October I 36

I’ve been a bit too busy to update the blog, so this entry will cover both the insurgent and loyalist turn. Now if I only could remember what happened then.

Insurgent divisions started popping up. Mostly near the Basque region, in Logrono, but one was determined to keep Toledo in my grasp. Tim had isolated San Sebastian from my other troops. The port provided some supply, but the most imperative thing to do this turn would be to clear the Malaga area and to ensure San Sebastian gets its supplies. I tried shipping stuff directly in San Sebastian, but most of it got turned back. (I’m in the middle of Oct II turn right now, and this is the first time I remember these. Need to add those shipments in my current orders.) Almeria was taken during the movement phase. Finally getting ports on the south coast making it easier to bring units to the front faster than from all the way from Cadiz. The former Malaga defenders got surrounded in the mountains and I decided to eliminate them. Hey, I just had gotten some glorious units from il Duce, they’ll wipe out any opposition in no time. Engineers were moved to the rail breaks to fix them next turn. I reclaimed the rail hexes to San Sebastian and I think I managed to secure them for the time being.

Italian CR.32bis’s staged an air show above Madrid (CAP mission). The Loyalist fighters were given orders to stop them but they refused and just sat on their benches watching the show (Patrol attack failed). The new bombers I had just received in San Sebastian tried to bomb th factory in Bilbao with no effect. Brequet 19 was sent to help repel the Loyalists near Santander. They were outside the Santander borders so I could attack them without risking the garrison activation. Asturias on the other hand had already released most of its garrison, so I might as well start fighting there. Especially as I had vacated that frigging rail hex a few turns ago and now it was preventing Oviedo from getting food in.

Brequet 19 flies a GS mission in 23A:1605

 

1 step attack supply (23A:1903) provides supply to Inf XX (23A:2301 – 3RE), 1-6 Inf III (23A:2302) (4/6RE used), 2-5 Inf X and 1-6 Art III (23A:1705) (6/6 used)

 

23A:1606 and 23A:1705 -> 23A:1605

Initial odds:      4 ¼ vs. 1 = 4:1

Militia:               3+1(air support)=4: Normal   4+1(non-clear)-1(enemy air support)=4: Normal

Incr CRT:           4: 4:1

Result:               6 -1(rough) = 5: DH, 1-6 Sec III eliminated

Survivor retreats to 23A:1505

All attackers advance

 

1 step of attack supply from Oviedo to 1-6 Sec III and 1-5 Inf X (23A:1207 – 2RE) and 1-2-6* Inf III, 2-5 Inf X, 1-6 Sec III and 1-6 Art III (Oviedo – 6REs)

 

23A:1206, 23A:1207 and 23A:1007 -> 23:1107

Initial odds:      4:0.5 = 8:1

Militia:               2: Falangist halved (3.75)        6 +1(Non-clear) = 7: Normal  -> Odds: 7.5:1

Incr CRT:           7: odds = 7:1

Result:               6 -2(wooded rough) = 4: DE

All units from 23A:1206 and 23A:1207 advance

 

1step of attack supply from 23A:2503 to 1-8 Cav III and 1-5 Inf X (23A:2502 – 2RE) and 3-6 Inf XX (23A:2434 – 3RE)

 

23A:2602 and 23A:2702 -> 23A:2601

Initial odds:      2:0.5 = 4:1

Militia:               1: The Falangist retreats to 23A:2503              2+1(non-clear)=3: Normal -> Odds: 1.5:0.5 = 3:1

Result:               2 -1(rough) -2(half AECD) = -1: Attacker halved. Eliminate 1-6 Inf III and 1-6 Eng III from 23A:2702 and 1-8 Cav III from 23A:2602

Survivors retreat to 23A:2801

 

23A:2501, 33:2434, 23A:2301 and 23A:2302 -> 23A:2401

Initial odds:      7.5 vs. 3 = 2.5:1

Militia:               6+1(non-clear) = 7: Normal

Incr CRT:           7 -> 2:1

Result:               4 -1(rough) = 3: Attacker Stopped

 

23A:3411 and 23A:3513 -> 23A:3512

Initial odds:      5:3 = 1.7:1

Militia:               2: Falangist halved                     2 +1(non-clear) = 3: Normal -> odds: 4.75:3 = 1.6:1

Incr CRT:           10 -> 3:2

Result:               4 -1(wooded) = 3: Attacker Stopped

 

23A:4516 -> 23A:4515

Initial odds:      2.5:0.5 = 5:1

Militia:               5: Normal

Result:               4: DR to 4315

All attackers advance

 

Attack supply from 23A:3822 to 2-6 Inf III, 2x 1-6 Inf III, 1-8 Lt Inf II (23A:3822 -3.5RE) and 2-6 Inf III and 2-1-8 Art III (23A:3922 – 2RE)

23A:3721, 23A:3820, 23A:3822 (minus 1-6 MG II, over the stack limit for mountain) and 23A:3922 -> 23A:3821

Initial odds:      7.5:2.5 = 3:1

Militia:               5+1(non-clear) = 6: Normal

Result:               1 -2(mountain) = -1: Attacker halved. Eliminate (23A:3822:) 2-6 Inf III (Col), 1-6 Inf III (Col), 1-6 Inf III, 1-8 Lt Inf II; (23A:3721:) 1-8 Cav III (Col); (23A:3820:) 3-2-6 Inf III and 2-1-8 Cav III (Col)

Survivors retreat to: 23A:4021, 23A:3819 and 23A:3620

The mountain proved a very tough nut to crack. I decided to just let them starve to death in a long run. It’ll tie up some of my troops but will cost me less men than trying to attack again.

End of Insurgent Turn

End of Insurgent Turn

Loyalist turn was up next. The French populace started protesting against helping the Bolshevists, so the government ordered the border to be closed. Good. That’ll give another headache to the Loyalists. In the initial phase, Loyalists rebuilt the BBTF that was destroyed a while back. It’s another 2 AA factors I need to be wary of. Not good. The ships started preparing a firing salvo. That means that Bilbao will attempt to sally, time to fly in the bombers for defensive air support. Basque units overran my mountain infantry battalion, but that’s pretty much what it was there for. To stop them reaching San Sebastian or blocking the rail line to it. My “Catalan screen” was still badly surrounded.  Brequet 19s went to support them. Loyalist Dewoitines went to intercept, but their pilots were too inexperienced. They failed to affect the Brequets, but the Brequets’ pilots and gunners practically eliminated the Dewoitine unit from the game. (As far as I can tell, they cannot re-enter. Loyalist is limited to 1 ARP expenditure per turn, and bringing back an Eliminated unit requires 2 ARPs.) The only ground attack Tim made eliminated by units that were sitting on the outskirts of Madrid in Guadalajara.

D.371 intercepts Bre.19

2 vs. 1 = 1

8: No effect

0 vs. 1 = -1

3: D.371 is killed

 

2707, 2608, 2709 and 2808 -> 2708

11:3 = 3.7:1

Militia:               4: Normal

Incr.:                   8 = 3:1

Combat:            2: EX, 1-6 MG II, 1-0-8 lt Tank III and 1-6 Eng III eliminated. 1-6 Lt AA III advances into Guadalajara.

End of October I 36

End of October I 36

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Fighting Wings Update

Last night J.D. contacted me via Skype. I’ve not had Skype open for ages until this game, as Skype makes it easier to coordinate the interceptions etc. and discuss attacks. Anyhow, he was asking how my extension/scenarios/whatever for Buffalo Wings is coming along. Oh crap. I had completely put that on hold for a while as Top Cover seems to concentrate on areas where I have little or no expertise. Currently Vichy France is in the works, and Spanish Civil War and Malta are good candidates for issue #3. J.D. said he’s planning to have my work published in some form or another.

I’ve had the work in two formats, now I need to figure out which one to complete first. I’ve been collating the data from the excellent series of books by Keskinen and Stenman. One form is to record the date of destruction/damage for each plane that has been killed or damaged during the Winter War and Continuation War. The other is day-by-day record of operations for Winter War. I think I’ll start continuing the latter.

The three fights I’m refereeing are steadily progressing. North African Campaign – first fight is drawing to its end. Clovis will disengage in a turn or two and Tracy has a pretty good chance to do so, as well. And this is still the morning on June 12th, a couple of days before Operation Battleaxe kicks in.

The competitive chronological scenario fighting is in its third scenario, covering the leap day fight in the Winter War. I’m flying one of the Soviet I-16s and been mainly shooting at ground targets. The Finns have been scrambling to get in the sky and then trying hard to evade being shot at. One I-16 was lost having turn stalled at low altitude, pilot didn’t have time to bail out. Fokker stalled but managed to float back into controlled flight just above the lake ice. We’re now at the end of Turn 11 of 15 and the current damaged aircraft status is:

  • Gladiator-02 (Christian) – shot down on Turn 8 – pilot never made it out.
  • Gladiator-03 (Igniter) – 4 hits, hollow space critical hit – pilot has blacked out for the rest of the fight. Now we’re awaiting for it to hit the ground of be shot down. Time will tell whether either will take place.
  • Gladiator-04 (Luis) – Shot down on Turn 5, wing spar was hit, wing tore off – pilot didn’t have time to bail out.
  • Gladiator-06 (tracy) – 1 hit.
  • I-16-01 (Jammin’) – 1 hit.
  • I-16-03 (Twoonie) – Turn stalled at low altitude. Plane hit the ground before the pilot had time to bail out, KIA.

The training fight is also practically over. The two Dutch Buffaloes danced some circles around the six Zeros and are now diving to safety with the help of their superior max speed. I may not be starting another for a while. Have enough on my plate as it is.

The two campaigns I’m participating advance steadily as well. Battle of Britain has a humongous encounter where a large German formation (Stukas and Bf 109Es) is piercing through another large British Hurricane formation to attack a naval convoy. First bombs will probably be released in a turn or two (i.e. within the next couple of months real time).

Darwin campaign fight is progressing at a bit faster pace. I’m flying the lead Zero of the three Zeros who charged into a formation of 20+ Spitfires. This is the one that has some situation photos in the BGG. So far haven’t been able to down any of them but it’s a very target rich environment so it’s just a matter of time. Almost every game turn some Spitfire turn stalls while trying to pull into the Zeros which also is like a beacon beckoning me to come let the poor pilot out of its misery. Then again, sooner or later some Spitfire is bound to be able to latch onto my tail.

End of September – The Dark Overlord of Bad Dice Rolls Shows Up

Tim has been all along been telling he’s the Dark Overlord of bad dice rolls. Last turn, my against all odds attacks succeeding were the other side of the coin. This turn the other side showed up.

Movement Phase saw the loyalists maneuver into position to annihilate the rest of the “Barcelona screen”. The stack of units that had been on the run away from them got surrounded. Also two reference cities in the east got enemy units around them. My Brequet 19s took off to defend their airbase in Logrono.

Tim made two attacks. First one against the intrinsic garrison in Logrono with air support. The result was worst possible at those odds, militia decided they didn’t want to fight, and the end result eliminated three cavalry regiments of the attackers. The second fight was against the remaining Barcelona Screen. Again, the dice were against the attacker, who retreated.

San Sebastian has been cut off from the rest of my areas, though. Both railroads leading to it have one hex in Loyalist possession. This will pose problems in continuing the fight against the Basques. Those pesky Catalans need to be pushed back to where they belong… and preferably even further, into the Mediterranean sea.

End of September 1936

End of September 1936

Sep II 36 Insurgent – Against All Odds

Movement phase saw the Insurgents gather troops for two attacks and strengthen Toledo. San Sebastian attack was supposed to be supported by BBTF-1 and CATF but I neglected to read the rules in time. I decided that they can visit El Ferrol to replenish their fuel. Only at the beginning of combat phase I read the rules related to the naval gunfire support. They need to spend 90 MPs for it. I only had some 80 left after the replenishment tour, and they really didn’t need the fuel. They are in no hurry to move elsewhere. Darn, that’s 3 factors lost.

Starting to count the odds, they don’t seem so great. I only have enough supply for half of the attackers. Barring militia reliability, there’s a 4 in 10 chance of getting odds that will have even a chance of affecting the defenders. And even that is a 1 in 6 chance. I decided to chance it anyways, as militia reliability was going to be 1 in 3 chance. All dice were rolled at once and I started reading the results. Crap. Militia is normal. Ok, got the better odds. And…. woohoo… it was a 6. Exchange. A costly attack, but that thorn has been pulled from my side.

I was also contemplating a rallying attack from Toledo, but that was way too low odds to even have a chance of succeeding. Have to wait for a better opportunity.

That only leaves Malaga. Attack supply is sufficient for most units. The two regiments attacking across mountain hexside were left without as they would halved for the mountain anyways. 4:1 with -1. Militia reliability on both sides had the militia fight with full force, and the end result was only a DR. Malaga is now ours, and its former defenders are standing in the mountains next to it.

North Africa is pretty much drained of its units. The rest will stay there to garrison in case the Loyalists want to make a landing. Although the Italian submarines may be good enough deterrent for that. Time will tell.

San Sebastian and Malaga change hands and the noose around Madrid tightens

San Sebastian and Malaga change hands and the noose around Madrid tightens

Sep I 36 Loyalist – or How the East Was Lost

Loyalist movement phase brought the horrible realization. Zaragoza was wide open. Just because I wanted to make Madrid feel threatened and moved a small group of units towards it and they got slaughtered a while back. Just because I felt Barcelona area was going to be too strong so I’ll concentrate elsewhere, so they had little problem piercing the small screen force I had left there. I did not suffer too large losses material-wise, but my fighting spirit got a big knock out of losing Zaragoza to the loyalists, and it will be a long time before I can amass enough troops to even dream about retaking it.

Madrid is feeling less and less threatened. It has multiple venues of supply available. I’m losing the war of logistics. I have munitions, but they are sitting in the ports on the west coast, and I’d need them for waging war in the east. Rail lines will be needed to haul them quickly over. Or a port in the east but where and how will I get one?

Loss of Zaragoza

Loss of Zaragoza

Sep I 36 Insurgent – or How the West Was Won

Initial Phase. Time for the first Infantry RPs… say what?! 10+ RPs on Nationalists, quite a few on the other factions. Apparently this game is geared towards losing a lot of troops. I’ve been playing too conservatively, apparently. Ok, time to start making riskier moves.

Both unsupported divisions appear near Euzkadi. Time to start putting heavy pressure on the Basques and take them out of equation. Brequet 19 had moved to Logrono during Loyalist turn to anticipate this.

Barcelona front looks nasty. I may lose Zaragoza soon ig I don’t do something to slow those swarms down. Time to start those desperate attacks. 17th Infantry regiment circled behid a stack of enemy units on the Tarragona-Zaragoza road. Rail capacity limitations start to show. I have attack supply, but it’s sitting on the ports waiting for someone to haul them to the front lines. I need ports closer to the fronts. So it’s time to start grabbing Malaga and Almeria and keep creeping alont the south coast towards Catalonia. Enemy mountain units tried to circle behind my lines through the Pyrenees so I had to move the 19th Infantry regiment to slow them down. 20th Infantry regiment retreated a bit towards Zaragoza blowing the rail line while doing so. It won’t matter much, it will be slaughtered soon.

An all out attack on San Sebastian was repelled (attacker stopped) despite air support. Zaragoza-Tarragona rail line combat ended likewise in a draw. Road to Almeria was cleared of the anarchist infantry brigade – with the help of attack supply. Jaen was captured. In the west, Badajoz was conquered and the 20th Security regiment met its demise in the nearby hills. West is ours… now only if I could keep the east.

End of September I 36 Insurgent turn

End of September I 36 Insurgent turn

End of August – Siege of Madrid Has Been Breached

Tim used this turn to bring Madrid into the rail network with Barcelona-Valencia area. Not that I was too much trying to isolate Madrid yet. It had too many units to be easily attacked and my main concerns right now is to clear the enemy pockets in the western parts and to beat Euzkadi (Basque) into submission. This may be a poor tactic, time will tell.

The turn began with happy news, though. Loyalist BBTF was sunk by a mishap with mines. I’m back into lead, 12-8.

End of August 1936

End of August 1936