The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: April 1999

Jun II 16

The Italians pull back the divisions they pulled from the front lines. They concentrate these divisions to bolster the defenses around Verona and in front of Milano. The French consolidate their defense and pull back behind the Marne River. The French also disband the rest of their rifle brigades for the manpower points. The British build up to continue the offensive against Lens.

The British open up on Lens with a bombardment after the recon missions were returned to base by German fighters and anti-aircraft fire. The bombardment goes through at a disadvantage (-1 DRM from the fort) and disrupts two divisions and a cadre. The Germans fire a defensive bombardment, this time at the two flanking corps from the two flanking German corps. This bombardment succeeds in disrupting the artillery and support units in both corps and a division. The attack is now a 3.0:1 with no modifiers. A 1 is rolled – an AX! The result cadres 12 British and 3 Canadian divisions. The Germans cadre 4 German and 1 Wurttemburg divisions. A clear German victory.

The Zeppelins terror bomb London yet again. A lack of resource points with the proper HQs keep the Austrians from reacting. A lack of reaction from the German HQs save the French for at least one player turn longer.

The Entente lost 54 British, 20 Canadian Manpower, and 34 Equipment points. The Central Powers lost 24 German, 6 Wurttemburg Manpower, and 10 Equipment points.

Tom: This turn is a disaster. The fall of Reims during the Central Powers turn and now the damaging of the British army is almost too much. The French are below 20 morale points and the game could end this turn anyway. I hope to hold out until next turn, a production cycle, and activate the French training garrison. What does the effect on French Manpower points matter now? My only hope is that the German losses will be enough to slow Carl down for a while. Things are pretty bleak.

The Germans build new Zeppelin bases in Gent (KLM) and Lille. This will enable them to reach London on a single leg. A Zeppelin is aborted by anti-aircraft fire over London. The Austrians continue to reinforce their drives on Milano and Verona. The Germans follow the retreating French and prepare to cross the Marne River at Epernay.

The Germans attack the French 17th Corps at Epernay. The bombardment is extremely deadly and the French 17th Corps is pounded into oblivion. The French refuse to reinforce the hex with reserves (what reserves?) and the Germans capture Epernay. The French 9th Corps is attacked from Toul and a DX results. A joint Austrian and German assault on Verona begins with a bombardment with fixed results. The following assault ends in a DX result.

The Entente fail to react.

The Central Powers lost 5 Austrian Manpower and 16 Equipment points. The Entente lost 17 French Metropolitan, 12 Italian, 5 French African Manpower, and 35 Equipment points. French morale stands at 7.5 points.

Carl: The French are doing a forward defense. This is what has really cost them in bombardments. I have almost the entire German artillery located around Epernay, a total of over 45 artillery regiments that were able to reach that hex and bombard. I do not know if I would do this type of artillery concentration again, but the only counter to it is to keep a few divisions in the front lines and keep a massive amount of reserves that can enter the hex to hold the line. If I had spread the artillery out along the line, I could be attacking in more places. At the moment, however, I do not have the manpower or equipment points to maintain any type of offensive and I am also running low on resource points. The British offensive is halted, at least I hope so. I do not have the reserves to continue losing the manpower up there and maintain the pressure on the French. The French should only last another turn or two at most. Tom will probably call up the training garrison (nothing to lose at this time) and hope to hold me up some how. The British may do another attack on Lens, but if they do not capture the hex I should be okay. We both need the upcoming production cycle for the manpower, equipment, and resource points.

Jun I 16

The British 5th Army takes over the defense of another hex from the French. The French are beginning to fray, but they do manage to defend every hex with at least 25 defense. Two of the hexes have only a single division and some support troops. The Reims area is well defended with six full strength divisions in each hex. The Italians pull back behind the Adda river in front of Milano. They also reinforce the Verona area and are forced to pull the 1st Corps back from Trient.

The British attack at Lens again. This time, the Germans fire a defensive bombardment. The British bombardment disrupts five German divisions while the German bombardment disrupts five British artillery units. The attack continues home and gets a DX result.

The Austrians fail to react. The German 3rd Army reacts and hits the French 35th Corps with a 4:1 +5 attack which yields a DL result and another hex near Reims falls.

The Entente lost 14 French Metropolitan, 11 British Manpower, and 6 Equipment points. The Central Powers lost 12 German, 5 Saxon, and 22 Equipment points.

Tom: The British have been able to continue their offensive. With the current lack of Central Powers manpower and equipment points, it is beginning to force Carl to look at the situation and react to it. The defensive bombardment was pretty heavy, fortunately they were all 1H results that I could place on my artillery – since they were already halved it did not really matter. The artillery from the Germans were from an adjacent corps, not the target corps. The retreat of the French 35th Corps was a surprise. The five divisions in the hex should have been able to hold off any of his attacks, but Carl was able to get that +5 DRM and blew the corps back with only light losses for the Germans. Hopefully, the attacks on Lens and the withdrawals to the East Front (to counter the Russian Brusilov offensive) will make him slow his attacks against the French.

The Austrians advance towards Milano and Verona. The Germans reinforce their defenses at Lens and their offensive against Reims.

The German 4th Army attacks from Toul against the French 9th Corps and achieves a bloody repulse. Another heavy bombardment on Reims followed by an attack which results in a 9:1 +3 DRM and a DD resulting in the fall of Reims! As Reims has been surrounded with enemy ZOCs, only the two chssr divisional cadres manage to retreat. This is a heavy blow to the French. A combined Austrian and German attack captures another hex adjacent to Verona. An attack by the German Alps Corps advances another hex and Verona is now surrounded by enemy ZOCs.

The Italians react by stripping a division from each of their front line corps and sending them back as a reserve for the endangered areas around Verona and Milano. The French 7th Army near Belfort also strips out a division from each of its corps to send to the Reims area for bolstering the French defenses there. The British sit and watch.

The Central Powers lost 6 Bavarian Manpower and 32 Equipment points. The Entente lost 44 French Metropolitan, 8 Italian Manpower, and 58 Equipment points. The French morale stands at 19.5 morale points left.

Carl: As you can see from the above losses, both the French and the Germans lost some divisional cadres. The Germans lost them around the Toul area in their attack while the French lost them all over the place. It is coming ever so closer to a French surrender, only 19.5 points and victory is mine! I am in a hurry because Tom and I will play the game again (probably starting next September) with the sides switched, so speed is of the essence at this point. The Italian campaign is going well, but it has taken a back seat to the real decision approaching against the French.

May II 16

The Italians fall back towards Milano and attempt to build a defensive line. The British take over two more hexes in front of Paris to defend with their 5th Reserve Army. The French spend a long time reorganizing their forces to plug their holes.

The British attack at Lens. They use poison gas for the first time and fail to do more damage to the Germans than their selves. The losses drop the British NW down to 3 and they lose their NW advantage.

The Germans refuse to attack with their reacting armies. The usual London Zeppelin raid is stopped by great die rolling as the anti-aircraft fire (of 5 points) return three of the four Zeppelins.

The Entente lost 20 British, 14 Canadian Manpower, and 16 Equipment points. The Central Powers lost 24 German, 6 Wurttemburg, 5 Saxon Manpower, and 12 Equipment points.

Tom: The bright side was the Zeppelin raid. Great anti-aircraft fire! Unfortunately, the British have lost their NW edge. It was expected, but I do not think I have gotten the desired effect, i.e. stopping or delaying the German offensive against the battered French army. I have tightened up the defense as much as possible. The only thing that I may be able to do more is to evoke CR #2 and call up the training garrison. I hesitate to do so as that would effectively eliminate any further manpower points during the next two production cycles, but if it looks like France will not be able to survive until then it really wouldn’t matter.

The Austrians follow the retreating Italians towards Milano. They have almost completely captured the Alps while the Italians are defending in the Italian plains with fieldworks. The Germans maneuver to continue putting pressure on the French. Zeppelin raids hit the French factory at Lyons and do another terror hit on London. A large air battle over Reims sees the French have air superiority and destroy a German LVG C2.

The Austrians attack an Italian emergency corps and destroys it. The advancing Austrian Corps is now on the Italian plain and is only three hexes from Milano. The Germans attack out of the Alps near Trient and force the Italians back into Verona. The French 9th Corps is attacked near Toul and manages to make the Germans pay (a BX result). The French 15th Corps is attacked near Reims. The Germans lead off with a bombardment which disrupts the entire corps but the French again hold with a BX result. The attack on Reims starts with the bombardment missing the first eight die rolls (+1 DRM) on the 9 column of the bombardment chart (66% chance to hit) and is then stopped as a bad chance. The attack goes on at a 5:1 +1 and achieves a DX result.

The Italian 4th Army reacts and sends all of its reserves to plug the hole near Verona. The French 10th Army sends up two reserve divisions to help the defenses around Reims.

The Central Powers lost 43 German, 6 Bavarian Manpower, and 29 Equipment points. The Entente lost 41 French Metropolitan, 10 French African, 6 Italian Manpower, and 27 Equipment points. The French morale now stands at 51.5 points remaining.

Carl: I started the offensive on the Jan II 16 turn. It has lasted 9 turns but it is about over. I cannot continue to replace the losses. I will have to conduct bombardments and hope for effective ones before hitting with an attack. The good news to all of this is that the British are in the same boat. Without the manpower and equipment point reserves, divisions stay cadred, and you cannot replace the divisional cadres very easily in this game. A division that is destroyed tends to stay destroyed. My offensive lasted 9 turns and cost the French over 100 morale points. There are only 51.5 French morale points standing between me and victory. I will have to play it smart to continue chopping down those morale points and still stay an effective force. The Italian front has seen me break into the Italian plains towards Milano and near Verona. I am surprised at how well the offensive towards Milano has gone. I think that Tom’s preoccupation with France’s troubles have helped.

May I 16

The French factory at Lyons is still functioning and the Entente match their historical production of 17 resource and 11 equipment points. The British are able to shift some of their forces south and relieve some French troops defending the way to Paris. The French are in desperate straits. They are unable to rebuild the cadres defending near Reims (they are not in fortifications) and have used all of their manpower already. The French disband more rifle brigades for the manpower points. The Italians shift around their forces trying to enable the rebuilding of their cadres and stop the Austrian – German offensives.

The British again launch an attack at Lens. The tactical recon missions fail as they are chased away by the German fighters and only a single bombardment is successful. It is only the concern for the French situation that causes the attack to be launched. But the attack succeeds in causing more German casualties than British.

For yet another turn, no Central Powers reaction.

The Entente lost 11 British Manpower and 4 Equipment points. The Central Powers lost 18 German Manpower and 6 Equipment points.

Tom: The French are in really bad shape. It is possible that the game will be over by the end of this summer. I am hoping that the British can maintain their offensive because it is a drain on the German resources. It does not seem to be helping the French any, but Carl smells blood and victory by pressing the attack home time after time.

The Central Powers produce 22 Resource and 20 Equipment points. This tops the historical production of 21 Resource and 19 Equipment points. The Germans reorganize to continue their offensives against Paris and Reims. The Austrians reinforce their drive through the Alps towards Milano.

The Austrians manage to advance a hex in the Alps and threaten the supply line of the Italian 3rd Army that was slowing them down. The French 8th Corps is attacked from Toul and manages to hold their ground with heavy losses on both sides. The French 16th Corps near Reims breaks and routs from the enemy contact. The French 15th Corps also routs and allows the Germans to threaten to cut off Reims. The French 20th Corps, holding the flanks of Reims, is destroyed without survivors or German losses. This is a severe blow to French morale.

The Italian 3rd Army reacts and begins to retreat from the Austrian offensive. The French react and begin to prepare to entrench behind the Marne river. The British do not react.

The Central Powers lost 6 German, 5 Bavarian, 5 Saxon, 2 Austrian Manpower, and 7 Equipment points. The Entente lost 66 French Metropolitan, 3 French Foriegn, 2 Italian Manpower, and 43 Equipment points. The French morale is now at 64.5 points.

Carl: In the last two turns, the French have lost over a third of their morale points. If I can continue this pace, the French will surrender in two more months. Reims is threatened with my troops covering three of its adjacent hexes. This could be a serious problem for the French as the fall of Reims would be a loss of 10 morale points in itself. I have been able to absorb the British offensive while maintaining a two or three army offensive myself. It is costly in manpower and resource points but I am beginning to get the hang of offensive trench warfare. It is not easy, but I have had the advantage of good timing and a French army that is on the verge of defeat.

Apr II 16

The French recover from their collapse and are now back up to 100 morale points. The French start construction of a second line of entrenchments along their entire defensive line. The Italians are forced to pull the cadres from last turn’s attack on their lines back for rebuilding while rushing reserves to hold the line. They are also sending more fortress troops to hold the road through the Alps north of Trent. The British reinforce their offensive.

The British attack at Lens. The bombardment is lack luster (only two cadres disrupted with seven attacks on the 9 column) and the attack ends in a BX result. The British are now down to 208 morale points – only 9 from going down to a National Will of 3 and losing the advantage over the Germans.

None of the Central Powers armies are able to react and all of the Zeppellins become lost. Pretty quiet on the front.

The Entente lost 33 British, 7 Canadian Manpower, and 12 Equipment points. The Central Powers lost 13 German, 6 Wurttemburg, 5 Saxon Manpower, and 19 Equipment points.

Tom: Well, I dodged the bullet on the French collapse. The quick recovery should help. The French will surrender at the end of their 100 morale points, but it should be interesting to see if Carl can keep up the pressure over the rest of this game year. Only 6 months to survive. The British are attacking, but it is not going anywhere fast. I don’t think Carl will swing from attacking the French now, it is the game if he manages to destroy them.

The Austrians continue to extend their drive through the Alps towards Milan. The Germans build up to continue their offensive on the French around the Reims area and towards Paris.

The attack on the French 35th Corps is preceeded by a devastating bombardment which is mostly luck (all but one roll of 4 or higher) and the entire corps is disrupted. The attack goes home and shatters the French corps which retreats with no losses to the Germans. The offensive continues towards Paris with a small bombardment followed by a quick assault and the hex beyond Soissons falls to the Germans – only three hexes to Paris! Another attack on the French 20th Corps near Reims results in the French successfully holding off an overwhelming amount of Germans. The Austrians help the Germans attack the Italians near Trient and forces the Italians back out of the Alps. The Austrian drive towards Milano is stalled until the Austrians can reinforce their army.

The Entente were not successful in reacting to the new Central Powers offensives.

The Central Powers lost 13 Austrian, 10 German Manpower, and 10 Equipment points. The Entente lost 47 French Metropolitan, 11 Italian, 7 French Colonial, 5 French African Manpower, and 43 Equipment points. The French now sit at 84.5 morale points.

Carl: While the French recovering from collapse seems like a lost opportunity to blow out of the trench warfare, at least they are still losing morale and the surrender of the French is now measured strictly by their morale points. The next time they are reduced to 0, they surrender. The longevity of the German offensive towards Paris has surprised me. It is fortunate that the next turn is a production turn because I am about out of manpower and resource points for the Central Powers in the French front. I have been using the Austrians to absorb the losses on the Italian front. The French are in a bad way because I am beginning to increase my offensive to include the capture of Reims. I now have two hexes adjacent to the city and am close to capturing another one. The French cannot allow me to capture the city, the loss of 10 morale points would be extremely deadly to their morale at this point. The good news is that the British are about out of their manpower to keep their offensive against Lens going. I think it will continue for as long as the game lasts since it is about the only thing that the British can hope to do to relieve the pressure on the French.