Sunday, December 04, 2011

AE:TK - Fall Of France, Turn 4

The game is on the line for the Germans at this point, but there is some hope.

The Initial Admin Phase is fairly straightforward as there are no support units to place, although we do remove the two AF units left on the board from the previous turn to the delay box. We then combine the 2-2-4 with the 5-5-4 in Antwerp to create the full 8-6-4 panzer army, and build a 6-6-3 in the hex east of Antwerp with the three 1-2-3 units there. Because we want to get another couple of steps in Gau Moselland, we breakdown the 5-6-2 in Koln and move the 3-4-2 unit into GM. Note that we don't need to move the 3-4-2 to the Delay box because it wasn't going back to the Force Pool. Had we broken it down to three 1-2-3 units, it would have. Finally, we place the Blitz marekr in Lille, although it would have been awesome to put it in Paris. Looks like we'll need to be lucky or good or both to win this turn.

The 8-6-4 moves to Calais, the 6-6-3 we just built moves to Antwerp, and the 3-4-2 moves to GM as planned. For our final move, we move the 1-2-3 we just broke off and the tanks in Rotterdam and Ruhr, and move them all to the hex just east of Antwerp for combining in the last turn if necessary. The Mountain unit in the Ruhr goes to Rotterdam to garrison the conquered minor city. Note that the 4-4-3 in central France can't move, although it will be able to attack. Here is the situation after movement:

The plan is to punch through the line by taking out the 3-4-2 in Lille, then advancing to Reims with a strong stack, while taking out the units in Amiens in normal combat, possibly the units in Verdun as well. We should have Paris more or less surrounded by the end of the turn with little the West can do to fight the Axis off.

The Blitz combat needs to go well, so we throw everything we have at the combat against the 3-4-2 in Lille, which will have support from the French HQ in Paris. Initial odds are 35:6, which reduces to 5:1, but the Axis gets one combat shift for having a tank unit as the HQs cancel out. The result is not great: Dr 1 1/2. This is enough to kill the unit, but not enough to get a decent breakthrough. The 3-4-2 retreats one space, then is sent to the Delay Box and resplaced with a 1-1-2 inf step, then that step returns to the force pool. The Axis lose the 2-2-4 tank step in GM. One 6-6-3 advances from Antwerp, one from GM, into Lille.
All is not lost, though, as there can be one more large combat that will hopefully knock out enough steps to leave the Germans a clear path to Paris. The 8-6-4 and 6-6-3 in Calais and the two 6-6-3s in Lille, supported by the HQ in Antwerp, attack the Fr 3-3-2 and the British 1-2-2 in Amiens, supported by the French HQ in Paris. Odds are 30:7, or 4-1, with the two HQ shifts canceling out. The roll is a 6, an Ex! The Axis lose one step from the 8-6-4 unit in Calais, while the Allies lose one step from the 3-3-2, flipping it. There is no advance. This was a terrible result for the Axis, they were completely unable to advance much beyond getting into Lille, although the French units have been hurt pretty badly and there aren't many units left.

The Germans have no reserve movement, and no conditional events. On to the Allied turn, with the map situation as follows:

The French also have no support units to place, but none to remove either. No point in placing the Surface Fleet they got this turn. They are unable to combine any of their forces either, so how they place units will have a large effect on the outcome of the game.

For movement:

  • the 1-1-3 mountain unit in Limoges moves one hex NE to tie down the German 4-4-3 unit;
  • The 3-3-2 SE of Paris moves one hex to Reims;
  • The 2-3-2 AA multinational unit in Paris moves NE to Amiens;
  • The Br 1-2-2 infantry in Amiens moves SE to Reims;
  • The Fr 4-4-3 infantry in Verdun moves through Reims to Amiens;
  • Two 1-2-2 infantry move from Metz to Verdun. 
The idea here is to present as strong a front as possible while preserving a ZOC picket between the Germans and Paris. Losing Metz would hurt a bit, but it is a tougher nut to crack than the Germans want for a sideshow right now. There is no combat, and no reserve movement. The conditional event gives the French one infantry step, which goes to Paris. 

The turn ends with the delay rolls, which could be important, but neither the Fr mech multistep or the two Axis AF units will see play for the rest of this scenario. However, the Axis get a 4-4-3, a 5-4-4, and an AF, while the British get a surface fleet and a defensive unit that won't see play. Either the Germans have enough to finish this or they don't. Here's the situation at the end of turn 4:

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