The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: July 2008 (page 2 of 7)

Dec I 37

Weather roll 2, Tokyo mandate roll fails.

Japanese Player Turn

The automatic lowering of the Tokyo mandate roll allows the invasion of Chekiang. Two divisions plus other units overrun a scattering of Chinese units around Hangchow and Shaohsing, and a regiment then exploits all the way to Chuchow. Meanwhile, troops run riot in Hangchow. Each coastal city has an SNLF regiment land next to it, and all fall. One of the two units in Ningpo survives on a DH. Simultaneously, the big attack on Nanking goes in, at 6:1(-2). Naturally, an EX is rolled, reducing a Japanese brigade. The troops go wild in front of the world press. The Japanese RT and an army HQ arrive from the north into Nanking during the exploitation phase. In the west, the fortress of Chenchiang is isolated, with a couple of adjacent 1-4’s being overrun. A reserve division and a LOC brigade overrun the 1-4 next to the narrow straits, and then, aided by naval gunfire, attack across them. They obliterate two divisions, and become the first Japanese units on the north bank of the Yangtze.

Chinese Player Turn

The SEF reacts. This causes no combat, as there is nothing on the south bank of the Yangtze for the units to attack, but allows some units around Nanking to march west.

The Chinese again spend a large number of resource points, and Shantung province becomes cooperative. However, Honan demands a bribe, and the Chinese refuse. As all Honan divisions are stacked with others, they are all disbanded; since there are no Honan replacement centers left, the faction goes away completely. A KMT guerrilla base goes active, in the Tai Shan (G1:2817).

The enemy corps centered around the Japanese 10th Light Infantry has managed to just resupply via the river port of Hantan, but that route is tenuous. The Chinese screening forces along the Shantung-Hopei border were not liquidated by the Japanese, and may be in a position to interdict Japanese supply lines once again. The Japanese 20th Light Infantry has turned the short flank at G1:2228, threatening the National Forces divisions behind Shihkaichuang (heading due west for the Niang Tzu Pass.) No activity was reported down the Tungpu rail line, and Japanese intentions here remain unclear. Plans. Activate three CCP guerilla bases (CCC, CCLE, Shnt). Interdict the supply lines of the 10th Light Infantry again. Withdraw forces west into the Taiheng Shan. Build fortifications in Kaifeng-Chengchow. Conduct sabotage on Japanese attack supply depots. Deployments. We have started a line along the upper Hoto, along Great Wall hexsides and the Taishien mountain village. Have moved a cavalry holding force to maintain the mountain flank at sector G1:2130, in order to screen our main force withdrawing into Niang Tzu. A line is formed of nominal factional units from G1:2427 to G1:2925 (Fan), temporarily grinding the 10th Light Infantry and its light armored escorts to a halt. The guerilla outposts manage to break rail lines and raid an enemy airbase.

Nov II 37

Weather roll 6, Tokyo mandate failed.

Japanese Player Turn

And the one thing that can save Nanking occurs. The rain, a 1/6th chance, stops the Japanese cold. The problem is not the minus one (although that doesn’t help), but the fact that the units that went over to kill 10th corps can’t get back to Nanking in the rain. The best attack the Japanese can come up with on Nanking this turn is a 3:1(-3), and I saw no reason to attempt that! Thus the Japanese content themselves with taking Chiengning. In the west, the advance is slowed by the rain; Sungchiang is taken, with a 1-4 or two being destroyed in the process. A multi-divisional force moves next to Hangchow, and all three SNLF regiments are shipped back to Japan.

Chinese Player Turn

Evacuate more forces to the north of the Yangtze. The Chenchiang defense position gets stronger. An impudent, or, possibly, imprudent 1-4 sneaks across the narrow straight at the mouth of the Yangtze.

The 8th Regiment of the Japanese 10th Light Infantry is at Hantan (G1:2628), infiltrating deep into the rear areas of the Chinese basin flank guard. Light armor battalions are poised for maneuver in the Taming sector. All these forces were a diversion from the previous turn’s offensive in Shantung. Some minor Japanese advances were made on the Tungpu rail line, while some railroad engineering was done on the Pinghan line. Shihkaichuang is now under Japanese control. Plans. The debacle in the Hwang Ho basin is not decisive, but it did give the Japanese early entry into Honan, and nearly closed the gates on a broken Hopei province. A major defensive effort is required at the Niang Tzu Pass. Some stretches of rail between Shihkaichuang and Anyang remain unbroken. The Kaifeng-Chengchow sector is in need of immediate reinforcement. Deployments. A joint National Forces and Hopei Provincial holding force moves to hold the Niang Tzu Pass, while resources are shipped into Yangku to support fort construction at the pass. The Japanese 10th Light Infantry and light armor are nearly surrounded and deprived of resupply. And Kaifeng-Chengchow is reinforced.

Nov I 37

Weather roll 6, Tokyo mandate failed.

Japanese Player Turn

Despite the unexpected rough seas, an ordinary infantry regiment lands next to Chefoo and takes it, while the SNLF lands next to Tsingtao and takes that, both with NGS. Fortunately, the Manchurians in Tsingtao had left to destroy infrastructure, leaving only the naval troops to defend it; otherwise the attack would not have worked.

In the Nanking front, after spending much time trying to figure out how to destroy the Chinese north flank, I suddenly realized that the southern flank was exposed to a breakthrough. The Szechuaneze at 0412 were overrun, as was the engineer unit at 0313. Most of the forces that did so attacked north and east, with the 4-6 at 0214 being cadred and the 4-6 at 0211 and the stack at 0312 being destroyed. Also, all the front line forces on the southern flank were destroyed, except for 10 Corps (3×3-5s) at 0711. A mobile force killed the engineer at 0413. The armored car battalion ran forward and overran a 0-4 construction unit in Taiping, which was followed up by a motorized brigade (transport points) overrunning a 1-4 in Wuhu. This supported brigade cut Chinese supply to Nanking.

Chinese Player Turn

A large number of resource points are spent to make sure that important factions don’t go uncooperative and to get uncooperative factions back in line. It partially works, as Hunan returns to cooperative. On the front line, the units in front of Nanking stumble back. Also, a 4-6 is evacuated from Nanking. The Chinese start to form a line between Ta Nan Hu (G3:0514) and Changtang (G3:0212). To my great surprise, the SEF HQ reacted. I had thought that did not happen! I use the opportunity to kill 10 Corps and all the Chinese units not in Nanking, except for the fortress brigade in Chiengning. A 0-1-6 Eng and the War Zone HQ are again overrun. Only one thing can save Nanking now.

The Japanese handily overrun the Ting-Tzuya pocket, and exploit the hole blown by the Chinese AH last turn, with the 20th Light Infantry making a crossing of the Hoto just southeast of Shihkaichuang. 10th Light Infantry has lunged across the Hwang Ho and occupied Tsinan, even lurching south down the river road to G1:2821. Plans. Shihkaichuang must now be conceded, but it will be defended nonetheless. The door swings wide open all the way up the Hwang Ho, therefore reinforcement will only be to the Hwang Ho Delta sector (Kaifeng-Chengchow) from now on. This area has been prepared since September. Deployments. Strong screening forces (i.e. National Forces Divisions) are thrown in front of the Japanese bridgehead across the Hoto. Reinforcements and construction engineers are mustered in the Kaifeng-Chengchow sector. The 26th National Forces Infantry Division is sent to screen the Wei-Hwang Ho confluence, however the river road to Kaifeng is clear (including the bridges in Shantung across the Weishan Hu and tributaries.) The approaches to Yangku are also prepared as that city is expected to become hot by year’s end.

Oct II 37

Weather roll ???, Tokyo mandate failed.

Japanese Player Turn

0310 was overrun, and 0311 attacked and taken. In exploitation Ihsing (0411) was taken, and a 0-4 construction unit was overrun in 0312, but no attempt was made to enter the hex. On the southern flank, 0711 was taken, and 0712 was advanced into, momentarily isolating the Chinese units on this flank. Stating that I could find no better target, a torpedo attack obliterated the Chinese task force in Tsingtao. A regiment of the SNLF is shipped back to Japan. Suggestions are made that it is going back to a well deserved leave; for some reason, this suggestion is met with skepticism.

Chinese Player Turn

A large number of Szechuan forces arrive at the front taking up positions in front of the river, from 0412 to 0612. The isolated units on the southern flank ooze back a hex, so that they are in a line from 0610 to 0612. A 4-6 is left alone in 0211, and another one is immediately behind it in 0212. Artillery supported units are in 5012 and 5112, behind the Grand Canal. Engineer units are set up behind the river from 0413 to 0614. The Warzone HQ reappears and is placed at 0515. Yet again, no Japanese reaction.

The Japanese have enveloped a 3-hex pocket of Manchurian and Hopei factions in the canal intensive sector between Ting and Tzuya. There is a light Japanese drive down the Kucheng-Puyang road. The Japanese 10th Light Infantry and assorted forces have reached the north bank of the Hwang Ho, just in front of Tsinan. Plans. Try to break through to the Ting-Tzuya pocket using National Forces Divisions and attack supply (for the first time in the north) from the 1st National Forces War Zone HQ. The Chinese line in the Hwang Ho Basin Rivers should begin a withdrawal to the west to support the fighting withdrawal down the Pinghan, ultimately from Shihkaichuang. Deployments. On the main front, all movements are in support of the breakthrough to the Ting-Tzuya pocket, which fails at a 2:1 (-1), rolled a “1” (AH), although the bulk of the losses came from the now doomed pocket. As of yet, the Japanese have not indicated their intentions for the Tung Pu line, therefore light forces (Shansi Cavalry) are used to screen that line. In Shantung, Hopei forces are shuttled into Tsinan behind the front lines, on demolition duty in the face of the imminent Japanese crossing of the mighty Hwang Ho.

Oct I 37

Weather roll ???, Tokyo mandate failed.

Japanese Player Turn

In the Japanese turn, 0407 and 0408 were overrun, as were the 1-4s on the left flank. Chiangyin was taken, and the 4-6s at 0209 were ZoCced and killed. Somewhere in here, the Chinese War Zone HQ was overrun.

Chinese Player Turn

Hunan went uncooperative; again the buy-off failed. The stack at 0509 retreated to the island in the middle of Tai Ho (0510), a weak stack was added to 0711, and an artillery supported stack was put behind Wuhsing (0611). North of Tai Ho, the Chinese line was 0311-0210-5111, with 0210 held by a pair of 4-6s, the other hexes being weaker. Again, no Japanese reaction.

With the Japanese invasion of Shantung, any Chinese units may now enter and defend the province, despite the lack of recent cooperation from the provincial government. The main Japanese line of advance appears to be their drive down the Tsinpu line, where they make only a little progress while having to mop-up along their flanks. The 3rd Japanese Light Infantry has captured Hokien (G1:1723). The 1st Japanese Army is now headquartered in sector G1:1921 along the Wei. The 2nd Japanese Army is at Kaopietien on the Chema. Plans. No change in plans from last month, except that the Hopei faction has been ordered into Tsinan to begin tearing up infrastructure in anticipation of Japanese occupation. National Forces Divisions are flushed into the prepared lines in front of Shihkiachuang. Deployments. Heavy reinforcements from various northern factions take up a position at the extreme right end of the main line. Delaying forces are deployed to the Kucheng-Puyang road.

Sep II 37

Weather roll six, Tokyo mandate fails. The Weather returns to normal

Japanese Player Turn

The Chinese put only the northern two hexes of their line in supply. The Japanese land a brigade in each of the two hexes immediately behind their lines (0707 and 0307). Two more divisions arrive; in addition, the siege artillery is shipped down from the northern front. 0507 is hit with a 9-1+0, and suffers a DE. This traps the two southern corps, and both are destroyed, although 0706 exacts a full exchange from the Japanese (10 points). At this point I had hopes of utterly ruining the Chinese defense, as the two northern corps were almost cut off. To my astonishment, the Chinese successfully rolled reaction! They did not have attack supply, so decided not to attack the brigade that had landed behind them, but instead exfiltrated out of the trap.

Chinese Player Turn

10 corps, containing three 3-5s, was railed down from the north to establish a blocking position at Wuhsing (0610). There were a scattering of 1-4s in front of it. Artillery supported stacks were in 0508 and 0509, and the 4-6s were in 0309 and 0208. The fortress unit, alone, held Chiangyin (5109). 0407 was held weakly. The Japanese now held Shanghai, but we forgot to check for the Urban Pacification garrison. Japanese reaction failed.

Japanese aggression quickens. There are decisive breaks in the Chinese lines at 1) Paoting and reaching the Ting at G1:1625; 2) G1:1622 where the Japanese 3rd Light Infantry is in front of Hokien (G1:1723) [ a DH combat result saved the Chinese supply situation on their right flank ]; and 3) a wide, rolling break into Shantung and around the Hopei road junction at G1:2123. Plans. A weakness is identified in the Japanese deployment in Shantung. We will man the Ting River in force (with National Forces Divisions). Deployments. A Japanese light armor corps in G1:2221 is surrounded and eliminated, a success which further allows the Japanese 10th Light Infantry to be surrounded. A line of Manchurians is put up in front of the Japanese 20th Light Infantry and Sendai Divisions, along the Ting River.

Victory check: Chinese:

  • Capital operative in Nanking: +3
  • Capital operative in KMT home territory: +2
  • Capital operative in China: +1
  • Random die roll of 2: +0
  • Two and a half RE’s of Japanese units killed: +1.25

Japanese:

  • One regional government operative: +2
  • 6 CCP guerrilla bases: +0
  • Hwang Ho dikes destroyed: +3
  • Chinese not aggressive for two initial phases: +1
  • Two terror bombing hits achieved: +1
  • Random die roll of 1: +0
  • Geographic objectives: +714 to 7.25, Chinese stability falls to three.

Sep I 37

Weather roll 5, Tokyo mandate failed.

Japanese Player Turn

One fewer pip than normal on the weather roll, but the seas are still rough. Five additional NTs are rented for the turn, allowing two divisions, engineer units, and whatever artillery I could find to land in Woosung. Every unit ashore attacks a lone 4-6 in the westernmost Shanghai hex (0505), getting a HX, killing the ZOCed unit, with the 1-6 NCG engineer regiment and a 1-6 artillery battalion dying in return. This victory opens the port of Shanghai, and another division, the SEF HQ, and assorted supporting units land in the port.

Chinese Player Turn

In the Chinese turn, Yunnan goes uncooperative, the buy-off failing; one KMT unit in Kunming is disbanded. As there are no Yunnan forces outside of Yunnan, nothing else is lost.

In Shangai, the Chinese form a V shaped line, from hexes 0706 to 0306. From south to north, it has 1×4-6, 2×3-5; 2×3-5, 1×1-5 Art; 2×3-5, 1×1-5 Art; 3×4-6; 3×4-6. There are no combat units immediately behind this line.

Chahar has fallen, and a regional Japanese puppet government set up. Chema River has now been crossed in force, with the formidable Japanese Sendai Division making their crossing at Kaopietien (G1:1324). Only minor pressure down the Tsinpu line to Tsangchow (G1:1820). A Japanese mountain regiment sits astride the Shantung-Hopei border. Shantung Province, by way of a large buy-off, avoids further degradation of their crumbling political situation. Plans. Shansi forces will continue to tear up infrastructure, while withdrawing back to Yangku, protected by mountains on both flanks. We will destroy the Ting and Hoto bridges of the Pinghan line. Choreograph a steady withdrawal through the Hwang Ho basin road system, using successive river lines (Wei, Laiochang and Tzuya). Deployments. Fortification under construction at Chengchow. Two Hopei brigades are raised at Hokien (G1:1723). One Shansi brigade is activated at Ningwu (G2:1403). The forward defense of Hokien and Paoting is strengthening, but will likely become untenable as the weather clears. CCP units are approaching their target bases (CCC at G1:1330; CCLE at G1:1631; Shnt at G1:2832).

Aug II 37

Weather roll 6, Tokyo mandate failed. (Does one began to sense a certain repetitiveness in these first lines?)

Japanese Player Turn

In the initial phase, I converted one attack supply into GSP in Shanghai. I was intensely frustrated at not being able to conduct amphibious invasions this turn, as there were several juicy targets. However, the Chinese set up allowed me to attack 0405 at 9-1, with the NGS from IJN-C doubled. I did not roll a one, and a DE resulted. This allowed the capture of the port of Woosung (0404) during exploitation by the 2-6 SNLF regiment.

Chinese Player Turn

Few changes are made in the Chinese ground position around Shanghai. A major air attack is made on ships in Shanghai, resulting in no hits, but the IJN fighters perform superbly, eliminating a CAF fighter and bomber. Those will not be returning for some time

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The Japanese 20th Light Infantry has crossed the Chema at G1:1524. Their apparent main drive is at the border of Shantung Province. A semi-cooperative defense of National Forces, Manchurian, Hopei and other factions flanks an abandoned Tsinpu line. A fresh Japanese action has been launched toward Kweihwating, but lead elements are want of supply. The IJAF is now basing missions out of Tientsin. Plans. With CCP units now jockeying for territory with various northern factions, the fighting withdrawal strategy is extended to the Tungpu line (continuation of Pinghan line). Ordered National Forces War Zone HQ east to support flank attacks on the Japanese drive on Shantung. More fort construction is planned south of the Hwang Ho, in G1:3628 to G2:3501 sectors. Due to the Japanese offensive in Chahar… Deployments. A large number of northern factional units are on demolition duty on the Pinghan line. Just 75km south of Shihkiachuang now, the 23rd and 42nd National Forces Infantry Divisions have been pressing up the Pinghan line. The National Forces “H2” Infantry Division is ordered to Hokien, which has become the linchpin of our eastern withdrawal from Hopei Province. The road between Yuhsien (G1:1027) and Hsinkow (G2:1202) is cleared for a CCP passage, who are on their way to the Wutai Shan.

Aug I 37

Weather roll 6, Tokyo mandate failed.

Japanese Player Turn

Two SNLF regiments and some more GSP’s are sent to Shanghai. In the north, forces push over Yungling river. Kaopietien and Tshinghai are captured, and I think the Machang was crossed. Along the Mongolian railroad, hex 0725 is reached.

Chinese Player Turn

An air attack is made on Shanghai, resulting in one aborted CAF unit. Forces are moved into Shanghai, but 0405 (NE Shanghai) is held only weakly, with the two 0-1-4 Pao an units. Many beaches left open. Only eight 4-6’s and 6 3-5’s defend Shanghai. Two 4-6’s remain in Nanking, three 3-5’s are in Hsuchow, three more are in Pengpu, one is in Canton, and I have no idea where the fourteenth was.

We are experiencing supply difficulties at the extreme northwest end of the Chinese line (in Chahar). The Japanese have broken through our main line on their way to Shantung Province. Plans. CCP elements still heading east to the mountains. Due to the tenuous nature of the battle northwest of the mountains, and also between the Hwang Ho basin and the Gulf of Pohai, we can expect a fighting withdrawal along the Shihkiachuang-Chengchow line. Deployments. A strong response in the Hwang Ho basin. Available forces surround a Japanese “finger” invasion of Shantung. In anticipation of Japanese reinforcement of N.Chahar, a screen is thrown up along the Suiyuan-Chahar border. The KMT directs one of their cavalry divisions into the northeast corner of the Hwang Ho basin. Engineers are directed to Chengchow-Kaifeng to construct some critical forts. Four brigades each are formed in Honan and Hopei, and a single brigade is activated in Shensi.

Jul II 37

Weather roll 6, Tokyo mandate failed.

Japanese Player Turn

Peiping and Tientsin both captured, with troops staying under control in both cities. A Japanese infantry battalion is killed in the attack on Peiping’s northern hex. The lower Hai is crossed in several places, but the Yungling, near Peiping, is not. The whole Peiping-Manchuria high volume railroad is cleared of Chinese units. Two terror bombing hits were made. An additional attack supply and some GSPs are sent to Shanghai.

Chinese player Turn

The Chinese do not go aggressive on the Central Front.

In the action for Peiping and Tientsin, nine Chinese brigades of the Hopei and other northern factions were eliminated. The Japanese now hold a bridgehead across the Yungting at Chiencnuntai (G1:1023), as well as across the Hai in front of Tsinghai (G1:1620). Plans. As the Japanese appear to be showing a strong drive up the Hwang Ho basin, the northern factions seem even more strongly intent on delivering it to the enemy. We should like to screen the IJA with Hopei and the other northern factions as KMT and CCP guerillas establish operations in the Wutai Shan, Taiheng Shan, and Tai Shan. Deployments. Twelve CCP regiments slog across the Liuliang Shan en route Taisheng and Wutai. KMT units rail into Shihkiachuang and Yangku, and are on the road to Lanchow. Brigades of the Manchurian faction begin demolition of the Peiping-Chengchow line. Hopei and other brigades man the Chema river line behind Pahsien and Kaopietien and attempt to establish a line on the Machang river.

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