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Happycat

Official 1939 World At War AAR/Walkthrough

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DATELINE BERLIN: SEPTEMBER 1, 1939

Despite previous reasonable requests put forward to Poland by our Foreign Ministry, the Poles have not agreed to give up the Danzig Corridor. In addition, the Poles have added another provocation to the growing list of our complaints against the so-called Polish nation, and sent a small detachment of their troops to attack our peaceful radio station at Gleiwitz.

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All of the invading forces were annihilated, and as we write this, our brave soldiers are crossing the frontier near Silesia to teach the Poles a lesson they shall not soon forget.

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DATELINE BERLIN: SEPTEMBER 3, 1939

Although Italy and France were both disposed towards negotiating a settlement of the Polish question by peaceful means, Britain seems to be inclined towards war. The British government insisted, quite unreasonably, upon our removing our forces from Polish territory before sitting down to talk. Quite out of the question, obviously.

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Admiral Donitz, upon being made aware of Britain's declaration of war this morning, issued the above-noted statement.

(GAME NOTE: In Strategic Command AOD World at War, attacking the red-lined convoy routes on the map can pay big dividends for the Axis. It is not unusual to see losses of up to 20+ mpp's per turn for Great Britain if Germany uses its initial batch of subs and raiders wisely. Remember to make sure subs are NOT set to "silent" and that surface raiders are set to "Raider")

DATELINE BERLIN: SEPTEMBER 1-7, 1939

OKW has very graciously given us the following maps to illustrate the first few days of the campaign against Poland.

5_zps2c988d09.jpg

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(GAME NOTE: the next few maps show the attacks as they unfold northwest and southwest of Warsaw. For those, I initially used icons, and then switched to NATO symbols, so that those less familiar with SC can appreciate the versatility of the display. Personally, I love the traditional symbols but I believe that I am in a small and aging minority :) )

This NEXT map supplied by OKH shows the attack unfolding on and around Krakow. Only minor probing attacks were made upon the city itself. Other troops flowed around the perimeter of the city, advancing until contact was made with the HQ of Ridz-Smigly.

After the initial skirmishing with infantry, our powerful panzers smashed into the Polish HQ, sending it reeling northwards, not stopping until it was pushed across the river.

6_zps8bfcbb40.jpg

In the north, 4th Army pushed the Polish Pomorze Army back, and then 15th division moved northeast to take out Danzig, and then hooked southeast to rejoin the advance. Panzers from the northern army group finish off the Polish HQ, and also take a big bite out of the Modlin Army to the east of the German armour.

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(GAME NOTE: the only other things that the German player should do at this point in the game is to deploy U-boats, moving them asap to convoy attack. Make sure that they are not on "silent" running when they are on a convoy route, otherwise you won't kill any MPP's. Likewise, move the Graf Spee to Trinidad, setting it to "Raider" and making sure it is on one of the ship-icons adjacent to that island. Alternatively, you can also move it to French coastal waters, which is semi-suicidal, or perhaps send it to the Indian Ocean to raid convoy routes there. Lots of options, for sure.)

DATELINE TOKYO: September 3, 1939

Our glorious Imperial soldiers are resolutely watching the Chinese "army", which in truth is really just a collection of warlords, mercenaries, and Chinese who can't make up their minds between Chiang Kai-Shek and Mao Tse-Tung. Disposing of this unruly bunch in only a matter of time. Meanwhile, steps are being taken to stop the partisan raids on resources in our zone of control.

(GAME NOTE: My preference is to take it easy in China initially. Contrary to the propaganda above, the Chinese Army is big, fairly effective and very dangerous. More Japanese HQ's are needed in China before getting too adventuresome. But it is a good idea to suppress partisan activity. See the map below; the most dangerous are the "P" tiles with no diagonal line. These can generate an actual partisan unit which can really mess up your supply lines if left unchecked. Moving any Japanese unit on or adjacent to the tile is how to stop this from happening. The "P" tiles with a line don't generate a unit, but can randomly siphon off two or three MPP's from your treasury, which is annoying. Eventually you might cover them all, but ask yourself how much you are spending in order to deal with this problem before going into it fully. Generally, I think it's worth covering the tiles that are close enough where two or three can be covered by one Japanese unit, but I am not enthusiastic about doing much more than this.)

ONE FINAL NOTE----From here on in, I will only use the 3d icons, as most people prefer those. Also, my style is to make the game reports read like news reports. When you see a "game note", that will be for those who are less familiar with SC, to help them out. I would encourage you more experienced players to feel free to correct me if and when I make a mistake, or even if you just don't agree with my advice.

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Turn 1 for the Allies.

I am back for another Walkthrough/AAR… this time with Happy… aka Jim. Over the years… both he and I have played sooo very many beta games we have lost track. He is a good friend and a great player. In fact he was the person who recommended me to Hubert for the beta team. Thank you Jim!

I confident this is the game that everyone wants to get their hands on We are going to give you a very detailed first look at that game. Please at any time feel free to ask questions. We will do our best to answer accurately, but keep in mind this game is under development and between this version… beta patch .06 and the actual release of the game there will likely be many thousands of tweeks and adjustments. So expect additional improvement/enhancement over what you see in this Walkthrough/AAR. Trust me on this… it is worth the wait as this one is an incredible game, and easily has the best Global campaign to date! The map has been completely redone with a lot of time put into making it graphically pleasing, playable and strategically challenging. The development team put in overtime on this one and as we move through the AAR both Jim and myself will highlight different areas of the map as the action develops. So… enough with the fluff. Let’s see what the Allies can do to the Axis!

Poland was hammered very hard this turn. It will be a miracle if she survives the second turn.

1PolandA.jpg

I conducted a number of attacks, including via the air. The poles begin with a fighter and medium bomber. All of my attacks were unsuccessful with the exception of my attacks on the German army above Krakow. I was able to hammer him with the corps in Krakow and the army to the south west, dropping him a couple steps. The allies are very weak at the moment so I have to take what I can get.

My objectives with Poland and France are to try to drag hostilities out as long as possible and also to inflict the maximum amount of casualties on the Germans as I am able. Every step loss and delay helps Russia down the road in 1941. I will see if I can make things very interesting for Jim in France.

1FranceA.jpg

Speaking of France you can see the French army starts very understrength. I have a lot of work to do to just get her up to strength and in shape to present a serious speed bump for the Germans. I also need to make her dangerous. Let’s see if Jim gives me the time I need to do that.

You can also see the state of British ground forces. I need to send at least 5 ground/air units to France to maintain French morale. This does not leave a lot for home defense, especially should my ground units end up destroyed. As a result, one of my early primary focuses for the UK will be to build up a defense against a German invasion. I will attempt to field a force sufficient to hold the British Isles. This also has an upside in the event that the Germans elect not to invade. I can send these excess forces around the map when winter sets in to provide reinforcements to Egypt or conduct operations elsewhere. I can also hold them in reserve for an invasion of the continent.

1EgyptA.jpg

In Egypt, and elsewhere my units begin the game very understrength and in a general poor condition, Much like in Gold. It takes a lot of cash to bring everything up to strength. I have a strategy that I use, where I slowly rebuild units one step at a time… usually in theatre priority… as opposed to blowing all my cash on a couple of units at a couple of units at a time. This strategy seems to work better as I tend to have the cash I need to get my units up to strength, while still investing in technology and new purchases. Try it.

1NorthernChina.jpg

In the East… there was no action to speak of. In fact, it was too quiet. I expect Japan is gathering herself to attack China. Time to dig in.

I wanted to give you a quick picture of the Chinese theatre. It is so big that I had to take a couple of screenshots one level zoomed out!!! In this picture you can see the Northern Chinese front. There are a lot of hidden Japanese units… we are playing with fog of war “on.” This means that unless you have the available air recon with long range tech, it is easy to conceal offensive preparations and hide units.

Note that most of the Japanese units are upgraded to Infantry 1. The Chinese units are not upgraded and they need to research infantry 1. That said I do not have the funds available yet.

1SouthernChina.jpg

Here is southern China. Supply for the Japanese is terrible in southern China… but that will not always be the case as the Japanese gobble up city after city and build themselves a supply base. As you can see Southern China will be hard for me to defend, especially along the coast. That said I am going to do everything I can to make it as difficult and costly as possible for the Japanese.

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1Production.jpg

I thought you might find it interesting to see the production for the allies at the end of turn 1. As you can see German raiders are already at work, cutting my convoy lines. I with have to do something about this before it becomes a real problem. The map is huge and it is easy for them to hide.

Russian and US income is particularly low. I will work with what I have to maximize this income… more on Russia and the US later.

All in all a very good start for Jim.

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"I need to send at least 5 ground/air units to France to maintain French morale." My question relates to above quote. In SCG there is an advisory to sent UK forces to France but in my playing experience it was not necessary. In AoD is there a greater likelihood of France surrendering due to low moral if Brit forces are not provided.

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Claus,

Yes, there is a much greater chance France will surrender "before" the Germans get to Paris if you do not send them. Later today I will post the pop up that advises of this.

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DATELINE BERLIN: October 1, 1939

Despite their attempts to form a cohesive line around Warsaw, the remainder of Poland’s army was crushed, and our heroic soldiers have occupied the capital. One attack in particular during the final days of the campaign stands out---the Krakow Army which had retreated from that city was attacked by tactical bombers, with fighters leading the way in strafing runs. Losses to the defenders were close to 50% just from air attack alone. It was then an easy matter for ground forces to finish off the shattered remnants. Surely this points the way to the future development and tactics of the Wehrmacht.

Now that the Polish question has been emphatically answered, our new friends in the USSR have been invited to occupy the eastern portion of Poland, while we take the resource rich western portion.

(GAME NOTE: Combined arms is an essential component of all SC games, particularly one as large in scope as this scenario/campaign. Later, as Marc and I both enjoy better incomes, expect to see the use of air, artillery, shore bombardment when possible, and specialized units such as anti-air and anti-tank.)

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DATELINE TOKYO: October 1, 1939

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Claus,

Here is the advisory about sending units to France. You need a minimum of 2, however 5 are better… and help keep morale from collapsing.

1UnitstoFrance.jpg

This also means that the likelihood of losing a UK unit or two increases significantly as the Germans can move fast… and the UK cannot afford to lose any units early. In my mind, the risk of France falling early is too great not to send the five units and opens the real possibility of an invasion of England. Jim and I discovered in an early game that an invasion of England is not as easy as in previous games, if the UK prepares properly. His invasion cost him German 4 corps, 1 army, 1 HQ, 1 CA and 2 Subs. I lost 2 BBs, 1 CA and heavy casualties on all units. We really had a knockdown drag out fight for supremacy of the Channel that only ended when the bulk of UK Mediterranean fleet arrived to assist.

That said… it is still very possible to invade England if France falls early… however you must commit overwhelming force to succeed… this means clearing the channel of the RN… and assaulting at the same time… not an easy task.

1UKAdvisory.jpg

Here is the advisory on which cities and towns need to be occupied to keep Italy from mobilizing and entering the war early. Note Alexandria in the mix.

1Hexes.jpg

As requested here is a screenshot of Warsaw to Moscow zoomed out with hexes. You can see it is a very long way for the Germans to go. Those Russian tanks in the picture are light tanks.

Turn wise…

Not much to report. Jim got moving in Asia with a brilliant and lightening assault on Foochow, taking that city and beginning the Chinese slide on morale. I think Foochow is worth 2 NM per turn. Poland obviously fell… with fewer casualties on the Germans that I would have liked.

Not much to show picture wise this turn as I am building up and deploying units around the map. I conducted the first strategic bombing attack on Germany with no damage.

2UnitCounts.jpg

I thought this image from turn 2 is worth looking at. It details the relative unit counts of each combatant. Note the number of Soviet units deployed in comparison to the Germans. Also it is worth looking at the size of the Royal Navy which will get much larger. Also note the size of the Japanese and Chinese armies! The Japanese navy is currently around only 10 units in strength. He also has a number of naval units in build, however, the Japanese player has some building to do. In this game there is a real careful balance between fighting in China and preparing to fight the Western Allies. It is easy to make a misstep and over commit to focus.

Let’s see what Jim has in store for me next turn.

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16_zps81e8d1c1.jpg

DATELINE BERLIN: October 29, 1939

The communique from the Americans must be taken seriously. Our agents in the United States report that they take their “Monroe Doctrine” quite to heart, and are likely to be very angry if we send U-boats or surface raiders into their exclusion zone.

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The map above shows the current disposition of our commerce raiders. Admiral Donitz has not yet informed us of his decision as regards the final destination for the Graf Spee.

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As can be seen from the above map, Italy seems to be making some interesting moves on the border. We have spoken with Minister von Ribbentrop, and he is puzzled. There has been little from Il Duce to indicate that Italy has any interest in supporting our efforts against France and Britain. In fact, the Minister said that Der Fuhrer still hopes that the stupidity of the Churchill government will be over-ruled by common sense and that Britain, together with France, will sit down with the Reich government to work out details of a “Pax Europa” (on our terms, naturally).

DATELINE TOKYO: October 29, 1939

Army HQ released the following, edited map to show how things are progressing for his Imperial Majesty’s forces in China. Banzai !!!

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( GAME NOTE: This scenario already feels so different from its predecessors, such as “GC Gold”. Income seems to be a bit tighter, forcing me at least to make tough choices. So for Germany, I’m focusing on air, and research early on---but soon will want to build another tank. I do not see a paratrooper in the production queue and so have to assume that if I want one in May, I’d better build it soon! But my choice this turn was to build a tactical air for Germany. Italy is poising itself for an invasion of France, obviously. This means I have had little money to spend on East Africa. If the Brits want it, they can usually get it anyway, so I don’t think it’s an issue for me. And for Japan, as noted, it’s time for carriers, carriers, and more carriers. Once I have enough in the queue, the next priority is to build tactical air, fighters, and then more ground troops. Adding in another DD or two would be a good idea for me also---Marc often sends American subs into Japanese waters and I like to keep him happy by chasing after them).

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No real action to speak of for turn 3… at least from the Allies perspective. I am moving lots of things behind the scenes. The Axis is in the driver’s seat… and I have to work slowly to blunt Jim’s initiative. I think it is likely that he will invade the Low Countries early, which could lead to an early invasion of France. I am making preparations just as fast as I can.

3-Finland.jpg

My decision was an easy “Yes” on this one.

3CoastalGun.jpg

I wanted to take a moment, especially since I am hiding my preparations from Jim, to show you the CTV’s (dedicated to SeaMonkey) for the Coastal Defense Gun occupying Gibraltar and Malta. Do not discount these guns. They don’t seem very effective till an enemy warship comes in to range. More unit highlights to come in future turns.

Off to Jim.

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Interesting that CDGs have a 2 spotting range for sea tiles. I understand that artillery pieces in a dug in condition would be "soft" targets, but if simulating the type of gun emplacements along the Atlantic Wall, I would think they'd qualify as "hard". Also do they have an "all around" defense capability or are they more like entrenchments and have facing aspects?

Just curious about the decision making.:)

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I look at it as the coastal defense gun representing more than just a simple gun battery but the combined defense of Malta... such as limited air assets, ground forces, coastal defense, etc.

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17_zps466b3c8e.jpg

Splendid results from just two U-boat groups. Imagine the mayhem three will cause. The third, previously uncommitted U-boat group has been sent under cover of a rainstorm to raid coastal shipping right at the mouth of the River Mersey by Liverpool. And the weather for the next week or two looks like snow, which will make chances of escape after the raiding very good. Unfortunately for the British, there do not seem to be any warships of any kind in Liverpool’s harbor.

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE REICH-MINISTER FOR PROPAGANDA AND ENLIGHTENMENT’S OFFICE:

Time and again we have asked our Teutonic brothers in the Netherlands for their assistance, but all we receive is meager assurances of material aid. It is not enough: in fact, it is insulting. This morning at 8 a.m. local time, our brave soldiers crossed the frontier into Holland, quickly sweeping aside the defenders in the capital. The Netherlands has surrendered; victory is ours. Already, some forward-looking Dutch citizens are volunteering to join the Wehrmacht.

(GAME NOTE: A relatively small area of western Germany and all of Holland had good weather. I thought about also invading Belgium, but if the weather turns nasty, and I have not taken out the country, then I have to deal with Belgians, Brits and French all at the same time in March or April. So a small bite is more easily digested. The extra income helps for the next few turns, and the DOW gives me extra readiness for next turn if the weather is still good. No down side here at all---if the weather is rotten, I can wait until spring and still get a readiness boost from declaring war on Belgium. Of course, Marc won’t be sitting on his hands, and I can expect to see a robust defense in the spring).

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Not much to report this turn. Poor weather all around. German raiders raiding Liverpool area… where is the RN I wonder? I am pretty much moving lots of stuff around and building up my forces around the globe.

Since there is really nothing that I care to show at the moment… lest I give Jim an advantage… I thought I would highlight 3 more units and there CTV’s. (SeaMonkey must be in heaven with all this use of SC jargon) :)

3-Division.jpg

This is the division. Upgraded and with experience this unit is very handy and can cause some serious damage. For the soviet (read below) it is a great early speed bump.

3-Corps.jpg

Here is the corps. This unit is just a step above the division.

3-Army.jpg

The real power on the field can be the army and when fully upgraded they are devastating.

Let’s talk order of builds for Russia for a moment. I typically will build all of my divisions first and have them deployed prior to hostilities with Germany. Divisions are cheap and fast to build. They take just 2 months to complete. If you research production first… they become even cheaper… and if you wait to buy anything prior to getting production level 2… you save more money and almost… almost get an extra division in savings before the invasion. Long-term production research can really pay off for Russia. Do not discount it.

Next I build corps and finally armies, mech and armor. This is very important as Russia must slow the Germans down and wear them down. Don’t fall into the trap of buying armor first. You will not have enough ground units to withstand the powerful and experienced German army.

Russia starts with a large army… mostly corps, a few armies, a bunch of light tanks and other stuff. What Russia is lacking are the divisions. These are your early speed bumps. Dug-in and upgraded… they will cause the Germans time and casualties… while Soviet production kicks in and you are able to get a powerful force together to counter the Germans. It is better to lose your divisions/garrisons and a few corps early than the expensive armies that you will need later as part of your counter attack.

Off to Jim.

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DATELINE BERLIN: December 24, 1939

Poor weather in the west has delayed further action in the Low Countries. Meanwhile, the army takes advantage of the delay to upgrade weapons and vehicles.

The Reich Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment has released the following map and photos for publication.

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We are also delighted to have received this photograph from the Luftwaffe HQ in Berlin. It shows a formation of Stuka divebombers, somewhere over Poland during the recent pacification of that unruly nation.

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(GAME NOTE: This is the lull before the storm. A great time to use the ‘swap’ feature in the game, to easily move units out of the front line in France for upgrading. In addition, I intended to mention this earlier: I always us the “auto-assist” setting for my HQ’s rather than full “auto”. When HQ’s are on full automatic, they do a good job of keeping units in command-control, but sometimes they are not the units that I want assigned to the particular HQ. So using the assisted setting gives me the best of both worlds---if I forget, at least the HQ will keep units linked. But of course the real attraction for me with this setting is that I can put my best HQ’s in charge of the leading elements of my advance. Nothing is more frustrating than having HQ’s on automatic, running an attack, and then discovering that one of your combat units was not under command of an HQ, and instead that HQ was controlling a garrison 200 miles back of the battlefield.)

NOTE: No action in the Far East this turn

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I love Jim's posts. Nothing to really report on my end. All hell is going to break loose shortly when Jim invades France. At that point things should really get interesting. Beyond that everything is too quiet... especially in the Far East.

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Beyond that everything is too quiet... especially in the Far East.

That is surprising. In my testgame vs. HvS (V1.00.05) there is enough action in China. :D

And it costs a lot of MPP, since China got some improvements with the last patch.

But maybe it's just me and I'm a bit too aggressive.:rolleyes:

@Jim:

Can you post more screenshots of the eastern frontline for me to compare the advancement?

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(GAME NOTE: Still in a very quiet point of the game. I've posted some decision events for you to look at, below and a map showing the precarious situation U-32s group found itself in off of the French coast. Happily, they escaped unharmed.

I wanted to explain why I said "yes" to both events below. First, who doesn't like a discount-priced carrier? In truth, another cruiser doesn't do much for Germany, but a CV can be handy when attacking Leningrad, and later as an extra air group for defense. And while it might seem wasteful to deploy the HQ in East Africa, if I say no, then it just goes into the queue and I have to pay for it. This way, I expect to be able to slow down Britain a bit if she goes after my African possessions. Plus I can think of a couple of other creative uses, which I won't speak of now :D )

19_zpsfa46e18f.jpg

19a_zpsa3e08532.jpg

19b_zps1f2d5859.jpg

19d_zpse465ce87.jpg

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Well the battle for the Atlantic began this turn.

5-Sub.jpg

I discovered a U-Boat and attacked with 2 DDs. Poor weather kept me from doing much damage. From this point onward Jim’s U-Boats will be hunted.

5Sub2.jpg

There was no action elsewhere. Really a sitzkrieg in Europe and Asia. That will not last much longer. I noticed Jim deployed the Italian general to East Africa.

I expect things to really get interesting shortly.

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That is surprising. In my testgame vs. HvS (V1.00.05) there is enough action in China. :D

And it costs a lot of MPP, since China got some improvements with the last patch.

But maybe it's just me and I'm a bit too aggressive.:rolleyes:

@Jim:

Can you post more screenshots of the eastern frontline for me to compare the advancement?

Sorry, I'm not able to post anything yet (I don't want to show where the Japanese forces are at this time). But the front line is essentially unchanged since the beginning of the game, except that Foochow has fallen.

Soon enough, there will be something to report :)

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DATELINE TOKYO:

Rumors are swirling that another carrier hull has been laid down at Yokohama shipyards. Apparently the navy has won its fight with the army for funding more ships, which has translated into a very quiet couple of months for the army in China.

DATELINE BERLIN: For the first time, we are told, British warships have tried to sink our U-boats. While there was some damage, none of our brave submariners have been lost. The British are bragging that they will hunt our submarines "from now on". Hunt they might; finding them and sinking them is quite another thing and perhaps beyond their capabilities.

(GAME NOTE: No maps this turn---the buildup in the western part of Germany is occurring, but exact dispositions and order of battle are TOP SECRET.)

20_zpsab47a1c5.jpg

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No real pictures to share. We're in March now... and I expect Jim to kick off his offensive against the west next turn. I am as ready as I can be... it is time to see how many casualties I can inflict upon him.

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Thanks Abukede for the informative CTV displays. You'd think that with the size of an Army and the additional asset attachments, like heavy artillery, that they might have a strategic attack capability, able to interdict the supply capability of a resource.

Just a thought.

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