Narvik: Turn 10 (May 14 – May 17, 1940)
This is the final turn before the Germans concede that they can’t get back to Narvik in time before the game ends, at least not with enough force to win the game. I am going to consolidate both turns into one post.
Southern Norway is under the complete control of the Germans. Life’s good, right?
Following the calamitous defeat at Elvesgaardsmoen, OKH scrambles to get troops to the arctic. The 214th and 198th divisions are routed back to Trondheim for transport, while the 2nd mountain division is returned to Oslo for transport.
Even though there is a victory point penalty for activating the 1st mountain division, it is the only division ready to go, and is staged for transport. Since the destination is in the arctic, transport costs are doubled. There are 14 points of transport available, so seven battalions are sent out. Narvik is the target, but the Germans are aware that the Allies have two interdiction squadrons available. There are three ports in the immediate area: Harstad (German controlled), Narvik (Allied controlled), and Tromso (Allied controlled). The Allies will obviously interdict Harstad, denying the Germans the use of that port and preventing them from reinforcing the naval regiment.
The other obvious interdiction point would be Narvik, preventing a forced landing there, at the critical point.
Tromso will be garrisoned, and an opposed landing there would be difficult. I say “will be garrisoned”, because the Allies realize now that they must button up and force the Germans to land as far away as possible. Garrisoning Tromso would force the Germans to Alta, which appears to be too far away, with a single road leading from the port to Narvik.
So where else can the Germans land and be close enough to Narvik?
Bodo is not garrisoned, and even though mountains separate it from Narvik, the mountains troops can negotiate the mountains quickly, more quickly than the Allies can.
Further south, the Germans catch the 146th infantry brigade and destroy it, due to the lack of British supply.
In response, the Allies interdict Tromso and Harstad, daring the Germans to land at Narvik.
The surprise move came from the Norwegian 3rd light armored battalion, which throws a monkey wrench into the German plans by meandering into Bodo. There is really no point in the battalion continuing north, because it can’t cross the mountains, and if it wants to be transported north, it needs to be in a port.
It appears that the Germans should have selected Alta.
The French 5th mountain and 13th Foreign Legion regiments (the heroes of Elvegaardsmoen), move to attack Harstad, wiping out the naval regiment and recapturing Harstad.
As the sinking of German transport vessels picked up in the late turns, the Allies continued to gain victory points. At this point, they have scored 44 victory points. Still a German decisive victory, but the game isn’t over yet.
It is at this point the German player is starting to consider getting to the arctic hopeless. Before they concede, however, the Germans move ahead with their plans to land at Bodo.
The beginnings of turn 11: Five of the seven battalions shipped to Bodo are sunk. With the help of the Luftwaffe, the Germans destroy the armor battalion, but lose a battalion of their own in the battle. The sinkings tally another 10 points for the Allies.
It is at this point that the German player decides that there is no way to get to Narvik with enough strength to take even one hex back. Shipping troops to the area would cost a lot of victory points as the Royal Navy would sink a lot of them. Either way, the Allies would win the game.
The Allies score 154 points, an Allied decisive victory. Well, technically, they scored 254 points, because the Germans never actually took Namsos. However, they were just outside of it, and if I had continued turn 11, they would have taken it, so I’m not giving those points to the Allies.
A game that appears to be a cakewalk for the Germans is nothing but. The Royal Navy is the great equalizer in this game. Now I need to analyze what each side can do better.
I had intended for this to be my last game of Narvik for now, but I have been challenged to a play by email game. I’ve never done a PBEM game before, so it should be interesting. Stick around and watch me get my butt handed to me! =D