The final year of the game is complete. How much damage can the Allies do before admitting defeat?
The final year opened with the return of Zhukov, who deployed in Siberia to help contain the Japanese intrusion. Japan had been throwing everything they could into Russia, but Vladivostok still held firm.
Italy finally got serious about doing something and made a landing in Turkey. They weren't near anything of real importance, but if they could attract the attention of a few Turkish units the expenditure would be worthwhile.
This would be a great move in Diplomacy
The US managed to liberate Tel Aviv, which would being the Israelis back into the game, but too late to make an impact. All action then halted as a massive blizzard consumed most of the globe, followed by my wife rolling the worst possible weather in the game.
Horrible weather only helps the Reds
France aligned Portugal. This achieved nothing but I liked the thought of France having another minor. DeGaulle went on the offensive, pushing across the Rhine into southern Germany. The French have their sights set on Munich, with some luck they just must get there!
The Australians attacked the remains of the Jordanian army, rolling a 1 and annihilating themselves in the process. Only their HQ remained, which was able to take the capital. The loss of these units pretty much kills my middle eastern offensive, although the US did sneak into Beirut, conquering Lebanon.
Things had been pretty static in Asia. The only real event was carefully planned US attack on Saigon that emptied the city but failed to secure it. Vietnam made moves to reinforce, but the turn ended before they could get there.
The Russians had been poking at my North Sea fleet throughout the game, and made another run at it this turn. After sinking a CW carrier, they retired to Kiel, content with their achievment.
Feeling the British hadn't been antagonized enough, a Soviet bomber nuked London, killing the paratrooper there that was just getting ready to airdrop into Antwerp.
Over in Asia, Japan made their biggest attack on Vladivostok yet, inflicting some damage but not coming anywhere near victory. Saigon was claimed by the US, and France managed to inch closer to Munich.
All anti-tank guns point toward Munich
Last turn! With no reason to hold back, the USSR threw their entire navy, including two transports bearing marines, into the North Sea. The ensuing naval battle nearly destroyed the entire Soviet fleet. The marines were lost, and only a few submarines lived to tell the tale.
Some lovely new reefs
With the arrival of the CW air cavalry unit, everything was in place for an attempt to liberate Antwerp. The Allies sent everything they could muster, and finally met with success!
In other news, the Italians landed a force outside Istanbul. The bulk of the Turkish army was fighting in the Balkans, so they might have a real shot at it.
The Germans, wanting their own final-turn glory, tried to drop the para-armor corps into London. The paradrop got through, but the attack itself was a glorious failure.
Italy's attack on Istanbul successfully destroyed the Turkish defenders, but flipped the attackers. With no means to reorganize them, Istanbul was secure, or was it? I had some US paratroopers in Yugoslavia, and if I could only get one more impulse, Istanbul could be mine! Alas, I rolled a 1 to end the game. Istanbul would not be taken.
The final score:
Country: Objectives: Modifier: Total: Change from last year:
USSR/Germany 24 8 16 -1
Com. China 2 5 -3 -1
Communist total 26 13 13 -2
USA/China/Japan 20 22 -2 +2
Commonwealth 15 21 -6 0
France 4 7 -3 0
Italy 2 4 -2 0
Allied total 41 54 -13 +2
A Communist victory! I made a lot of mistakes during this game, most of them I can blame on the fact that this was our first play and I didn't really know what to expect. The rest I can blame on how hard it is to run six allied countries!
Germany and Japan:
In the future, I will revive Japan as soon as possible. The availability of Japanese land and air units allows the US to focus their own efforts elsewhere, avoiding the painfully difficult trans-Pacific crossings. I don't think the US can really threaten the USSR in Siberia without a substantial Japanese force backing them up. Success in this area could also free some units to assist the Chinese in their struggle.
Germany was a huge boon to the Russians. The German units add much needed depth to the Russian line and their submarines are great. I doubt the Allies will ever be in a position to revive Germany for themselves, but every turn they can delay Germany's entry is valuable.
The War in China:
The Nationalists simply aren't going to win this. The best you can do is to try not to lose, especially if you're playing with partisans (more on that later). It's hard to get any reasonable US support into China, I think the US is better served going after Indonesia and Vietnam. Vietnamese incursions into southern China were a huge pain, mostly because the reduced my garrison value, leading to...
You simply must play this game with partisans. Chinese, Vietnamese, and Indonesian partisans have the ability to form up into normal infantry units. This was of extreme importance in China, allowing communist units to pop and and seize several key Chinese cities.
Africa was a partisan hotbed, costing me many French and British build points. Getting those territorials built helps a lot.
I struggled for most of the game trying to find something useful to do with the Italians. Toward the end, they were playing a fairly effective role in the eastern Mediterranean. Get their marine and a few transports built early, and threaten the Middle East and the Balkans. They may not do much damage, but Russia can't ignore the threat of Allied landings down there.
Switching to Offense:
I went on the offensive way too late. I expected a Communist push into France and Italy that never really came. My wife was content to sit on her conquests, protected by her massive air superiority. Toward the end, cracks were starting to develop, but it was too late to exploit them.
Professionals Discuss Logistics:
The biggest hurdle was moving US forces to where they needed to be. As mentioned earlier, this is hopelessly slow in the Pacific, and I needed to optimize my transport activity to Europe better than I did. The US has to provide the land and air muscle and I just couldn't do it fast enough.
My wife also waged a fantastic submarine campaign that gave me issues throughout the entire game. My naval advantage meant little when the bulk of it was spread out protecting convoys. Sink those subs, and sink them fast!
On the political side, we were both hampered by our inexperience. Some minors were obviously important (Turkey is particularly key), but others were much less obvious. Greece is a fantastic grab for the Allies, as it makes an excellent base for a Balkan campaign. Spain is an intriguing possibility for the Communists, forcing France to defend another border.
Then there's Mexico. Oh, the time and blood I wasted dealing with that! Next time, keep Mexico on the side of truth and justice!
This was a fun little campaign. I think I prefer the America in Flames scenario, but I would gladly do this one again, preferably with someone to split the Allied duties with!
At some point we'll probably try the 1945 campaign, but that one just doesn't look particularly interesting to me, although it does have the advantage of being a good deal shorter!
Very beautiful AAR.
I hope you and your wife (and your friends perhaps) would keep on playing, I'm eager to read more exciting report as this one!
Well, our next WIF game will be Fatal Alliances 3, probably sometime next year. Not sure if I'll be reporting on it though.