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Colin I

AAR Colin Axis vs Jollyguy Allies: Start until Jan 1940.

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Might as well start another AAR so we can contrast how Jollyguy destroys both Rambo and myself.....!

Axis do a fast takedown of Poland (Turn 1), Belgium (Axis Turn 3) and advancing into France by November 1939. The Allies then throws a corps in front of Paris, which has entrenched armour, as the weather turns bad. The Blitzkrieg slows – I’m more cautious than Rambo (not enough Legend….!) but it was a textbook opening.

The Axis pause in France to upgrade their armour, operate some air forwards (its too bad weather to rebase normally) and grind laterally along the Maginot line to reduce his counter-attack potential.

Meanwhile the Japanese upgrade their long-range carrier planes and hit Central China – he loses 3 armies and a corps – no big deal, he will get it back – but also a city (think it was Chenchou) and a fortification which may matter more. Chinese seem to be falling back. This is a battle of slow advances, isolating a single entrenched unit and then removing it – rather like forming an eye in Go, surrounding a unit on enough sides to isolate and destroy it.

Various despots get interested. Mussolini is motivated by something going on in the Med but won’t say what – we figure it's the French moving colonial units back to France but cannot be sure. Stalin notices some careless deployments from Manchuria – silly man – he should look towards Germany for the real threat even if he did just partition Poland with Hitler. I think India declared for the UK.

Allied strategy is not yet clear – he in bombing the Norwegian convoys in the West and has vessels out sub hunting. A French sub probes Kiel. Going by the high troop strength in France I think I can confirm he has stripped the French Colonies for manpower. But pretty much all I’m seeing is French forces – the British are not clear in their intentions.

By January 1940 the cat and mouse game at Sea is picking up intensity - Graf Spee and a L1 sub are found but currently still afloat and the French are raiding Norwegian convoys.

In France, the Germans show L1 armour and systematically clear the way to Paris. We took this one slow after seeing what happened to Rambo who went in hard and fast. But its a steady destruction generally killing 2 French units a turn despite the weather.

Also in January, Italy declares for the Axis.

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French attack from Paris. the city falls to the German counterattack but the French hang in there.

Elsewhere the Graf Spee survives multiple British cruiser attacks but next round it is dead.

The colonies send Anzacs and South Africans to Egypt.

Japan keeps the pressure up on China.

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WEST

France finally throws in the towel though UK have a corps in Brest (an "old school" move, that!) and Denmark in annexed (I would have taken it but weather was too lousy).

EAST

Japan continues to move, takes another city (Foochow?) and shows long ranged air on the carriers to hit deep into China.

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Now that I have two games in progress I can say that Colin's France attack was better, methodical, not exposing units. Plus, w/only two Maginot hexes and the double armor punch it seems this is an option, to just plod forward. I'll do things a bit differently in my third game. And, under the theme of learning as you go, I didn't know that France's armor can't attack twice. I attacked a German army outside Paris looking for a kill, and then couldn't do a second one, so Paris ended up falling earlier. I thought it was the weather, but Colin told me Japan also can't attack twice. Got a bit of luck though in that France didn't surrender and snow grounded the Luftwaffe, so gained one additional turn. In China though I think Rambo's folding of the Northern flank was better, as it opened up the plains for hisunits rather than slugging through the mountains. But Rambo was able to open up the north due to my inexperience, I'm not just handing that opportunity to Colin, I'm learning from mistakes.

As to the Allies, omg, the Brits are starved for mmps early, which is very historical. They really have to pick-and-choose, and imo carefully conserve some mmps for some of the decision events. Also learning from my mistakes w/the Allies from my Rambo game. Can't tell Colin what I've done different due to national security, but you have to adapt. There's a lot to learn in this game, very variable.

Bob

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UK refuses to accept Vichy France. The UK still has forces in France and Axis air spots some lurking battleships - Jollyguy is plainly planning on making a fighting withdrawal. As I said last time this is a tactic which veterans will remember from the SC1 and 2 days. We bomb a battleship to give him some incentive here.

EAST

Japanese mount a huge assault on Changsha but it holds - though it did start at Entrenchment 4 so we had to start somewhere. However, we continue to force our way through the centre, after flanking it last turn Sian is taken.

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Applying those lessons learned here, from my game w/Rambo. My advice to those who want to learn gameplay fastest is to play good players like Rambo and Colin. Rambo is very creative and willing to gamble, whereas Colin has very crisp combined arm attacks. From Rambo I've dusted off some stale naval tactics from SC 2, from Colin how to better position the French, as he made quick work of the French. Only having two Maginot hexes makes a big difference. Colin also had a great Poland attack, taking Warsaw in one turn.

Yes, I'm being just a bit stubborn in France. Moved the Canadian corp to Bordeux early on and he got to entrench well, and this time got an infantry advance. Also kept a carrier in the vicinity, should have kept two though, as experience is very important in this game. The carrier was able to hit the advance German army twice w/no damage to its air wing. The RN did some shore bombardment and lingers in the area. Meanwhile Churchill has the Home Islands preparing for a possible Sea Lion during the summer of 1940 and has issued orders accordingly.

Bob

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Continuing flight off Bordeaux - Germans hit another UK battleship quite hard from the air. Land troops take Bordeaux from the Canadians. Paratroops take Norway. A little sub raiding in the Atlantic. UK is in rain so little air action.

EAST

Chinese HQ destroyed and two land units (including one in Chansha) badly damaged. The Japanese are through to the central plains now.

As Bob says its strategy that matters - its why the game holds attention like it does.

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London is bombed for 10 MPP. British air force is holding London but does not sortie - makes you wonder where his ground forces are. RN moves to bombard Bergen - however I guess rest of his navy is returning from Bordeaux as there are not really escorts deployed. Meanwhile the German U-boats (one L2) are returning to Norway so cruise up behind this ensemble get a couple of free shots on a carrier and sink it. Encouraged, the Kriegsmarine sallies from Kiel and kills another cruiser.

EAST

Chansha is taken, Naning is seriously reduced.

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Learning as we go, after reading the thread on carriers I set mine to naval, and believe me, they are deadly. The RN had assembled near Norway, so strike back and sink all three Kreigsmarine cruisers. The remaining carrier I had in the area just pounded the cruisers. Also damage a sub down to 4, with another one still farther back in Norway. Not sure where/if he has more subs, but I'm willing to experiment and committ the RN as these are the early games where you want to feel things out, make mistakes. If he doesn't have significant strikeback power then those two subs might be able to be contained. Had anti-sub 1, so that helped. I think next time I'll throw a chit into naval warfare, too.

The Brits continue to prepare the Home Islands and conserve their mmps and spend them hopefully wisely. I liked Colin's Norway attack, he did it with one air unit and his paratroop and that was it, pretty seamless. In China I'm learning from my game w/Rambo and falling back methodically to try to save more units. Plus, I got infantry 1 fairly early, so that will help, and by holding the Northern line longer the US tactical fighter arrived safely behind my lines, so he can be used later.

Bob

Colin's said he's out of town until next week, so looking forward to the next turn.

Bob

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Was not sure how close Bob's other carrier was but guess I will take a carrier and a cruiser in exchange for three cruisers (one strength 5) if thats where it ends. It might not, will not know until next week - the weather will be critical.

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Air Sea battle in the North Sea continues. UK has around 10 ships there supported by a bomber. The Axis only a bunch of subs plus some air from Norway but with good weather it is enough to sink a second carrier. I reckon he will take out at least 2 of the subs next turn, but figure it was worth it. Also, London is bombed and there is raiding elsewhere.

Meanwhile Germany attacks Yugoslavia, upsetting Turkey.

EAST

Naning falls. The oil is about to run out, lets see if Japan has invested wisely. In the North of China it rains and not much happens.

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Yugoslavia is finished off.

In the North Sea the RN hunts down two subs. However, Axis air from Norway helps sink a cruiser that is part of the force confining the remaining L2 sub - this gives it a path clear and it leaves, post haste.

London is rubble from bombing.

Convoy raiding continues.

EAST

A Chinese engineer dies and the Japanese land units start to surround the capital. A partisan is killed near Hong Kong.

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British do not pursue fleeing sub but head off to bombard Iceland. Fort of France is also getting some attention in this respect. UK is fortifying but Axis are bombing it from Norway and France.

EAST

More Japanese pressure destroying a fortification and starting to isolate capital of China. He manages a nice counterattack (Japanese lead unit outran HQ support) but thats now fixed and the targeted unit survived. Partisan trouble though near Hong Kong.

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Its Greece next, Germany fights its way down South from Yugoslavia. Meanwhile the RN bombard Iceland and the Australians Navy hit Port au Prince (would never have predicted that!) and the Luftwaffe hit the UK.

Some signs of UK ground and air activity in North Africa. Now, I reckon I know where his fleet is, especially the carrier, its a long way away. So send the Italian navy in to bombard. They mostly miss by a mile though a NZ corps seems to get hit particularly hard.

EAST

Japanese keep steadily crunching through China like a silkworm on a leaf.

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That's all they can do! However, the RAF makes an appearance in Egypt, where Churchill ordered it's bomber and tactical bomber, plus the Egypt fighter. After reducing an Italian port we reduce an Italian cruiser to two, with the help of the Greek cruiser which comes in to log a few shells. England is enduring Goring's attention, but keep in mind the Kreigsmarine has been reduced to not much, so despite losses the RN has the strategic ability to move pretty much where it wants. Churchill needs to decide, should this be to the Baltic, to the Med, or perhaps to the Pacific to help those Yanks?

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Interesting perspective on who won the Naval war. I lost 5 squadrons - 2 subs and 3 cruisers. He lost a cruiser and 2 carriers. Its quantity vs quality but I'm very glad he can't group all his carriers, the leverage is formidable.

WEST

Greece falls to the transport-krieg - the port of Athens falls, the city is cleared and its taken via sea transport. Meanwhile the italians discover all those reverse gears work on their ships too and back off, though not before torpedoing the Greek cruiser. Two Balkans allies, impressed by the carve up of Greece and Yugoslavia, join the Axis. More Blitz over London. More sub raiding.

EAST

ChungKing falls. Lots of corps crowding Eastern China. Indochina joins the Allies.

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Port au Prince looted. The Axis unit was getting a bit seasick waiting for the port to be repaired and the Australians to go away. Usual bombing, raiding our side and RN trains by bombarding Iceland.

EAST

Indochina taken. Gosh, there are a lot of Chinese corps in Western China - Japanese rearm and inch forwards.

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Rain stops most activity. British take Tobruk very efficiently, though.

EAST

Bad weather in China too. Japanese start to indulge in Strategic Bombing deep into China.

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To mark the year, UK invade Iceland and keep going in North Africa, starting to look dangerous. Axis are kind of quiet.

EAST

Lanchow falls thanks to some decent weather, air power and some monstrously experienced Japanese units.

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Really strangely quiet. British are steamrollering North Africa though.

EAST

Snow in China - fight slows down predictably. Curiously, China choses this moment to unveil fighters and Flying Tigers. Both units are shot down by elite Zeros. Japanese general has a chance to think about suicidal air attacks. "Hmm, maybe lousy against infantry but great against ships". Thus the concept emerges - like other things the Chinese think of it first but the Japanese intend to perfect the idea......

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English and Commonwealth forces take 2nd Italian city, and bomb 3rd and final city's port. RN receives another carrier, secures Iceland, notes Axis Caribean presence, and Churchill issues new orders. English engineer continues to dig around the Home Islands. After proper wargaming modeling the high command recognizes too late the proper China strategy, but makes note for the next arena of combat, when Allies intend to put into motion new strategies. Meanwhile in this game Stalin awaits, as Barbarossa is right around the corner.

Bob

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WEST

Germans drift towards Russian border. Germans DOW Vichy France which is taken. A lot of bad weather rather slows the action over the UK.

EAST

Chinese must really wish they had built another of those nice high walls across the country. Japanese continue to head West with some ferocity.

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Axis starts to move. DOW Spain - major ground, air and sea assault killing a Franco corps, army, HQ and cruiser. The smaller size of "major minors" that have good defensive terrain and troops (e.g. Spain, Turkey) are rather more vulnerable under GC - less mountains to hack through to reach their capitals. At sea submarine raiding starts again. US is starting to get concerned (55%) and seems to be shifting troops (by sea?).

EAST

China continues to fade.

We can't be far from the big bang East and West.

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WEST

Barbarossa – Odessa, Minsk, Riga fall. At Kiev, defending corps destroyed but unoccupied. German L2 armour moves forwards towards Smolensk. His forwards defense is not very strong. I suspect the Soviets may try something aggressive elsewhere such as Finland or most likely (given UK focus) Middle East.

Axis at the gates of Madrid. No sign of Allied intervention - I'm convinced there is a UK counter operation building......

Usual sub raiding - UK navy is quite quiet which is always worrying.....

ELSEWHERE

UK – takes Mogadishu and Fort of France amphibious assaults

US Isolationists upset - but not very.

EAST

Japan kills a Chinese army with some long ranged air support. He is retreating towards his final capital.

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