Doug Poskitt
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Note: As a result of posts to the BGG Third Reich forum, it is looking like a mistake was made in the preceding Allied Winter 1940 turn. Upon intervention in Turkey by British units, Turkey is classified as an Allied Active Minor Ally (in the same manner as Axis Active Minor Allies) and thus should have been awarded Turkey’s 30 BRPs upon such intervention.

As this 30 BRP award would have taken place in the Allied Winter 1940 turn, and given that the British had a BRP surplus anyway, it is apparent that these 30 BRPs (at the British growth rate of 40%) would have added 12 BRPs to the British 1941 YSS total.

By mutual agreement – though it would have been easy to modify the 1941 YSS – we have decided that while acknowledging the error, it will be allowed to stand and thus the starting BRP totals for 1941 will stay as is.

An earlier error in the game – where Italy should have paid 15 BRPs for an Offensive Option in the Mediterranean instead of taking a Pass Option after a DoW – is the basis for this. We agreed then that we would not make retroactive alterations to events in previous turns.

This may or may not meet with agreement from Third Reich enthusiasts reading this, but in essence, this game is a learning situation for both of us – in one way or another – and we are in agreement that while we will indeed not make the same errors in future, neither one is a “game-breaker” and we are happy to put such errors down to experience.

"Pinned" Airborne Unit
All I will say here was that when I pointed out that the German Airborne unit - in the ZOC of the Turkish 2-5 Armoured Corps at the start of the turn - was inelligible to drop throughout the whole of the Axis Spring 1941 turn ... the air turned a choice shade of blue. (I couldn't help but inform my opponent that reading the relevant rules section (31.1) twice wouldn't change what was written there.)

Axis Spring 1941

The Axis have a total of 339 BRPs compared to the Allied total of 175 BRPs; thus the Axis move first in Spring 1941.

As we start 1941, I await the Axis decision of whether or not to declare war on the Soviet Union. In my opinion, he has a somewhat difficult dilemma here.

If he does declare war on the USSR, then he enables the Red Army to send units into Turkey to aid the British in their efforts to delay the Axis march eastwards. Whether that will benefit the Axis or the USSR over the whole of 1941 is dependent on how many units the Red Army/Air Force is willing or able to divert to the Caucasus, and how the Axis player apportions his armour/airborne units between the German-Soviet front in East Europe and the Soviet-Turkish front.

While he avoids Soviet intervention in the Turkish campaign if he does not declare war on the Soviet Union, the longer the USSR is left alone, the stronger she gets. An added layer of complexity that the Axis must take into account is that 1941 is the last year they are likely to enjoy a BRP superiority, with the entry into the war of the USA looming on the horizon in 1942. This BRP position will only veer more towards the Allies favour if the USSR is not called into action over the four turns of 1941, thus enabling the Soviets to husband an increasing number of BRPs for base growth in the 1942 YSS.

In the event, there is no DoW from the Axis.

Minor Ally Activation
Due to the fact that no foreign aid has been granted by the Allies, the German die roll to activate Vichy France as a German Minor Ally automatically succeeds. Vichy France enters the fight on the side of the Axis.

Options

Western : Germany = A; Italy = P; Vichy France = A
Eastern : Germany = A; Italy = P; Vichy France = P
Med : Germany = O (15); Italy = O (15); Vichy France = O (-)

Germany spends 15 BRPs on an Offensive Option in the Mediterranean, leaving 249 BRPs, of which 117 BRPs remain to be spent this turn. Italy spends 15 BRPs on an Offensive Option in the Mediterranean, leaving 60 BRPs, of which 22 BRPs remain to be spent this turn. As a German Active Minor Ally, Vichy France conforms to the German option in the Mediterranean.

Movement Phase
A 1-factor Vichy French fleet at Marseilles provides supply to Rhodes.

On the western front, the Vichy French 2-3 Infantry Corps at Vichy moves to cover the Bordeaux area beach, occupying S17. (A useful role for the Vichy French units in Vichy France, which means German 3-3 Infantry units’ can be freed up for use elsewhere in other, more pressing theatres).

In northern France, the German 3-3 Infantry Corps’ take up position on the beaches as well as garrisoning Paris.

In an eyebrow-raising development, two German 4-6 Panzer Corps’ from P32 move to Kiel/Hamburg. My opponent follows this by staging the two German 2-4 airwings from Warsaw to Prague; the 5-4 airwing from Breslau to Dresden; the 5-4 airwing from Krakow to Leipzig; and the 5-4 airwing at Vienna stages to Munich.



On the eastern front, the German 3-3 Infantry Corps’ in German-occupied Poland move one hex south in a line stretching from J37 to N35.

(Before presenting the movement phase in the Mediterranean front, in my opinion the Axis made a tactical error when assaulting the Turkish defenders across the Turkish Straits. The Axis were entitled to place bridgehead counters in both Z34 and BB31; this would greatly have alleviated the logistical bottleneck they look set to encounter here, as in order to attack the Turks in this turn and park panzers for exploitation purposes, they will find that several infantry units have to make way for them, not to mention the fact that if the Axis want a panzer force in Istanbul ready for invasion and exploitation in Summer 1941, they will have to waste SR’s in order to do so.)

In Turkey, the German moves his 3-3 Infantry Corps from Istanbul to Z34; 4-6 Panzer Corps from Z32 to Istanbul; 3-3 Infantry Corps from AA31 to BB33; Two 4-6 Panzer Corps’ from BB31 to DD33; 4-6 Panzer Corps from AA31 to CC34; Two 4-6 Panzer Corps’ from X30 to BB32; 3-3 Infantry Corps from AA31 to Izmir; 3-3 Infantry Corps from Z32 to Izmir; 3-3 Infantry Corps from Y33 to V35; while the 3-3 airborne unit moves from Z34 into Istanbul.

The Italian 2-5 Armoured Corps moves from Izmir to CC34; the other Italian Armoured Corps from DD30 to EE33.

The Italian 5-4 airwing stages from Salonika to Izmir; the German 2-4 airwing stages from Rhodes to Istanbul; the 3-4 airwing stages from Belgrade to Istanbul; and the 5-4 airwing stages from AA30 to Z34.



Combat Phase
One Italian AF from Izmir flies GS over the Turkish 2-5 Armoured Corps in Z35. The remaining two Italian 2-4 AF’s fly GS over the second Turkish 2-5 Armoured Corps in DD34. One German AF from Istanbul flies GS over the Turkish 2-3 Infantry Corps at BB34.

At this point in the proceedings, the Allies have to decide whether to commit DAS to any of the potential ground attacks. The Turkish airwings should be ordered to fly DAS, as it is odds-on that Ankara will be occupied this Axis turn, which means the elimination of the Turkish units before the Allied Spring 1941 turn. In short, if they don’t fly DAS this Axis turn, they probably won’t get the chance to fly at all.

The Luftwaffe has enough units in reserve to intercept the Turkish airwings this turn, so the Allied High Command opts to keep the Turkish units for DAS in the Axis exploitation phase. Apart from Ankara, let’s see where the Axis are likely to strike before committing Turkish DAS.

On the other hand, the RAF 5-4 airwing at Antioch doesn’t have the same likely appointment with the horseman of the apocalypse as does its Turkish counterparts, and can usefully be used here to perhaps throw a spanner into the seemingly well-oiled Axis machine. By flying DAS over the Turkish unit in DD34, the Axis will be forced to intercept in order to avoid a 1:2 (8:9) attack. They can use 5 AF’s at Z34 to do this of course; however, that’s 5 AF’s they won’t have available in the exploitation phase. Accordingly, the RAF flies a local DAS mission - “Operation Foil”. (I own up, the kid in me loves making up these names!)

Actually, there is a further consideration here. I do not like the look of those two 4-6 Panzer Corps in Kiel/Hamburg, so if 2 AF's or more of losses are taken by the RAF in the forthcoming air battle, 2 AF's will be rebuilt in Britain, adding to the paltry 3-4 airwing stationed in the Home Isles.

Given the Italian’s weak BRP level – currently 60 BRPs – it is highly unlikely that Italy will be able to take an Offensive Option for every turn in 1941. Therefore, it makes sense for the Italian forces to maximize their operations/opportunities in the Mediterranean whenever possible. It wouldn’t surprise me if there is an assault on the British forces defending the line of the Qattara Depression.

The British 5-4 airwing at Port Said could be used to provide DAS for the defending British 3-4 Infantry Corps’ there, but as he hasn’t flown GS over the defenders, it’s by no means certain the Italians will attack. In any case, the Italian 5-4 airwing at Tobruk is positioned to intercept such DAS as the British may fly. If there is no attack, I would have used the RAF to no purpose and thus would not have it available for use in the Allied Spring 1941 turn. These considerations convince me to husband the RAF airwing at Port Said.



The 5-4 Luftwaffe airwing at Z34 intercepts the RAF over DD34. In the ensuing air battle, the German rolls a ‘6’, the British a ‘1’. Ouch! That hurt! The RAF take a pasting in the skies of southern Turkey with an entire 5-4 airwing eliminated. For their part, the Luftwaffe loses 2 AF’s. (Dr. Goebbels in Berlin wastes no time in highlighting the “glorious victory of Germany’s air force over the ‘humbled’ RAF”; my opponent offering to physically return my 5-4 airwing to the British force pool on account of the “strain of defeat” evident in my expression).

In truth, my expression is that of one who just cannot believe some of the fortuitous die rolls enjoyed by the Axis at various moments in this war. Ruefully, I am thinking I should have called this little sortie “Operation Hammered”.

Mind you, the die may have actually smiled on the Allies here, and not the Axis. I am a little unsettled by the possibility of an “adventure in the offing” in the west, and so the 5-4 airwing being rebuilt in Britain at the end of this turn may yet turn out to be a good thing for the Allies. Looking for a silver lining in the dark cloud, it doesn’t cost Britain an SR.



The Axis launch their attacks in this combat phase with an attack by Italian ground units in LL26 and MM26 (two 3-3 and two 2-3 Infantry Corps’) against the British 3-4 Armoured Corps in LL27.

Note: By way of further explanation concerning the decision not to fly DAS in Egypt, while the Allied High Command are mindful that airwings may well be needed in Britain as a safeguard against Axis adventures in the west, the Allies would not have been served by casualties in Egypt unless they lost exactly 2 AF’s (re-building said 2 AF’s in Britain to combine with the 3-4 airwing already there); and (after the debacle in Turkey) with the Italian air DRM of -1, a repeat of the slapping handed out to the RAF in Turkey by the Luftwaffe was not possible, so losses below or above 2 AF’s would not have worked out to Britain’s advantage, in that if SR of an airwing is required, better a full 5-4 than a partial.

The Italian attack sees “the roll of fate” – yet again! – as the Axis roll a ‘6’ (D). The British 3-4 Infantry Corps bites the dust in the Egyptian desert, and the Italians advance two 2-3 Infantry Corps’ into LL27. Only one hex between them and Alexandria! The pressure is slowly mounting on the British Middle-East High Command.



The German 3-3 Infantry and 4-6 Armoured Corps’ in Z34 supported by one Italian AF from Izmir, attacks the Turkish 2-5 Armoured Corps in Z35 at 8:4 (2:1). The German rolls a ‘6’ (what else?); the Turkish armour is eliminated, while the two German ground units advance into the vacated hex to create the breakthrough – the road to Ankara is open!

Next on the Axis hit list is the Turkish 2-5 Armoured Corps at DD34; it is attacked by the two Italian 2-5 Armoured Corps with 4 AF’s of GS from Izmir at 8:4 (2:1). The die roll is a ‘2’ (CA2), followed by another ‘2’ (EX); the Turkish 2-5 Armoured Corps is eliminated, along with an Italian 2-5 Armoured Corps. The remaining Italian armoured unit advances to occupy DD34, thereby creating a second breakthrough hex.

The final combat phase attack is aimed at the Turkish 2-3 Infantry Corps in BB34; a German 3-3 Infantry and 4-6 Panzer Corps’, along with 1 AF of GS from Istanbul attack at 8:4 (2:1). The German rolls a ‘2’ (CA2); the Turks counter-attack at 1:2 and roll a ‘5’ (A). The Turkish unit is eliminated and the two German ground forces advance to occupy the vacated hex.



Having succeeded in all three of their combat phase attacks, the Panzer units’ move up to the three breakthrough hexes, two apiece. The lonely British 2-5 Armoured Corps in Ankara looks … well, lonely. The Turkish capital looks set to fall.

Two Panzer Corps’ exploit north-east of Ankara, two to the south-east. In the south, two Panzer Corps’ exploit south-east of Konya.



Prior to the Axis announcement of exploitation attacks, the Turkish air force flies a last-ditch mission to provide DAS for the British 2-5 Armoured Corps in Ankara. As the two Turkish 2-4 AF’s arrive over Ankara for their last hurrah and their appointment with life in the hereafter, they are met with a 3-4 and a 1-4 airwing flying interception from Istanbul.

Air factors involved are equal, but the inferior quality of the Turkish air counts against them (-2 DRM). The Luftwaffe roll a ‘1’, while the Turks roll a ‘5’ in reply. The Turkish roll is modified to a ‘3’, so the Luftwaffe loses 2 AF’s as do the Turks (they have no partials with which to break down their 2-4 airwing).

The Luftwaffe 1-4 AF is eliminated, while the 3-4 AF reduces to a 2-4 AF, whence it returns to Istanbul and combines with the 1-4 AF already there to form a 3-4 AF. The remaining Turkish 2-4 AF returns to Konya. The stage is set for the last act in this “Turkish Tragedy”.

The double stack of 4-6 Panzer Corps’ north-east and south-east of Ankara attack the lonely British 2-5 Armoured Corps in Ankara at 16:4 (4:1) and the result of the combat is a ‘3’ (D). The British armour is eliminated and Ankara is occupied by a panzer unit.

At this point in the turn, we break for a coffee and a discussion of the situation re: the British armoured units still present in Turkey and their supply lines to Lebanon-Syria. Hereon in, my opponent undertakes what I can only describe as an unsavoury act. As we drink our coffee and peruse the rulebook (Section 24), I am offered candy with my drink. Profferred with a fiendish grin on his face, I am given a box full of what we call here in the UK “Turkish Delight”.

“You’ll love these.” my opponent smiles graciously, “Apparently, they are full of ‘Eastern Promise’.”

I say nothing, take some Turkish Delight and think to myself “Enjoy yourself while you can sunshine. When the worm turns, am I going to enjoy sticking it to you. If I get out of this with Britain and Russia intact – albeit badly mauled – I am going to pay you back for every time you’ve taken the mick and lauded it over me.”

In particular, his placing his panzer units in Paris one at a time – counting them out as he did so – still rankles. Those reading this post may disagree, but it is my opinion that he is over-extending himself … and if I can contrive to survive until Fall/Winter 1941, then I will give him much more than a box of ‘Turkish Delight’.

Germany conquers Turkey
With a panzer unit sitting pretty in Ankara, the German conquest of Turkey is official. The remaining Turkish units – a 2-3 Infantry Corps (Izmit) and a 2-4 airwing (Konya) – are removed from play.

The British 4-5 Armoured Corps in north Turkey traces supply right across Turkey to Lebanon-Syria, while the 3-4 Infantry Corps in Antioch traces supply across the neighbouring border with Lebanon-Syria. The British 4-5 Armoured Corps at Konya cannot trace a supply line due to the Panzer units’ ZOC’s to the north-east and east.

Lebanon-Syria
With no attempt being made to recapture a city in Lebanon-Syria by the Germans, the former Vichy French colony becomes Free French, and Britain will continue to receive the BRPs for this in the 1942 YSS and thereafter (assuming she still controls at least one Lebanon-Syria city).



Note: Despite its assault on one’s eyes, I have included control flag markers in the above image to illustrate the concept of the British tracing a supply line to the nearest friendly border – and thus those hexes not coming under German control after the conquest of Turkey.

Construction Phase
Germany builds: 2 x 9-factor fleets at Kiel/Hamburg; 5-4 airwing at Stettin; Replacement at Wilhelmshaven; Replacement at L28; Replacement at L29; Replacement at K30; Replacement at K35; 7 BRP grant to Hungary (Foreign Aid).

Germany spends 81 BRPs, leaving 168 BRPs (36 BRPs of which remain to be spent this turn).

Italy builds: 2-5 Armoured Corps at Taranto; 2-3 Infantry Corps at Naples; Re-placement at AA23.

Italy spends 7 BRPs, leaving 53 BRPs (15 BRPs of which remain to be spent this turn).



Two fleets constructed in Kiel/Hamburg, (joining the one already there), two panzer units in the port, and 24 AF’s in central Germany; the British Intelligence service doesn’t have to be remarkably astute to realise the danger here. Largely defended by Replacement units and a 3-4 airwing in north-western Wales, Britain is somewhat open to a “Sealion” in the Axis Summer 1941 turn. To make matters worse, she is strategically off-balance; the bulk of her ground forces are in Turkey, the Middle-East and the Levant, whereas the bulk of her navy is in Britain and Gibraltar. The flow of SRs is directed from Britain to the Middle-East and not the other way round.

Were Churchill to have enquired at this point “What can be done?”, the immediate response of the General Staff in London, (notwithstanding a detailed in-depth study of the problem of course), would surely have been “Oh, crap!”

Strategic Re-deployment (SR) Phase
Germany SRs: BRP grant (Foreign Aid) from Berlin to Budapest; 3-3 Infantry Corps from Z35 to BB36; 3-3 Infantry Corps from Izmir to FF34; 3 -3 Infantry Corps from Izmir to FF34; 4-6 Panzer Corps from Z35 to Istanbul; 5-4 airwing from Munich to Ankara; 4-6 Panzer Corps from BB34 to Istanbul; 3-3 Airborne Corps from Istanbul to Y37; Airbase from L29 to BB36.

Italy SRs: 2-5 Armoured Corps from Taranto to Ankara; Airbase from CC26 to Y37; 2-3 Infantry Corps from Naples to Samsoun; Airbase from Rhodes to FF34 (via Sea Escort Vichy French 9-factor fleet at Marseilles); 1-3 Infantry Corps from CC26 to Izmir.



Note: The Italian bridgehead counter at DD30 is removed.

It’s funny what goes through one’s mind when faced with an unexpected situation on the game board, for in this instance as we called a halt to the turn at the conclusion of the Axis Spring 1941 turn, I found myself thinking – as I looked at the possible invasion fleet in Kiel/Hamburg – that my humming “Oh I do like to be beside the seaside” (after the British navy had hurt the Italian fleet off Cyprus) didn’t seem quite so clever now.

Time for the Allied Spring 1941 turn … as I wondered how I should respond to developments, I also found myself wondering if any ‘Turkish Delight’ was left.

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John Hickman
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Superb report as ever. This game is gripping.

I wonder how deeply your opponent planned his strategy. Was it a Turkish invasion from the start? Was it a planned ruse to lure troops from the UK from the start? Now if only you knew when he bought the Turkish delight
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Patrick Bauer
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dougposkitt wrote:
This may or may not meet with agreement from Third Reich enthusiasts reading this, but in essence, this game is a learning situation for both of us – in one way or another – and we are in agreement that while we will indeed not make the same errors in future, neither one is a “game-breaker” and we are happy to put such errors down to experience.


Our circle plays the same way. Unless the error is very minor or a game breaker itself, it stands unless caught right away.

dougposkitt wrote:

In an eyebrow-raising development, two German 4-6 Panzer Corps’ from P32 move to Kiel/Hamburg. My opponent follows this by staging the two German 2-4 airwings from Warsaw to Prague; the 5-4 airwing from Breslau to Dresden; the 5-4 airwing from Krakow to Leipzig; and the 5-4 airwing at Vienna stages to Munich.


Now may be a good time to re-emphasize:DQB 14.4 Must the attacker designate a supply fleet to provide supply to an undefended beach hex when he plans to invade then exploit from it during the Combat Phase?
A. Yes. Similarly, SR has to be over supplied, controlled hexes. So, if you drop a paratroops unit on Great Yarmouth, for example, you must have had a fleet predesignated in order to SR units thence.

You don't want anymore blue air.

So, is the armored amphibious assault to be the opening of Sea Lion? The Red Fleet, if it is in Leningrad will protect the fortress. If he wants to attack via the Baltic States, that would be a waste and just cause to spend the 9 factor Soviet Baltic fleet. Sweden? Let him!

Clearly Sea Lion must be the aim. The swaggeringly victorious Royal Navy must sail home. The ghosts of Lord Howard and Sir Drake will roll in their graves if the Kriegsmarine pull off what the Invincible Spanish Armada could not.

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
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Doug Poskitt
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SewerStarFish wrote:
The ghosts of Lord Howard and Sir Drake will roll in their graves if the Kriegsmarine pull off what the Invincible Spanish Armada could not.


I don't know about Lord Howard and Sir Francis Drake rolling in their graves ... at the end of that turn I was just hoping Churchill and the General Staff wouldn't end up rolling in theirs!

SewerStarFish wrote:
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.


"If Herr Hitler chooses to cross the Channel, and try to gain our island, let us resolve to resist the invader with all the might of our sea power, with whatever air and ground forces we can muster ... through both combat and exploitation phases ... let us stand fast however he may assail us.

So let us brace ourselves to our duty, so that if this game lasts for another seventeen turns, this will be our finest hour.

And if - which I do not for one moment believe - we come to be subjugated to the Nazi jackboot, then we will look to the New World to come to the rescue of the Old.

Let Herr Hitler know that great forces are massing to the West and the East ... for if he does not break us in this Island or in the Middle-East ... then he will face a retribution as terrible as any he can imagine.

We shall resist, and then, arm-in-arm with our Allies, march onward into the bright sunlight of freedom.

Onward then, to victory and the vanquishing of our foe."



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chris walsh
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Yes along with John I was considering the same thing – was this planned from the start or a kinda flash of inspiration?

And as there was no way I could count out P32 to Kiel/Hamburg in anything under 8 hexes was that move by 1st Panzergruppe from Poland strictly legal?

Situation:

Sealowe? No Fsjr. So there’s one good thing. But he bought the whole damn Kriegsmarine!
Well so he did – but it could still all be a diversion!
Diversion? But he still bought the entire Kriegsmarine!!

This still seems to be a person who will rip it open and to hell with it as opposed to going down without a whimper.

What’s it to be sir? Sir Winston or Sir Mick?
Fight on the Beaches? Or Tumblin' Dice and Paint It Black?
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Doug Poskitt
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cccw wrote:
And as there was no way I could count out P32 to Kiel/Hamburg in anything under 8 hexes was that move by 1st Panzergruppe from Poland strictly legal?


Chris, you are right! There's no way he could move a panzer unit from P32 to Kiel/Hamburg. The move is illegal. I don't know how I missed that. The distance is 8 hexes.

This has a major impact on the game. It certainly dictated my response in the Allied Spring 1941 turn; not only for the British, but also for the USSR.

I will be contacting my friend later this evening. I'm not quite sure how we will resolve this, but I certainly would have adopted a different response had he not had two panzers on board ship in Kiel/Hamburg.

Thank you for pointing this out. You may well have saved the day for the Allies. (Thank god for your alertness!)

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