Cardboard Wars

War is the continuation of politics by other means

TFH2 – The Empire Strikes Back (British Aug I 40)

Britain begins the turn by recalling BB Valiant (-5 VP) and spending 4 equipment points to activate 1/1 and 2/2 Support Groups (1-2-10). The RAF failed to repair the aborted Hurricane 1 in London, a Battle bomber was inactivated while an A-22 attack bomber and Blenheim 4 night fighter were activated (all 44 Group Allowance are in use). 3 Heavy and 3 Light points of AA were also placed. A hit was removed from aircraft factories at Bristol and Coventry, leaving 2 hits at Bristol.

The Luftwaffe declined to place any naval patrols, leaving the Royal Navy free to prowl unmolested, but without any targets they remain in port. RAF pilots took to the sky on several missions. First a naval patrol by our new A-22 and a Whit bomber were sent into Sea Zone 14 off the German coast. Kreigsmarine surface ships at Cuxhaven will have to dodge bombs should they want to join their brethren in Amsterdam. Next up, 3 bombers head to Vlissingen where one inop and two operative Me110C sit just outside Me109 patrol and intercept range. Two Spitfires and a Hurricane escort this mission. Bomber Command sends the remaining 12 bombers on a strategic night raid against shipping gathered at Amsterdam.

There was plenty of shooting at airplanes but patrol attacks by the Me110 failed, none of the five engaged fighters managed to score as much as a return in air combat and only one bomber out of 15 was returned by flak (BSSB – big sky, small bullets). The two remaining bombers at Vlissingen missed the inop Me110, but 4 hits were scored at Amsterdam, sinking 4 points of shipping and garnering 4 victory points. (Score: British -1, Germany 0)

During the ground movement phase a 0-1-5 Const X moves into Dover and the 2-8* Inf X in Dover moves to the coastal hex west of Ramsgate previously occupied by the Const X. One of the 1-2-10 SG X provides support in Dover.

                RAF Strikes Aug I 40



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3 thoughts on “TFH2 – The Empire Strikes Back (British Aug I 40)

  1. 29delta on said:

    What did the Brits do to make a F an NF and a B a NB? As was that effective?


  2. alant14 on said:

    Mostly training the flight crew and adding instruments, sometimes a radio navigation system. Not sure what kind of ground control is used to vector night fighters at this point in the war, whether that is closely or loosely tied in with radar and/or searchlights. NF are mostly twin engine with 2 crew members, not a day fighter operating at night (though there are some instances of that). I don’t believe the aircraft themselves were yet carrying radar.


  3. alant14 on said:

    I’d like to say a few words about my ground setup. There is really only one consideration when siting land defenses – deny Germans a port. If the Germans don’t take a port during the initial invasion and hold it against the inevitable counter-attack they will not be able to land any heavy equipment, and that is just not going to work for them.

    Seaborne Germans must attack the hex they land in if it is occupied and cannot exceed stacking. Therefore, every invasion hex I can cover has at least 1/2 DF (an unsupported 1-6 Inf X) . Every beach hex next to a port is occupied. There will be no over run beaches or empty beach hexes next to ports to land on and gang up on the port defenses.

    The best stack they can land is 2x Inf Gun Bn which provide support to 1 RE each. The best units to support would be the 4x SwimPanzer Bn (2-1-10), then stack them with 2x 3-6 Inf Rgt (unsupported). This generates 13 AF, which according to rule 36D would be quartered to 3.25 AF, but with 1/2 AECA (+2 DRM against many but not all ports on this terrain starved map of England).

    Ports themselves already have at least 2 DF (2-8* Inf X). Not too many turns in the future this will be 3.5+ DF (1:2 attack with +2 DRM by best German stack), which is the point Germans need to fly Ground Support if they want to be sure to take a hex during the invasion. They will also have to defend it in the British player turn, but that is another matter.

    Germany cannot land on a wide front. It takes 2 shipping to land one RE of units without heavy equipment or one Bn of SwimPanzers – per Sea Zone moved. In order to transport their best stack the Germans will need 14 shipping points if landing in the Sea Zone adjacent to their port(s) of embarkation. The relative scarcity of German transports makes it unlikely that they will land anywhere other than the Sea Zone adjacent to their ports of embarkation. Each additional Sea Zone farther from port of embarkation would cost their best stack another 14 shipping points. They currently have 16 shipping points, won’t have 28+ until at least Sep II and it is unlikely that they will ever have more than 40.

    Some Sea Zones are less hostile than others, but Sea Zones 11 and 12 are going to be very tough indeed.

    Sea Zone 12 (most threatened) has two ports, both of which are open to AEC. All adjacent hexes covered.

    Sea Zone 13 (2nd most threatened) has 2 ports, both of which are open to AEC (but one is outside Me109 range).

    Sea Zone 11 (3rd most threatened) has 2 ports, both of which are open to AEC. All adjacent hexes covered.

    Sea Zone 10 (least threatened) has 4 ports, all of which are Dot Cities, not allowing AEC. One port is outside Me109 range.

    As far as supporting artillery units, the British activated 2x 1-2-10 SG X in Aug I and will likely activate 1x 4-3-8 Art X in Aug II and 2 more in Sep I. So, by the German Sep II turn all five ports allowing AEC inside Me109 range should have 4+ DF.

    All of these ports will also have multiple Coastal Artillery counters able to fire on transports before the landing. Unless of course the Germans bomb out the Coastal Artillery in advance (thus giving the British prior warning of the invasion site.

    In some cases (but not Sea Zone 11 and 12) the Germans could airdrop Paras inland into a vacant hex adjacent to a port and avoid the need for air support. Would you depend on any Paras making it past Fighter Command?

    All this complicates things for the Luftwaffe. They must defend naval transports against RAF bombers, bomb out any remaining Coastal Artillery, provide ground support (and escort) and/or Ju52 transports (and escort), fly Defensive Support (sharing escort with ground support and CA bombing) AND, most importantly, mount an all out heavily escorted Naval Patrol against the Royal Navy. If just one part of this goes badly the invasion is road kill. There is just not enough Luftwaffe to do all of these missions successfully.

    Home Guard:
    Beginning in September all dot cities gain 1 point of unsupported intrinsic defense. Without air support a 3-8* Inf X plus 1/2 DF of Home Guard in a Dot city turns the best stack the Germans can make into a 1:2 attack with no DRMs.

    Reference cities gain the same 1 DF in November.


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