Part 20: Turn 4 - The Autumn Offensive. November/December 1941.
Even though the Soviets managed to close the encirclement of the Axis troops, the Red Army is somewhat reluctant to attack them. The Germans, however, force their hand: after an intense artillery barrage, they move to the northwest, hoping to smash away the Moscow Front. Two more Soviet Fronts join in the fray.
Siege Artillery is discarded to place the counterblow marker on the stack next to Moscow.
Meanwhile, the 2nd Panzer finds the Caucasus Front, its nemesis, once again throwing itself in its way. Heinrici orders attack, hoping to break through to his comrades in arms as soon as possible.
Caucasus Front vs 2nd Panzer
Combat odds: 3/7 = 1:3 - no shifts
Roll: 2 - CA
Counter-attack accepted at 2:1 odds, roll: 2 - CB
A CB marker is placed on the Caucasus Front.
The clash is extended and inconclusive. The Germans grow weary of their long advance in the horrible weather, but the Soviets are completely unable to react. The OKH will have to decide what to make of this engagement. Meanwhile, for their repeated and brave stand-offs with the mighty 2nd Panzer Group, the commander of the Caucasus Front (in this case cokerpilot, since no-one's signed up as the "in-lore" unit commander for these guys) receives the unique Caucasus Front Badge.
A CB result places a CB marker on the Phasing Side's hex. That marker stays there until the end of the next Combat Phase, meaning that the hex will have to be attacked. This represents protracted engagements that just cannot be left unattended - the opponent has to either stand and fight or fall back. This can be a difficult choice occasionally.
Moscow, Northwest, Reserve vs 3rd Panzer, 9th Army
Combat odds: 9/9 - 1:1
Roll: 2 - CA
Counter-attack accepted at 1:1 odds +1 shift for Blitz marker for a 3:2 total.
Soviets play Russian Tenacity to convert the result to EX.
3rd Panzer takes a step loss.
The Northwest Front takes a step loss and is destroyed. It goes to the Destroyed Units Box. A Cadre (Ostatky 1) is placed in its location.
The main fight has the Germans navigating between Soviet defensive strongpoints and looking for a weakness to exploit. Once they think they've seen one, in the Tula area, they strike, but are met with extraordinarily fierce resistance. The panzer crews find fighting in the city streets difficult, and eventually they have to abandon the attack with heavy losses.
The next morning, the Stavka received a very important visit from a very important man: the People's Commissar for Education of the RSFSR. The man was visibly enraged. "Where is my offensive?!", he asked, indignantly throwing an inkwell towards general-polkovnik Fangz and splashing black ink all over some very important military documents. "Where are the victories?! Have you not read Stalin's personal orders?!"
Fangz popped back up from under his desk, where he ducked to avoid the narkom's impromptu projectile. "Comrade narkom," he meekly explained, "we didn't have the resources... The men, the materiel..."
But the Commissar would have none of it. "I've got 300 million posters praising the Autumn offensive already printed out, and before this conversation is over I will have 304 million. Because of your laziness I will have to throw them all away, and I can't even get the men in charge of the printers on the phone to recall the production! Look here, I've even made a timetable! You were supposed to be in Vienna last Friday! Did you not get the memo?! Or can't you read?!"
"I will remember this, comrade commander. Don't think I won't."
General-polkovnik Fangz has been demoted to general-leytenant for his failure to follow Stalin's offensive orders. Axis gain 1 VP. Their VPs now stand at 22.
Soviet Removals Phase
Disorganised Markers removed from Bryansk, Kalinin, Leningrad and Southwest.
Soviet Detraining Phase
The Leningrad Front is placed in Leningrad.
With this we conclude Turn 3. No frontline change, since due to the Mud they were far less than impressive. No statistics either, because it's late and I really shouldn't be still typing this. Might edit these two in later on.
A report comes in from one of the destroyers patrolling off Pearl Harbour that they have sighted what the Captain believes to be a periscope. This report is ignored, the Captain of the destroyer is new, and many other supposed periscopes have been spotted in the previous weeks.
Over a hundred and fifty Japanese Planes begin their attack on Pearl Harbour. These have been launched from the Japanese Carrier fleet, which, sailing under complete radio blackout, has moved into range of the Harbour. The six carriers launch all buy 6 of their planes at the unsuspecting Americans enjoying their Sunday morning lie in.
Two Japanese sailors remark on the excellent quality of the siege artillery they were sent by their German allies, although one of them notes that those things are "probably kinda unwieldy on a carrier, I guess".
Dusk came to the Pacific, and shock spreads throughout the world. In America, the sudden and surprise attack has left people reeling.
Ladies and Gentlemen America is at war.
This is a Red Turn Event, which makes the Axis loose 1 VPs (now at 21)! That's bad enough already , but they'll also have to discard a card once they're done drawing, since they need to send all those Submarines and Supplies and such to fight the Americans now and thus they have a lot less resources for the Eastern Front - which is defiantly not gonnna need them, after all they are supposed to be winning already !
The Soviets receive 3 Shock! Markers. They are identical in use to the German Blitz! markers , except they're used to aid Soviet attacks rather thatn German ones.
What's more, this is a Snow (Variable) Turn. Snow Turns means that:
1. All Axis Attacks use the Soviet CRT instead.
2. All units have a maximum of 4 MPs. This mens that the Axis recover some of their much vaunted Movility after the Mud turn!
3. Rivers freeze over and have no effect on combat or anything.
4. All Non-Finnish attack against Soviet units in the USSR are shifted one column to the left (in favour of Defender).
5. Armour combat bonus is back!
6. Mutli-Hex advance after combat is permitted, but the Armour do not get their extra hex (so they only advance into the defender's hex, then once more).
What's more, during the first Snow turn of the game (and only then!), the Soviet Shock! Markers provide two extra combat shifts instead of one.
The Axis draw 4 and have to discard one.
As their second card in the turn they draw Anti-bolshevik Crusade and immediately play it. The discard pile is reshuffled into the Deck.
As their fourth Card they draw Unsaesonal Weather and immediataly play it. Weather marker this turn has been flipped to Mud. Next turn has no variable weather. I Guess I shouldn't have typed out all those words about the Snow, then! The axis draw a replacement card.
I'm going to rule that this cancels out the First winter modifiers and shifts them to the next Snow turn. This includes the double shock marker bonus.
The Soviets then play Za Rodinu! again to draw two cards.
One of them is General Winter. Since the next turn has no variable weather, it has no Effect. They draw a replacement Card.
The stack next to Moscow is put out of suppply.
Nothing to do here.
I need movement orders from Davin Valkri for AGN/AGC and from Logicone for AGS. The Deadline is Saturday, 14 December, 6 PM GMT.