Cardboard Wars

War is the continuation of politics by other means

Archive for the tag “Norwegian Campaign”

SoS Narvik: Turn 1 (April 8 – 11, 1940)


I was recently reminded of the conundrum that Alan and I were in regarding landing float planes in hexes that are interdicted by warships. It seems to me that any float plane that lands within reach of warships is a sitting duck while it unloads, yet the rules are silent in this regard. It appears to be perfectly legal. Read more…

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Narvik: More Changes


Rule Changes & Clarifications

Norwegian soldiers on the Narvik front (click image to enlarge) [source: https://commons.wikimedia.org]

The Swedish Supply Depot

I found the GDW Narvik rulebook that I (*cough* *cough*) misplaced. In the older version of Narvik, the German supply depot that appears in Sweden receives 4 MP and can move independently. In the new game, it receives an extra movement point.

The Victory Point Schedule

There are a couple of changes to the VP schedule, but I’m not sure all of them were intentional. Read more…

Narvik: Storm over Scandinavia Style


Storm over Scandinavia (click image to enlarge)

I’m not sure what it is about Scandinavia that keeps drawing me back. It seems to me that more people like the Spanish civil war, the Russian front, North Africa or the Second Front more so than any other games. I rarely see anyone discussing the Fall of France, for example. The Balkans are often ignored as well. Is it because these were campaigns the Axis won, and people really don’t want to see the Axis win at something? Read more…

Narvik II: German Turn 3 (April 16 to April 19, 1940)


Germans Are Busting Out All Over

German supply situation (click image to enlarge)

German supply situation (click image to enlarge)

Now that the campaign is 10 days old, the supply situation is getting critical for the Germans. Some of the units are in danger of having their defense strength reduced to 0 during the Norwegian half of the turn. This situation has to be alleviated.

The photo to the right shows the desperate situation for the Germans. A dashed line signifies the first turn out of supply, while the solid line shows where units are in their second turn out of supply.

While there is no specific time that general supply must be checked, it appears that it has to be checked prior to movement, because lack of supply can impact a unit’s movement.

Last turn, when the eastern side attempted to attack in anticipation of receiving supply and when the supply failed to get through, they retreated where they came from. They should also have been disrupted. Fortunately, this did not affect the outcome of the later combat, and the disruption goes away this turn.

But the offensive can’t wait for the supply situation to resolve itself. The troops have to continue to move and try to break through. This is the great opportunity because much of the anticipated Norwegian mobilization has not occurred.

German movement in southern Norway (click image to enlarge)

German movement in southern Norway (click image to enlarge)

The time has come to try to split the Norwegian defenses by conducting an opposed landing at Oslo. There is a -2 DRM for the opposed landing, and an additional -2 DRM for the city itself, combining to make a -4 DRM. I must be crazy right? Not as crazy as one might think. This may look like an extreme risk, but I assure you, it isn’t. It is very calculated (and should be done on turn 2 rather than turn 3), as I will explain shortly.

Meanwhile, forces on the eastern side of Oslofjord push north, trapping the Norwegian forces that just broke out last turn behind enemy lines. The I/138/3rd mountain swings around Oslo, overrunning a regimental HQ and attacks the 2nd motorcycle company at Gardermoen. Another group moves to attack the 1st brigade HQ on the Swedish border. In order to keep the Norwegians from capturing supply that is going to be airdropped at Frederikstad, the Germans decide to give up Norwegian mobilization center 1 temporarily.

On the west side, forces also push north from their ports to push on the Norwegian flank. They push closer to Fornebu and the shores of the Tyrifjorden. They have plenty of attack supply.

Artillery forces from the Larvik/Horten ports push west on the railroads to support an attack at Kjevik Air Station, while two battalions move up the Setesdal to attack Evje and MC 8. They carry their attack supply with them.

The 307th/163rd pushes down the Setesdal, but slowly due to lack of supply.

In every game of Narvik that I have played where the Germans have captured Trondheim, I have struggled to break out of the area. This is the furthest the Germans have pushed out in any game that I’ve played.

As I am reading more and more on the Norwegian campaign, historically the Germans struggled to break out of Trondheim, failed to capture the airfield, and were having trouble supplying the area. So, I think I am a bit ahead of the schedule here.

In the south, by the end of turn, the German advance should be reaching the base of the Gubrandsdal and Osterdal, reaching the area just south of Hamar by the 17th of April.

The central Norway shuffle (click image to enlarge)

The central Norway shuffle (click image to enlarge)

The attempted push out of Trondheim continues against the 5th brigade HQ. If the 5th infantry brigade HQ can be destroyed, the Germans will have breached the Norwegian defensive line around and be set to break out.

Over at Bergen, the 1st and 2nd infantry battalions continue to push towards MC 10, attacking the 4th brigade HQ again, in rough terrain.

From Namsos on north, the Germans hold their position, awaiting a breakout from Trondheim.

Air activity in southern Norway (click image to enlarge)

Air activity in southern Norway (click image to enlarge)

There is heavy air activity, especially in the south. Transports are carrying supply to Bergen, Trondheim, Frederikstad, Horten, and Kristiansand. The transports at Horten and Kristiansand are escorted by Me-110s out of the Danish offmap airbases. The transports at Frederikstad are unescorted. The thought is that there are enough of them that if they are intercepted, they could possibly fight the attackers off.

More Me-110Cs accompanied by He-111s out of Værnes Air Station attack Oslo in order to disrupt the King’s Guards battalion in Oslo. Dive bombers, also from Denmark raid the I/3 infantry battalion at Kjevik, escorted by Me-109s. Bombers also attack Sola Air Station and Forneb u Air Station in an attempt to shut them down and trap RAF fighters.

A supply depot is also flown to Trondheim.

So, the RAF has a lot of targets to choose from for interception. The question is, what do they intercept? Obviously, they stay away from missions that have escorts.

Interception goes to Frederikstad once again. They won’t stop all of the supply from being dropped, but they can perhaps take down some more transports. However, neither side inflicts any damage to the other. Since it is becoming a little crowded in the Fornebu area, the intercepting aircraft flee to Sola Air Station at Stavanger.

Two waves of bombers strike Fornebu, but the mission is only partially successful as the bombers deliver one hit to the airbase.

The airstrike on Oslo disrupts the King’s Guards battalion. Combat odds there are now 11:1 (6:1).Two of the Me-110s return to Værnes Air Station with the He-111s.

The Sola Air Station raid is also only partially successful. One hit is delivered to the airfield, but it is not enough to shut the airbase down.

The bombing of Norwegian troops at Kjevik is more successful, disrupting the defenders one more time.

Combat in southern Norway (click image to enlarge)

Combat in southern Norway (click image to enlarge)

So let’s start withe the combat at Oslo. I said earlier it was a calculated risk, the risk being that the bombers could not disrupt the defenders. Since the King’s Guard is disrupted, the combat odds are on the 6:1 column. With a -4 DRM, the worst possible outcome the Germans can get is a No Effect, while the best is Defender Disrupted. The most likely outcome, however, is a Defender Retreat. Given this, the King’s Guard chooses to retreat east out of Oslo, abandoning the trucks. Probably should have moved the trucks out of Oslo earlier. The 0-4 regimental HQ also skips town while the getting is good, following the King’s Guards.

And that is how Olso is captured with a minimum muss and fuss if the Norwegian player is playing the “defense in depth” strategy. Just make sure that the disruption is virtually guaranteed. The anti-shipping roll, however, is beyond the player’s control. All you need is two 9-4 regiments and a 4-4 artillery battalion landing in the city. Of course, I doubt I’m the first person to ever figure this out, but it does put the Norwegian player on the horns of a dilemma. Do you put an extra unit into Oslo to thwart this attack or not? If you do, the Norwegian front line just got weaker somewhere else.

The attack at Gardermoen at 3:1 results in a Half Exchange. Both the m/c company and the German mountain battalion  are eliminated, leaving Gardermoen in Allied hands for the moment.

Attack at hex 4009, across the river from Fornebu is another 3:1 attack. The artillery battalion escapes across the river to Fornebu, but the Dahl regimental HQ is eliminated.

Attack at hex 3910, on the shores of Tyrifjorden against the 2nd armored cavalry battalion, also at 3:1. The cavalry escapes but the Mork regimental HQ is destroyed.

Attack at hex 4206 against the 1st brigade HQ on the Swedish border, north of Halden: The HQ does not retreat before combat, and faces 5:1 odds. The HQ is easily destroyed.

Battle of Evje: The unidentified Norwegian mountain artillery battery holding Evje cannot escape, so it stands it ground, facing 4:1 odds. The attackers roll a 6, but due to the -1 DRM for the forest, the results are a Half Exchange. The Norwegian battery takes out a battalion, but ultimately, Evje and MC 8 fall to the Germans. +1 VP for the Norwegians (Total Norwegian VP thus far: 9).

Attack at Kjevik: The combat odds are 6:1 when the Norwegians fail to retreat. There is only one corridor out, towards the rail line north of Kristiansand (I forgot to place my interdiction markers in the photo). The result is a No Effect. The Norwegians, despite the confusion and chaos hold the Germans off again.

Combat in central Norway (click image to enlarge)

Combat in central Norway (click image to enlarge)

Attack at hex 3213, just east of Bergen: Another 6:1 attack. The 4th brigade HQ fails to retreat. The HQ is destroyed, but once again, the result is a Half Exchange. The Germans lose an infantry battalion. +1 VP for the Norwegians.

Finally, the push out of Trondheim against the 5th brigade HQ: 6:1 combat odds, -1 DRM. The result is a Defender Eliminated. The Germans have no forced the road out of Trondheim open.

German exploitation in southern Norway (click image to enlarge)

German exploitation in southern Norway (click image to enlarge)

In Oslo, one of the regiments of the 214th loads up on the newly captured trucks and moves to Gardermoen to capture the airfield. The bombers (Wellingtons and Whitleys) don’t get lucky and don’t escape. The Germans no have command of Gardermoen, and take 4 VPs away from the Norwegians.

German exploitation in southern Norway (click image to enlarge)

German exploitation in southern Norway (click image to enlarge)

The trucks from Bergen move out and catch up to the battalion just outside of MC 10, while the trucks at Trondheim move forward and into the breach made so the Germans can possibly exploit the breakout.

The Norwegian defense in the Oslo area is starting to crack. They need reinforcements badly. The road to Bergen is now open, and the Germans are starting a heavy push out of Trondheim. In the Southwest, more mobilization centers have fallen and the RAF is on the run. All in all, a pretty good turn for the Germans, I think. Now the question is, can the Norwegians slow them down, or will the German supply situation slow the Germans down?

Narvik II: Norwegian Turn 2 (April 12 to April 15, 1940)


The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming!

After the adjustment, things began to roll the Norwegians way. They did not lose a single unit. They either escaped, stood their ground, destroyed German attack supplies, German aircraft, and generally won the German turn.

Except for Gardermoen Air Station being shut down, it was a good turn for the Norwegians.

More reinforcements begin to mobilize. An armored cavalry and an infantry battalion mobilize within 5 hexes of Lillehammer. The infantry mobilizes at MC 6, NE of Oslo, while the cavalry mobilizes NW of the city, on the north shores of Tyrifjorden.

The British 148th and 24th Guards brigades arrive on the shores of Norway, The 148th lands at Bodo and sets up their supply base with an antiaircraft battery for protection. The 24G arrives in Narvik, setting their supply base there. The five CLAs stationed down south are called to the arctic, three stationed at Bodo, and the other two harbor at Narvik.

However, things start taking a turn for the worse for the Norwegians. The first roll for Norwegian mobilization results in two battalions being called up, and both are captured by the Germans (MC 9 & MC 12).

German units out of supply in the Oslo region (click image to enlarge)

German units out of supply in the Oslo region (click image to enlarge)

Things are not all bleak for the Norwegians, though. The Germans are in a bit of a supply predicament. Those on the eastern side of Oslofjord are out of general supply, the two on the Swedish border (on the east side of the Glomma River) are on their second turn. Forces from/at Haugesund, Bergen, Andalsnes and those at MC 5 are also in desperate need of supply.

So, it begs the question, what do the Norwegians do? The 1st artillery battalion is currently trapped by German units.

Do the Norwegians try to break them out?

They could attack the armor company. They could try to attack the out of supply artillery battalion across the river. Even if forced to retreat, it could break the artillery out.

They could attack the out of supply artillery batteries at MC 5 (Elverum).

But any attack leaves the defensive line vulnerable.

Allied arctic movement (click image to enlarge)

Allied arctic movement (click image to enlarge)

So what do we do?

The two battalions of the British 148th march down the road towards Mo, to seal off the choke point from the Germans. A Norwegian mountain battalion from Narvik lands behind the British at Bodo.

Since the Norwegians have time to built a defense in the arctic, as the Allies arrive to cover the arctic ports, they are going to get as many units into Bodo as they possibly can and force the Germans to advance only 1 hex at a time.

In the meantime, the HMS Furious arrives off the coast of Trondheim (14 hexes away, the maximum range of the Swordfish she is carrying). The Germans, in their silliness, left no fighter cover at Værnes Air Station. The Allies smell opportunity.

The Swordfish fly undetected over Værnes and light up the airfield, destroying 2 He-111s in the process.

Allied movement (click image to enlarge)

Allied movement (click image to enlarge)

After much deliberation, the Norwegians decide to attempt a rescue of the trapped artillery battalion.

Two battalions push south to join with the 1st artillery battalion against the 1/40 armor company. This is deemed the best place to attack, even though the I/233/196 artillery battalion is out of supply and half strength. It is also on the Swedish border, and if the attack is successful, the Norwegians could get trapped on the border.

This is deemed the safest place to attack.

They catch the tanks off guard and eliminate them easily. (this was the third straight six that was rolled for the Allies)

One third of a battalion eliminated towards a victory point.

The Bergen & Trondheim fronts (click image to enlarge)

The Bergen & Trondheim fronts (click image to enlarge)

All other units in all other areas (Bergen, Trondheim, Kristiansand, Stavanger) hold position, trying to keep the Germans penned in.

During exploitation, the 2nd motorcycle company arrives at Gardermoen Air Station to protect the British bombers.

The artillery has been rescued, a tank company destroyed, and a pair of bombers has been destroyed on the ground because the AA did not arrive in time. A good turn for the Norwegians, but they may be vulnerable now if the Germans can figure out a solution to their supply situation.

 

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