Any Point to Sealion?

PSP/DS/PC/MAC : WWII turn based grand strategy game

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Any Point to Sealion?

Post by MarkWayneClark » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:15 pm

That is, beyond the thrill of succeeding where history failed? Is there any strategic point, or after France, should Germany immediately mass east?

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Re: Any Point to Sealion?

Post by dooya » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:19 pm

MarkClark wrote:That is, beyond the thrill of succeeding where history failed? Is there any strategic point, or after France, should Germany immediately mass east?
Defeating Great Britain saves you from the strategic bomber that frequently visit Western Germany. However, playing against AI, they are not a big deal, anyway.
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Post by JyriErik » Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:36 pm

Well, by a quick count, Britain & Ireland (if you Seelöwe you might as well take out Ireland also) are worth 28 raw PP, 14 * your industry in real PP per turn from that point on. Also, with Britain out of the way as a base, your western garrison can be MUCH smaller since you don't have to worry about Allied airpower in the west and the British in Egypt are also weaker since their PP drops siginificantly due to the loss of the homeland.

Jyri

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Post by Redpossum » Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:40 pm

JyriErik wrote:Well, by a quick count, Britain & Ireland (if you Seelöwe you might as well take out Ireland also) are worth 28 raw PP, 14 * your industry in real PP per turn from that point on. Also, with Britain out of the way as a base, your western garrison can be MUCH smaller since you don't have to worry about Allied airpower in the west and the British in Egypt are also weaker since their PP drops siginificantly due to the loss of the homeland.

Jyri
Umm, by the time you add in the garrison needed to occupy Britain and deal with Partisans, (since they will not surrender when you take London), your total western garrison will wind up needing to be larger.

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Post by rkr1958 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:16 pm

I'm currently playing a game with Happycat in which he's successfully executed Operation Sea Lion against me. It's November 1940 and he's just taken London. We're playing testing a mod primarily by Staffenberg and Happycat (with some small contribution by me). Our mod includes a house rule that the Germans must DOW Russia no later than three turns after they have captured any city in the UK or Ireland.

The Russians are attacking the Germans all along the front in Poland and Romania. Also, I was able to save most the Royal Navy and all of the RAF. I lost a DD and CV fleet. Happycat lost the German BB fleet and two u-boat fleets were heavily damaged. The Brits are now on the match in North Africa. I still have Scapa Flow and Ireland.

Yugoslavian, Greece and Norway are still neutral. I could be wrong but with Happycat tied up with Russians I don't see how he can how invade and conquer them. So, while he gained the PPs from the British Isles he's lost these (I hope). It appears that our game will be decided one way or the other fairly quickly.

As Staffenberg explained to me the House Rule about Russia's entry after the German capture of a city in the UK counters the fact that their are no limits on German transport/invasion capacity. Happycat invaded with 10 corps (2 armor, 1 motorized and 7 infantry). That force was supported by 3 German tactical bomber wings, 2 German fighter wings, 1 Italian tactical bomber wing, and the entire German navy. I did want damage I could to his transports but he used his subs to screen and harass the Royal Navy. While they took significant damage the accomplished their mission and sunk a CV. His German BB and DD fleets provided supply for the force until he was able to capture a port. After that his BB fleet sunk a UK DD fleet but he lost that fleet in response to that attack.

I made several mistakes that left me vulnerable to a successful Sea Lion (which I'll detail after the game so as not to give away to much info to Happycat). But even with that (given our house rules) I feel that I still have a chance to win the game.

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Post by JyriErik » Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:47 pm

possum wrote:Umm, by the time you add in the garrison needed to occupy Britain and deal with Partisans, (since they will not surrender when you take London), your total western garrison will wind up needing to be larger.

Not from experience. Dealing with an unconquered Britain requires far more force than leaving an anti-partisan force in the UK. First off, the Luftwaffe in the west will not be need. Against a defeated UK I leave 2 Strategic bombers in SW Ireland (to allow greater range bombing against troop ships) and 3-4 u-boats to kill the transports, plus I leave 6 infantry Korps (which is probably 2 more than necessary against the AI, but it gives a margin of error since anything that might get back ashore will be mauled). To hold France against an unbeaten UK requires more ground troops, fighters (which will constantly intercepting, thus using more oil) and you give the British far more PP to use in Africa. Without the home islands the British have a base of 7 PP per turn, plus convoys. With the home islands, 33 PP plus convoys.


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Post by ErichVonNeu » Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:16 am

When i conducted sealion and conquered England, I found it crucial to win the game as the axis. The effect was that the american and british troops massed in the US and Canada and never made it across the atlantic. I don't think they even tried to move across. When I won in Europe and tried to land in the US I found this out, the hard way... :)

So if you ask me, there's a point to sealion.

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Post by JyriErik » Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:18 pm

rkr1958 wrote:Our mod includes a house rule that the Germans must DOW Russia no later than three turns after they have captured any city in the UK or Ireland.
That rule seems to be overkill to me. What would seem to be a more reasonable (and historical) compromise would be to limit the initial landings to 3 Infantry Korps. After that, no more than 1 Infantry Korps per month could invade England, and any armor or motorized troops could only unload onto conquered territory next to a port hex (with the only restriction on port landings being the amount of open hexes by the ports). From my knowledge of German naval and shipping capabilities in WW II that would seem to be a better compromise than to make invading England into a suicidal undertaking.

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Post by rkr1958 » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:17 am

JyriErik wrote:
rkr1958 wrote:Our mod includes a house rule that the Germans must DOW Russia no later than three turns after they have captured any city in the UK or Ireland.
That rule seems to be overkill to me. What would seem to be a more reasonable (and historical) compromise would be to limit the initial landings to 3 Infantry Korps. After that, no more than 1 Infantry Korps per month could invade England, and any armor or motorized troops could only unload onto conquered territory next to a port hex (with the only restriction on port landings being the amount of open hexes by the ports). From my knowledge of German naval and shipping capabilities in WW II that would seem to be a better compromise than to make invading England into a suicidal undertaking.

Jyri
I'll answer you with an excerpt from an email I got from Staffenberg on the rationale for this house rule.
excerpt from Staffenberg email wrote:Sealion should be POSSIBLE, but very risky for Germany. In the real war the Germans were afraid that they would never get enough troops across and remain supplied long enough to take London. This is very hard to recreate in the mod without creating many restrictions for invasions like max 4 transports can be launched per turn. This is very difficult to supervise as a house rule due to fog of war. So it's better to not restrict the players and make sure it's not easy to grab all of Britain quickly. That is already accomplished by adding extra garrisons for each country. I think the vanilla game has even bigger weaknesses regarding Sealion because Britain is almost empty at the start.

It's not unlikely that Russia would start mobilizing if they realized Britain was about to be knocked out of the war. As long as the western front was active then Stalin believed Germany would not repeat the mistake of making a two-front war. But if the western front had collapsed then even Stalin would realize the danger of the only front becoming the eastern one. Therefore a mobilization would be necessary and even a pre-emptive strike.

Stalin had plans to attack Germany in 1942 or 1943 even with the non-aggression pact. So the pact meant as little to him as it meant to Germany. He believed the Germans would look eastwards in 1942 only and not 1941.

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Post by JyriErik » Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:15 am

Depending on the histories, Stalin intended to attack as early as August of 1941. According to some sources I've read, the only thing that actually dissuaded him (despite STAVKA's attempts to persuade him that the Red Army wasn't ready in 1941) was the German attack on the Soviet Union. Otherwise an attack was supposedly going to take place sometime in the summer of 1941. (Which woukd explain why the border forces were overrun so easily. German divisional war diaries made much mention that the Russian border forces they attacked seemed to be set up for assault rather than defense). I doubt even the collapse of Britain would have convinced Stalin to attack. Up until Barbarossa his greatest fear was that the British were actually plotting with the Germans to attack Russia (Hitler wasn't the only paranoid dictator). Another factor was that even Stalin knew the Red Army wasn't ready to fight Germany in 1940 no matter what the circumstances. The Winter War with Finland was barely over and considering that it required 500,000 men for the Red Army to defeat Finland and almost half of those were casualties. Seeing as how Finland had had no armor, an antiquated airforce, and while its army was better than the Red Army no one considered it to be anywhere near the same class as the Heer. you're going to need quite a few "house rules" to simulate a realistic Red Army at war in 1940.

Jyri

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Post by ErichVonNeu » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:57 am

It would have been nice to have a diplomacy option in the game. I don't know if you are familiar with Advanced Third Reich (A3R), but in that game there was a US-Axis tension tabel which was affected by every German DoW and every German offensive. Each major nation also had a number of diplomatic points at their disposal which could be used to persuade minor contries to join on their side or delay a Russian entry into the war. I don't know if it is possible to add this function to the game in a patch or if it would have to wait until CEAW2. But it would definitely add an exciting dimension and more realism to the game.

A3R also had variant cards as an option which could create a number of what-if-scenarios, like what if Stalin was purged... etc

Does anyone have any experience of anything like this or maybe other ideas?

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:24 am

JyriErik wrote:Depending on the histories, Stalin intended to attack as early as August of 1941. According to some sources I've read, the only thing that actually dissuaded him (despite STAVKA's attempts to persuade him that the Red Army wasn't ready in 1941) was the German attack on the Soviet Union. Otherwise an attack was supposedly going to take place sometime in the summer of 1941. (Which woukd explain why the border forces were overrun so easily. German divisional war diaries made much mention that the Russian border forces they attacked seemed to be set up for assault rather than defense). I doubt even the collapse of Britain would have convinced Stalin to attack. Up until Barbarossa his greatest fear was that the British were actually plotting with the Germans to attack Russia (Hitler wasn't the only paranoid dictator). Another factor was that even Stalin knew the Red Army wasn't ready to fight Germany in 1940 no matter what the circumstances. The Winter War with Finland was barely over and considering that it required 500,000 men for the Red Army to defeat Finland and almost half of those were casualties. Seeing as how Finland had had no armor, an antiquated airforce, and while its army was better than the Red Army no one considered it to be anywhere near the same class as the Heer. you're going to need quite a few "house rules" to simulate a realistic Red Army at war in 1940.
Jyri
I suggest you read e. g this article:
http://www.onwar.com/articles/9901.htm

It clearly shows that Germany was afraid that the Soviet Union might take advantage of the situation with Germany occupied in battle in Britain to attack neutrals like Romania and Hungary or invade Germany itself.

Remember that CeaW has locked Russia into being passive until October 1941 unless Germany DoW them. This is not historical at all if certain actions happen. So we introduced a house rule where Germany must DoW Russia 3 turns after capturing a British city in the Britihs Isles. The point of this is to unlock Russia to give them a chance to do something. Russia will first of all get a small production boost. This simulates the mobilization of Russia.

A German DoW of Russia doesn't mean Russia MUST attack Germany. It means they're free to move their units. They might DoW Romania only and capture the Ploesti oil. They might decide to bolster the front line border or they might decide to save their army and retreat to the Dvina / Dnepr line and create a double defense line there.

We wanted to give the Russian player a choice to decide what he would do with his units and not sit there idle while Britain is being knocked out of the war. It would be very ahistorical indeed if Russia would not respond at all to the fall of Britain like in the vanilla CeaW game. What would prevent Germany from launching Sealion in every CeaW game if he knows he can get away with it every time. The article shows that Germany feared what Russia would do while the Germans were involved in heavy battles on the British Isles. The only way to recreate this is to make sure Russia is unlocked some time after Germany get a foothold inside Britain. We're still playtesting and for now we've setup that Germany must activate Russia for mobilization 3 turns after he gets the foothold. It might be that we will change that value to 4 turns, 5 turns or even 6 turns.

I don't believe for a second that Russia would just ignore that Germany would capture Britain and do nothing at all. In vanilla CeaW you would see a passive Russia doing nothing until October 1941. That gives Germany plenty of time to beat Britain. Produce for Barbarossa and get his forces there in time for a July or August 1941 attack upon Russia. Then he can do a semi successful Barbarossa and still have the benefit from beating Britain. In 1942 he can overrun Russia and win the war.

Happycat, Rkr1958 and I had a discussion before we introduced the house rule about what would happen if Germany invaded Britain. We came to the conclusion that it was much more likely that USA would not mobilize than Russia. The general opinion in USA during 1939-1940 was that this war was a EUROPEAN war. People kept saying "let the Europeans fight it out. It's not our war". So it's more likely that USA would not be drawn into the war until Japan gave them no choice (Pearl Harbor).

Stalin, however, knew very well which country threatened his existence and possible Russian dominance of Europe. So he was very concerned about Germany. But he believed that since Britain was still in the war then Germany would not be strong enough to attack Russia until 1942 and Russia had their own plans to attack Germany almost at the same time. But if Britain would fall then Stalin would have to rethink everything and prepare for a much earlier war with Germany. In such a situation it's not unlikely they would have geared up their war production and produced even more airplanes, tanks and troops for war. They would at least use the opportunity to put pressure upon their neighbours.

Rkr1958 decided when Happycat launched Sealion to mobilize the Russian army and attack Germany in eastern Poland. After some initial success his offensive is stalled, probably due to German units returning from Britain. Germany have counter attacked and Russia must think about withdrawing to a better defensive position or continue to bleed Germany. This shows that attacking Germany in 1940 is quite risky for Russia too. He might have done better by digging in at the border and bolster the defenses or maybe even retreating deeper into Russia. The point is that in the vanilla game he can't do anything at all. The Russian player must be passive and look at his weak border troops about to be overrun by the Germans when Germany decide to attack. Russia don't even get a production boost after the fall of Britain.

So activating Russia in the game some time after Germany get a foothold in Britain is in my opinion only a good thing. It gives more options to the Allied player and must force Germany to actually keep a defense in Poland before launching Sealion. In the vanilla game he can completely strip the eastern defenses and go all out against Britain. That is not historical at all. If Germany had attacked Britain in the real war then you can be sure they would have kept a considerable force in Poland. With the added house rule we ensure that Germany won't strip Poland of all defensive forces. That should help limiting the number of units Germany can send to Britain.

In the game between Happycat and Rkr1958 it's still to early to tell who would eventually get the upper hand. Happycat may still get away with his daring Sealion attack or he might succumb to the continued pressure from Russia when USA finally join the Allies and can add to the pressure. Only time will tell. It would have been very sad if Happycat launched Sealion and got a port city and then all knew it was game over for the Allies. Then the mod would not be good. I'm very sure Happycat doesn't feel he's won the war against Rkr1958 yet and I also know Rkr1958 fears every turn that he might not succeed with his attack against Germany and suddenly see a German counter strike crushing his line and move towards Moscow. This is the feeling I want in a game. I want both sides feeling they might actually lose this war unless they give their very best, but at the same time hope they can become the winner.

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Post by JyriErik » Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:02 am

Yes, I know all that. I probably know more about WW II than is good for me. The fact remains that for the Soviet army of 1940 to attack Germany (even if you have to achieve the DoW by forcing the German player to do it) was in no shape whatsoever to fight Germany. It was just starting a massive reorganization which it hadn't managed to finish by June 22, 1941. The biggest aspect was that after finishing the winter war, the Russian disbanded ALL of their armored and mechanized units larger than brigades since the war had proven that large armor forces were useless. Then, after the fall of France occurred, realized they were wrong and had barely started reforming those units when they were attacked. Add to that the fact that historically Germany didn't go to a wartime economy setting until after Kursk since Hitler felt the German people weren't ready to give up all to fight the war until then, while being attack "from behind" would have allowed him to declare a total wartime mobilization of the economy in 1940 instaed of 1944 and things would not have been as good for Russia as you assume invading Germany would have been in 1940. Oh, and while there's no way to be sure what would have occurred in the fighting in Britain, the fact remains that after the BEF was rescued and brought back to England, there weren't enough heavy weapons available to re-arm those same men until late 1940. While no walkover, the British army was also in no shape to have given the Germans much resistance had they been able to get over in enough force to take a major port and hold it during July/August of 1940. Then, if the Germans had been able to take the industrial areas of southern England in their intial expansion from the bridgehead, England could have been another 6 week "miracle" offensive.


Jyri


The crux of the matter is that you want the game to play according to how you feel is the "proper" way for the war to occur, I prefer to play the game as it is.

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Post by rkr1958 » Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:10 pm

JyriErik wrote:The crux of the matter is that you want the game to play according to how you feel is the "proper" way for the war to occur, I prefer to play the game as it is.
It's a game. But I will tell you this mod that Staffenberg and Happycat has been developing over the past several months and which I've been helping them playtest over the last 2 1/2 months is a blast! It has greatly increased my gaming experience. I feel that it more accurately reflects the flow of the actual war if players wish to play it that way. If not, I feel that it produces historically possible results. And, most importantly I feel is it greatly enhances replayability. Every game is different and it appears there is no one strategy that guarantee's victory.

In my game against Happycat it's May 13, 1941. He had just launched a major offensive in northern Poland against the Russians. The northern line was about to crumble and Russian troops were endangered of encirclement. However, I had pulled back and repaired the Russian airforce, tank corps and motorized corps. I launched a major counteroffensive destroying Manstein's tank corps and knocking him out of the game for several turns. I also inflicted 4-steps of losses on the Italian tank corps. While this is a blow to Happycat I've put my quality Russia corps at risk. Two turns ago he destroyed a 10-step Russian tank corps that was behind the front line using air alone. That was unexpected and an eye opener.

The Brits, while having lost most of their home islands are still fighting. They're on the verge of taking Tripoli and all of Libya. At this point in a typical game (one without Sea Lion) the UK would have their defensive line around El Alamein and would be trying to hold on. They still hold onto Northern Ireland and Scapa Flow. While battered the UK is still around and fighting.

Who will win? I don't have a clue, but I do know that I still have a chance. Now this is what I call an enjoyable gaming experience. This is also what I call replayability. I've never experience a CEaW (or AH's 3rd Reich) game like this before and I dare say Happycat hasn't either.

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Post by Redpossum » Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:39 pm

That sounds like fun. I'd actually be interested in giving that a try, if an opponent was available.

The business of completely destroying a full strength tank corps, with air alone, I find it difficult to imagine that happening IRL. Not that it's a major flaw, or a difference from how the stock game works, just...odd.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:50 pm

possum wrote:That sounds like fun. I'd actually be interested in giving that a try, if an opponent was available.

The business of completely destroying a full strength tank corps, with air alone, I find it difficult to imagine that happening IRL. Not that it's a major flaw, or a difference from how the stock game works, just...odd.
There is not much difference in airpower between the vanilla game and the mod so it can happen in the vanilla game as well. If 3 German tac bombers and 1 Italian tac bomber attack an armor unit then there is a chance they will kill it, especially if the armor has low survivability like the Russian ones early in the game. Remember that the German air units have received a boost to their efficiency from Manstein and that means they could efficiency in the 90's.

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Post by rkr1958 » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:09 am

possum wrote:That sounds like fun. I'd actually be interested in giving that a try, if an opponent was available.

The business of completely destroying a full strength tank corps, with air alone, I find it difficult to imagine that happening IRL. Not that it's a major flaw, or a difference from how the stock game works, just...odd.
I'm not up on text messaging and was wondering what IRL means. In this context it seems to mean In Real Life (IRL). Is this correct?

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Post by Redpossum » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:46 am

rkr1958 wrote:
possum wrote:That sounds like fun. I'd actually be interested in giving that a try, if an opponent was available.

The business of completely destroying a full strength tank corps, with air alone, I find it difficult to imagine that happening IRL. Not that it's a major flaw, or a difference from how the stock game works, just...odd.
I'm not up on text messaging and was wondering what IRL means. In this context it seems to mean In Real Life (IRL). Is this correct?
Precisely correct, sir.

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Post by vypuero » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:57 am

I am not sure I agree with that house rule BUT - you can most certainly take the UK if you want to in the normal game - the question is how much will it cost and how long will it take? If it is too hard, you won't win against Russia. So I don't think any special rules are needed. This means the UK should be more careful about defending the island. Of course it also depends on how hard France is to take. Bottom line though is that a determined Axis can without a doubt take the UK.

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Post by Happycat » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:14 pm

I suspect that it won't be too long before we post this mod. Now might be a good time to remind those who are critical of it and/or the house rules of a few things:

1. Don't knock it until you've tried it
2. We created it for OUR enjoyment, but are happy to share it
3. If you don't like it, you don't have to use it :)

There are many different interpretations of aspects of history which we can never know for sure. My major in college was history, and I have a profound interest in 20th century history. Like JyriErik, I probably know more about WW2 than is good for me, but his comment about Stalin's intention to attack Germany in August of 1941 serve to illustrate how divergent opinions can be.

My own reading and studies lead me to a far different conclusion, but since most of us live in free countries, we are of course welcome to our opinions. :)

When the mod is posted, we certainly hope that some of the other CEAW fans enjoy it, but if you don't, no apologies will be forthcoming. :lol:
Chance favours the prepared mind.

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