Wendell
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This is the July/August 1945 turn for a World in Flames game being played in Arlington, Virginia - the FINAL TURN. I am the Soviets and French, and Chris (CW), Scott (US/China - now Japan) and Ben (US/China) are the rest of the good guys. Kevin (Germany), Fritz (Japan) (Fritz has been relocated by his employer, alas...), and Peter (Italy) are the bad guys. (Actually at this point, it is me as the Soviets/Chinese, Chris as the W. Allies, and Kevin as the whole Axis.)

Optional rules of note include: Planes in Flames; offensive points (o-points); divisions but NOT guns nor ski divs; 2d10 combat & first loss is corps (with a few exceptions); randomized naval combat losses; partisans (with a "strat bomb" house rule); warlords; guards banner armies; city-based volunteers; Pablo's Simple Oil Rule; road & rail construction; LOC Vichy

Previous turns summary below the ==============

JULY/AUGUST 1945: GERMANY CONQUERED; JAPAN TAKES DUTCH HARBOR! ALLIES NEGOTIATE PEACE WITH JAPAN

As of July 1, Germany held five key cities that the Allies had to capture to assure her defeat: Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Munich, Prague, and Vienna. They were crushed.

The Western Allies and the Soviets unleashed massive air offensives against the outgunned Germans as July opened, seriously disrupting Germany's remaining land forces. Soviet columns knifed between Prague and Vienna; the Czech capital suffered heavily as the German defenders were crushed, their remnants surrendering on July 11. Further south, the Soviets destroyed German divisions to the northwest of Vienna, essentially isolating that city from the rest of the Reich. To the west of Prague, the Americans pushed south from Berlin to assault Nuremberg, which fell on July 13. French and British paratroopers landed in the forests of northwestern Austria at the same time, ensuring the German pockets around Vienna and Munich could not help one another. And the French recaptured Strasbourg.

A British-led Anglo-French assault on a very heavily defended Stuttgart sputtered out by late July. The two partners regrouped; the resurgent French brought forward more reserves (i.e. o-points) and when the attack resumed, German resistance crumbled rapidly, and the French and Commonwealth forces took control of the ruined city on August 10.

To the south, General Hodges launched a rather ill-advised assault against Axis troops defending Zagreb; it was a bloodbath, prompting much grumbling among American troops (who wants to die this close to the end of the war) and on the home front. The grumbling grew greater when the exhausted American forces didn't even have the honor of capturing the city; Mongol-Soviet mechanized cavalry forces dashed into the Yugoslavian city (and installed a Communist city government). Stalin noted laconically that it was a mere communication breakdown.

Similar complaints about losses are being heard in cities in the Commonwealth from Montreal to Wellington; even the Soviets are feeling a growing war-weariness, particularly since the recapture of Vladivostok in the spring removed the last enemies from Soviet soil.

American morale suffered another blow in July. Despite the assurances that the US Navy had the Pacific well under control, the Japanese launched a daring raid into Alaskan waters. A carrier task force sank the Chicago and bombed the defenders; Japanese marines invaded and Dutch Harbor was in Japanese hands by July 30. British and Australian public opinion were shaken when the Japanese launched a furious attack against Port Arthur in August. A massive air battle preceded the assault, which saw U.S. carrier planes suffer heavy losses trying to defend the Commonwealth defenders of Port Arthur. The land attack saw some of the most ferocious fighting of the war. The British and Australian defenders took heavy losses but just barely managed to hold onto the city; they were reinforced by American troops which had been slated to go to the Philippines.

Japan was obviously not beaten - and still Germany didn't quit. Koniev and Zhukov brought the cream of the Red Army onto Vienna, opting for a rapid attack rather than attempting to clear strong German defenders from the approaches southeast of the Austrian capital. Soviet sturmoviks strafed the defenders, leaving them utterly disorganized and even damaging the last couple of German air wings in the vicinity. Soviet paratroopers and heavy armored and mechanized infantry formations pulverized the defense; the smoking rubble of Vienna was occupied on August 2.

That left only Munich. As Vienna was falling, the American were advancing into Bavaria from the northeast; the British and French, once Stuttgart was cleared, pushed from the northwest. Despite Hitler's promises that Munich would hold out for a year, it wasn't to be. The defenders were overwhelmed in the air and on the ground, and the final attack was rather anti-climactic. Hitler committed suicide on August 12; the city surrendered on the 13th. Various German forces began to surrender and V-E Day in Europe was proclaimed by the Soviets on August 19, and by the Western Allies on the 20th.

On August 24, Churchill gave a speech exhorting the Commons to support his plan to join the Americans and Soviets in liberating China from the Japanese yoke. His Conservative Party colleagues, responding to a public outcry, engineered Churchill's 'retirement' on September 3. Though outside the scope of this report, rumor was strong that the Allies and the Soviets were willing to cut a deal with Japan rather than face another year or more of war.

Build point cost of lost units: Germany 135, USA 31, CW 25, Japan 21, USSR 6.

POST-GAME ANALYSIS: The Allies lost, as I feared we would, because Japan was left unmolested, and the US Navy showed a reluctance to risk loss in combat. We didn't bid (which might skew things a bit but hey). Germany and Italy ended up with zero objectives, but Japan had nine (Tokyo, Shanghai, Chungking, Kwajelein, Truk, Batavia, Rabaul, and somewhat luckily, Manila and Dutch Harbor) vs an expected historical number of eight. HOWEVER - the US suffered a -1 objective penalty for aligning both Brazil and Mexico (a stupid rule, but it's the rule); more significantly, the Allies also suffered objective penalties for declaring war on Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Uruguay. Sigh. Still, as Fritz (who was visiting town and so got to see the end of the game) said, it's the journey. It was a good game.

=============

SEP/OCT '39: Germany crushes Poland. Germany attacks Denmark, British occupy its northern island. Soviets occupy E Poland, Baltics. Japan takes Chengsha. US authorizes resources to China.

NOV/DEC '39: Japan makes more progress in southern China. Stalemate in Denmark. Snowy in Europe.

JAN/FEB '40: Italy enters war, captures Malta, sinks bunch of convoys.

MAR/APR '40: Axis attacks Yugoslavia; Rumania and Hungary join in. Yugoslavia conquers Albania. Germany conquers Netherlands. CW naval air turns back invasion force in Western Med. Japanese capture Kwei-Yang, and take Kunming unopposed.

MAY/JUNE '40: Belgium falls. Surprise invasion of Gibraltar fails. Zagreb falls to Axis, Belgrade surrounded. Japan assaults Sian but fails to take it. Pro-independence partisans in Malaysia. US freezes Japanese assets.

JUL/AUG '40: Germany cuts off French armies in Maginot, enters Paris after French government declares it an open city. Yugoslavia falls. Japan captures Si-An.

SEP/OCT '40: France falls, Level 2 Vichy. Free France established in French West Africa.

NOV/DEC '40: Japan occupies Indochina, captures Chang-Sha. US gears up. Germans move to Denmark, Poland.

JAN/FEB '41: United States imposes oil embargo on Japan. German attack on British in northern Denmark goes nowhere.

MAR/APR '41: US Congress passes War Appropriations Act. RAF sinks German u-boats in port, and RN sinks German u-boats in North Atlantic.

MAY/JUNE '41: Japan attacks Commonwealth and Netherlands East Indies. US Navy relocates to Pearl Harbor. Germany and allies invade Soviet Union, capture Kiev, Odessa, Brest-Litovsk, approach Dnieper River.

JULY/AUG '41: Japan declares war on the USA (based on accurate intelligence that the US was about to declare war on them) AND on the Soviet Union; invades Philippines, Siberia. Germans cross the Dnepr to the south of Dnepropetrovsk, capture Vitebsk and Gomel. Commonwealth capture Tobruk and Bardia.

SEP/OCT '41: Japanese take Vladivostok. Germans fail to capture Dnepropetrovsk, but advance on Leningrad and Smolensk. Commonwealth capture Benghazi.

NOV/DEC '41: US fails two attempts to declare war on Germany. Japan takes Singapore from partisans, but new partisans occupy oilfields of Palembang.

JAN/FEB '42: Germans take Kerch. Terrible weather and little action.

MAR/APR '42: USA declares war on Germany and Italy. Germans take Dnepropetrovsk.

MAY/JUNE '42: Germans take Leningrad and Smolensk; Japanese take Khabarovsk. Chinese in Chungking defeat a Japanese offensive. US marines take Majuro in the Marshall Islands.

JUL/AUG '42: Germans and Finns capture Archangel. British/Americans land in Brittany, take Lorient and Brest. Chungking holds against Japanese assault.

SEP/OCT '42: Mud in Russia - Kharkov holds against Germans, Italians. Allies, Axis reinforce French front. Japanese crush Vietnamese independence movement in Hanoi. Canadian subs disrupt Japanese shipping in South China Sea.

NOV/DEC '42: Germans take Stalino. US and friends invade Colombia. Attack fails vs Chungking.

JAN/FEB '43: Argentina joins Axis, takes Bolivia. Naval skirmishing in the Med, North Atlantic.

MAR/APR '43: Allies invade Vichy France (south coast). Japan takes Seychelles, US captures Eniwotok. Storms in Russia, little action. Chungking again holds out against a Japanese attack.

MAY/JUNE '43: Japanese invasion of Egypt fails utterly, and one carrier sunk/two damaged in the Red Sea. US/CW land near Bordeaux. Italy installs Fascist regime in Iraq. Germans capture Sevastapol.

JUL/AUG '43: Chungking falls. Massive bombing of Germany. Soviets take Kerch, repulsed at Stalino. W. Allies take St Malo, St Nazaire.

SEP/OCT '43: US and Brazil occupy Uruguay. Italy aligns Persia, but US/CW retake Syria. Soviets attack but make no headway.

NOV/DEC '43: Germans retreating in the East, abandon Kharkov and Stalino rather than be pocketed, lose Bryansk to Soviet assault. Soviets invade Persia. Japanese sink Yorktown, damage Massachusetts in port strike vs Calcutta. US takes Davao (south Philippines). W. Allies forces in Provence, western France link up, capture Tripoli.

JAN/FEB '44: Soviets cross the Dnepr. Allies conquer Saudi Arabia, liberate Kuwait.

MAR/APR '44: Brazil, US conquer Argentina; US takes Cuba. Vichy France collapses. Allies land on Sardinia. Mud in Russia, little progress for Red Army.

MAY/JUNE '44: Japan takes Cheng-Tu. USN and RN sink two Japanese carriers in South China Sea. Soviets take Dnepropetrovsk and Kiev and Odessa and Smolensk and Tehran, and advance into northwestern Manchuria. Heavy fighting in France, Allies drive Germans out of Central France and reach the gates of Paris. US and Brazil declare war on Chile.

JUL/AUG '44: American and British invade Sicily, southern Italy in force. Paris and France liberated. Commonwealth takes Baghdad. US captures Port Arthur in invasion. US and Brazil declare war on Peru. Soviets advance into Rumania, SE Poland. Soviet assault in Manchuria fails.

SEP/OCT '44: Italy incompletely conquered, government in exile in Albania. Allies invade Germany from the North Sea and the skies. Germans fall back on Eastern Front. Soviets advance in Manchuria.

NOV/DEC '44: US takes Manila. Italy completely conquered. Allies take Cologne, Kiel, Liege. Soviets isolate Bucharest.

JAN/FEB '45: US Marines invade Formosa but Japanese retake Manila. Australians and US capture Singapore. Soviets liberate Leningrad, Romania, and Bulgaria, invade Finland. US captures Rome from Germans. Bombing halves German production.

MAR/APR '45: Soviets liberate Warsaw, Belgrade, East Prussia, advance on Helsinki, Budapest. W. Allies push deep into Germany, approach Berlin, take Copenhagen. Soviet attacks on Vladivostok fail. US Marines invade Korea. US a-bomb fizzles over Berlin.

MAY/JUNE '45: US takes Berlin. Soviets conquer Finland and Hungary, enter Czechoslovakia and capture Bratislava, take Breslau, liberate Vladivostok. CW and France advance in Ruhr. Pacific pretty quiet..
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Leo Zappa
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Excellent narrative, Wendell! I love reading these epic tales of grand strategic war! One of these days my game group will tackle World in Flames!
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Bruce Jurin
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What a great game!!
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Kevin Bernatz
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I should note that since we did not vote for sides, the historical objective in the (I believe) latest Scenario book lists '9' for Japan. As such, the game technically ended in a +0 vs +0 tie between the Axis and the Allies!

However, due to my devious advanced knowledge of the rules - only gleaned by sacrificing 14 snails, 2 puppy dog tails* and 3 fusia colored rocks- I knew the Allies were looking at a significant VP penalty. I had always known about the minus one VP for aligning Mexico and Brazil, but only discovered the additional "-1 for each Allied major power for each declaration of war on a country on the America's map".

I was still hoping to have Germany "hang on", especially since J/A weather started with a +1 going in...and had I won initiative, Prague would have been a much tougher "nut" to crack (won the first roll, but Allies won the re-roll cry). It is quite impressive when the Allies and Soviets are throwing 4, 5, 6 LND bombers with 5+ TAC factors at your units...I think at one point, I had all of 2 German units face-up (not counting the few holding out in Southern France and Northern Italy :-> ).


-K

(*): no actual puppies harmed in the above ritual
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A fantastic series of reports! Thanks for posting.
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Patrick Lucas
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Always a pleasure Wendell to read your posts.
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Reading your posts makes me sometimes want to play that game again!

Is it possible to simulate the single battles with ASL instead of simple die rolls? And is it achievable in a single life? shake laugh
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Wendell
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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PzVIE wrote:
Reading your posts makes me sometimes want to play that game again!

Is it possible to simulate the single battles with ASL instead of simple die rolls? And is it achievable in a single life? shake laugh


Yes, and yes - but only if you start young and are independently wealthy.
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Good report as usual!
Plz Wendell tell us that you're planning a new game... maybe with DoD3 too.
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Carl Paradis
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PzVIE wrote:
Reading your posts makes me sometimes want to play that game again!

Is it possible to simulate the single battles with ASL instead of simple die rolls? And is it achievable in a single life? shake laugh


WHY BOTHER???
 
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Wendell
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licinius wrote:
PzVIE wrote:
Reading your posts makes me sometimes want to play that game again!

Is it possible to simulate the single battles with ASL instead of simple die rolls? And is it achievable in a single life? shake laugh


WHY BOTHER???


yuk
 
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azalin1982 wrote:
Good report as usual!
Plz Wendell tell us that you're planning a new game... maybe with DoD3 too.


I'm not sure about Wendell, but I need my usual "WiF break", LOL. FYI, here is my opinion on how each side rated during the game on various issues...

1) The Axis need to make hey early on. [Allied: N/A ; Axis: C-]

We did ok...taking out all the required "blocks" before Barbarossa, but since the original plan was thinking along a Spain->Sea Lion, we obviously did not pull off what we needed to. We also took some fairly severe losses and botched the invasion of Denmark (giving the Brits Freidrickshaven). We did grab Bessarabia before Wendell could get it, but see below. Japan made good progress in Southern China, but completely stalled against the Communists.

2) The US Entry "game" within a game. [Allied: B+ ; Axis: D]

Partly due to plan, and partly self-inflicted, but we choose to pursue an aggressive early strategy "damn the USE"...and it really bit us in the a** later. Conversely, the W.Allies convinced Wendell to forgo much of his early war border expansions due to USE concerns and it paid off HUGE for them, with the US entering almost a year early. Since we never breached the second Soviet factory line (Kharkov/Stalino/Rostov), this was a huge coup for the Allies.

3) The initiative "game" within a game. [Allied: C ; Axis: A+]

This is one area of the game where even Wendell would likely agree that we cleaned house. Chris (the W.Allied player) would grab the initiative whenever they could, without thinking of long term consequences. Conversely, we as the Axis were constantly debating about whether the winning of the initiative /really/ meant that we should go first. We gave the Allies the first impulse several times and kept the Axis at the 0 to +2 box for almost the entire game. In fact, the only time I remember the Allies being in the +1 box was for the J/A 1945 turn... (and they still lost the first die roll, LOL).

4) "Luck" [Allied: C- ; Axis: B]

Ok, hard to quantify "luck", but IMO lucky breaks (and being in position to take advantage of that luck was definitely pro-Axis. Well...other than Scott's roll of snake eyes on his invasion of Suez :-). Several key attacks by Wendell saw him roll below average (though, on average, I think everyone's attack rolls were about equal). Conversely, in two critical attacks by Japan (to retake Manilla on like a +4 Assault and a +8 or +10 invasion with 1 unit to take Dutch Harbor), I rolled extremely well and took both with no losses.

-K

edit: 1 (fixing lost text)
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Kevin Bernatz
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I don't think I've ever been tipped before for a comment, woo hoo! :-)

-K
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Wendell
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kbernatz wrote:


3) The initiative "game" within a game. [Allied: C ; Axis: A+]

This is one area of the game where even Wendell would likely agree that we cleaned house. Chris (the W.Allied player) would grab the initiative whenever they could, without thinking of long term consequences.


I do agree. I argued against rerolling a couple of times, and a couple of times wasn't there to argue...
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Chris Montgomery
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Great report . . . and a question.

I've never played WIF - so who actually won the game according to the rules? From what I can glean, the Axis won due to aggressive Allied DOWs against South American states?
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Kevin Bernatz
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cmontgo2 wrote:
Great report . . . and a question.

I've never played WIF - so who actually won the game according to the rules? From what I can glean, the Axis won due to aggressive Allied DOWs against South American states?


Yes and no.

WiF "Victory" is defined by holding a certain number of objective hexes at the end of the game, and then comparing that to what your modified "bid" total is. E.g if the rules state that Germany should hold 10 victory cities and someone bids -3 and wins Germany, then their modified bid would be 7. If they held 8 Objective hexes at the end of the game, they would finish at "+1".

However, in our case, we did not bid as we were playing a mostly "friendly game", so chose to use the historical objectives and just compare totals for Axis [Germany + Japan + Italy] to Allies [USSR + FR + USA + UK]. Of the 67 Objective hexes, the Axis historically finished with 9 in the latest scenario book (Germany and Italy at 0, Japan at 9).

Due to my luck on the Dutch Harbor invasion (~40% chance of clearning the US from the sea zone to knock it out of supply, followed by ~50% chance to flip the defender to reduce its strength to '1', followed by ~70% chance or so to roll high enough on the attack to kill the unit without taking a loss myself), Japan finished with the historical number '9', giving the Axis side a net "+0" for their victory total.

However, instead of the net +/- for the Allies also being "+0", the Allies were penalized -1 for bringing both Mexico and Brazil into the game (this is a game balance rule more than anything), so purely due to this rule the result of the game would be an Axis victory at "+0" vs "-1". Note that if I had failed to take Dutch Harbor, the game (at this point in our conversation) would /still/ have been an Allied victory...as Japan, at 8, would be "-1" and the Allies would be at "+1" (minus -1 VP for Brazil + Mexico) = "+0", or "-1" vs "+0", Allies.

In this latter case, the US and CW deprevations in S. America would have then cost them the game, as WiF penalizes Allied players from attacking countries on the America's map at -1 VP for EACH major power that declares was on a country on the America's map and this penalty is for EACH minor declared war upon. I believe the US and CW declared war on at least two initially (Columbia and another), then the US declared war separately on Chili and Ecuador (to outflank the Argentinian defenders, as the initial allied DOW's allowed me to bring Argentina into the game as an Axis aligned minor). So instead of it being "+0" (Axis) vs "-1" (allies), the final result was more like "+0" (Axis) vs "-7" (Allies).

I was hoping the "-6" would snatch victory from the Allies (if they were sitting at "+0" and I was at "-1"), since that would really stew their pots devil devil. But, technically, the Axis won before those VP penalties were ever applied due to the Brazil/Mexico penalty.

-K
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