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Subject: Jacksonville in Flames 2: The great blizzard of 39 rss

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Andrew Edenfield
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Our group in Jacksonville FL set up for a game of Fascist tide. The Western allies are being played by Myself (USA / CW) and Jackie (France / USSR), with the Axis being played by Matt (Germany) and Adam (Italy). the only optional rules in play are Partisan's, 2d10 CRT, and a custom Intelligence system. Intelligence points are gained when the other side calls a "War Council", in which they are allowed 10 minutes alone at the board to plan and discuss strategy. This grants the team not in the war council 3 intelligence points. This is the only way to get intelligence points.

November/December 39

As November arrived, the snow began to fall. All over Europe the chill of winter made itself known, especially on the Maginot line. With the failure of the attack's in late September, Hitler met with his command to discuss an alternative means of getting into Europe. The prospect of an Amphibious assault came up, but due to the presence of the British Navy coupled with the sinking or damaging of nearly half the German Navy, the idea was quickly dropped. Hitler gave authorization to Von Rundstedt to aggressively enter Belgium, annihilate all resistance, and set up on the unfortified french border to ready an invasion when the snow cleared. Even with the snow, the operation went off without problem, and over the course of the next three days, all Belgian Armed Forces had been killed or captured.

News of the rapid attacks on Belgium reached the ears of French and British command, and panic ensued. Churchill gave to order to send Field Marshall Gort along with the VIII Mechanized Corps to assist the French in holding the line. Named the "British Expeditionary Force", they landed in Calais and began to dig in, awaiting the German Attack that would surely come when the snow's cleared. During this time, Lebrun made the risky and controversial call of Evacuating the Maginot Line. Afraid of the men there being cut off and surrounded, he ordered them to re position in a front between Belgium and Paris. Progress was slow, but with the snow quickly becoming a Blizzard as December grew closer, Lebrun believed that they would have plenty of time to set up.

But they didn't, and with the Blizzard raging strong, on December 1st Hitler ordered the surprise attack from Belgium, catching the French units off guard and out of position. Gort and the VIII Mechanized Corps managed to slow the attack from the far north, and were slowly pushed back to Le Harve. With the attack hitting so hard, Churchill sent word to Gort, ordering them to make a fighting retreat for Cherbourg, where a fleet of transport ships would be waiting for them to evacuate. Repeated attacks from German Armor caused the British expeditionary force to stay on their guard, but casualties were relatively low. As the BEF neared Cherbourg, the German forces turned suddenly south, and smashed into the French line.

With supplies stretched thin in the Blizzard's that had been raging for nearly five weeks, Hitler ordered the attack to halt and wait, confident in his ability to break the french line once the snow had cleared. The French used the chance to reorganize their troops, and they sat silent and worried, wishing every morning for one more day of snow. But the German's are only a few dozen miles north of Paris, and when the Snow does clear, France will have one more chance to defend their homelands.

During this time, the USSR made yet another startling move. With the exception of a small garrison near Leningrad and Pskov, the entire Russian Military mobilized and moved south, stacking heavily on the Romanian Border. Envoy's from the USSR with note's regarding the forced reclaiming Bessarabia made their way in escorted vehicles to Bucharest. Romania's reply to the claim's has yet to return to Soviet lines, but Russian soldiers sit with loaded weapons should the reply not be agreeable.*


French lines at the end of N/D 39. Extremely poor weather rolls on the Axis part was the only thing that saved Paris. I don't think any weather roll was lover than 9 after modifiers. Matt decided to attack even with the poor weather, and was very very lucky on some occasions, forcing the Allies to call two separate "War Councils" during the turn to discuss how to react to it.


The Romanian border at the end of the turn.

*Jackie has not actually claimed Bessarabia yet, this was purely thematic to the report to set the tone for when it does happen.

BP Losses:
CW - 9 (from Belgium)
France - 7
Germany - 3
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Wendell
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Yellow Springs
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Katsu1812 wrote:
During this time, Lebrun made the risky and controversial call of Evacuating the Maginot Line. Afraid of the men there being cut off and surrounded, he ordered them to re position in a front between Belgium and Paris.


Oooooooh, bad idea. I wonder how Germany was so successful at (1) getting troops from Poland to France so quickly and (2) taking out Belgium and blasting into France despite snow and blizzards? Usually the Germans need to take full advantage of their air superiority to make progress in the West, and snow limits it and blizzard completely grounds it...
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Andrew Edenfield
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Actually Germany set up really heavily on the French border. After set up and before the first turn I was kind of excited because of how little he set up against Poland, but he rolled very very well and was able to conquer them in one impulse. Our German player has a very aggressive play style, and he thought (against all arguments to the contrary) if he didn't set up in force against France, she would attack him first.

As for the Air power, there was an impulse in the middle of the turn where there was snow and not blizzard, and he basically used his entire air force to hit France in the north. Even with the lowered tactical ratings he still managed to turn two French units face down. But we all agree if it hadn't been for the blizzards, France would have been Vichy France before 1940.... and that would have been bad for the allies.
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Andrew Edenfield
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Also, please correct us if we are wrong in this assumption, as this is how we have been playing.

On a 'B' result, you get a blitz move. The way we are doing it is that you can move into the empty space as normal for emptying a stack during an attack, and then all participating units can make a one hex move. is this correct?
 
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Wendell
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Katsu1812 wrote:
Also, please correct us if we are wrong in this assumption, as this is how we have been playing.

On a 'B' result, you get a blitz move. The way we are doing it is that you can move into the empty space as normal for emptying a stack during an attack, and then all participating units can make a one hex move. is this correct?


Yes, all units can advance after combat as normal into the attacked hex. But only blitz-enabled units (basically arm, mech, mot, and cavalry) can move the one additional hex.
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Wendell
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Katsu1812 wrote:
Actually Germany set up really heavily on the French border. After set up and before the first turn I was kind of excited because of how little he set up against Poland, but he rolled very very well and was able to conquer them in one impulse. Our German player has a very aggressive play style, and he thought (against all arguments to the contrary) if he didn't set up in force against France, she would attack him first.

As for the Air power, there was an impulse in the middle of the turn where there was snow and not blizzard, and he basically used his entire air force to hit France in the north. Even with the lowered tactical ratings he still managed to turn two French units face down. But we all agree if it hadn't been for the blizzards, France would have been Vichy France before 1940.... and that would have been bad for the allies.


Even a greater mystery then how the Germans could take out Poland so easily while set up heavily against France! Though it depends on the definition of heavily.

Did France (and Germany, CW for that matter but France has the problems) remember to set up her reserves in the 2nd impulse of Sep/Oct, when declaring war on Germany?
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Andrew Edenfield
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This did become an issue for us. The Germans called out reserves as normal, but France and cw continued to forget until it was too late. It was a big mistake on our part to be sure, but we are all fairly new to the game in one way or another. Its a mistake that won't be forgotten though.
 
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Andrew Edenfield
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Also thank you for the clarification on blitzing. The game so far has seen infantry and even garrison units getting the bonus 1 hex move. This probably explains the (apparently) unusual speed in which germany is advancing. I'll make sure to pass the info along to the group, we are all still learning after all.
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Wendell
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Katsu1812 wrote:
This did become an issue for us. The Germans called out reserves as normal, but France and cw continued to forget until it was too late. It was a big mistake on our part to be sure, but we are all fairly new to the game in one way or another. Its a mistake that won't be forgotten though.


That's pretty huge... To be clear, when France/CW declare war on Germany, at that point ALL of them can call out reserves immediately - the very impulse of the declaration. No need to wait. Germany having its reserves (did you remember to put them out face-down?) and France not is a pretty big problem for France!
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Wendell
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Katsu1812 wrote:
Also thank you for the clarification on blitzing. The game so far has seen infantry and even garrison units getting the bonus 1 hex move. This probably explains the (apparently) unusual speed in which germany is advancing. I'll make sure to pass the info along to the group, we are all still learning after all.


Usually rules are best remembered after making a mistake...
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Rober Khan
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Katsu1812 wrote:
Its a mistake that won't be forgotten though.


It won't be the last one, believe me ! There will never be a last one, actually. Welcome to the monster's belly!

Just for the record, I'm amazed, too, at how fast your German player is advancing... he is turning units face down after railing and non-asterisked combat results, is he?
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Andrew Edenfield
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Oh man. In response to Wendell, yes reserves were deployed face down, we at least remembered that much. To RoberKhan... we had not realized that rail moves turn you face down. As we were playing it, units that rail moved stayed face up but could not move during the land movement step. Another factor accounted for in the German tidal wave effect. We are remembering to turn units face down after non asterisk results though, at least we got that right

We are probably doing a lot wrong, but this is our learning game for the group, and the idea here is that by the end of this Fascist tide scenario, we will have a solid grasp on the basics. If anything the AAR will help us out as veterans make observations.

Again thank you to everyone who is reading and helping us, we as a group really appreciate it.
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Wendell
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Katsu1812 wrote:
Oh man. In response to Wendell, yes reserves were deployed face down, we at least remembered that much. To RoberKhan... we had not realized that rail moves turn you face down. As we were playing it, units that rail moved stayed face up but could not move during the land movement step. Another factor accounted for in the German tidal wave effect. We are remembering to turn units face down after non asterisk results though, at least we got that right

We are probably doing a lot wrong, but this is our learning game for the group, and the idea here is that by the end of this Fascist tide scenario, we will have a solid grasp on the basics. If anything the AAR will help us out as veterans make observations.

Again thank you to everyone who is reading and helping us, we as a group really appreciate it.


The rail thing is pretty major! That, plus the failure of French reserves to show up, explains a lot of it.

But that's what learning games are for!
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Andrew Edenfield
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Maybe France will fall (who am kidding, it will) but at least this will all be sorted out by the time Barbarossa happens. If Germany does as well in Russia as it did in France we as the allies may have to say gg and reset for a new game
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Rober Khan
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Don't worry nor despair, I still remember what we have been misreading up to very recent days and it makes me blush (Wendell knows, but he is a gentleman and will not tell, will he?) .

You can rationalize undisorganizing rail moves by renaming them "teleportation". German war technology was very advanced. Attending to History Channel, even martians gave a hand at some point, but they were later disappointed by nazi evilness (what were they thinking about in the first place?! Stupid martian dumbasses!) and cut it off.
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Andrew Edenfield
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Perhaps the German's were using Teleportation technology at the start of the war, but realized after using it a few times that the power network of Germany was being tapped too hard, causing the Nazi bear factory (cute cuddly fascist stuffed animals, not actual bears) to shut down. This absolutely couldn't stand so they shut the program down. Some of the hardest wars are those of moral in the homeland after all.
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Rober Khan
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Herr Haribo -representative of another branch of Germany's proud bear technology- wasn't pleased, either! Neither were the guys from the beer industry

French reserves delay can be rationalized even easier Ahh, those French bon vivants...
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Andrew Edenfield
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Most of the reserves haven't even gotten into uniform yet. They will probably be drinking wine with the Nazi's in a week saying to themselves, "This wasn't such a bad war eh?"
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Doug Harned
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Since it looks like this is a learning game I would also point out the defensive value of the Lille (French city near the Belgium border).

It is a city with three factories. On the 2d10 table (if you're not playing with that then I'd recommend it) that city would receive a -4 defensive bonus (-1 for the city, -1 for each factory). Couple that with the -4 for the snow (-6 for blizzard) and attacking that town can be tough. Those modifiers are equivalent to a 4 odds shift in favor of the defender.

Also, the blitz modifier for attacking ARM/MECH only applies in impulses with clear weather.

Winter offensives can be tough.

Just thought I'd point this out as I remember these are two I've the many rules we've screwed up while learning.
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Andrew Edenfield
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While we were actually aware of the rule about factory stacks causing a negative modifier to combat, some how we as the allies tend to forget that during planning, though we are getting better at it for sure.

The bit about the bonus to ARM/Much in clear weather only however is something we DIDN'T know. Thank you for that bit of information.

It is indeed a learning game, with the idea being that once we finish it we can start a "real" game.
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