Cardboard Wars

War is the continuation of politics by other means

Narvik PBEM2: German Turn 5 (April 24 – 27, 1940)


As one gets older, the memory starts to become less and less trustworthy. This last turn, I had a Norwegian unit (and a truck) out of place on the map because my brain was telling me that Alan had said he had no exploitation this last turn. This wasn’t true. He did have some exploitation move that went unnoticed by me. The end result was that I pounded one of his battalions into the ground that I really had no need to. A turn wasted for my bombers, but they are almost all in Norway now.

The Norwegians decided to haul ass out of the area, and choke off the valleys leading to Trondheim. The Germans were throwing a ring around Oslo, and they thought that skedaddling was the better part of valor. Cowards!

In the arctic, the 3rd Mountain division holds its blocking position in the mountains. They have supply with which to hold out for awhile. The French and British have moved close to their position, but will Alan risk a 1:1 attack again, when units that have VP value are at stake?

German operations near Trondheim (click image to enlarge)

German operations near Trondheim (click image to enlarge)

At Trondheim, the Allies have bombed their own airbase, adding another hit to the pile. I’m sure the Norwegian 5th Brigade is less than happy about that. In response, the Germans quickly build an ice airfield in Trondheim to discourage the Allies from harming Norwegian assets. I said we were here to help the Norwegians, and the Allies show their true colors by attacking them. Mm hmmm.

But the ice airfield also allows transports to fly in fresh supplies and an AA battalion to protect that field. After air missions have been completed, three Me-110C fighter squadrons are now based in Trondheim to ward off any untoward British air raids.

Since the first turn landing, nothing has been happening at Trondheim. Since the Norwegians have gummed up the south, the battle needs to switch to Trondheim. It is lessons that can only be learned by playing an actual opponent.

German operations in SW Norway (click image to enlarge)

German operations in SW Norway (click image to enlarge)

In the southwest, the Norwegians have abandoned Stavanger and Evje, giving up a mobilization center in the process. The Norwegians move to protect MC 7, but abandon MC 8 (both have mountain battalions still available for mobilization). The Germans move swiftly to take advantage. Two infantry battalions are landed at Stavanger to take control of the port, and one of the two battalions moves to secure Sola Air Station outside of Stavanger, before moving to assist in the surrounding of MC 7, and the two battalions in the area.

Mountain troops from the Kristiansand area (just air transported in last turn) race into the mountains, also to cut off the two Norwegian battalions. While there are still a couple of places they could slip away, they won’t get far.

The 3/163 battalion moves to occupy Evje, pushing the Norwegians closer to Haugesund.

German operations in SE Norway (click image to enlarge)

German operations in SE Norway (click image to enlarge)

To the east, Oslofjord has been secured, along with both of the airbases near Oslo. Motorized units are landed at Horten and Fredrikstad to pick up supply depots and move them closer to the front, while other supplies are landed at Oslo (along with two infantry battalions). I love the fact that Oslo fell without a shot being fired.

The 69th division is pushing towards Bergen, but there is a lowly 1-3 infantry battalion standing in the way. Although outgunned 6:1, the battalion avoided destruction when the Germans rolled a DD (Defender Disrupted) because of the forest hex it occupied. and it escaped into the mountains.

To the east, the Luftwaffe is very busy. The HMKG II is disrupted, not that it will prevent it from moving or retreating before combat, but it can’t attack. There are three more heavy raids, disrupting three more battalions. The whole point of these raids was not just to create havoc and disruption, but to get the bulk of the Luftwaffe over to Norway.

It is at the hex just east of the lakes/rivers but south of the woods leading to the long valleys to Trondheim that I missed the exploitation move. I thought that there were two battalions and a truck in this hex, so I bombed the crap out of it to make sure that I would disrupt at least one of the units there to ensure 6:1 odds. There was only 1 battalion in the hex, the other battalion and truck having moved on. Had I realized this, I would not have put so much effort into that hex, trying to achieve a breakthrough that could be exploited by my tanks and motorized infantry.

I won the battle, the battalion was eliminated, but still no breakthrough was achieved.

In the only other combat in the turn, the Norwegians passed their retreat roll despite being disrupted and fled.

Next turn, the piper comes to collect the 12 VPs for the loss of the parachute battalion, +12 VPs worth, which will bring the Allies to +53 VPs (not counting Alan’s actions during his half of the turn), reducing the German victory level (assuming a German victory which is very doubtful at this point).

The game is only a third of the way complete, and frankly, this is an embarrassment. I do not want to take away from anything that Alan has done. I am playing very poorly, and he has punished my for my mistakes. I am not going to make excuses, the lack of German performance is all on me. I have put parachute units into position to be shot down. I have slammed them into the ground on a gamble. I wasted six transports trying a risky landing when there was a better way of accomplishing that goal. I have used AA everywhere except for where it should be (as you will see). I have allowed the same airfield to be raided by the Norwegians TWICE, losing five air squadrons in the process (Alan has already completed his turn, and there is a gaping hole that I noticed after my turn was complete, but it was too late to adjust it, as Alan had already started his turn. It will be detailed in his report. I’m sure he will harp about rear area security, and he will be right. This is not the die roller, this is me. My fault.

It’s embarrassing.

Alan deserves an opponent who is playing better.

I’ll go as far as I can, but I can already see the writing on the wall.

I do hope, however, that this will serve as a guide for how to not run a campaign.

I’ve already drawn up plans for a new invasion, a little less risky. While Alan and I are planning to move on to another game, hopefully he will give me one more shot at him down the road, and I can give him a better game.

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