The British and French move up to their attack positions. The Italians entrench some more units. The French bombard the Germans near Reims and disrupts the three defending divisions. The Germans rush up three reserve divisions to bolster the defense. Foch comes through for the French and they end up with a BX result – another victory for the proud French army! (Only in their minds – the French lost 10 morale points while the Germans lost 6. A few more “victories” like this and the French will surrender!) The British assault the Germans at Lens, a precious coal site for the Germans. The resulting DX is a victory for the British and the Entente player breathes a sigh of relief.
The Bavarian 6th Army reacts with an assault on Toul. Even though it is across the river and canal for two of the attacking corps, the French end up suffering a DD result. Toul falls to the German assault and the French have been reduced to a NW of 1! The French fail their check and are shaken (along with the French Mutiny). This combat has also seen the first air unit aborted by enemy action, a Drachen Observation balloon unit was aborted by anti-aircraft fire while attempting to perform the tactical recon mission. The German Alps Corps attacks the Italian entrenched line and gets a BX result. The losses reduces the Italian NW to 2. The Austrians now attack the Italians, recapturing Gorz and pushing another Italian Corps back over the Isonzo.
Entente losses were 58 French Metropolitan, 16 Italian, 7 Canadian, 5 British, 4 French Colonial Manpower and 51 Equipment Points. The Central Powers lost 58 German, 6 Wurttemburg, 5 Saxon Manpower and 21 Equipment Points.
Tom: I have been taking a chance with the French each turn and now it has cost me. The fall of Toul to an assault that quickly was a shocker. (During the reaction combat phase too!) Although there was some luck involved, the timing is deadly. With the French failing to make their instability check, they are now halved in attack until they recover during a future friendly initial phase. This lets the Germans concentrate on their other enemies and they could pull troops from their reserves against the French and use them against the British or Italians. This could be the turn that wins the game for the Central Powers.
The Germans replace their losses while funneling more troops to their possible breakthrough in Toul. The Germans on the Italian front are pulled back to receive replacements. Another Zeppelin raid on London scores another terror hit – that makes six now. The attempt to open a breakthrough near Toul fails with the Bavarians having two divisions cadred (AP result). An assault on Epinal is stopped with light losses on both sides (DX result). The Italian’s last corps over the Isonzo is forced back by an Austrian attack.
The French 3rd Army is able to react and reinforce the French Corps defending the Toul breakthrough. The British 3rd Army reacts and continues its assault on Lens. The British suffer heavy casualties without much progress.
The Central Powers lost 18 Bavarian, 12 German, 8 Austrian, 6 Wurttemburg, 5 Saxon Manpower and 18 Equipment Points. The Entente lost 40 British, 12 Italian, 10 Indian, 8 French Metropolitan, 6 Canadian Manpower and 42 Equipment Points.
Carl: The failed British attack in the Reaction Combat Phase definitely salvaged my portion of the turn for me. My Reaction Combat Phase during the Entente turn made this the most successful turn since almost a game year ago for me. The fall of Lille is probably the only thing that was more important for my war effort. The French are shaken in game turns and Tom is shaken in his own morale. I could not take advantage of the fall of Toul and the attack on Epinal definitely shook Tom. I almost had as good of a chance against that fortress that I had against Toul. I think both of us have been surprised by the effectiveness of attacking entrenched troops. We may not take the hex, but the attrition and morale loss has frequently been in favor of the attacker. I am beginning to get troops back from the Eastern front. This may make a large difference, I do not know yet. The Austrians have started sending troops to the Balkans for a large push against Serbia, so I think allowing the Italian front to settle down for the Winter is a good idea. The French are enticing, especially since the failed British attack has severely limited their ability to support the French. I will probably continue to attack in the Toul-Epinal area for a while and see if it pays off.