Narvik PBEM: Allied Turn 14 (May 30 – June 2, 1940)
Hit Me With Your Best Shot!
Current Allied VP: +44
By my recollection, this was the fourth battle that the dice did not go his way (Trondheim airfield, Trondheim, Mo, and now Bodo), but it is the worst outcome that he received.
I expected the Germans to put their full weight behind trying to break the small Allied forces blocking the way to Narvik, but that’s why live opponents are best.
The attack at Bodo was a surprise. Alan had said that he would have put some of the 0-1-4 infantry companies behind on speed bump duty from Mo on the way north, sacrificing them and the Norwegians. I didn’t do that, because there were something like six or seven turns left, and only five of those companies, and five Norwegian units. I think these would have slowed him down a bit, but would have been destroyed a bit at a time, and sometimes in chunks, because the land doesn’t always stay narrow. At some point, they would have been gone, though at no cost in VPs. Besides, that’s not my playing style. I want the big battle, and I certainly got it.
This may have prevented an attack on Bodo, but I also would not have netted +10 VPs by doing so. I kept the entire pile together to dissuade an attack on Bodo, but he must have felt the only opportunity for him to win was to destroy as many Allied battalions as he could in the final two turns. Instead, the 214th Division, one of his two strongest divisions was decimated.
Of course, Alan is not the only person who suggested that kind of move, or even that kind of defense. I don’t feel that I need to defend my style of play, especially after I’ve won the game. I find tossing units out just to slow my opponent down a bit gamey, but that’s because I am a big picture guy. Even though this game is not affected by outside events, I still keep in mind, for whatever reason, that I need to preserve as many troops as i can to send back to Britain, even though I actually don’t need to.
But why did I sacrifice a brigade instead of a couple of companies? I think the results should speak for themselves.
It also does not matter to me if the game ends with me having 101 VP, or 150 VP. All are a marginal Allied victory. There is no scale within a scale, and nothing says a victory with 150 points is better than a victory with 101 points. On the VP table, they all count the same. The Allies have won a marginal victory, no matter what happens on turn 15, if there is a turn 15. All that is left to figure out is how many VPs the Allies have.
The forces trapped in Bodo, now on their second turn out of supply, load up on transports and return to their native countries. Escaping are the 24th Guards Brigade, the British 15th Brigade, five rifle companies, an armored platoon/troop, the French armored company and French AA battalion. They will not return to Norway, but both brigades will later see action in the Mediterranean.
The French 5th and 27th Alpine regiments (starting their second turn out of supply, and having their defense factors and movement halved) withdraw further into the mountains towards Narvik, covered by the remnants of the British 146th Brigade and 51st Artillery Battalion (also on their second turn out of supply). By the end of turn 15, the French will be back in full supply and still blocking the entrance to Narvik.
So ends any chance at victory for the Germans. That’s not to say that they won’t ultimately win the campaign (they will), but the game is, as far as I can tell, over. Well, I shouldn’t say that it is completely over. The Germans could still attempt an opposed landing at Narvik (with its 10 DF and 6 AA factors), but the best that he can land there (assuming nothing gets sunk) is 12 AF, for a 1:1 attack (-2 DRM). The best result he could hope for is a NE, and the worst is an Attacker Eliminated (AE)
While some formations have escaped from Norway, the massive undertaking known as the Miracle of Dunkirk is still underway in France, pulling as many beleaguered Allied forces from the continent as they can. This operation will end on turn 15, and, I am sure, the evacuation of Norway will begin in earnest, especially if the last supply base at Alta is destroyed.