Round 13, Match 9 Status Report

Brad Solberg (Axis) vs. Rob Drozd (Allies; Bid 2)

British Flag

Allies win by by 3 POC at the end of Turn 7.

WAS PBeM AREA Ladder - Round 13, Match 9 Status

======================================================================== POC Record Area Ax / Al   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Baltic Sea 1 2 Ax Ax Ax Ax Ax Ax Ax -- Barents Sea 2 1 Ax Al Al Al ?? Al Al -- North Sea 3 1 Al Al Al Al ?? -- -- -- North Atlantic Ocean 3 1 Al Ax Al Al ?? Al Al -- South Atlantic Ocean 3 1 Al Al Ax Al ?? Al Al -- Mediterranean Sea 2 1 Ax Ax Ax Ax Ax Ax Ax -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Axis Subtotal           +5 +6 +6 +3 +3 +3 +3 +? Allied Subtotal           -3 -3 -3 -7 -6 -3 -7 +? ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Axis Net POC         +2 +3 +3 -4 -3 +0 -4 +? Axis Cumulative POC  +2 +5 +8 +4 +1 +1 -3 +? ========================================================================

Turn 1

The mighty Supermarina chases the Allies out of the Med, where they huddle in the North Sea and the Atlantic. The Kriegsmarine patrols Barents and Baltic, supporting the invasion of Norway. Allied LBA damages two Italian ships but sinks none.

Axis: Barents, Baltic, Med
Allies: North Sea, North Atlantic, South Atlantic
Axis +5, Allies -3 for net +2 Axis

Turn 2

The Allies establish the blocade. Axis airstrikes sink Formidable and cripple Ark Royale. The Supermarina repairs its ships and continues to patrol the Med. Lutzow patrols the Baltic. The rest of the fleet goes commerce raiding in the North Atlantic, but Admiral Graf Spee had to return home due to engine troubles. Before the ships could escape British waters, they were intercepted by Rodney, Nelson, Royal Sovereign and Revenge.

Both "R" class BB's went down, and the two 16" ships were driven off but not before they sunk 3 German ships and damaged a fourth. Only Hipper and Blucher were left to terrorize the Atlantic and neither wanted to risk oiling at sea with the blockade in force.

Axis: North Atlantic, Baltic, Med
Allies: North Sea, Barents, South Atlantic.
Axis +6, Allies -3 for net +5 Axis

Sunk Ships:
Axis: 357,225,127
Allied: 443x2, 0272

Turn 3

The British enforce the blocade with very strong forces in North Sea and Barents. The Barents force suffers from storms and three BB/BC are blown to port. Fortunately Stalin chooses this moment to stab Hitler in the back and sets his mighty "People's Fleet" to the Baltic, distracting the Kriegsmarine.

The crippled Arc Royale and Rodney repair. All of this force leaves the Atlantic lightly patrolled, with a single CV giving the Convoy escort in the North and 3 R-Class BB holding the south against the Supermarina.

The Luftwaffe can't find the scattered Barents fleet due to the same storms, but the Kriegsmarine locates the "People's Fleet" and promptly sinks it, but the Pocket battleships prove a poor design, another blowing up on the first shot and the third damaged and relegated to Baltic Patrol duty for the rest of the war.

Axis sub command chooses the higher risk/reward option and sends the subs to back the Italians in South Atlantic, valuing increased sub survival and the chance of a commerce raider breakout over the risk to Italian cruisers.

The wolf-pack ran into a heavy destroyer screen, losing two of its members and failing to score a single hit against the battleships. But the Italians struck while the destroyer screen was harrassing the submarines. The Supermarina launched a spread of torpedoes that sunk Royal Oak and forced the other two to retire to Argentina for repairs. Return Fire against the cruisers was unimpressive, sinking one and damaging another.

With the Baltic a German lake and the Italians blockading Britain against their foreign posessions it looks grim for the Allies. On the other hand, Rodney and Arc Royale are back in action and America just entered the war...

Axis: South Atlantic, Baltic, Med
Allies: North Sea, Barents, North Atlantic.
Axis +6, Allies -3 for net +8 Axis

Sunk Ships:
German: 357,225x2,127
Italian: 117
British: 443x3, 0272
Rusian: 333x2

Turn 4

The Allies put a balanced force around the world. The Germans waited the turn out, getting the wolf pack up to full strength. With no support from the Germans, the Supermarina was forced to retreat to the Med.

The Luftwaffe located the convoy and bombed it, but the damage was insufficient to prevent the supplies from landing.

Allied LBA damaged Andrea Dora for a second time but failed to sink anything.

Axis: Baltic, Med
Allies: North Sea, Barents, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Convoy 1A
Axis +3, Allies -7 for net +4 Axis

Sunk Ships:
German: 357,225x2,127
Italian: 117
British: 443x3, 0272
Rusian: 333x2

Convoys: 1a to Russia

Turn 5

Details not provided.

Turn 6

Most of the Allied Carriers escort the final Convoy in North Atlantic. North Sea and Barents have strong fleets and enough ASW for a blockade run to be risky (14 and 13 vs 5 subs). South Atlantic has 3 BB and Eagle, enough to scare away 3 Italians.

In Barents, the Luftwaffe again destroy the carrier planes, this time of the Victorious but do no ship damage. South Atlantic and North Atlantic are left unmolested. The Italians continued patrolling the Med. Allied LBA was ineffectual. The Kriegsmarine performed shakedown maneuvers in the Baltic, in anticipation of a North Sea breakout promised by Donitz.

Donitz conceived a strategy which allowed for German dud torpedoes and allied enthusiasm for hunting down and killing U-Boats. He charged his remaining U-Boat fleet with attracting the attention of the North Sea patrol and scattering in various directions. As usual, U-Boat torpedoes did not even scratch the paint of Allied ships, and Allied Depth Charges permanently reduced the submarine fleet by half. But the objective was accomplished, and the Kriegsmarine has an open road to the Atlantic while the North Sea fleet is scattered and low on fuel.

Donitz unloads the pistol he had ready in case of failure and goes off to oversee the production of more U-boats. The Kriegsmarine slips through Kiel and makes a dash for the Atlantic...

Axis: Baltic, Med.
Allies: Barents, North Atlantic, South Atlantic
Axis +3, Allies -3 for net +1 Axis

Sunk Ships:
German: 357,225x2,127, 3x10*
Italian: 117
British: 443x3, 0272
Russian: 333x2

Convoys: 1a, 2b to Russia

Turn 7

Axis surrenders - final score on turn 7 is +3 Allied.

Allies put 4xBB, 4xCA and 1 CV in each of North and South Atlantic. The only concession to the Italians in the South was to put the bigger BB's there. North Sea got 6 BB,2CV, the rest to Barents. ASW was sufficient to scare off the 3 remaining U-Boats.

The Luftwaffe made a fierce attempt at the final Convoy, sinking Victorious and again removing all of the aircraft from the remaining CV (Illustrious). But the Convoy slipped past in the confusion and landed safely in Russia.

The Kriegsmarine joined up with the Supermarina in the South Atlantic. Strategic bombing meant that there was not enough fuel for the entire fleet, so Bismark had to stay home. Graf Zepplin crippled Rodney in the airstrikes and closed to launch torpedoes. Courageous's Swordfish drove off Blucher and the fleets closed for a decisive night battle.

Allies shot well. Axis gun barrels were clearly worn from bombarding Leningrad. After three rounds of fire the Allies drove the combined Axis fleet into Paraguay. (this, BTW was *not* the expected result before the speed rolls/airstrikes....)

With no realistic chance of taking a sea area turn 8, Axis surrenders.

Axis: Baltic, Med.
Allies: Barents, North Atlantic, South Atlantic
Axis +3, Allies -7 for net -3 Axis

Sunk Ships:
German: 357x2,225x2,127x2,1282 3x10*
Italian: 117
British: 443x3,117, 0272x2
Russian: 333x2

Convoys: 1a, 2b, 3c to Russia

Axis Commentary

This game should have been won turn 3 when the Italians captured South Atlantic. I was 10 POC over the bid with 5 U-boats (and it should have been more, except he got 2 kills with 3 ASW...). In exchange Allies had excellent fleet attrition - 4 Germans sunk, one damaged (and Baltic POC too important to give up) and one Italian dead. This means that if the Germans break the blockade they might still lose (as they did turn 7).

I made a strategic error turn 4 by not attacking with my U-Boats. I wanted 7 U-boats to give my fleet another chance and frankly was rattled by him sinking 2 U-Boats in 3 shots. I had expected and planned to go into turn 4 with 6+ U-Boats, and had not fully internalized that I did not need my fleet again as long as I took out the weakest Allied sea area every turn. This sort of error I hope to avoid as I get more experience.

With my less than optimal strategy I should have had two chances to take two areas, with about a 75% chance of recovery. Plus all 3 convoys had to run the LBA gauntlet. But he sunk 5 subs with 11 shots turn 5, scuttling the two-area strategy. And although I disabled 3 CV and sunk 2, LBA never did more than damage a convoy.

Even so, I had good chances since I broke the blockade turn 6. Of 5 airstrikes, 3 rolled a good enough result to sink or disable the Convoy. But I chose one of the other places to put the convoy airstrike. Even with a failed speed roll and getting the worst of the carrier exchange I had a decent shot at winning the South Atlantic, but the dice stayed cold. (actually I got the right rolls but on the wrong targets....did 1 damage to undamaged BB while rolling a disable on the BB I could have sunk with 1 dmg, rolled my 5's on bonus dice (with low damage rolls) and my 4's on non-bonus dice).

Oh well. I probably deserve some perverse dice after what I saw in my VITP game against Jim Rocheford. On several occasions he got either good dice or bad on my side...but then something would happen to bring him just short of victory. The final roll of the game was something like a 2% chance to hit all LBA and he hit all 3...and failed to win the game by 1 damage point. And the ASW is some sort of dice revenge against the I-Boat/F-Boat rolls in my game against Joe Dragan (6 shots killed 3 CV, 1 Marine, disabled a CV and broke control of an area by sinking a CA)

Rob earned the victory by a strategy of attrition and by playing conservatively after he got behind - I got no easy breaks. The POC I earned turn 2-3 were calculated risks. I thought Axis had the better of it...but only because of the bid of 2 POC. I might well try something similar someday with a smaller bid. The requirement to land all 3 convoys *and* prevent the U-Boats from taking an area on one turn is too risky for my blood. But with ties going to the Allies a bid of 1 would have been OK, assuming the LBA does not get a critical disable/sunk result on turn 7-8. Rob had a 30% chance of winning North Atlantic with his choice of targest and a 50% chance of South Atlantic so the chance of all three events (losing both areas and having LBA do something fatal to a convoy) are not as bad as they appear once you've won both Atlantics.

I've now been defeated in WAS by the father and VIP by the son. The Drozd clan has my number :-)

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