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 >