We pick up on the Axis 2nd impulse of January/February 1942 - weather is 4, which is Fair in the Med. Germany plays a land offensive on Rommel in a last-ditch effort to take Gibraltar. Air combat off the coast kills a FW190 and Condor, with no Allied losses. The Axis abort back to the sea zone, with Gibraltar still in supply. Two ART doubled flip one corps and the div. Germany is committed, and pretty much everything with wings is committed on both sides. The final odds are a +5.9, and Adolf rolls a 15 plus the fractional for a modified 21 - Gibraltar falls! Churchill curses, but Roosevelt is consoled by getting to save his 8 factor MOT and the Para Div, with the British Garrison taken as a loss.
In the Pacific, Japan destroys the face down and OOS Delhi Militia, taking Kuala Lumpur. Only Singapore now holds in Malaya, defended by an Indian GAR and the Sydney MIL.
Axis end the turn on a 3.
This turn went long, and saw a great deal of fighting in the air.
Allies win initiative, and make the Axis go first. Weather is 9+1, clear everywhere. The turn runs long, with several clear impulses, ending in mostly bad weather.
Germany sails his fleet, now bereft of its Carrier, but still touting a respectable 3BB 4CA, into the Bay of Biscay under land based air, sinking a CP, an old British Battleship, and 2 slow CA. "Just where I want him," declares Churchill - he seems to care more about sinking German ships than he does about keeping the British contigent in northwest Spain in supply.
More Axis planes fly at the supply convoys off the Cape St. Vincent, shooting down a British FTR and damaging the US CP, but at cost of an Italian NAV + PIL.
Germany groundstrikes the CW in port NW of Spain, and loses a FTR+PIL, flipping Alexander (who had declared emergency HQ supply), but not the INF.
US and Dutch Subs sink 3 Japanese CPs in the South China Sea, cutting the Japanese in Malaya out of supply. In the Bay of Bengal, an Indian Hurricane shoots down a Japanese CVP with PIL, but the CP supplying Singapore is sunk.
In the WEstern Med, Britain flies out a 3 point NAV and a Mosquito, and sinks the Italian picket Cruiser.
Another air battle in Bay of Biscay sees more casualties, with 1 Ge FTR and 1 It NAV shot down for 1 CW CVP.
US Marines land unopposed in Majuro, in the Marshalls, and take up positions in New Guinea near Rabaul, which Japan has reinforced with Yamashita and a White Print Corps plus Div.
Russian troops surge forward to the border, as Stalin begins counting garrison factors.
Britain sails the main battlefleet against the Germans in Storms, and finds! Churchill prepares to shift Germany down, only to give in to goading by Adolf and shift himself up instead (which is generally the right call, in Churchill's opinion). Churchill then promptly rolls a "1" on the kill result against the Thunderer ("I bloody knew it" swears Churchill). Had the points been shifted the other way, Britain at most could have lost a cruiser, instead, Churchill is down one of his shiny new battleships. He grumbles about rebuilding it, as a point of pride, but later is persuaded there are more pressing matters given the state of naval affairs. The Kriegsmarine is now down to 3 active ships, and both Italy and Japan are hurting as well, with Roosevelt's shipyards busy cranking out a strong battlefleet as well.
Adolf sails his subs, now basing out of Lisbon, in the Cape St Vincent, using an Italian NAV to help search, and sinks the CPs in the Cape St Vincent. Churchill's decision to divert the high-box aircraft may prove costly here. Italy sails its fleet to the Western Med, along with a German nav, and in a surface engagement, damages two French slow battleships who were just outside of the cover of British Air in the Sea box. In the Eastern Med, an Italian Cruiser moves to evacuate the Italian Marine DIV from Cyprus.
Meanwhile, Tojo moves CPs to the South China Sea to put his forces in Malaya back in supply, as well as ship oil and Res, and sails a CVL (Hosho) to cover them. The American submariners spot the flattop, however, and sink it with a well placed torpedo, as well as abort some CPs at the cost of 1 Sub damaged. Roosevelt cheers - that's another Japanese carrier down (albeit a weak one).
Emboldened, Roosevelt orders Halsey to set sail, and the main Pacific fleet sails into the Solomons in storms, and rebases his land based F4F and Catalina squadrons to small but strategic airstrip on an atoll at the junction of the Marshalls, Solomons, and Polynesia. This is a potentially risky move, but an even battle likely favors the Allies at this point, or so Roosevelt figures.
In Europe, the British NAV respond to the strike on the French by damaging the Andrea Doria and Vittorio Veneto in the Western med. Turn would end on a 3, but continues.
Tojo eyes the American fleet in the Solomons, but decides to send his main fleet against the US slow Battleships in the Marshalls, but misses.
German Land-based air strikes at the remaining Allies off the Cape St Vincent, shooting down a US FTR, sinking some CPs, and damages a British TRS in the Cape St Vincent. Supply is cut to the defenders of Morocco. Adolf tries a groundstrike on Tangier, but fails to get anything but the headquarters, with two American HQs ready to provide emergency supply as needed. Turn fails to end despite being at a 5 or less.
The British fleet in the Bay of Biscay searches the remnants of the Kriegsmarine. In two successive rounds of combat, Germany manages to clear out the convoy points, but then winds up with the rest of its fleet sent to the repair pool - all German ships are now in the repair pool except the Schliesen. With the loss of the CP though, Adolf has succeeded in cutting supply to the Brits holding on in Northwest Spain. Churchill consoles himself by ordering the bombing of Dusseldorf in a gap in the German air defenses, smashing two production points.
In the Pacific, the US attempts to port strike a lone Japanese transport in the Marshalls, shooting down a Japanese CVP in the air battle. Unfortunately most of the US CVPs with NAV factors are out of range, so only 2 factors clear through. The transport saves against the "D" result and is only aborted. Despite the end of turn number now standing at 8, the turn still fails to end!
Stalin suddenly orders the Russian forces back, apparently deciding that the odds are not yet in his favor.
Tojo decides to show that he too can conduct port strikes, sending several CVPs against a CP in Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt, meanwhile, has left only an AA gun defending them, but apparently Tojo's pilots failed to do proper recon, and fly right into the teeth of the AA: a 2-8 split on the dice winds up giving the US Anti-Air gunners enough surprise to shoot down one of the CVPs. Tojo then searches for the Battleships and Transport in the Marshalls, which have been covered by a lone Catalina. The Americans find, but without enough surprise to call off the combat. Tojo flies only one CVP as a FTR, since there are no American FTRs defending. All the Japanese bombers automatically clear through, although they're a bit thinner than before. Despite being at +3/-3, the unescorted Catalina rolls a '19' and shoots down the A5M, to a round of swearing from Tojo, who only aborts the NAV in turn. A single US Battleship is aborted after succeeding at its save.
In Spain, Adolf orders Guderian to attack Alexander despite the snow at +5.9, and rolls a 5, losing a MTN Div and flipping.
The turn finally ends, though lack of supply prevents Alexander and the FTR2 on him from reorganizing. The initiative shifts to +2 Allies.
We do the end of turn phase, and roll initiative and weather for May/June 1942. Both sides want to go first here, but with two rolls of a "1" back to back, the Axis win initiative despite the Allied reroll.
Map Situation at the start of the May/June 1942 turn:
So things get a lot more interesting now that Gibraltar fell. It's frustrating to lose it on a +6 attack (roughly), even if this does make for a more interesting/challenging game overall. Now we get to the interesting questions, for which I'd be curious to hear peoples' thoughts:
1) The Eastern Front. Does Germany just try and hold the Garrison, or does he declare war? Doing so doesn't make Russia any stronger, and he's going to have to deal with Stalin eventually. The longer he waits, the tougher the Bear will get. The 42 campaign season is about to begin though, and if he doesn't go soon, he'll miss any opportunity to do so before the Russian Army and Air Force is too strong, as Russian production is nearly the equal of Germany's.
2) Western Front. I stand a reasonable chance of losing the port in northwest Spain - I should have just evacuated it earlier, but I wasn't expecting so many clear impulses in J/F and M/A. That said, I should be able to stage a landing in Summer 42, the question is where. The Axis have a lot of Air still in Spain, and several HQs. Most of my HQs in Europe are there as well, in Morocco. Should I try to force my way ashore while Spain is still heavily garrisoned, or look at a weaker target elsewhere for Europe in 1942, such as France?
3) Pacific Theater. Japan is reeling with the Carrier losses, and I'm thinking it's a good time to press him - I just don't have a lot to press him with, and he does still have reasonable land-based air coverage that I lack. Right now almost all of the US Fleet is in the Pacific - only a few cruisers and the Bearn are in the Atlantic. Should I keep them there to try and prevent Japan from recovering, focus even more ships from Europe (sending a larger CW task force with a few CVs and such), or should I look at sending some of the Americans back to Europe, possibly into the Med via Suez?