Entente: Carl Kleihege, Richard Banks, James Hapner
Central Powers: Courtenay Footman, Marc Elwinger, Jim Broshot
We played the Feb I 15 start scenario with rolling for Italian entry in Mar 15 but definitely entering the war in May 15. We halved all resource point production after calculating the production with transfers and withdrawals and rounding .5 up.
Feb I 15 Turn
The starting turn was quiet with the Central Powers conducting some small unsupplied bombardments on the British forces without effect.
Feb II 15 Turn
German 1st Army react and attacks the French 3rd Corps but is stopped. The German bombardment cadres a British division and the French 3rd Corps is destroyed in an unsupplied attack. The Germans capture their first hex.
Mar I 15 Turn
The Germans continue to grind down the French without expending combat supply, capturing two more hexes from them.
Mar II 15 Turn
The French attempt to put a new line together. The Germans continue scattered attacks without using supply.
Apr I 15 Turn
The weather clears and the British counter attack the Germans at Lens. The attack destroys an artillery division and two cadres. The Germans react and capture Ypres. The Germans continue their attack in their turn and capture Dunkerque.
Apr II 15 Turn
The British recapture Dunkerque and the Germans try to recover it unsuccessfully.
May I 15 Turn
Italy joins the Entente. The British and French armies strengthen their front line defenses. The German bombardments eliminate a British Territorial Division.
May II 15 Turn
Italy attacks Austria and manages to cross the Isonzo River and cut the rail line into Trient. The Austrians counterattack and fail to reopen the supply line. The Italians react and assault Trient, capturing the city with an AX result.
Jun I 15 Turn
The French and British continue to strengthen their defenses while the Italians continue to stream into Austria. The Austrians fall back and build up defensive lines. The Germans attack the British and are stopped in a bloody exchange. The French react and attack the Germans near Arras, recapturing the hex.
Jun II 15 Turn
The French continue their army reorganization. Italy attacks towards Triest against the Austrians. The Germans continue to conduct unsupplied bombardments against the French and British.
Jul I 15 Turn
Italians are rebuffed while pressing towards Innsbruck but carry the entrenchments in front of Triest. The British and French continue their reorganizations. The Germans fall to a National Will level of 3 and the Austrians fall to a National Will level of 2.
Jul II 15 Turn
The Italians capture another hex near Trieste. The British recapture Ypres with the aid of armored cars. The French hit the Germans around Soissons in an attempt to cut off a German Corps. The Germans pull back to Soissons, giving up another captured hex.
At this point, we had to call the game. The Central Powers won a minor victory with 106 victory points to the Entente’s 90. We did continue with one more operation (to try out the naval rules) before we packed up as follows:
The Naval Battle
The Italian Navy sailed to perform Naval Ground Support at Trieste to aid the Italian assault. The Austrian Navy reacted and a naval battle occurred near Pola. Although the first round saw the Italians be slightly damaged without effect on the Austrian Navy (and Jim said that in a real game he would have tried to disengage at this point), the second round saw the Italians adjust tactics and pound the Austrians at long range with three hits and two extra damage. The Austrian Navy tried to flee, but the Italians kept up with them and hit them hard for another round before the Austrians finally managed to escape. This naval battle saw the Italians absorb two hits on a BB, one on a CA, and one on a CD (for a total of 10 morale points lost). The Austrians saw nine hits on their PDs, one on their BB, two on a CA, and one on a CD (for a total of 36 morale points lost). A resounding Italian victory! The Italian navy continued to Trieste and managed to deliver 11 Heavy Artillery and 40 Siege Artillery bombardment points (the equivalent of 13 REs of artillery) to the hex while losing another 8 morale points of small ships. If the Italians had been smart enough not to take their entire fleet and leave the DD and TB units behind, most of these losses would have been avoided.
We played this scenario for various reasons. One, it avoided all of the Plan 17/Schlieffen Plan rule controversies. Second, it would allow us to see if the French could hold its own if the Entente were able to perform as well as history. And third, with the halving of resource point production to see if the game was more realistic in the 1915 period (which historically saw both sides short on combat supply). We all agreed that the Entente (who had over 110 equipment points in their replacement pool and no destroyed divisional cadres) where definitely in better shape than any report I have seen of the Entente in 1915. The limited resource points saw the Central Powers performing both bombardments and attacks without using combat supply while forcing the Entente to do so. The Entente never did totally run out of combat supply, but they were down to only two resource points in Apr II 15.