The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: February 2003

Jul I 1918

Entente Turn

We’ve survived enough night of emotional turmoil – just. There have been some significant changes in the game with this turn. CP artillery has an increased chance of dropping short – although it didn’t seem to stop them! These guys just don’t seem to know what drop shorts are… The major Entente powers also gained modern artillery tactics, which had an effect far beyond that we imagined.

For the Entente the Jul I turn began magically! With our now standard attack on Lille. The bombardment was devestating – leaving the defenders with a pile of hits. Odds skyrocketed to the princely level of 9:1 and with all the engineer and gas attempts succeeding we succeeded in rolling a “DD” to the chorus of “What’s that” from all 4 of us. 118 factors of Germans entered the dead pool with the total obliteration of the hex. The once proud city of Lille is now little more than a stark shell of it’s former self. Theoretically we are entitled to a 1 off draft of French manpower. I’m not sure where the survivors hid!!

Our attack on Lille included 270 points (after terrain modifications) from heavy artillery alone (i.e. not including siege artillery)! In earlier turns we had been struggling to accumulate 300 – 350 points in total (including infantry, engineers, etc) for an attack on Lille and were doing well to get 3:1 odds. This time the odds worked out to 14:1, after halving of most of the artillery for the earlier bombardment. Quite a change! It’s the first attack the British have made without wiping out most of their own troops.

After previous attacks on Lille, which have all failed to force the defenders from the hex, the Germans have simply rebuilt and dug in again. This time they have abandoned the city. It is now free for the British to march in and occupy. The sobering thought is that it will be the first territorial gain for the Entente in this game.

The Central powers then failed to roll any useful reaction roles – much to my relief as the French commander.

German Turn

For their turn the CP railed the German Mountain Corps south and continued to drag the Italians into the mire, while on the main front the agony of the French was only just beginning! The first attack – on 103 points was a full exchange. The second attack on 93 was an HX. The odds were then calculated on the third stack. 444: 145 for odds of 3:1. However the French had elite troops, armor, Petain and 13 points worth of AA. After securing Recon the Germans had 3:1 odds with no modifiers. Potential modifiers now consisted of Leader (4 in 6 chance) and Gas (1 in 6 chance) for the Germans; Leader (2 in 6 chance), AECD (4 in 6 chance) and German artillery drop shorts (2 in 6 chance) favouring the French. Thus the German attack could go in with an odds modifier ranging from -3 to +2. Any result from an AE to a DE was achievable!

The Central Powers players elected not to go ahead with the attack, although opinion was sharply divided.

What would you have done?

National Will Totals: (Note that the Germans and AustroHungarians both suffered badly due to Hunger – however Influenza has not struck YET)

  • German: 57.5, A/H: 56
  • French: 43, British: 36, Italians 41.5

The French and Italians have already bounced so absolute zero is looming larger on the horizon!

Generalstab Updates, 12.2.2003

The Kriegsarchiv keeps growing, the newest two additions beeing two WOR-Reports (from the Glory-Series), submitted by Robert Williams and Dean T. Moon, both of whom I’d like to express my gratitude here for their well-written and enjoyable reports. Still to come are two more essays for the Kriegsschule, and then I’ll start to clean up in some rather quiet areas of the Generalstab for a while.

Jun II 1918

At last the true elite combat forces have come to the fore! The elite combat formations, in terms of National Will are now the Portuguese! Having the princely morale of 2 (I would be tempted to say that the Americans are doing well with 4 (but so far, after the Jul I rolls if have rolled up – in total only 5 units from their Red Eff state! Given this sorry state (Attack factor quartered) the Americans hardly count as superior at this point of time!)

Every other combatant has a NW of 1, with both the Italians and the Germans going from 2 to 1 this turn. Fortunately (for the Germans) they managed to avoid going becoming Shaken.

The turn was however brutal with 3 very large exchanges, the biggest on 133 factors. All up in the turn the Germans lost 430 attack factors to the Allies 400 (A DX on Lille being the difference)

The other significant factor in the game is now the state of the German airforce. The air war has continued to go the Allied way, and with the scant German fighters the Entente air forces elected to go on an airfiled bombing raids across the front. The Germans have more air units in the dead and aborted piles than they can replace using both the Jul and Sep Air Replacement Point allotments – and it will get worse.

The game has now developed a new twist. To compensate for the rapid decline in morale, the Austro Hungarian forces are now attempting to knock Italy out of the war. Italian NW is taking a pummeling as the Austro-Hungarians are now attacking along the front, with the hope that they may be able to knock Italy out of the war and advance on France via the Alps!

As for the Germans, Their main fear is that the Entente will roll Influenza. Germany lost 27 morale points in the last turn (balanced by gaining 2 points for capturing a French fortress). The arrival of Influenza and the effect on National will could drive them into collapse in a single game turn.

The game is hanging by a thread – for both sides!