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Timskorn

WaW Tourney AAR: Timskorn (Axis) vs. Zinfandel (Allies)

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September 1941:

It has been two years since the invasion of Poland, and the Axis have found two years of success.

Paris fell in June 1940. Denmark fell around the time Belgium did, and the Norwegians were struck by a surprise paradrop at Oslo shortly after the fall of France.

Axis subs quickly went to work during that time, and orders for an additional sub were put in along with the demand for increased sub technology. Germany had a plan for the British, and it was to bludgeon and suffocate them to death.

1940 and '41 saw numerous naval skirmishes around the coast of western France. The British navy tried valiantly to stave off the subs sinking their Egyptian shipments, but to no avail. One sub was lost and most of the German fleet damaged, but the British paid a price in losing quite a few ships. Currently unchecked, German subs prowl the Atlantic...

Sinking British shipping would not be enough. The Luftwaffe, with their fighters, bombers and Stuka's set to strike at London proper but it was simply the Battle of Britain all over again. Fighters battled for control of the skies and many planes and men died for nothing, and the Germans lacked the punch to do anything more.

The final phase to cripple the British rested in Egypt. Runstedt, along with a German Corp., Panzer Division, Army, fighter and Stuka were sent to the searing sands. Mussolini offered an Army, Artillery, bomber and his navy to supplement Runstedt. With strength and luck (rarely any sandstorms and few Malta effects), El Alamein was smashed and the Axis moved towards Alexandria. The British Armor, Art. and fighter, along with upgraded commonwealth units put up a fight and nearly destroyed a panzer group and a Corp, but were in the end destroyed and Alexandria taken.

Greece fell early to the Italians, who invaded in mid-1940, and Germany began Barbarossa in June of 1941 at the same time Yugoslavia was subdued.

With German troops spread thin between Russia, Yugo and Egypt, and Russian troops holding a forward defensive posture, early advances were slow and bloody. After Yugo fell and Mussolini offered an HQ and additional units to support the Romanians in the south, headway is finally being made.

Minsk has just fallen and Russia has lost half a dozen units including an armor group. Minsk was slow going as most of the troops fought in the marshes, trying to dislodge an AT group south of the city, while Russian troops bravely counter-attacked any advances north of it. They would be destroyed, but the advance was stalled.

Fall has settled in and with it, mud and rain and likely a touch-and-go winter in Russia. Egypt has been broken open, and the vast riches of the Middle-East lay before the Axis armies.

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I managed to lose Egypt as well... You need the allied players to make some mistkaes though + good weather. I would suggest you dont try it against good players aka TErif, Jollyguy etc... Condition nr 1 ...making mistkaes will never be met ;)

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One thing I want to say is, I really love seeing the additional units. Even with Axis units in Egypt, I feel like we finally have enough units to make the Russian front feel the way it should.

Historically the Axis had three Army groups strike into Russia. Before WaW, I don't think I ever felt like I had more than two. Now I have my typical two, plus a strong third in the south (Romanian, Bulgarian and Italian forces).

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The Axis U-boat campaign in the Atlantic has put a stranglehold on Britain and severley limited its activities naval and otherwise.

The U.S. has just joined in and will attempt to save the sea lanes.

Meanwhile on the eastern front, its cold, real cold, and Soviet forces dread looking into a spring sky and seeing those deadly dive bombers again.

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Spring 1942:

The Axis faced another blistery winter on the Russian front. Combined snow and rain from Leningrad down to Odessa keeps Axis planes on the ground. With concentrated artillery support however, the Germans break the defense at Smolensk and capture the city. With still plenty of Russian troops nearby we'll see how bold the Russian generals are, or if they'll live to fight another day...

Minsk remains stubborn. Without air support Axis troops slog through the marshes, undersupplied and undermanned, in their attempts to take the city. Leningrad holds strong while German forces are concentrated in the center and air is grounded. German shock troops are sent up there to help other ground units dislodge the stubborn defenders. Leningrad must fall by next winter!

In Egypt, Axis forces rest and refit from their hard fought victory there. Hitler is rabid over the victory and wants to continue east until they control the rich oil fields. Runstedt is keen on the idea. He fought hard for Egypt and feels unstoppable. Besides, a back door into Russia would spread the communists thin!

Others, on the other hand, feel a full diplomatic push on Iraq, combined with the recent victory, would give them a bloodless victory in the east and free up the crack Afrika divisions for other endeavors.

Meanwhile in the Atlantic, Axis subs continue to sink Allied merchant ships on the way to the UK. After spending a month at sea they return to port to refit and reorganize. With plenty of subs commissioned the Germans can keep a steady rotation going.

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Summer 42:

The offensives in Russia are slow going. Siberians arrived awhile ago and were immediately put to use. Russians are fighting inch by inch. Moscow is within grasp soon but in the south mostly Italian, Romanian and Bulgarian troops are taking the brunt of a commie offensive backed by tac and fighters. Thankfully for clear skies and air support, the Luftwaffe is able to punch any advances in the mouth.

Leningrad continues to get bombed and hammered from sea. Russian forces attempt to relieve the siege but are bogged down in the marshes. Leningrad should be on schedule to fall by winter.

In the Atlantic, there is nothing to contest the U-Boat menace. At tech level 3, experience and numbers on their side, the Allies have a long and patient road to climb before they'll be able to keep them in check. In the meantime, the UK gasps for air...

The plan for the Middle-East has been decided upon and the disposition of Runstedt's forces is now confidential information.

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It seemed he lost a good chunk of the RN in skirmishes off of western France earlier. I had subs and the Kriegsmarine in the vicinity and was able to hit and run with the subs, then bring in the cruisers to mop up.

U-Boats sunk around 100 MPP's worth of shipping last turn, but ran into a US DD tech 1. Sub still alive at strength 6, but you can tell the difference one level of ASW tech can do. Plus, if you manage to hit the U-Boats when they are low on supply the odds can even out a little more.

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September '42:

Russian lines have been hammered and driven back. From Moscow down to Rostov, the commies are on the run. Moscow, Leningrad and Kharkov have been captured. Stalwart Russian defenders hold onto the mines south of Kharkov, but Italian and German forces have surrounded and cut them off and issue them orders for immediate surrender.

Partisans, nay fanatics who are disillusioned by their old regime, seem to have coordinated a world-wide uprising. Russian militias have sprung up in the rear lines, Yugoslav partisans are harassing Axis troops out of the mountains, Arab nationalists have rendered Alexandria and her port inoperable and the French continue to sabotage ports on the Western coast.

The Atlantic saw some more fighting, but the US has been unable to cripple the U-Boat threat. Any non-destroyer that runs into a sub out there is immediately sunk to the bottom. A recent clash has damaged the U-Boat fleet, giving the UK a bit of a respite, but a new wolf pack is harassing the shipping lanes to Russia while the rest re-fit and re-organize.

Allied air is strong in the UK now, but Germany has been diligently preparing her cities and ports with batteries of 88's. The Allies will take a toll in their quest to level German production and manufacturing.

As winter approaches, a respite in the east is sure to come as both sides recover from a year of bloody battles. Model is urging to continue offensive operations through the winter, even if it means stretching the lines...

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May 1943:

The German army continues to advance on all fronts in Russia. Gorky and Rostov have fallen, but not without a fight. The German 3rd Army was cut off and annihilated in combat outside Rostov, and many other units sustained a lot of casualties. The Russians still hold onto Smolensk, but with Rostov and Gorky captured, they are now vulnerable to assault from three sides.

Finnish troops are assaulting Archangel (sp?) in an effort to cut off Allied supply shipments for good, although German U-Boats have been doing that job for awhile now.

In Europe, Allied bombing continues its effort to level German production facilities in France. However, Germany has not only fortified its cities with 88's, but has garrisoned them with specialized AA units that combined have taken a costly toll on Allied bombing.

In the Atlantic, U-Boats continue their campaign of terror on the high seas. U-29 was ambushed and sunk off the coast of Nova Scotia by a formidable Allied fleet of upgraded Destroyer's. The balance of the Atlantic is now swinging back towards the Allies.

However, U-31 off the eastern US seaboard caught an American DD napping and sunk it to the bottom. In over three years of sub warfare, the U-Boats have exacted a deadly toll on the Allies. 18 ships including one transport have been reported sunk by the wolf packs, on top of the hundreds of tonnes of shipping that has been destroyed.

Axis forces know the Western Allies haven't been idle though, and expect an attack soon to take off the pressure on the Russian front. Hopefully Axis intelligence will tip us off to where and when that attack will happen...

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September 1943:

The Russian front has collapsed. Axis troops stormed Stalingrad and cut off the rail lines to the Caucusus, leaving it completely undefended. The last bastion of the Soviets lay in the formidable Ural mountains.

Meanwhile, the Allies have opened up a front in France and temporarily crippled the U-Boat fleet. A skirmish occurred on the western coast of France as US transports were caught by a U-Boat returning to port for supplies. After sinking one and damaging another, the Allied fleet bore down and nearly destroyed a sub while the Gneisau joined in and hammered a couple ships.

Brest was eventually captured and US and UK forces are moving inward. An AA unit defends Caen and General Model was tasked with the defense of Bordeaux to the south, even though he and his forces risk complete isolation. JG 26 and 3 Corps. seasoned from Russian fighting were called in to defend the city to give time to other Axis units to prepare defenses around Paris, and possibly a counter-attack through the coming winter while Allied air sits grounded.

It remains to be seen what the Allies have to offer from here on out. It's been a long while since I've seen fresh Russian units. Axis forces have been fighting scrounged up units for the most part and have not seen armored units for nearly two years. The Urals may become a desperate defensive situation for them.

Besides for Allied air, UK and US forces have been absent as well. No invasions of Norway or North Africa, so it's possible Western France may become flooded with Allied troops soon.

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Summer 1944:

The Allies have surrendered. The war in Europe is over. The Russians were pinned in their last city with Axis forces chewing up every new division put in combat against them. The Russian military offered a front-line defense during Barbarossa and suffered the consequences, with many units destroyed and/or cut off. When the Siberians arrived, they were immediately put into the offensive during the summer of 1942 and stalled the Axis advance in the south, but German air was able to decimate the advancing armies as they were caught in the open. The Russian military was never able to recover, nor muster enough troops to make a stand for very long.

Axis subs sank over 20 Allied ships by 1944, where US and UK DD's with tech finally put an end to their terror. By then they had taken a devastating toll on the British ability to fight, and no second front was opened until 1943 when Russia was already on the ropes. Subs can be absolutely devastating, but they CAN be countered with even a little ASW tech. Very important for the British to get at least 1 ASW tech early on.

With success in Russia, Germany had the extra MPP to put up flak batteries throughout France and Germany and even commission some AA units to protect vulernable areas, further hampering the only pressure the Allies could put on the Axis from the west.

I threw the kitchen sink at him in Africa and it paid off, but I also got lucky there too. I was hardly affected by sandstorms and Malta and was able to put my air units to quick use in dislodging the British from El Alamein, effectively opening the door to Alexandria. Having Italian artillery down there helped a lot to, and by the time Runstedt captured Alexandria they had nearly 5 bars of experience. Certainly a good early investment for the Italians to support the Germans there.

On a side note, by the end of the game I had an extremely decorated Army. The 13th Army had two pages of honors and 5 bars of experience. They had the campaigns of Poland, France and Egypt under their belt. Cities of Rostov, Minsk, Paris and Alexandria and the rest were destroyed units, mostly from fighting in Russia. They were eventually placed in Paris in anticipation for a western invasion (and some deserved rest!), and racked up another couple kills there. Definitely fun to look through the honors of units like that, especially towards the end of a game.

A fun game with definitely some lessons learned, and some new ideas generated for the new mechanics and units in WaW.

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