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Subject: A Game of Two Andys: East front grimness and Mediterranean blues rss

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Grog Jones
United Kingdom
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Here is a continuation of a game report on a combined DOD3/WIFFE game (with FiF extra political options) , previous instalments were published by Nailsworthnobby. I’ve taken over the reportage as his fingers were getting tired. You can find the rest of them under his name – it started under the DOD forum and after general war in 1939 was switched to the WIF forum.

World leaders (with geek names)
Greg (Jes Nogger) – Russia and Communist Chinese
Simon (Nailsworthnobby) – Germany
Laurence aka Lax - Italy and Japan
Andy W (aka ‘Swiss’ or ‘Classic’ Andy) – Commonwealth
Andy P (aka ‘new’) – US, France, Nationalist China

We play face to face in extended weekend sessions with much ‘refreshment’ so, in the original words of Nailsworthnobby, our playing style can be a bit erratic, especially late at night when we’re back from the pub.

For those without the energy to look them up, here’s a brief summary of how we got into this state.

1936: Japan at limited war with China, Italy conquers Ethiopia, Soviets purge the army, civil wars in Spain and Yugoslavia.
1937: Soviets conquer Persia and Iraq, Yugoslavian rebels win civil war, Nationalists(Fascists) win Spanish civil war, Chinese pushed back into mountains.
1938: Germany occupies Sudetenland, conquers Denmark and Iceland, Soviets invade Rumania and occupy oil, Italy aligns Albania.
1939: Germany occupies the rest of Czechoslovakia, Danzig corridor, conquers Holland. Soviets complete conquest of Rumania, occupy Baltics and E Poland. Germany invades Belgium and France declares war on Germany (CW remains neutral). France caves in in two turns (Paris surrounded at end of Aug), Russia declares war on Germany in S/O and take Konigsberg.
1940: phony war in France for first 3 turns (Germany attempted to negotiate a Vichy surrender but failed to successfully play the required options), eventually scraping up enough troops to complete conquest in late 40. Russia grinds forward, conquers Hungary and (later) Poland, CW declare war on Germany and land in France only to be pushed out quickly. Italy invade southern France. Chinese front stalls as Japan switches attention, declares on NEI and France and takes French Polynesia on American map.
1941: trench warfare and massive tank battles in Poland, Russians pushed back/tactically withdraw to Danube and Neman rivers. Attritional naval battles in Med as CW declare on Italy. Spain aligned by Germany and Italian troops mass near Gibralter. CW align Brazil and Japan allies with Mexico. Japan declares on the CW late in the year and take Singapore, Rabaul and land in Australia. Civil wars in Turkey and Bulgaria.
1942 (J/F only): Japan takes Melbourne.

It’s January 2013 and we have reconvened. After a brief Space Empires game (no winner declared) while four of us wait for Swiss Andy, we are back at the end of turn stage for Jan / Feb 42.

No partisans. Soviet production reaches 39, which is bit depressing for the Fascists. The US plays no entry options.

March / April 1942

The CW gears up, Germany attempts to quell the resistance movement in France but, as always, the die decides to mess with Simon as he rolls a one and actually increases the partisan number. Typical.

The democrats move around to little purpose but do reinforce Canberra before the Japanese can conquer the aussies. Next up are the Commies, who blow their first O chit on Zhukov. Here we go, the attack on the exposed 7 factor arm in the open fails (as Zhukov is out of range) but the main force blows away Rundstedt and a heavy ARM south of the Pripets and threatens to break out and pocket a large chunk of army group south.

The Italians and Germans respond by trying to fly many air missions over Gib to neutralise the garrison, to little effect. The Germans reposition to block the Russian advance. Viva uncle Joe.

The brave Brits land more heavy metal (2 ARM HQs) into Casablanca on a Naval, much to the confusion of the Fascists who still don’t know what’s going on. The US postures by sailing three lone fleet CVs into the Marianas, but the Japs don’t take the bait – yet.

The poor weather encourages naval fun for the Fascists. The Italian minsubs head into Gib and, for a change, appear to get it right. Andy limits the damage by selecting lots of convoy points but the CV Implacable is damaged and then sunk.

Naval combat erupts in the Eastern Med – Sussex sunk, Hood damaged as the Spanish fishing boat Cervantes pays the ultimate cost. Next up is Cape St Vincent where the Italians fail to find the CW three times and get increasingly surprised – two Italian sub sink and two are damaged at the cost of a damaged CW boat. The Germans clear Cape Verde Basin and the North Atlantic of convoys.

The weather gets even worse as blizzards close in across Europe. The Russian Army positions carefully for a major breakthrough (7 winterised units) but manage to roll 3 for a single loss of a ski div and major flippage – Simon licks his lips in anticipation of a long turn but of course it ends on a 1. Curses, foiled again.

The rebels finally win the civil war in Bulgaria.

May June 42

Politics is brisk, the Russians win the bidding and sign an alliance with the new Bulgarian government. Germany finally gets around to liberating Poland (after some brisk discussions with the previous Polish puppet government in exile). Italy is confused, but attempts unsuccessfully to suppress partisan activity in China (eh?). Everyone gets to play but mostly taking bid points for later due to lack of cash.

Swiss Andy rolls poor weather meaning rain in the Arctic. The CW launch an attack against the lone Spaniard parked outside Tangier. That will be another 3 rolled – the Indian corps dies and Monty and assorted boys lie prostrate waiting for a counter strike. The Fascists attempt to cut supply to the CW forces in Morocco through the Cape St Vincent but fail – Lax decides death or glory anyway and attacks at +8. A roll of 18 will do nicely – Tangier captured.

Greg positions ominously but does nothing else.

Weather improves and Andy goes naval – stacking the Bay of Biscay to the gunnels. And sending a CV escorted by a row boat into the Cape st Vincent. Trafalgar it ain’t as the CV gets aborted and an otherwise inconclusive naval air results in the sinking of the Deutschland.

Simon ponders the Russian menace but decides his position is adequate, so goes combined again. Subs get busy in the Mid Atlantic and butchers the convoy line. In Australia, the Japs summon the spirit of the Samurai and hit Canberra taking it out with no losses but much flippage. The barbies go out as the city falls but DR 9 means many flipped units. Australia now conquered.

The Russians get busy. Spurious ground strikes neutralise the newly arrived Rudel, and then lead elements of the 1st Belorussian front crash through the German lines west of Minsk. A breakthrough is exploited to threaten the entirety of army group centre. Uncle Joe is pleased that his luck has finally turned on the day (after a sequence of appalling combat rolls). Choices now await for the Germans – stay and fight or withdraw to the next river line.

Democrats up: after a hasty Yalta conference, the US pops up with an attempt to declare war against the Japs. Finally. Now much chit counting takes place. The US is on a 6 to declare but Japanese spies use intel points to sway public opinion and congress rejects the vote by 1. Tojo-laxy faints in a heap - the clock is now ticking, will he declare?

Cheered up by Australia and having cleared the last partisans from China the Japs set sail for Mexico with a compact but tasty invasion force. On closer inspection it becomes apparent that in the general excitement they neglected to embark the Inf onto a transport so this then turns around a trundles back to Saipan. Bugger.

The German counterattack rocks and rolls over the Russian incursion blitzing off 3 units and killing two others. The line is once again secure but all die rolls are now critical - cost 1 O chit no losses

In response the Russians respond with another O chit and it all goes bad again – for the Germans. The Russians break through again, eliminating a corps and a Div.

Next Impulse the Democrats push for another DoW - Japanese spies, with judicious use of Intelligence points, prevent the USA declaring for a second time.

Bad news for the democrats in the Med as the RN tries to smuggle a fleet back from Suez. The Italians catch them in the Western Med and handle them somewhat roughly – Royal Oak sunk, a loaded transport damaged. Admiral Andy shows that discretion is the better part of valour by aborting out.

Germans up, and they choose to shorten the line in Poland – sorry, advance rearward to a more advantageous position. Adolf considers an attack on Bucharest but decides to leave it till the next impulse – and then ends the turn on a 1.

And a word from Simon – “Can I just say – a**e.”
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