Welcome back to this ongoing series of AARs of my solitaire grand campaign for Europe in WWII. Unconditional Surrender! has quickly shot up the ranks of games in this scale that I would ‘regularly’ play. A lot of that has to do with the low counter density, simple rules, and relatively fast paced play. So let’s dive right back in! After the Spanish ousted the British from Gibraltar in September and the Danes fell to the Germans, the War in Europe seems to have taken a pause in October.
All Quiet on the Western Front
That’s actually a bit of a lie, because there really isn’t a Western Front per se. October was a really weird month because very little action happened. After a bruising year the Axis shadow falls over most of mainland Europe and everyone takes a breath before the next major action.
This was the first turn where the Policy Reevaluation came in to play. A d6 was rolled and determined that the Nazi Soviet Pact would stay in effect for at least one more turn. The Policy Reevaluation token was moved to the next space on the turn track, ready for reevaluation next month in November.
The Spanish spent all of their resources positioning their forces on the Portuguese border. If the weather holds, they plan on pushing to Lisbon and claiming the entire Iberian peninsula as sovereign territory.
Meanwhile in the desert, the Italian 11th Army launched a massive offensive against the WDF to try and push them back to Tobruk. Aided by the air force and tank divisions, they were still unable to make any kind of headway. Monty’s desert rats, with their new Crusader tanks, simply ground the Italians to a halt and prepared for a strong counter attack westward along the coast.
The Italian 2nd Fleet, anchored at Tripoli, sailed back to the Italian mainland in an attempt to try and have a better position from which to defend Italian ground and intercept the Royal Navy. Malta’s Force H attempted to intercept and interdict the Italians at sea but were unsuccessful at doing so. The dice gods once again were unkind to the Brits, and now Force H has 5 sorties on it.
The WDF’s counter attack pushed the Italian 11th Army all the way around south of Benghazi. Italian losses were extremely heavy as they retreated. But, as the British kept pushing and over stretching themselves, the Italians were able to put up a defensive stand and halt their advance.
In northern France, the Luftwaffe spent their resources pulling back out of range of the Royal Air Force. I’m not really sure what to do with the Axis in regards to Great Britain and Ireland. The defensive bonus the RAF gets over Britain is a huge deterrent for any kind of invasion plans. On top of that, the German Surprise attack counter, that would allow such an invasion, is so expensive it’s hard to try and divert those kind of resources away from fighting on the Eastern Front.
The Germans are preparing to invade Norway, which will use up their Surprise attack counter. It returns to the track for four months then costs 20, yes 20 production points. So, Operation Sea Lion is well and truly on the back burner until a more reasonable time.
But really very little else happened. The Finnish armies moved down to join the northern flanks of the Russian lines. The Turks moved their 3rd Army to the coast of the Aegean Sea to cut off the 4th Italian garrison stationed at Rhodes.
The diplomacy cup was looking very sparse because none of the factions were buying tokens back to the cup. No one wanted to invest in putting things back into the cup because as soon as the Nazi-Soviet pact ends (a 50/50 chance it ends every month from now on) the diplomacy phase will be skipped.
The Germans risked it but drew a political failure so they lost their pro-axis counter in Budapest, which puts a real damper on the prospects of Hungary joining the war on the Axis side. The USSR drew a no event chit, and the Western allies couldn’t afford to do anything.
So, yeah, like I said, very little actually happened apart from the skirmishes in the desert. I appreciate you sticking around and reading these because I’m having a blast playing this game and want to convey that joy to everyone. The tension brewing across Europe is palpable as both Norway, Portugal and the Eastern Front are all ready to go up in flames.
Catch you next time.