The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: December 2002

Generalstab Updates, 27.12.2002

Finally I found some time to convert the first of Alan Tibbetts esseys into HTML, and so you can view Parachuting the Netherlands in the Kriegsschule now. I’ve yet got to improve the text flow, but this has to wait another day, I’m afraid, it took me long enough to figure out how to make the maps pop up.
Additionally, I’ve continued Alans game report, stretching to April ’44 by now.

May II 1918

Entente Turn

Turn started quite well – I rolled command unity and shot down yet another German elite fighter. Germans aree now out of ARPs for the cycle!

The game then went into a decline. Deputising for the British I failed 4 reaction rolls. Resorted instead to doing 2 regular attacks by the Brits at 3:1 – 1 odds. Both attacks at lots of engineers. Failed on all 7 rolls. Then rolled two ‘1’s for combat = 2 x AX. I’ve set a new record. The attack on Lille was going in with 409 face value combat factors. The other attack had 336 face value factors.

To round out the turn the German player failed every single one of his reaction rolls – even the one with Hindendorf and Ludenburg providing a die roll mod, so the French breath a sigh of relief, as their national will is down to 24. One last hurrah for the Italian airforce terror bombing German cities. Some more hits! German NW is now down to 149!

German turn

Germans have induced French Collapse, reducing French Morale to -3.

As the air force has now headed for the Riviera, it is unlikely that the French will last much longer, perhaps another 3 turns – but at the rate of 25-30 VP per turn the Germans are doing it too easily, getting DE’s too consistantly on the 3:1 table. Losses from just 3 attacks on French (plus 1 soak off amounted to 300 Fench and about 80 German. They charge on in an unstoppable fashion – as any hex they attack, including the 5 VP fortress hexes will be guaranteed to fall.

French dead pool is littered with units. German dead pool: about 6 non-divisional units plus 2 divisional artillery. In addition there are about 10 German Stoss Cadres in play.

Time to call up the training formations… We valiantly hold out for a miracle. From where this will come, we are unsure…

Commentary on the Game so far

Number of German attacks in game: 28

Number of attacks that have not had to roll using rule 9M: 3. (2 natural HX’s and one natural EX)

Of the others I have converted 4 DR’s into HX’s (ARGH – these have really hurt), 1 DE into an HX and 1 DH into an HX

Now the AX’s are a different point entirely. Blame the fact that I am not using GRD dice. I bought the dice we are using several years ago from the guy playing the Germans. They are just being loyal to their original master

What has been interesting about the game has been the strategy employed. In essence the Germans have decided to attack only the French. Even the A/H front is static, as the Germans are needing all their resources for the main front. This has however resulted in the non French Entente forces able to do virtually anything they like. Thus we recognised that the best hope for the French was to drive German national will down to 1 as fast as possible. While the French have collapsed, the German Morale is at 139, and we still haven’t reached the end of May II!

This poses a very interesting dilemma for the Germans in 1918. If they adopt a ‘hit one enemy’ policy, then I would say if they fail there is every chance that they will collapse faster. If however they adopt a broad approach against the British, French and even the Italians, then the focus for all the Entente forces will be on surviving until the German offensive runs out of steam and the Americans can be rolled up (something I am not at all succeeding with in our game – having ‘rolled up’ from reduced effectiveness only 1 unit)

We had a long indepth look at the various modifiers and found where the Germans seem to come out on top is with Stoss attacking fortifications. They get a benefit for being Stoss attacking non Stoss (ie all the Entente) regardless of attack. They also get a guarenteed benefit for attacking fortifications – which makes them super engineers. Finally they seem to be able to take the fortresses too easily. I don’t know how they stood in history, but Reims, Verdun, Epoul and Tours(??) all fell the first time on 3:1 assaults. That has added another 20 Morale point losses to the French (and added 8 to the Germans).

Thus it seemed to us that if the Stoss did not get the guaranteed +1 against fortifications of all sorts (ie a fort would still impart a -2), then it would encourage the Entente to stay in their fortifications and fight for them. This may still have the same disasterous effect, but the need and emphasis on the various siege troops to attack the fortifications would be restored. In addition to this we felt that attacks on fortresses should still be done on the positional table. I have no historical justification for this, just the view that to take the fortresses would require a little more effort – such as surrounding them and reducing them by attacking at higher odds.

May I 1918

The May I turn started off so well for the French as the Germans failed to score one hit on them. Loss of German elite airunits is now beyond a joke. Over the course of the game only 1 has ever returned to base.

Germans made up for the misdemeanor in their own turn though. 4 attacks, none higher than 3:1 killed 350 points of French for the loss of only 47 Germans. The constant positive die roll mods that the Germans get is proving to be unstoppable. I am open to any suggestions as French morale is now 25 and is falling very fast.