Gamereport Table 5
This is a game report for table 5 of EuroWiFCon 2012.
A Norwegian/Danish team of Geir Aaslid (CW), Rune Sporbeck (Ru, Ch) and Bo Stenhuus (US,Fr) was battling against the evil Germans
Friedrich Hiller (Ge) and Holger Schulz (Jp, It). Noteworthy options were the inclusion of the African map and new Scandinavian off-map boxes by Andrew Rader, Cruisers in Flames, Winterized movement, Screening, Spotting fleets, FiF with building all facilities and no gearings, no advance builds and Cadre (only for major powers).
Game starts with a heavy German setup against Poland; only Leeb is waiting near the Netherlands. Allies respond by not even trying to hold out with the Poles and decide to escape with the 5 factor INF in addition to the HQ, Inf-Div and planes (one of those is successfully ground struck by the Germans). Poland falls quickly (Russia taking its half and getting Bessarabia later) and CW focus is first to prevent the Italians from getting anywhere in Africa and then intimidating them with a fleet capable of substantial port strike sailing from Malta. Because of this and a chance to attack the last fu TRS of the CW with a Frogman the Axis make their first deviation from their game plan and Italy declares war against both France and the CW (France only had been the plan) sinking the CW TRS and damaging the French one. At the same time Germany DOWs the Netherlands and takes it out immediately and completely (the German North sea fleet bringing the invader of Rotterdam was hard to stop with the German NAV being the only plane there and the surface fleet heavily outnumbering the British, but lousy search rolls dispelled the last of the Führers worries). The German shamans keep up their good work and the sun continues to shine a bit but the Führer stops his advance in the west anyway reckoning that an attack on Belgium would be premature with all his planes and HQs spent (Leeb reorganized reserves, the others railed west after not giving HQ support on the attacks on Poland; the +20 on Warsaw nearly went wrong because of it with Friedrich rolling a 3). Japan takes the mountain hex east of Tai-Yuan.
N/D 39 starts with lousy weather but later on a snow impulse gives Germany the coveted chance to attack Belgium. Coming from Rotterdam and Germany two columns of the German army led by Bock hit hard on the defenders of Antwerp supported by every German plane available and manage to overwhelm them without loss. Friedrich is then lucky to end the turn on a 3.
In J/F 40 the Axis has initiative once more. The Western allies are completely unprepared for a German pounding on the doors of France that early (getting the rest of Belgium for free). A BEF is nowhere to be seen and a lone French corps at the Belgian border is an easy victim for the elite of the German army attacking it in stormy weather. The Russian army starts to build up at the Japanese border.
In M/A the German shamans display some more of their awesome power and three impulses of fine weather allow Germany to start some serious carnage in France which is losing important ground (the successful attack on Metz seeing the first German casualty – the ENG; lots of hexes two hexes from Paris taken) and important units in equal measure. The Russian army would like to start a war against Japan but with excellent chits in the entry pool against Japan Washington refuses to give the green light.
In M/J the Axis gets the initiative after demanding a re-roll. The Führer contemplates ordering a land offensive to take a Paris defended by one corps and a division in the first impulse and free his hands for a Barbarossa 40 but the combined chances of failure to take Paris and successful counterattack of the French lead him to bury this dream and to settle for a slower and steadier approach tactically and strategically. Paris is surrounded during the turn killing some French, a lone Gort is killed on a + 4 Blitz generating the second and last loss of the German army in France (a MOT-Div) and finally the assault on Paris is ordered in early June and the capital falls. Germany is chasing some CW units in the Bordeaux area and is still attacking French units in its way to get them (which leads to unfounded worries of Germany going for the conquest of France) but the CW manages to evacuate the chicken farm of Bordeaux in time. Despite constant CW pressure the Italian fleet delivers some more German units into Albania and the MAR (created by reforming) to North Africa. The Russian completes his setup at the Persian border started in the previous turn. At the end of the turn Germany vichifies France and a rather large Free France is created (but Syria, Tunesia, Algeria and Marocco are Vichy) where the repaired French TRS, a MTN corps and Div and several cruisers have taken up residence. Total German losses so far have been 8,5 BP (one Stuka and a FTR-2 without pilot in addition to the land losses) and no offensive point has been spent. The average German attack roll has been 11 but the distribution of these rolls has been in Germanys favor which has always taken any hex it attacked (quite a couple of them without needing to roll).
In J/A Germany and Italy declare war on Greece (unnecessarily in the case of Italy, because Italy doesn’t need surprise and would be in the war with Greek units after alignment anyway; this mistake is punished by another USE-chit; chit-rolls of the US player have been outrageously good so far and he is 3 or 4 chits over the number of chits he could expect to have with average rolls). Both Greek corps are set up in Athens in the face of both the Para and the MAR threatening to land there. The Greeks do not receive outside help because the CW is impressed by the now available Axis amount of air to sea power in the Med and are overwhelmed when the units from Albania link up with the front line invaders (MAR and Para). Redeployment of German troops to the east. On the way there a couple of them change the government in Denmark (no need to do it earlier as the rules change now stops Western Allied ships from raiding the Baltic). Final Japanese attacks on the Chinese as Japan is starting to prepare for its next rendez-vous as well. Both resource hexes in the south have been taken (one is usable), a railway link from Canton to the north of China has been established, Chiang has been killed but an attack on Si-An was never made. Losses have been moderate on both sides. The threat to Chinese survival is gone. Russia DOWs and conquers Persia. Initiative moves to +2 Allied.
In S/O more German units move to the eastern front (with FiF it is no longer possible to have them appear in Königsberg, so there is more need for them to walk/rail from more Western areas of production). Still no major aggressive activity by the German or Italian navy (neither has spent a single BP on Subs; the build focus has been on creating a strong force for Barbarossa 41 entirely; only exceptions are maximum usage of its SCS-shipyard by the Italian and all Italian NAVs and a German NAV-3). Malta is taken by Para, MAR and Div against two oos fd WP corps there. With this event a lengthy pre-game debate between the Führer and the Duce on wether or not attacking Greece was too much of a risk (especially by reducing the force against France) with the German stressing the confidence of his army and the Italian stressing the vulnerability of his navy and wether or not aligning Yugoslavia was a worthwhile objective (the Italian stressing the downside of not being able to align Rumania prior to Barbarossa if not conquering Yugoslavia) and wether or not having Malta was more important (the Führer stressing the offensive potential of Greece, the Duce stressing the defensive importance of Malta) finds a conclusion that satisfies both EuroAxisleaders. The attack on Greece had been delayed by a turn by the intense presence of the CW in the Med. Holger starts to lovingly hone and polish his defence of Corsica, Sardinia and Malta that will never be tested. At game end Malta will have two German wp corps and a coastal fort and the arrival of the 4 factor German AA was imminent in the next impulse (would have been there already if it hadn’t been suddenly needed urgently in Turkey). Russia DOWs and conquers Iraq. The Baltic states are claimed.
N/D sees more Germans walking east to finalize preparations for Barbarossa. USentry considerations prevent a DOW despite reasonably good weather. Hungary is aligned. Japanese setup on the Russian border completed.
J/F 41: German worries about the ever decreasing quality of Russian grain supplies to the Reich lead to the Führers decision to have the problem investigated at its source. When a number of agricultural experts are shot at by uncooperative Russian border guards the need to defend the Reich once more becomes irrefutable. A new power makes its first appearance in the game: the Russian shamans. These will prove to be far superior to the hitherto so successful German ones. Weather is and will remain Blizzard along the entire Russian front for all three German J/F impulses. Germany concentrates its main thrust in the south where most HQs, most ARM and MECH, all the Paras (everything that can paradrop is available including the I Para corps formed by reforming) and most of the German and Italian air forces (the Italian one accompanied by Balbo) go. Rumania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia are aligned. Japan declares war against Russia in its first impulse as well but can only maneuver under the prevailing weather conditions cutting the Transsiberian rail line.
M/A Only two Axis impulses of Storm and more Blizzard in N. Temperate see only very slow progress of the German army in Russia. The Allies prudently decide to roll for fine weather in their third impulse to remove the asterisks and then end the turn (without passing; there was never even a partial pass). Japan cannot finish its campaign against Russia in the dismal weather either and is growing increasingly anxious to get its troops into position for its plans in the Pacific before the American giant looming ever larger can strike. An extremely strong defense of Singapore comprised of two CW wp corps and a fortress in Singapore, the French MTN and MTN Div on the resource hex next to it and two CW wp in Kuala Lumpur is already in place. Germany starts to use its SCS-yard for starting BB from scratch.
In M/J the Allies take the initiative and the Russian shamans continue their work by creating more storm in N.Temperate. The Western Allies have held a war council and have decided to distract the German from his obvious desire to crush the Russians by a campaign which should be opened up with the conquest of Norway (scheduled to take one turn to complete) and lead on against further Axis possessions in Denmark and Finland relying on Paras and MTNs as weapons of choice (no AMPH and hardly any mechanized troops available). They have decided that it would be a small but unnecessary risk to open up this campaign with the mining of Norwegian coastal waters. Acting on a momentary impulse the CW does this nevertheless and maniacal Axis laughter informs his Allies that Geir has managed to roll the 10 necessary for the Norwegians to become a full German ally. No invasion of Norway is possible in this impulse as the mining happens at the end of the impulse. Germany reacts by doing its first and only naval impulse of the game to bring in some reinforcements into Norway (paying for the land moves with the first OPs spent; had Friedrich read the rules properly he would have known that moving a ship costs only 1 OP in a land playing with SiF and would probably have done a land paying for the ship movement; this knowledge probably would also have led to more reinforcements later) and to set up for defensive shore bombardment and for sailing his two Subs the only time ever without achieving anything with them. Japan sails out all the forces needed to do invasions in the South Monsoon Zone. In the second impulse the CW invades on the Norwegian resource hex losing two units and getting ashore with the MAR only and in Narvik with three divisions on a +4 taking the hex without a loss. Russia is running away from the oncoming German Juggernaut and decides to only leave behind speed bumps along the entire Russian front with only Kiev garrisoned by two units (Rune and Friedrich agree that that was the best he could do). Germany is starting to do some killing in its first impulse of fine weather. It finally aligns Finland and conquers Murmansk with the Finns after a strong threatening setup by the Russians against the Finns has disappeared. Some attacks put Japan in possession of Wladiwostok and three Russian resources. It DOWs the CW and NEI and successfully invades in Batavia, Rabaul, Tarakan and Balikpapan (and will get Palembang during conquest). Singapore is left out for the moment (and forever) as Japan has enough on its hands already by doing the invasions it does, holding out against China and setting up at least some defence in Truk and Kwajalein. Japanese reasoning based on the limited information he got was that the US would probably be able to pass War approbiations bill anyhow and that this was its last chance to do at least some of its homework unmolested. As it turned out only the additional chits allowed the US to play that option. This happened very soon afterwards as the Allied side manages to end the turn on the first opportunity after an uneventful fine impulse for them. Russia demands peace with Japan in the face of a beginning Japanese setup to wrest away the fourth resource.
J/A finally is a sunny turn with an average number of impulses. The Allies take initiative and the US tries to DOW Japan (60 % chance) but fails rolling a 10. The US surprise impulse could have been disastrous for Japan with a lot of subs sailing from the Philippines. Germany makes good progress along the entire Russian front but the progress feels rather like the progress of a waste disposal squad than that of an army because the German army only encounters crappy single stacked GARR, MIL and INF nearly all the time. The panzers and air force are scaring away the Russians but their day to day work is the attack on speed bumps in cities. Only a single air fight will happen in Russia in all of 41. The supply of the Finnish troops in Murmansk (including Mannerheim) is cut when allies make a Para-supported blitz into Petsamo. A lot of WAllied HQ-power makes its appearance in the off-map boxes. Timoshenko can only rail to Archangel fleeing from the German onslaught (he will be disbanded there later). Japan DOWs US in its first impulse and starts the successful campaign to conquer the Philippines (Mac Arthur still in Manila). The US successfully DOWs Germany and Italy in its second impulse (90 % chance rolling a 1) and takes Majuro. China is taking back the mountain hex east of Tai-Yuan with its first attack. Japan thwarts a first Chinese attempt to build a plane with a LND-3 built as its force for strategic bombardment. It will repeat this feat time and again up to early 43 and will also disrupt several attempts to build Flak to stop it. The glory days of the LND-3 will only come to an end when unnerved China is building 3 Flak units. Germany is starting construction on two AMPHs.
S/O starts with an Axis impulse of fine weather. Finnish troops walk into Petrozavodsk (another off-map city on the new Scandinavian map) and cut supply to Russian troops next to Murmansk. Triple-stacked Stalingrad and Stavropol are both surrounded and taken creating roughly as many losses to the Russian as the entire campaign so far (seeing as most of his speed bumps only cost him 1 BP after refunds). Build-up of German troops near Leningrad. The US take Kwajalein which is upgraded with a NSU and will be the main American base in coming turns. S/O ends without another impulse of fine weather.
N/D. Slow progress towards the map border and the Caucasus. A lone German ARM corps occupying the double oil hex on the Asian map next to the Caucasus is sent back to Hamburg by the first Russian counterattack before the Russians retreat into the mountains. Russia has strong forces in the Caucasus and another army group at the rim of the Asian map. These two theaters of war are connected by a built rail line going through Meshed. Russia has taken only a small dent into its army (no HQs, MECH or ARM lost) but has paid for this feat with losing nearly all his possessions on the European map plus Astrakhan. Resistance is only offered in Leningrad, Archangel (LL starts to arrive there) and the Caucasus. German losses have been minimal, Italian inexistant. German preparations for attacks on Leningrad and the Caucasus completed but good weather not forthcoming (of course no good chance for that either). The US takes a hex next to Rabaul. Naval skirmishes in this and previous turns cause substantial losses to the cruiser forces of the US (which hardly feels them) and Japan (which feels them badly).
J/F 42 sees Germany reinforce Norway with the ARM sent back from Russia. Later Germany does a land offensive on Leningrad in snow with heavy Para support led by Manstein. As some Finns are cut off and the rest is busy stopping WAllies units from marching towards Helsinki only Yugoslavians are available to add two more winterized units. The attack is only a + 13 assault but a rolled 7 is barely enough to storm the city killing the German ENG once more. The threat of a decapicitating blow against Helsinki is thus minimized. Two more units are then killed by the next weather roll before they can step down from the lake. German advance reaches Perm.
In M/A Germany redeploys most of the conquerors of Leningrad to the Caucasus front (now Manstein, Guderian, Rundstedt and all Paras there) and continues to march toward the Urals. A further German corps is flown into Norway by the BV-222. Both Bo and Friedrich curse as the turn ends without any good weather as both feel deprived of good opportunities to get ahead further.
M/J starts with Allied initiative and the customary impulse of stormy weather. Germany sails into the North sea (4 box) with the Kriegsmarine in an attempt to cut Allied supply to Norway but doesn’t find. A large combined fleet of CW and US battleships saiIs after them (2 box) and sinks a lot of German ships with a lot of surprise. A CW attack on a German position in Southern Norway ends on 1/1 flipping all attackers. Germany reinforces its fleet with a Condor only to be found and routed again by the Allied fleet able to call a surface combat again. Only two German SCS are still sailing. Russia is afraid of German Paras landing behind its front in the Caucasus and defends heavily against this threat. As a result two mountain hexes in the front which the German can only reach from one side are only defended by a lone GARR each. Germany paradrops on both these hexes and makes attacks with HQ-support on both of them. The +9 assault succeeds, the + 8 doesn’t (4 rolled, two Paradroppers dead). Germany still has no decent Blitz attack into the plains behind the Caucasus. In the third impulse Clark and a small army come down from yet another off-map hex into Vologda to distract the German once more from focusing completely on the Russian (and to get this HQ back for use elsewhere via his force pool). Germany complies by sending a small force commanded by Bock to check them and to eventually annihilate them all fd oos after a lot of ground strikes in later turns. Rune has yet another chance to end a M/J turn rolling a 1 after only one fine impulse for the German but fails amidst death threats muttered by Friedrich who will have two more impulses of fine weather. Germany advances into Ufa and strengthens the Urals front by railing in units. After a couple of more searches initiated in the North sea by both sides Germany finally gets a naval air combat in that sea zone. 4 Axis bombers fight their way through, one is shot down by flak, but the others sink a TRS and a CV thus cutting supply. Germany reckons that the days of the Norwegian defenders are numbered and orders two risky attacks leaving Oslo empty with a little potential to turn the tide. These are moderately successful but fail to chase away the HQ responsible for supply in South Norway. Turn then ends. An US program to build mechanized troops starts with Eisenhower. Lend-lease starts to arrive in Russia in larger amounts but is limited to 3 by few Russian harbors available for unloading safely (more will be possible when the Japanese threat to LL from India is removed).
In J/A the Allies gain initiative which allows them to put Norway back in supply and to paradrop into Oslo (inferior German FTR-cover cannot stop the Paras). The fight for Norway has finally come to an end; the remaining German garrison will be mopped up in later turns. Germany has had a lot of time to heavily garrison Frederikshavn, Copenhagen and Kiel. Germany punches another hole into the defense of the Caucasus by overwhelming a lone INF corps on hex 0524 and flipping all units which could cover the resulting gap. So finally German troops reach the plains near Batum and Germany is able to align the Turks which set up aggressively along the Persian and Iraqi border and walk into undefended Mosul. Some CW units defend against further progress in Iraq. The rest of the border is already covered by a lot of Russian troops (somehow they seem to have known the Turks would be coming). Some attacks in the plains near Tiflis flip all attackers because of low rolls. The resulting Russian counterattack sees the first GBA created. At the Urals Germany has established a straight line from resource hex 2549 to the bend of the Ural river (2745). With their back thus covered Germany dares to send a couple of mechanized units across the Ural river to fight against the strong Russian army waiting there. Overconfident some troops are sent into a position that can be attacked from three hexes (serious sign of German lightheadedness – constant successes had eaten away the necessary caution and Friedrichs fatigue was no longer checked by the adrenaline levels created by a feeling of existential threats). A Russian land offensive headed by Zhukov shows these troops that they have no business there (*/2B). Germany retreats behind the Ural river again. After a lot of ground strikes Germany finally attacks the oos Russians near Petrozavodsk. Mannerheim is back in supply after a long time. Japanese BB prove the superiority of the big guns by sending the Enterprise to the bottom of the Ocean.
In S/O CW and Russia strengthen their troops next to Turkey and Syria. The Führer is daydreaming happily. Further attacks on Tiflis and the Caucasus next to Baku are prepared but are not made in unfavorable weather. Another army group is sent across the Ural river. Rudel is sent to the top of one stack. The US once more proves the superiority of BB when they hit hard on Japanese cruisers in monsoon storms. Stupid Japanese and US planners will still insist on building the useless CV. At turn end initiative shifts to + 2 Axis.
In N/D the Axis have initiative but let the Allies move first after controversial debate. Because of this the US is able to attack Truk before Hata can be brought to bolster defenses there and new Japanese shore bombarders can be brought to replace the ones chased away last turn. After failing a 75 % of cutting supply but flipping all defenders even the crappy Mexicans sent in as a first wave are good enough to rout the defenders and take the hex on a +8 (the roll is so good that even Hata wouldn’t have helped if the US had still dared to attack). Weather roll brings snow in Arctic (another perfect performance of the Russian shamans) and after flipping the entire stack with Rudel on top more German mechanized units and Rudel (having never flown a non-rebase mission) die (*/2B again). Another retreat behind the Ural river is ordered. CW and Russian preparations for their Turkish campaign continue to be ignored in Berlin.
In J/F 43 the Axis move first. The Führer finally awakes and orders a belated retreat by the Turkish army and deploys Kesselring to help in the defense against the CW push towards Ankara. He also sends some troops to prevent possible invasions at the shores of the Baltic sea slightly weakening a still very formidable defense of France. The Allies begin their attack on Turkish and Syrian positions taking Mosul and Damascus. Japan reinforces the Philippines because even without Singapore it is so far still successfully fighting to get resources through the South China sea. The US takes Menado and Palembang heralding the impending end of this boost to the struggling Japanese economy. An attempt to make the US slow down or even stumble in Saipan is as unsuccessful as previous attempts in Eniwetok, Kwajalein and Truk. While Bo once again had good chances of achieving a sufficient mix of cutting supply, flipping units and chasing away DSB (with focused USplay and early USentry into the war Japan rarely had the time to maximize fortifications of the hexes it would have liked to keep) to get a decent attack worth a try (or even a near automatic in this instance) and a good chance to succeed with the attack once it is ordered Holger is increasingly frustrated by the US never failing to see their good chances turned into the wanted results. He wonders if an erratic defense of Japan would make any difference to his carefully planned one.
M/A sees more Turkish troops slaughtered by the Russians which create a fair number of GBA on this front. The CW push (spearheaded by the annoying LRDG) forces the German army into a (considerably less bloody) series of retreats as well. In the middle of the turn a land offensive led by Manstein coupled with ground strikes on nearly all hexes of the Caucasus front and some paradrops results in the capture of Tiflis and mountain hex 3040. Some Russian defenders of the Caucasus are isolated NE of Tiflis (where they will still be half flipped after a number of attempts to flip them both at game end).
M/J continues in the same vein with Allied initiative (Axis would have liked to move first but do not demand a reroll). Russia (attacking) and the CW (maneuvering) continue their advance towards Ezurum and Ankara. The US sends some scapegoat BB with a little air cover into the South China sea. Japan goes after them using its air superiority in that sea zone and sends more air force from Japan to the Philippines. The German advances at the Caucasus taking hex 2940 (last unisolated Russian Caucasus hex) and walking into some mountain hexes south of Tiflis vacated by Russians at the throat of the Turks. The US sends another good FTR into the South China sea and contests Japanese presence in the China sea with another. One FTR is rebased to Marcus Island (all harbors bordering the Marianas are US controlled at that stage). Japan reacts by sending planes into the South China and China sea and rebases its last FTR out of Japan. Germany crosses the Ural river for the third time in its second impulse and rallies both his no longer connected Turkish fronts sufficiently to avoid the need for taking another land impulse as his third as well. The US sends 4 Cruisers and the FTR from Marcus Island into the Japanese coast sea zone to establish a presence there. Japan sends some heavy cruisers into Japanese coast for DSB and calls back some land units and its last FTR to the defence of its homeland. Germany does an air impulse as his third and reestablishes air superiority against the Russians (the former air supremacy had slowly degraded to air parity over the last couple of turns). Then the Allied impulse of triumphs comes around. Russia gets to attack another stack of mechanized units at the Urals from three sides again. Germany is calling in six bombers to the ground support trying to fight through with three FTRs superior to the two Russian FTRs trying to stop this unaccompanied by bombers. Russia manages to shoot down three bombers while losing only one FTR without pilot nevertheless. The attack is spoiled to be +7 Blitz only but a rolled 16 makes it the third Russian */2B in this theater of war. German dreams of counterattacks against flipped Russians (no reorg-power had been available) remain just that. But a lot worse is happening in the Pacific. The US is doing a Naval/Land offensive and sends a massive invasion fleet into the Japanese coast. It finds the Japanese cruisers and blows them out of the water (5 X, 2 D). Then the US successfully invades in Hakodate and Sendai. Sounding this trumpet is also the last action of US commander Bo who has to go home. He will be replaced for the last turn of the game before we run out of time by multitasking President Björn Steinborn (thanks, Björn). After all these successes the Allies end the turn. An US AMPH is sunk upon return to base by lurking Italian Subs.
The Axis desperately needs to go first now and does so after demanding a re-roll. The 10 rolled by Holger to achieve this will be the first sign that Lady Luck has chosen to compensate him a little for all his sufferings during the remainder of the week. In the first impulse the Japanese navy sails into the Japanese Coast sea area and finds and sinks an AMPH there keeping the invasion force in supply. The Japanese army starts to contain the invasion. Germany retreats behind the Ural river once again and consolidates his Turkish fronts (which slowly begin to resemble stability). An attack on a clear hex next to Baku is postponed after unsatisfactory ground strike results. The US sails a large fleet into the Japanese Coast sea area as well and expands its invasion of Japan to a third hex. CW DOWs poor defenseless Venezuela to grab a couple of oil from the US. Japan is looking for the US navy once more using a naval Offensive and manages to sink another AMPH, a TRS with a Supply-unit on it and a CV. Germany attacks and takes the clear hex next to Baku. Baku is likely to fall in the next impulse. Koniev is fd next to it and the hex Germany just conquered. Germany aligns Argentina. The CW is sailing a fleet with two divisions capable of invading into the Eastern Med. Invincible Holger reacts by adding a Centauro and a couple of NAVs to his forces there and the Centauro will proceed to shoot down three WAllied FTRs there which started out being superior and then proceed to sink the Cruiser with a MAR-Div on it. No invasion in the Eastern Med happens. The Western Allies start a campaign to take North Africa with a successful invasion in Marocco. Then we end the game.
At game end Japan was under severe pressure in the South China sea zone and in its homeland. Still its hopes were high that it would at least continue to bind US-troops and activity limits (US had prioritized its action choices and activity limits based on the needs of the Pacific front all the time after the failure to take out Norway quickly (tremendous loss of momentum); its builds were more balanced but US-participation in the European theatre of war had been limited to the occasional supporting FTR in Turkey and an unmoving – yet very important - threat on well garrisoned Continental Europe in the UK) well into the summer of 1944. Even some form of survival could not be outruled but like a good samurai Japan was content to die to further the good cause of German ascension. Germany and Italy still lived in Axis wonderland despite the mistakes Friedrich had made. All factories controlled by Germany, Italy and their minors were working without pause. German and Italian land-force pools were on the verge of being emptied completely. A new Kriegsmarine which could parallel the one Germany had lost was on the way. So were all the Subs coming out of both Subyards. Lots of lift was available too which meant that at least Norway had to stay garrisoned. Germany could afford to build every FTR as soon as it hit its force pool and all its LND-4 and some of its best LND-3 (handpicked with Air specialization) were already on the map. So far Allied advance had happened in Turkey and North Africa. The way from there and/or the UK/Norway to EuroAxis held objectives had to be persued by invasions and Paratrooper operations; no foothold on the continent had been established as yet. France/Denmark and the Baltic coast were already guarded, guards for the Balkans/Istanbul and South Russia were on the way. Eventually the limits of the Euro Axis force pools would probably have made themselves felt more and prevented the ability to guard sufficiently against all threats. On the other hand German hopes were still high that a lot of the Russian force pools would never see the map and that Russia would have few Offensive points at its disposal (no such hopes for the Western Allies which had both strong economies although the US had not aligned Brazil). The coming winter would be the first opportunity to Russia for offensive on all its fronts but the mountains of North Turkey and South Georgia (another German land offensive was scheduled to take hex 3038 thus completing a short defensive line in good terrain with a bit of luck) are not optimal terrain for that. At the Ural river terrain was less favorable to the Germans in the face of the Russian ENGs but with a focus of German winterized units there a chance of holding out existed. Germany had only very little hope left that it could ever reach the Ashqabad area to cut the main supply source (the other being fragile Archangel) for all non-Asian Russian units. Its attempts to weaken the strong Russian Urals army threatening the flank of any German risking to go south had only strengthened it. But a lucky hit by its heavy bombers on the rail line through Meshed might have achieved the same and the arrival of the Pfeils might even have made it possible to try a campaign with that objective. But even short of such dreams Germany had one very valuable ally: the very limited time left to the Allies which had still a long way to go to the objectives. We reckon that the game might have ended somewhere in between a marginal and a decisive Axis victory.
Luck was pretty even with the Belgian double move and the alignment of Norway being the big points in Axis favor and lucky USentry rolls and only one impulse of fine weather from January to June 41 being the big points in Allied favor.
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