This turn the weather die roll is a 2: Mud in zone A, Clear in zones B and C. This ought to be good for the Axis player and I believe it is the historical weather in Norway for the actual campaign, at least for weather zone C and evidently for weather zone A, as there it can only be mud this turn.
With the clear weather in southern Norway, which is in the C weather zone, the Axis supply problems in the Oslo zone seem to vanish. The German ground and air units in the Oslo vicinity can easily count 7 overland hexes to the contiguous string of Axis controlled rail line hexes running back to at least the Axis owned functioning minor port of Larvik (10B:4311) in southern Norway along the Skagarrak coastline, through which a naval-element supply line per Rule 34F can be traced which I believe is beyond the the naval combat zone of the Norwegian intrinsic CD at Fredrikstad (4309), with a strength of 2. In any event there are still 10 supply points available at the Oslo airbase. These supply points were delivered in the Apr II 40 Axis movement phase and will be removed from the map at the end of this initial phase.
However, a black U-1 supply marker is placed on the Axis held Narvik hex to indicate that the Ger 2-8* Mtn III B and the LW 0-8 Lt AA II II/33 units stacked there are now out of supply by virtue of the blocking naval combat zones of the Br CA TF Cruiser-1 naval unit at sea at the isle of Tjelde hex at 5C.0:0812.
The perhaps almost forgotten and definitely isolated two unsupported Ger 2-6 Inf IIIs C at clear terrain coast hex 10B:3117, to the SW of Bergen (3016) are still technically red U-2, but are still in special supply in the initial phase supply determination check by virtue of the two Axis supply points air dropped there in the movement phase of the Apr II 40 Axis turn. These two Axis supply points will be removed from the game map at the end of this initial phase.
This turn all Norwegian and Western Allied (eg., Br or Fr) forces in Norway are in regular supply, either by an exclusively Norwegian supply source or by a supply line running to a functioning Allied port such as Trondheim, Bergen, or Harstad (5C:0712). Allied forces in this game tracing their supply line along the road across the narrow straits hexside to Harstad keep in mind Advanced Rule 43A4-Supply Lines.
Of particular importance in this Axis initial phase are the reinforcements and replacements segments. The Axis player does get the arrival of a Me 109E F type air unit reinf; but per the SoS German North Theater 1940-1945 OB no less than 21 LW air units (9 of them are Ju 52 T type air units) are now transferred to the West. This large LW air unit transfer marks a negative turning point in the offensive capabilities of the Germans in Norway.
After pondering the perceived realities of the gameboard, the Axis player decides to rebuild the destroyed Ger 2-8* Mtn III B in the replacement pool, using 2 of the 4 accumulated inf RPs calculated per the Production instructions found in the German North Theater OB found on pp. 45-46 of the SoS OB. This turn he receives an additional Ger inf RP, leaving him a new accumulated total of 3 Ger inf RPs at the end of the initial phase. The isolated Ger 2-8* Mtn III B fetched him no special replacement points when it was eliminated at the Trondheim hex in the Apr I 40Allied turn combat phase. The replaced mtn III is placed in the Northern Germany holding box, where among other items there is also an unused Ger mine point. This build empties the Axis Replacement Pool.
Of particular interest is the Axis air cycle this turn. So far neither the Allies nor the Axis have had any available ARPs. The British must await their Scenario player turn OB ARP arrivals, and the Norwegians and Germans get their ARPs per the SoS Grand Europa OB information under the Production heading. For the case of the Axis air cycle in the May I 40 Axis initial phase, the S0S German North Theater OB says “the Axisplayer receives ARPs on the I turn of each air cycle at the following rate:…LW: 0.5 ARP for every LW air unit in play,” which “…includes all those on the map and in the aborted or eliminated boxes.” So, in this initial phase is the Ger ARP calculation done at the “in play” tally of 31 found at the beginning of the player turn, or at the reduced “in play” tally of 10 arrived at after the transfer to the West of the 21 LW air units per the Ger North Theater OB? Does the Axis player now receive 15 Ger ARPs, or 5? For now and for the current EA game report I say 5, but of course invite and will appreciate input from more knowledgeable EA members more acquainted with the SoS rules.
The Axis player uses one of the 5 available ARPs to bring on-map the at start aborted He 111H4 (S code) B type air unit that was not transferred to the West, leaving him 4 ARPs at the end of his initial phase. This build empties the German Game Chart aborted box. He places it and the Me 109E F type air unit reinf at the Oslo airbase, where also is based the at start Me 110C1 F type and the He 111H1 NB type air units.
By the end of the current initial phase the Axis player has also accumulated 2.5 resource points: 1.5 in the Northern Germany holding box (the .5 comes in this initial phase per the OB) and one still at the Kiel partial city/major port hex at 13A:1421, where there is also an unused Ger mine point.
Moving down the SoS Master Sequence of Play Summary, both players make all their on-map air units operative. Since neither side’s airbases are stacked with air units in excess of the base’s capacity, none are subsequently flipped back inoperative due to an excess capacity instance.
The non-phasing Allied player has the S. Glad (C code) F type FAA air unit based at the 1-cap permanent airstrip at Bardufoss (5C:0708) fly the CAP air mission over the Narvik hex at 5C:1010.
Interestingly, the Axis player assigns none of his air units to the naval patrol air mission, but the Allied player assigns the Sword 1 (VC code) A type and the Skua (C code) DF type FAA air units on board the carriers (Glorious and Ark Royal, respectively) part of the powerful Allied combat naval group at sea at hex 10B:1611 in the Norwegian Sea. Also assigned to the naval patrol air mission are the Br Whit 5 and Br Well 1C NF type air units based at the 1-cap permanent airstrip at 5C:2431 and at Trondheim, respectively.
Only after the Allied player assigns his naval patrol missions does the Axis player announce that the Me 109E F type air unit based at the 3-cap permanent airfield at Norwegian coast hex 10B:3720, adjacent to Stavanger, will do a CAP air mission over the Bergen hex (3016).
1st Naval Movement Step
The first thing the Axis player does in his naval movement sub-phase is send the He 115B (SF code) B type air unit based at the 3-cap permanent airfield at 10B:4415, adjacent to Kristiansand, on an air drop transport mission carrying four supply points to the target hex at clear terrain coast hex 10B:3117, where the two isolated and unsupported 2-6 Inf IIIs C are holed up by the formidable Allied forces at the adjacent Bergen dot city/major port at hex 10B:3016. The Axis player is quite relieved when 3 of the supply points successfully air drop undisrupted per the die rolls on the SoS Disruption Table. For those interested, note that SoS supply points, which are certainly air transportable, provide full attack capability for units drawing “special” supply from them. The He 115B air unit returns to base at the 3-cap permanent airfield at 10B:5014, on the NE coast of the Danish peninsula.
The second thing the Axis player does in the 1st naval movement step is send the Ju 52 T type air unit based at the 3-cap permanent airfield at 10B:4415 on the southern Norwegian coastline on “…a one-way regular transport mission at extended range, with a range thee times its printed movement rating, but [with] its cargo capacity…halved.” This is per Rule 23C-Extended Range. The transport’s cargo is two supply points; the target hex is Narvik (5C:1010). It does this air op at night per Rule 23E-Night Air Operations. By doing the air transport mission at night it avoids interception by the S Glad F type FAA air unit on the CAP mission over the Narvik hex. Upon landing at night at the Navik reference city airbase the Ju 52 T type air unit rolls a 2 on the Success Table: a failure, which means it is placed in the aborted box, but to the best of my knowledge the 2 supply point cargo itself arrives safely at the Narvik airbase, just as when an air transport’s cargo safely returns to base if the transport suffers an abort due to flack or air combat results while in flight per Rule 20F (Intro)-Transport.
Next the Axis player is compelled to analyze how he will divide his now quite depleted available LW tac bombing assets between what he perceives as their two main missions this turn: a Naval Strike air mission against the two Br TFs still afloat at the Bergen harbor prepped for NGS, and GS air missions against Allied ground units needing to be attacked in the Axis combat phase. By necessity this analysis requires some preliminary study of the movement of Axis ground units into attacking positions.
Having arrived at his conclusions, the Axis player announces a Naval Strike air mission against the Br BB TF Valiant and the CA TF Cruiser-2 (w/ 3 hits) in the Bergen harbor (3016) using the two He 111H4 (S code) B type air units based at the 3-cap permanent airfield at hex 10B:3720 on the SW coast of Norway, the newly arrived He 111H4 (S code) air unit at the Oslo airbase (4007), and the Ju 87R D type air unit based at Stavanger (3619). The Me 110C1 F type, the Me 109E F type, and the He 111H1 NB type air units remain operative at the Oslo airbase for other uses later. There is also a Mixd T (F code) T type air unit operative at the reference city/major port of Aalborg, at hex 10B:5515 in NE Denmark. There are no other available operative LW air units on the board maps.
First come the dice rolls on the SoS Antiaircraft Fire Table for the 2 strength flack shots done by the BB TF Valiant. The results are: for the Ju 87R: 4, a return; for the three He 111H4 (S code) air units: 5, 8, and 12: all flack misses. Then, using the “1” column (w/ a +1 die roll modifier) of the Naval Combat Table, six dice are rolled for the added total of 6 tac factors of the three bombing He 111H4 (S code) air units; the results are a 1, a 2, three 4’s, and a 6: one hit. A random pick gives the Valiant TF the bombing hit. All the attacking LW air units return to their respective airbases.
After doing this Naval Strike air mission, it is decided to do a “re-do” correction of the Axis Naval Patrol and Naval Strike air missions incorrectly done on the Apr II 40 Allied turn in order to try to maintain the integrity of the current game. The solution is simple: the Axis player now gets 6 die rolls on “1” column (w/ a +1 die roll modifier) of the Bombing Table to account for those rolls incorrectly not done on the Apr II 40 Allied turn for the LW air units that then successfully got past the Valiant TF’s 2 factor flack shots in both of the air mission situations. Incredibly, none of the 6 die rolls are above 4: all misses!
It is also decided that at least in this game naval units will not replenish “in conjunction” with preparing for NGS; and I will wait and see if there’s any further input at the EA on this matter. Right now I’m tentatively inclined to thinking that they can’t. In this situation I believe that a red U-1 supply status marker ought to have been placed on top the Br combat naval group in the Bergen harbor at the end of the Apr II 40 Allied turn, as evidently called for by Rule 34B1-Low Fuel. I’ve already provisionally committed (read: redo) to not refueling “in conjunction” with the preparing for NGS done there; and the Br combat naval group in the game otherwise did not “…replenish…during the player turn…” and thus per the rule “it has low fuel” now. There just might be something not right with aspects of the low fuel concept of the Naval Supply Considerations rule, at least for naval units voyaging for the first time in the Scenario. This is the situation for the BB TF Valiant (w/ 1 hit) and the CA TF Crusier-2 (w/ 3 hits) on their “maiden” voyage in the Scenario from the Orkney Islands holding box to the Bergen port hex. Its ramifications can lead to the absolutely ridiculous situation which demands that a naval unit that needs to have a replenished fuel status by the end of the player turn might be compelled to expend 1 MP to move out of the port or holding box to “at sea” and then expend 1 MP to move backwards into the port and there ultimately spend the 30 MPs needed to replenish its fuel, and only after this continue on its intended voyage. Doing this carnival side show act at the EA might actually be worse than going ahead and having the Br combat naval group in the Bergen hex replenish its refuel at the Bergen naval base in the May I 40 Allied movement phase naval movement sub-step, thereby giving the LW air units yet another opportunity for a Naval Strike air mission, not to mention Naval Patrol air missions.
Having once again seen his chances of capturing the Bergen hex dashed by the dice, the Axis player now has no reason to implement Plan 1 and sail the Kriegsmarine to the dangerous Norwegian coast isle hex of Sorta, at 10B:3017, adjacent to Bergen; and so decides to kick in alternative Plan 2 later in the naval movement sub-phase. For those who want to know, the essence of admittedly desperate Plan 1 was, assuming no Allied NGS or DAS at Bergen (10B:3016), to utilize at least 9 survining Kriegsmarine NGS strength points from the adjacent Sorta hex 3017, at least 3 LW GS tac factors, and an unsupported Ger ground unit attack using the two 2-6 Inf IIIs C cornered in at adjacent hex 3117 to achieve at best a raunchy 3 to 1 -1 (for the rough terrain at the Bergen hex), assuming a clear weather combat attack.
Meanwhile, at point city/standard port Frederikshavn at 10B:5013 in NE Denmark a Ger NTP spends its 30 MP naval movement step allowance completely embarking the LW 1-10 Mot Hv AA II I/32.
In the Greater Germany holding box the Flotilla-1 DD TF spends 27 MPs using the Kiaser Wilhelm Canal to move into the Baltic Sea and sail northwards through the Danish archipelago to the Danish port of Frederikshavn, where it spends its last 3 MPs beginning to embark the Inf XX HQ unit C. The old B TF Schlesien spends 30 MPs completely embarking the 1 mine point remaining in the Greater Germany holding box. Also in the Greater Germany holding box a Ger NTP spends 30 MPs completely embarking the LW pos flk unit there and also two supply points. The Flotilla-2 DD TF at the Greater Germany holding box spends 30 MPs completely embarking the recently replaced Ger 2-8* Mtn III B. Plan 2 is gearing up.
There still remain four unused Ger NTPs.
2nd Naval Movement Step
The DD TF Flotilla-1, carrying the Inf XX HQ unit C, leaves the Danish standard port of Frederikshavn at 10B:5013 and spends 21 MPs sailing through the Nordic Straits, entering the North Sea at all-sea hex 10B:4518, and finally enters the Norwegian standard port of Stavanger (3619), where it spends 9 MPs beginning to disembark the Inf XX C HQ unit. Upon entering the North Sea the DD TF rolls a 10 on the Danger Zones Chart.
The Ger NTP loaded with the LW 1-10 Mot Hv AA II I/32 also leaves the port of Frederikshavn and spends 9 MPs sailing NNW to Kristiansand (4416) where it spends 21 MPs beginning to disembark the motorized flack II there.
3rd Naval Movement Step
A large mixed naval group leaves the Greater Germany holding box comprised of the following Kriegsmarine naval units:
- BC TF Schrnhrst
- BC TF Gneisenau
- B TF Schlesien, carrying 1 mine point
- CA TF Blucher
- CA TF A. Hipper
- CL TF Cruiser-1
- DD TF Flotilla-2, carrying the *2-8 Mtn III B
- Ger NTP carrying, 2 supply points and a pos flk unit.
The mixed naval group sails northwards and enters SoS map E10B(SW) at 10B:5122 on its 15th MP and continues bearing northwards to all-sea hex 3621, two hexes west of Stavanger (3619), ending the naval movement step there. It rolls a 7 on the Danger Zones Chart upon entering map E10B(SW). At all-sea hex 4421 it enters the reaction zone of the battered Br combat naval at port in the Bergen hex. Perhaps surprisingly, it opts to roll on the Success Table for a non-phasing naval group reaction attempt, but comes up with a 3: failure. Per the Success Table Die Roll Modifiers there is even a +1 die roll modifier “if phasing NG is a mixed and reacting NG is combat.” If the reaction had been successful the Br combat naval group in the Bergen hex would have spent its 15 MPs beginning to replenish its fuel. Desperate men do desperate things.
The B TF Schlesien, carrying 1 mine point, breaks off from the mixed naval group at all-sea hex 4121 and veers NE two hexes to the Allied controlled Norwegian minor port of Egersund hex at 10B:4019 on its 21 MP. There while “at sea” in the Egersund coast hex it spends its last 3 MPs of the naval movement step beginning to sow its mine point there.
Meanwhile, the DD TF Flotilla-1 spends 21 MPs to finish disembarking the Inf XX HQ unit C at the Stavanger reference city/standard port hex at 10B:3619. It then lifts anchors and spends 3 MPs to join the mixed naval group at nearby all-sea hex 3621. To the Axis player’s dismay the DD TF rolls a 12 on the Danger Zones Chart: contact, upon entering the North Sea. The subsequent die roll on the “1” column of the Naval Combat Table comes up a 5: a miss. A close call at evidently the beginning of a long and dangerous voyage.
At the point city/standard port of Kristiansand on the southern Norwegian coastline the LW 1-10 Mot Hv AA II I/32 finishes disembarking from the Ger NTP. Per the SoS Naval Transport Costs Summary it will have 4 MPs left in the ground movement sub-phase.
4th Naval Movement Step
At the Allied controlled minor port hex of Egersund (10B:4019) on the SW coast of Norway, the B TF Schlesien first rolls a 5 on the Danger Zones Chart, then spends 2 MPs to finish sowing its 1 mine point cargo off-shore at sea at the minor port coast hex. Afterwards it uses 26 MPs to sail south through the North Sea, entering the Greater Germany holding box on its 28th MP. There it spends the last 2 MPs of its naval movement step allowance beginning to replenish its fuel. It will not go along with the large Kriegsmarine naval group off-shore from Stavanger because of the -1 die roll modifier for any type B naval unit in a naval group attempting to disengage from naval combat.
The mood is grim at all-sea hex 10B:3621, two hexes west of Axis held Stavanger. Here the large German mixed naval group, now strengthened with the addition of the DD TF Flotilla-1, knows it is sailing into harm’s way. After the Danger Zones Chart die roll (a 3) the Axis player does a frankly last minute “change in plan” and removes from the mixed naval group the Ger NTP carrying the LW pos flk unit and the two supply points and has it spend 3 MPs sailing east, where it enters the port of Stavanger and spends its remaining 27 MPs beginning to disembark all its cargo there. So what happened? Well, after further studying Rule 29-Naval Combat, the wargamer finally focused on the Disengagement Summary found on SoS Game Play Chart (2) and pondered the -2 modifier for any naval group containing a NT attempting to disengage from naval combat. The more the Axis player studies and experiments with Rule 29-Naval Combat the more certain he is that in order for the Kriegsmarine task force to survive the dangerous voyage ahead, all naval combat liabilities must be removed. If the Kriegsmarine combat naval group continues to head north, the implication is that this relatively weaker force must either count on evading British reaction movement die rolls on the Success Table or else successfully disengage quickly from naval combat against more powerful British naval group at 10B:1611.
The now newly reconstituted combat naval group (it is no longer a mixed naval group) then slowly begins counting the hexes of its NNE voyage route, skirting along the Norwegian Atlantic coastline, with the Allied player closely watching. Interestingly, the Allied player hesitates for the time being to do either naval reaction die rolls or initiate Naval Patrol air missions, evidently biding his time for an optimal moment. The Kriegsmarine naval force sails past Haugensund (3319), and at hex 3119, next to the coast isle of Hufta, enters within 15 sea hexes of the powerful Br combat naval force at all-sea hex 10B:1611. It sails past just west of the dangerous isle of Sorta (3017) and continues past the Norwegian coast isle of Indre Sula (2615) with still no Allied Naval Patrol air missions or naval reaction movement die rolls. Then the Axisplayer announces the beginning of 10 MPs of naval night movement on his 13th MP of the naval movement step at all sea hex 2415, a little south of the great eastern bend of the Scandinavian peninsula. This takes the Allied player by surprise. He hastily counts the 15 sea hex naval reaction range for the Br naval group in the Bergen port, but is relieved after he decides he can still wait until the Ger combat naval group’s first daylight move to then do a die roll for a reaction attempt during the current naval movement step.
For the German sailors of the combat naval group so far away from friendly waters, dawn begins again, perhaps for the last time, at their movement into all-sea hex 10B:2107, one hex NW of the Norwegian standard port of Kristansund (2206) and exactly 23 MPs into the naval movement step. Here the Allied player tells the Axis player to stop his naval movement.
The Allied player studies Rule 27D-Naval Movement Sequence, Rule 28 [Naval] Movement and Combat, Rule 27B5-Naval Combat Zones, and Rule 29-Naval Combat (Intro). Then the Allied player announces a Naval Patrol air mission by the Br Whit 5 NB type air unit based at the 1-cap permanent airstrip at 5C:2431 and the Well 1C NB type air unit based at the adjacent Trondheim reference city airbase (5C:2432). Each air unit rolls for a contact attempt on the Success Table, with a cumulative +2 die roll modifier, and comes up with two 3’s, which modifies to two 5’s: two Successes. Then the Axis player rolls for the flack shots done by the BC TF Gneisnau, per Rule 22B1-[AA] Restrictions against the two Br NB type bombers, using the “3” column (no modifiers) of the Antiaircraft Fire Table. The Whit 5 air unit is returned by the Gneisnau’s flack shot, but battle cruiser’s flack misses the Well 1C air unit. One die is rolled (for the Well 1C’s 1 tac factor) using the “1” column of the Bomber Table: a 1, a Miss. The two Br NB type air units return to their respective airbases inoperative.
After doing the Naval Patrol air mission attacks the Allied player decides to roll on the Success Table for a non-phasing naval reaction attempt by the Br combat naval group in the Bergen harbor hex (10B:3016), exactly 15 sea hexes from the Ger mixed naval group at 10B:2107. The die roll is a 5, with no modifiers: success. The Br BB TF Valiant (1 hit) and the CA TF Cruiser-2 (2 hits) in the Bergen harbor hex then spend their 15 MP naval reaction movement allowance beginning to replenish their fuel.
Next the Allied player chooses to roll on the Success Table for a non-phasing naval reaction attempt by the large Br combat naval group at 10B:1611, with no modifier. The die roll comes up 6: Success! Note: for the four May I 40 Axis turn naval movement steps of the movement phase done so far, all this Br combat naval group’s Danger Zones Chart dice rolls have been no contact.
The Allied player first moves his large combat naval group from 10B:1611 two hexes SE to 1710, exactly five hexes away from the German combat naval group at 2107. There he pauses and announces another Naval Patrol air mission, using the Sword 1 (VC code) A type FAA air unit aboard the CV CG Glorious and the Skua (C code) DF type FAA air unit aboard the CV CG Ark Royal. Because they are based in the same hex the two FAA air units do together a single die roll for a combined naval patrol contact attempt on the Success Table, with a big +3 modifier for the calm sea conditions. The roll is a 5: success. Both FAA air units take off from the British carriers and fly to the target hex at 2107. Upon arriving there the Axis player does his flack shot dice rolls for each FAA air unit, once again using the “3” column of the Antiaircraft Fire Table for the BC TF Gneisnau’s 3 flack factor. The Sword 1 A type air unit takes a 7, which modifies to a 6: still a miss. But the Skua DF air unit takes a 3: an abort. Finally the Sword 1 (VC code) A type rolls two dice on the “1” column of the Bombing Table, w/ a +1 modifier for being a code C/V air unit and scores two 5’s: 2 hits! Then each hit is randomly applied to the complete lot of affected Kriegsmarine TFs. This random drawing is done twice and the results are: CA TF A. Hipper (1 hit) and BC TF Schrnhrst (1 hit).
After assigning bombing hits to the affected naval units the Sword 1 rebases inoperative on the CV CG Glorious. Presumably the aborted Skua FAA air unit’s remnants rebase aboard the Ark Royal, even though the Skua DF type air unit counter is certainly placed in the aborted box of the Allied Game Chart. This might be a factor if the Ark Royal is sunk this turn.
Then, after the Naval Patrol air mission is finished, the Br combat naval group resumes its reaction movement, with 13 MPs remaining. However, the Glorious and Ark Royal CV CG’s split off from the main combat naval group at 1710 and together high tail it 13 MPs to the NW, ending their naval reaction move at remote all-sea hex 10B:0416. The Br main combat naval group at 1710 (now minus the two carriers) spends 3 MPs bearing SE and moves into to all-sea hex 10B:1908, two hexes NW of the Axis combat naval group at all-sea hex 2107. At this point, per Rule 27B5, this Br naval group doing its reaction movement has moved into the naval combat zone of the phasing Axis naval group, which contains no less than four heavy TFs, each possessing a 2 sea hex naval combat zone radius. Per Rule 28C “naval combat occurs during naval movement steps…when… a naval group (phasing or non-phasing) enters…a hex in the naval combat zone …of an enemy naval group….”
The wargamer studies Rule 29-Naval Combat to follow the naval combat steps. First is Preparation. The Allied player places all four of his heavy TF naval units into the Naval Screen grouping. These are the BB TF’s Rodney and Warspite and the BC TF’s Renown and Repulse. The Axisplayer groups into his Naval Screen the BC TF Gneisenau, the BC TF Schrnhrst (1 hit), the CA TF A. Hipper (1 hit), the CA TF Blucher, the CL TF Cruiser-1, and the DD TF Flotilla-1. The Axis player groups into his Main Body only the DD TF Flotilla-2, carrying the 2-8* Mtn III B.
After the initial/preliminary Preparation is finalized, then evidently commences the actual naval combat, done in rounds. Since this is the first round of naval combat, per Rule 29B1a-Range Step, “…the round takes place at long range;” evidently range change determinations are resolved between the players only in “subsequent” rounds, and never in the first.
Next comes the Naval Screen Allocation Step. Since the Allied player has no Main Body group the Axis player, per Rule 29B1B, allots his whole Naval Screen as “the engaging group that will attack the enemy Naval Screen….” In the case of the Allied player, since “…the range for the current round is long, …[the Allied] player’s screen must be assigned to the [enemy’s] engaging group.” Bypass attempts can be done only at short range. Evidently bypass attempts can be done only by naval groups with a larger number of engaging TFs than the opponent; evidently only this excess remainder of TFs not allocated to “the engaging group” may then be allocated to “the bypassing group,” but is not required to.
Finally, per Rule 29B1c comes the Engaging Group Firing Step. Note that only after both players have fired are results implemented, eg., firing is “simultaneous.”
Round 1, at long range:
In this initial round both sides coincidently make things easier for game reporting by firing at the enemy TF that is firing at it.
- Rodney 7-pt BB TF fires at Gneisnau 4-pt BC TF, and vice versa
- Renown 5-pt BC TF fires at A. Hipper 3-pt CA TF (1 hit), and vice versa
- Repulse 5-pt BC TF fires at Blucher 3-pt CA TF, and vice versa
- Warspite 6-pt BB TF fires at Schrnhrst 4-pt BC TF (1 hit), and vice versa
The Ger 3-pt CL light TF Cruiser-1 and 3-pt DD light TF Flotilla-1 are also in the Allied player’s exclusively heavy TFs’ shooting range, but at the present long range these Ger light TFs cannot fire at the British engaging group’s naval units.
The Naval Combat Table is consulted for the respective TFs’ firing; the naval combat strength column is used corresponding to the particular TF’s unit strength minus any previous hits. Current round firing results are implemented only at the round’s end.
The firing is bad, as no less than six die rolls are 3 or less: misses; but the CA TF Blucher scores a hit on the BC TF Repulse and the Warspite hits the Schrnhrst BC TF (already w/ 1 hit from the Sword 1 air unit’s torpedo attack), for a total of 8 shots fired in the round..
At the end of the round comes the interesting and revealing Disengagement step, per Rule 29D. The Axis player wants to disengage and the Allied player does not want to disengage. To break the impasse “…each player rolls a die, with the player attempting to disengage (only) modifying his roll as shown by the modifiers listed on the Disengagement Summary….” In this situation a white die is used for the Allied player and a black die used for the Axis. In the dice roll the Axis gets a 1 and the Allied gets a 5, with no modifiers.
First comes what appears to be the important “subsequent” range determination step. The Allied player probably wants to maintain the long range, thereby stiffing the Ger CL lt TF Cruiser-1 and DD lt TF Flotilla-1 included in the the Axis Engaging Group of Round 2, and thus preventing them from firing back at the Allied Engaging Group, although the Allied heavy TFs can certainly fire at them at the long range if they choose to.
The Axis player has the luxury of a choice: either choose to close in at short range and thereby allow his two lt TFs in the Axis Engaging Group to add their fire against the Allied Engaging Group, or choose to extend the range, by which, if he wins the impasse breaking die roll per Rule 29B1a, signifies an automatic disengagement. The main purpose of the Axis naval mission is to deliver the 2-8* Mtn III B to the Narvik hex and not to hunt down and tangle with powerful Allied combat naval groups, and so the Axis player wishes to extend the range. Using the black and white dice, the Axis rolls a 6 and the Allied rolls a 4: automatic disengagement.
Upon reading Rule 29D-Disengagement, it appears that first the Axis player, as the “…disengaging group, immediately moves per the rules of naval movement.” Additionally, “if a naval group disengages in a friendly naval movement step it resumes (or begins) its naval movement in the current naval movement step.” And so the disengaging Axis player forthwith moves away from all-sea hex 10B:2107 and high tails it eastwards, deliberately expending its last remaining 7 MPs of the 4th naval movement step. It initially heads 5 hexes due east and then abruptly dog-legs SW 1 hex (costing 2 MPs), ending its naval movement step move at the Norwegian coastal islet hex of Froya at 10B:2003, five hexes NW of Trondheim. This maneuver is a sure sign of desperation: he deliberately maneuvers off-course to the coastal isle hex to obtain the +1 disengagement die roll modifier for being in a coastal hex when the superior Allied naval force catches up with him and again initiates naval combat.
No, it’s not over yet, because the reacting Allied combat naval group remaining at hex 10B:1908, which is not at all the “disengaging” naval group, has only expended 5 of its 15 MP Reaction Movement movement allowance, per Rule 28B. Rule 28C-Movement and Combat says “when naval combat is initiated naval movement is temporarily suspended while the combat is resolved between the moving group and the enemy group…. Once combat is over, naval movement resumes.” Therefore I see no reason why the non-phasing Allied player shouldn’t at this particular point “resume” its Reaction Movement and continue spending the remainder of the 15 MP reaction allowance, if he wishes. In this case the Allied player certainly wishes to and chases after the Kriegsmarine combat naval group now on the run, cunningly spending 9 MPs to arc northwards way around the naval combat zone of the German combat naval group to arrive at all-sea hex 10B:1902, in a blocking maneuver two hexes away ENE from the Axis combat naval group now at island hex 10B:2003. Thus once again the Br combat naval group has “entered” the naval combat zone of the Kriegsmarine combat naval group, initiating naval combat for the second time. Note that the Br combat naval group at 1902 has 1 MP remaining in its reaction allowance.
And so, skipping all the preliminary rote procedures already done above and which coincidently also apply in this new, or second naval combat instance, we arrive at a new:
Round 1, at long range
In this initial round both sides again make things easier by firing at the enemy TF firing that is firing at it.
- Rodney 7-pt BB TF fires at Gneisnau 4-pt TF, and vice versa
- Renown 5-pt BC TF fires at A. Hipper 3-pt CA TF (1 hit), and vice versa
- Repulse 5-pt BC TF (1 hit) fires at Blucher CA TF, and vice versa
- Warspite 6-pt BB TF fires at Schrnhrst 4-pt BC TF (2 hits), and vice versa
Once again the Ger 3-pt CL lt TF Cruiser-1 and 3-pt DD lt TF Flotilla-1 are also in the Allied player’s shooting range, but at the first round’s automatic long range these Ger light TFs cannot fire at the British engaging group’s naval units.
This time the naval firing is more accurate: out of eight shots only two misses. The BC TF Gneisnau takes its first hit, as does the CA TF Blucher. The CA TF A. Hipper takes its 2nd hit, the 1st one coming from the earlier Sword 1 FAA air unit torpedo attack. The BC TF Renown and the BB TF Warspite each take their first hit, and the BC TF Repulse takes its 2nd naval combat hit.
In the Disengagement step, once again only the Axis player attempts to disengage; of course the Allied player still wants to scrap. The black and white dice are rolled: two 6’s. But the Kriegsmarine has a +1 die roll modifier for being in a coastal hex: this means Disengagement. Per Rule 29C “a disengaging naval group immediately moves, per the rules of naval movement. … If a naval group disengages in a friendly naval movement step it resumes (or begins) its naval movement in the current naval movement step.”
But the Axis combat naval group at the Froya isle hex 10B:2003 has already expended its 30 MP allowance of the 4th naval movement step. In fact in this situation his successful disengagement attempt appears to be the end of the current naval movement step. So, in my opinion this means that now the Axis player moves his disengaging Kriegsmarine combat naval group at the beginning of the 5th naval movement step “…per the rules of naval movement,” meaning with a full 30 MP allowance. The Br combat naval group at 10B:1902 is technically still in the midst of their ongoing reaction movement, and therefore cannot yet do a new reaction attempt. It appears that the most exquisite way to handle the situation is for the phasing Axis player to make the disengagement movement of the Kriegsmarine combat naval group at 10B:2003 his first order of business of the fresh 5th naval movement step. Then, as soon as possible (eg., either at the end of the said Axis combat naval group’s move or possibly when for some reason it must suspend its said movement), the non-phasing Allied player should then either move his reacting combat naval group at 10B:1902 its last 1 MP reaction allowance or else declare his reaction movement (begun in the 4th naval movement step) ended. Only then can it attempt a new reaction movement in the 5th naval movement step, if possible.
5th Naval Movement Step
After initially rolling a 6 on the Danger Zones Chart the Axis player moves his battered combat naval group blocked at the Norwegian isle of Froya hex (10B:2003). Only now is this Axis naval group in fact able to do its successful disengagement movement away from the naval combat done at the end of the 4th naval movement step. The Axis player takes care in his naval movement not to “reenter” the naval combat zone of the aggressive Br combat naval group two hexes away at 10B:1902. Accordingly the Axis player first moves his naval group 1 MP due West to all-sea hex 2004, thereby removing his endangered combat naval group out of the Allied player’s combat naval zone hex. Then he obligingly makes a wide northeastwards arc swing around the large two hex wide naval combat zone of the threatening Br naval group, eventually safely entering map 5C at all-sea hex 1633 on his 7th MP. Then he continues onwards at a NE bearing towards his intended destination, on the way entering at Norwegian Sea hex 5C:1225 the 15 sea hex reaction range of the Br CA TF Cruiser-1 naval unit lurking by the isle of Tjelde, guarding the entrance into the Narvik fjord. But evidently the Allied player once again bides his time, for now demurring from rolling on the Success Table for a reaction attempt.
Finally the shot-up Kriegsmarine combat naval group arrives at all-sea hex 5C:0815 on its 29th MP, only three coast hexes away from the Br CA TF Cruiser-1 at the Tjelde hex. At the beginning of the current naval movement step this “all alone” Br CA TF rolls a 9 on the Danger Zones Chart. But at this time the Allied player says, regarding the Axis naval group three hexes away to the SW: “I’ll roll for the reaction attempt on your last MP of the naval movement step.” “OK,” says the Axis player, “and the 30th MP will be the Ger naval group’s first night move.” Taken by surprise, the Allied player nevertheless rolls on the Success Table for his CA TF’s reaction attempt, but with a -1 die roll modifier for the phasing naval group moving at night; the roll is 2: failure.
Right after this the Allied player, after initially rolling a 5 on the Danger Zones Chart (for the current 5th naval movement step), moves the large Br combat naval group at 10B:1902, 1 MP NW to all-sea hex 10B:1802, completely ending this naval stack’s reaction move begun in the Axis 4thnaval movement step.
The two Br CV CGs Glorious and Ark Royal stacked together as a combat naval group at remote Norwegian Sea hex 10B:0416 roll a 9 on the Danger Zones Chart.
Far to the south on the SW Norwegian coastline, at the reference city/standard port of Stavanger at hex 10B:3619, the Ger NTP in the harbor spends 3 MPs finishing the disembarkation of the LW pos flk unit and the two supply points. Per the Naval Transport Costs Summary the LW pos flk point will be unable to move in the upcoming ground movement sub-phase.
Then in NE Denmark, at the reference city/major port hex of Aalborg (10A:5115), the four remaining Ger NTPs each spend their 30 MP naval movement step allowance completely embarking the Mtn XX HQ Unit A, the two wint Inf XX HQ units F and G, and the unsupported wint 2-6 Inf III G.
Finally, in the Greater Germany holding box the old WW I vintage B TF Schlesein spends 28 MPs finishing its fuel replenishment there, and remains at anchor until the end of the current naval movement step.
Axis Ground Movement Sub-Phase
The Ger Const III 6 at the 3-cap permanent airfield (w/ 1 hit) at woods coast hex 10B:4415 next to Kristiansand on the southern NorwaySkagerrak coastline spends 2 MPs repairing the hit of airfield damage there. Then the LW Mxd T (code F) T type air unit based at the reference city/major port of Alborg (10B:5115) in NE Denmark stages to the airfield at 4415, loads up the Const III 6 as cargo and air transports the ground unit to the Oslo airbase. The Mxd T floatplane air unit rebases at Aalborg in the Danish Protectorate.
The LW 0-8 Lt AA II I/611 and the LW 1-10 Mot Hv AA II I/32 at the point city/standard port of Kristiansand (10B:4416) regular move stacked together 4 hexes NW up the Norwegian rail line to rough terrain rail hex 4018, thereby per Advanced Rule 43A2-Ownership gaining control of all 4 transportation line hexes. The recently disembarked LW 1-10 mot hv AA II must end its regular movement at 4018. The LW 0-8 lt AA II continues regular moving by itself NW through the three remaining Allied controlled coast railway hexes, including the Egersund point city/minor port/rail hex at 4019, and ends its movement at the Axis controlled clear terrain coast rail hex 3720, containing the 3-cap permanent airfield where two He 111H4 (S code) B type air units are based inoperative. Then the Ger 1-6 Inf III C at the adjacent (to the north) reference city/standard port hex of Stavanger (3619) regular moves 4 hexes southwards along the Norwegian coast rail line to the Egersund port hex, where it doubles back to the Stavanger hex at 3619. By this maneuver the Axis player finally gains control of the important Norwegian coastal rail line running from Stavenger through Egersund and hence to Kristiansand and Arendal.
From woods rail junction hex 10B:4314, one rail hex NE of Arenthal on the coast, the Ger 2-1-10 Pz II 40 and the 1-10 Mot MG II 13 regular move 10 MPs stacked together NE up the Norwegian rail line all the way to woods rail hex 3809, crossing the demolished rail bridge hexside at the Dramas River to reach the last hex. In doing its regular movement it obtains for the Axis control of at least 5 important rail hexes on the way. The LW 1-10 Mot Inf II GG, also beginning at 4314, regular moves 10 MPs to mountain road hex 3614, in the midst of the remote Kjolen mountainous region in SW Norway.
The wint 2-6 Inf III F at the minor port of Drammen (4009), spends 2 regular MPs moving east across the demolished rail bridge hexside denoting the Dramas River to enter forest coast rail hex 4008. From there it spends 2 MPs regular moving SW into the important peninsular forest coast hex at 4109, thereby eliminating the powerful Norwegian intrinsic CD (w/ a strength of 5) located in the hex, dominating the Oslofjord’s approaches to the Oslo partial city hex at 10B:4007. It expends its last 2 MPs moving back through the woods onto coast rail hex 4008 again.
From clear terrain coast rail hex 4108, SW of Oslo, the wint 2-6 Inf III E, regular moves south four coast rail hexes along the eastern shore of the Oslofjord all the way to the Norwegian-Swedish coast rail border hex at 4408, then doubles back and ends its move at the important minor port of Fredrikstad (4309), at the mouth of the Oslofjord. In doing this movement it eliminates the troublesome intrinsic CD in Fredrikstad hex (w/ a strength of 2). With the elimination of the two aforementioned Norwegian intrinsic CD hexes guarding the Oslofjord choke points, the Axis player has finally this turn completely opened this waterway to the important Oslo hex to Axis shipping and supply.
From the Skagerrak minor port of Tonesberg at 4310, the Ger 1-8 Art X 109 regular moves northwards along the western shore rail hexes of the Oslofjord, crosses the demolished Dramas River bridge at Drammen, gives the Axis control of the 1-cap permanent airstrip at rough terrain coast rail hex 3908 by moving through it, parade marches through the Oslo hex, and ends its move at woods rail junction hex 4006, there preparing to attack the Nor 1-6 Inf III 2/5 Ol in hex 4005, across the demolished river bridge hexside.
From woods rail hex 3907, NE of Oslo, the wint 2-6 Inf III F first regular moves through hexes 3807 and 3808 (Honefoss), thereby gaining the Axis side control of these two rail hexes. At Honefoss the Ger inf III then wheels about face and marches 3 hexes eastwards, ending its move at rail hex 3906, adjacent to both Nor 1-6 inf IIIs across the river hexsides at 4005 and 3805.
The wint 2-6 Inf III G, also beginning the movement phase at woods rail hex 3907 (NE of Oslo), spends 4 regular MPs moving due East two hexes and crosses the river to woods hex 3905, itself adjacent to the two aforementioned Nor 1-6 inf IIIs in the vicinity.
From Oslo the first unsupported 3-8 Mtn III A moves 4 hexes north along the rail line and enters woods rail hex 3606, which contains the Norwegian factory marker. From 3606 the mtn III spends 3 regular MPs crossing the narrow straits all-lake hexside and enters the dot city of Hamar, at clear terrain rail junction hex 3605, on the other side. From there it spends its last MP regular moving south down the rail line to woods rail hex 3705, at the rear of the Nor 1-6 Inf III 5/11 Mo at woods rail hex 3805.
Then also from Oslo, the second unsupported 3-8 Mtn III A regular moves eastwards, eventually crossing both the rivers Glomma and Lagen, and ends its move at woods rail hex 4004, to the rear of the Nor 1-6 Inf III 2/5 Ol at 4005.
The wint 1-6 Inf III E, stacked with the two wint 1-6 Inf IIIs F and G at the minor port of Larvik (4311) on the southern Norway Skagerrak coastline, regular moves northward along the rail line, ending its move at 3810, gaining control of that hex and rail hexes 3910 and 3911 for the Axis side.
Then the two wint 1-6 Inf IIIs F and G at Larvik admin move along the rail line up to Drammen, cross the demolished river bridge hexside, and continue admin moving all the way to woods rail hex 3606, where per Rule 37D-Factories the Norwegian factory marker still remains on-map this player turn.
The 3-10 Mot Inf X 11 at wooded rough terrain rail hex 4010 regular moves 10 MPs to mountain coast road hex 3416 in SW Norway.
The wint 2-6 Inf III E at the minor port of Arendal at 10B:4413 on the southern Norwegian coastline first rails to woods rail junction hex 3910, then spends 2 MPs at regular movement to move across the demolished river bridge hexside to 3909, and ends its movement at woods rail hex 3709, adjacent to the blocking stack of Norwegian units on forest rail hex 3608 (to Bergen).
In the Danish Protectorate the Axis player regular moves the 6-6 Inf XX 170 from the dot city/major port of Aarhus at 13A:0616 northwards to the reference city/major port of Aalborg, at 10B:5115, stacking it there with the wint Inf XX E HQ unit. At Aahrus remain the wint Inf XX 198 and the Inf XX 214.
From the Sylt holding box on the German Game Chart one of the two LW pos flk units there is railed to the northern Germany holding box. Note that FtF map 13A (which is used in this game as a play aid) shows the German North Sea island of Sylt as having a major rail line linking it to Greater Germany via a causeway.
The Nor 1-6 Inf III 2/5 Ol at woods rail hex 4005 is attacked by the 3-8 Mtn III A at 4004 and the 1-8 Art X 109 from across the Glomma River at 4006. The He 111H1 NB air unit based at the Oslo airbase flies the GS mission to the 4005 target hex. The odds are thus 9 to 1 -1 (for the woods). The die roll is a 2, which modifies to a 1: DH, which in this case is as good as a DE. After combat the 1-8 Art X 109 enters the woods rail hex 4005 to gain control of the hex for the Axis side. The He 111H1 NB type air unit returns to base at the Oslo hex airbase (4007).
The Nor 1-6 Inf III 5/11Mo at wooded rough rail hex 3805 is attacked by the 3-8 Mtn III A at 3705, the wint 2-6 Inf III G at 3905, and the wint 2-6 Inf III G from across the Glomma River at 3906. The Me 110C1 and the Me 109E F type air units based at the Oslo airbase fly the GS mission (per Rule 23A1-Fighter-Bombers) to the 3805 target hex. The odds are 9 to 1 -1 (for the woods). The die roll is a 3, which even modified to a 2 is still good enough for a DE. After combat the wint 2-6 Inf III G at 3905 moves into hex 3805. The Me 109E air unit returns to base at the 1-cap permanent airstrip at 10B:3908, adjacent to Oslo, and the Me 110C1 air unit returns to base at the Oslo hex at 4007.
1st Naval Movement Step
In NE Denmark, at the major port of Aalborg (10B:5115), the four Ger NTPs carrying the fully embarked Mtn XX HQ unit A, the two wint Inf XX HQ units F and G, and the wint 2-6 Inf III G sail out of the harbor and voyage as a cargo naval group northwards. On their 19th naval MP this cargo naval group arrives at the Axis controlled partial city hex/major port of Oslo (10B:4007). There the four Ger NTPs expend their remaining 11 MPs beginning to disembark their cargo there.
At remote Norwegian Sea hex 10B:0416 the two Br CV CGs Glorious and Ark Royal stacked together as a combat naval group roll an 11 on the Danger Zones Chart: no contact.
To the SE, at Norwegian Sea hex 10B:1902, 5 hexes northeastwards of Trondheim (5C:2432), the large Br combat naval group there rolls a safe 5 on the Danger Zones Chart. This Allied combat naval group consists of the following Br naval units:
- 7-pt BB TF Rodney
- 6-pt BB TF Warspite (1 hit)
- 5-pt BC TF Renown (1 hit)
- 5-pt BC TF Repulse (2 hits).
At the Norwegian isle of Tjelde hex at 5C:0812 the Br 5-pt CA TF Cruiser-1 first rolls an 8 on the Danger Zones Chart. Then it awaits the large Kriegsmarine combat naval group at all-sea hex 5C:0815 to do its first naval MP of the 5th naval movement step.
Three hexes away from the Br naval unit at the Tjelde hex (0812) the large Kriegsmarine naval group at 5C:0815 for rolls a 9 on the Danger Zones Chart: no contact. This Axis combat naval group consists of the following Ger naval units:
- 4-pt BC TF Schrnhrst (2 hits)
- 4-pt BC TF Gneisenau (1 hit)
- 3-pt CA TF A. Hipper (2 hits)
- 3-pt CA TF Blucher (1 hit)
- 3-pt CL TF Cruiser-1
- 3-pt DD TF Flotilla-1
- 3-pt DD TF Flotilla-2 carrying the stripped down Ger 2-8* Mtn III B.
Then, this Axis combat naval group spends 1 MP at night movement to move into the adjacent Norwegian Hinn island coast hex at 0814. At this point some tedious procedural points probably ought to be clarified for those readers who might wish to know. This is in fact the second MP done at night by this particular Axis combat naval group. Its first MP at night was done on its final 30th MP of the previous 5th naval movement step of the Axis movement phase. Now, to be sure, per the SoS Naval MP Cost Summary on Game Play Chart 2 it takes 2 MPs for a naval unit to enter a coastal hex. What’s happening here is that this particular Axis naval group did its first MP of the Game Play Chart required 2 MP cost to enter a coast hex on its final 30th MP of the previous naval movement step, but did not then leave hex 0815 and enter hex 0814. Then, in the current 1st naval movement step of the Axis exploitation phase it paid the second MP of the 2 MP cost to enter a coast hex and then actually entered the Hinn island coast hex 0814, on also its 2nd MP at night movement.
At this time the Allied player tells the Axis player to stop his naval movement and attempts a Reaction Movement attempt die roll on the Success Table, with a -1 modifier for the phasing player’s naval group moving at night. This is for the Br CA TF Cruiser-1 naval unit at the Tjelde isle hex at 5C:0812. The die roll is a 5, which modifies to a 4: failure.
The Axis player then expends 2 more MPs (at night movement) to move his combat naval group into the Hinn island coast hex at 0813, one hex away from the Br CA TF Cruiser-1 naval unit at the Tjelde hex. Only at this adjacent sea hex does the Axis naval group “enter” the reduced combat naval zone (per Rule 34A2-Night Movement) of the Br heavy TF at island hex 0812. At this point the Axis player has initiated naval combat (at night) per Rule 28C-Movement and Combat.
In the Preparation step the Axis player once again groups his DD TF Flotilla-2 carrying the 2-8* Mtn III B into the Main Body and the rest of his combat naval group into the Naval Screen. The Allied player must group his single naval unit into a singular Naval Screen.
Round 1, at long range
Rule 34A2-Movement at Night says “a naval unit has its gunnery strength quartered at night.” Moreover, to the Axis player’s great chagrin, after a careful reread of Rule 29B1c-Engaging Group Firing Step, it appears to him that naval units cannot add together their gunnery strengths and do a combined “joint” fire at an enemy naval TF unit. The rule says “each TF may fire its naval combat strength once during this step. The target of each fire is a TF in the enemy engaging group. … For each fire, the firing player consults the naval combat table [and] roll[s] one die….” Somebody please correct me if they know this isn’t so. If this is so, then in the situation here the shot-up Axis naval group, which currently has no gunnery strengths above 3, cannot fire back in the night at the firing Br CA TF, which has a strength of 5, which at night quarters to a naval combat strength of 1 on the SoS Naval Combat Table.
In this situation the Allied player cherry-picks the wounded Ger Schrnhrst 4-pt BC TF (2 hits) to fire at and rolls on the “1” column of the Naval Combat Table and gets a 5: a miss.
Then, at the Disengagement step at the end of round 1, the upset Axis player wants to disengage and the happy Allied player wants to continue this easy fight. The white die (for the Allied player) and the black die (for the Axis player) are rolled, with a cumulative +3 modifier per the SoSDisengagement Summary for the Axis disengager being in a coastal hex (+1) and for night (+2). The colored dice show a 4 for the Allied player and a 2, modified to a 5, for the Axis: disengagement. Forthwith the Axis player has his combat naval group at coast hex 0813 do 1 MP of naval movement, but cannot yet actually enter the adjacent Tjelde hex at 0812 because it takes 2 MPs to enter a coastal hex, and thus does not in fact move from Hinn island coast hex 0813.
However, in this new disengagement movement situation the Axis player hasn’t actually “entered a hex in the naval combat zone of an enemy naval group” (he’s still in the original naval combat hex, but has in it expended a MP) nor is he now “starting the [naval movement] step in the naval combat zone of an enemy naval group…and the phasing group spends any MPs in its hex without leaving the hex.” Therefore I believe that in this instance a new naval combat situation has not been initiated per Rule 28C.
Proceeding onwards, the Axis player now expends a second MP to actually move into the Tjelde islet hex at 0812. This time the Axis naval group is definitely “entering a hex in the naval combat zone of an enemy naval group.” This is also the hex containing the Br CA TF Cruiser-1 naval unit. At this point the Kriegsmarine combat naval group has done a total of 4 MPs at night and is 3 MPs into its current naval movement step.
And so, skipping all the preliminary rote procedures already done above and which coincidently also apply in this new, or second naval combat instance, we arrive at a new:
Round 1, at long range
The Allied player again has the Br CA TF Cruiser-1 naval unit fire at the limping Schrnhrst 4-pt BC TF (2 hits) on the “1” column of the Naval Combat Table and this time gets a 2: a miss. The black and white dice are then rolled again for the identical situation in the Disengagement step, with the Axis player being the disengager. The results are a 3 for the Allied player and a 4 for the Axis player: a phasing player disengagement.
Now the Axis player expends another MP at night, intending to eventually move to the Norwegian mainland coast hex of 0912, but cannot yet actually move into the hex, because it takes 2 MPs to move into a coast hex. Once again I believe that a new naval combat situation is not yet initiated per Rule 28C.
However, when the Axis naval group in Tjelde islet hex 0812 spends a second MP (at night movement), he can now move and enter coast hex 0912, one hex away from the Br CA TF Cruiser-1 naval unit at the Tjelde hex; and therefore he now initiates a new bout of naval combat per Rule 28C.
And so, for the third time skipping all the preliminary rote procedures already done above and which coincidently also apply in the new combat instance, we arrive at a new:
Round 1, at long range
The Allied player has the Cruiser-1 CA TF fire one last nighttime pot shot at the hobbling away Schrnhrst 4-pt BC TF (2 hits) and this time comes up with a 6 on the “1” column of the Naval Combat Table: a hit! The now perhaps listing and definitely lame Scharnhorst of the BC TF has a new total of 3 hits. The black and white dice are rolled yet again for the identical situation in the Disengagement step. The results are a 2 for the Allied player and a 6 for the disengaging Axis player: disengagement.
After this the Axis player expends another MP at night in mainland coast hex 0912, but does not yet move into the adjacent European mainland coast hex 1011, as it takes 2 MPs to do this; so naval combat isn’t initiated per Rule 28C. Finally, only after the Axis player expends another MP at night can he then move into adjacent coast hex 1011, now two hexes away from the Br heavy TF naval unit at the Tjelde islet hex at 0812 and finally out of harm’s way of the British cruiser’s naval guns at night.
Now, after running this gauntlet, the battered Kriegsmarine combat naval group finally enters the Axis controlled Narvik hex at 5C:1010 in daylight on its 11th MP of the current naval movement step, and spends its remaining 19 MP allowance of the naval movement step per Rule 34B3-Replenishment both replenishing its fuel and beginning to disembark its mtn III cargo aboard the DD TF Cruiser-2 naval unit. Although a naval-element supply line still cannot be traced from the Axis controlled reference city/major port of Narvik back to Greater Germany by virtue of the naval combat zones of the Br CA TF Cruiser-1’s naval combat zone hex radius at the Tjelde islet hex, it is nevertheless still a functioning Axisnaval base per Rules 34B3-Replenishment and 30A4-Functioning [Ports].
2nd Naval Movement Step
At the Oslo major port the 4 Ger NTPs there finish disembarking their ground unit cargo at the partial city hex. This would be the Mtn XX A HQ unit, the two wint Inf XX HQ units F and G, and the wint 2-6 Inf III G.
At remote Norwegian Sea hex 10B:0416 the CV CG’s Glorious and Ark Royal roll a 9 on the Danger Zones Chart.
At Norwegian Sea hex 10B:1902, 5 hexes northwestwards of Trondheim, the large Br combat naval group there rolls a 7 on the Danger Zones Chart.
At the Tjelde islet hex at 5C:0812, at the mouth of the Narvik fjord, the Br CA TF Cruiser-1 rolls an eight on the Danger Zones Chart.
At the Axis controlled reference city/major port hex of Narvik at 5C:1010 the Ger combat naval group there spends 11 MPs completely disembarking the 2-8* Mtn III B there while simultaneously replenishing its fuel. While anchored at the port, a war council occurs in German Admiral Marschall’s cabin (still aboard the Scharnhorst) about what to do next: stay indefinitely at Narvik or sail into dangerous seas? It’s decided to voyage back to Greater Germany, come what may on the way. Accordingly, this time definitely in daylight, the entire Kriegsmarine combat naval group leaves port of Narvik on its 12th MP of the naval movement step.
Upon expending this 1st voyage MP still in the Narvik hex 1010 and thereby now being off-shore “at sea” in this coast hex, the Axis combat naval group first rolls a 5 on the Danger Zones Chart. Immediately afterwards, the Allied player promptly declares a non-phasing naval reaction movement attempt by the Br CA TF Cruiser-1 naval unit at the Tjelde isle hex at 0812, 3 hexes away from the Axis combat naval group now off-shore “at sea” in the Narvik hex. The Allied player needs to do this now or evidently risk naval combat in daylight when the Axis naval group enters Norwegian mainland coast hex 1011 upon its next voyaging MP expenditure. The Allied player, admittedly so far lucky in this game in reaction die rolls, rolls a 5: success. The relieved Br heavy cruiser TF then expends its 15 MP reaction movement allowance moving westwards to all-sea hex 5C:0724, weaving through the great arc of the Norwegian Lofoten Islands at the Falkstad isle hex at 0818.
Afterwards, the Kriegsmarine combat naval group continues its dangerous homeward voyage, eventually bearing SSW to Norwegian Sea hex 5C:1022, two hexes away from the hostile Norwegian mainland, perhaps carefully three hexes away from the Br CA TF Cruiser-1 at 0724, and no doubt ominously 16 hexes away from the main Br combat naval group waiting for it at 10B:1902. Their hour of doom may be close at hand.
3rd Naval Movement Step
First, careful dice rolls are done on the Danger Zones Chart for all four affected naval groups currently at sea on the Scenario game maps (1 Axisand 3 Allied naval groups). All the affected naval groups are coincidently in the Norwegian Sea. All four dice rolls are no contact.
Then, the Kriegsmarine combat naval group at hex 5C:1022 spends its 1st MP of the new 3rd naval movement step moving one sea hex west to all-sea 1023, in daylight. At this point the Allied player tells the Axis player to stop his movement at hex 1023. The Allied player now rolls on the Success Table (no modifiers) for a non-phasing naval reaction attempt by the Br CA TF Cruiser-1 located three hexes to the NW at sea hex 0724. The die result is a 3: failure. Had the Br naval unit won the naval reaction attempt die roll it would have moved back into a position to block the naval element supply line route traced from the German ground units in the Narvik hex back to Greater Germany.
Obviously biding his time like the stronger force in a cat and mouse game, the Allied player hesitates for the present before having his large combat naval group at 10B:1902 attempt a reaction movement die roll.
The Axis player continues doing his naval movement step MP expenditures, voyaging in a southwestwards direction. On this 16th MP, at all sea hex 10B:1504, the Allied player quits pussy-footing around and tells the Axis player to stop his naval movement. At this point the Kriegsmarine naval combat naval group is 4 hexes NW of the Br naval group at 1902. The Allied player rolls for a non-phasing naval reaction attempt for the aforesaid Br naval group and the die comes up 5: success.
The non-phasing Allied player then moves the successfully reacting Br naval combat group at 1902 to all-sea hex 10B:1605, two hexes away from the phasing Axis naval combat group at 1504 and in daylight in its naval combat zone, thereby initiating naval combat per Rule 38C-Movement and Combat.
In the naval combat preliminary Preparation step the Axis player groups his four heavy TFs into an Engaging Group and his three light TFs into a Main Body. The Allied player groups all four of his TF naval units (all heavy TFs) into a singular Naval Screen, and has no need of a Main Body.
Round 1, (always) at long range:
In this initial round both sides coincidently make things easier for game reporting by firing at the enemy TF that is firing at it.
- Rodney 7-pt BB TF fires at Gneisnau 4-pt BC TF (1 hit), and vice versa
- Renown 5-pt BC TF (1 hit) fires at A. Hipper 3-pt CA TF (2 hits), and vice versa
- Repulse 5-pt BC TF (2 hits) fires at Blucher 3-pt CA TF (1 hit), and vice versa
- Warspite 6-pt BB TF (1 hit) fires at Schrnhrst 4-pt BC TF (3 hits), and vice versa.
The Naval Combat Table is consulted for the respective TF’s firing; the naval combat strength column is used corresponding to the particular TF’s unit strength minus any previous hits. Current round firing results are implemented only at the round’s end.
The 1st round’s firing is not good for the German navy. Out of a grand total of 8 naval combat die rolls done (4 for each side) 3 hits are achieved, the other 5 being misses. All three hits are against German TFs. The Gneisnau BC TF receives a naval combat hit, as does the Blucher CA TF. The mighty Scharnhorst BC TF sinks beneath the chilly waves of the Norwegian Sea after receiving a naval combat hit, its fourth.
In the subsequent Disengagement step the Axis player of course wants to disengage and the Allied player wants to continue fighting. The impasse breaking die rolls are done, with no modifiers, and each side comes up a 6. Per the Disengagement Summary there is is a “reroll” on “all ties;” and on the second Disengagement die rolls the Allied player comes up with the high roll, and thus the Axis player’s attempt to disengage the naval combat fails. And so we come to:
In the important Range Step (Rule 29B1a) the Allied player wants to maintain the long range and the Axis player wants to extend range, hoping thereby to “automatically disengage.” Upon doing the simultaneous die rolls the Allied player once again seems to be able to do no wrong and is the winning high roller; and so the 2nd round of naval combat is done at long range.
In the subsequent Naval Screen Allocation Step (Rule 29B1b) the Allied player interestingly groups his four heavy TFs into a singular engaging group. The Axis player must keep his three heavy TFs in an engaging group.
In the following Engaging Group Firing Step (Rule29B1c) the naval combat firing is done as follows:
- Rodney 7-pt BB TF fires at Gneisnau 4-pt BC TF (2 hits), and vice versa
- Renown 5-pt BC TF (1 hit) fires at A. Hipper 3-pt CA TF (2 hits) and vice versa
- Repulse 5-pt BC TF (2 hits) and Warspite 6-pt BB TF (1 hit) both fire at Blucher 3-pt CA TF (2 hits)
- Blucher 3-pt CA TF (2 hits) fires at Warspite 6-pt BB TF (1 hit).
Again, more bad news for Axis fans. Out of 7 naval combat die rolls done in this 2nd round, 2 hits are scored, with 5 combat die rolls resulting in misses. Both successful hits are against Axis TFs. The Gneisnau BC TF receives a naval combat hit, jacking its total to 3 hits, and the Blucher CA TF receives its 3rd fatal hit, and so disappears beneath the ocean’s waves.
But Fate comes and intervenes in favor of the Axis player in the following Disengagement step, and he wins the Disengagement die roll on his first attempt. Forthwith the Axis “…disengaging naval group immediately moves, per the rules of naval combat.” The pummeled Kriegsmarine naval group makes a wide arcing naval movement, first dashing due east one hex to 1503 and then swinging southwards way around the victorious British naval group at sea hex 10B:1605, taking care not to enter its 2 hex wide naval combat zone nor enter the 15 sea hex naval reaction movement zone of the Br carrier naval combat naval group at 10B:0416. The Axis player expends the remaining 14 MPs of his naval movement step moving his combat naval group to all-sea hex 10B:2112. It does its last, or 30th MP of the current naval movement step at night movement, regardless of the consequences of still being within 9 sea hexes of the cruiser kicking Br combat naval group lingering at 1605. In so doing it bets its life on the -1 naval reaction die roll modifier “if [the] phasing naval group is moving at night.”
One wonders if, under the circumstances, at the bottom of the Norwegian Sea with the mermaids, perhaps German Admiral Marschall mulls the results of his odyssey to and from Narvik:
“…in an octopus’s garden/in the shade.”
4th Naval Movement Step
Again, dice rolls are duly done on the Danger Zones Chart for all four affected naval groups currently liable in the Norwegian Sea. All four dice rolls are no contact.
Then the Axis player moves his battered Kriegsmarine combat naval group at all-sea hex 2112 1 MP at night movement (its 2nd so far at night, the 1st being done the previous naval movement step) west to adjacent sea hex 2113, when the Allied player tells him to stop movement. The Allied player then attempts a non-phasing reaction attempt by his large Br combat naval group 9 hexes away at 1605. The Allied player rolls on the Success Table and comes up with a 2, modified to a 1: failure. The relieved German combat naval group then continues its journey towards home, eventually finishing the 4th naval movement step at 10C:4922.
Meanwhile, the trusty old B TF Schlesien leaves the Northern Germany holding box and spends 2 MPs to use the Kiaser Wilhelm Canal to sail to the major port of Kiel. It moves there to likely embark the 1 mine point at the hex in the May II 40 Axis movement phase and then surely sow it somewhere on the Norwegian coast later that turn. Note that it has already refueled this current turn. Technically, I don’t believe it should be considered to be at “low fuel” per Rule 34B1 at the end of the current Axis player turn, even though it did move this turn subsequent to its earlier refueling. If so, it can certainly refuel yet again this turn in the 5th naval movement step.
5th Naval Movement Step
The Danger Zones Chart dice rolls are done yet again for all four affected naval groups currently at sea on the Scenario maps, three in the Norwegian and one in North Sea. All four dice rolls are no contact.
The German combat naval group at 10C:4922 enters the Northern Germany holding box on its 17th MP. There it spends 13 MPs beginning to replenish its fuel. Once ashore, these surviving Kriegsmarine voyagers will no doubt have a big sailor’s tale to tell.
Ground Movement Sub-Phase (c/m units only)
The 2-1-10 Pz II 40 and the Mot MG II 13 at woods rail hex 3809 spend 10 MPs moving stacked together to ultimately move to wooded rough hex 3607. On the way they first go down to forest rail hex 3407 before doubling back to their final destination hex, thereby gaining control for the Axis side forest rail hexes 3407 and 3507.
The 3-10 Mot Inf X 11 at mountain coast road hex 3416 first moves two more road hexes west to clear terrain coast road hex 3318 in order to gain hex control of these two road hexes. Then the mot inf X backtracks and moves 7 more road hexes to mountain coast road hex 3212, in order to prevent the long line of Norwegian ground units retreating towards Bergen from using admin movement along the rail line going through the Kjolben mountainous region that runs adjacent to this hex.
The LW 1-10 Mot Inf II GG at mountain road hex 3614 ends its movement at the point city/standard port of Haugensund at clear terrain coast hex 10B:3319, on the SW coast of Norway.
The LW 1-10 Mot Hv AA II 1/32 at rough terrain rail hex 4018, next to the now Axis controlled minor port of Egersund (4019) on the SW Norwegian coastline, moves 4 hexes NW to coast road hex 10B:3720, which contains the 3-cap permanent airfield, stacking there with the LW 0-8 Lt AA II I/611 and the two inoperative He 111H4 (S type) air units at the base.
In the far north, at the Narvik hex at 5C:1010, the two 2-8* Mtn IIIs B assemble into the 5-8* Mtn XX 3. Also in the Narvik hex are the LW 0-8 Lt AA II II/33, two supply points delivered earlier this turn in the movement phase, and two Axis mine points sown off-shore “at sea.”
At the end of the Axis exploitation phase the Br Sea Glad F type FAA air unit flying the CAP air mission over the Narvik hex rebases at the 1-cap permanent airstrip at Bardufoss (5C:0708).