We played the 1942 scenario. There are 2 active land fronts, Russia and North Africa. Stalin has been pushed back to the Leningrad, Moscow, Rostov line. The outnumbered British 8th army holds Tobruk in Libya. The UK is safe from invasion but has been hard pressed to keep the North Atlantic convoys flowing. The US has just joined, permanently tipping the war in favour of the allies. The axis needs to win before they arrive.
Set up and production.
Russia had all her armour (4 full strength, 4 weak and 2 reduced) and 15 TAC leaving a lot of infantry un-built. Germany had 10TAC and 7 panzers facing her. Hitler pulled back to Lake Peipus and the Perekop isthmus to shorten his line.
In the med the axis had 20 TAC ranged against 5 British TAC. Only the 5 Luftwaffe TAC in Suda can contest the eastern med with the British. A reduced British armour in Egypt faced 1 full strength panzer and 3 weak ones . Churchill stocked Palestine with an extra full strength armour. The Free French were on their own in Tobruk, the rest of the army was back at the Qattara depression.
France was defended with 10 TAC and 3 panzers matched against 15 TAC of the RAF and 2 armoured corps behind the English Channel. I stupidly built up bomber command. 20 of those 30 BRP would have been better sent to Russia. Far to the west lurked America with 25 TAC and the 5 best armoured corps in the game.
Spring. No mud. The political chit was Mass strike, it cost Germany 10 BRP. Vichy went up with the allies in the diplomacy phase. Germany went up with Turkey and Italy with Spain. A declaration on Portugal would have made her ally but he didn’t want to open up more potential invasion sites.
The Kriegsmarine controlled the Baltic. America sent BRP to their Soviet allies via the Norwegian Sea. Russia liberated the Crimea and attacked in the south making some progress. This sector was weakly defended by Italians, Romanians and Hungarians. The Germans broke through on either flank of the Valdai Hills. They surrounded Kalinin, reaching Moscow’s outskirts and wiping out 2 infantry armies out of supply. The Soviets managed to reopen a supply line to the pocket from the north by manoeuvre. 3 panzers traced supply across more than a 1000 miles of enemy territory through Turkey and Bulgaria. Its illogical but legal. Both sides are vulnerable to encirclement.
Germany sent 18 U-boats that had been stationed in likely port beaches to the Western Approaches. Whilst they couldn’t control the zone they threaten the passage of landing craft. This was vital as America had bought her general offensive. Thus troops in the continental United States can only invade in the Western Approaches and only this season. Britain swept them aside with 5 TAC, 36 surf and 6 sub.
American funds, infantry and planes arrived at Portsmouth. 7 allied corps landed in Brittany and followed on towards Paris. Martial Petain was impressed bringing Vichy to client. 3 panzers moved up from the Rhine to counterattack, reducing a US armour corps. The Americans promptly replaced their losses.
5 British and 5 German TAC fought for the eastern med but the British rolled very well. The axis controlled the rest of the med. 5 US TAC sailed round the Horn to El Alamein joined by the British armour from Haifa. The Free French retreated smartly from Tobruk, fleeing to the safety of the main line. Panzer Armee Afrika advanced to the wire on the Egyptian frontier, pausing for the laggardly infantry to catch up. Western Desert Force was built up to full strength.
Summer. The political chit was beneath contempt, another poor event for Germany. Her influence with Spain, Sweden and Turkey all dropped by 3. We didn’t change Vichy but I think a 1 box penalty on her attitude track would be reasonable. Britain bribed Vichy and she joined the allies. I could have saved the money by SRing an American corps to Casablanca which would have guaranteed a shift in Vichy attitude. The Vichy army on map was replaced by Free French in the force pool. The fleet at Marseilles was scuttled.
The Red fleet in Leningrad was scrapped to pay for replacements. A tank army formed at Yaroslavl, cutting off 3 panzers with its zoc. America sent aid again. The Russians pulled the first 4 offensive chits destroying the encircled panzers one at a time. James also attacked in the South breaking through towards Nikolayev. Cursing his luck Germans moved last, extending their line to cut off Leningrad. He drove forward through weak infantry around Tula, exploiting into Moscow.
Vichy TAC from Marseilles contested the western med then rebased to Tunis. The British shipped a garrison to Algiers and American infantry sailed from Portsmouth to Casablanca then railed to Tunis. 8th army moved up to the enemy and destroyed 2 weak Italian armoured corps on the coast. This was enough to spook Rommel who retired to the bottleneck at El Agheila. Unfortunately he misidentified a pair of Italian 1-3 infantry for South Africans and left them behind.
American infantry flooded into Brittany. German garrisons withdrew from the lower Loire. The US attacked towards the mouth of the Seine wearing out 2 panzers. The British amphibiously assaulted The Hague and parachuted onto Antwerp. 2 panzers threw back the American spearhead. My second amphibious assault attempted to take Dieppe using British troops and US landing craft. They were repulsed by a panzer despite strong air support, Polish exiles reinforced Antwerp.
Fall. Free French army was built in Vichy and Lyon.
Things are going well in France and I feel that the loss of 3 panzers out of supply balances the fall of Moscow. The axis hasn’t reaped any reward from the mass of TAC in the med. We stopped when it reached 3:00am. Thanks to Jon (Germany and Italy) and especially my ally James (Russia) for a good game.