Well, we completed another exciting year of America in Flames, and boy, she was an action packed one.
Not much of note happened this turn. I got the year off to a great start by picking off an unprotected Japanese convoy, cutting off that sweet Mexican oil from the factories in Tokyo. The Italians decided to assert some naval muscle and moved to mess with my shipping in the Caribbean.
Italian naval might
A lone German carrier wandered into a low seabox off the Brazilian coast, so I figured I'd take a go at it with the Brazilian navy to see if I could get lucky. Predictably, I did not and lost the Brazilian light cruiser. Fortunately their battleship lived to fight another day.
The meat of the US/CW Atlantic fleet had somehow found itself in Houston, and Italy, feeling they had the naval advantage, flooded the Gulf of Mexico with ships. They had also mobilized Panama, gaining them an important strategic ally.
Mussolini takes the gulf
On the dry side, Clark scraped up some offense and pushed the Japanese marines in California back into the sea. The aforementioned Italian navy launched a massive port strike on Houston which was thankfully ineffective. A freakish cold snap then brought blizzards and snow in the early sping, preventing much more action.
Germany aligned Paraguay as South America continued to get more interesting. The Japanese fleet deployed almost in its entirety to California.
Trouble brews off California
At this point I had a choice to make. I could sit around and watch my fleet slowly dwindle in the face of repeated port strikes, or I could go out and get some, hoping to do some damage with my outnumbered ships before they sink. I elected for the more aggressive option, moving every ship I could marshal on the Pacific coast to engage the Japanese. The Canadians sent everything they had in the Atlantic to take on a heavy German naval concentration.
Not shying away from Japan
The battle with the Germans was a disaster. The search roll resulted in naval air combat. My anti-air roll, 19 points against 7 bombers, netted me a beautiful 1.
How could you miss?!
What was my prize for this awful roll? 5 destroys, 2 damages and 2 aborts. Yay!
Here comes the pain
I placed my first destroy roll against the Lion with its 1 defense factor, and of course, what do I roll?
10% chance of failure? I'll find a way
There goes the CW's best remaining battleship. Oh, and pretty much the rest of the fleet too.
I didn't need those ships, anyway
My naval misadventure was followed by a major axis land push that saw the Germans in Quebec, the Italians in South Carolina, Japan in Tacoma and MacArthur destroyed. In response to this, Bradley and Patton got on their horses and rode off into Mexican desert, hoping to either cut off the Japanese troops or just conquer Mexico outright. I also managed to kick the Japanese out of Tacoma and kill the Italian marines in South Carolina, leaving only Balbo.
To close the turn, our fleets in the Pacific, which had been searching to no avail, finally found each other. A massive air combat ensued, which saw my brave pilots damage 6 Japanese carriers at the loss of only 1. This almost made up for the Atlantic debacle.
Not enough damage markers, not complaining!
More mobilizations, as Uruguay joined the CW. The Italian fleet ventured back into Guf of Mexico. Encouraged by my recent victory over the Japanese, the fleet in Houston set out to meet them. I scored another huge win, sinking most of the Italian fleet. Sadly, I fear this will be my last major naval victory of the game.
Fish in a barrel
The Germans, who had been steadily building up a presence in eastern Canada, formally breached the United States by seizing a hex in Maine.
Nazis in Maine
Japan launched ridiculously low odds invasion of San Francisco, only to roll a 10, gaining them a major port in the US. They also paradropped into Los Alamos, claiming a the nuclear research site there, and claimed Albuquerque, solidifying their grip on the southwest. With defense in Texas crumbling, I had to recall Patton and Bradley from their Mexican adventure to shore up the lines. Not all was bad news, as I also managed to eliminate Balbo in South Carolina, rebuffing the poor Italians.
Lots of mobilizations this turn, Japan got Peru, France got Ecuador, and the US got Cuba. South America saw its first real action as my Brazilians stomped a Paraguayan cavalry unit. Argentina started moving on Chile, downing their sole fighter. Yes, South America was getting hot, but little else happened on this short turn.
South American action
Ah, here it is. When this game is over, this is the one we will look back on as the turning point. This was the turn that changed everything.
First, some background. We weren't even planning to play this turn on the night that we did. We had just gotten back from dinner, it was around 6:30 PM or so, and we decided to go for it. It was a winter turn, so it would be short, right? Should be an hour or so, tops. We even had a +2 weather modifier going in.
I was also feeling pretty confident at this point. I had some incredibly lucky research rolls, and the Axis land offensives were getting a little bogged down. I was going to shift into full defensive mode and research my way to victory.
I knew this turn was going to be different after I actually won the initiative roll. This was the first time I had done this so far in this game!
Sweet, sweet, initiative
Knowing that the weather would be awful, I decided to let my wife go first, hoping she would accomplish nothing in the snow, and I could push the intiative to +2. I made the starting weather roll... 1. The +2 from the previous turn made it 3, rain in the arctic, fine and clear everywhere else. This was not good.
After Japan mobilized Columbia, my wife placed the starting German and Japanese offensive chits in the hidden unit boxes (we put Axis and Allies pieces in these boxes to denote impulse type choices). I looked at her quizzically, not understanding what she meant by that. With an evil grin she uttered the two words that changed the world:
Suddenly, everything was moving. Axis invasion forces appeared everywhere. When all was said and done, ten land attacks were ordered up, from Montevideo to Vancouver.
Axis and Allies dudes mark the battles
Fortunately, the attacks did not go as planned. South America was a disaster. Four of my minor capitals were assaulted, none succeeded. Japanese landings in Vancouver and the Seattle area failed, but she did managed to destroy Nimitz in Texas. The Germans did significantly better, capturing Washington DC!
The German flag flies over the Capitol
The CW then mobilized Haiti, for what that's worth, as I planned my response. My newly built air cav managed to recapture the research center at Los Alamos, but counter attacks in South America were awful. That continent was truly a death trap on the this turn.
Further weather rolls continued to yield 1s and 2s as the turn proceeded. The Germans used the opportunity nearly destroy the CW army. The storied Montreal Militia fell and nearly all of Canada east of Ottawa now lies in German hands. I made a failed attempt to recapture DC, before which I seriously considered dropping an A-bomb on it. The turn finally ended, after four hours, with my spectacular research roll... 1.
In this one turn, Canada was crippled, DC was lost, my research collapsed, and I am now seriously terrified of the German army. What terrors will 1947 bring?
FUN WITH NUMBERS:
The political status at the close of 1946:
Paraguay, Argentina, Venezuela FULL ALLY
Nicaragua +11 (Mobilization)
Honduras +9 (May enter)
Panama FULL ALLY
Guatamala +9 (May enter)
Mexico FULL ALLY
Peru +12 (Mobilization)
Columbia +11 (Mobilization)
Costa Rica +8 (May Enter)
Brazil FULL ALLY
Cuba +12 (Mobilization)
El Salvador +3 (Half resources)
Uruguay, Bolivia FULL ALLY
Haiti +13 (Mobilization)
Chile FULL ALLY
Ecuador +12 (Mobilization)
Dominican Republic +10 (May enter)
Progress toward victory:
Countries remaining to conquer/align:
Axis: 20 Allies: 16
Nuclear research (200 to win):
Axis: 33 Allies: 108