I need to get this report out of the way as we're starting our next game in 6 days time. Hope it is of interest to some.
January / February 1939
The US gears up. The CW guarantees Belgium (possibly due the large number of German troops sitting on the border). Germany absorbs the remains of Czechoslovakia and ends political affairs.
Weather remains miserable. Greek fleet can’t find the Italian convoys. Japan takes out some Chinese boys, but by this point, Greg has moved through and recaptured Nanking to add to Chang Sha as another thorn in Laurence’s rear area.
Very little other action. We get more partisans in India and a new one in Manchuria. And that’s it.
March / April 1939
Do you hear the rumble of the drums of war? I don’t. But then I’m a bit deaf.
In a tense vote, Russia sides with the Democrats to allow the US to extend its credit limit by a further 10. Japan repudiates the London Naval Treaty. And then the political phase finishes early again.
After the bitter winter, the weather turns good and Germany seeks to make hay while the sun shines by declaring war on Belgium. Due to a “misunderstanding” it transpires that France is not actually allied to Belgium and therefore Greg can only look on as the Nazis trundle into Flanders. Liege falls. Brussels falls but the German paratroops die in the assault. It looks a bit terminal for the Belgians.
In response, after waiting until Laurence goes out to make the bloody marys, the CW declares war against Germany. Woo hoo, a proper war at last!
Immediately, the weather then turns rubbish again so Laurence goes combined. Air combat erupts over the CW troops recently landed in Antwerp and the Luftwaffe shoot down the CW FTR. The bombers miss however.
Next up, naval combat in the North Sea. Laurence searches, finds and then decides against it. Next stop, an attack on Gort presaged by Greg aborting Laurence’s ATR (with PARA). Ground support not forthcoming the attack rolls in at +4 but a roll of 17 does the trick. Gort escapes to Calais and the Germans remain face up ready for the assault on Antwerp.
Greg and Simon don’t seem to do anything (apart from the Chinese continuing the recapture of China behind Laurence’s back) and we return to Laxiness all over the world. A bit dull all told and he finishes the turn.
Partisans in China, blah blah blah.
May / June 1939
The bidding war hots up as everyone goes mental. When the dust settles, China ends up first (by virtue of the US dropping down a notch) and attempts to gear up a year ahead of itself. Cheeky. But then identified as illegal. Instead it ups its treaty with the US.
The French dump their alliance with Poland. Italy gears up and finishes it.
Military affairs kicks off with Germany declaring war against Denmark (France looked too hard). The CW boys in Antwerp are bombed and mostly flipped after the defending Spitfire is shot down (Luftwaffe 2 : RAF 0). Germans race all over Denmark for fun (usefully including Copenhagen).
Italy goes for Athens and loses big time. 3 units lost on the magical 14 on the assault table (+9 not actually a good shout really). That’s the end of that adventure for a while.
Laurence turns to Antwerp and stuffs the CW. 2 corps dead and Gort hiding in a brothel in Calais – looks like the usual BEF story. Next up Nanking which falls to a concentrated Japanese assault (engineers die).
Greg looks for Laurence’s Milchcow sub in the North Atlantic but doesn’t spot him. Greg looks for the Italians in the Eastern Med with the Greeks but misses again and Laurence finds them and clears them out. Meanwhile Greg pushes back the Italian footholds in Greece.
Simon demands the Polish borderlands but Greg encourages Laurence to say “Nein”. So the Soviets have to declare war on Poland and advance slowly (as usual all but one ground strike missed).
Germany declares war on the Netherlands and the panzers trundle through to Amsterdam without slowing. At which point he destroys the surprised convoy points and captures a transport. Anyone fancy Sealion?
Time for the pub.
On our return, following a curry, we realise that perhaps there has been a little more drinking than absolutely necessary. Notwithstanding this observation, Laurence and Greg are at it straight off. The Poles retreat. Greg port strikes Kiel and sinks the German Amphib. Bummer eh? Greg does some more stuff and sinks the Milchcow Sub in the North Atlantic.
Russia grinds forward on a combined into Poland and takes Vilna. The Germans go naval and damage a transport in the North Sea. In his turn, Greg has another go in the North Sea. Karlsruhe and Nürnberg sunk, with Cairo sunk for the CW.
Moving on. Laurence re-establishes supply to a variety of his troops in China and then launches an attack against Kwei-Yang. Despite rolling a now almost traditional 6, the +14 keeps things on an even keel.
Greg responds by attacking some out of supply Japs in the middle of China. Unfortunately a roll of 4 is his undoing. Russia takes Brest Litovsk, Krakow and Poznan.
The turn continues and the Japanese capture Chung King. The Russians capture Warsaw on a +16 roll (no chances to be taken by Simon) and still the turn goes on. The Japanese capture another Chinese city (while Laurence moans about his luck). The Germans attempt to bomb Gort (now hiding in France and succeed in shooting down another CW fighter and flipping the MIL with Gort despite the fact he stays upright. The subsequent attack goes in and Gort and chums die. Greg does nothing and ends the turn – Poland survives.
No partisans (boo). The US plays another option to help the “Western Allies” whoever the feck they are. There is some production and reorganisation and then to bed.
July / August 1939
Kasia heads back to Glasgow leaving Polish canapés. It has finally stopped snowing. Bit of a slow start to the day but eventually Greg surfaces.
A brief political affairs and then Germany declares war on France. Ground strikes go in all along the French line. French troops are sitting in an extended Maginot line that runs all the way to the coast.
The German attacks go in. An attack on the northern end of the French line is inconclusive, a breakthrough is achieved through the Ardennes and a mass assault on Strasbourg results in the capture of the city (at some cost). The French defences are punctured – can the gaps be sealed or the invader repelled?
Air combats on the Fr counter are all repulsed - no damage all aborted, meanwhile the Japs do another attack that fails spectacularly although the Chinese do lose a unit. No French counterattacks.
Germans hit Metz from all sides with the breakthrough elements and take the city. Now the line is broken and the road to Paris awaits.
Greg launches another port attack against Kiel. Schliesen and a TRS are sunk. Sealion now probably off the menu.
Laurence blows his offensive chit on the Rundstedt HQ and expands the hole in the French “line”. Russia surrounds Lodz and assaults. The city falls and it looks like Poland is getting ready to accept the joys of socialism.
Meanwhile the weather is even good in the North Monsoon and Laxy sends the Japs in against Chang Sha – the city succumbs.
France wins the first intelligence battle.
September / October 1939
Russia top in political and sets up an alliance with Bulgaria. France offers a level 3 treaty to the CW. Japan militarises the Marshalls, Germany plays its owed DoWs on Belgium and Denmark and the CW gets to accept the treaty. Italy and the US take the bid points.
Weather not so good to start with and nothing much happens. Weather improves the next impulse and Greg launches a port strike against the main German fleet (again). With no air cover, the German boats are without any protection and the newly commissioned Bismarck goes straight to the bottom.
Laurence carries on with stuff. Some French die in France. Some Greeks die in Athens. No traction in southern China. Pretty much sums it up but Greece is finally taken by the Italians
In France a spurious ground strike flips a 3 hex stack and the follow up attack in the open with Armour clears the hex and allows the first stack on Paris. Fr take the losses. CW pumps more boys ashore a total of 6 corps plus the associated RAF antics. The Fr meanwhile retreat and take hit after hit – another 3 corps killed this turn and so far no German losses.
And then the turn ends.
Nice reports, looking forwards for the next one. This game sure looks interesting