Cardboard Wars

War is the continuation of politics by other means

Narvik PBEM2: Allied Turn 8 (May 6 – 9, 1940)


Playing out the clock . . .

Narvik ends on turn 15, or at least victory is assessed at that point, but we are ending our game on turn 8.  The current situation and my assessment follows.

Norwegian troops have been falling back slowly up the two valleys leading from Oslo to Trondheim and central Norway.  That act is now coming to a conclusion with the last rearguard units left to delay the Hun hordes for one more turn.  At the same time the defense of the airbase in hex 5:2631 adjacent to German occupied Trondheim is strengthened to 32 defense factors, enough to ensure the Germans would have to fight a 1:1 -1 or worse battle if they tried to take the hex with results of AE, AD, AR, AH, NE and NE.  It seems highly unlikely they would make such an attempt.

Positions in central Norway (click image to enlarge)

Positions in central Norway (click image to enlarge)

This means Norwegian and Allied forces will be able to hold Namsos for an additional 100 victory points (port below the A weather line). My expected turn-by-turn defense lines are shown on the map above. Key to this defense is the HMKG Inf Bn which can retreat before combat.  Using this unit means only one or two hexes will be under attack each turn.  Other Norse units have a chance to retreat before combat and the CRT itself offers at least a 50% chance (given the -1 DRM for forest hexes) of a retreat or no effect result.  Given anything but the worst dice there will be plenty of Norwegian troops to prevent the Germans from taking Namsos by the end of play.  If need be the Allies have many company size units (which don’t result in negative VPs) to throw in front of the Germans.

The only other avenue for Germany to score major points is to have a unit in or adjacent to Narvik.  The Germans can only land at ports and Narvik will be well defended against an amphibious assault (with 4 in 6 chance of any German unit making the attempt to be sunk before reaching Narvik).  German paratroopers cannot land in mountain hexes or in a hex with a non-zero strength defender. All airdrop capable hexes adjacent to Narvik will be occupied by either Polish Infantry Bns or Norse Bns.  There is also the matter of numerous RAF fighters which I have carefully preserved and stationed at Bardufoss.

Narvik and evirons (click image to enlarge)

Narvik and evirons (click image to enlarge)

Germany now occupies most of southern Norway and should take Bergen in turn 11.  The two island ports of Alesund and Kristiansund do not satisfy the victory condition for holding a port below the A weather line, but they might prove useful as a base from which to launch an amphibious assault should another port within 10 hexes be left unguarded or weakly held.  In the upper left corner you can see the results of German half exchanges from their portion of turn 8.  No victory points are awarded for eliminating Norwegian ground units.

Southern Norway (click image to enlarge)

Southern Norway (click image to enlarge)

Expected outcome: Decisive Allied Victory (requires 151+ VP)

Current total +104 VP

End of game:

+100 VP for holding Narvik and all adjacent hexes

+100 VP for holding any port in Norway south of the ‘A’ Weather line

Despite the results of the last two games I believe the Germans can win Narvik.  Here’s my suggested German strategy.

Invasion Planning:

– Don’t try to take Oslo on turn 1.  Land on both sides of the Oslofjord and move swiftly to sieze the capitol and nearby mobilization center/airfields.

– Land at Kristiansand.

– Try to airdrop at the Kristiansand airbase (1 Company) and the Oslo-west airbase (2 companies).  Follow up with airlanded infantry.

– In central Norway take Trondheim and Namsos, land one Bn at Andalsnes. Andalsnes should be bombed out if you don’t take it.

– Tony showed me the Trondheim airbase is susceptible to an airlanding (not airdrop), he just went about it the wrong way.  Although far from a sure thing taking that airbase on turn 1 can speed things up tremendously.

– Do not land north of the A weather line.  You will likely lose any troops and they are a major

General Guidance:

– Bombing out Allied ports is what your air force is there for.  Bomb out Andelsnes and any Allied held ports north of there. Don’t wait for them to land a base.  Don’t waste time bombing troops with your Ju88s, their only other target should be air units. 

– Land all components of your Mtn XX’s by air, do not risk naval interception.

– Do not rush to take south-western Norway, keep pushing north and let later landing divisions clean up the south and west.

– Always stage less than the full allowance of units.  Make the Allies garrison all those ports in the A Weather Zone.  Your potential landing can be as little as a company/battery.

– You have two Infantry XX that are stronger than the rest.  Try to preserve those and use them as a battering ram.

– Keep airlifting troops into Trondheim/Namsos.  This is a good place to use the German frozen lake airbase.  The first unit airlifted in should be an AA Bn.

– Airlift your Mtn units into the airbases near Oslo and move them north across the mountains.  You will be able to turn any Norwegian line in the valleys quickly.

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