Narvik PBEM: Allied Turn 1 (April 9 – 11, 1940)
You take the good with the bad.
This is my first Europa in several years. Narvik is not Europa as I remember it, resulting in multiple readings of the rules. It is however, a good game to PBEM –see, good and bad already.
The Nazis have attacked peaceful Norway. Wait, what? Huh? To arms! To arms!
After a fierce battle in the capitol we have pushed the invaders back to their beachheads and the Blucher lies at the bottom of Oslo fjord. Steaming piles of Ju52s litter the ground around the airbase to the west. Life is good in Oslo, but reports from outside the capitol are not so good. We must mobilize quickly.
Our brave army rushes to defend the capitol and mobilization centers, forming a front to the west and south of Oslo. It’s not a strong front, but we don’t have troops for that. The southwest of Norway is nearly denuded of troops, but it was going to fall quickly in any event. A famous German said “he who defends everywhere defends nowhere” and in this case we agree.
The Germans have 6 arty Bns and a lone Infantry Bn in their staging box. This means two things, first, they cannot land north of the A weather line on turn 2 due to capacity, and second, they are going to be hard pressed to make an opposed landing. Arty cannot make an opposed landing without Infantry support. A lone 2-3-4 Inf Bn guards Oslo, almost tempting the Germans to take the chance. Of course there is a -4 DRM. I guess they’ll have to take the good with the bad.
Note: artillery stores convert at the BEGINNING of turn 2, so there will be 3-4 Art II in the Norwegian defense line south of Oslo.
Trondheim has been cordoned off and interdicted while we prepare our counterattack. One would hope the Germans have a tough time airdropping supplies into a forest hex with 18 points of AA. But alas, the outdated Narvik rules don’t allow AA to fire on transport missions and there is no penalty for terrain. One of Norway’s artillery stores is in Tronheim, so the Germans will get a “captured” artillery battalion. One wonders where soldiers trained to operate those guns come from. A whole battalion of Quislings?
The Royal Navy and RAF arrive
Three squadrons of RAF fighters conduct extended range nuisance bombing missions in order to reach Norwegian airfields. An emergency runway is constructed to the north of Trondheim, just in case. The Allies will always be short of airfield capacity, so the entire RAF bomber force and a Skua remain off map at Hatston Field. CLAAs are placed at Trondheim (2), Namsos (1) and the airbase adjacent to Trondheim (2).
Narvik is all about the Allies playing for time. For now that is working. For now, keeping control of as many of Norway’s mobilization centers as possible is the key to frustrating German plans. In due time an allied force will eject the Germans from Trondheim . . one hopes.