Allies: Jim Kramer Jr. (Bid: 1.5 POC)
Axis: Michael Ussery
Report by Jim Kramer Jr.
T1 – Jim opened with his preferred Barents in 2 Allied plan. This gave the Axis a +2 POC jump. Allied LBA missed all targets in the Mediterranean.
T2 – Allied Barents in 2 was now placed with all 4 speed rolling ships (KGV, POW, Repulse and Renown) succeeding. They joined Hood, Ark Royal and 5 CAs there. The other allied placement had North Sea: 5 BB, 2 CA and 2 CV, South Atlantic: 2 BB, 1 CA and Eagle, North Atlantic: 5 R-class BB and Glorious. Mike held Graf Spee and the U-boats in the Baltic and sent the rest of the DKM to the North Atlantic. All 3 Axis speed rolls succeeded. Combat saw an Axis victory sinking 3 R-class BBs and Glorious but losing Scharnhorst, Lutzow and Admiral Scheer and seeing Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen badly damaged. Both sides LBA were ineffective. Game score was now +5 Axis.
T3 – With the blockade in place and the DKM reduced the allies placed 6 BB and 2 CV in the North Sea, 2 BB, 2CA and Eagle in the South Atlantic, North Atlantic has 4 CA, a CV and convoy 1A. The Barents has Hood, Ark Royal, 2 CA, 3 4-5-6 and 2 3-3-6 sent. One each of the speed rolling BB and BC failed. Marat also came out in the Baltic. Axis moved 5 subs to the South Atlantic, 2 BB, a PB and 2 CA to the Baltic and repaired the 2 damaged ships. Allied LBA went to the Mediterranean sinking Andrea Doria and Zara, ASW sank 2 subs and disabled another and Marat sank Graf Spee. Axis subs missed and LBA put 1d on Hood with Marat sent to the bottom. Game score, no change.
T4 – The US sends NY and Augusta out. Convoy 1A moves to the Barents joining 3 BB, 2 BC, 3 CA, Ark Royal and the damaged Hood. North Atlantic has the 2 US ships joined by a British CA and CV, convoy 2B did not sail. The South Atlantic has 3 BB, 2 CA and Eagle. North Sea has 7 BB, 2 CA and 2 CV. The Axis places the fleet in the Baltic and sends the 5 U-boats to the North Atlantic. Allied LBA sink Gorizia and the ASW disable 2 subs. The Axis LBA miss but the subs sink CV Courageous. With 1A getting to Russia the Allies pick up 3 POC, reducing the game score to +2 Axis.
T5 – USS Wichita now joins the fight. North Atlantic: Convoy 2B, 3 US ships, 4 UK CA and Eagle. Barents again has 3 BB, 2 BC, 3 CA, Ark Royal and the damaged Hood. North Sea has 6 BB, a CA and 3 CV. South Atlantic has 5 BB. The axis sends 7 subs to the South Atlantic and keeps the fleet safe in the Baltic. Allied ASW sinks 2 subs and the LBA in the Mediterranean sinks Pola. The Axis LBA miss and subs only damage Warspite (3d). No change to game score.
T6 – Tuscaloosa makes it in with the USSR Okt. Rev. also sailing. Convoy 2B moves to the Barents. With Anson making speed the Barents force is now 4 BB, 2 BC, a CA, Ark Royal and Hood (1d). North Atlantic: 4 US ships, 2 CA, Eagle and convoy 3C, North Sea: 6 BB (1 damaged), 5 CA and 3 CV, South Atlantic: 4 BB. The Axis fleet (2 BB, a BC, 3 CA and the CV) face O.R. in the Baltic. The 7 U-boats go to the South Atlantic. Allied ASW and LBA are all misses. O.R. survives the CV to damage Gneisenau (4d) and is subsequently sunk. The subs only disable 2 ships. The major combat result for the turn was from the Barents LBA which sank both Ark Royal and convoy 2B. The allies had planned to land both convoys and take the over the bid lead, but now 3C must push on. Again there is no game score change.
T7 – Washington now arrives. North Atlantic has 5 US ships and Eagle. South Atlantic has 3 BB (1 damaged), 2 CA and a CV. North Sea has 7 BB, 6 CA and a CV. Barents has 4 BB, 2 BC, the damaged Hood, a CV and convoy 3B. The Axis sends 7 subs to the South Atlantic and preserves his fleet in the Baltic. Allied ASW sinks a sub and LBA take out a 4-3-5 in the Mediterranean. Axis U-boats and LBA only get disabled results. With convoy 3C safely thru the Allies pick up 3 POC. The game score now stands at Allies +1.
T8 – The last US ship, Texas is in. With 7 U-boats available to the Axis and the Allies needing to gain a POC to win, a move to the Mediterranean is needed. North Atlantic: The 6 US ships. Barents: 4 BB, 2 BC, a CV and Hood. North Sea: 5 BB, a CV and Eagle. South Atlantic: 2 BB (1 damaged) and 2 CA. Mediterranean: Send LBA, 6 CA, a CV, Howe and 2 4-4-4 BBs. Sadly only the Howe makes her speed roll. The Axis sends the remaining Italian CA (Fiume) with his 7 subs to the South Atlantic. In the Mediterranean the Italian fleet has 4 new and 2 old BBs on station with the LBA. The DKM leaves Adm. Hipper to patrol the Baltic and sends the remaining 6 ships to the North Sea. In the South Atlantic, ASW eliminates 3 subs with the remaining 4 subs eliminating the 2 UK BBs. Surface combat sees Fiume disabled in the first round. No control here. In the North Sea allied carriers disable Bismark, Tirpitz and Gneisenau. Graf Zeppelin misses her strikes and the surface combat sees the remaining DKM ships eliminated. UK controlled. Mediterranean air sees the allies hit 2 4-6-6 BBs for 3 points each. Axis air sinks a cruiser. Allied forces could certainly have used those 3 North Sea disables here. Surface combat round 1 sees the allies disable a 4-6-6 and cripple another. Axis fire eliminates 3 CA. Round 2 has an Italian 4-3-5 sunk but the remaining 3 allied ships succumb to superior fire power. There is no change to the game score which stays at +1 Allies. Now applying the bid of 1.5 POC to play the allies, the Axis earns a 0.5 POC win. Mike and I have had some interesting games over the years and this was one as well.
FINAL GAME RESULT: Axis 8-point victory - Allied lead of 1 POC at the end of Turn 8 (Axis win by 0.5 POC after the bid)