Saturday, December 20, 2008

John Prados Third Reich Session Report #2

Now that the Brigadista is back in good health, we were able to play another session of our Third Reich game.  We pick up with Turn 5 (Fall 1940).  I'm playing the Axis and the Brigadista is playing the Allies.

The Situation:  France has fallen, but the Low Countries are still neutral.  Italy has declared war on Greece, but is still at peace with Britain.  The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is about expire.  Previous session report here.

Turn 5 (Fall 1940)

Event: Italian AFV license. (Italy starts building German tank designs and can therefore upgrade all armored units to full strength.)

Political Activity: Germany declares war on Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Spain becomes an Italian ally and declares war on Greece.

Military Activity: Germany invades and overwhelms Belgium and the Netherlands while the British army evacuates back to Britain.  (Perfidious Albion!)  A German combined airborne and amphibious force captures Oslo and forces Norway to surrender. Italy moves additional forces to Albania for future Greek campaign. British desert build up continues. Russia halts offensives against Finland. Spanish forces move adjacent to Gibraltar.

Turn 6 (Winter 1940)

Event: Churchill Directs! (Winston has a brilliant idea!  German player gets to make Britain do something dumb. My choices were to make Britain assault a German held port or declare war on a neutral nation. I chose to have Britain declare war on Vichy, which made Vichy a German ally. The British are required to attack Vichy territory this turn or next.)

Political Activity: Britain declares war on Vichy.

Military Activity: German forces redeploy to the eastern front. Italians launch an attrition attack against Greece and break through on the Aegean coast. Italian fleets move to base in Rhodes. Italian submarines and bombers attack Greek economy. Britain moves forces to Palestine in preparation for an attack on the Vichy colony of Syria.

Turn 7 (Spring 1941)

Event: Cross of Lorraine. (Free French volunteers flock to Britain.)

Political Activity: Hungary allies with Germany and declares war on Britain.

Military Activity: German units move into position on the Soviet border. Italian fleet destroys the Greek fleet. Italians launch amphibious invasion of Greece, landing near Salonika. Italian army cuts off all Greek units north of Athens and forces them to surrender. Italian attack on Athens fails. British attack on Damascus fails. Vichy fleet fights with Britain for control of the Western Mediterranean.

Turn 8 (Summer 1941)

Event: Yugoslavian Coup (anti-Axis elements take control of Yugoslavian government, reducing German and Italian influence in Yugoslavia.)

Political Activity: Allies successfully turn Romania and Yugoslavia hostile toward Germany and Italy. Despite some saber-rattling, neither country declares war on Germany or Italy. Germany declares war on the Soviet Union.

Military Activity: Italians capture Athens and force Greek surrender. Italian force captures Crete and establishes a naval base at Suda Bay. Germans launch operation Barbarossa. Gains are limited, although some Soviet forces are cutoff in the Baltic states and forced to surrender. Two large gaps are created in the Soviet line, one in the north and one in the south.  Vichy fleet defeated in battle for Western Mediterranean.  British attack on Damascus fails again.

Notes: It took the Italians one year to conquer Greece. Amazingly Italy and Britain are still not at war. Churchill's directive to attack Vichy was probably just as disruptive to Britain's plans as Mussolini's directive to attack Greece was to Italy's.

The Barbarossa attack wasn't particularly impressive. In fact, the Brigadista pronounced it "Barba-wussy" or something like that.  There was a decent breakthrough and exploitation in the north (leading to the isolation of Russian units in the Baltic states), but there was no exploitation in the south. Russia has a shorter front line to defend because Romania is neutral (and could go pro-Allied due to hostility towards the Germans).

Next Time:

War looms in the Balkans as both Yugoslavia and Romania are hostile to the Axis and have a 1 in 6 chance per turn of declaring war on either Germany or Italy.

The initial Barbarossa attack wasn't spectacularly impressive, but it did create some dangerous gaps that the Russians will have to deal with. Still, it's hard to imagine that Russia is in danger of falling in 1941.

Will Italy and Britain ever go to war? Right now it seems like neither the Brigadista nor I want to pay the 15 BRP cost for the declaration. Personally I'm content with the Italians building up a Mediterranean empire for now.

The Pearl Harbor chits go into the event cup starting in Fall 1941, so the U.S. could be entering the war very soon.  That will change everything.

Parting Shot

I am really enjoying this game - more than any board game in recent memory.  I can't wait to continue!  I'm sure the Brigadista will comment if I've screwed up the narrative.


Brigadista said...

Rather than comment on Chris's obviously biased perspective on the events as they unfolded during play, I'd simply like to heartily agree with his general endorsement of the game. Despite the fact that there were initial material problems with the product (missing rules, charts and map section as of the last count- ALL of which Avalanche promptly replaced) the game itself is of a very high physical quality and is an absolute joy to play. The urge to take a cheap shot at HMSGRD is almost overwhelming, but I will remain silent.

Alfred T. Mahan said...


And you were ill, Senor Brigadista? Getting over the *ahem* Spanish flu, were we?

Thank you, thank you...I'll be here all week. Tip your bar staff generously!

Seriously, interesting reports on what appears to be a *very* interesting game so far! Of course, once the decadent Americans are attacked, the unnatural alliance of capitalism and Bolshevism will crush the fascist threat to world peace...