Andrew
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Richmond
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RAW8 Draft with most optionals. Using PiF/SiF, KiF (including KiF Oil), Divisions/Guns, RAW Vichy. Using Shipyards/Specializations (with 1939 shipyards starting on map), but not FiF. No Cruisers/Convoys in Flames or AiF/PatiF units. New/different options used include the Cadre rule (gain 1 BP back from any corps killed in your home country, or next to one of your HQs), Four player game (Ge, It/Ja, US/CW, Fr/Ru/Ch), written primarily from the US/CW player's standpoint.

Turn played - SO1941. Tojo/Mussolini was stuck at work due to unexpected circumstances, so Adolf played for him with delivered instructions - most stuff in the Pacific was already committed or soon to be, with most of the Japanese fleet caught off Pearl Harbor and San Francisco attempting to launch port strikes, but surprised themselves instead.

Initiative and weather, along with the US DoW, were rolled at the end of the last session. Allies go first, weather is clear everywhere. America declares war on Japan! (Die roll: 2)

The Allies begin with massive naval movements. Sailing out, the US Navy manages to inflict a significant blow against Japan in two major surface combats. When the smoke clears, two Japanese carriers (Shokaku and Hiryu) are sent to the bottom of the California coast, along with a cruiser. Off Hawaii, Japan successfully screens their Carriers (ie not enough surprise to pick a target), but the fast Battleship Haruna and 2 cruisers are sent to the bottom. The US only suffered a sunk Submarine, and 3 damaged Battleships (Texas, New York, Indiana). Not to be outdone, Britain sinks an Italian picket cruiser in the Eastern Med, and the French/Spanish manage to sink the other in the Western Med, although the Richelieu gets damaged by a German NAV in the process. In Europe, US cruisers sail out aggressively, with the Bearn (Renamed USS Comte de Rochambeau) taking up station off the French coast. Two US transports loaded with an ARM and AT Gun sit smack in the zero box of the Cape St. Vincent. "He doesn't have the balls to declare war on me" brags Roosevelt privately to Stalin, confident that he has a strong shot at DoWing Germany if no DoW is forthcoming.

Japan, determined to earn back some honor, sails the Zuikaku, Yamato, and 3 cruisers out to fight the 5 remaining US old Battleships in the Marshalls. This time the dice favor the Japanese, and despite two inconclusive rounds, he finally manages to get through the US flak and sends the Arizona to a watery grave. (The two American Carriers in Pearl had been ordered away, leaving the Battleships to fight on their own - mostly because they'd have been grossly outmatched had I missed in the opening round). In Europe, the Axis decline to declare war, ignoring the loaded transports, with Submarines sailing for the East Coast and North Atlantic. 3 British CPs and a Cruiser are sunk, but several Axis subs are damaged as well. The German army advances southwards towards Gibraltar.

Roosevelt attempts to convince Congress that Germany is as much a threat as Japan, but apparently they seem to think one war is enough (die roll: 8). The American ARM and AT offload in Egypt, shoring up the defense of the Middle East. Meanwhile, Russians are positioning on the Persia-Iraq border, though Stalin remains quiet about whether the Iraqis are about to be blessed with a chance to vote to join the USSR. Churchill manages to surprise Adolf by using a Sunderland to transport the British First Airborne Corps to Morocco, with a brief refueling stop at the tiny port of Ferrol, now the only Allied holding left on the continent, as the Montreal MIL thumbs its nose at the advancing Germans. American CPs replace most of the British in the North Atlantic. "If you're not going to declare war on me, I'm going to take full advantage and abuse it all I can" remarks Roosevelt.

The Pacific remains mostly quiet, as Japan shuffles another Corps and some aircraft down to Malaya, where the defenders of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur still hold out. Japan puts down two Chinese partisans, and the Dutch live to burn the second oil well in Palembang.

Most of the rest of the turn proves relatively uneventful, as Roosevelt fails a second time to declare war (die roll: 8, again), and decides to hold for now, with only 1 chit left in German tension and 4 in entry. Germany blitzes the CW Armor away from in front of Gibraltar, rolling a modified 22 to kill the ARM Div and retreating the MECH and ARM back into Morocco. Air Battles in the Cape St. Vincent manage to sink 3 CP, but the RAF mostly holds its own in the air, with 2 Axis FTRs shot down in exchange for 1 British FTR2. Meanwhile, the German surface fleet, including the Graf Zeppelin, slips past the blockading British and into the Faeroes gap, but fails to find. The Admiralty sends 6 carriers and several battleships out after them, but likewise no combat results. Germany meanwhile begins positioning to try and attack Gibraltar, but the turn ends before any attack can be made.

At the end of the turn, Roosevelt convinces Congress that it's time to send aid to Russia, perhaps in an attempt to buy him off from invading, er I mean intervening to protect the Russian minority in Iraq. Resources to USSR and Lend Lease to USSR move two chits to German tension (missed the roll on the first, got two chits from the roll on the second). USE now stands with 3 entry chits and 3 tension chits vs Germany, 11 entry and 8 tension chits vs Japan. The Bearn and 9 US Cruisers dock in Oran, and the US Pacific fleet lands in Pearl. Saratoga and Hornet come on as reinforcements in San Francisco, berthed next to Ranger and Wasp which are switching out their air components for real planes (which will be ready in JF42). The Carrier situation in the Pacific is much closer to parity now, with 5 Japanese fleet carriers and 3 CVLs, against 5 American fleet carriers plus Ranger and Wasp. Japan has a CVL coming in every turn for the next 3 turns, followed by Junyo and Hiyo, but the wave of Essexes and Independence class CVLs isn't too far away either. In Europe, Germany is likely to have a good shot at seizing Gibraltar, but looks far less likely to evict the motley mess of Allied corps from North Africa, now totaling 14.

Pictures of the current map situation will follow once Japan has a chance to complete its RTBs.
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Andrew
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Current Naval Balance of power (Done for my interest in figuring out exactly where things lie, but figured I'd share it for the audience following along at home):


USA Pacific - 5CV (and 2 without planes), 2 Washington-class BBs, 11 Old BBs, 9CA, 4 Subs
USA Med (Oran) - 1CV, 9CA
USA Repair - 4BB
USA Convoy Reserves Atlantic - 0
USA Convoy Reserves Pacific - 4CP

CW Atlantic - 8CVs, 2 CVLs (and 1 CV, 1CVL without planes), 7 fast BB/BC including 2 Lion class, 5 slow BBs, 2 CA (plus 4 slow BBs and ~18 various CAs tasked to escort duty)
CW Pacific (Aden/Egypt) - Prince of Wales, Howe, 3 CA, 3Sub
CW Repair - 2BB, 4CA
CW Convoy Reserves Atlantic - 21CP (mostly because of US CPs taking over duty)
CW Convoy Reserves Pacific - 9CP

France Atlantic - 6 old BBs, 8CA
France Pacific - 2CA, Sub
France Repair - 1BB (Richelieu)

Germany Atlantic - 1CV, 3BB, 5CA, 6Sub
Germany Repair - 3 Sub

Italy Med - 6BB, 6CA
Italy Atlantic - 2 Sub
Italy Repair - 2CA

Japan Pacific - 5CV, 3CVL, BB Yamato, 3 Kongo-class BB, 6 slow BB, 1 Captured French slow BB (Paris), 17 CA, 4 Sub
Japan Repair - 1CA, 1 French slow BB (Courbet), 1 French CA (Suffren)
Japan CP Reserve - 8CP


Near-term Reinforcements:
JF42: Allies: BB Indiana, BB Thunderer, CV Indefatiguable, US Sub, 1 US CP, 3 CW CP, CVP for Ranger/Wasp. Axis: CVL Chiyoda, Ge Sub, It Sub, Ja Sub

MA42: Allies: BB Alabama, BB Conqueror, CA Nigeria, 3 CW CP. Axis: CVL Chitose

MJ42: Allies: BB Massachusetts, CA Mauritius, 1 CW CP. Axis: CV Hiyo


Overall situation looks pretty good for the Allies given the turn. The Euroaxis have a lot of NAV (6 with two more arriving this coming turn), but the CW has been pretty good at matching them in the air over the Cape St Vincent, and the results have been slightly favorable to the Allies (even before the fact that attrition tends to favor the Allies).

The shipyards have definitely encouraged more ship construction (we're playing that you have to spend at least 1BP of the type to gain the benefit). I may have gone overboard with building out the Lion class, but with the rules we're using for surface combats (alternating target picks, owner assigns first, owner may 'screen' ships, screened ships cannot be selected without spending surprise, do not add surface factors, but do count for the target profile) I anticipated more losses on the good BBs.
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Andrew
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As promised, here are the images. The next session's report should be up shortly, but these should provide some reference for what happened in ND41 and JF42.



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