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Subject: ABQ in Flames, SO '40 rss

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Doug Harned
United States
New Mexico
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We've started a new game on Vassal. My friend is the Allies and I am playing the Axis (hence the bias in reporting). We're seriously going to try something new and novel: going deep into the game before a restart.

Rules: Standard stuff for the most part. Chrome: SiF, PiF, flak. Major optionals: DIVs, LOS, 3d10. House Rules: LOC Vichy, no ZOC for minors on surprise, reinforcements arrive on players turn, no defensive shore bombardment.

S/O '40: "Little Brother"
Modified Weather Rolls 3, 9, 10, 9
Allies get initiative and go first
Turn ends on impulse 11 with Allied roll.

Germany: Germany (aka "big brother) starts by moving the wolf pack into the N. Atlantic and strategic bombing Britain. The search rolls in the N. Atlantic go with the Allies and the Germans are chased out of the sea zone (two subs aborted, one damaged). The strat bombing does not go much better but they do manage one BP damage, but lose a FTR and pilot to the RAF. Final fail happens when they search in the Bay of Biscay, but the sub is damaged. Otherwise units move towards the Russian border.

IT: Italy (aka "little brother") has a banner impulse. First they chase a vastly superior CW fleet out of the E. Med using just one NAV and one FTR. The CW retreat out of the E. Med and into Gibraltar with the whole fleet. The IT follow them into port with their frogman unit and on a 2/10 split destroy the CV Glorious and 3 CP damaged. Finally their subs find the CW convoys in the Cape of St. Vincent and damage another 3 CP. So the Italians lost 1 SUB but destroyed 1 CV, 2 CVP and damaged 2 CA and 6 CP. "See big brother, that's how it's done."

JA: With Russia now out of the war the Japanese send their army south out of Manchuria. After withstanding a National Chinese attack in the south they counter attack against the flipped Nationals and destroy Chaing in the process. By the end of turn their line is solid and they still leave a decent force in the north to garrison the Russian border.

CW: An ok turn, but it had it's problems. Starts nice with the Allies gaining initiative. This allows the CW to generously escort their convoy lanes with CVs and SCS. The assault by the GE subs in the north Atlantic is easily won (no CP lost, one Sub damaged). The Battle of Britain also goes well with 1 BP lost but a Luftwaffe FTR killed (the storms also stopped the second round of GE strat bombing). However, those pesky Italians win in the E. Med vs a superior CW fleet, the frogmen ravage Gibraltar and the damaged convoys are beginning to mount up (9 CP in the repair pool at the EOT).

USSR: Not much activity as the forces from the RU/JA border are now en route to the RU/GE border.

China: Feeling their oats the Chinese start the turn with an attack against the Japanese to the southwest of Chang-Sha. Even with Chiang's leadership the attack fails miserably (all Chinese forces flipped). The weather clears and a Japanese counter attack kills Chiang and shatters his army. So much for the Nationalists on the offensive.

US: Not much to say - the giant still slumbers but is getting a little more restless.

US Entry: Ominously the US gears up production (#22) and gifts destroyers to CW (#16). The gift of destroys was becoming a necessity due to the losses by the CW fleet.

Overall the Axis landed some blows, and if the Germans could have matched the Italian successes the convoy lanes would have been in deep trouble. However, the lack of GE luck in the N. Atlantic and the stormy weather prevents significant direct damage to Britain's economy (other than the cost to replace the losses). I have to say I love playing the Italians. They are plucky, have a small but effective army and you certainly can't turn your back on them. Was tempted to kill more CP with the frogmen, but the chance to sink a CV was too much to pass by.

Losses for the turn:
Italy: 2BP
CW: 17BP (one is strat bomb, the rest are CP and ships)
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