With a weather roll of 6, mud arrived with October 1916 and the players duly committed to fast-forward through the entire month, with neither contemplating ground attacks.
The French high command scrapped one of its two Russian brigades, enabling replacement of the other, which in Spring 1917 will disarm into a coveted Foreign manpower point, more or less.
Prussian forces repaired their entire air force before forfeiting replacement points at the cycle. Prussian sergeants welcomed recruits to refill two rifle and one cavalry divisions, the latter destined for Rumania, from cadre. A snide Prussian personnel officer scrapped two static brigades from their long-time home in the replacement pool, this the surest sign yet that Germany is really feeling the pinch for manpower.
French forces replaced an 0-1-4 engineer [III] and 3-4-7 motorized field artillery [III] while rebuilding from cadre a chasseur division. With Swiss demobilization, the French also resurrected a chasseur division from the scrapped pool to protect that border (we’re playing with unit ID’s, so difficult is the OB to follow).
Italy and Britain each repaired an air unit with the last of their air replacements. Britain remains some distance “in the hole” in this regard, but the combat-avoiding Italians are caught up and have a full air force on map.
Britain, Italy, and France each replaced siege engineer regiments to consume their limit of engineer replacements for the month.
Central Powers Turn
Two more firsts showcased the Central Powers’ air offensive for the month, which otherwise flowed as normal. An Austro-Hungarian air group flew to Venice, damaged a group of Italian interceptors, dodged the fire of several such groups (to be fair, the Italian air force in 1916 is about as bad as it’s possible to rate aircraft), and plopped some bombs directly onto the British Royal Navy’s only seaplane carrier. Not coincidentally, the Italian effort to do the same in reverse suffered losses and scored no success over Trieste – the dice have been very unkind to Entente air rolls for the past few months. British Royal Navy torpedo bombers, free from threat of interception, then visited Trieste and managed to suffer damage from flak without even earning a bombing roll. With November not even begun, the Italians and Brits had both lost or had accumulated losses sufficient to cancel out that next cycle’s replacements.
Meanwhile, Zeppelins scored twice in Italy but utterly missed Britain. The AEG-G4 managed to miss Lille, flying at shorter range due to mud conditions, then to get damaged by flak (almost certainly irrelevant, given unit ratings and relatively massive German air replacement production), but also killed a group of British interceptors (and there went another half cycle of British air replacements). Between wildly skewed replacement rates, column shifts for incompetence, inferior unit ratings, and simply being outnumbered, it’s a wonder when the Entente manages anything useful with its air units. The lone Entente bomber worthy of the name has stopped flying strategic mission because it is more likely to be damaged by minimal flak than it is to score a terror bombing hit and the Italians are only barely keeping enough air force in play to support their very rare ground attacks.