More dispatches from the front – a long delayed write up of sessions from last year and this year in a marathon DOD3/WIFFE game with most if not all add-ons.
World leaders (with geek names):
Greg (Jes Nogger) – Russia and Communist Chinese
Simon (Nailsworthnobby) – Germany
Laurence aka Lax - Italy and Japan
Andy W (aka ‘Swiss’ or ‘Classic’ Andy) – Commonwealth
Andy P (aka ‘new’ Andy or non-Swiss) – US, France, Nationalist China
Political affairs for once are interesting – the Germans and Japanese sign a level 1 treaty, start a civil war in Venezuela which is won in short order by the rebels (who unfortunately are Democratic sympathisers) and place a counter coup cell (presumably in Yugoslavia to stop the Russians couping it), Instead of the coup, the Russians sign a treaty for the Belgrade factory, adding to the already huge production potential, and then end the politics on a 1.
Communists wrest the initiative from the fascists. An immediate declaration of a major offensive ensues, Zhukov's planning and good flying in the teeth of the cream of the Luftwaffe fighter force results in Manstein getting flipped but the follow up blitz only succeeds in retreating Manstein and the 1SS Panzer corps. Other attacks further south take the off two corps but without making ground and push the defenders back on the Hungarian/Yugoslavian border. (rolls of 11, 12, 11 and then 7 for the +10 attack on Manstein).
The democrats start the month by positioning fleets and rebasing aircraft to more strategic positions.
The germans use the respite of failed rolls to shore up the front and make a limited counter attack, driving the armoured spearhead of the central front back over the river line. Japan continues to posture, but eliminates the commie troops occupying Wuhan (finally). Italy continues its relentless series of search rolls against an increasingly resigned Swiss Andy who has now lost the majority of the Royal Navy to the Itie menace.
Back on the eastern front, some limited attacks down the front and moving forward to fill in the gaps left by the slowly retreating germans, but a major assault involving a HQ, ENG and two PARA corps is staged against Danzig. Goodish pluses are negated by average dice – the two PARA dies as Danzig holds. The two German corps left shout insults from the barricades.
Next impulse, Koniev blows another offensive to try to take out the strong German formations holding the bend of the Vistula. Apparently good ground strikes fail (4 factor tank buster fails to hit two ARM and a DIV) and the assault across the river with ENG support just fails – the engineers die on the river bank. However, Koniev reorganises many of the previously flipped units to reinvigorate the stalled front.
The Germans continue to reposition but there is one more Soviet attack in the Pomeranian salient and two corps are forced back in a retreat. German INF are shipped from Dover to the Eastern front leaving a rather lonely MIL unit with a promise “we’ll be back”. “Probably”.
Detailed reports on the wider war dry up, but judging by the swearing from the watery end of the table, Lax seems to be cuffing Swiss and being cuffed by Non-Swiss.
The Italians have removed the remainder of the Med fleet, completed the conquest of Syria and killed the last CW INF. In West Africa there was more sinkage of CW boats and outside Gibraltar another CW Carrier had its FTR shot down. The Japs have gone Naval to try and gang up on the US Heavy Surface whilst the Air can’t fly but no effect.
Boring, boring. Just US and China (who they?) gear up and everyone else garners bid points. US now produces quite a lot, Tojo sweats even more in the heat.
Storms close in across most of the globe as autumn hits with a vengeance. The Russians, unable to use their superior armour forces due to the autumn mud, use the enforced break to reposition and bring up necessary reinforcements and air assets. The fascists are equally inconvenienced but the hyperactive Italy continues to position its limited assets to cause mischief in the Indian ocean (although are given pause on a possible Iraq adventure by railed Russian militia arriving in Baghdad). Oil is clearly the strategic goal of the Fascists, a fact noted by the western allies as well.
Italians send boys to the Red Sea and the Japanese send out the newly built Yamamato (or even Yamato) which catches a couple of US Heavy Surface and a Light surface clearing them out and actually sinking something.
The Italians invade Yemen for no apparent reason and more bad weather ensues which means the turn ends after 2 impulses each. Well that was fun.
Well can’t be any shorter, politics is dullish but Germany and Japan sign the pact of Bakelite (surely Titanium – Ed.). Finland gets moved under Germany, and Russia fails to start a coup to get it back out.
Communists up first. Snow is falling across Europe and the Russian get their skis on. A Zhukov offensive in the falling snow finally takes Danzig. An attempt to cross the Vistula further south fails, but another nazi panzer corps is killed.
The US tries to sneak a division on a cruiser into the accidentally unoccupied Hong Kong, but gets it caught by a Japanese patrol – the cruiser calls in air support and the Portland is sent to the bottom along with a whole bunch of GIs.
The Fascist impulse is a quiet affair. Germans reposition waiting for the next offensive. The Italians and Japanese moved around a bit and Laurence fails to find a loaded US transport.
Greg spends his recently gained intel to roll the weather early so that he can plan his next move during the intermission until the next session. Because this is where we ended this session in Summer 2013.
Back once again in February 2014. This game is now three years in the making, and we are not even into 44 yet.
While we wait for Swiss Andy to fly in, Greg opens up with an offensive chit and flies a number of very successful ground strikes in the snow. Looks evil for the Germans given the large number of white print Soviets.
The attacks are declared and aircraft flown in ground support. A number die. Greg’s first attack roll at +4 is 15 and two German corps are blitzed off. The second roll at +7 is a 13 and Krakov falls as a Polish MECH and German INF die. Soviet losses to date – two divs. Next attack 15 rolled on a +7 two corps blitzed off and an AT destroyed. Final attack is at +11 on the blitz and 16 rolled. Bye bye one SS MECH and one MTN. Total Soviet success all along the line.
We await Swiss and the curry while the mighty Arsenal prove to be not so mighty at the hands of Bayern. If only we had a couple of copies of Twilight Struggle to while away the time.
Ah bon, M. Wilson est arrive. Et le currie, aussi. Enfin, nous sommes prêt and the action recommences with the so called democrats doing stuff. Mostly naval it would seem as they double team the hapless Japanese or as they are henceforward known – the japless.
Nothing seems much to happen during either the democrat or fascist impulses. Laurence sinks some of Swiss’ boats which by now is more or less expected. The Germans pull back hoping for better weather.
Indeed the Italians sink a loaded transport in the Cape Verde Basin and return a Canadian Armour to the murky depths - much Prosecco is drunk and regrettably they then fail to find anyone else. Undaunted the Invasion of Yemen proceeds and the HQ rolls ashore uninjured. Meanwhile the Japanese decide to start some pay back and launch an attack on a couple of decoy American Cruisers (happily walking into the expected trap) and sink the Minneapolis hoping for an early end to the turn before any of the US task forces sortie out to play as well. In China the Partisans feel the wrath on the coast and 1 of the 5 (yes count them 5 Partisans) get clobbered, so another 4 impulses and China will once again be secured (or not).
And the turn ends.