The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: March 2000 (page 3 of 3)

Special rules

Make mine a 52 week year please! – In order to have “true” two week turns, an extra turn is inserted into the middle June and September – these being turns with no reinforcements or replacements only movement and combat to reflect the traditional campaign seasons of Europe – this effectively makes 26 turns a year as opposed to 24. Naturally this mainly affects 1944 and favours the Allies. June and September were selected because the weather will always be clear and it spread out these extra turns from one another.

Spain

  • Spanish Blue XX or Legion III returns to west on the turn following Allied invasion of Spain
  • Spain has potential to detect Allied intentions – roll on success table – if S then Mobilization +0 carried out. Add one to die roll if 6 or more REs staioned in Gibraltar (not including garrison units)
  • Spanish surrender – Disband all remaining Spanish forces. All units stacked with German forces are disbanded and begin to form 1st and 2nd SS Spanish XX, available 6 turns after Spanish surrender in the Greater Germany theatre. (Note Spanish Blue XX or Legion III are counted as Spanish units). To be formed each XX requires 3 REs of disbanded Spanish troops. REs in excess of this amount are lost.
  • Allies must occupy Spanish cities 1 RE per reference and dot city, 3 REs per city hex until “liberated” Spanish Republican unit is produced for that area [making it another risky/expensive venture for the allies to invade Spain and to reflect the need to re-purify the area of Falangists]. Failure to do so results in -1 VP per region not garrisoned to reflect on the failure to control Republicans taking the law into their hands and punishing Civil war enemies. Killing of priests and nuns makes poor press in New York papers.
  • Spanish navy scuttles itself on Spain’s surrender [to avoid icky rules about who gets what and rolling for ownership and so on].

Republican Spain

  • Units can only be sent outside Spain once all regions are “pacified” and the Falangist Govt has surrendered. Zone of operations is France and Greater Germany
  • There is no need to garrison Morocco as the French have volunteered to “look after” it until a suitable time in the future.

Portugal

  • Treat as per existing FWTBT Rules for entry of allies and declaring war on Germany
  • Portuguese REs count as twice their value for the garrisoning of Spanish cities [sort of reflects Iberian sympathies and sensitivities]
  • Brazilian Division must land in Lisbon [just kidding!!]

Sweden

  • Will only enter the war on Allied side if at least 15 REs are in Norway, supplied and in possession of a standard Port in weather Zone B after September 1944 and if at least two European Capitals are in Allied control (not including London).
  • Zone of operations is limited to Norway and Denmark and within 6 hexes of Baltic coast in Germany.
  • Roll on success table – modify +1 for every 5 REs in excess of basic Allied amount, +1 per Norwegian Dot/reference city in Allied control.
  • Allies can roll once for Swedish entry.

Liberation

  • For a capital to be liberated, its Govt in Exile must be returned to it – this will require markers for Belgian, Dutch and Czech govts to be made.
  • The city must be in a regular means of supply.
  • The Govt in Exile is then moved to the city.

Allied Player Turn

  • All forces except for the South East theatre are under direct control – only garrisons have to be maintained. This includes the Norwegian Raiding Box, but the 29th Ranger II is disbanded on the listed OB date regardless of whether it is in play or not.

Germany

  • All units in North, West, South and Greater Germany are under command and can be shared as required between them. garrison levels must be maintained or the Allies gain guerilla attacks as outlined in the SF rules – Norway gets one attack per region if garrison levels not maintained.

Advanced rules – most of these were used especially roads and bridges. Travel at full speed in mud? You betcha!

VP Settings

Allied

Rome + 10
Paris + 7
Brussels + 3
The Hague + 3
Oslo + 5
Copenhagen + 10
Vienna + 7
Prague + 7
Madrid + 3
Hex of Berlin + 10 each
Per German city captured + 2 each (note conurbations count as one city)
Capture/surrender of German Govt + 10
Capture/surrender of RSI Govt + 3
Capture/surrender of Italian Govt +3
Capture/surrender of Spanish Govt + 3
Each axis naval point sunk + 1

German

Paris retained after Sep 44 -1/turn
MR1 retained after Sep 44 -1/turn
Brussels retained after Sep 44 -1/turn
Rome retained after June 44 -1/per turn
Rome retained after Jan 45 -2/turn.
Swedish Govt relocates or is captured/surrenders -3
Madrid held 6 turns after allied invasion -10
European Capitals occupied at end of game (as per list above) -2 each (note Russian advance doesn’t affect this – German player gets VPs for cities that Western Allies fail to occupy)
Each Allied strength point or air unit in Replacement pool -1 per 2 strength points or air units
Each Allied Naval point sunk -1
Ruhr conurbation able to trace supply line to another German city after March 45 -3/turn
Allied failure to maintain Spanish garrison -1/region (see below)

Notes:

  • Copenhagen VPs are high because it looks bloody hard to get there and if the Allies can capture it then they deserve the points. The same applies for Prague and Vienna.
  • Madrid and Spanish govt is low because on paper it looks very easy – also to force the allied player to question whether it is really worth invading to get these low VPs.
  • Rome is high and the penalty for not obtaining it is due to the symbolic value of the city.
  • The bonus for the German player in retaining Paris and MR1 is the resource point generated in these areas and to reflect the need for Germany to maintain the economic income from these areas.
  • The VPs deducted for maintaining contact with the Ruhr is to punish Allied players who fail to break into the Reich. Like wise the reward for capturing German cities is an encouragement to get stuck in to the Germans.
  • The one off bonus for Madrid being in Axis hands is to encourage some sort of defence of the Iberian peninsula rather than standing at the Pyrenees – although again this must be weighed up against the potential drain on resorces from Italy or France.
  • The big points are for Berlin as this is the seat of Fascism and as these VPs are about territory and destroying Hitler and Il Duce (and Franco if so desired) Berlin was seen as being important.
  • The VPs deducted for allied losses are less to reflect the “crusading” nature of the conflict for the Western Allies (the idea being losses don’t count as much when your in a holy war) and to force the German to try and hold objectives longer rather than run away to the Westwall.

Sept I 1941

Overall, the Soviets lost about 75 points (11 isolated) and the Germans lost 17. Also, the Finns shot down a soviet fighter. Here’s the action by army group.

AGN: The Finns attacked out of Vipuri and rolled a HX taking a German division as the exchage. The Germans captured Novgorod and pushed across the river line in two more hexes, one was a gimme and the other the Germans rolled a full exchage. An air raid on Kronstadt produced one hit on a battleship and one or two aborted bombers.

AGC: In a massive armored thrust, AGC pierced the Soviet line near Podolsk and swung south to semi encircle a number of Soviet divisions. Also, the advance into the Valdai hills commenced with a DR. Supplies were flown in by Ju-52 to the most advanced armored division.

AGS: The long air offensive against the Black Seas fleet finally paid some dividends as the light crusier K.Krim was sunk and two bombers were aborted. Odessa, finally fell as supplies were no longer brought in and the uncontested German advance continued with Kharkov being surrounded and the siege of Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhe continuing.

March 1937

Mar I 37

Insurgent Player Turn.

The weather clears in the south while winter gives way to muddy spring weather in the north. Much consternation results in Franco’s headquarters when it is discovered that January’s attack west of Madrid was not only a total failure, but the supply consumed has not been replace, leaving forces in the area unable to attack. Lack of rail capacity is again the culprit; the Insurgents have huge stockpiles of attack supply building up in ports far from the front, but no good way to move the bulk of it forward.

Loyalist Player Turn.

The Loyalists, in contrast, are content to forgo offensive action in the south and await good weather in the north.

Mar II 37

Insurgent Player Turn.

Mud still persists in the north. The 13th Div. is formed from 1-strength point units. Some supply is move up in the south, but there is still not enough to launch a decent attack.

Loyalist Player Turn.

The French border is re-opened, allowing the reciept of some Po.540 bombers. The 11Ch Div is formed. The PA command is still waiting for clear weather to attack in the north.

Second Front-Preperations

Now we get into the big map re-shuffle to set up SF. It’s our first bash at this game, so there’s a steep learning curve, but a few basic ideas come out after poring over the strategy notes of the Europa cognoscente. The southern beaches of Sicily are undefended – I prefer to hold the eastern cities. Sardinia is also virtually empty, though one of my first mines is dropped in Cagliari harbour. I’d like to keep Corsica, and I ship a panzer division over there as early as possible and keep the island under strong air cover. The navy is deployed in Brindisi and near Elba, and the Air Forces only fly into the south in July – the fighters to Calabrian airfields and the bombers in Naples, Foggia and Rome with 10+ heavy FlaK cover as soon as possible. I’ve managed to evacuate from Africa an extra dozen or so ants (mainly light FlaK and construction) as well as the very handy Ramcke brigade and the whole 164th (le) Afrika division.

In north-western Europe, every coastal hex from the Scheldt to Caen is occupied – ports have at least a 5-7-6 and PortFort. Small units in the ports only lightly hold the Biscay coast. Risk is low, as England is soon drained of troops, and every Allied ship is operating in the Med.

Speaking of which, I’d like to keep the Italians in the campaign for a decent run. If I’m going to stop the Allies, it’ll be on the beaches. All ports below the 20xx hexrow have 13+ defence, (with a fort and mine in the major ports for good measure, as soon as available) and 4+ in adjacent hexes. Most of the initial Resource Points are allotted to forts. I’m also defending Taranto, Foggia & the ‘heel’ strongly – don’t want that minefield disappearing before I’m ready for it. There are armoured corps waiting behind Rome and Naples – only a train-ride away from the action. To keep the Italians in the war I used four strategies:

  • disband all the hi attack/low defence artillery units for their Inf RPs to buy back all those 2-3-5 XX’s etc
  • roll for early activation of all the armoured divisions, to give the Italians an armoured reserve – this worked, only 2 arrived cadred, and none were lost outright
  • get the 3RE units out of danger points (like Corsica & Sardinia) and replace them with 1 RE Germans where possible – this didn’t succeed quite as well
  • buy back eliminated planes preferentially to aborted planes, as they count toward the 50RE loss condition

P

M: With the whole Allied African campaign running behind schedule, the Brits have a lot of units that have to start in the Replacement Pool, and not available from the outset. The Desert Air Force, though at full strength, has very few airfields to base at – particularly in the Cape Bon area, as the engineers were tasked with also frantically repairing the devastated African ports (despite our link rules). With the Axis still holding Malta and Pantelleria, their Danger Zones will severely limit the Allies’ invasion options, essentially putting eastern Sicily out of bounds (by being both in Danger Zones and out of fighter range).

Just Desert

The early game had closely followed the historical pattern – firstly the Italians fell back, then the Brits, as the DAK arrive, and then a standoff across the Cyrenaica shoulder. However, in mid-’42, things started veering off from the historical path. After the continuous attention of nearly all the Axis planes that couldn’t carry torpedoes, in a bold Abwehr operation, Axis special forces seized Malta.

Although the supply situation was greatly eased, the DAK had already had their head handed to them by the Allies on the Alamein Line. So a Mexican stand-off developed – the Allies sheltered in their fort line, gradually extending it a hexrow at a time; while the DAK waited around Halfaya Pass (just out of encirclement range) to pounce on any Brit stupid enough to stick his head out too far – and there were some good pay-offs here. This containment also allowed a good defensive fort line to be constructed around El Agheila, in anticipation of the Torch landing retreat.

The landings duly came. The Allies stormed across Morocco, then trudged, painfully slowly, through the Algerian mud. The mountains and mud made an excellent defence, but it was compromised, strangely enough, by most of the Axis African forces being absent – successfully bottling Monty up hundreds of miles away to the east, in front of El Agheila.

However, a couple of key breaks in the weather allowed the Americans to storm across the Tunisian border, and bear down on Bizerte and Tunis. I remembered just in time to garrison Pantelleria (with the amazingly useful Ramcke brigade) – in April ’43 Allied sky-bandits grabbed Lampedusa in an audacious long-range jump. Despite all I could do to interdict it, a small Allied airfield soon popped up, like an unwelcome toadstool.

The Americans finished off the Tunisian campaign in May taking Tunis and Bizerte, and went into rest and recovery mode in preparation for the forthcoming Husky operations. The Brits cut across to Gabes to isolate the DAK retreating to Tripoli. But the ‘surgical strikes’ of ’43 had meant minimal losses, and ample reserves were available to leave judder bar units to hinder the British advance (although the DAK had been caught in one such strike and got isolated and starved into surrender near Agedabia).

In anticipation of the new game, most of my air force was operating out of Sardinia and Sicily – I made no attempt to support Tripoli, and flew only enough operations to keep the ports open. The late campaign reinforcements weren’t needed and kept in Europe – the DAK was doing a good enough delaying action around Tripoli for me as I to tried to evacuate as much as possible from the battered Tunisian ports, under skies full of Allied aircraft.

So as the curtain falls on WitD, the Yanks are at full strength and loaded and ready in their Landing Craft. The Brits have herded the remaining Axis troops into Tripoli, which has been in fine form: I’ve sent sufficient Armour RPs across to rebuild some small units as full-AECD judder bars. With no time to refit before operations are scheduled to start in the Med, the British forces are not in particularly good shape – over ½ of their infantry divisions are cadred or in the ‘Pool – and they still face a 50:50 battle to take Tripoli in July I.

February 1937

Feb I 37

Insurgent Player Turn.

The bad weather continues except in the Med, which is calm. The ground units of the Kondor Legion and the CVT, as well as many of the better Nationalist units, begin to concentrate around Burgos, from which the drive into Asturias will be launched. Low rail capacity slows this concentration.

Loyalist Player Turn.

Two more Div’s are formed, the 15th (Int.) and 4th (Ast.), as preparations for the next offensive continue.

Feb II 37

Insurgent Player Turn.

Continued bad weather prevents any major activity.

Loyalist Player Turn.

The Loyalist likewise cannot accomplish much due to weather but do form the 4th Div.

January 1937

Jan I 37

Insurgent Player Turn.

Seas turn rough in the Med., but otherwise the weather is unchanged from the latter half of December. Many Insurgent units head toward the northern Gobernitos area in preparation for the upcoming campaign. The continued good weather in the south prompts an attack along the rail line west of Madrid. A big air battle takes place as both sides call in air support, in which a Loyalist I-16 manages to kill a CR.32. The presence of a PA tank brigade disrupts the attack and causes a near rout of the Insurgents (3:1 -2 = AR).

Loyalist Player Turn.

The 2nd and the 3rd (Ast.) Div’s are formed. The PA high command orders units west of Madrid not to advance to take advantage of the Insurgent retreat there, rather they remain in positions where engineers will soon complete forts. (As an aside, I have not specifically mentioned it, but rest assured that engineers have been busy building forts in many areas. I have also not mentioned that there have been several air battles as both sides have, for the most part unsuccessfully, been attempting to bomb rail lines, airfields, and other targets. I generally won’t mention these unless there are air units aborted or eliminated as a result. And finally, I noticed a typo in Report Part 3’s summary of this year’s Loyalist campaign plan. The last line should of course say that operations against Estremadura and Andalucia will have to wait till 1938, not 1939. Hhmmm…, it occurs to me I’d best start putting the year in with the turn in these reports.) Otherwise, the front is quiet as the build-up for the drive on Burgos continues.

Jan II 37

Insurgent Player Turn.

The weather across the Iberian Peninsula worsens(Winter in Zone D, Mud in Zone E, Rough in both sea zones), leaving no openings for attacks. The territory lost earlier in the month is re-occupied.

Loyalist Player Turn.

The French border is closed. Three more Div’s are formed (3rd, 1st (Ast.), & 2nd (Ast.). Preparations for the upcoming campaign continue.

August II 1941 (German Turn)

Light Soviet losses this turn, around 20 or so, and no German losses to report. By army group the action was as follows.

AGN: Not much in the Finnish front, the soviets are moving artillery towards Vipurii, but that’s about it. The Germans uses the Kriegsmarine commando surprise rule to get a +1 and engineers to lever the Soviets out of hex 0903 (which, if you don’t have your map handy, is where the Leningrad river line reaches the sea). The Germans also took hex 1432, which also is across that river line. The soviets did lose a tank and an NKVD division (not the good ones) but that was it.

AGC: the Germans attacked the soviet wall at Kaluga and got a DR. It killed the fort and the Germans are there in force, so stay tuned to this front for more action in the very near future. The panzers have three trucks in the vicinity, so they can live behind soviet lines for a long long time.

AGS: Kiev fell to a vigorous assualt (a DR was rolled) but the defenders were already halved for being out of supply. Odessa continues to hold out thanks to naval resupply, but the black sea fleet is paying a heavy price with several ships taking damage and the battleship limping along with 3 hits on it.

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