AAR -The French Conquest Option (Neilvs Alec) - no Alec/Axis

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

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schwerpunkt
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AAR -The French Conquest Option (Neilvs Alec) - no Alec/Axis

Post by schwerpunkt » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:25 am

Alec is playing the axis in this game which we have pre-arranged between the two of us. It has arisen as a result of a game that got aborted when Alec landed forces in Vichy north africa before Paris fell. When Paris did fall, all of his units in Vichy north africa were returned to the production spiral and the territory that he had occupied became Vichy. This did however make us think about what might occur if we ran a "play-test" of a "French Conquest" scenario in which the Germans do not actually occupy Paris, which allows them to occupy the Vichy north africa territories and complicate any allied campaign there (if Paris falls, all allied units in Vichy territory are destroyed). There are strategies to deal with this and there is a downside for Germany in that Paris can produce an ARM every 10 turns and the Paris production isnt available to the Germans. With all of this in mind, though both of us thought it would be interesting to see how such a game would play out...

The AAR starts in Aug 6 1940, but, to recap, the axis had great weather in 1939 (was clear until November) but on the last clear weather turn, Belgium was attacked and the capital just held by 2 steps. As a result, a French ARM unit railed into Brussels, along with other units and the Germans were able to make only slow progress during the winter (which lasted until March).

The allies have withdrawn to the Seine River line and are preparing for the final assault on Paris. The axis forces are trying to outflank the upper reaches of the Seine. The attached shots are at the end of the allied turn - a double line that hasnt much strength. A GAR is in Lyon to prevent the Italians from easily outflanking the Seine so the germans will have to fight their way around it. The British have made a heavy commitment by landing 2 INF and a MECH and have in the process bought the French a couple of extra turns but they will have to depart soon.
Axis landings in Tunis are highly unusual and suggest that something different is occuring as all units are ejected from Vichy territory once Paris falls. Knowing that Alec knows this, there is now the potential for him to not take Paris immediately If he had taken Oran I would suspect a possible assault on Gibralter but Tunis has me puzzled although it is worth 10 supply points and might indicate a possible large scale assault on Egypt.

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Post by schwerpunkt » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:55 am

Oct 5: Attached are screen shots from the end of my turn. The allied September turn was pretty basic with british units pulling back to Cherbourg and Rennes to prepare for the Fall of Paris/France. The French FTR and a 4 step INF withdraw too in order to provide ZOC protection to the british units.

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British units near Rennes, now at SL3 withdraw back towards Brest with the French FTR forming up at the end of the line to provide ZOC protection to the MECH (ie the lead 8 step german ARM needs 8 MPs to reach the MECH now). The two british FTRs secure a supply route from Brest to the INF and MECH. The 4 step French INF pulls back to Nantes from just west of Orleans as it cant really do anything useful and could be shipped out if Alec doesnt decide to take Paris and it doesnt get killed by the lead 8 step german ARM.

I had tried to move my CV from Portsmouth to near Nantes but it ran into a 2 step german sub and managed to kill it without loss - I've clustered ships around to help it move away next turn.

The French INF south-east of Paris was at 4 steps but I gave it replacements to take it upto 9 steps just to provide nuisance value - I couldnt build anything given that Paris is surrounded.

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In the MED, I have gone defensive in Egypt, looking to defend Alexandria and the Nile River line. Ships are currently undergoing anti-sub upgrades.

Tech-wise, I have 2 labs in Air and Sea and have just achieved gains in Dog-fight, Close Support, Strat Ops and Anti-sub. We are playing Random Research which my experience is that research is accelerated slightly.
Britain looks a little unguarded so I decide to build 2 INF for the british just in case Alec decides to pull something on his Oct 25 turn - would be highly embarrassing for him to try a November Sea Lion and get ashore.

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Post by schwerpunkt » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:35 pm

Oct 25: Brings MUD in Central Europe and Paris not attacked even though Alec had enough force to do so. This confirms a French conquest strategy is in progress so I can now fully plan on this basis (rather than hedging my bets). The 7 step German ARM near Rennes has disappeared from view so I'm not sure where that is headed.

The French and British air units now leave the mainland for Britain, as does the STR that was in Bordeaux which I really need for convoy protection - given that the 7 step SUB is still active just west of Ireland (can be seen in the minimap). The 4 step French INF leaves Nantes bound for Casablanca, escorted by a small force of mainly French ships. My MECH enters Brest ready for transport next turn with an INF right behind it. The poor weather should ensure the escape of both although I'm considering sending the INF to Gibralter if Oran falls in the next few turns.

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Not much happens in the Med as I complete my anti-sub upgrades this turn and I am happy for Alec to reveal his hand.

With respect to production, I cant do anything with the French (only 10 PPs so I cant even build a lab) but the British build Monty for Egypt. The two INF I built for Britain are deployed near Dover as coastal protection, although there is only one sea hex that I cant see now, so Sea Lion is almost certainly gone for 1940.

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Post by schwerpunkt » Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:52 pm

Nov 14: Winter

The British MECH withdraws from Brest allowing the INF to move in. I've just realised that I should have sent the first INF down to North Africa so I'll chalk that up as my first mistake - principally due to my Sea Lion paranoia. The Brest INF definately will head down to Gibralter.

Speaking of north africa, a german INF is closing in on Oran via the land route. Next turn my sub will be able to enter the Western Med and provide me some intel. The FRench (4 step) INF will go to Casablanca and repair up.

No activity in Egypt except that Monty is attached to the ARM (due to its high movement which improves escape) and I rail two Iraqi GARs into the Beirut port hexes to prevent the axis sneaking a transport in. I figure that the GARs are pretty crappy and wont be missed if Vichy occurs.

Production wise, the Brits dont do much due to repairing and upgrading of my FTRs which have been at 8 steps for a while. The French, based on Borgers advice, build a ARM lab and put a focus on the Armour category. Next I'll build a GENERAL lab with a focus on Org.

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Post by gchristie » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:46 pm

Curious to see how this will turn out. Even more curious as to why you don't invest in general/industry as the Brits. Do you rely on the convoys so that you can prioritize other research spending? Makes sense to me.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:35 pm

Why do you only have 4 labs when you have war effort allowing you 7 labs? Building new labs asap is quite important for all sides, especially the Allies. At your game time I would have had 1-0-2-2-2 labs. The next should be armor, then infantry and another armor. Then you get more labs in air, infantry and armor (or general). As Britain I put focus on industry until I get to level 3. Then I focus on organization. Remember that tech in industry and surface ships will determine the number of transports and invasions you can make without paying. If you ignore these you won't have the capacity to make a strong Torch, Husky and Overlord.

For the Americans I use balanced general research. The Russians can focus on industry first and switch to organization once industry reaches level 3. The reason is to get max 13 labs asap so you can build 3-4-3-0-3 labs. Getting high tech armor as quickly as possible is important to take on the German King Tigers late in the war.

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Post by schwerpunkt » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:07 pm

Stauffenberg wrote:Why do you only have 4 labs when you have war effort allowing you 7 labs? Building new labs asap is quite important for all sides, especially the Allies. At your game time I would have had 1-0-2-2-2 labs. The next should be armor, then infantry and another armor. Then you get more labs in air, infantry and armor (or general). As Britain I put focus on industry until I get to level 3. Then I focus on organization. Remember that tech in industry and surface ships will determine the number of transports and invasions you can make without paying. If you ignore these you won't have the capacity to make a strong Torch, Husky and Overlord.

For the Americans I use balanced general research. The Russians can focus on industry first and switch to organization once industry reaches level 3. The reason is to get max 13 labs asap so you can build 3-4-3-0-3 labs. Getting high tech armor as quickly as possible is important to take on the German King Tigers late in the war.
Hmm, sounds like we have quite a different approach. I'm quite conservative as the British and pool my PPs early on so that I am in a position to buy INF to repel Sea Lion (especially when I've made a strong commitment to the French campaign). Also, I do not invest any labs in ARM and focus on building air and Mech units for them later on. Hence, I dont need alot of labs and can therefore delay my Ind tech. With respect to the Russians, my initial focus is Inf tech (no focus) and Dogfight to improve russian Inf and Mech quality and not fall too far behind the Germans FTR-wise. With respect to the US, again my approach is different in that I focus on anti-sub/surface ships and air tech early on to try and take the bite out of the sub war by get range and anti-sub hitting power. Then I build General and ARM techs, and then Inf if it looks necessary.

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Post by schwerpunkt » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:13 pm

Dec 4, Winter; No screen images

A quiet turn as my MECH enters Belfast harbour ready to execute an invasion of Ireland if necessary, the british Brest INF departs for north africa/Gibralter and the French 4 step arrives in Casablanca harbour. In Egypt, forces undergo their final deployment in defensive positions. Now I watch to see what Alec does prior to Barbarossa.

Production-wise, I build an INF lab for the british, which is the start of my ramp-up in building labs. The US buy a second naval lab (they have two air already).

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Post by schwerpunkt » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:53 am

Dec 24:

Another fairly uneventful turn although there is a race occurring for Casablanca - he has an INF which is about four turns away. The French 4 step INF lands and will be followed by the British INF. My SUB had revealed an Italian DD prowling/scouting so I move my second SUB into the western Med to see if I can ambush it.

Tech-wise, I gain Surface Ships for the Brits so I upgrade both CVs which I had located in port for this reason. Both can now become active.

Production-wise, the French build a General lab (only getting 9 PPs a turn now) and the Brits build a second INF lab. There are a couple of convoys arriving so I should be able to build a third Air lab in the new year.

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Post by schwerpunkt » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:03 pm

Jan 13:
A bit more interesting turn. The Malta FTR spots the It DD at sea and does a step of damage. A SUB follows up and does a further two steps. Near Tobruk, Egyptian Commandos cross the border and spotting nothing, I move some transports forward to screen my CV, which spots the Italian fleet at sea. My two BBs move to intercept and inflict 5 steps of damage each, sinking an It BB! I move myDD up to screen the back of the CV (I would have used it to finish off a BB otherwise) and move my FTR and mechanised units forward.

In Morroco, the 4 step French INF takes replacements and the british INF enters the harbour.

Production-wise, the british buy a third Air lab.

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Post by massina_nz » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:28 pm

They must the most reluctant commandos in history, that or they have dysentry and can't move very fast. :)

schwerpunkt
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Post by schwerpunkt » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:56 pm

massina_nz wrote:They must the most reluctant commandos in history, that or they have dysentry and can't move very fast. :)
:D

Feb 2: TheItalian fleet has pulled back to harbour this turn but the Luftwaffe has made an appearance in Sicily so things are about to get nasty. Despite this, the British fleet edges forward to get recon on what the current axis dispositions are around Tobruk and take the opportunity to pound a few Italians - one suffers 3 steps loss from the CV and FTR. Monty edges forward to provide command influence but I have no serious intention of mounting an offensive - the aim here is just to get Alec's attention and possibly divert him from what he was planning to do - assuming it wasnt an Egyptian campaign :D

The French INF at Casablanca takes replacements and is now at full strength so I reassign Gamelin from Paris so I can attach him next turn. Last turn, I got my England based CV and the French FTR plus an escort group on the move headed to Casablanca so they'll arrive just north of it next turn to back up the two INF there. I'm also hatching a devious plan but I'll have to see over the next two turns whether the pieces come together for it.

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Production-wise, the British spend 58 of their 77 PPs on a General Lab (they are now maxed out at 8 ) and make the focus Industry.

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Post by pk867 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:11 pm

I would suggest a '5' leader to place on Malta to improve the defense.

Alec has practice on taking Malta. It can hold if you have a leader.

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Post by trulster » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:20 pm

Interesting AAR - if not capturing Paris can the Axis in fact go all the way to capture Dakar and pre-empting any Free French? A very theoretical issue, but should be possible!

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Post by schwerpunkt » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:25 pm

Feb22:

The Luftwaffe arrives in the Tobruk sector in numbers prompting me to withdraw my fleet back to Alexandria. The opportunity to straff a TAC is too hard to resist though (4:1 forecast) so the Egypt FTR group goes for it, with weird combat results - I score a 3:1 on the intercepting german FTR but only get a 1:0 on the TAC? Anyway, the net result was a 4:1 so I cant complain I guess. Monty pulls back towards Alexandria to provide command influence whilst the Egyptian Commandos head into the deep desert.

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In Morroco, the german INF has arrived one hex short of Casablanca to find the French INF at full strength and dug in -I assign Gamelin to it. I move the british INF into the mountain hex to the north east whilst the Malta FTR arrives on the scene after rebasing through central Algeria (nice to have the air bases there ;-) ). My naval task force arrives just south of Portugal - the French FTR will unload at Casablanca harbour whilst the CV and a DD will continue on to Egypt to provide additional support.

I think the german drive to the Atlantic has been stymied for the time being. I'll look to push east shortly.

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Production-wise, the british purchase the leader Alexander (for Morroco) whilst I buy Konev, Zhukov and Govorov for the russians (I like to have them in the pool ready to deploy once Barbarossa gets underway). I've already bought two INF for the russians and deployed them around Sevastapol, so my preparations there are complete for the time being.

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Post by schwerpunkt » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:44 pm

Mar 14:

Italians advance towards Egypt whilst the Luftwaffe TACs bomb the daylights out of my Egyptian Commandos, although the air engagement is bloody and his FTR suffers 3 step losses to my 1 again. My forces pull back towards Alexandria whilst the remnants of my commandos pulls back into the deep desert.

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In Morroco, the Malta FTR re-deploys to Gib airfield due to the approach of the german INF which appears to be withdrawing. I assign Alexander to the british INF and the French FTR arrives in harbour, guarded by the taskforce.

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Further north, one of my BBs escorting an INF headed south runs into a SUB for a 1:1 result. Fortunately, the encounter occurs within range of my STR which is west of Plymouth and it scores two further step losses on his SUB. So overall, not a bad result.

Production-wise, nothing happens this turn as I dont have enough PPs to buy anything useful - the russians can however buy another lab and get a second Air one.

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Post by schwerpunkt » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:28 am

Apr 3:

Russians gain FTR tech 1.
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In Egypt, my commandos get hit my the It MECH and are stuck. The rest of my forces rest up at the Nile River line.
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In Morroco, my forces advance, along with a naval invasion force based at Gib.
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Production-wise, the british max labs increases by 1 so I buy a second General lab
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I've also posted a shot of the situation in France as I believe that Alec has not been very effective here. Paris is surrounded by 4 INF and 2 GAR whilst two of my Maginot hexes still hold out - I'm not sure if they can act as supply sources for any partisans that may pop up but I'm content to leave them as they are for the time being.
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Post by schwerpunkt » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:42 am

Apr23:

My FTR ground strikes his FTR for 3 steps for only 1 step loss. His lower readiness is an issue for him here. My CV advances and attempts to ground strike his TAC and in the process does 3 steps to another FTR as well as 2 to the TAC, for only 1 step loss. I put the results down to my CV having 2 points more of survival than his FTR. My ground units stay put as this is just a spoiling attack to disrupt his offensive.
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In Morroco, my INF both push forward whilst the naval invasion group begin threatening Oran. The French DD in Casablanca takes a replacement whilst the Britisg BB there is headed to the Red Sea to support Egypt. The French fleet will stay in the Morroco theatre in order to stay close to Gamelin's influence.
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Production-wise - the French buy another Armour lab and thats it. The British store up their points as I'm looking to buy a STR soon to counter his SUBs or to do some Strategic bombing.

Just stepping back and looking at how things have unfolded, I think Alec has taken too long to threaten Egypt as I'm pretty strong now and with Barbarossa closing in, he is either going to have to start transferring his air assets soon or do a late assault. From the games I have played, I've come to the conclusion that a late invasion of Russia tends to result in a German loss unless a strategic success is achieved elsewhere - eg a conquest of England/London, the Middle-east, etc. Anyway, we will see which way Alec is headed soon.

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Post by schwerpunkt » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:19 pm

May13:

In Egypt, my FTR targets a 6 step FTR and scores a 2:0 result (forecast was 3:1 so I'm happy). My naval forces withdraw to behind Alexandria with my CV's positioned to provide air cover. A german ARM makes an appearance at the back of the axis forces.......
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In Morroco, I shore-bombard the german INF for 1 step and launch air strikes that score 3 steps on the GAR. My INF continue to advance. I hold my invasion INF on the transport for another turn.
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Post by schwerpunkt » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:56 pm

Jun 2:
Axis forces continue to advance into Egypt. My FTR ground strikes a TAC this turn (4:0 forecast) and gets intercepted by a german FTR - the result is 2:1 and I get to do 2 steps to the TAC for a net 4:1. My Port Said BB takes replacement to go to 9 steps.
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In Morroco, I use the two air units to ground strike the GAR for 3 steps and then use the invasion INF to finish it off. The other two INF continue their advance and link up surrounding the German INF in Oran. I shore-bombard the INF for 1 step. I'll probably rest my INF up for a turn or two before attacking whilst continuing to shore-bombard.
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On his turn, Alec attacked the Paris INF and one of the Maginot GARs reducing them to 3 and 4 steps respectively. I give them replacements in order to keep his units distracted another few turns, with Barbarossa in mind.

My russians and US are able to build another lab this turn, so the russians get another Inf in order to accelerate the tech completion a bit (Fixed Defense imminent) and the US gets a General lab (Industry focus). I bought a FTR, TAC and 3 MECH a few turns back as I'm preparing a surprise for Alec once he initiates Barbarossa.
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