Long intro, I felt like it, skip to below the line for the actual AAR..
...which is even lengthier. Sorry for the wall of text. Again - I was thrilled with the game experience and felt like it to just write about it...
T&T seemed like a safe bet for a new addition to my collection:
The core part of our gaming group are three gamers: Check
Two of the mentioned players had immense fun playing Hellenes, an exeptional piece of the same designer: check
All three of us are geek-y with WW2: check
Games combining warfare and diplomacy were very successful in the group (Successors, Fief 1429, Game of Thrones): check
I got the game last week. Before that I had 2 half finished solo sessions to make it easier for me to teach the rules. The first evening we started late. So we branded the session a test run, playing up to 1941 to get the feeling of the game.
And last night we made the grand opening. And it was full of blanders. If historians laugh at the Treaty of Munich, the Winter War, Dunkirg, the Sitzkrieg and Stalingrad, they would have much more to feed their laughter if we were the leaders of the period.
George (me) , got elected as Prime Minister in Britain (Persuasive, prone to all or nothing moves, good strategy / poor tactically)
General Secretary Sotos was chosen by the Party to lead the Kremlin (defensive / likes to "farm" / brutal reactions if crossed / great tactical, average strategy)
Mike was elected as chancellor in the Reichstag (Tricky, bold, bully)
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PM George seeked to bring both leaders to the negotiating table to agree in Spheres of Influence, but Chancellor Mike was overly exited with the power in his ... hand(s) and denied to even have his foreign minister make a visit to neither London or Moscow.
Nevertheless General Secretary Sotos and PM George agreed that UK would not interfere in Finland and Romania, while the Russians would not attempt to strengthen isolationists in the US. Furthermore they agreed to coordinate to stop the Axis diplo campaign in mainland Europe.
GS Sotos declared the Guarantee of Romania, while Britain made a successful propaganda campaign in the US, to alarm the American people of the fascist threat. Both of them made extented efforts to stop German advances to several European nations but in the end Ch. Mike managed to make trade agreements with Poland, Chechoslovakia and Finland, and declare a guarantee for Greece and Hungary. But the main diplo battleground was Spain. Billions of Marks, British pounds and Rubles were spend to support political parties for the upcoming elections in Spain. The Chancellor was obvious that he really wanted Spain because he was very very much furious when the Democratic party won the elections.
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After an intense year the leaders were very carefull. All three uped their industry and their military production. Elections in Chechoslovakia had the communist party come to power whil Poland shifted its trade agreements from Germany to SU. Chancellor Mike seemed to be disappointed with last year's elections in Spain and became much more withdrawn and conservative in his moves. He put his arrogance aside and accepted to send an envoy to USSR. Germans and Russians made the Madrid-Warsaw pact: Poland was to be in Russian SoI and Soviets pledged to not interfere with the Iberian peninsula.
Germany managed to establish a good connection with Inonu in Turkey and prevent Spain from entering an alliance with UK.
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Heavy industrialization of France and UK during 1938. Word got out that German scientists discovered "something". English spies infilitrated German labs and found out what that was: Naval radar and Nebelwefer. The agents managed to steal blueprints of the later. GS Sotos declared a guarantee for Poland and late in the year he provided heavy industrial support in exchange for an official alliance with the nation. PM George was stunned to see Germany honoring the Warsaw-Madrid agreement,content to see the Polish turn communist. Reds 100km from Berlin? The Tommies saw this as a turning point in world domination and sponsored a coup in Poland to oust all Soviet influence there. This ofcourse had British-Soviet relations collapse. The chancellor smirked upon hearing the news. During the last days of 1938 Franco rose up, his battalions armed and fed with German provisions. Spanish civil war broke out and the Democratic party lost control of the country.
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Soviet reprisals to the UK came like a hammer. They totally smeared the British propaganda campaign in the US, which ceased the trade with the island. Communist parties were elected in both Holland and Belgium, and by the end of the year both nations entered an alliance with Russia. Britain responded and the MI4 sabotaged the industrial complex in Kharkov. Indian divisions invaded Persia in spring and occupied Tehran mid summer. The Turks expelled the German ambassador and some days later had UK declare a guarantee for them. In Spain the civil war ended with Franco's victory. The capitalist goverment was dismantled, all cabinet members executed, but France intimidated Franco to not enter an alliance with Germany.
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Austria got Anslushed. Eventually Franco entered an alliance with the Axis despite French efforts to stop him.
The Soviets invaded Poland and swarmed the countryside. The Germans beat them to Warsaw though. 40 Red Army and 28 Wehrmacht divisions took positions along the banks of the Vistula.
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Britain attempted to make ammends to Russia. The PM wired SG Sotos: "We both made mistakes, both suffered from our actions against eachother. I was wrong to deny you Poland. You were justified to let Franco oust my people from the Spanish goverment. You could prevent him though from entering the Axis and you did not. The Germans dominate the world. Peace works in their favor. Only with arms can we beat them. My agents report that their military is weak. Berlin has no more than 14 divisions. If the Germans are to conquer the world, let them bleed for it. Will you join me in an armed struggle against the Reich?"
The Kremlin's telegram response: ""
In spring the Red army invaded German occupied Poland and neutral Romania. The soviets split their army and failed to blitz through neither country. In late spring the Germans counterattacked in Poland. Nebelwefer and armor divisions cut through the red defenses, and by summer the Soviet remnants withdrew to eastern Poland, while Romania amazingly held against the much more numerous Reds. In August Britain and France declared war to the Axis. Massive allied airforce formations bombed Berlin factories. The allies invaded northern Italy via both the Alps and a seaborn invasion. Heavy urban fighting took place in Milan in September. The Soviets took the defensive against Germany and concetrated in Romania which at last capitulated in November. Uboats sank every single merchant ship in the lane Boston - Liverpool. The Royal Fleet that patroled the Atlantic lost battleship Queen Elisabeth and several heavy cruisers due to Uboat activity.
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The US joined the Allies, but Argentina the Axis. Battleship USS Florida was sunk in Bahames by a wolfpack. In May, 16 Uboats sneaked in Miami port and sunk 34 docked destroyers and 3 battlecruisers.
Franco captured Gibraltar. The Italians lost Milan in June, but mustered enough to succeed in an invasion of Malta. Marines raised the Italian flag in the tallest tower of the castle of Valetta.
The Argentinean fleet was obsolete but unopposed and managed to blokade South Atlantic - Britain starved. 600 people were dying daily from starvation.
Germany saw an opportunity when the Soviets took a passive stance in the Eastern front and the Allies concetrating in Italy. They moved everything from the East against the Mazino line in spring and made a quick summer attack before the allies manage to pull some divisions from Italy to reinforce the line. The maginote line bend under the weight of the advancing axis army and at the same time a strong Spanish army managed to break through the Pyrenees and capture Marseille, isolating the Allied forces in Northern Italy.
The Russians retained a defensive stance in Poland despite the Allied pleading and started invading one Balkan nation after the other.
Indian reinforcements disembarked in Cairo making a powerfull force combined with the British 3rd armored corps there. The British army stranded in Italy violated Yugoslavian and Albanian neutrality and invaded an undefended Greece and got supplied by the UK Mediteranean fleet.
Berlin was devastated by allied strategic bombing, while the Americans finally put the Uboats on the run. The Brit fleet ventured to the Cape to defeat the Argentinean ships, only to find that they were reinforced by several Italian battle groups that passed through the now Spanish Gibraltar. The British learned the hard way that they should have had upgraded their obsolete Great War Dreadnoughts with modern battleships as the Italians did. he Home fleet got lost below the abyss, resting for ever after in the bottom of South Atlantic.
Paris got blitzkrieged in September 1942 and France surrendered.
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The Indian Army group captured Libya. The American navy took control of North Atlantic. US reinforcements were slowly gathering in England. Soviets captured Austria and GS Sotos at last gave the order for an invasion en masse of German occupied Poland. Brutal fighting ensued from July through September with the outnumbered Wehrmacht. Warsaw fell in Octomber to the Red Army. The Germans felt confident to defend Berlin without the need to withdraw forces from Paris.
In November the Indian army invaded Malta. The Italians reinforced it with everything and pushed them back, while their modern Med fleet destroyed the British East Med navy. The English forces from Northern Italy to Greece got stranded again. This time, it seemed, for good.
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The Red Army unleashed a spring offense in Berlin. In July the remnants of the isolated British 4th, 6th and 9th armies in the Balkans and Italy surrendered to the Wehrmacht and the Italians. Brutal fighting with attacks and counterattacks took place in Berlin during the whole year, with none taking the upper hand.
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Overlord was launched. The 3rd American army and the 2nd Armored corps supported by massive air formations stormed Pas de Calai but the Germans awaited them with a force equal to the one defending Berlin. Allied bombers devastated the German trenches but infantry and armor failed to do anything more than secure the beacheads. PM George sued for a cease fire.
In Berlin rhe comissars ordered an all out attack and the red offensive was destroyed. GS Sotos and Chancellor Mike agreed on a cease fire.
The war was over. The west lay in ruins. The post war world was dominated by the competition between Axis and USSR. A cold war ensued for 43 years, when the Communist collapse in Russia left Germany the sole superpower in the world.
A series of blunders - So your experience pretty much mirrored history.
Thanks for the well written AAR.
Thanks for sharing! That was a great read.
Wow this was better to read then playing the game!????
The AAR demonstrates the kind of variety encountered in T&T. The table top negotiation and the alternate historical detail shows that it can be believable.
What's there not to like? :-)
A series of blunders - So your experience pretty much mirrored history.
And this is one more in the list of great aspects of the game: There are no perfect solutions in war and politics, and there shouldn't be. Every little choice comes with a price.