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Tag: Northern Theatre of Operations (page 1 of 2)

What went wrong – or the Axis commander lament

I have never thrown such rubbish dice in any game I have played before –
honest! Most of the time all I needed was to roll 4+ on a dice to get an EX
or HX result which would have hurt the Finns enough to allow a break in
their lines and allow me to use my superior numbers effectively. On average
my die rolls were 1 or 2 – not good when modifiers are -2 at least. Even in
Sweden and Denmark I was ineffective, especially the horrific AR result in
Feb II which destroyed nearly half of available German land units.

In retrospect I should have held off German intervention until April or May,
but I when saw snake eyes for Allied intervention followed by double sixes
totally freaked me out and I took the earliest oppurtunity to get across the
Baltic – just like any decent paranoid dictator would do in a similar
position. The Fort in 4717 never had a die roll higher than 3 against it
and the arrival (albeit spasmodically due to the Allies sending troops off
into Denmark) of British and French units in Finland meant I was never able
to effectively break through the Finnish lines.

As to Denmark I am still in shock. I can’t believe I could destroy a
handful of garish yellow counters – unsupplied and unsupported – the Govt
escaped me twice and the recapture of Aarhus and the sudden arrival of mud
(preventing the 14th Motorised MG II capturing Thyboron and thus giving the
Allies an open door) really put a kink in the Third Reichs plans. 4 Hour
War my foot!

These are my excuses – the only one I haven’t included is the possibility I
might be a crap player, but I prefer to blame the dice and the cardboard 8-)

Cheers – Bob

May I 40

M,C,C,C & C,C

Axis Player Turn

With clear crisp and sunny weather throughout most of the theatre, the
Soviets launch a massive offensive – not on the thrice accursed 4717, but on
4615. Despite the improved wether, the sun obviously dazzled the troops
eyes and caused the attack to go in half botched and the Soviets again flee
from battle (3:1 -2 = AR). This isn’t the worst of it when an attack
against the interfering French to the north is a veritable disaster and half
the attacking force are slaughtered (3;1 -3 = AH). Comrade Stalin is
blubbing mess cringing under his desk in the Kremlin.

At Aarhus the Germans assault and seize the city, pushing out the Danish
defenders (3:1 = DH). As a sop to Berlin the Danish Govt is captured.
[This I can say with all honestly was the high point of the entire game for
me] London is most embarrassed at leaving an Ally in such an exposed
position.

Allied Player Turn

In Denmark the allies go onto the offensive – Estyjerg on the west coast is
occupied by the Swedish 1st XX while the Allies attack and destroy the 196
XX (4:1 = DE). Only a handful of units protect the northern border and
Kiel. Hmmmm.

In Finland, just to rub it in, the French counterattck with Finns from the
north against the survivors who attacked them earlier. By blocking retreat
paths the Allies destroy the remaining Soviets who are forced to retreat
from the battle.

Molotov and Beria give Uncle Joe the tap on the shoulder and suggest its
time to talk peace with the Finns and their western Allies and the game ends
by mutual agreement.

Apr II 40

S,M,M,M & R,C

Axis PLayer Turn

Attempts to locate the British Fleet at sea by the LW fail. The Denmark
front is quiet.

In Finland an all out effort to break into the terrain behind the Mannerheim
Line is made – massive air battles break out as the Allied fighters try to
prevent the Soviets backing up their land forces with air support. The
results are suprisingly blood free – lots of rtb results but no aborts or
kills. On the ground the defenders are pushed back (4:1 -3 = DR, again an
EX or HX would have been nice).

Allied Player Turn

The two eastern most hexes of the Mannerheim are abandoned and a fall back
to behind the Vuoksa River begins – Viipuri is fortified.

Mar II 40

S,M,M,M & C,C

Axis Player Turn

The big thaw hits the region. Allanurti falls to an attack by 2 Soviet XXs
and a NKVD III (6:1 -4 = DR). At Joensuu, the British forces in Finland
(5th XX cadre, Scots Guards and 51st Artillery) hold off two Soviet Corps
courtesy of the melted river.

At 4717, wading through the mud and rain, over six divisions with attached
engineers, armour and artillery are slaughtered by the defending Finns (AE
result). Stalin is devastated. A bright spot in his day is the destruction
of the cadred remnants of the British 42nd EL XX and Finnish 6th XX (5:1 -3
= EX)

In Denmark, a couple of German units are rebuilt and head towards the battle
line in the Jutland Peninsular.

Allied Player Turn

French units arrive to take up positions south of Lake Simpele to back up
the Finns holding forward areas. The French are joined by the Vickers tanks
of the 1st Armoured battalion.

The UVV and LVV are intercepted and interned by the Germans enroute to
Finland. This doesn’t trouble the Finns overly, much to the annoyance of
Uncle Joe.

Apr I 40

S,S,M,M & R,R

Axis Player Turn

In Denmark and attack on the 44th HC XX fails (AS) while the Luftwaffe go
searching for the Royal Navy off the coast. Contact is made and AA fails to
prevent the LW anti shipping planes scoring hits on the Rodney and Valiant.

At 4717 another attack is launched through the mud and this time the NKVD
holds the troops in position (changes AR to AS – why can’t I get an EX or HX
result???)

The Finns (23rd and 6th XXs) are pushed back from their position north of
Ladoga, opening a hole into the Allied lines. (4:1 -2 = DR)

NE of Salla the Finns are overrun in a HX result, leaving the surviving NKVD
III just outside the town.

Allied Player Turn

To cover Salla, two Finnish Ski units head north while RVV 1 X* skis from
Suomussalmi to Kuosamo and is replaced by RVV2 Lt Inf X*.

In Denmark the 13 DBLE and Poles arrive and the Allies spread out over the
peninsular.

Mar I 40

S,S,S,M & R,C

To try and drive the British out of the country, an attack is lauched by
198, 214 and 181 XXs on 49th WR XX, but mud and the woods they occupy turn
it into a German nightmare (3:1 -3 = AH). The German CinC language is very
ungentlemanly and totally lacks dignity in defeat. As a sop to his pride
the 170 and 196 XX finally destroys the Danes at Korsor. its only taken
them 8 weeks to do so………

In Finland another attack goes in at 4717 – again the Soviets flee from
battle! (4:1 = AR). Around Lake Janis an attack into Sortavala seizes the
town from its defenders (5:1 -1 = HX). The French in Ilomantsu are
subjected to a massive attack by the Red Army and are basically swamped by
the enemy, but not before forcing an exchange result. Rather than lose his
loyal NKVD regiment involved in the battle, Comrade Stalin throws a couple
of Rifle XXs into the scrap heap.

A quick count of the Demoralization Points for Finland reveals a total of
10. Stalin is chuffed until Chamberlain points out that due to Allied
Intervention the actual number is only 0! Stalin blames Molotov.

Allied Player Turn

A massive convoy of Allied units dumps its cargo at the beaches of Thyboron
– the 1st Canadian, 1st Swedish and 49 WR XXs wade ashore while French
Chasseurs continue to arrive in Finland. A pull back from Janis begins
towards the lakes wo the west.

Feb I 40

S,S,S, Mud and R & C

Axis Player Turn

The thaw in southern Sweden and Denmark is greeted with groans of dismay by
the Germans. The 14th MG II struggles to make it to Thyboron – the only
port accessible to the British and french to reinforce the Danes but falls
16 miles short. At Copenhagen the 170th XX forms up and with airlifted
elements of the 196th XX attack the Danes in Roskilde. The mud interferes
with the attack and the Danes withdraw to Hoelbaek (5:1 -2 = DR).
Mittlegrund is captured. The 214th XX attacks the 2nf SF III in Frederica
and again the Danes escape, this time to Vejle (6:1 -2 = DR).

In Sweden units are airlifted or landed at Trelleborg to join the lone III
of the 69th XX. Malmo is captured and an effective beachhead is secured.
The other two 69th XX regiments and Div HQ move to Krisitanstad, away from
the Swedish build up in Karlskrona.

In Finland massive Soviet attacks are launched on the Finns. The RVV X* and
1/LR III are attacked but the Soviets suffer a terrible defeat (2:1 = AH).
The breakthrough to the beleagured defenders of Kubno begins with two
guerillas attacked. the results are mixed (9:1 = DE and 3:1 = AR – courtesy
of the NKVD). East of Ilomantsi in the forests the Soviets drive out the
Finnish defenders (8:1 -3 = DR). Attacks on Suojarvi and 4717 result in
bitter disapointment to Comrade Stalin with neither attack having any affect
(5:1 and 4:1 resulting in AS – where is an EX or HX when you need one??)

Allied Player Turn

The Danish 1 Jyl HQ forms up at Aarhus and Bornholm’s militia are called out
for service. The Norwegians and Swedes finish mobilising. The 49th WR XX
arrives in Halmsted by rail and the 24th Gds X* arrives at Stavanger
allowing the 44th HC XX to land at Thyboron and attack and destroy the 14th
MG II. The British have arrived in Denmark! The Danish Govt relocates to
Aarhus and the LG III is airlifted to to join it.

In Finland the 42nd EL XX arrives to join the Finnish 6th at Lake Janis
while the 5th XX, 27CA III and RVV 1 X* attack the 54th Rifle XX in
Suomussalmi. The battle destroys the 54th but shatters the 5th XX (6:1 – 3
= EX). Suojarvi is abandoned and Finns pull back towards the “new” line
around Lake Janis. Wellington Bombers base at Stockholm, able to threaten
most axis locations in the theatre.

Feb II 40

S,S,S, M & R,R

Axis Player Turn

The 181 and 198 XXs arrive in Denmark to counter the British threat. The
214 XX attempts to take Aarhus but is held back by the stubborn (and now
supported) Danes. 169 and 170 XX try and destroy the last of the Danes at
Hoelbaek but the Danes again retreat and live to fight another day (6:1 =
DR).

To open up Sweden and crush the spa dabblers once and for all, Army Group
Sweden attacks out of Malmo with its host of elite mountain units, tanks,
motorised AA and infantry. The advancing Germans run headlong into the
waiting Swedish infantry who, a bit peeved at the spa dabbler comment,
counter-attack and force the Germans back (AR result). With no space to
retreat to, the entire German expeditionary force (bar the two regiments to
the east) are lost! AG Sweden is no more! Berlin is stunned. With one
roll of the dice, Germany is basically out of the game.

In Finland another attack into 4717 fails – this time the Soviets are pushed
back from their start lines (AR). Stalin wonders why can’t he get a simple
EX result. At Lake Janis the Finns and British are subjected to a massive
attack which is bloody for both sides (2:1 -2 = EX). The road to Kubno is
opened up with the defenders outside the town pushed back (5:1 – 3 = DR).
At Ilomantsu the defenders are crushed and the town lays open to Soviet
occupation (9:1 = DE).

Allied Player Turn

In Finland the 21st and 23rd XX*s arrive at Lake Janis while the French 8CA,
27 CA and 302 Art IIIs occupy Ilomantsu to try and stem the Red Army
advance. Weelington Bombers arrive over Estonia and try and shutdown the
airbase in operation there but are unsuccessful (no hits). An assorted
range of units (French Mtn Art, the Scots Guards, 51st Art II etc) arrive
around Kubno to try and support the Finns.

At Kristianstad the Swedes encircle the remaining German forces and with
superior winter skill smash and destroy these pathetic remnants of the
Whermacht. (3:1 = DR). To show international solidarity, the 1st Swedish
XX arrives at Stavanger by rail, ready to head to Denmark.

In that flat country, the 49WR XX and battlegroup based around the 2 Jyl HQ
try and chase away the 214 XX from the outskirts of Aarhus but a stalemate
results (AS).

Jan II 40

S,S,S,W & R & Calm

Axis Player Turn

Ribbentrop calls on the Scandanavian Ambassadors and announces their perfidity in dealing with Britain and France has meant Germany must protect its interests in the north. German troopships and the KM set sail in the Baltic to land troops at Kobenhjaven, Trelleborg, Oslo and Karlshamn while the Luftwaffe send troops to Aarhus.

Denmark – The PF Border III is overrun by the 214XX who attacks the 2SF III in Haderslev – the Danes pull back from the battle (DR). Aarhus is seized, with one para battalion disrupted while the GG II and 13th Motorised MG II race into Odense and Nyborg, seizing Fyn Island.

At Kobenhjaven the KM engages the CD of the city. Lutzow is hit by the Danes CD but it is suppresed by other units allowing two regiments of the 170XX to land in the city – massive unfavourable odds severly disrupt one regiment but the other III, with extensive air and sea support are able to seize the city from the defenders – unfortunately the Danish governemnt
escapes to Holbaek while the Life Guards fall back from the city. Much swearing and cursing is heard in the German HQ as it is realised that Denmark will continue to fight on.

At Trelleborg a III of the 69th XX lands and seizes the port. At Karlshamn another regiment of the 69th XX land and is joined in the follow up phase by a second III and Divisional HQ. Karlskrona, empty of units sent to the north under Abwehr forged orders late last year, stands ready to receive its new masters…… To support this effort LW planes attempt to break the rail line in Southern Sweden but intense cold freezes up the bomb sights and no hits are made.

The convoy bound for Norway presses past Mittlegrund but no hits are made on either side and the KM approaches the entrance to Oslo fjord. CD in 4109 inflict one hit on the Scharnhorst and DD Flotilla 1. The landing in Oslo appear to be looking good as the two transported regiments flood ashore against the King’s body guard battalion, but one regiment is severly disrupted and another eliminated – the resulting odds are too hard for the Germans and all are killed on the shore line by the single Norwegian battalion. Berlin is devastated. To add insult to injury, the Gneisenau
suffers two hits to Norwegian CDs on the way home.

Finland

Another attack is launched on 4717 but is repulsed (3:1 -3 = AS). Near Suojarvi the renegade FNA XXs attack at full strength, inspired by unit commissars exhorting them to patriotic deeds. With other Soviet forces they push the Finnish 12th XX and RV Ski X back into Suojarve itself (4:1 – 2 = DR). On the road to Ilomantsi just inside the SU boder area, the 13th XX is destroyed in a bloody battle but the Soviets also lose several units (3:1 – 3 = HX).

In the far north the attempt to Salia begins but despite the favouable numbers the Soviets nearly panic and flee from battle but NKVD units stationed behind them hold them steady with a few well aimed bursts of machine gun fire. (4:1 = AR changed to AS). At Kutsamo the Soviets try and
drive back the single Ski units defending the wooded rough terrain leading to the town. Uncle Joe has a quick roll about on the floor and snaps his pipe stem when despite odds of 9:1, the result allows the Finns to escape unharmed (9:1 = DR). At Suomussalmi the 2/LR III* is exchanged for the 9th Eng III (5:1 = EX)

Allied Player Turn

Full mobilisation begins and Swedes pour south to block off the German beachheads. Karlskrona is filled up and ports and towns along the Skagerrak garrisoned. Lund is stuff full of troops. In Norway units begin to gather together in preperation to convert to tougher formations. In Finland the British 5th XX and 27CA arrive by rail just west of Suomussalmi while the RVV Ski X* arrives SE of Kutsamo. Near Lake Ladoga the 6th XX falls back from its long held positions in Pitkaranta to the isthmus between Lakes Janis and Ladoga while the 12th XX and 67/23 III dig in at Suojarvi.

In transit, the 42nd XX, 302 Art III and 5 CA arrive at Tomio ready for being railed into Finland next turn. The RMFU arrives at Stavanger while the 49th WR XX arrives in Trondheim. Gladiators fly into Joensuu and the Blen 4F HF rebases to Lappeenranta.

In Denmark, the Danes attack the paratroopers in Aarhus with Bomber Command flying ground support. Much to the delight of the allies, the paras are herded up into captivity and sent by tramp ship to prisons in Scotland. (2:1 = HX) The JD Cavalry unit is lost in the exchange.

Jan I 1940

Weather – no change

Soviet Player Turn

The whole strategic reserve is released and Uncle Joe peers at the situation
map in the Kremlin and can’t locate Leningrad for the mass of cardboard.
Some are railed north to the front NE of Ladoga while a reorganised stack
and reduced stack again go in against 4717 but again fail (3:1 -3 = AS). In
order to relieve Kubmo the 17th XX, 214 Para-Inf X and 56th Art X attack the
2/KR Ski III* in forest on the border and destroy the Finns (7:1 – 3 = DH)

Allied Player Turn

No guerillas are available for call up by the Finns as the only hexes Soviet
owned are Soviet occupied. RAF Blenheim bombers and heavy fighters arrive
at Turku while more troops pour ashore at Narvik and into north Sweden
(Royal Engineer demolition officers are caught by local police photographing
the ore facilities enroute to Finland and the Foreign Office explains to
Stockholm that the British are irrepressible tourists and will photograph
anything) AA arrives at Bergen and the Fleet positions itself astride the
North Sea. In Finland little happens with the Finns awaiting the western
allies.

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