bremen-or-not-bremen-question-turn-4-1939-winter-a

The Axis start their Winter 1939 turn in peril of losing the game. They must take back Berlin. Additionally, at the start of this turn the western German army is out of supply as are most of the German units.

As the allies, what I’m hoping will happen is that the Germans will take back Berlin, but he will lose his western army in the process.

The Axis make no Declarations of War. In the west Germany takes an offensive and attritions in the east and Mediterranean. This tells me that I will hold onto Poland no matter what. I will get to go first in Spring 1940. But why would he attrition in the east instead of taking out Warsaw with his tank? I think I know why, and I’ll explain later.

Italy passes in the west and east and attritions in the Mediterranean.

Movement
One German fleet sails from Kiel to Konigsberg and is designated for supply.

As expected the Luftwaffe fly north to help liberate Berlin from the Brits. Some Lent Italian air also come north. The infantry in Poland that are still in supply move a little west, but still bordering Warsaw. And, last but not least, the German 4-6 tank east of Warsaw moves to Konigsberg. Oh CRAP. He did what I didn’t think of. He’s going to sea transport that tank to Kiel and then he’ll have 2 tanks on Kiel, one to take out my blocker (my 2-5 tank) and the other can exploit. He’s very likely going to free his Western Germany army.

German and Italian infantry in the Med move from near Rome north towards Germany. In Egypt the Italians move east.

Germany and Poland look like this:

Italy like this:

Egypt like this:

West Mediterranean like this:

Whole board looks like this:

Axis Strategy Considerations
I’m not Rokeater, so only he can tell why he did what he did. I had not thought of him sea transporting that tank to Kiel. I think he had a choice to make. He had two options: (1) go free the western German army; or (2) take out Poland with his tank.

Option 1: Free the Western German Army
If he frees his western German army then he saves 47 BRPs worth of men from isolation. Freeing his western German army also prevents a couple of other things from happening. For example, if his western German army dies, I would have declared war on Luxembourg on my turn and marched forward 3 hexes with all my infantry. I would have been inside Germany with Berlin not far from my army. He would eventually be able to push me back, but giving me 3 hexes of a head start would make it very tough for Germany.

Additionally, the Axis will eventually take the Netherland and Belgium back from the Allies. When this happens, the Allies will lose BRPs if they don’t take them back. Freeing his western Germany army allows him to take the Netherlands and Belgium sooner than if I have advanced my army 3 hexes into part of Germany.

Option 2: Take out Poland
Not taking out Poland in Winter would also have BRP costs. It would cost Germany 20 BRPs at year start sequence. That means less money to spend on strategic warfare and less money to conduct the war effort with. However, since Germany will eventually attrition Poland to death he won’t have to spend 15 BRPs on an offensive. The loss of BRPs at YSS is offset somewhat by not having to spend 15 BRPs for an offensive in Winter.

One downside for Germany is not taking Poland out guarantees the allies go first in 1940. The Axis will eventually get a double turn, though it might come much later.

In any event, saving his Western German army is clearly the best choice. That’s what Rokeater opted for.

20 Factors on the Eastern Front Considerations
Next, note in the pictures above that at the end of his movement phase he still has 20+ factors on the eastern front. Germany therefore has not violated the rules that would allow Russia to declare war. Even though that tank on Konigsberg will leave the Eastern front, it does so during the combat phase, and thus he can build in the east and still not violate the 20 factor rule.

I said on my first post of turn 1 that Rokeater is an awesome player and I mean it. With very limited men to use, provided that he can take out my blocker and take out the 1-3 infantry on Bremen, then he will have saved Germany from a huge economic deficit.

GB air on Brussels
Note that last turn I ended with 10 GB air on Brussels. These air are in range of my 4-5 tank NW of Leipzig and also the 1-3 infantry on Bremen. I planned it that way because Rokeater has beaten me most times that we’ve played this game. Even though I thought there was no way he could free his Western German army, I knew he might think of something that I hadn’t thought of. I wanted my unused GB air in range in case he pulled the rabbit out of the hat and did something I hadn’t thought was possible.

Combat
4 Italian lent air provide GS on my 2-5 blocker tank.

1 Italian lent air provides GS on my 1-3 infantry on Bremen.

2 German air provide GS on my 1-3 infantry on Bremen.

10 German air from Kiel provide GS on Berlin.

5 German air from Dresden provide GS on Berlin.

For attrition, Germany rolls a 5 on the 11-20 column, forcing Poland to lose one ground unit. Poland opts to lose the infantry on Warsaw. I do this because Poland has one infantry left SE of Warsaw. That infantry can either move back onto Warsaw on my turn, or if I need it for something else it can move its full 3 spaces. I did not know at this point how he would build. My 3-5 French tank south of Breslau might be needed elsewhere next turn. If I move my French tank then he has a supply route from the German minors. If, for some reason, I wanted to cut that route off again, I could do that with my Polish infantry SE of Warsaw. I can’t re-take lost Polish ground with that infantry on Warsaw though because of the German tank next to Warsaw. So, I opted to lose the infantry on Warsaw to give me options later.

Attrition in the Mediterranean causes France to lose one infantry (the guy in Lebanon-Syria so he can be rebuilt in France).

GB flies 2 defensive air support on Bremen. My 1-3 infantry will be doubled to 2. But, you can only add a maximum of 3 times your basic factor for DAS. Thus, I can only add a maximum of 3 DAS on Bremen since I only have a 1-3 infantry. I see that the isolated German 3-3 infantry will attack with 3 GS. He will have 6. I will have 2. If I fly in 1 DAS then it is 6:3 and he rolls a 2:1 odds. I therefore, flew in 2 GS. That makes the attack 6:4 with defender counter-attacking at 3:6. I’m hoping he rolls a 5 which will force his exploiting tank to attack Bremen. If he rolls a 5 on his first attack then on his exploitation attack any roll that results in attacker death (or even an exchange) would cause him to lose his exploiting tank, which would mean his Western German army would still be out of supply and would die. I still have a chance to destroy his Western German army, but it’s not a good one (about 17% chance).

The battles go like this:
Berlin: 3-3 x 2 (L32), 3-3 (M31) and 15 pts GS vs 4-5. Odds 24-8 (3-1). Die Roll 6. D Eliminated 3-3 (L32) (the Danzig infantry) advanced after combat. Berlin is freed!

The Blocker tank: 4-6 and 4pts GS vs 2-5. Odds 8-4 (2-1). Die roll 6. D Elim. 4-6 AAC. Even if he had rolled an exchange he would have lost all the air so that his tank could exploit. As it was, he lost nothing. The only way I could have won the blocker tank battle was with him rolling a 4 followed by a 6. There’s only a 3% chance of that happening.

Bremen battle: 3-3 and 3 pts GS vs 1-3 and 2 pts DAS. Odds 6-4 (1-1). Die Roll 4. EX. remove 3-3 and German 1-4. The British 1-3 also dies as do the British air. With no blocker tank and with no unit on Bremen his exploiting tank is free to re-open supply to his western German army.

During exploitation movement his tank moves west one hex to Bremen and then immediately SE one hex to end next to my GB tank that is NW of Leipzig. Supply flows from Konigsberg to Kiel, south one hex, then west to Bremen and then continues to the western army.

I fly some GB air onto my GB Tank that exploited. Germany has no air left and decides not to attack the GB tank at bad odds. Combat ends like this:

 

Construction and SR
Germany spent 15 BRPs to take an offensive in the west, so it spends 60 BRPs to build a lot of men. The pictures below show what it looks like. One thing you might be wondering, why build those German infantry near the Hungarian border? Well, Rokeater will have to tell you what he was thinking. But, my guess is he didn’t want France to declare war on Hungary and defeat Hungary. If he didn’t have those infantry there I would have killed Hungary. Plus, I think he knows that next turn I was going to be able to isolate a bunch of his men again. So, having those infantry near Hungary allow them (on his turn) to move NW and open gaps in my line of French controlled hexes. In other words, he protects Hungary and makes sure that when he goes next I won’t be able to cut off his whole army. Germany ended with 0 BRPs.

Italy builds its 5th fleet and its men. Italy ends with 1 BRP and grows 0.

The Italian units in Tunisia die from being out of supply. But, during SR, Italy sends a tank to cut-off the French infantry that was threatening Tunis. Now the French infantry is out of supply. But it did its job of occupying 3 of his units’ time for 2 BRPs.

Italy builds a tank right next to my French units in NW Italy. This is important. It has a ZOC that cuts off the supply of my French tank in northern Italy. It also means that my other French tanks that exploited will be unable to exploit on my turn. Although they are in supply (because they exploited on my last turn) since they will not start their next turn in supply they cannot exploit.

Here’s how the board looks:

 

Here’s the whole map:

1940 YSS
I’m going to go ahead and give the YSS data here as well.
Germany has 150 BRPs for YSS and spent 14 on strategic warfare (buying 7 units –I don’t know what the mix is yet) leaving it with 136. Italy has 75 BRPs. Total axis BRPs is 211.

GB 125 + 10 (Netherlands) + 20 (Poland) + 4 (growth from 10 leftover in 1939) = 159. GB spends 15 on SW. 144 to start. Since I know I will go first I can spend fully on SW. One other benefit of taking Bremen and holding onto Poland means GB is in the unlikely scenario of being able to build 5 units for SW. I build all 5 (I’ll have to reveal the mix later since Rokeater and I haven’t gotten to the reveal part of our game yet).

France: 85 + 15 (Belgium) + 2 growth (had 7 leftover in 1939) = 102.

Russia: 90 + 25 (east europe) + 2 growth (had 9 leftover in 1939) = 117.

Total axis BRPs = 211. Total allied BRPs (not counting Russia) = 261. Allies will go first in Spring 1940.

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