Aixs & Allies game
This time around, I've made each turn a season, rather than half a year. Since this was a "total victory" game, that made the numbers work out about right (as right as they can be imagined to be, given that this game isn't really a World War II simulation). As an added bonus, here were the ostensible starting strategies for each nationality:
USSR: Hold out against German attack, stall any Japanese attack, then potentially counterattack
Germany: Bolster Western defenses, strike at heart of USSR as soon as possible, take Brazil, take and keep Africa
Britain: Defend India, defend England, land at Norway if possible, defend Africa
Japan: Destroy Allied fleets in theatre of conflict, take China, take India, take Austalia, take Hawaii
USA: Move to Europe as soon as possible, attack Africa if possible, take Japanese holdings in the Pacific
Turn 1 (Fall 1941)
Smarting from the shock of Operation Barbarossa, the Soviets shifted their forces Western, concentrating troops around the vital defensive points of Leningrad, Moscow and the industrial Caucusus. Some infantry remained in the East, as a stall against any Japanese aggression in this time of distress.
An attack on Moscow was not yet in the cards, but the defenses of the Caucusus and Leningrad were immediately put to the test as each found itself at the tip of a Wehrmacht spear. The Red Army in the Caucusus was still reeling, and there, German forces easily routed the defending force. The same was not true in Leningrad, where bitter, house-to-house fighting was the rule of the day. In the end, though, the Germans held both Leningrad and the key factories and oil supplies of the Caucusus. Inhabitants of Gibralter found themselves witnesses to a striking engagement between British and German maritime power, as battlegroups dueled off the coast. Luftwaffe support fielded from the mainland tipped the balance, however, handing Germany control of the passage for the time being. They exploited this freedom, moving more military power into North Africa even as their forces shifted to face off with the Brits in Egypt. Elsewhere, another contingent of the fleet moved North, transferring men to hold Norway in the wake of the assault on Leningrad. In the heart of Germany, more panzers rolled out of factory doors. Germany was on the march.
British offensive choices were sparse at this point. Lancaster bombers flew sorties over Germany, with some measure of success against German industry. Deeming one strong defense better than two diffuse ones, Britain pulled its forces from Egypt and transferred them to India, at the same time collecting the fleet off the Indian coast. In aid of a long-term plan for defense of Asia, local industry was also retooled to put it on a wartime footing. Convoys transferred armor from Canada to the United Kingdom, bolstering its defenses, even as local factories turned out more bombers for a long-haul campaign of strategic bombing.
Sensing a threat to its continued dominance in the Pacific, the Japanese navy struck the American fleet at Hawaii. The sudden attack had American forces wrongfooted from the start, and they were quickly wrecked. The Bay of Bengal played host to another massive Japanese raid, this time aimed at the British navy. British planes took to the air against a swarm of fighters and torpedo bombers. They put up a fierce defense, taking down more than their share of Japanese fighter planes. But at the end of the engagement, the British fleet was in ruin, and Japan controlled the Bay. Buoyed by this costly success, the fleet transferred more troops and armor into French Indochina, perhaps in preparation for an attack. Japanese planners had successfully predicted the outcome of the Fall offensive, and new aircraft and armor were already in production for the next leg of the attack.
Drawn into the war, but seeing Europe as the key to success, America began the process of ferrying men, artillery and armor over to Britain. As a sizeable transport fleet was assembled in Eastern shipyards, the American navy pulled its remaining offensive capacity from the Pacific, heading toward the Panama canal and a linkup with the Atlantic effort. For now, the Pacific would have to wait.
Turn 2 (Winter 1941)
With German forces pressing on its flanks, the Red Army gave no consideration to offense. A defense in depth was planned for the Russian heartland, as infantry were recalled from parts of the East and sent into the Kazakh Republic to act as a buffer and slow the German advance.
Winter slowed, but did not halt, the German advance. Its forces pushed into Archangel and Kazakhstan, showing little mercy to the vastly outnumbered Soviet defenders. In a surprise move, a German force landed in Brazil, claiming its lush jungles for the Reich. As expected, German armor moved South in Africa, overrunning abandoned British defensive positions. The Luftwaffe achieved epic successes in bombing runs on Soviet factories, badly damaging the Soviets' ability to prepare for the impending siege of Moscow. In the Atlantic, the German navy moved against the first American convoy mission as it prepared to head home. The outgunned American defenders made a good showing against attacking U-boats, but could do little to stop German battleships. The cargo delivery was a success, but the convoy never made it home. In the West, German infantry mustered and Wehrmacht forces moved slowly toward the coast. The Americans had awoken, but were not yet a threat. All along the Eastern front, armor and infantry moved into position. The attack on Moscow would come with the Spring thaw.
A free German battlegroup in the Atlantic represented an unacceptable threat to transatlantic convoys. With considerable backing from RAF airpower, the British navy moved South, engaging its German counterpart in the open ocean. Airpower proved decisive, sending the unescorted German ships to the bottom in a series of brilliant strikes. As their companions were sinking ships, RAF bomber pilots again challenged German air defenses, striking a hard blow against war production. In the Pacific, the commander on the scene made a gamble, shipping a small infantry force out from Australia and landing it on Borneo. The risky play succeeded, as British forces walked right over stunned Japanese defenders. But would such a small force hold the island for long? Retooled factories in India were already turning out armor, as their companion factories back home continued to supply the RAF with more bombers.
The Japanese military responded to the surprise loss of Borneo with an overwhelming counterattack. The British fleet was sunk to a ship, and the defenders in Borneo were unable to hold out much longer then that. With that problem solved, Japanese forces slowly moved into Indochina, as factories on the home islands produced more bombers to back renewed attacks in Asia.
American bombers stationed in Britain made their own try at German industry, but the first series of attacks had little effect. Although American generals had neither the time nor the troops to deal with the loss of Brazil, the navy did seize the opportunity to sink Germany's "South American" fleet, stranding the Brazilian invasion force in place. As a massive merchant marine fleet collected off the Eastern seaboard, a land force to match was pulled together. In a rare moment of coordination, American fighters flew long distance to land in Buryatia, where they would, for a time, provide support for the Red Army against a possible Japanese advance.
Turn 3 (Spring 1942)
Still reeling from the "Winter of bombs," Soviet factories were barely able to stamp out rifles and antitank weapons to arm the defenders of Moscow. Generals recalled the last infantry contingents from Novosibirsk and Evenki, hoping to put more men between Moscow and utter ruin. Only in the Far East was there calm, as Soviet soldiers met with their American counterparts.
German progess continued in North Africa. This, of course, was a sideshow to the main event of the Spring. In the East, the mighty crescent of the Wehrmacht closed in on the heart of Russia. Perhaps panicked by the sight of a sky black with aircraft, Soviet antiaircraft gunners were markedly ineffective. The first weeks of the fighting saw horrific losses on both sides, as the Red Army sacriced whole brigades to bleed the Wehrmacht advance. The relentless drive continued, however, peeling off layer after layer of defense. In the end, the weight of German armor was just too much, crushing the Soviet defense and breaking the back of Moscow. Its Eastern front now essentially secure, Germany turned its attention to the West, moving more men and tanks toward the coast, and mustering ever larger units in Germany itself.
The loss of pressure on the German flank could only bode ill for Allied efforts. The British military sent a landing force toward Norway, with battleships and aircraft as traveling companions. The German naval contingent was no match, nor were the defenders in Norway. In a bold strike, Britain gained a firm foothold on continental soil. RAF bomber raids into Germany continued, taking heavy losses but continuing to pound German factories. At the same time, British industry was hard at work at home and abroad, churning out tanks, trucks and rifles for the Allied cause.
Unsettled by the British buildup in India, the Japanese high command ordered an invasion. Japanese forces moved overland from Indochina as well as landing in the Bay of Bengal, as bombers and fighters struck against British defenses. The battle was the bloodiest yet in the war, but the Japanese army was willing to pay the obscene price of victory. India fell, but Japanese air power in the region was half its former strength, and casualties among Japanese ground forces were almost total. So weakened was Indochina that Japanese forces abandoned Manchuria to shift their entire garrison South to reinforce it. The tenuous situation in Asia might soon be improved, however. Japanese factories were already producing new sea transport capacity and the next generation of airpower -- although it would take more than a mere few months to properly rebuild from the battle for India.
Right on the heels of this Allied setback, the American military set out across the Atlantic. The goal this time was not Britain, however. Instead, American forces made an amphibious assault on the ports of Algeria, under cover of shelling from the big guns of Iowa and New Jersey. Taken by surprise, the German North Africa garrison quickly buckled. Now the Americans had a toehold. American bomber raids on Germany continued, this time exacting a sharp price from the factories below. Elsewhere, an American air wing parted company with Soviet forces and met up with the Chinese army in Sinkiang. Even farther away from the action, a new carrier battlegroup was built on the American West coast. With the Atlantic force in play, it was time to retake the Pacific.
Turn 4 (Summer 1942)
Moscow was in German hands and the Red Army had all but collapsed. The remaining infantry brigades began the long trek from the East, toward the dubious task of retaking their capital from a veritable horde of panzers.
Warned by their Axis partners of the Chinese army advancing toward Moscow, Germany rolled its panzer battallions out in confrontation. For the first time in the war, Sinkiang became a battlefield, as German and American airplanes dueled in the skies and Chinese soldiers stood against tanks on the ground. Despite a number of cunning ambushes, the weight of German firepower was just too much, and Sinkiang fell. In Africa, the lone panzer brigade continued its march, consolidating German control. Back in Europe, German tanks rolled out to Leningrad to block the British advance, and infantry were shifted south to prevent an Allied landing from Africa. Everywhere, infantry were armed and equipped, ready to defend newly conquered territory.
Trying to make even bigger gains in continental Europe, British forces moved against the armored defenders of Leningrad, aided by a shipment of additional soldiers and armor, as well as air cover, from Britain. The two-front assault worked, and after a pitched battle, Commonwealth forces liberated Leningrad. At the same time, RAF bombers struck Berlin with seeming impunity, savaging German factories. Meanwhile, British factories continued to churn out arms, armor and aircraft. They would keep the momentum going, whatever the cost.
Seeing signs of an American buildup in the Pacific, the Japanese admiralty decided to strike first. Japanese forces landed at Midway, handily obliterating its isolated defenders. On the mainland, Japanese forces moved into undefended China. Elsewhere, army units were shipped out of India and Indochina to Borneo, on the way toward a strike on Australia. Factories in India built more tanks and guns for a renewed attack on Central Asia, even as the rest of the Japanese military moved toward the Pacific, and a confrontation with the U.S.
American forces were oddly quiet this season, silently taking Libya as the fleet moved in parallel along the coast. In the Pacific, a second carrier fleet was outfitted, and defensive positions were built up along the West Coast.
Turn 5 (Fall 1942)
The remnant Red Army continued its march toward whatever fate awaited it in Moscow. The people cheered them on, but they knew they were hopelessly outmatched, and went ahead anyway.
The Luftwaffe had been considering a strike on the British navy, but now that the Americans were off the Italian coast, they found themselves with an embarassment of targets. Judging a whole American fleet the greater threat, the Luftwaffe flew South. However, the news that came back to the high command was not good -- the entire strike force had been wiped out, with little to show for their troubles. Always fond of land warfare, the Luftwaffe had no conception of how to down the well-defended American fleet. In Africa, German forces rolled into Rhodesia and then stopped, declining to try and root out British infantry in the townships and cities of South Africa. Having foreseen some casualties -- although not that disaster that actually occurred -- German planners had new aircraft ready to go. Elsewhere, the garrisons of Moscow and the Caucusus were reinforced, the latter with German armor returning from the conquest of Sinkiang.
With no German forces near at hand, the British army rushed through Eastern Europe, liberating Archangel, Belorussia and West Russia. The bulk of the contingent remained in Leningrad, however, as the efficient British fleet transshipped more infantry and armor over from home, and RAF fighter squadrons landed on newly refurbished airfields. RAF bomber wings continued their string of brilliant raids, once again giving German factories a solid thrashing. Back at home, airplanes, arms and armor were the order of the day for British industry.
With the Red Army gone, Japanese infantry moved freely into Buryatia. Elswhere, the Japanese finally hit Australia, landing armor and infantry there. The Australians fought hard, but they couldn't effectively defend against the new model Japanese tanks, and the island fell. In Central Asia, an expeditionary infantry force occupied Persia, paving the way for future armor. In the Pacific, the Japanese fleet collected around Midway as its bombers landed there. There they remained, as if daring the Americans to test their defenses. Meanwhile, factories at home and in India built fighters and tanks.
The American expeditionary force in North Africa finally made its move, crossing over for a massive landing attack from the Black Sea, with surprise support from American bombers making a long-haul flight out of Britain. Unfortunately, German AA guns proved too much for the bombers, already operating at the limits of their endurance. Fortunately for the Americans, their shore bombardment was much more effective, making a decent dent in German defenses. That was just a preface to a savage battle, however, as hardened SS units fought a slow-moving retreat and American forces made a grinding advance. When German resistance finally disintegrated, the American force had suffered colossal casualties, reduced to the scattered remains of its armored battalions. They held the Caucusus now, but probably wouldn't be able to defend their prize. There was little to do about it, however, as America's eyes were on the Pacific, where a third carrier fleet was outfitted. A confrontation had to come soon. Though they probably wouldn't arrive in time, American fighters flew from Britain toward Eastern Europe, hoping to reinforce their new gains.
Turn 6 (Winter 1942)
The commander of the remnant Red Army was a practical man. Moscow was too well defended. Instead, he moved his force South, liberating Novosibirsk.
Germany could not yet afford to try and retake lost ground in Europe, but it could, at least, slow down the hemmorhaging. Infantry brigades moved to take Evenki and Belorussia, as well as reinforcing the Balkans. Unwilling to admit defeat, the Luftwaffe tried another naval assault, going after the British "Channel" fleet. The Germans had learned from their prior failure and hit hard and effectively, wiping out the British fleet. Now they had some guarantees against outside interference. It was good timing, too. Factories in Moscow were just starting to build new panzers for the retaking of Europe.
RAF raids on Germany continued, though with little effect in the gloomy winter nights. Stymied by the inability to ship more troops over, British commanders decided to make what strategic impact they could. While infantry units retreated to Leningrad, British air and armor moved South to reinforce the American holdings in the Caucusus. A new transport fleet was in the works as well, out of the reach of German torpedo bombers.
Taking off in waves from Midway, Japanese bombers hit the continental U.S. for the first time. American gunners bled the attackers, but the air raids were still devastating, setting the shipyards of Los Angeles and San Diego alight, and burning the Richmond refineries. In Asia, Japanese forces moved onward, taking the Soviet Far East. The military was on the move everywhere. A transport group set out from Australia, looking to resolve the deadlock in South Africa. The fleet gathered in the Pacific, a massive battlegroup now moored in the waters off Midway. In India, factories continued to build tanks, even as more aircraft were produced at home.
The attacks on American industry had done serious harm to the country's strategic options. As big as the American fleet was, the Japanese fleet was bigger, and couldn't yet be challenged. Instead, American forces regrouped. Liberated factories in the Caucusus produced new Shermans, while a destroyer group was built in the recovering shipyards of California. The American Atlantic fleet started the long trip back from the Black Sea, hoping to have another force to ferry over once it made its way home. Against their expectations, American air forces did manage to regroup with the army in the Caucusus. The European counteroffensive was not yet dead.
Turn 7 (Spring 1943)
Continuing its long march, the Red Army moved into Kazakhstan. For the moment, it was out from under German control.
Limited German forces retook undefended West Russia, Novosibirsk and Archangel. The real action was in Leningrad, however, where panzers and infantry moved against a garrison consisting of several British infantry brigades. Commonwealth forces were unable to stem the advance, and once again, Germany controlled Leningrad. As factories in Russia continued to produce new Tigers, German infantry companies moved out from the heart of Europe, closing on the Caucusus.
The newly rebuilt British fleet steamed out, landing a substantial force in Archangel that swept aside the German infantry with little fuss. There were no bomber raids on Germany this Spring. Instead, production of bombers increased, in preparation for a massive air assault, possibly as soon as Summer.
Japanese bombers took off once more, but this time the target was not American industry. It was the Americans. The battle was one unlike any so far in the war, as five carrier groups unleashed their fighters -- three American, two Japanese. Even more Japanese aircraft entered the fray, fighters and bombers alike. One air wing was tasked to remain apart from the engagement, to fly escort and, if all went as planned, close air support for the small landing force that accompanied the fleet. The melee began with an intense exchange. All the carriers, on both sides, were sunk, as were the destroyer groups. American pilots found themselves with their proverbial backs against the wall -- they would succeed now and land in California, or fail and likely lose the coast. On the other side, the remaining Japanese battlefleet was battered, and early losses were a bit of a shock to fleet commanders. Still, they pressed the attack. American and Japanese pilots duelled, the maelstrom finally resolving into clear skies at the end of one hellish hour. Both fighter groups were decimated, but the Japanese fleet held the ocean. As Japanese sailors struggled to put out fires on the likes of the Yamato, the landing force moved in. Where the fleet had triumphed, the land forces could not. Despite having air superiority and armor, the Japanese could not displace the American defenders. The West Coast still stood, battered, but free. Although this land offensive was a failure, the army made moderate gains elsewhere, taking the Yakut Republic and Madagascar. Still stricken by the missed opportunity in America, the military looked to its factories at home and in India. Both locations were already churning out new aircraft to replace those lost in the Pacific.
Reeling from the near-loss of the West, American forces did little this Spring. The Atlantic fleet kept moving, almost reaching home port. In preparation, infantry reserves were called up, even as formerly Soviet factories built yet more Shermans in the Caucusus.
Turn 8 (Summer 1943)
Unwilling to risk casualties without a clear path to Moscow, the Red Army remained in Kazakhstan.
As German forces continued to bolster Moscow's defenses, panzers rolled back into Norway. Armies continued to stream out of Europe, moving to reinforce the field armies at Leningrad and in the Ukraine.
A truly awesome panzer army defended Moscow and surrounds -- probably more than British forces could tackle. But if they waited, time was always on the Germans' side. If nothing else, they just might crack the German defenses enough to let an American followup attack succeed. Waves and waves of RAF bombers set out from Britain, overflying Archangel on their way into Moscow. Ground forces moved in from Archangel and the Caucusus, backed by RAF fighters. Weeks of bloody fighting ground the British attackers down and down, until, at least, they simply disappears in the face of waves of German tanks. Although the outcome was a forgone conclusion, British commanders felt bleak -- they had not had the impact they hoped to. The Atlantic transport fleet was already on its way home, ready to pick up the next wave.
Moving on from Madagascar, Japanese forces landed in South Africa, finally displacing the British defenders that the German panzer brigade had been unwilling to face. Japanese troops also moved in and occupied undefended Trans-Jordan. Aside from these minor conquests, Japan was relatively quiet -- but for a renewal of strategic bombing of America. In the Pacific, transports headed back toward Japan, ready to pick up a second wave of attackers. At the same time, aircraft headed out to Midway, replacing some of those lost in the Spring offensive. Notably, production in India turned to naval power, as Japan built a new carrier fleet in the Indian ocean.
The Americans knew they didn't have a chance against Moscow -- not yet. With that in mind, factories continued to work, in the States and in Europe. At the same time, the Atlantic fleet split up, part of it heading toward the UK, where American troops had been languishing for quite a while. The rest continued on home, to pick up the new invasion force.
Turn 9 (Fall 1943)
The Red Army remained in place, hemmed in by its utter lack of possibilities.
The German army had no such issues. With the power of Russian industry behind the, the German panzer divisions roared out of Moscow, attacking into the Caucusus with the assistance of infantry divisions moving in from the Ukraine. The Americans put up a spirited defense, but German firepower was overwhelming. The Allied foothold in Eastern Europe was lost. The loss was compounded by the retaking of Archangel. The Allies were now completely shut out of the continent. The Luftwaffe again suffered a minor disaster in a naval operation, losing its remaining fighters in a partially successful try at British shipping in the Channel. Everywhere, German forces consolidated their hold on Europe. The fortress was becoming progressively harder to crack.
Britain was not yet ready to concede. Transports moved armor and infantry South, dropping them in American-controlled Algeria. Back home, the RAF began to rebuild.
Japan's Indian ocean carrier group steamed through the Suez, heading toward a probable fight with the Allied Atlantic fleet. In the Pacific, transports picked up troops from the home island, preparing for a second try at the American West Coast. The very independent South African conquest army picked up shop and moved on as well, heading toward the Americas. Finally, a second carrier group was built in the Indian ocean, ready to follow in the wake of its predecessor.
The American Atlantic fleet reunited off the coast of North Africa, dropping a massive American force in American Algeria. Fearing an attack in the West, American factories rolled out new rifles and Shermans, putting them into emplacements along vital coastline. The Japanese conquest plan was suddenly untenable. Some rethinking would have to occur.
Turn 10 (Winter 1943)
With the failure of the first Allied European offensive, the commander of the Red Army remnant in Kazakhstan decided to do what harm he could with the forces at his disposal. The Soviets left Kazakh territory and marched into Sinkiang, wiping out the surprised Japanese garrison force. Soviet sub forces, inactive to this point, left their haunts off the Soviet cost and moved into the English Channel, hoping to interdict Axis shipping.
For the Germans, the winter was largely a time of consolidation. The only military action came in Sinkiang, where the remnant Red Army was challenged by German infantry and armor. The Soviets fought hard and made the Germans pay for the victory, but at the end of the day the German force was simply overwhelming. Everywhere, the German army moved toward the West, where, much to the horror of Allied planners, a new Atlantic fleet hit the water, including the first German carrier battle group, with a battleship escort.
British forces once again took to the seas, following the African coastline south from Algeria. They managed an uncontested coastal landing in the west and spread out, retaking the bulk of Africa while German armor moved slowly toward the North. Back at home, sparse resources were turned toward arming as many people as possible, and getting some tanks up along the coastal defenses.
Looking to keep the pressure on the British, Japanese forces sailed from Brazil to the west African coast. There they retook French West Africa from British armor, taking some casualties in the process. In the Pacific, the bombing campaign against American industry continued apace, with Japanese bombers taking heavy casualties, but inflicting heavy damage in return. On the trail of the American landing fleet, Japanese carrier groups continued toward the Iberian coast. Transports continued moving troops to Midway in the Pacific, as new transport hulls were laid and new cargo built on the home islands.
American forces left Africa for the British isles, possibly en route to an attempt on one of the Northwestern Soviet territories. Back at home, factories continued to build tanks and the army drew up more soldiers.
Turn 11 (Spring 1944)
The Soviet sub fleet lurked in the Channel, waiting for a German attempt to cross.
German armor retook the Kazakh republic on their way back West. In the Atlantic, the Germans did move their fleet into the channel, hoping to take and hold that stretch of sea. With air superiority and the latest technology against an antiquated sub fleet, the contest did not last long. The sole remaining element of Soviet military power was gone. German infantry and armor collected at Rugen, waiting for the go order, when they would be carried across the Channle on the massive fleet of transports now under preparation.
British forces in Africa collected, shipped south around the Horn, and then redeployed, retaking South Africa and Madagascar. Back at home, arming and the building of defenses continued.
Japanese armor rolled through Africa, retaking the territories just recently liberated by the British. At this point, the locals paid them no heed, expecting another change of ownership in a few months. One of the IJN carrier groups moved into an interdiction position in the Atlantic, blocking the American Atlantic fleet's route home. The second fleet followed in the footsteps of the first, approaching the Iberian peninsula. In the Pacific, transports shuttled more troops to Midway as even more transports, artillery and rifles were produced back at home. One shocking offensive move was made, as the Japanese took Western Canada and then hooked south, taking control of the Great Plains and cutting America in half. All the while, two battlegroups patrolled the West Coast, maintaining sea superiority.
The Americans were in a quandary, with Axis troops on American soil, and their fleet cut off in the Atlantic. A contingent of armor and infantry rolled out of California and into the central U.S. In a series of actions that felt almost surreal to Americans and Japanese alike, the Japanes army was defeated after a series of running battles amidst rows of corn and wheat. The Atlantic blockade proved equally tractable, as American forces simply moved North to Canadian ports, where they met with the fleet. Along the West Coast, more infantry were rushed to the borders, and a wing of new aircraft was armed and ready, waiting on airfields in each major metropolitan area.
Turn 12 (Summer 1944)
Other than German armor rolling into Rhodesia, German forces did little by way of offense in the summer of '44. The whole of German production was tilted toward building up its assault fleet for the impending attack on Britain.
Britain could do little but prepare its defenses and wait. Far away from such dire concerns at home, British forces regrouped in South Africa, preparing to fight their own last stand against the combined Axis advance.
Preferring not to face the robust American defensive line, Japanese forces landed in Mexico. Elsewhere, the two carrier groups formed an interdiction line in the Atlantic, cutting America off from the United Kingdom. In the Pacific, the march toward invasion continued, as transports deposited more men and guns on Midway, and factories back at home produced more arms and armor, with transports to match.
Facing the prospect of losing the UK -- an unacceptable outcome -- the Americans decided to challenge the Japanese Atlantic blockade. Battlgroups and convoys set out into the open ocean, up against two full air wings from the Japanese carrier group. Despite heavy casualties among the escort ships, the convoy pushed through, scattering the carrier group and disabling its fighter contingent. American forces landed in Britain, ready to help defend against the upcoming German attack. Back at home, additional forces moved into the Central U.S., denying the Japanese another chance to split the nation.
Turn 13 (Fall 1944)
Germany continued to build its invasion fleet as all else stood still in occupied Europe. The waters off the German coast were choked with landing craft, and in the channel, the fleet waited to escort them over.
Aghast at the intelligence reports coming in from across the Channel, Britain continued to arm itself and send people of all ages to the seawalls. The substantial American force girded for war as well. It seemed as if there would be no reinforcements for this fight.
Japanese forces moved into Eastern Canada, taking it without much struggle, and cutting off the Americans' recent line of resupply to the Atlantic. Whether this would be an issue would depend on the outcome of a new naval action in the Atlantic, pitting the American fleet against the remaining Japanese carrier group. Japanese airplanes screamed in for torpedo and bomb runs, but the convoy crews proved stalwart. Although the convoys took major losses, the carrier group was ultimately defeated. Would this turn the tide in the Atlantic in America's favor? It was too early to say. Over in the Pacific, the Nihon conveyor continued to unload troops onto Midway as even more armored and infantry brigades were outfitted back home.
With its military on the defensive everywhere else, America committed the remains of its Atlantic fleet to an action in the Channel. With one battlegroup and some convoy elements against a battlegroup and a carrier group, the outcome was hardly in doubt. The Americans did manage to put paid to the German battleships and their companions, but could do little to German naval airpower. By the end of the engagement, the Germans ruled the Channel and had free reign in the Atlantic. Much like the Romans in Britain over a thousand years earlier, the American contingent was on its own. Back home, rifles were handed out like candy as Japanese forces spread through Canada -- blunted slightly by the American retaking of Western Canada.
Turn 14 (Winter 1944)
Invasion. The German attack fleet took days to mobilize, and blackened the Channel with a force of unimaginable scale [Game note: 25 transports, each with a tank and an infantry!]. Axis air cover was weak, but British air defenses were weaker -- air superiority would simply not be an issue on this day. The German invasion force struck hard, taking the beaches in a bloody battle, but inflicting tremendous losses on the Allied defenders in the process -- with American forces taking the hardest hit. The attack's momentum could not be denied, and Allied forces continued to take heavy losses as German armored columns moved inland, blasting their way through English villages. The final defense of London was inspired, with ambush after ambush, but the weight of the panzer columns could not be denied. After a horrid, grinding battle, German forces took the capital. Britain was lost. German planners were ecstatic -- they had a second wave of brand-new armor ready to go, in case the first invasion was a failure. With Britain well in hand, all eyes turned toward America, temptingly close across the naked Atlantic.
Their capital fallen, the lone remaining British military contingent abandoned South Africa, stopping off at Madagascar on its way East.
Spurred on by the German success -- and concern about losing territorial claims in North America to a German invasion force -- the Japanese invaded the West Coast. Fighting with a much lighter force than the German contingent that took Britain, the Japanese invaders took nearly as many casualties as they caused during the initial landings and overland assault. As they pressed on, the momentum shifted in their favor, with American forces retreating inland. A final push scattered them completely, leaving the Japanese in control of the West, with a substantial occupying force. The conveyor continued, moving more troops toward North America as, at the same time, a new carrier fleet was built in the Indian ocean, ready to head off any threat from remaining British forces in the area.
For the Americans, there was nothing left but defense. Infantry loaded the approaches to the East, ready to fight off any attackers who managed to penetrate the heart of the country.
Turn 15 (Spring 1945)
Rushing to take the American capital before their Japanese "allies," the vast German flotilla moved across the Atlantic, unloading wave after wave of panzers into Canadian ports. The local Japanese infantry commander protested, but could do little to stop them. As the German navy's carrier group took up position off the eastern seaboard, newly captured factores in the UK built up an unprecedented force of Luftwaffe bombers, ready to back the impending invasion. Elsewhere, little happened, but for the remaining German armored group in Africa moving north, ready to take undefended American Libya and Algeria.
Although not really equipped for the task, the Japanese army couldn't let the Germans beat them to the goal. They moved against the unfortunately large and dug-in American force in the Midwest, backed by bombers from Midway and fighters from captured Mexican airbases. It was a "go for broke" move, and it broke the Japanese advance. Following massive casualties, Japanese forces pulled back. They would have no clear path to the American capital, and despite new tanks and bombers built in the American west, it looked like they'd lose the race to the capital. It was rough days all around for the Japanese military, as a carrier action against unescorted British transports in the Indian Ocean succeeded at the cost of a fighter wing. Still, the remnant British army was now stranded in Madagascar, where they could be dealt with at leisure. In hopes of supporting an eventual attack, the two Imperial Navy battleship groups cruised south toward the Panama canal, on their way to the Atlantic and possible shore bombardment missions.
Leaving a token force to slow the Japanese advance, American forces pulled back to the east. Rifles and other infantry weapons were stamped out as fast as the remaining factories could make them. With the German hammer striking on the Japanese anvil, the American forces would need a heroic effort to hold out and recover.
Turn 16 (Summer 1945)
Planning for a failure in the upcoming attack on America seemed like unnecessary defeatism, but nonetheless, Wehrmacht planners readied themselves for a next wave, just in case. Aware that their current landing was going in "infantry light", they mustered a huge infantry force. They already had a bounty of armor resting in Western Europe, ready for a second go -- or, after the victory, for clearing the Japanese off the continent. With none of this on their minds, the commanders of the German expeditionary force ordered the attack. Armor moved south from Canada as air power struck from bases in the UK and from the Atlantic carrier group. Led by more bombers than had ever filled a sky before, the German army struck hard. The first attack saw total losses among German infantry divisions -- but this was expected. With little American armor -- and no air power of significant air defense -- German panzers gutted American infantry positions, causing disastrous casualties. The Germans pressed the attack, driving it home with their superior air power. American forces took their measure of wind out of the second attack, decimating the Luftwaffe's fighter contingent and destroying panzers in a somewhat structured retreat from the District, but all in all, their casualties were too much to bear. Unable to escape the unrelenting German bombers, American defenses disintegrated before they reached Philadelphia. The war was over.
The State of the World
At the end of this game, German forces control all but the easternmost end of the vast Eurasian continent, part of China, about half of Africa, South America, and the eastern portion of the US. Japan controls the other half of Africa, Central and South Asia, China and East Asia, Australia, Canada, and Mexico and the American West. I imagine conflict erupting almost immediately between the formerly allied powers, with fighting in Africa, Asia and North America. It might be quite some time before any Axis force comes to grips with the remaining free British army in Madagascar, likely to become the seat of Free Britannia.
Just your friendly, neighborhood game player and superhero!
Nice AAR. This makes me want to play!
Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
Since europe Engulfed i have not touched A&A and I wonder how A&A would play with special actions. I think the latest A&A game would be the ultimate one sitting WWII game of all time with the chance to surpas Puerto Rico.
Note that I have my years wrong in this report, sadly. Tsk.
Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
"By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe."
You have done an excellent job in writing this out! I love the story teller feel to it! And your right it makes me want to play! Sadly here at the dorms I dont have a place to set up the game and keep it set up for weeks upon weeks it would probably take me to play the total victory scene. All the best, Jon