Narvik, Take 2: Plan B
The first crack at the German invasion of Norway ended in disaster for the Germans. They were unable to take Oslo, and ultimately lost Narvik, pretty much ending the game.
What can be done differently?
Well, we can get the rules correct for one thing.
It would not have made any difference to the ultimate outcome of the game, but I kept thinking it strange that the British could ship troops into Oslo, or the surrounding area. I kept thumbing through the rulebook, thinking the entire time that it was unfair for the British to be able to ship at will, without risk of being sunk.
As I was setting this up again and perusing the rulebook, I finally ran across the rule I had been seeking. You will see on the map that there is a demarcation line running southwest from the Kristiansand airfield. The British are not allowed to ship east of this line.
With that in mind, let’s take another look at the situation:
The Germans have 15 points of transport for the invasion wave, and 14 for the follow up wave.
Looking at the victory point schedule, Narvik is objective #1. Objective #2 are all of the ports south of the arctic. Nothing else matters as far as victory points are concerned. Namsos is the furthest north the Germans have to capture.
For this game, I am once again going to use the stripped down version of the 3rd Mt. XX. By stripped down, the division’s artillery regiment and non-essential personnel are being left behind.
This means there are two regiments of 6-8 mountain infantry, but each only takes 3 points of shipping each.
The 138th and 139th mountain infantry regiments are tasked with landing here. The three Kriegsmarine transports are to drop supplies on Narvik for use by these regiments.
There are airfields at Bergen, outside Stavanger (Sola Air Station) and Kristiansand, one at Bardufoss in the arctic, and two near Oslo, one to the north and one to the west, for a total of six airfields.
There are three airborne companies, meaning that landings can occur at three of the six airfields. Bardufoss has been ruled out, because it is simply too far away. The airfield at Bergen will hopefully be taken by infantry, leaving four airfields to choose from.
The chosen targets are the two Oslo airfields, and the Kristiansand airfield.
6 transports will be needed to land troops at an airfield, and 3 to air drop supplies. This is a total of 9 transports per airfield, for a total of two airfields that the Germans will be able to land troops at, if successfully captured.
It is determined to fly troops and supplies to the Oslo airfields, to put as much pressure on Oslo as possible.
It is also decided that no aircraft will be risked landing at Sola Air Station outside Stavanger.
Bergen: 159th III/69th Infantry lands (9-4)
Stavanger: 236th III/69th Infantry to land (9-4)
Kristiansand: 193rd III/69th Infantry (9-4)
The invasion wave is sunk only on a roll of ‘6’.
The follow up wave is composed of the following:
Larvik: 355th infantry III, IV bn/214th XX divisional artillery and the 214th divisional HQ
Horten: 388th infantry III and the III bn 214th divisional artillery
Fredrikstad: 367th infantry III, and the I & II battalions of the 214th divisional artillery
The follow up wave cannot make opposed landings, but the ports of Larvik, Horten and Fredrikstad are not defended. The follow up wave lands during the exploitation phase, and is unable to move any further.
Trondheim is the only major port left out of the invasion plans. It is really too far north, and while supplies can reach it, it did not have an important feature like an airfield near it.
For reference, these are the distances from the German airfields to various cities in Norway:
- Kristiansand: 20 hexes
- Stavanger: 27 hexes
- Bergen: 33 hexes
- Oslo: 25 hexes
The German He-111H bombers and Me-110C fighter-bombers will have to fly extended range missions, while the Ju-88s will be able to reach any of these cities.
Finally, the Germans have staged the 340th and 345th infantry regiments of the 196th division, plus an antiaircraft battalion heading for Larvik, scheduled to arrive on turn 2.
So begins the Germans second attempt at subjugating Norway.