bremen-or-not-bremen-question-turn-15-1941-summer

Initial Thoughts
The Germans have been amassing in Great Britain, advancing hex by hex. But the Germans are still two hexes from London, and going all out at this time could prove a big blunder. The Germans need to advance next to London and then they can hold it, especially with superior air power.

The Axis Minor Allies are also activating, except for Hungary. The extra BRPs for Finland, Bulgaria, and Romania will help the German economy, which is raised to 157 BRPs. Next turn, however, the Russians can enter the game and most of the Luftwaffe are occupied far from the Eastern Front. Germany needs to conquer Great Britain, and fast. There’s always the chance for the 4, 6 combo roll, and if that were to happen, it could ruin the German plans, or at least stall Britain’s conquest for 1-2 turns.

Start
DoW: None

Options: Germany takes an offensive in the west, and passes in the med and east. Germany down to 142 BRPs. Italy attritions in the Med, and passes in the east and west.

Voluntary Destruction of Units: none.

Movement
Four of the Italian fleets move to Suez, probably in order to SR to the western front. This leaves 1 Italian fleet on Naples. Great Britain is not going to waste its Gibraltar fleet on trying to intercept the Italians. That fleet is going to go for the Germans.

Importantly, the German 8 factor fleet on Kiel is designated for supply. At the start of every turn, all the German units in Great Britain are out of supply. So, in order to supply them, Germany must designate a fleet each turn to provide supply. In this instance, there are 9 German ground units, but one of the tanks is exploiting. So the 8 factor fleet has just enough factors to supply those 8 units, but then it is exhausted. There are no fleet factors left over, and no other fleets were designated for supply. Presumably the other three German fleets (9 factor fleets) will sea transport or SR units.

In Great Britain, the German infantry all move to the front row and one tank stays on Manchester. The German tanks move back in what appears to be in preparation to exploit. With the one German tank on the front row in the hex of Manchester I’m unsure if he will be attacking SW or SE of Manchester.

In Poland, Germany has a line of 3-3 infantry backed by tanks every other space in order to interlock their ZOC. The German minors are setup and the Italians have both of their tanks near Persia along with most of the Italian units.

The entire board looks like this after movement:

*Note: There is a 4-6 German tank obscured behind the stack on Manchester.
*Note 2: There are 4 GB air on Great Yarmouth and an RC on Great Yarmouth that are obscured by the stack on Calais.
*Note 3: The London stack is obscured by the Portsmouth units. On London there are two 3-4 infantry and a 2-5 tank.

GB looks like this:

*Note: There is a 4-6 German tank obscured behind the stack on Manchester.
*Note 2: There are 4 GB air on Great Yarmouth and an RC on Great Yarmouth that are obscured by the stack on Calais.
*Note 3: The London stack is obscured by the Portsmouth units. On London there are two 3-4 infantry and a 2-5 tank.

Missions
Germany sends 15 air for ground support at hex J23, the middle of my three hexes with the 3-4 and 4-5 units.

Germany also counterairs my 8 air with 8 German air.

Germany did not risk a sea transport mission with her fleets. It looks like she will SR 3 units into GB at the end of Germany’s turn.

Combat
The first counterair results come in and GB rolled a 3, Germany a 2. Germany loses 1 air and GB none.
The second counterair results in a tie, with both sides losing 3 air.

The attack on hex J23 is the most dangerous. An exchange would require losing 14 points worth of men. Although there are plenty of infantry to lose, Germany would need to be careful about losing too many because GB might counterattack on her turn.

J23 battle goes like this: 3-3 x 2 (I23), 3-3, 4-6 (I24) and 15 Pts GS vs 3-4, 4-5. Odds 28-14 (2-1). Die Roll 3, 4 D Elim. Just like that, Germany has defeated my units without any losses. Both 3-3 units from hex I23 advance and create a breakthrough hex on J23.

During the exploitation phase Germany moves the two tanks in reserve to the breakthrough hex. Germany also declares 4 ground support on K22 (the hex directly west of London). With the air and the two tanks it will be 12 vs. my 2 (doubled to 4). 3:1 odds for the exploitation attack.

But, then Germany does something unexpected and declares 3 ground support on K24 (Harwich—the hex east of London). That’s when I realize he is going to air drop on Harwich. I’m excited because he’s just made a mistake that may cost him his air unit dying permanently on my turn. After declaring his ground support missions, indeed, he air drops onto Harwich.

The exploitation battles go as follows:

K24: 3-3 (1 Fsjr) and 3 pts GS vs RC. Die Roll 2, 2 CAEX. Germany loses 1-4 air.

K22: 4-6 x 2 (J23) and 4 pts GS vs RC x 2. Odds 12-4 (3-1). Die Roll 3, 1 CAEX. Germans lose 2-4. 4-6 x 2 Advance After Combat.

GB looks like this after combat

Construction and SR
Germany constructs 7 air, activates Vichy on a roll of a 5 (modified up to 7), 1 RC unit, and sends Hungary 7 foreign aid. Germany spent 34 BRPs and is down to 108 remaining. The German minors really help Germany with her economy in her time of need.

Two of Italy’s fleets SR out of Suez and to the west to end at Bremen. Italy sends the 5-4 away from Morocco and to the coast of France. Apparently, he decided against attacking the fleet at Gibraltar and decided those air would be better used in France and Great Britain. Germany sends in two more infantry and another tank to Great Britain via s/e from the last 3 German fleets on Kiel.

Germany also SRs another tank to Rosyth via a very circuitous route: via sea escort from the 9 fleet at Naples to Suez and continuing by the 9 fleet at Suez to Rosyth. I didn’t know you could do that.

Germany sends a 3-3 infantry to Rome.

The whole map looks like this after SR:

*Note: I’ve moved several stacks in order to see the units. The Kiel stack was moved one hex east into the Baltic Sea. The Portsmouth stack was moved SE into the English channel so we could see it, but also so it would not cover London. There are two 3-4 infantry and a 2-5 tank on London. The stack on Great Yarmouth was also moved east one hex (onto the Hague) in order to see the RC unit there that is isolated and the inverted 4 air.

Final Thoughts
I was able to kill some German air during the battles, but unfortunately, I never see him roll big exchanges. I, on the other hand, seem to have quite a few (as you will see in upcoming session reports). I think in an upcoming session report that out of 5 attacks I roll a 1 (EX) three times.

Take a look at this, because there’s an opening in Romania.

When I saw rokeater set up Romania I realized there was a possible opening. One of the toughest decisions I had to make in this game was whether or not to declare with Russia and take out Romania by surprise. If Romania is defeated, then there’d be a good chance Bulgaria would die too. I’ll explain that in a later session report as my thinking was quite complex on that issue.

Needless to say, I see that if I kill the 1-3 infantry on the front line in Romania I could exploit and take out Bucharest. The trick would be getting tanks in range without making it look like I’m getting tanks in range. I may be able to do this because the last several turns in Russia I have been slowly pulling my 2nd line back and filling it in towards the south. If you look at the map now, there’s a glaring gap/hole in my 2nd Russian line. Simply put, Russia does not have enough units until 1942 to properly defend against anything. So, I’m hoping that when I go in Summer that I can make it look like I’m securing my 2nd line and not send up a bunch of red flags. I mean, if I put my tanks right up front, that would make Paul re-examine Romania. I don’t want him to re-examine anything because I want to have the chance, if I decide to take it, to defeat Romania in a surprise attack in Fall.

Also, when the German turn ended I immediately sent our mediator, Patrick Bauer, a rules question. I wanted confirmation that I was interpreting the rule correctly. Patrick confirmed I was. It never occurred to me there could be a different way of interpreting supply. In my mind, the German airborne drop onto Harwich has put it at risk of permanent elimination if I can kill it. Remember that 8 factor German fleet. Well, it used all 8 factors supplying units through Rosyth. It had no factors left over to make a hostile port safe for the airborne to drop on. I’ll explain more about that in the next session report. I will say this, there are two people on these boards who interpret the rule like Paul does and everyone else was agreeing with Patrick and I.

It never occurred to Paul he was risking the airborne’s permanent death because he was convinced that supply rules work differently than almost everybody else sees it. We have a moderator because from time to time rules questions come up. Patrick agreed with my interpretation. But, because I felt like the right thing to do is to offer a mulligan to an excellent player who would not have taken that risk if he had known the ruling ahead of time, I offered to let Paul rebuild his airborne even though it should be dead permanently, as you’ll see in the upcoming session report.

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