Previously : Rhineland reoccupied, Ethiopia conquered, Japan invades China, Anschluss, Russian purges, Spanish Civil War starts and stalemates, CW and France establish new Entente Cordiale, Persia conquered, Germany and Italy sign rubbish pact.
May / Jun 1938
Everyone bids to play political options as there is clearly an appetite for political engagement. The Soviets are top of the shop and demand Bessarabia. Germany caves in and another little part of Europe falls under tyranny. The Germans and Italians sign the pact of melamine (level 2 treaty).
Seeing this worrying alignment of the forces of evil, the CW offers a pact to US but rolls too low and ends the politics before the US has a chance to respond (or any of the other MPs I am supposedly in charge of – I must try harder to move up the order in future).
The military affairs involve more shuffling of troops from one place to another (if you are Democrat) or threatening build ups on the borders of helpless minor countries if you are one of the others. The Japanese press on in Southern China forcing the Chinese back to try and establish a coherent line. They are now well into the mountains and Greg is having to be careful about supply – unfortunately the Chinese partisans have not made much of an impact yet as they are very weak at this stage of the war.
The “massive” Russian troop concentration on the Rumanian border slowly disperses, its job done, and heads north looking for another victim. The turn drags on and on with only the Russians and the Japanese making use of the impulses before finally ending by which point the first Soviet troops have arrived adjacent to Finland.
The US is finally unshackled by the restrictions of the Japanese limited war and is able to play USE options against Japan. First out of the gate is the start Chinese aircraft option (go me with that level of optimism) which does not generate tension so it is immediately followed with the embargo on strategic materials. Japan doesn’t look perturbed by this.
Jul / Aug 1938
Much bidding action again and with its almost inexhaustible supply of hoarded bid points it is easy for Russia to again secure the top slot. This time our wily dictator demands the Finish Borderlands. However, stung by international criticism of his failure to support Rumania, this time the Fuhrer stands tall and decides to sacrifice some Finns to the fight against Bolshevism. Politics finish and the Soviets will have to make a decision as to whether they back down (oh the humiliation) or start a limited war against Finland.
In other news the Germans demand the Sudetenland after seeing the CW take Norway into an Economic agreement while the Italians attempt to forestall any French intervention by playing Nest of Spies and forcing the French to play 0(f) as their next option. Then they end the turn preventing the whole thing from being an thing. So the Sudetenland is absorbed into the German Reich and the so-called Democrats do nothing. Boo.
Unseasonably poor weather hampers military activities. Russia avoids the risk of being referred to as a big girls blouse and declares war on Finland (have you mentioned this to your wife, Andy?). In a sign of things to come the Soviet air force miss the all their ground strikes so the troops maneuver but the turn ends early before they can strike.
The US continues with their entry option play by freezing Japanese assets. Perhaps a little perturbation this time?
Clearly having taken note of the lack of political action last time around, the USA has bid big and is top of the pops. They offer a pact to the CW, France plays the nest of spies 0(f) due, Russia takes bid points and the CW accept the USA offered pact (level 1 – the pact of aloo-min-um as I believe it is referred to outside the English speaking world). Germany takes the Czech rump (boo and again boo) and the rest also take bid points due to lack of cash. Once again everyone gets to play politics – and maneuver the minor countries around the Big Board. I mention this because I have a rare picture of the aforementioned political display which shows how the great schism in Europe is starting to take shape. (I think this was immediately before Czechoslovakia was evaporated by Germany.
A Japanese assault in southern China is a success albeit with 2 losses each, however at this point, the Chinese can’t replace these losses so attrition is starting to suit Japan. Further north a Japanese attack featuring a mechanized division blitzes Mao 1 hex back so even the Communists are in the firing line. Let’s hope they put up a bit more resistance.
Meanwhile in Finland 3 Russian bombers fly ground strikes against the Finns in Vyborg but only hit 1 unit. Andy W has a determined look and the +4 attack goes ahead anyway - it ends as badly as it possibly could (that will be snake eyes then) and the whisky is opened.
The US passes the oil embargo, yes the Japanese entry level is that high. Japan suddenly has an oil issue which will probably prompt an invasion of Texas. Given the lack of American troops at present, this has good chance of success.
For further reading on Andy’s invasion of Finland, I refer you to “Finnish Farmers” on Laurie Anderson’s album United States Live.