From: London, Surrey, United Kingdom
I turned out to be wrong about being out of Jeremy's grasp with the two divisions extracted from the lower St. Lawrence. These guys are trapped and doomed, but at least his armour spend the turn achieving this, rather than compromising things in a broader sense. He will no doubt roar ahead here next turn as I have nothing west of Montreal- but there's nothing to gain by doing so. Over in Maine, I've been forced out of one hex of my line, but otherwise this position is starting to look pretty strong, with some Fs appearing. Most of Jeremy's strength is in Canada; he only has four divisions and some odd bits in this area.
The South is pretty good, too. However I don't think this will last as Jeremy's now well engaged with my main line in Mississippi-Alabama. For now, the balance of forces and the strength of my position favours entrenching and letting his attack come, but I don't think I can hold on this line for more than a turn or two. Further East, Jeremy's still at a crawl. He has a couple of mechanised units out here, but they don't seem to be romping off into the open country. For now, I'll concentrate on a) reinforcing weak points in the main line and b) extending it so that some cover is afforded to the eastern flank and by extension Atlanta.
Mexico is moving to its inevitable sad end- but slowly. The forces which Jeremy has in the area have largely exhausted themselves clearing my positions in front of the city itself, and still he's not in a position to begin attacking it. Perhaps on turn 9, but the defenders have gained so much supply in the interim that it'll be a bloody business- at least I hope so. At Monterrey, the German cavalry division has appeared. This gives me a bit of pause, as although it's not a potent unit they are real troops; I can't just roll right over them with the limited armour I have to hand. Further, my armour still isn't fully rested after its journey from the southwestern states. Yet further delay could allow Jeremy time to flank me on both sides. I throw these guys in to attack the division.
Reinforcements are split again this turn; 3 divisions go to Ottawa to respond to whatever Jeremy does here next turn, whereas the other five go sit behind the Mississippi-Alabama front ready to either reinforce or extend.
My attack in Mexico goes OK; I rout the German cavalry. But more importantly I reveal the follow on force; two more German divisions, one of them armoured. This is a bigger game than I was in for, and I respond by pulling my armour way back north of Monterrey, hopefully out of reach of the impending encirclement here. At some point I'm going to have to start reinforcing here- probably as early as next turn; two armoured divisions are really not sufficient for this job. I'm hoping Jeremy will spend a couple of turns digesting Monterrey before he moves on up, but that may be optimistic. In any case, it's clear that we're going to be fighting in Texas earlier than I thought.
This brings us to the question: how do I want this match to play out, strategically? Jeremy's taken a fairly aggressive sealift option; -10 supply and -20% replacements. This means that he's aiming to defeat me in the first 20-30 turns of the match. This fits in well with my overall strategy so far of avoiding major fighting insofar as possible, but I can't withdraw forever.
In the Northeast, I'd like to keep Jeremy out of the important bits of the US. He's not aiming for them at the moment but he will, and it's actually pretty important. Hence my spending time fortifying the Upper St. Lawrence when he's nowhere near it yet. I'll want this line to be strong and backed with reserves, but I don't want it to suck up too many troops that should be fighting elsewhere. Really, the key to this will be to convince Jeremy that he needs to send fifty divisions to Winnipeg, but achieving that may not be possible.
In the South, I clearly am not in a position to hold everything from the mouth of the Mississippi to the Atlantic. It's my intention to largely ignore the Mississippi flank; Jeremy is going to get into Texas from Mexico anyway. I think he fully realises this, hence he's made no effort to force a crossing yet. I expect to be pushed out of my current positions shortly, but there's a lot of good defensive terrain between them and the critical Midwest which I should be able to delay Jeremy over. The coastal states of the Southeast will be more difficult to defend, and I fully expect to be forced to bend back my line all the way to Washington D.C.
I'll fight as little as I can in the West and aim to have Jeremy send large forces there. Where possible, I'll make local, stinging counterattacks to keep this advance to a crawl. If I win the match, it'll be because I have preserved my army whilst staging a strong fighting retreat through difficult ground, whilst Jeremy diverts ever larger portions of his force to the Canadian and Southwestern fronts.
While I'm on it, I'll talk replacements. I've lost only two cities- Quebec and Mobile- making the level 81%. New Orleans will be gone next turn or, if Jeremy really can't find the infantry for it, the turn after. That makes 73%. Some time in the range 10-15 Jeremy will then get Montreal, Mexico City and Monterrey. With the turn 10 boost that puts me on 71% replacements, which doesn't fill me with joy but it doesn't fill me with dread either. After that there's a host of cities I expect to lose in no particular order. Toronto, Acayucan, San Antonio, Birmingham and Atlanta have all been written off in my head. If I still have some of the above by turn 20 then things are going very well.
Allied positions begin to take shape in Mississippi and Alabama
"What did you read at university?"
"War? Huh. What is it good for?"