If October was the calm before the storm, then November was the heavens opening. Very little happened last month, although every month the war in the desert drags on the worse things look for the Italians, but more on that later. Relations between Hitler and Stalin are now very strained almost to breaking point. The Soviets will reevaluate their pact with the Axis forces every turn from now on, and November saw a shooting war break out on the Eastern front.
All Out War!
The Nazi Soviet Pact was revoked on the part of Stalin, and Hitler immediately seized the initiative and plunged the East into turmoil. The armies of The Axis and the USSR had been staring each other down across the Eastern Polish border for almost a full year so the troops of both sides were itching for hostilities to start so they could get down to business.
The USA will be entering the war in 1941, which starts as a very slow process. There’s slower economic entry and then the units start rolling in later in 1943 and beyond. Weirdly the weather on the Eastern front was ideal for an Axis push eastwards, where the weather in the Med was terrible and the Spaniards had to hold off form launching an invasion of Portugal. Franco’s long sought occupation of the entire peninsula will have to wait.
The Italians are starting to feel the cosh of Monty and his desert rats as they push on round Benghazi. The Italians launched a huge counter assault with Air superiority on their side. British Crusader tanks, however, were more than a match for the ill disciplined Italian troops who were unable to dislodge the British from the mountainous terrain they were entrenched in.
Operation Barbarossa was launched by the Germans and a massive push was made Eastwards in order to try and break the back of the soviets before they can muster their forces from the East. The German’s played their surprise attack event in hopes that they could maximize the impact of the first wave of attacks, disintegrating the soviet battle lines. Alas, the dice gods smiled upon the USSR, mostly.
By the end of the round almost every single Russian unit on the board was broken. Only one unit was completely removed. This is a huge victory for the USSR as they had plenty of production points to spend in order to swell their ranks back to full strength again. The USSR performed almost zero counter attacks with their units being in such bad shape however.
The German Panzer units took the blitzkrieg a little too seriously, getting themselves cut off from the main force and out of full supply. I was hoping that they would be able to charge ahead, picking off reinforcements and breezing into unprotected cities in order to create chaos in the rearguard. Mostly though they just ground to a halt stuck on their own. So… Lesson learned for next time.
With how the war was going in the rest of the world it was perhaps a mistake to leave Luftwaffe and ground units in Northern Denmark. I had planned to invade Norway, but they need the Surprise attack in order to do so, which I hadn’t really considered very well. Having that extra air unit and some more ground units could have been a great boon to the Axis push Eastward.
The only counter attack the USSR did was trying to push the Romanians back across the border and into Bucharest. The USSR couldn’t reisk losing their own units in a catastrophic counter attack just to be swept aside next month.
Sadly comes the terrible, terrible news. I came home from work and found that what appeared to be nuclear winter where once there was a game of Unconditional Surrender! I don’t even own cats! I think my youngest may have gotten to it or it had been jostled or something. I’ve had to reset the turn track as well as the production and faction boards before, but seeing this was just a little more than I cared to redo.
So whilst I write this, staring at the disaster in front of me, it is with heavy heart but also great thanks that I bid farewell to Unconditional surrender! I appreciate everyone who stuck with me and read these. I apologize for the abrupt ending but I’ll have to figure out some kind of actual gaming table I can put a cover on or something in order to keep longer campaigns like this protected in the future.
Just know that this wont be the last time you see me play this game on the blog, because it’s incredible. Seriously, one of my favourite games of this scale and magnitude. The What-If nature means that some very wild things could happen. (If this campaign had continued I think the Ruskies would have crushed the Axis on the Eastern front especially through through the longer winter coming up. But I guess we’ll never know.
If you’re interested I think the p500 for this just recently charged which means GMT has the second printing coming really soon and I’d highly recommend getting Sal’s masterpiece.