TFH2: Nov I 40: Endgame
The Germans have pushed the invasion back as far as they can push it. The last of the fleet has finally arrived in the form of the battlecruiser Gneisenau and the light cruiser Leipzig. Shipping and light naval forces have been shifted around in preparation to invade Britain.
Mines are placed in zones 10, 11, 12 & 13 (dummy counter, 4 points, 5 points, 5 points), as the Germans are prepared to roll the dice in a last ditch attempt to get across the Channel. The Germans have a 50/50 chance of getting good weather.
And the weather is…….
Poor. Rough seas.
The window has now all but closed on any chance of a German invasion. The Führer predictably loses interest and turns his focus to the east and the pursuit of lebensraum.
Because of these circumstances, the game is going to end in a draw. The Germans will certainly not allow the British to get a VP ratio of 2:1 or greater to claim a victory.
Of course, the British will claim this was a strategic victory, but there is no strategic victory defined in the rules. As a standalone campaign, there are no strategic victories. In reality, the Germans just lost the war.
The British sat back and did as little as possible, bombing some shipping and terror bombing a few cities with little effect, scoring all of 2 victory points for their efforts. They also sunk all of 7 shipping points.
That said, the onus is all on the German player, and it can be frustrating at times, but only if you let it be.
Too many times I let Alan get into my head. I stopped using the Me-110s on bombing missions because he once said that he was salivating at the prospect of patrol attacking them.
Patrol attacking them, which merely had a chance to send them back to base, and I balked. I should have let him patrol attack all he wanted. Mistake #1.
We have had some discussion about updating the rules to at least the Second Front standards. In that game, air units can either patrol attack or intercept, not both. The British, for the most part, played the game in this style, preferring patrol attacks to interception. Patrol attacks, however, don’t send air units to the kill box, and I should have realized that.
But I am sure people are wondering
Why Did You Wait So Long?
I fear the Royal Navy, as any rational person should.
It is intensely nerve wracking to even contemplate taking on four battleships (let alone the original 3) when the heaviest ship you have is a cruiser, and you have about 1/3 as many destroyers as the enemy.
The Kriegsmarine does not become any threat to the Royal Navy until this time, and even then, that threat is marginal. The biggest threat to those battleships is the Luftwaffe, and even then, the bombers suffer a -1 DRM penalty for bombing ships at sea, a penalty that dive bombers and fighter-bombers do not have.
For giggles, we had started to play the Nov I 40 turn as though the weather were clear. I sent 2 divisions (one being a 6-6 division) and an engineer regiment across in zone 12. He released the Royal Navy, and lost a sub to mines, but I made a mistake (#2).
After, the RN refused to enter the minefields of zone 13, where there were also 26 air units on naval patrol (an air unit being 40 – 50 aircraft). Yes, it was a deliberate kill zone, but the British didn’t want to scratch the paint on any of their ships and prove the superiority of the Royal Navy over the Kriegsmarine.
The mistake was that I should have announced that there were only 1 or 2 mine points in zone 13. That might have drawn him in, but probably not.
The thing is, these units were never going to get ashore in the Dover area. They weren’t supposed to. I mean, a reserve division making an amphibious landing? It was probably the reserve division that allowed him to see right through the ruse. That, and I wasn’t about to land paratroopers in that area that was so thick with enemy fighters.
This was just a feint to see if I could draw the RN into the kill zone, but it didn’t work.
What we now know is that, as shown during the game, bombing radar sites and factories is a waste of time. They are too easily repaired. So is bombing British ports and airfields. Bombing air units on the ground is helpful, but the two primary targets should be coastal artillery and naval units. Submarines and destroyers can be replaced, so the capital ships have to be the target. Of course, the task becomes much harder if the British put a lot of flak in the hex with the ships, in addition to the AA cruisers that have to be taken out before the battleships are attacked.
In the future, in order to cut down on counter clutter, all 0 movement AA counters should be considered to be intrinsic to the cities where they are supposed to be placed.
The naval system needs to be overhauled, just like a lot of things for a game of this age. I personally think the Second Front or the Wavell’s War rules would be sufficient with the TFH specific rules (radar sites, equipment points, factory hits, and maybe a couple others that are eluding me at the moment) plugged in.
I am going to move on to some other projects for a bit. I don’t know where the modernization project stands at the moment, but I’m sure there is some work being done on it.
If you don’t mind, I need to set up for the Battle of Stalingrad. I’m so excited.