The Entente initial phase of February 1915 was certainly the most important and eventful such phase of the game, almost totally because of the first annual morale check. Three German cadres received replacements for rebuilding. French forces replaced two cadres and three field artillery regiments besides rebuilding one cadre. British forces replaced their motorized machinegun brigade and reduced the second Indian cavalry division to cadre. Canadian forces finally began to abandon their long intransigence as their rifle division went to full effectiveness though their heavy cavalry brigade did not. British national will swelled back to category five as the empire gained 16 1/3 morale points (1/3 point below pre-war levels); they may gain another point once the undersea cables to South Africa are repaired and news arrives regarding the final extinction of the Boer revolt. French forces gathered in an astounding 51 1/3 morale points due to their almost total lack of geographic
losses; the French now rest solidly above their pre-war morale point totals. Austrian forces, due to their almost complete absence from the war in the west, could not better their historical performance in the war and that empire neither gained nor lost any morale points. For German forces, by contrast, the realization of the utter failure of the Schlieffen Plan (perhaps more properly the Moltke the Younger variant of the Schlieffen Plan) sent morale tumbling in a fashion (the 100 morale point penalty down to national will four) that the near-total lack of progress into France could not begin to offset; Germany gained no morale during the morale check. Belgium, as a minor power, did not undergo the annual morale check.
During early February 1915, the Entente did not press their national will advantage but did begin to shift their forces to enable future offensives. With a new national will penalty of -1 against near-future German attacks, French and British forces thinned their front line positions slightly. British forces took up second line positions behind another twenty-five miles of the front in addition to their current fifty miles of front and twenty-five miles of second line. French forces removed most of their elite units from the front line in the south and began to shift them into the sectors of the front between Epinal and the Ardennes. Belgian forces sat tight in their fifteen miles of frontline and twenty-five miles of second line trenches but did rejoice at a brand new machinegun brigade joining the army.
Central Powers reaction to Entente moves in early February 1915 was as muted as the morale checks indicated might be the case. Two armies, both poorly positioned for offensive actions, activated with minor benefits for the continuous German reorganization. Several armies with plausible attack forces in position for action failed their activation checks.
Central Powers Turn
In their own February I 1915, the Central Powers acted no more forcefully. While the French rebuilt one cadre to a division the Germans replaced two 1-2-5 engineer and one 3-4-7 mountain regiments besides a 7*-8-5 cadre and conducted many reorganizations and conversions. During their movement the Germans contented themselves with a massive organizational shift, both to mass forces to overcome the debilitating effects of several AX combat results and to prepare for yet another wave of reorganizations and conversions of units. The combination of national will, winter, fieldworks or entrenchments, and either poor terrain or massive Entente strength left the Germans unable to attack the British or French with any positional chance at better than BX or any mobile chance at better than EX; chances for AL, AX, AQ, AH, and AE abounded. The Germans could, as frequently, have hit the Belgians, but even the total extermination of the Belgian Army would little change the situation on th
e front while corresponding losses of Germans might seem to be of larger importance in the face of an imminent Franco-British offensive.
Entente reaction to German passivity was correspondingly unexciting. British and Belgian headquarters failed their reaction chances while three French armies continued the gradual shuffle of elite or strong formations northward and lower-grade units southward.