Previously: Japan invades China, Germany reoccupies the Rhineland and absorbs Austria, Italy conquers Ethiopia and inadvertently starts a civil war in Spain. The Democrats hold a number of pointless elections (the government always gets in) and the Communist shoots many generals.
The French and British finally bid enough to get to the top of the pile so that they can get their level 2 treaty agreed They are both very happy at the deal but oh no! The distraction provides the cover for the Germans to demand the Sudetenland and then end the politics phase before anyone can respond – not that there is anything to be done. (Except there is as you will discover in a later episode).
The offensive grinds forward in China with poor weather stalling the advance although the Chinese position is poor. But then the weather clears to all Fine, and the Japanese crush the troops holding the resources north of Canton. The way is open to the interior and Chang-Kai Shek starts demanding a more aggressive stance from Mao’s bandits currently hiding in the mountains outside Si-An. They pull faces and make rude gestures.
The Spanish front has stabilized with most of the Government forces holed up in Bilbao except for a foolish contingent advancing towards a strongly held Nationalist Madrid (and their probable defeat and dishonour).
Having blown their bid points last time, the CW and France relinquish top political spot to Germany but manage to sneak into second and third place. The Germans kick off by playing IPO2 (economic agreement) with Finland as their endless quest for raw materials continues, next France offer a level 3 (yes three) to CW who immediately accept. Russia rake in even more bid points but we know not why, Italy are surprised to get a go and gather some bid points themselves before ending proceedings. The USA and China don’t get to flex their political muscles this time around.
Democrats win the military initiative for what seems like the first time (maybe it is?). Ticker tape parades in Manhattan ensue. Not that it helps.
The Chinese back off in the south to leave the hapless troops in a probably indefensible Canton to their fate, but send out a CL in a death or glory sortie to kill Jap convoys. You know the plot – “The war’s going badly, Lin Xuehai, and we need a morale boost. Head on out to sea and see what you can sink. Don’t come back.”
A hastily scrambled NAV in the 0 box means that the brave Chinese sailors have to use their hard won surprise to avoid air combat but then get seen off by the escorting CA. Typically Simon rolls 10 and avoids the D result but since there will shortly be no port to rebase to, this is a probably worthless triumph. The red menace continue to reinforce the front and the Chinese retreat north of Canton in storm – they are mostly now flipped but the weather is unlikely to change to allow the IJA to exploit the gaps.
The Russians finally get frisky and declare war on Persia. Josef is less than pleased when his well-organized ground strikes all miss and girds his loins as the troops head forward for the assault on Tehran.
Around this time, we realise we got the Sudetenland demand wrong as the Germans didn’t have the production multiple. We will unravel this presently.
More Chinese navy larks and the Chao Ha actually aborts a IJN CA on convoy escort duty (6 surprise points). Unfortunately, next round they get spotted by the Combined Fleet (2BB, 4CA) escorting troop carriers who promptly sink her.
Democrats are up again, and the weather turns fine all over the world (1 rolled). This could put China in real trouble – in desperation, the democrats try to finish the turn early by all passing – but fail. The Communists are next – and Uncle Joe sets up the all-out assault on Tehran, with western governments hoping he rolls to end the impulse immediately afterwards. The mandatory unlucky rolling by Andy W (a.k.a. the unluckiest WiF player in the world) means that despite good odds, two Soviet units are lost, but Tehran and Persia fall. And then Andy finishes the turn. Praise the Lord.
Sep / Oct 1937
And now a quick word from long time sympathiser, first time Fuhrer, Andy P –
Dear Harry, it has been several years since my last confession ……… it seems the Sudetenland ‘incident’ was slightly, er, well illegal actually as Germanys PM is somewhat less than the prerequisite 1. Much egg on face, the League of Nations convene and the outcome is a time shift to a happier time, 4 months earlier in fact and the effects are skillfully unwound and Germany is allowed to play IPO3 on Rumania instead. Now back to the shadows with me, copy of the rules in hand.
Having unwound the Sudetenland debacle, the Fascists start confidently and then immediately cock up as Italy offers a pact to Germany before realizing that they haven’t got enough money to pay for it. D’oh. As is traditional, a few people in the Finance ministry get taken out back. The US, much to its surprise, gets to go and Joins the Naval Treaty. No one else seems to do anything.
The weather is mostly poor in the places where it matters. Japan tries hard to break the Chinese line in the south but fails as does the big attack on Canton (this is the first but not the last time Greg achieves a final die roll of 13 narrowly avoiding the 14 of death).
The situation looks like this –
The Spanish Nationalists mill angrily around the Republicans but to little purpose. See earlier photo.