Narvik: Allied Turn 6 (April 28 – May 1)
The Allies receive no reinforcements this turn, and the HMS Glorious and HMS Ark Royal are withdrawn, only to reappear a few turns later.
Norwegian mobilization continues to fail as four battalions are mobilized at the recently captured Mobilization Center 11, and are themselves captured.
The interdiction of Narvik is removed and placed at Bergen, while the 24th Guards and 148th infantry brigades abandon Bergen and are shipped to Namsos, north of Trondheim to establish a new base.
That’s all that happened this turn. The British situation is turning dire. They had to use one of their spare supply depots in order to get supply to the troops. The 24th Guards and 148th infantry brigades are both on their second turn out of supply. The only real glaring weakness I see in the rules is that it does not specify exactly when you check supply status, except if you are going to attack. For general supply, I follow the normal Europa rules and check supply at the beginning of the turn. However, it does not specify this in the rules, so if a unit goes from being out of supply to being in range of a supply depot mid turn, does it suddenly find itself in supply?
The 146th brigade in Trondheim is on its second turn out of supply, while the 15th brigade in Trondheim is on its first turn out of supply. The hope is that the supply depot in Namsos is currently out of range of the Luftwaffe. The Luftwaffe can always fly extended range missions, but they have to fly with a reduced bomb load, which means that there are no guarantees that they will hit the target. If the depot can survive through at least turn 7, supplies will reach the beleaguered British.
Some may notice that I left Haugesund wide open. I kinda cheated there.
I should have put the interdiction marker there, and will probably do so next turn, to prevent the Germans from slipping any troops into that port behind my back.
I left it empty for two reasons. Because of the number of German units sunk in the first game, as the German player, I’m shy about sending units to any ports outside of the immediate Oslo area. Plus, the German shipping for the next turn is committed to Oslo, so there will be no shenanigans from the Germans.
After a brief discussion this morning, I realize a couple of things.
The Norwegian and Royal Air Forces were sacrificed for no good end. Interception is not their strength, considering the Allied air forces are almost all bi-planes, slow and ponderous in their maneuverability.
Second, there is an airfield up near Narvik. The Norwegians also get three free airfields with which to build on lakes. These airfields could be well utilized in the arctic, where there is a frozen lake near the Bardufoss airfield. In other words, I can get nine separate aircraft counters in the area to kill Germans with, and the Luftwaffe can’t do a damn thing about it.
Third, the primary vulnerability of the Allies is their supply bases. This game has shown that the Luftwaffe can destroy these supply depots with impunity. Without supply, the Allied armies are helpless. These supply bases have to be kept out of the reach of the Luftwaffe, or far enough away that the Luftwaffe can’t carry a full bomb load to blast them into oblivion.
This means all defense, like Alan said in a comment he made yesterday, starts at Trondheim and works north. That the Germans will capture Narvik on the first turn is a given. The Allies have to gather enough strength in the area to push them away, if not destroy them.
I had hoped that the -2 die roll modifier for the partial hex city of Oslo would cost the Germans some losses, but it didn’t work out that way. I’ve found that defending Oslo isn’t worth it, with the losses that the Norwegians suffered.
After this game is finished, I don’t know if I will play it again or move on to another game. I haven’t played this game in nearly 30 years, and learned a lot of lessons in the two plays I’ve given it so far. Who knows, maybe I will set up Storm Over Scandinavia and give the updated version of Narvik a twirl.
However, this game is far from over. The Allies still have a shot at winning it if they can push the Germans out of Elvegaardsmoen. Have to wait for airpower to arrive first.