rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (Full Version)

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composer99 -> rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/22/2019 6:56:44 PM)

So, further to Ronnie's (aka rkr1958) last "scripted" game, he decided to abandon it in favour of a multiplayer game.

Right now he's the Axis versus me as the Allies. We might have a third player join us, assuming we can talk him into getting the same app we're using for chat.

This thread is just for the Allies, so Ronnie won't be poking his head in here, but the rest of you can get an idea of what I'm thinking during the game, the Allied planning, and how I react to events in the game.

Setup

Pictures

Let's start with some pictures and notes showing the Allied setup.

US Setup
Nothing special here. Nimitz and the guns are set up to go to the Pacific - the ART to support operations, the pink AT gun to help defend a key hex or two.

USSR Setup
Far East: This setup is hopefully going to keep the Japanese honest. If Ronnie sends Terauchi and a few units into China to really try to stick it to the Chinese, then I'll probably invade Manchuria to distract him. Otherwise, I'll eventually send Zhukov west and replace Siberians with crappier normal infantry to send them west, too.

Europe: Evenly split between north and south of the Pripets.

Arctic: Submarines start in Murmansk for use once the USSR is at war - I'm hoping to be sneaky with them.

China Setup
Quite a bit more aggressive than the setup in my AAR game, although I still leave Changsha empty.

Commonwealth Setup
Nothing too fancy here, although I already regret not putting the LND2 in reserve. The freely-placed INF corps and gun both go to Egypt.

France Setup
Nothing too fancy here, although with the Italians set up for aggression in the Med, I don't expect to bring home units from Algeria or Syria.




[image]local://upfiles/16912/1AAE718A97C74A87924D82D5F3DEDF08.jpg[/image]




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/22/2019 7:14:23 PM)

Setup

Allied Strategy

The overall Allied strategy in the early game is pretty simple:
- React to Axis moves and attempt to blunt them
- Take advantage of openings or opportunities
- Seize the initiative in such theatres of war where this can be done (I'm especially thinking of East and North Africa against the Italians).

USA Strategy
Manage US entry, build up defences on the US Pacific possessions, and build up forces for the following assumed turns of entry into the war:

Pacific Theatre - Nov/Dec 1941 or Jan/Feb 1942. Goal is to have the ability to act quickly against remote targets such as the Marshalls, and to base the fleet to threaten both the central Japanese perimeter (Truk/Rabaul) or the south (NEI) early on.

Europe - Mar/Apr or May/Jun 1942. Goal is to have the ability to invade two hexes somewhere in Europe with some limited additional support. At that point I'm counting on the British to have the boots on the ground.


USSR Strategy
I hinted at the USSR strategy in the setup post, but here's the rest of it for the early game. I'm assuming a 1941 Barbarossa.

Manchuria - As described previously, I'll invade if the Japanese deplete their defences. Otherwise, I'll try to keep them honest, while bringing Zhukov and Siberians west to Europe.

Persia - In the mid-game, I'd like to invade Persia, in conjunction with the Commonwealth, much as the USSR and British did in the actual war. My motive is to give the CW control of all the Persian oil. (In my solo game, the Western Allies were very nearly running into oil shortages before their synth oil came online, so I want to get more oil this game to avoid that situation.)

Europe - Hold off the German onslaught, and especially try to keep them from crossing the Caucasus passes and bringing Turkey into the war.


China Strategy
Just survive, and hope that weather, turn length, and Japanese die rolls go my way. Hopefully I can keep Kunming and the Burma Road so as to have access to oil and lending in the mid and late game.


Commonwealth & French Strategy
Europe - Try to waste enough of Germany's time that France falls late in 1940. Maybe a landing in Denmark to make a nuisance of myself in the early or mid game.

Africa & Middle East - Make sure French North Africa either goes Vichy or stays in Allied hands. I don't want to be futzing around fighting in Algeria in 1942. Also make sure Egypt stays in Allied hands. Clean out the Italians in East Africa - Ronnie's set up to try and make a nuisance of himself, which I don't want. Finally, as hinted at in the USSR strategy, I intend during the mid-game to take the Middle East oil in Iraq, Persia, and maybe even Saudi Arabia.

Italy & the Med - I want to be contesting the Med during the early and mid game, possibly even fighting in Sardinia.




Orm -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/22/2019 8:29:18 PM)

It will be fun following this. [:)] [&o]

Any thoughts on the options played with?

And do you have any house rules in play?





Mayhemizer_slith -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/22/2019 8:44:52 PM)

Interesting to see how this goes!




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/23/2019 12:37:25 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

It will be fun following this. [:)] [&o]

Any thoughts on the options played with?

And do you have any house rules in play?




Good questions!

The optional rules are in the embedded screen capture.

Of note, at least for me, are the following:
(1) We are playing with railroad movement
(2) We are playing with extended game length
(3) We are playing with the "Break the Nazi-Soviet Pact"

In the solitaire game I'm posting an AAR for, I'm playing with Food in Flames, which we aren't in this game. But I wouldn't normally try to play with that option - save as a quid pro quo for allowing, say, No ZoC on Surprise.

As for house rules, we're house ruling a Soviet-Japanese forced peace (the not-yet-implemented optional rule).

It shan't have much effect on Japan, but as the USSR I will need to be careful if we ever make use of it unless I'm already at war with Germany.

[image]local://upfiles/16912/C83DC9C1E2C4410EA346C1ABA61F0F59.jpg[/image]




warspite1 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/23/2019 4:59:13 AM)

Glad you finally bought the game composer!! Also good to see Ronnie finally take the multiplayer plunge. Subscribed [:)].




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/23/2019 11:12:02 AM)

Well, one impulse in, and I'm already paying for not being used to how the railway movement bonus optional works. Lost a Polish air unit to overruns. Hopefully that'll learn me that lesson before Barbarossa starts.




Mayhemizer_slith -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/23/2019 11:42:35 AM)

You will learn in France. I have problems in my current game, first ever without railway movement optional...




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/23/2019 12:17:13 PM)

September/October 1939

Allied Impulse 2

Highlights:
- US loses two 3-value markers to the Anglo-French DoW and the occupation of Eastern Poland. Not great, but that's the volatile SO39 turn for you.
- Seeing potential Italian aggression in the cards (division sails to W Med, NAV in Sicily strategically placed to reach Marseilles if need be), France leaves the Béarn and TRS in port to maybe bait out a 1939 DOW.
- RAF Bomber Command catches the Kriegsmarine completely by surprise, sinking the Graf Spee and heavily damaging the Deutschland while they are in port in Kiel. You better believe the Government is crowing about that in the papers.
- French bombers try to bomb Cologne (2 factories and a saved oil) but fail miserably (I rolled a 1).

The embedded picture shows the Polish setup, followed by the situation in Poland at the end of my impulse. It's not looking good for the Poles, but I guess that's what you get when the entire German army is arrayed against them. (I don't think the Germans had a single land unit along the Western frontier, apart from a few garrison corps, until the reserves came down.)

[image]local://upfiles/16912/B42E9A20523744A284F12D1E3AE169A5.jpg[/image]




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/23/2019 4:13:34 PM)

September/October 1939

Allied Impulse 2

I forgot to mention that Japan is going hard into China: Ronnie has sent HQ Terauchi, the 2nd Army, and the combined CAV corps into China. What is more, the Marines started on the islands that are part of the Japan home country and adjacent to Korea, so they could walk into Pusan on his impulse.

All that's to say it looks like a Soviet intervention in Manchuria is due. I think I'd like to wait until the Marines rail inland. I daresay I should also hold off until Yamamoto lands and presses inland, too, so I'm less likely to see Vladivostok get invaded right away.

[image]local://upfiles/16912/6DE119FE436B4D699069F32FF900B86D.jpg[/image]




TeaLeaf -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/23/2019 5:47:44 PM)

Nice a (multiplayer) multiplayer game [:)].

I understood both sides take in advice from other players if they refrain from peeking in the opposing thread?
So here's one tip: If you plan to invade manchuria with Russia, always make sure Zhukov and some other units can retreat back to oppose the Wehrmacht in time. You want them to be operational against the Wehrmacht J/A '41 at the latest, while just 1 stack of land units in Wlady is most likely all Russia can Spare during '41 if you want to survive Barbarossa.

Unless Barbarossa is teethless some way, [:'(].




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/23/2019 7:01:17 PM)

No kidding! I saw two tabletop games end badly because the USSR over-committed to Manchuria back in the day.




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/24/2019 1:04:11 PM)

High-level intel (a message from rkr1958 in our game chat) tells me that war is about to get underway in the Med. Here's hoping it generates a sweet, sweet 1939 US entry marker. Baby needs 50,000 aircraft produced annually... and a new pair of shoes!




jjdenver -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/25/2019 4:41:23 PM)

Great to see a new AAR. Thank you in advance. I plan to read this one as time permits. Since it's Christmas it's easy to read the first posts, great Christmas present. :)
Good luck!




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/30/2019 12:33:19 AM)

September/October 1939

Allied Impulse 4

War has indeed broken out in the Med. It wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be, but it's on.

Italy declared war on the Commonwealth and invaded Malta. Both submarines escaped, fortunately.

Less fortunately was that the US entry marker I drew wasn't that great. But an entry marker is an entry marker. Also, since Italy isn't at war with France, the French merchant shipping through the Med continues unhindered, although I have to take care when trying to fight the Italians so as not to put the convoys at risk. I don't have any plans to declare war on Italy with France at the moment, but that might change.

[image]local://upfiles/16912/FE7892B5F0D14BA4ACF9ADDEE40D99D4.jpg[/image]




TeaLeaf -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/30/2019 12:56:22 AM)

I remember a game where Italy had no navy left (at all) early '41.
All because Il Duce became a bit too agressive too early. Ofc, the French Navy was helping out quite well (and taking losses for the RN).

To DOW Italy or not to DOW Italy with France... That's the question [8D].
But ofc, how well the US Entry can have the French taking some initiative at the cost of Benito, that's the real question [;)].




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/30/2019 1:06:10 AM)

To DoW or not to DoW, that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the end to suffer
The shells and torpedoes of Axis fortune
Or to take arms against the seas of trouble
And by opposing end them.




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/30/2019 2:32:34 AM)

SO39 Allied Impulse 4

Highlights of this impulse:

The Royal Navy sailed cruisers to the 4-box of the E Med (joining the French already there) and the 3-box of the W Med. A French naval detachment joined the RN in the W Med.

The RN then successfully cleared out Axis merchant shipping in both the W and E Med, sinking cps in both cases, and aborting the Italian cruiser in the 4 box of the W Med. The Italian fighter in the 0 box remains since I couldn't clear that out.

The BEF debarked in Calais, and the last Polish unit, with nothing left to lose, bravely attacked nearby German formations for a -1.5 combat. Germany called a blitz, Poland made the fractional roll (for a net -1) and rolled a 12. Net combat result of 11 meant the Poles died to no effect. Oh, well, it was worth a shot.

Bad news: The war in Poland is over. Good news: 2 out of Italy's starting 7 cps are sunk, and 1 is stuck in the Red Sea (and hopefully will also soon be sunk).

[image]local://upfiles/16912/86EB9E11D7704A47BAB93AA3DA72F499.jpg[/image]




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/30/2019 10:38:02 PM)

SO39 Axis Impulse 5

Summary of the impulse: I get away with being sloppy and get punished for being careful.

Weather roll is a 5, so rain in Arctic and N Monsoon, but still fine where it matters.

Lots of naval action, as Ge and Ja call combined impulses and Italy calls a naval:
- Japan ships Yamamoto and divisions to sea where they debark in southern China, and ships a unit directly from Japan to Canton.
- German and Italian subs sail and try to find convoys in the North Atlantic and Cape St Vincent. Not only are the convoys undefended in their box, but I don't have anything in a high box - more's the pity because the Allied search rolls in those sea areas were 1 and 3, respectively, which could have done a number on the Axis' early strategic war.
- The bulk of the Italian fleet sails into the Eastern Med, where they surprise the picket of Royal Navy cruisers, sinking HMS Manchester and sending HMS Gloucester back to drydock (damaged).

Japan also strat bombs Chengtu, where I had foolishly placed the oil, but the Japanese bombs have no tangible effect.

On the plus side, the Italians are rather spread out in their boxes, so even though I have to consolidate a fleet in the 2-box to fight, I might be able to do some damage. Especially since, between the Italian convoy point and Gladiator plane on the HMS Glorious, I have just as much chance to find as the Italians do... and if they don't find, it's divide and conquer time, baby! (Most importantly, there are no Axis NAV that can fly to the 0 box, so no worries about the outdated biplanes having to fight more modern Italian craft.)

[image]local://upfiles/16912/5F1B50D3D48E4E2AAD5043F83D738FB8.jpg[/image]




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/30/2019 11:37:53 PM)

Turns out, to my pleasant surprise, I can get my slow BBs in Port Said to the 3-box. The French provide presence in the sea area, so the RN doesn't need to pay extra movement. Into the 3 box I sail!




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (12/31/2019 1:30:52 AM)

September/October 1939

Allied Impulse 6

Highlights. Not many. More like lowlights, or something. Or maybe Axis highlights? I don't know. Let's just say the Royal Navy isn't covering itself with glory.

Port attack called off: Bad weather and/or lack of coordination lead to a port attack on the lone Italian cruiser in La Spezia going bad (search rolls It 2, CW 7, giving Italy enough to call off the attack). Guess I should have been bold and bombed Malta.

Merchant ships sunk in the cold Atlantic: With organised subs still in the North Atlantic, the RN sends cruisers to defend the convoys. Unfortunately, they're still a little rusty at this whole "war" thing, because when the Germans initiate, it's a 3-10 split for Germany. 9 surprise points means the German sub in the 2 box (the one that found) gets aborted to Kiel while 2 cp are sunk and 3 aborted.

Disaster in the Mediterranean: RN task forces from Aden and Port Said join up in the Eastern Med to fight the RM, but after a decent start bollix it up.
- 1st round both sides roll a 3 on their searches, CW carrier planes abort the cruiser Trento from the 4 box to Malta, after Italian AA fire that falls just short of amazing.
- 2nd round Royal Navy makes a complete hash of it with a 1-10 split in Italy's favour. With 10 surprise points, Italy calls surface, picks its X on the carrier HMS Glorious, and reduces the damage it takes to 1X 3A. Glorious and cruiser HMS Dorsetshire are damaged and aborted, while the rest of the Italian cruisers in the 4 box are all aborted to Malta, with one of them (Zara) damaged.
- 3rd round search results are CW 7 and Italy 10, ending the combat.

About the only unambiguous upside is that the Royal Navy managed to find and sink the unprotected, isolated convoy point in the Red Sea. I guess they know what they're doing when the other guy is unarmed. Yay? [:D] Also, they have more cruisers they can throw in to reinforce the E Med while the Italians are tapped out, so if the turn goes on and a combat goes Britain's way, they could get some serious attrition on.

Here are the lowlights in pictures. (Except the sub combat in the Atlantic, I forgot to take a screen capture.)

[image]local://upfiles/16912/D73B530A7B6F43568462723A78B9EF7A.jpg[/image]




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (1/2/2020 1:06:36 AM)

September/October 1939

Allied Impulse 9

With a little teaser of the end of turn.

In Axis impulse 7, the weather didn't change, but turn length did (weather roll of 7, as compared to 6 the previous impulse).

The Axis went all land this time, with Germany transiting the Army from East to West, Japan manoeuvring in China, and Italy sending the Army into Egypt and the Sudan.

As for my impulse, not much happened: all the Allies save for the Commonwealth passed. I figured it was better to end the turn early and cost the Axis an extra impulse in Europe and China than to try to get them to end the turn.

The Commonwealth sent the infantry division in Liverpool to the Western Med (where it eventually was forced to return to Gibraltar at the end of the turn), and reinforced the stack in the Eastern Med with more cruisers. Unfortunately, the attempt to stick it to the Italians in the Eastern Med failed abjectly - searches were CW 7, Italy 10. If this performance keeps up, it could be cause for the current Government to lose confidence in the House, I daresay.

The British Army in Egypt moved to defend against the Italian invasion, and then the turn ended.

Sneak Peak of End of Turn: Chinese cavalry corps breaks down into divisions.

[image]local://upfiles/16912/DB985646F7814FBD81BCBB47111707BA.jpg[/image]




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (1/2/2020 1:16:58 AM)

September/October 1939

Allied Production

I already shared this on the "public" thread, but I'm sharing it again here with some of my own thoughts on Allied production.

China: Kind of a no-brainer. Since I got lucky and lost all of 1 unit last turn, I want to get as many Communists out of the force pools as I can before Nationalist losses start filling them.

France: It's a bit of a gamble, building the MECH, since it can muck with gearing limits and you have fewer units coming down over the winter, but it's a great unit to have over the summer. If the next two turns are long with fine weather, I'll regret building this, but otherwise should be good.

United States: Putting down the SYNTH early. Once I can lend resources to the other Allies, the oil taps will be turning on so the Commonwealth can stockpile as much oil as possible. To that end, the more oil the US has to lend, the better.

Soviet Union: Nothing fancy here: some infantry and a pilot so I can put the 4-factor fighter in reserve on the board as well as the beefy bomber.

Commonwealth: Always a bit hard to plan, as the Commonwealth needs... well, a bit of everything. I don't think I'll be facing an invasion of the United Kingdom, but it's too early in the game to dismiss the possibility. I also had some naval losses to make good on. And of course I want to prevent the Axis from taking Egypt, 'cause it's a huge pain in the arse to get back, and it will seriously mess with my own designs for the Middle East.

With those in mind, I built two garrison units, and will follow up with infantry and militia in later turns, along with repairing a bunch of ships in the repair pool and laying down a convoy point.

Somewhere in there, I need to squeeze in some air units.

[image]local://upfiles/16912/A9DDE14AAB7641FD8B528DCC9D82B260.jpg[/image]




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (1/2/2020 1:26:49 AM)

September/October 1939

US Entry

A bit out of order here, but since US entry didn't change anyone's production, no big deal.

I didn't get the marker I wanted into tension, but nothing doing.

I'm going to take some extra time to talk through how I like to play US Entry.

I like passing Chinese Build Aircraft early, both for a chance to get the 1939 markers into tension early on, and so that if China has a light turn, losses-wise, it can try to get an air unit out early. I especially have to make up for being sloppy with oil placement, so if I manage not to take any losses, I might even build a pilot in November/December in order to be able to build a fighter the following turn (an American-lent one, natch).

The game plan going forward for the Japan pool is to pass Resources to China as soon as I can, as well as Re-open Burma Road if need be. Otherwise, I usually like to build up entry in order to pass Fleet to Pearl in order to better manipulate tension levels before going nuts here.

The Europe pool is a bit easier to deal with because the average tension levels on options are higher. Usually I try to pass as few options as possible, save for high-tension gimmes such as Occupy Greenland & Iceland and must-haves like Resources to Western Allies or USSR.

For global options, it's pretty normal for me to only pass Intern French CV and Destroyers to CW, other than the gear-up options, before the war starts.

[image]local://upfiles/16912/09B4506DED75495B9994100960ED1DAF.jpg[/image]




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (1/6/2020 12:45:31 AM)

November/December 1939

Here are the highlights of November/December 1939.

Initiative: Axis roll 8 + 2 = 10; Allies roll 2. Axis wins initiative and makes Allies go first.

Allied Impulse 1
Weather roll is 6 (Snow/Storms/Rain/Fine/Rain/Fine)

Actions are USA & USSR combined, CW & France naval, and China land.

Naval Moves (other than convoy & 0-box escort moves):
- USA sails 3 cp from San Diego to the Hawaiian Islands sea area;
- USA sails USS Salt Lake City from San Diego to The Marshalls sea area with the 4th Infantry Division embarked - the division later debarks on to Wake Island;
- France establishes presence in the Italian Coast;
- French TRS and SUB sail from Marseilles to along the coast of Africa;
- RN sails task forces of battleships and cruisers from Aden and from Port Said to the Eastern Med (3 box);
- RN sails HMS Malaya (BB) and HMS Eagle (CVL) to the Red Sea;
- Transports loaded with Hurricanes sail from Plymouth to Cape St. Vincent (0 box);
- Transports sail from Plymouth to the Bay of Biscay (0 box) and embark the Ulster Territorials (Northern Irish TERR);
- The Queens, having previously docked in St. Helena at the end of last turn, sail to the Bay of Biscay (0 box), embarking II Corps (the 7-3 INF).

Naval Combats
With a lone Italian cp in the 0 box, and unprotected Italian battleships in the 2 box, and with weather reducing the capabilities of the Italian naval bombers, the Royal Navy initiates combat in the Eastern Med. The Italians react fighters to the 0 box and the NAV to the 2 box. Search rolls are CW 4, Italy 3 - both sides fail to find.

Land Stuff
- Siberians in Chita rail to Blagovyechensk;
- Minor adjustments by the Red Army around Rumania (including a rebase later) and the Communist Chinese in the rear;
- The Nationalist Chinese vacate Hengyang, preferring the mountains immediately to the west;
- The KMT also moves divisions formed from breaking down a CAV last turn to new positions in southern China.

Rebases
- The French fly their fighter to Strasbourg, in case they decide it needs to escort bombing missions into Germany;
- The US NAV in Honolulu flies to Midway;
- RAF Hurricanes at sea in Cape St. Vincent rebase to Gibraltar, while other Hurricanes in London rebase to Dover;
- The RAF Fairey Battles rebase to Plymouth.

[image]local://upfiles/16912/3541FFBE6CA24B5ABAED7927417917E0.jpg[/image]




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (1/8/2020 2:51:16 AM)

November/December 1939

Jiminy Christmas, all this naval stuff means long turns and lots to report. Also, the Eastern Med is easily the critical theatre of naval combat so far this war.

Highlights of Axis Impulse 3
I'm going to assume people reading along are also reading Ronnie's Axis AAR, and so getting the blow-by-blow of Axis impulses there. As such, I'm just going to recap a few important bits of this impulse, and will do something similar in future posts here.

- Japan calls a combined, sails transports to sea to pick up MIL from Japan, occupies Hengyang, and disorganises the Chinese 4-1 GARR nearby;
- Germany continues redeploying the Heer and Luftwaffe from Poland to the Western Front;
- Germany and Italy sail out subs, which aren't particularly effective this impulse;
- Italy establishes a 0/1/4 defence in the Italian Coast;
- Italy sails a big-ass fleet of cruisers to the Eastern Med 4 box, but the RN gets the drop on them in the ensuing naval combat (search rolls CW 3, Italy 6). HMS Barham is damaged, while Birmingham and Cornwall are aborted to Port Said. For the RM's part, Duca D'Aosta is damaged, and Garibaldi is aborted, at which point the fleets lose contact with each other.

Allied Impulse 5

Weather
Roll is 3 for result of 4 (Rain/Rain/Fine/Fine/Fine/Fine).

Impulses
CW & USSR combined, Fr & Ch land, US pass.

The USSR continues its build-up along the Rumanian frontier, while the French continue building up along the Franco-Belgian frontier. British forces defending the UK adjust their positions, and Chinese forces defending China stay put.

War in the Mediterranean
The Royal Navy sends a task force from Gibraltar, consisting of carriers and battleships, to the Eastern Med, linking up with the forces already present. They seek battle with the Regia Marina.
First Round: Search rolls are 3 and 3: it's RN in 3 box versus RM in 2 & 4 boxes, and a naval air combat. Despite having a serious advantage in the air, the RN Gladiators can't stop the Gabbiano bombers from getting through (Allied air combat roll is 11). Even worse, Italian AA fire is pretty on the money, easily holding the Swordfish at bay. To top off the farce, the Gabbianos force carrier HMS Furious to abort.
Second Round: Search rolls are both 9, ending the combat.

[image]local://upfiles/16912/A12BCF95697B4C169B95E7E4E8D4308E.jpg[/image]




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (1/8/2020 3:44:29 AM)

November/December 1939

The war at sea goes on!

Highlights of Axis Impulse 7
Air Raids: The Luftwaffe launches vicious, unjustifiable air raids on French cities, damaging priceless city centres in Paris and Lyons! (And also hitting factories & stuff for 1 pp of damage each.) This is, of course, to be contrasted with the vital, strategically necessary Allied air raids on Germany. [;)][:'(][:D]

Redeployments: Japan shuffles units around in China and debarks the MIL at sea into Canton, while Germany continues its build-up along its western frontiers.

Submarine Raids: Axis subs in Bay of Biscay try to find convoys, but to no avail. Subs in Cape St Vincent are far more successful (search rolls Axis 2 versus Allied 9), evading the Hurricanes trying to spot for them (4 surprise to call the combat). The submarines disregard most of their usual targets to close in on troopships (3 surprise to pick a target). A TRS takes an X result, but fortunately makes its save (8 rolled for a damage result). A damaged and aborted convoy point round out the damage to the Allies, while both Italians involved in the combat are aborted, ending the combat.

Battle of the Mediterranean: Nothing happens as the Italians elect not to initiate combat.

End of Turn: The Axis roll a 2 to just barely not end the turn.

Allied Impulse 9

Weather
Weather roll is 8 (Snow/Snow/Rain/Fine/Rain/Fine).

Impulses
US passes again; CW naval; Ch & Fr land; USSR combined.

Battle of the Atlantic
Such spare convoy points as can be found are sailed to Cape St Vincent (to replace the losses) and to Bay of Biscay (because of lending to France). The U-boats in the Bay of Biscay hear reports of new convoys in the area and try to hunt them down, but someone must have been reading their mail (as it were), because they are caught on the surface by an RN cruiser (search rolls CW 1, Axis 4 - because the Axis are in the 2 box they don't find). One SUB unit is damaged, to no Allied damage. Search rolls in the second round are CW 5, Axis 10, ending the combat.

Battle of the Mediterranean
A bunch of RN cruisers try to sail through Italian pickets in the Eastern Med to break out westwards. Those that succeed sail to the Italian Coast, while the ones that are intercepted join the rest of the fleet in the Eastern Med. Submarines in Gibraltar also sail to the Italian Coast.

The RN tries to find and sink Italian naval forces and/or merchant shipping in the Italian Coast, but the Italians intercept their signals and manage to evade them. (Search rolls are CW 6, Italy 2, Italy pays 4 surprise to avoid combat.)

In the Eastern Med, in the meantime, both sides enter battle fairly well prepared (search rolls are CW 2, Italy 1), making it the Italians in the 2 & 4 boxes versus the RN in the 3 box.

First Round: Neither side has enough surprise to call the combat, so it's a naval air battle. This suits the RN just fine given the air battle is +3/-3 in its favour - provided the Gladiators perform better than last time, of course. They perform just well enough by sending the Gabbianos packing to Malta.

Second Round: Both sides are still pretty well prepared (search rolls are CW 1, Italy 3), making it the RN 3 box versus RM 4 box, with 2 surprise points for the RN. The Royal Navy could have made it a naval air combat in the hopes of getting a better surprise split, but opts for a gunnery battle instead (surface combat), boosting the damage it inflicts on the RM. Damage results are 2X, D, and A inflicted on the Italians, and X and D inflicted on the British.

In a vicious battle, RM cruiser Pola is sunk and Gorizia and Trieste are damaged. For the Royal Navy, HMS Warspite led the charge right into the thick of the Italian formation, but took an unlucky hit to her main magazines and exploded. (Warspite took both the X and D result, rolls were 9 and 4 respectively, the latter being just enough to sink her.)

With damaged ships still at sea and with the Royal Navy possessing a decisive advantage in both firepower and airpower (insofar as its CVP is part of its main fleet, while the Italian FTR is sitting in the 0 box), the Regia Marina flees from the Eastern Med, leaving it in Allied control for the time being. (Italy aborts, ending the combat.) First Sea Lord Churchill gets to present the House of Commons with a present for Christmas: an important victory at sea only months into the war.

The Air War
The French and British launch retaliatory raids on Berlin and Prague, to no avail.

War in China
Not much happens up north, where the Chinese are hoping snowy weather will keep Japanese attacks at bay. In the south, the KMT leaves the disorganised 20th Reserve Army (4-1 GARR) to its fate, and the units stacked with it withdraw in good order into the nearby mountains.

Miscellany
The USSR continues adjusting positions along the Rumanian frontier. In the Middle East, the French infantry in Syria march down (both last impulse and this one) into Egypt. British Fairey Battle bombers (LND2) fly from London to Bristol, with the thought that they might sail out to Egypt at some later date.

[image]local://upfiles/16912/92EE5C7173E141B39D36A923573E8D99.jpg[/image]




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (1/8/2020 1:01:25 PM)

November/December 1939

The Allies didn't end the turn - end-of-turn roll of 10, where a roll of 3 or less was required, so it's back to the Axis.

Highlights of Axis Impulse 11
Germany Expands the War: There's no "Phoney War" in this war. Just after Christmas, German forces advance suddenly into the Netherlands (Germany declares war, although I'm sure no such declaration actually happened.)

German naval bombers bomb Dutch ships in port in Rotterdam, sinking merchant shipping (2 cp sunk) and damaging the cruiser De Ruyter. German Army formations rapidly overrun the country, closing in and seizing Amsterdam with the help of the Luftwaffe (automatic +21 attack).

War in China: The IJA, for its part, launches two offensive operations, on the city of Nanyang in the north and against the 20th Reserve Army in the south. The second battle turns out "just right" (10 rolled on a +13 assault). While the Japanese encounter a few difficulties in the reduction of Nanyang, their losses are not severe and they capture the city (12 rolled on +8 assault means disorganised Japanese and 1 loss, the 2nd infantry division).

End of Turn: Turn ends on a roll of 5 or less. End-of-turn roll is 8, so it's back to the Allies.

Allied Impulse 13
Weather
Weather roll is 9, for a net result of 10 (Blizzard/Snow/Snow/Rain/Storm/Rain).

Impulses
Ch land, CW & USSR combined, Fr & US pass

End of Turn
End-of-turn roll was 7, which was just enough to end the turn.

War in China
The Nationalists and Communists both adjust their positions in response to the successful Japanese offensives, as shown in the embedded pictures.

Battle of the Mediterranean
The Royal Australian Navy continues its hunt for Italian forces in the central Med (Italian Coast), but to no avail.

Battle of the Netherlands
The British Army disembarks the Ulster Home Guard (Irish TERR) to Liverpool, while reserve formations (London & Manchester MIL) shift around by rail or walking. I changed my mind about the lnd2, so I send it back to London, where I will either use it to support operations in the Low Countries, or take it off the map, whatever I feel like doing next turn.

Most importantly, however, the transport that I had left in reserve for just this occasion sets sail, joining the fleet in the North Sea and embarking the XLV Corps (4-1 GARR), which then disembarks into Rotterdam. Although not enough to prevent the Netherlands from being conquered, this move will have some strategic ramifications, as we shall see at the start of next turn.

Sadly, I forgot to take a screen capture of the situation in Western Europe at this point.

[image]local://upfiles/16912/E6053C3471324E69B9FC9103A52801B7.jpg[/image]




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (1/8/2020 5:55:38 PM)

November/December 1939

End of Turn

Entry Markers
Ge draws 1 marker offensive, 1 defensive. USSR draws 1 defensive marker.

US draws 1 marker against Japan, but passes no options.

Return to Base
I'm sure Ronnie described Axis RTB, so I won't bother. The Allies sent a lot of convoy escort cruisers in the 0 box home from various locations. The Royal Navy fleet in the North Sea stays at sea, dropping to the 1 box, while the RN ships in the Med head back to port, leaving the French (who are still not at war with Italy) to patrol the seas - and, conveniently, to provide presence when the CW needs it next turn).

Production
The embedded picture in my next post will show the production for the turn, including reinforcement pools.

Peace Phase
Germany conquers the Netherlands, which chooses the UK as its new home country. The Italians have not been idle in East Africa, but the undermanned British have been, so the Italians managed to occupy Khartoum and Berbera over the course of the turn, thus completely conquering Anglo-Egypt Sudan and British Somaliland, leaving French Somaliland as an isolated Allied base in the region.

Taking Stock
A pretty good turn overall, I would think.

US Entry: US entry is low. They have a solid marker in the Ge/It pool that I'm loath to risk losing, so I don't see a French DoW on Italy any time soon. At any rate, unless 1940 is especially miserable I don't think I'll be too far behind.

China: I'm definitely concerned about the losses China took this turn, though. Last turn was okay - 2 bps lost versus 5 produced, but this turn is 7 bps lost versus 5 produced, so they've basically only made good on their losses over the past two turns instead of expanding their forces. We're not tipping towards collapse just yet, but the Japanese have churned out land units early, so the pressure is still on.

USSR: I must admit, my set-up was a bit sloppy vis-à-vis making an early claim on Bessarabia, so it just isn't happening until March/April at the earliest. However, once I'm ready to go, I'll have a big force on the frontier, flanking manoeuvres to keep the Germans from forcing a peace (and also cutting off potential reinforcement). I'm pretty confident that Germany will accept the claim.

Germany spent 5 bps in SO39 on stuff that isn't that great for Barb (the para div and sub builds), and spent another 3 bps this turn on subs. 2-3 bps a turn on subs, plus any other naval builds (perhaps upgrading the battleships?) will take a bite out of Barbarossa.

As far as the situation in the Far East goes, I'm a bit less worried about the possibilities of going to war with Japan than I was at the start of the game, mostly thanks to Germany's production to date. I'll keep monitoring because things can change. With the timing of a Bessarabia border claim, I'll probably pull the air units off the board in May/June and pop them up in the Far East in July/August. Just pulling the aircraft off the map might spook Ronnie and get him to send units back up to defend Manchuria, easing the pressure off of China.

War in Europe: The RN gave as good as it got this turn, which is definitely a win for the Allies. With Egypt looking stronger and the Italians facing supply problems (both due to a shortage of cps overall and action in the Eastern Med) and no German reinforcements (yet), once I can get a unit or two flipped I can clean up the invasion of Egypt.

As much as I'd love for the French to be taking the hits instead of the British at sea, there are two benefits to their continued neutrality vis-à-vis Italy: first, of course, their ability to run their convoys unmolested through the Med, and second, they provide free, unsinkable presence for the Allies. (That latter benefit definitely punishes the Axis for only DoWing one of the Commonwealth or France with Italy.)

I also want to clear up the East African situation. If the Axis turns things around in the Med and manages to seize Egypt, them controlling all that territory will give them a solid springboard to taking control of the Indian Ocean away from me, possibly for the entire game.

As far as the Western Front goes, I'm hoping the defence of Rotterdam, plus some wintry weather, will delay German plans. The later they invade Belgium, the longer France holds out.

[image]local://upfiles/16912/79195C6C391145599D545630ECB2FCC2.jpg[/image]




composer99 -> RE: rkr1958 vs Composer99 - Allied Thread (1/8/2020 6:04:29 PM)

ND39 End of Turn
Here's the production record along with the reinforcements.

[image]local://upfiles/16912/78DE6F6E7DCE44EDA545AEE4AB635D4B.jpg[/image]




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