The Let's Play Archive

No Retreat! The Russian Front

by Tevery Best

Part 3: Turn 1 - Axis Combat Phase: The Border Blitz

The Army Group North has officially crossed the border, spearheaded by the 4th Panzer. The 16th and 18th Armies (both with 3-4 stats) are ordered to secure crossings on the Neman for the tanks before moving in to assist in their assault.

Meanwhile the 3rd Panzer has, thanks to aerial recon, identified a large gap in the Soviet line. They promptly use it to move in and surround the main body of the West Front while scattering several smaller Soviet forces in their wake. Along with them goes the 9th Army (4-4), while from the south-west advance the 2nd Panzer Group (7-6) and the 4th Army.

One of the most important German aircraft was the Fieseler Fi 156 "Storch" (Stork), pictured above. It was an incredibly successful design, very light, agile and fast, but unarmed and without armour. That is because it was not a combat plane, but rather a true workhorse, serving as a liaison aircraft, a great reconnaissance machine, VIP transport and a plethora of other support roles. Its main draw was how little ground it needed for take-off: thanks to this feature it could be used during Operation Eiche, the German plan to free Mussolini after he was arrested and imprisoned in hotel Campo Imperatore in the Gran Sasso mountains. The evacuation after the mission called for take-off from a really tiny strip of land. Only the Storch could handle such a task and it did not disappoint Otto Skorzeny, the man in charge of the operation. However, the Fi 156 also had a serious drawback - it was too small to carry much. During the Gran Sasso raid, Skorzeny insisted he fly with Mussolini and this unexpected extra weight (Skorzeny was a huge and swole fucker over two meters tall) nearly caused the tiny plane to crash. The Storch was also one of the last aircraft that entered the besieged Berlin in April 1945, landing on the tiny improvised airstrip in the Berlin Tiergarten.

The AGS moves between the Carpathian Mountains and the Pripyat marshes. They don't really have that much space to manoeuvre on the strategic level and the Soviets here have largely heard the alarm call and consolidated. Still, their efforts are probably too little, too late to halt the German war machine.

The situation before the Combat Phase:

I need the OKH Chief to place up to 5 Target Markers on hexes the Axis will voluntarily attack this Combat Phase as well as commit up to 1 Blitz! token (giving an extra shift while attacking) and one card (and any number of cards that modify the effects of the battle) per Target hex. Meanwhile, the Army Group commanders are to post which units take part in which battle (in this case its fairly obvious, but will become less so later on) and how they will advance after combat (feel free to use conditional clauses based on where the Soviets will retreat to, if you expect them to be capable of it). The Soviet sector commanders should post their preferred retreat destinations (I will determine specific paths myself). Since there are no cards in the Soviet hand, there can be no Counterblows or cards played by the Soviets in battles, so the STAVKA Chief has nothing to do.

The deadline is until 8:30 PM GMT on Thursday. Feel free to ask any questions you have either here or in the docs.

Also a reminder to anyone reading along that we're still taking sign-ups!