Doug Poskitt
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Axis Summer 1940

The Axis have 208 BRPs compared to the Allies’ 173 BRPs. With a lead of 35 BRPs, the Axis moves first in Summer 1940.

Options
Western : Germany = O (15); Italy = P
Eastern : Germany = A; Italy = P
Med : Germany = A; Italy = A

Germany spends 15 BRPs on an offensive, leaving the Fatherland with 127 BRPs, 82 of which remain to be spent this turn.

Movement Phase
The German prepares for the assault on Paris by moving his ground and air forces into position. Judging by the position of his units, the attack looks to be coming through N23, bringing the BEF and the RAF into real combat for the first time. His stacks of panzer units in Calais, Antwerp and Brussels would seem to confirm this. Airwings are all staged to support this attack, an Italian airbase being placed at Bonn to enable 10 AF’s of lent Italian air to stage there.

A 3-3 Infantry Corps moves to Bremen.

My opponent then moves four panzer units south; two to Trieste and two into Hungary. He’s tipped his hand as to at least part of his plan after Summer 1940. Looks like Yugoslavia is next on his list of victims. I do wonder about the wisdom of making his move with the panzers’ before his attack on Paris. His initial attack against the BEF looks sure to be at 2:1; what will his response be if the die rolls come out at CA1, D? Given his BRP total, I suppose he thinks he can always rebuild units if this attack did come unstuck (and after all, there is only a 3.13% chance of total failure in a 2:1). Nevertheless, a reversal at the hands of the BEF/RAF would mean the Allies would have time to reorient their strategy/operational stance in France and would certainly be in the fight until Fall 1940. I think this is a move borne of over-confidence on his part.

As for the Italians, the two 1-3 Infantry Corps covering the Alpine frontier move eastwards. He must be pretty sure France will fall this summer turn; the Italians displaying the same form of supreme arrogance as their teutonic allies. Assuming he does occupy Paris this turn, the French cannot advance into Italy as rule 26.82 prohibits moving French units out of European France while Paris is occupied. That’s all very well, but what if the initial attack on the BEF goes belly-up? His moves intrigue me, as I consider them premature, and past experience has shown me that my opponent never took unnecessary risks while playing World in Flames.

The Italian 1-3 infantry unit in Albania moves from Tirane to Durazzo.

In Egypt, the two 3-3 Infantry Corps move up to the font line. He’s chosen an attrition in the Mediterranean, so nothing serious is happening there this turn.



Combat Phase
The German flies a 5-4 airwing from Essen & Cologne to N23 as GS.

There’s no point in holding the RAF back, as they cannot contribute to any Allied counter-attack on Paris in the Allied turn, so RAF Fighter Command piles in with all 18 AF’s to provide DAS for the BEF units in N23. He’s got to respond by intercepting the RAF DAS mission, as now the odds are changed to 1:2.

Sure enough, the Luftwaffe fly in 20 AF’s to intercept the RAF; 5-4 airwings from Essen & Cologne, Calais, Antwerp, and The Hague.



In the ensuing air combat, the German rolls a 5 (with a +2 DRM for the extra 2 AF’s) while the RAF can only muster a die roll of 2. I can raise no more than a weary sigh at his good fortune with his die rolls, as I remove 5 AF’s (based at St Nazaire), while he removes 2 AF’s (based at Calais).

It is at this point that I venture to joke that perhaps we should use another set of dice. The ones’ used to date seem to be decidedly prejudiced against the Allied cause. In all seriousness though, we both agree that his die rolls have been extremely kind, whereas the Allied rolls have been equally lacklustre. (I am assured by a colleague in the Maths Dept. at my school that over the course of a game such as this – with hundred’s of die rolls – that the ratio of “favourable” to “unfavourable” die rolls will balance out. Perhaps in time for his next two attacks?)

I watch as he attacks the two BEF infantry units in N23 at 24:12 (2:1), using two 3-3 Infantry Corps’ each in Dieppe and M24, plus another 3-3 Infantry Corps and a 4-6 Panzer Corps in N24, supported by the 5 AF’s of GS flown from Essen & Cologne. The die is rolled and it is a 5. D elim!

Recognising now, as I write this session up for posting to BGG, that it is always in one’s own interest to remain as calm as possible, even in the heat of “cardboard battle”, I must admit to having muttered a few choice expletives out loud as he advanced his panzer unit into N23 to create his breakthrough hex. Rational thought on my part was at a low ebb for a few moments.

It did not help when he commented “Well, when you’re on a roll, you’re on a roll.”

Others who do not play games such as these may well struggle to understand the psychological effect of a streak of luck such as my opponent has enjoyed virtually since the first shot. Granted, I had not played a flawless game since opening setup through to now, but I don’t feel I have done that badly in terms of my intent. Be that as it may, I felt genuinely dispirited for quite some time as he went about his exploitation movement of his panzer units onto the breakthrough hex and exploitation air mission allocations.

He rubbed his good fortune in by picking up his panzers one by one, carefully placing them on the breakthrough hex and counting out loud “one” … “two” … all the way through to “six”.

The loss of 5 AF’s and the two BEF infantry units has cost me 21 BRPs, and he can get a 3:1 attack against Paris on exploitation without committing any airwings to GS.

There is a saying that every dark cloud has a silver lining, and as such the realisation dawned on me that I had not fully thought through the options available in the Allied Summer 1940 turn. It may well be true that generally speaking, the course of policy as regards the French Air Force is to use them to fly DAS, thereby forcing the German to commit AF’s to interception. That was, I admit, very much my train of thought as I considered Allied options in my Summer 1940 turn.

Basically, I envisaged five panzer units plus the airborne on a bridgehead in Paris, supported by 1 AF which would give the French counter-attack odds of 23:47 (1:3), thus precluding any counter-attack on the capital. That figure is arrived at by assuming I flew 10 AF’s of DAS against the German exploitation attack on Paris, matched as they would be by 10 AF’s flown by the Luftwaffe in interception of said DAS.

Having not played the game for 20-odd years, I am obviously very rusty. Thank goodness I realised my erroneous assumption before he launched his exploitation attack on Paris. Had I not done so, then the French High Command would have crowned their inept history in this game with supreme farce, by flying DAS. Whether he allocates air to the attack on Paris or not, I will not fly DAS. Odds-on he will take Paris. Fine.

In the Allied Summer 1940 turn, I’ll fly 10 AF’s of GS backed up by 23 ground factors. Even if he is stacked to the rafters on Paris – five Panzer Corps and the Airborne Corps – he only has 15 AF’s left. That makes odds of 33:61 (1:2). At least the French will go out fighting. That made me feel better as I awaited his exploitation attacks.



Six Panzer Corps’ from Calais, Antwerp and M24 advance onto the breakthrough hex in N23. Two 2-4 airwings from Brussels fly GS over Paris. Finally, the 3-3 Airborne Corps at The Hague airdrops on the capital. The attack on Paris is at 31:8 (3:1). He rolls an EX.

At last, a bloody nose for the German! I’ve been so mesmerised by his string of good die rolls that when he rolls a “1”, instead of a “5” or “6” as has become usual, I let out a whoop of delight as he exchanges eight factors for the loss of my eight factors in Paris. A 4-6 Panzer Corps and two 2-4 airwings are sacrificed as he places a bridgehead on Paris, and advances into the capital with five panzer units and the airborne. France may well most likely be facing defeat, but at least the Germans have now got to find 20 BRPs to replace their losses this turn. Almost makes a defeat feel like a victory!



In his attrition in the Mediterranean with the Italians on the 1-10 column, his luck returns somewhat and he gets a 1C. The British remove the 1-3 Infantry Corps from LL27.

Construction Phase
German builds: 1 x 5-4 airwing; 2 x 4-6 Panzer Corps; 7 x 3-3 Infantry Corps, costing 52 BRPs. Germany has 75 BRPs remaining, 30 of which are available to be spent this turn.

Italian builds: 2 x Replacement units, costing 2 BRPs. Italy has 64 BRPs remaining, 35 of which are available to be spent this turn.

The Axis BRP total now stands at 139, compared to the Allied total of 173 BRPs. This gives the Allies a lead of 34 BRPs.



The German builds are nearly all in the south, with two panzer units in Vienna (hidden by the stack in Graz in the image above). Four infantry units are also placed in Slovakia (presumably to move into Rumania in preparation for Operation Barbarossa?) From his construction placements, I conclude that Yugoslavia will be his immediate target in Fall 1940. (Yes, I know, I like to state the obvious.) He may or may not have Greece in mind also. What this tells me is that he intends to grab some conquests in the Balkans at the expense of forgoing an invasion of Britain. If this is indeed his plan for the last part of 1940, then I am starting to feel safe in predicting that this is an “interim action” prior to an invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. All in all, this is not bad news for the Allies, and it would seem that he intends to follow the standard strategy of France-USSR.

Mind you, as I digest the location of his builds, I still wonder why he keeps his ground forces at Naples and Taranto – they are ready to launch an invasion, but they continue to remain inactive. This seems a waste to me … not using the two armoured and two infantry units in actual play. I’m beginning to wonder whether he has actually overlooked them, forgotten them? Perhaps the Axis Fall 1940 turn will shed further light on this little mystery?

Strategic Re-deployment (SR) Phase
German SRs: 4-6 Panzer Corps from Vienna to Z30; 4-6 Panzer Corps from Vienna to Sofia; 4-6 Panzer Corps from T29 to AA27 (using Sea Escort from Naples to Durazzo); 3-3 Infantry Corps from M24 to AA27 (using Sea Escort from Naples to Durazzo); 3-3 Infantry Corps from M24 to BB26 (using Sea Escort from Taranto to Durazzo); 3-3 Infantry Corps from Bremen to BB26 (using Sea Escort from Taranto to Durazzo); 3-3 Infantry Corps from Dieppe to X31; 3-3 Infantry Corps from Dieppe to Tirane (using Sea Escort from Taranto to Durazzo); 5-4 airwing from The Hague to Durazzo.

Italian SRs: Replacement unit from Milan to V24; Replacement unit from Genoa to X24; 1-3 Infantry Corps from U24 to AA23.



That brings the Axis Summer 1940 turn to conclusion. I find myself looking at the board in two directions at once: to the coming counter-attack on Paris in the west next turn; and to the situation in the Balkans as regards the massing of German forces bordering Yugoslavia and Greece. (In the interests of getting this turn posted, I'll leave commenting on the Balkans until the Allied Summer 1940 turn, though my first thoughts at seeing his SR's - apart from comments already made above - is that he seems to have gone for a bit of an overkill in his deployments there.)
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E Butler
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Hughesville
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dougposkitt wrote:
Axis Summer 1940


He rubbed his good fortune in by picking up his panzers one by one, carefully placing them on the breakthrough hex and counting out loud “one” … “two” … all the way through to “six”.




Your chance will come.... but man, does that hurt right now.
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E Butler
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dougposkitt wrote:
Axis Summer 1940

Almost makes a defeat feel like a victory!




Now you're thinking like a true Frenchman!
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Frank Riskey
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Boise
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Doug, thank you for the excellent session reports. You are making me want to play 3R again - and it has been many years since my last game.
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Patrick Bauer
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Reading
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I'm glad you recognized the French air situation. While you've hinted in another thread that the 1:2 fails; all the demoralization you've experienced would be washed away by a recapture of Paris.

The constant peril of the Italian armor in Taranto will color all British activity in the Med. It's an inexpensive threat on his part, that allows him to take serious advantage of any mistake or misfortune on your part.

I'm curious, what unit did the Germans use to garrison Romania? With 15 factors in Hungary and Bulgaria, and 3 in Finland; Germany may be in violation of 25.6 (unless Romania is garrisoned with a replacement). He may be going for both Yugoslavia and Greece.
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Doug Poskitt
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moonglum01 wrote:
dougposkitt wrote:
Axis Summer 1940

Almost makes a defeat feel like a victory!




Now you're thinking like a true Frenchman!

Vive la France!
 
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Doug Poskitt
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friskey wrote:
Doug, thank you for the excellent session reports. You are making me want to play 3R again - and it has been many years since my last game.

Thank you for your comment Frank. Glad you like them. Go on ... blow the dust off the box and get it open.
 
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Doug Poskitt
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SewerStarFish wrote:
I'm glad you recognized the French air situation. Just in the nick of time I can tell you. I realised the narrowness of my focus on that literally as I was about to fly the DAS. While you've hinted in another thread that the 1:2 fails; all the demoralization you've experienced would be washed away by a recapture of Paris.

The constant peril of the Italian armor in Taranto will color all British activity in the Med. It's an inexpensive threat on his part, that allows him to take serious advantage of any mistake or misfortune on your part. True enough Patrick. The armour in Taranto - and what it can potentially be used for - inhibits me somewhat at the moment. If you remember in an earlier turn, you promoted my opponent to an "annoying bastard" - I'll adavnce him further up the ladder as a "right royal pain in the ass".

I'm curious, what unit did the Germans use to garrison Romania? With 15 factors in Hungary and Bulgaria, and 3 in Finland; Germany may be in violation of 25.6 (unless Romania is garrisoned with a replacement). He may be going for both Yugoslavia and Greece.
Rumania - garrisoned by a Replacement unit. As of the Summer 1940 turn, he had 19 factors in the German Minor Allies, so was within the limit of 25.6. Any yeah ... Yugoslavia and Greece look set for a Blitzkrieg as of the play of this turn.
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