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Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/18/2009 12:39:00 AM   
Chocolino


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I will provide occasional feedback on how my first PBEM with Edelweiss75 progresses from the Axis perspective. At this point I don't think I will cover every move but try to give a general overview on the situation.

We play default everything and allow what the game allows you to do for simplicity.

Since strategy will be discussed here, please don't read this, Edelweiss75 until after the game. Thank you.

Pictures will be provided starting 2/1/40. (I did not plan to do the AAR at first and did not take screen shots earlier, sorry).

Comments, recommendations and suggestions are very welcome.

< Message edited by Chocolino -- 3/18/2009 1:26:09 AM >
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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/18/2009 12:52:53 AM   
Chocolino


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Chamberlains appeasement politics have failed and Germany invaded Poland 9/1/1939. International observers are puzzled though that despite the large number of excellent German Generals in the Heer, the High Command has given the operational command of the invasion to the quite unknown and rather inexperienced Chocolino.

First doubts about his military qualities arose when the amphibious invasion of Denmark resulted in "very high" losses. But after reviewing the results it turned out that all casualties were caused by pneumonia to the troops as an aftereffect of wet socks after the amphibious landing. No enemy interference whatsoever was detected. A brave Polish submarine sacrificed itself and was able to drag a German U-boot into the abyss as well in the Baltic. (in an early version of sub to sub attack that needed to  be reinvented later in history again since all knowledge ceased to exist immediately after the action with the respective sub commanders).

Chocolinos staff refused to disclose any war footage of the campaign at this point (and also the following weeks) and claims as reason the  concern for military security. However, well informed circles in touch with Chocolinos headquarters suspect that the footage was either lost or not even taken in the general confusion at HQ.

In summary the German High command has to live with 119 PP losses (1 SS, 1 AIP, invasion damage) in exchange for the income from Denmark. Not a promising prospect.


< Message edited by Chocolino -- 3/18/2009 12:53:46 AM >

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/18/2009 1:07:21 AM   
Chocolino


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Nazi political leadership demanded quick results from the Polish campaign to reap 50 Diplomatic points form an early victory. As a result of the overeager marching German units, three entire corps were encircled north of Warswa by the well defending Poles and were completely out of supply. The High Command had to live through some tense days. Rumors of Chocolino's immediate dismissal circled at the press. Finally it was clear that all three units survived luckily. Chocolino escaped an official reprimand since his troops redeemed him shortly thereafter with the fall of Warswa on November 1st - at least in the eyes of the public. In reality it was the German airforce that won the day in Warswa since an earlier German 7-1 failed to carry.

Under strong public pressure, the high command could not avoid (with some chargrin) to even offer Chocolino a follow up command in future military activities in the west. 

(Note: Will have pictures from now on, at first I didn't want to write an AAR and didn't prepare for it)

< Message edited by Chocolino -- 3/18/2009 1:11:39 AM >

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/18/2009 1:54:07 AM   
cpdeyoung


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This will be fun!  Thank you so much for deciding to do the AAR.

Gary and I both know the feeling of tension as the Poles defend well!  Special congratulations to the Poles for sinking the U-Boat!

Chuck

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/18/2009 3:30:46 AM   
Chocolino


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Thank you for the encouraging comment. The quality of my visuals will not compare to yours but it is a start.

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/18/2009 3:47:09 AM   
Chocolino


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February 16, 1940

While German units were rushed back via the overtaxed railway system, OKW on one hand and v. Manstein and v. Runstedt on the other quarreled over the best way to invade France. The two main options under discussion were to repeat the Schlieffen Plan of WWI or drive through the Ardenne Forest instead.

The impatient Chocolino decided to ignore both and attack the Netherlands early while the troops intended to drive through the Ardennes and Belgium were still enjoying a train ride through Western Poland. Not having a sound operational plan, he decided to do what his HQ staff knows best: "wing it". Amsterdam was approached but not yet attacked.

In the meanwhile, the Italians were still undecided when the best time to join the war has come. They use a smart strategy of minimizing the risk while maximizing the benefits. As for now they readied themselves at the French border. While German pride initially rejected any Italian help, they may quickly change their mind once they are exposed to a solid French defense.




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< Message edited by Chocolino -- 3/18/2009 4:19:36 AM >

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/18/2009 3:59:42 AM   
gwgardner

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chocolino

Chocolino escaped an official reprimand


Thank goodness for that! I hear that official reprimand's from the carpet eater could sometimes be quite irksome.


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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/18/2009 4:23:43 AM   
Chocolino


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quote:



ORIGINAL: Chocolino

Chocolino escaped an official reprimand



Thank goodness for that! I hear that official reprimand's from the carpet eater could sometimes be quite irksome.


The burden of extensive long term retirement planning was taken off your shoulders very effectively on some occasions.

< Message edited by Chocolino -- 3/18/2009 4:24:44 AM >

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/19/2009 12:22:05 AM   
Chocolino


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March 1st 1940

The early attack on Amsterdam has on one hand saved some time. On the other hand it did give the Allies an early warning on where and how we will attack. As a result they were able to organize their defense in Belgium and northern France better and delay the German advance. But every month that passes provides extra resources to the Western defenders to strengthen their lines, so an attack as early as possible seems necessary.

Amsterdam is encircled now and the units used there are deperately needed before France can be tackled seriously.




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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/19/2009 12:55:23 AM   
Chocolino


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April 1st, 1940

Amsterdam fell by siege earlier and the units were freed to move south towards Brussels which is encircled now. Through the Ardenne Forest, only a defensive line is posted for now. The French line looks very solid and becomes stronger in quality and number every turn. This is very different from the war games back at the German military academy called "AI".

Investments made so far:
Upgrade one Panzer Division to Corps,
Upgrade a Panzer Corps to L2,
Purchase two new L2 INF
Repair 2 air damage still form the attack on Warswa.
Some minor repairs.




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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/19/2009 1:38:20 AM   
Chocolino


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April 16th, 1940

Brussels has surrendered to the besieging German forces. Another Panzer Corps is now at L2 and the majority of the German forces engaged the French/British lines. Most of the UK production must have been sent to France. Is the UK vulnerable as a result? We don't dare an amphibious attack at this time because of the inequality of the naval forces. Although it is not unheard of that attacks on Scotland have succeeded in a similar situation ("Road to Where").

German units probed some weaker French infantry units near Lille but penetrated just one field. Spearheads are in contact with the outer defenses of the city.




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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/19/2009 3:06:36 AM   
Chocolino


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May 1st, 1940

Some progress has been made in front of Lille and it is surrounded on its northern half. The morale of the French has faltered for a brief moment as the result of the conquest of Belgium. We are afraid that we haven't made enough from this one time "morale" opportunity. A French Corps is encircled close to the Channel coast but we are convinced it will somehow make its way back behind French lines. (pls fix this strategic movement out of encirclement issue that the allies enjoy in the current game system)

The enterprising French made a limited sortie out of the Maginot line, maybe to distract from the declining morale at home. They probed for gaps in the German defense in the Palantine and the Black Forest. The French were checked by German reserves defending in depth.

In the Ardennes, smaller attrition battles ensued without much consequence for the overall situation but a french division is lost.




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< Message edited by Chocolino -- 3/19/2009 3:07:38 AM >

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/19/2009 3:47:43 AM   
Chocolino


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May 9th, 1940

Lille has been taken by force. Even though we will not get any immediate economic benefit from this conquest, it will improve our supply situation locally. The Luftwaffe was once again instrumental in weakening an armored unit defending Lille and enabling a higher probability land attack.

Afterwards, mechanized and armored units created two breakthroughs, threatening encirclement within the next weeks. A smaller gap near Luxembourgh could not be exploited lacking mobile and armored forces at this area of the front. We are convinced that the highly skilled commander of the allied forces will easily avoid the encirclement. We expect to net some geographic gain in the end and are worried to fight an opponent focussed on skilled delaying retreat rather than a force defending and protecting the French national territories at any cost.




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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/19/2009 1:22:38 PM   
gwgardner

 

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Perfidious Albion!

Great AAR, really enjoying it.


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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/19/2009 10:19:57 PM   
Chocolino


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Thank you. Try to be as "perfidious" as possible here, but it is quite hard if it becomes suddenly an obligation.

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/19/2009 10:35:02 PM   
Chocolino


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May 16th 1940

There has been a strategic withdrawal of the French after they have been abandoned by their British Allies at the French boarder. But it looks both sides come to terms in a new defensive line ranging from LeHavre over Paris to Metz taking defensive advantage of some major river lines.

As expected the only gain of the previous breakthrough was geographic while at home the ministery of propaganda was already starting to declare the "endsieg". They will soon find a scapegoat in Chocolino if reality and propaganda remain somewhat disconnected.

Only a single French unit was encircled. But we know the French habit of sneaking back through German lines where beer drinking German sentries don't notice even entire corps marching by.

North of Metz, the French command left a single division in the path of the German advance to delay the progress. The unit fought valiently and survived against all odds and the French exploratory expedition is back in the Maginot line.

The Italians thought the French now busy enough up north to tiptoe into the southern path. They declared war. But their forces remain weak and make little progress.




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< Message edited by Chocolino -- 3/19/2009 10:42:46 PM >

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/19/2009 11:25:54 PM   
cpdeyoung


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The next turn will tell a lot.  I will be interested in how the Vichy question is approached by the Allied player, as there has been a lot of discussion about it.  It is fun to see the different takes on defense of France.  If you think of it perhaps you can post the loss ratio report at intervals.  It can reveal quite a bit.

It will also be interesting to see the campaign in the Med and North Africa.

Thanks for the pleasure of a view into your battle.

Chuck

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/20/2009 12:16:55 AM   
Chocolino


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Chuck, thank you for your following my amateurish attempts.

The Vichy question is interesting indeed. However, and unfortunately, it is not even close to be decided anytime soon - and actually I did not expect it myself at all seeing how well Etienne is playing. He has a sound plan. (I have the benefit of foresight since the report lags a few turns behind).

There was not much happening so far in the Med (that I could detect) but I will mention the status from time to time.

Question: Can you close and reopen RtV like a Window? That would help making multiple screen shots. So far I have to: PRNTSCRN, save, exit, save the pic and restart the game for every image taken. Hence I create fewer pictures.

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/20/2009 12:21:18 AM   
cpdeyoung


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In your RtV preferences screen you can select windowed mode for RtV and this is how I play.  It works well and you can tab between applications nicely. You must exit and restart RtV to see the change, so go in now, between turns, and try it.  I think you will love the flexibility it gives you.

Chuck

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/20/2009 1:02:50 AM   
Chocolino


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Thank you, overlooked it. Will have more shots starting end of June.

May 24th, 1940

A quiet move of repair and catch-up with the retreating French. Who thinks that this is a general French collapse is far from the truth. A new strong defensive line forms behind the next river system and we try to penetrate it just west of Metz. We hope that we can stretch the French and their allies so far that they are not able to close all gaps. Attacking frontal across the river towards Paris is faster but very expensive and we shy away of getting a bloody nose. Instead we also try to wear away the defensive line at the edges where we can use multi-unit attacks. But this method is very slow.

At this point, the unit loss ratio is still approximately 10:1 in favor of the Germans with the French.

Italy proceeds very slowly in France and has taken advantage of the last peaceful months to ship low level infantry divisions to Africa with the idea to upgrade them on site. Now, in the desert, a few units line up near the boarder on both sides. The British of much higher quality though.

The Italian Fleet is still at home and awaits first reports of interference with the supply convoys before deciding on a course of action. (However, those reports seem to be intercepted by some secret agent called Mr. Bug so that they never arrive.)




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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/20/2009 2:33:38 AM   
Chocolino


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June 1st, 1940

Our offensive is ground to a halt. All our attempts to side step the defensive line at the river were frustrated by the crafty French and British. Not able to extend the pocket near Metz towards the West, we tried at the other end near LeHavre and made only very small gains. In desperation, we attempted a sub-optimal attack at a French Mechanized Corps with the result that our loss ratio plummeted from 10:1 to about 6:1 in one round. We also made mini-steps towards Metz. It is only a secondary target, though. We need to get to Paris and fast.

The lesson of this campaign may very well be that you better bite the bullet early take some losses but take Paris head on instead of dallying about in the French countryside - as scenic as it may be.

Little activity in the desert, but new British troops arrived at the scene. We are starting to get worried.






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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/20/2009 3:40:54 AM   
Chocolino


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June 9th, 1940

Germany occupies Le Havre, surrounds Metz but makes little progress overall. The Maginot line has been vacated with the exception of some rearguards. German units take over in some areas. The strategy to delay a German victory in France as long as possible is working very nicely for the Allies.

The Italians in the south are of not much help since they are not very mobile. In Africa it becomes apparent that the British Forces are superior (even though less numerous so far) and Italy has not the supply required to withstand if the UK becomes serious here.




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< Message edited by Chocolino -- 3/20/2009 4:19:22 AM >

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/20/2009 4:25:37 AM   
cpdeyoung


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To counter the convoy report bug write down your STP at the end of each turn.  When the next turn starts the STP count will reflect the losses to enemy raiders.

STP June 24   160
STP July 1      143
                    17 STP lost to raiders.

Chuck

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/20/2009 4:40:07 AM   
Chocolino


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June 16th

For a brief moment it looks as if we can close in on Paris by bending the defensive line southwards. But the remaining units are very well defended by rivers and forest. It will take the Luftwaffe again to dislodge them and Hermann will get very upset about the mounting losses caused by Chocolino's never-ending requests for more air support.

The German research laboratories, supposedly world leading, claim severe underfunding and strictly refuse to accept any suggestions of incompetence or tardiness. Only the Krupp Werke make some progress on Artillery and Tank research - but at the snails pace of a single light bulb. All other funds must be going instead into big party parades and renovating Hermann's hunting lodge.

The war in Africa is becoming a problem and the Italians are retreating somewhat uncoordinated leaving openings to be partially surrounded. The British units happily accept the invitations and some casualties are recorded.

Italian units also close in on Marseilles and probe towards Lyon.




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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/20/2009 4:42:54 AM   
Chocolino


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quote:

The Italian Fleet is still at home and awaits first reports of interference with the supply convoys before deciding on a course of action. (However, those reports seem to be intercepted by some secret agent



quote:

To counter the convoy report bug write down your STP at the end of each turn. When the next turn starts the STP count will reflect the losses to enemy raiders.

STP June 24 160
STP July 1 143
17 STP lost to raiders.

Chuck


Counterintelligence - excellent! Thank you.

< Message edited by Chocolino -- 3/20/2009 4:44:01 AM >

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/20/2009 5:01:34 AM   
gwgardner

 

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I have completely different advice on handling convoy reports. From experience, mind you. What you do is get your navy completely destroyed, so that you don't have to worry about no stinkin' counterintelligence.

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My favorite 4x game now.

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/20/2009 5:12:56 AM   
Chocolino


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Deep down I'm afraid that I will follow your advice in the not too distant future, even if not too willingly.

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/21/2009 12:34:51 AM   
Chocolino


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June 24th, 1940

A quiet move with repairs and rest west of Paris. The French withdrew units from the Metz area to help in the defense of Paris. As a result the front line south of Metz weakened and will collapse soon. But that does not help the Germans much since Paris is the target that counts.

Africa become a battle of slow retreat for the Axis and the Italian fleet entered the central met to counter Raider activity.






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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/21/2009 1:50:48 AM   
Chocolino


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July 1st 1940

The Western campaign is now active for 5 month. Little visible progress was made in recent weeks as allied forces skillfully avoided any envelopment of Paris. Chocolino has been "invited" back to the Berghof in Berchtesgaden to explain the situation. For once free from his tactical interferences, the German forces could exploit their high potential and drove to the outskirts of Paris in the north. But this area is still separated from Paris by a river and in all likelihood not enough in itself to take Paris even with air-support. The German forces will have to gain more attack areas before launching the final strike. Everybody is hopeful that Chocolino is detained further at amiable social events in Bavaria.

The Italian commander in Africa has unfortunately never heard about the possibility of strategic movement so skilfully applied by the French on the continent and tries to withdraw from the British on foot through the desert. The retreat is becoming increasingly disorganized. Unfortunately, telephone lines are down between Tubruk and Sidi B. in the desert and the urging requests by his superiors to apply strategic movement to retreat will not arrive for weeks to come.

A new tank corps has been purchased by the Germans and was placed near LeHavre

Italian ships are picked up by allied submarines and carries in "first-shot" attacks. No real naval engagements develop.




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< Message edited by Chocolino -- 3/21/2009 1:54:01 AM >

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RE: Crossroads: Axis Perspective - 3/21/2009 2:36:30 AM   
Chocolino


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July 9st, 1940

As soon as Chocolino is back at the front line from his visit to the Bavarian Alps losses start to mount. It took a massive 6-wave air strike, costing 8 air-points total to destroy another French corps holding a forested hex near Paris. Instead of 8:1 the loss ratio is now only 4:1. In exchange for the devastating blow to the airforce, Chocolino had to promise a well known friend a brand new over-sized fancy dress uniform with red boots to distract him from the bad news.

But the noose around Paris is starting to form. The long delays so far were intended to avoid these high losses by only engaging the enemy in the most favorable conditions. However, the delays this causes become unacceptable and some losses must be accepted now to bring this to an end.

Slow retreat in Africa by the Italians (phone lines are still down), and some minor naval engagements in the Med.




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< Message edited by Chocolino -- 3/21/2009 12:07:54 PM >

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