pacific, and the UK was trying to find its feet, the USSR was fighting mad, and launched on Manchuria. Caught flat footed by the Red Army, the initial gains greatly alarmed Tokyo. The rail system was mobilized to bring every available unit to the Soviet front from Chinese garrisons. Planes were redirected from their Truk destination to the mainland, and the flying boats were recalled. A bad attack by the Soviets helped immeasurably, but as of writing the situation remains grim... though the German ambassador to Japan seems to spend his days and nights drinking champagne and singing "it's a long way to General Zhukov, it's a long way to go..."
Faced with a situation that would have been utter disaster for a game ending in 45, the allies are sanguine. They look at the production pipeline and see a swarm of CV's that can punch through any possible perimeter. The USSR has plenty of time, and even decided to build its fleet. The UK is finally getting a grip on its supply chain. All in all, allied morale is intact and getting stronger.
The Euro Axis note with increasing frustration, that their massive forces including a simply glorious Kriegsmaine become increasing difficult to use simply because they can't be gassed up. While delayed, the inevitable landing on mainland Europe looms large in the minds of OKH. On the East Front a lack of HQs has hobbled Soviet attacks, but German attacks have also been notably futile. For one, the Germans would love to get rid of a surge into Bessarabia which has created an annoying pocket that is considered Soviet territory (production bonus!). But they always come up short. Knowing full well that the return of a few HQs from Japan means constant and ruthless attacks supported by gazillions of planes, the Germans are looking for lines of defence. The front line commanders are begging for Jagdpanthers, but they are not sure whether they will come in time. But perhaps worst of all, the pre-eminence of the Axis fighter force is over. Air superiority has predicated every Axis action till now. With it gone, holes will open up. The years ahead stretch out like a long walk over broken glass.

< Message edited by CanInf -- 6/7/2017 3:54:56 PM >

(in reply to CanInf)
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RE: The war that broke the bank... - 6/7/2017 4:00:38 PM   


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and here is a recent file...

Attachment (1)

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RE: The war that broke the bank... - 5/10/2018 7:18:34 PM   


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The game is now in early 1946, so let's catch up!
Late in 43 the Red Army drive for Suez ended, not for lack of success, but because it required nearly every HQ to supply the front line! In 44, the USSR went heavy into Manchuria catching the Japanese flat footed, but a single failed attack by the USSR saved the position. Zhukov got himself into a pickle without a motorized unit to take a loss in a blitz attack. He 'sadly' died. The mistake allowed the Japanese to hold, but just barely.

From the german perspective, the Soviet side operations in the mideast and Manchuria were a welcome relief. The wehrmacht was remarkably weak, and would have fared poorly against the Red Army with all its HQs. But with the big Soviet HQs half way across the world, the Germans managed to retake Bessarabia (after considerable pain), returning the province to Rumanian control and ending the Ploesti bombing raids. As German strength grew through 43 and 44, they looked at the 5 factor units in the Ukraine, and decided the Ardennes offensive would be replaced by the Ukraine offensive. In May 45, they hit hard. The new super planes helped things along nicely! The objective was the three-resource hex and perhaps beyond, but it was not to be. More Red Army units flooded the line faster than they could be destroyed. Then as the Red Army's quality improved, the line stabilized and froze well short of the target. Now in in early 46, the Wehrmacht is simply giving the USSR extra build points by occupying empty fields. It is probably time to leave the USSR for good. The Germans did however, get a very nice telegram from the Japanese emperor thanking them for taking the big units out of Manchuria and ending any serious Soviet threat in the far east.

In Norway the Germans are still puzzling over the western allies' strategy. After landing in Norway the allies stalled in the mountains under freezing arctic skies, Anglo-american forces then attacked Sweden. The three resources in the north fell fast, but Sweden held just fine on a river line half way up the country. The additional swedish units were welcomed into the german army, and Berlin calculated the loss of the resources as an acceptable trade for the new units. As German high command looked at the map, they were at a loss to figure out an objective that would make the campaign worthwhile for the allies. Even if they crushed Norway and Sweden, they would be running head long into the Baltic sea. They only real success seemed to be putting Finland in a vice. Even then the Germans figure they can hold for a long time so long as they kept throwing in a few units a turn, which given the size of the kreigsmarine is entirely possible.

In the pacific things look equally unpalatable for the western allies. Japan built nearly every fighter available and retains control of the Coral Sea and the Solomons through air power backed up by nearly every carrier in the force pool. The Royal Navy has yet to show up largely because a large force of u-boats remain active including the new globe-trotting Walter Subs, the Kreigsmarine is huge, and the Italian fleet has the Indian ocean firmly under its thumb, in fact India came within inches of falling, but more in that later, let's get back to the Solomons. While the Japanese are safe for a few months in the Pacific, they know their time will come to an abrupt end soon. Over two dozen new American super carriers will sail in the space of a few turns (those include the 7-space variety, one with 9 AA!!). They will cut through the island chains with ease. Japan is therefore looking at delay tactics for the coming year.

And finally to India, a drive by Japan to conquer India had to be put on hold when the USSR attacked Manchuria and key units were recalled, but the Italians decided to take over the campaign from the other direction with the help of a few germans. Bad planning however made a perfectly viable attack into a wasted effort. The Axis decided to go for both Bombay and Delhi at the same time. In so doing, both failed. The Delhi force seemed to be on the verge of victory, but the dice had other plans. A roll of three left everyone flipped, and a single fast territorial of dubious firepower (2-4) put the whole force out of supply. They are now stuck there until an HQ can be brought up to relieve the force. By that time the USN super carriers will have scattered all axis naval units, so the India campaign will be a more of an evacuation than a thrust forward. Mind you the East Front generals are wondering what on Earth they were doing in India anyhow. The USSR has finally stopped fighting in every place but the East front has now amassed its best units in the Ukraine. Supported by at least 2 O chits a turn, the German army is not looking forward to the summer of 46. In fact there are few axis commanders who look forward to a posting on the front. The one amazing exception is France where the Italian army basks under clear skies unblemished by allied air power which is all in Sweden. Unsure what to make of their great fortune, the Italian army is content to make sure every hex is covered by battalions bathing in the bay of Biscay. It's a tough job but the Italians will do it.

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