Allies: Darren Kilfara (Bid: 2.0 POC)
Axis: Jim Ferguson
Report by Darren Kilfara
Turn 1: I opted for a standard Barents On One opening, with Renown failing its speed roll and leaving Ark Royal + Hood + Repulse + 7 CAs on station there. Jim promptly sent the entire Kriegsmarine to the Baltic, including his three U-boats; that latter newbie move backfired disastrously, as all three U-boats were sunk by my 12 ASW dice. Airstrikes weren't much better for Jim, as I disabled Scharnhorst and hit Gneisenau for 2d, although in response he at least disabled Repulse. R1 surface combat looked worrying for me at first, as I only disabled Gneisenau and sank Scheer on 11 dice...but in return, on 8 bonus and 3 non-bonus dice he could only score two hits (both on Sussex, sinking her) and a single disable result on Suffolk. Things didn't get any better for Jim after that, and by the time four combat rounds were completed - including two pursuit rounds - Lutzow and Blucher had joined Scheer in Davy Jones' Locker, with Hipper crippled alongside the damaged Gneisenau, while the Allies had only lost Devonshire in addition to Sussex and suffered no additional damage. This sort of thing can happen when the Axis player targets the Barents on T1 after a failed 336 SR, but still, that's some of the worst German shooting I can remember seeing.
POC after T1 = +2 for the Allies (before the bid).
Turn 1 moves
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Turn 2 moves(click on image to expand)
Turn 3 moves(click on image to expand)
Turn 2: The Kriegsmarine remained in port, not challenging my large British surface forces in the Barents (all SRs having succeeded) and North Sea. Allied LBA in Germany and German LBA in the Barents all whiffed on their respective shots.
POC after T2 = +3 for the Allies (before the bid).
Turn 3: One of the Russian BBs came out to play as sent all of my fast ships to the Barents again; this time, Prince of Wales failed its SR and disabled to Russia. Jim, already feeling desperate, sent the full Kriegsmarine into the Barents again and his Italian cruisers into the South Atlantic, with his two U-boats guarding the Baltic. Let's just say that things again didn't start out well for Jim: while his LBA disabled Hood, Ark Royal disabled both Bismarck and Tirpitz, while my LBA sank a 435 and disabled two more in the Med.
Surface combat rolls didn't flatter either side. In the first round, I got only one hit on 20 dice; Scharnhorst was disabled with 4d, while Hipper and Prinz Eugen were also disabled. For his part, on 10 bonus dice he got only two hits or disables, both hits which were good enough to sink Duke of York, but the rest of my fleet was available to pursue and managed to sink Graf Spee and hit/disable Gneisenau for 2d, with Jim crippling King George V and Suffolk in return. In the South Atlantic, I only sank one Italian CA but disabled the other three, with Gorizia dinging Royal Oak for 3d. All of which leaves the Axis well and truly on life support.
POC after T3 = +5 for the Allies (before the bid).
Turn 4: With Jim having no choice but to push his Italian CAs into the South Atlantic, I beefed up my defenses, swapping in my two 553s from the North Sea and swapping out two 443s (including the damaged Royal Oak). Prince of Wales remained in Russia to repair down to 3d, while Anson took her place on the Barents battle line after passing an SR. One US and one Russian ship joined the fray after getting 6s on their respective Entry Rolls.
Jim decided to reserve his fleet for the Baltic and hope his LBA could achieve something in the Barents. His Italians were also supported by his 4 U-boats, only one of which was disabled (and none sunk) by my ASW. But the U-boats all whiffed in turn, and I sank two CAs and disabled the remaining one back to the Neutral Port at no cost. And while Graf Zeppelin's airstrike disabled the Russian BB in the Baltic, my LBA flew over the German dry docks and sank the now fully repaired Gneisenau and hit Scharnhorst for 2d in the bargain. A true gut punch, that.
POC after T4 = +8 for the Allies (before the bid).
Turn 5: The Entry Rolls for the five remaining US ships were 5-6-5-6-5, bringing all of them into play. That was enough for Jim, and his resignation came almost immediately thereafter. He had no luck at all...just lots and lots of bad karma after his one newbie mistake with his U-boats on Turn 1. We'll both play more exciting games in the future, I'm sure!
Turn 4 moves
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FINAL GAME RESULT: Allied victory - concession near the start of Turn 5 (Allied lead of 6.0 POC after the bid)