Part 15: Turn 3 - September/October 1941: Guderian Hesitates, Kiev Surrenders, General Mud Arrives
All across the front line the action stalls as the Axis forces exhaust their supply build-up and the Soviet resistance stiffens. However, the aggressive commander of the 2nd Panzer notices that he's only held in place by unprepared and untrained Russian divisions. He decides to push his advantage and his advance quickly forces the Soviet command to respond. A difficult decision is made: the Caucasus Front must counter this move, lest they be shattered and crippled.
The Axis discard Hedgehogs/New Conscripts to make this possible.
Caucasus Front vs 2nd Panzer
Combat odds: 3/7 = 1:3 - no shifts
Roll: 5 - No effect
The general in charge of the Panzer Group has overestimated his capacities. Quite soon his officers realise just how stretched their supply situation is and decide to back down in the face of motivated and decisive Soviet response. Post-war historians will often argue if this could be a decisive point in the war - if only the general Guderian, in charge of the Panzer Group, would have been more bold, he could have ridden all the way to Kharkov! Others argue that such a leader would have been a reckless, glory-chasing goon that would never have made it too far in army command...
The Counterblow marker is removed.
Soviet Removals Phase
Disorganized markers removed from Leningrad, Reserve, Northwest, South, Bryansk and Southwest.
The Central Front, holed up around Kiev for nearly a month now, finally decides to surrender. The survivors are famished and plagued with diseases of all kinds, many of them have to be carried into captivity. The countryside is completely ravaged. And yet the spiteful People's Defence Commissar of Kiev refuses to acknowledge his inevitable defeat. He orders the citizens arm themselves and prepare for a fight to the last against the fascist oppressors. His efforts are just enough to keep the Germans out of the city for a couple more days and inspire propaganda in most of the USSR, but are unlikely to stand up to an actual move of the Axis armies - especially since the Soviet attempts at relief have been halted almost 100 kilometres away.
Soviet Detrainment Phase
In order to boost the defences of the Ukraine and the Crimea, the Southwest Front is deployed to Dnepropetrovsk.
With this we conclude Turn 2.
Blue is last turn's front line, red is current.
Bunch of meaningless statistics time!
Length of the front line: ~2000 km
Soviet POWs this turn: 350 000, 550 000 total
Number of German truck drivers bored to death by driving through the endless expanse of the USSR: 8
It is now turn 3. The Game Turn Event is Begin Soviet Fortifying. This means that from this turn on, during the Flip Step of the Soviet Organization Phase, the Soviets may pay 1 card to flip a Regional Infantry Unit to the other side. Should they do so, that unit turns into a two-step unit, with Fortress on its full-strength side and Regional Infantry on its reduced-strength side. This can only be done to supplied units. Bear in mind that the Flip Step comes before the Placement step - meaning that the Soviets can only flip units already present on the board.
Limited Rail Moves is over. You can now have any number of units in the rail movement box (if you place more than one a turn there, however, you have to pay cards for the extras).
The Germans receive 2 Blitz! markers for this turn.
Oh, and - have you noticed that the bar with the turn number on it is brown now? This means we're dealing with a Mud Turn. It's also the first Variable Weather turn of the game! To the right you can see the Variable Weather marker, now on its Mud side. Should a card event tell us to flip it, we shall.
German troops try to move a command car around in the mud near Kiev.
What effects does Mud Weather have? I'm glad you asked!
It exists to fuck over the Germans, basically.
During Mud turns, any units with more than 3 MP can only move as if they had 3 MP. You may have noticed that this afflicts all units on the Axis side, save for the Rumanians, but exactly none on the Soviet side, as they all have a movement allowance of 3.
Armour Bonus shifts in combat are off. I don't care that your panzers are whacking a bunch of Siberian conscripts in the middle of a giant field with "TANK COUNTRY" written all over it, fuck you, Nazi scum. You may have noticed that the Soviets have exactly 0 Armour units in their OOB.
Oh, and once you've whacked them? Multi-hex advance is disabled. You can only move into the hex just vacated by the defender. Because fuck you, this is General Mud in command.
Basically, the Germans are in for a rough ride.
Russian roads in a village near Moscow
Since this is a Sudden Death turn, let's see the VP track!
Axis VPs stand at 19. Sudden Death threshold for this turn is 20. So yeah, they're just short. But still short!
Next chance: 23 VPs at turn 6!
The Axis don't have to discard anything and just draw 4 cards.
No new units for the Axis, but HerpicleOmnicron5 can shift troops between Army Groups now.
I need movement orders from Davin Valkri for AGN/AGC and Logicone for Army Group South. Deadline for these is Wednesday, December 4th, 7 PM GMT.