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Happycat

Official 1939 World At War AAR/Walkthrough

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(GAME NOTE: as can be seen above, strategic/economic warfare can pay dividends. I'm sure the British miss the 36 mpp's that were lost this turn.)

DATELINE BERLIN: March 17, 1940

Denmark is now a protectorate of the Reich.

(GAME NOTE: I can't imagine anyone saying "no" to this decision event. In one stroke, a launching pad for an invasion of Norway is provided.)

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No pictures this turn. I had expected an invasion of France last turn, but it did not come. I have a few surprises waiting for Jim so I do not want to give them away.

No real action elsewhere, with the exception of action between the Graf Spee and the Cumberland. The Graf Spee was damaged slightly in that exhange... down to 6 steps with the Cumberland at 8. I guess I can't hope for Jim scuttling his ship. :P

No action in China... which is puzzling. The Chinese have had over a half year with no major attacks other than Foochow. The only thing I can think of is that Jim is building up a very large navy. Which is worrying because the US has not started building ships yet.

Back to Jim.

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This update will be in two parts---the second part will not be released until after Marc finishes his turn. I want to let readers in on planning for the initial stage of the offensive in France, but since Marc and I are reading each other's posts, I need to be a bit secretive :)

April 14, 1940 – Admiral Donitz, in an interview with “Signal” advised that the Graf Spee, after a successful raid in the Capetown coastal area, and an inconclusive engagement with HMS Cumberland, has successfully escaped into the Indian Ocean. Bravo for our brave sailors!

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PART TWO TO FOLLOW SHORTLY

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Jim invaded Belgium this past turn, however I believe he made a mistake by not first pushing against the French and British line… which is the real threat and as a result I struck back hard. The Belgians are weak… and hardly a threat. With air recon he knew where my armor was and could have hit it with medium bombers and tactical air… limiting the damage I could have done to him.

France1A.jpg

In this picture you can see the dispositions of the forces on both sides prior to my offensive. Note the upgraded French armor. This is how the attack unfolded… the French army adjacent to the German panzer… using the prepared attack bonus struck. He was able to drop the armor by 2!!!

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Next the upgraded French armor moved forward and attacked dealing out a lot of damage.

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The UK army and corps attacked next and then fell back. The French units moved up and attacked as well… with the ultimate result of Jim losing the armor, which was a very experienced unit.

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I was also able to maul the German corps just north of my mine by hitting him with both adjacent armies… taking advantage of my prepared attack bonus. I think I left him at strength 5.

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In the Atlantic… we had some action too. I was able to locate a U-Boat and reduce him to strength 2.

Now for a bit of a surprise!

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12-WarDec.jpg

I suffered a readiness hit with the US and Spain to attack. Why did I attack and not let Italy enter the war as they were nearly about to do? As Italy was preparing for war anyway… and the combined UK/French navy just happened to be nearby… I made the decision to reduce the threat of the Italian Navy “before” the French navy was no longer available after the surrender of France.

When I am done, the Italian navy should be a shadow of herself not strong enough to challenge the RN for the Med.

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My first 2 strikes destroyed this jewel of the Italian navy.

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Notice I took the brazen step of bringing 2 Carriers into the Adriatic. Given a chance, the Italian navy can easily be a real threat. Should Italy invest in anti-air and naval tech early enough… they can be quite deadly in support of a German effort in North Africa.

I was concerned that I might find the entire Italian Navy in the Adriatic… facing a brawl in tight quarters… however luckily it Jim spread them out across Italy. I hope Jim sorties to counter attack… otherwise I will need to use my carriers to dig them out one port at a time. Elsewhere in the Med British forces crossed the border into Libya in preparation for assaulting Tobruk.

Turn wise both the Germans and Italians took heavy losses… but so did the French and UK… the French… primarily assaulting German armor and the British with ship and carrier air step losses.

I don’t know why Jim did not post his invasion of Belgium… as a result I have this nagging feeling that Jim will be assaulting the UK simultaneously with an invasion of France… If he does I think I am reasonably prepared for that. I currently have 1 army, several corps and a division deployed in England with air assets and naval assets nearby plus units in build. Should he choose to invade, the USSR gets a big boost to war readiness and income…. So if he is successful it may prove to be a mixed blessing for him. We will see what he has planned but I think he will be surprised by the severity of the French and UK counter-attack that just occurred in Belgium.

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Marc and I got our signals crossed, so he has posted his new report before I could post the second part of my April 14th report.

The maps below show the situation PRIOR to Marc's counter-attack. My intentions were as follows when starting the attack into Belgium:

1. Destroy Belgian Army completely (for the experience) (accomplished)

2. Force Belgium to capitulate (accomplished)

3. Use panzer as bait, to force the French armour out into the front line (accomplished)

4. Hopefully NOT lose my panzer (failed: I had hoped it would survive)

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Of course, now that I have replayed the turn that Marc sent, plus seen the post above, I know now that the extra readiness I achieved by DOW on Belgium, the loss of French morale due to Belgium's collapse, was offset by Marc's unexpected DOW on Italy. He did this in our last game; I didn't expect it to happen again. I thought he would work at triggering Italy into declaring war itself, so as to avoid antagonizing the USA.

Oh well...

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(GAME NOTE: No plan survives the drafting table---first contact with the enemy always changes things. In this case, the loss of a panzer corps was a risk willingly undertaken, but not really expected. Luckily, a new one had deployed the turn before, so I still have the armoured punch to wreak havoc upon the Anglo/French defenders. And as noted previously, the boost in readiness I got for declaring war on Belgium last turn was offset by Marc's dastardly attack on Italy. But things are looking good, overall---the Germans have a decent penetration into France, the Italians are outside of Vichy, and Norway fell without any trouble at all. Churchill was recently quoted as saying "there will always be an England". True enough, but they will be driving Volkswagens! :) )

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SeaMonkey... it was just a play on words... but that would be a pretty cool option. I will pass it on for SC3.

No pictures for France this turn.

The French after a masterful strike on the German armor were slammed back by the advancing Germans, breaking my first line of defense. French and English forces were forced to retire and reform around Paris. One army conducted a heroic attack on a German panzer inflicting some damage at great cost. A couple sections of the Maginot Line was abandoned. In Southern France the Italians are currently being held at bay.

UK forces in England are hastily preparing for invasion.

In the Adriatic I was able to nail another BB through carrier strikes. I also found and mauled an Italian sub.

Italy.jpg

I expect the Germans to push forward and assault my second line of defense… then it is only a matter of time… which I will try to stretch out for as long as possible.

Back to Jim.

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Damn, a whole Panzer loss already is tough to swallow.

Loving the AAR guys, thanks!

Thank you for telling us that you're enjoying the AAR.

About the panzer; it is a hard loss but not an insurmountable one. Neutralizing the French armoured capability so early makes me very happy---my remaining armour will now have a fairly free hand in France, with no fear of a French counter-stroke. When playing someone as skillful as Marc, it is important to know that at some point he will use the French armour effectively. So at least I got to choose the timing.

Marc himself was the one who taught me "do not be afraid to lose that which you love" (or words to that effect) which I believe he said is a quote from Robert E. Lee. So I'm just following his advice :)

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Hi there :) ,

- Thanks for the AAR, nice brawl so far, nice move by Marc to kill that panzer ! One question to Happycat: seems you have 3 german and 1 italian figthers, 1 german tac bomber and 1 italian (not counting the two med bombers for Norway). Do you need them all in France ?

- I can understand the strike on Regia Marina surprised you but is there a reason you don't put a fighter around those ports after that first attack to make things a bit more complicated for Royal Navy carriers ? Strategic choice ? Or maybe think they'd retreat thinking you'd think to send those planes :D ?

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Hi there :) ,

- Thanks for the AAR, nice brawl so far, nice move by Marc to kill that panzer ! One question to Happycat: seems you have 3 german and 1 italian figthers, 1 german tac bomber and 1 italian (not counting the two med bombers for Norway). Do you need them all in France ?

- I can understand the strike on Regia Marina surprised you but is there a reason you don't put a fighter around those ports after that first attack to make things a bit more complicated for Royal Navy carriers ? Strategic choice ? Or maybe think they'd retreat thinking you'd think to send those planes :D ?

It was a decision that for me could have gone either way, but my best guess was that Marc would press the attack on the Italian navy no matter what, and an unimproved Italian fighter is fairly useless in the face of the RN's carrier planes. But I do think that the German fighters should probably move south, given that the RAF is pretty much a "no show" in France.

In game terms I think that Marc's move against the Italian fleet is extremely sound strategically, but I am concerned that when relating the game to real-world politics of the era, an attack by Britain on Italy would have been unlikely.

Still, it should be left to players how they play the game---but maybe Hubert and his team who have created this scenario could consider making the political consequences for the UK more severe if they attack Italy. I'm also of the opinion that the Italian naval tech should be on a par with the UK for a couple of ships at least. Maybe the implementation could be that the Italians start out with naval tech 1, but only two ships have that tech, and the rest are at 0. That means the Italians will have the choice in the beginning of either building up their air and land units, or improving their ships, but NOT both.

What do you guys think?

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DATELINE BERLIN: June 9, 1939:

Reliable reports from behind enemy lines tell us that the French morale is sagging. Civilians continue to clog roads, impeding movement (not that the French have much left of their army to move) and soldiers of the Third Republic of France are completely demoralized now that the Maginot Line has been all but destroyed.

All citizens should applaud the accomplishments of the Wehrmacht and look forward to an early end to this war. Surely the British will come to their senses when they see how the rotten French establishment has collapsed, leaving them alone in a war that most Britons do not want.

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The above map shows how the French Maginot Line has disintegrated, and the disarray caused in the French line in front of Paris with the loss of their HQ. A French army was destroyed in Lorraine Province, and the resources there are now in German hands---while it will take time to repair the combat damage, the resources from the mines will be most welcome in the Ruhr industrial center.

DATELINE TOKYO: June 9, 1939

The final attack on Amoy has commenced. The last of the Chinese coastal cities will be part of our 10,000 year empire very soon! Japan grows stronger every day, and the Co-prosperity Sphere envisioned by our brilliant planners is fast becoming a reality.

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The French fell back on Paris this turn… while the bulk of British forces evacuated for England. I was successfully able to extricate my HQ, and the BEF army. I have left a Bristish corps in France for the moment. Not sure if I will use him or evacuate him next turn. The French have a fully entrenched army occupying Paris… so hopefully they will be able to cling on for another couple turns, especially with good air defense assets in the region. I feel very secure at the moment that England is well defended.

My troops in North Africa, under the command of General O’Conner began to lay siege on Tobruk this turn. I expect actually attacks to begin next turn. I discovered a German Division in Sicily. Are the Germans preparing to assist the Italians in North Africa or just holding the boot of Italy? If they intend to reinforce North Africa… they will have to make it past the RN and French Navies. The Italian navy is already under strength. Off East Africa I found an Italian DD and caused him some damage.

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In Asia again there was little action from the Japanese… the Chinese have had nearly a year to build up and prepare to receive the Japanese offensive. There either must be a major offensive push coming… or Jim has something else in mind.

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I decided to reroute my convoys.

Interestingly… Jim decided to occupy Iceland. If I am correct this more than makes up for the US becoming unhappy with the UK’s war dec on Italy.

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Back to you Jim.

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Looks like the Americans don't like my garrison in Iceland. Oh well....

Below is a map released by OKW --- note that Vichy has fallen to the Italians. Marseilles continues to hold out but it will fall soon enough.

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France struck at a German armor this turn… dropping it to only 4 steps… (can you say goodbye to experience?) but there is not much left she can do. The situation is so helpless I brought the last UK corps back to England this turn. I also sacked Gort and replaced him with Monty. So now I have a large defending force in England under command of a solid General. Should the Germans invade I think I am as ready as I can be. Should they opt not to invade, these forces will be freed up for operations elsewhere.

In the Med… the Italian navy sortied to attack the south of France. I am confident this is a diversion to allow Jim the opportunity to get additional German forces into Africa, which I think is a lost cause for the Axis at this point as the UK is getting very strong there. I have been building up around Italian East Africa and in Egypt. Soon there will be British armor and air support in the region.

The Germans took a lot of casualties in France… anything Jim sends to Africa at this point is likely lost in the long run. It will become clear shortly if he intends to invade the UK. If he does not I can easily reinforce North Africa. Perhaps it’s just a delaying tactic… but either way he must ready for an invasion of Russia which is coming up in less than a year.

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I was able to destroy an Italian BB, CA and Sub this turn. There are only 3 Italian naval units left. So I would have to say my early surprise strike against the Italians has paid off.

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Look what I found! Notice I struck the port so reinforcements would be delayed getting ashore… leaving any that come that way open to naval and air bombardment.

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Here are my first attacks on Tobruk with good success. Historically… O’Conner is one of my favorite Generals. I think Jim has brought in a German division… the one I spotted last turn in Sicily. It will be interesting to see what else he brings down to North Africa… the Med is rapidly becoming an allied lake. One of those armies in the picture is the Army of India... since I declined activating India early... the army was redeployed to North Africa. It really adds strength to the British forces there

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In the North Atlantic I found another of his subs and hammered it.

Still, inexplicably nothing of note in Asia.

Back to Jim.

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While I can understand an attack on the Italian navy by RN CVs, I'm wondering if the Axis have a counter? For the RN CVs to hangout in the Adriatic for a couple of weeks without a land based air response seems a little ridiculous.

I would expect IRL if something like this occurred the RN CVs would be at the bottom of the Med or seriously damaged and turning tail for UK ports after a couple of attacks. I'm not concerned with political ramifications, just let the weapon platforms respond with the players making the decision to use the capability or not.

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Seamonkey,

The Italian navy can be made quite formidable. I have done it in several games prior to war with the allies. It requires some work. The Italians begin with 1 chit in naval warfare. What I do with Italy to make their navy a real threat is invest 1 chit in Anti-aircraft, and later on another one in naval warfare once I have infantry 1. I bring the majority of the navy into the adriatic, move my Italian HQ near them and bring the Italian fighter up to 100% and attach him directly to the HQ covering the fleet. When Italy enters the war I also bring down 1 German fighter to help. This essentially takes much of the punch out of any carrier airstrikes. I also bring the Italian tactical bomber in to use in a counter role. If you get Naval one in time... I make sure to upgrade him before I upgrade the fleet. I also use my sub to guard the entrance to the Adriatic.

In addition... when I take them out to fight the British navy I make sure... if I can, to operate them under the cover of land based air... that combined with shipboard anti-aircraft help better protect them and to some degree negates the advantage of the allies.

I find it is actually easier to upgrade the Italian navy and have it ready to fight the Allies than it is to be able to afford to upgrade the RN in time to counter such a strategy. Usually when I go strong Italian navy... against a player I discover an unprepared player who did not expect it. The Italian Navy is large and potentially a real threat... it depends upon how one wishes to run italy and where they feel their focus should be.

In my opinion one goes strong navy to make sure that after France falls you can get sufficient Germans down to Africa to help out and go for Egypt.

In addition... when I engaged Jim... I made sure I brought overwhelming firepower... not just the two carriers. Much of the British Home fleet had arrived to intimidate the rest of the italians to keep them out of the action. I had screens out that Jim could see guarding the entrance of the adriatic. That tactic is always risky... because it leaves a much weaker naval home reserve to oppose an Axis landing, which in another game with Jim... he took full advantage of. In our game... much of that initial muscle is already on it's way back to the English channel.

I think my strat in shattering the Italian navy before they could become a real threat is a viable one. Jim had sufficient time to build them up... and work to protect them... (the Germans start with 3 fighters) but it appears he had another focus and left them mostly as they were and instead of concentrating his forces he left them spread out across the Italian empire. Had he concentrated them, setup protective air cover and a defensive strategy he could have cost me a number of ships which might have come back to bite me.

Jim clearly has another focus than going strong Italian Navy. I just dont know what it is yet... and that bothers me.

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While I can understand an attack on the Italian navy by RN CVs, I'm wondering if the Axis have a counter? For the RN CVs to hangout in the Adriatic for a couple of weeks without a land based air response seems a little ridiculous.

I would expect IRL if something like this occurred the RN CVs would be at the bottom of the Med or seriously damaged and turning tail for UK ports after a couple of attacks. I'm not concerned with political ramifications, just let the weapon platforms respond with the players making the decision to use the capability or not.

I think the Axis does have a counter. It is one I have used successfully in other strategic level WW2 games, but this is the first time I have done it with SC. Read my next post for the Aug 4th turn, and you will see the curious decision I have made. I'm confident that this decision, coupled with another one that I can't talk about yet, will keep things interesting and very lively :)

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Oh and I fully admit... it was a sneaky thing to do. All is fair in love and war. :P

OH, so that's the way it is, is it? :) Fine: no more Mr. Nice Guy :ROFL

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(GAME NOTE: Reinforcing North Africa may in the medium to long term be wasteful of the ground units I have sent and may yet send, but on the other hand, I'm not just going to roll over on my back and give it to the British either. My real interest now is in delaying the British so that when they are ready for Sicily or Italy, I will be MORE than ready myself)

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(GAME NOTE: The Axis strategy I am employing here is risky, but whatever happens, it won't be boring :) --- as for Japan in China, I have a definite plan there, so the lack of activity is not because I forgot that China is there. In fact, although I can't show the map this turn for reasons of security, the Japanese land forces on the China Sea coast have started marching northward. Perhaps they just like mountain climbing, but I think you will find that they have more in mind than just keeping fit.)

(PERSONAL NOTE: As always in our games, Marc is keeping me off balance, interested, curious, nervous, and most of all---entertained. He is always a superb opponent and always a gracious winner. I haven't seen how he is about losing 'cuz I haven't had that experience yet LOL. And even though he's in the USA and I'm in Canada and we've not met face to face, I certainly do consider him a good friend also).

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Okay... my first response to seeing Jim give Italy France... was to laugh like hell. It completely surprised me. Then I began to think about it... Italy with a 150+ income a turn could be quite dangerous... on land and air. Then again the Germans will be missing that income in Russia... but the Germans start with a huge army... Italy will need to send ground forces to Russia to make up the imbalance... I am not sure how it will work out... but Jim really surprised me. I suspect that in the long run it will hurt Germany... my job will be to make sure it hurt. I think that will be the UK's job in the Med. I think perhaps a wiser strategy might have been to keep France in the game... take all of France with Italy... and if Germany needs that income later hand it over. Very interesting move though on Jim's part. Let's see how it will work out.

Game wise... I hammered Tobruk again... there was some fighting in China... with a Chinese partisan unit hitting a japanese corps. Beyond that not much to share. I sent an armor unit to the middleast, recognized Free france and the UK accepted US aircraft meant for France...

Back to Jim

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