The Italians pull back the divisions they pulled from the front lines. They concentrate these divisions to bolster the defenses around Verona and in front of Milano. The French consolidate their defense and pull back behind the Marne River. The French also disband the rest of their rifle brigades for the manpower points. The British build up to continue the offensive against Lens.
The British open up on Lens with a bombardment after the recon missions were returned to base by German fighters and anti-aircraft fire. The bombardment goes through at a disadvantage (-1 DRM from the fort) and disrupts two divisions and a cadre. The Germans fire a defensive bombardment, this time at the two flanking corps from the two flanking German corps. This bombardment succeeds in disrupting the artillery and support units in both corps and a division. The attack is now a 3.0:1 with no modifiers. A 1 is rolled – an AX! The result cadres 12 British and 3 Canadian divisions. The Germans cadre 4 German and 1 Wurttemburg divisions. A clear German victory.
The Zeppelins terror bomb London yet again. A lack of resource points with the proper HQs keep the Austrians from reacting. A lack of reaction from the German HQs save the French for at least one player turn longer.
The Entente lost 54 British, 20 Canadian Manpower, and 34 Equipment points. The Central Powers lost 24 German, 6 Wurttemburg Manpower, and 10 Equipment points.
Tom: This turn is a disaster. The fall of Reims during the Central Powers turn and now the damaging of the British army is almost too much. The French are below 20 morale points and the game could end this turn anyway. I hope to hold out until next turn, a production cycle, and activate the French training garrison. What does the effect on French Manpower points matter now? My only hope is that the German losses will be enough to slow Carl down for a while. Things are pretty bleak.
The Germans build new Zeppelin bases in Gent (KLM) and Lille. This will enable them to reach London on a single leg. A Zeppelin is aborted by anti-aircraft fire over London. The Austrians continue to reinforce their drives on Milano and Verona. The Germans follow the retreating French and prepare to cross the Marne River at Epernay.
The Germans attack the French 17th Corps at Epernay. The bombardment is extremely deadly and the French 17th Corps is pounded into oblivion. The French refuse to reinforce the hex with reserves (what reserves?) and the Germans capture Epernay. The French 9th Corps is attacked from Toul and a DX results. A joint Austrian and German assault on Verona begins with a bombardment with fixed results. The following assault ends in a DX result.
The Entente fail to react.
The Central Powers lost 5 Austrian Manpower and 16 Equipment points. The Entente lost 17 French Metropolitan, 12 Italian, 5 French African Manpower, and 35 Equipment points. French morale stands at 7.5 points.
Carl: The French are doing a forward defense. This is what has really cost them in bombardments. I have almost the entire German artillery located around Epernay, a total of over 45 artillery regiments that were able to reach that hex and bombard. I do not know if I would do this type of artillery concentration again, but the only counter to it is to keep a few divisions in the front lines and keep a massive amount of reserves that can enter the hex to hold the line. If I had spread the artillery out along the line, I could be attacking in more places. At the moment, however, I do not have the manpower or equipment points to maintain any type of offensive and I am also running low on resource points. The British offensive is halted, at least I hope so. I do not have the reserves to continue losing the manpower up there and maintain the pressure on the French. The French should only last another turn or two at most. Tom will probably call up the training garrison (nothing to lose at this time) and hope to hold me up some how. The British may do another attack on Lens, but if they do not capture the hex I should be okay. We both need the upcoming production cycle for the manpower, equipment, and resource points.