Narvik PBEM: German Turn 2 (April 12 – 15, 1940) Confusion Reigns
Player confusion with reading hex numbers and terrain effects charts. We figured it out eventually. And now I notice a little blurb in the “unit breakdowns” rule. “Each German ‘captured’ artillery battalion may break down into three one factor artillery batteries, up to the limit of the counter mix.” Ah, but I already broke down two German (not captured) battalions. The Royal Navy and their Polish friends sank 3 of them already, and now I’ve captured two battalions. Why captured battalions can break down while German Army battalions cannot is beyond me.
My opponent wondered why I’ve sent so few Mountain units. It’s because they are like gold, you don’t use them until they are needed. They will be coming soon, via as safe a means of transportation as possible (i.e. well escorted air transports). They will not be used to satisfy exchanges and they will not be drawn into combat south of Trondheim.
The Norwegian trucks from Oslo were last seen headed north, but wait, Luftwaffe pilots report seeing a mass of trucks along the road to Trondheim. Trucks are precious and they should be MY PRECIOUS. Luck would have it they are within reach and a Bn from the 196th is sent on a trolley to capture them. Narvik may be unique in all of Europadom in allowing units to use rail movement thru enemy-owned hexes. Once captured two of the trucks were loaded on flatcars and railed far, far away where they will come in handy next turn.
West Approach: For awhile it looked like the Germans could seize Trondheim’s unguarded airbase, but alas, it turns our woods hexes cost 2 movement points, even for mountain troops. So instead they are set up as a roadblock west of Trondheim but within an easy march of the airbase next turn.
East Approach: The three battalions of the 214th Inf XX landed at Namsos move as close to the Trondheim airbase as possible (2 are adjacent). The British can land in Trondheim next turn, but that consumes all their movement. The two strongest Norwegian units were successfully bombed, ending any but the most foolhardy Norwegian counterattack to the east next turn. Meanwhile, four He115 floatplanes transport two Mtn Arty batteries to Namsos to cover the rear and the supply depot received in Sweden is placed to ensure the Germans east of Trondheim are in general supply.
Three Skuas intercept two Ju88s over Trondheim. During the fight one Junker and two Blackburns were shot down, with the third Skua aborted. Score one for the Luftwaffe in taking out half the RAF fighters in Norway.
German troops and supplies continue to stream into the ports south of Oslo with no major losses this turn to the Royal Navy. He111 raided the airbase at Bergen and managed a single hit using strategic bombing. Two hits are needed to put the airbase out of commission for a turn, so no medals are awarded. The Luftwaffe airlifts in a 9-4 Inf Rgt and the 214th Inf XX HQ along with 2 more supply depots (you can never have enough) to the airbase north of Oslo under escort by 3x Me110.
Slippery Norwegians: A major attack at Oslo went in with air support at 5:1 -2 and care was taken to block all retreat routes. Naturally a 1 was rolled resulting in a HX. East of Oslo a 1-4 HQ is attacked at 5:1 and gets a DD (disrupted) result. In the forest northeast of Kristiansand a 1-2-3 Infantry Bn pulls off a retreat before combat. Not the results I wanted, but the port of Oslo is now open for business.
Elsewhere German troops seize Stavanger and its airbase while a 2-4 Inf Bn rides the rail line up to Bergen (adjacent), seizing two Norwegian mobilization centers enroute. Four more Mob Centers are taken east of Oslo, hopefully making hash of the Norwegian reserve army. Finally, Halden is physically occupied to prevent the Norwegians from mobilizing their tank unit. If only the Germans could get a “captured” tank unit like those “captured” artillery battalions.
Looking ahead, the turn 2 mobilization roll could be important, but with so many Mob Centers under German control it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Two Norwegian units mobilize within 5 hexes of Lillehammer and another at Trondheim where the 5th Bde is sitting. Based on my opponent’s blog remarks he will land a brigade of Brits at Trondheim and move his Norwegian units that way. Turn 3 might see a Norwegian-British attack to relieve pressure on the Trondheim airbase, but by that time strong German forces will be bearing down on them from the south and west.