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Thread: Five for Fighting - How Hockey Saved the Allies - An FtM AAR

  1. #221
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Action packed, you seem to be slowly grinding down Vichy resistance. Well, except for those Vichy ghost units, which must be a real pain to deal with. Some good progress though and as long as you keep the Vichy forces on the run you should be able to polish them off easily in a large pocket, as you said.
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  2. #222
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    Action packed, you seem to be slowly grinding down Vichy resistance. Well, except for those Vichy ghost units, which must be a real pain to deal with. Some good progress though and as long as you keep the Vichy forces on the run you should be able to polish them off easily in a large pocket, as you said.
    Thanks. yes, we'll take more losses than I like in the early fights, but then wipe out the enemy divisions in nearly lossless combat, I hope. We won't quite wrap it up this chapter, though.
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  3. #223
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Chapter Thirty-Five - The Other End in Africa

    Canada and the UK knocked Italy out of north-east Africa some time ago, now we're hoping to knock Vichy France out of north-west Africa. Central Africa is a possibility at some point, though I have to admit that I have only a limited interest in it right now, there could be a decapitated Norwegian waiting there for us. Finish this job, replenish my Manpower if possible, then think seriously about how to approach occupied Europe. If I look for something to keep me busy, I give up my chance to get manpower back. If I don't get manpower back before too much longer, it'll be tough to build anything meaningful before late 1944.

    While I know it won't last, our ground attack bombers are doing what we'd hoped - bombing the crap out of defenseless enemies in theatres where the enemy has no planes at all. Bombing the enemy in Medea isn't strictly speaking necessary, but it is fun.



    FYI - the only un-placed unit is a naval base I've had waiting for many months now. And the other symbol tells me I posted a unit in the USSR, which I already know. East of Medea there are the two Vichy divisions which we stumbled upon when we landed by sea to reveal the desert faster. In this central of the three areas of combat, one division is retreating inland after having been defeated. The other was already in motion when we beat the first, and has made a good start in trying to fight it's way through further east. We need to corral these two, so another Canadian division is launched at the attacking Vichy division to break that up.



    The Medea area also features two enemy divisions. We'll take Tiaret and Ain Defla, plus bounce the enemy from Medea which we're doing now. Then we'll have five divisions for fighting against two enemy. Vichy will be corralled into two provinces. Reduce that pocket to one and a single defeat eliminates the enemy completely.



    Our counter-attack in Skikda seems to be working as planned, and the battle for Medea ends with success. Note however that our losses were 375 to the enemy's 500, only the final battles here will be lopsided.



    I did check out the supply situation in the area where we landed two divisions. It's an area with no port, but there's 140 supply there. This is both good news and bad news. It's good because we'll be able to link up long before the two Canadian divisions run out of supply. It's bad because that's Vichy supply, and it implies that there were good reserves built up in the empty areas which the enemy now controls. Given the choice between having my men having to sit tight because the desert had no supplies, and having the enemy free to roam for quite some time on the fat they've built up, I'd take lean supply all the way around.

    I also spend a fair amount of time verifying that the enemy does not have a deep playing field. Only in the far east, south of Tunis, does the infrastructure run three provinces south of the Mediterranean. I glanced at our production, and we have an air base and our first Fighter squadron (USA licensed naval F4F Wildcats) due by the end of June.

    Oh, yeah. Happy D-Day everyone! On the seventh of June, Canada throws another shut-out in Messina, 310 enemy dead, no Canadians. Manpower is still negative 20.

    In the Medea area, we take Tiaret, and the Vichy who were already moving there begin to attack us. Since we have to reduce this pocket by one province anyway, we launch a counter attack, quickly bringing an end to the Vichy attack on Tiaret.



    That battle in Chetaibi is the one where I launched the counter attack to cut it off. So -25 is actually a huge improvement for the good guys. I also spent some time shifting my airforce around before I discovered that the area is out of reach for ground attacks.

    I kill 20 enemy with bombings in Chlef, and then check my own supply and realize that apparently I can tell what the enemy has in areas I'm attacking into, or at least I can now. Vichy has ten days worth of supply in Chlef, about nine more than I want the battle to take. So we kill another 71 enemy in two more attacks.

    The attack into Chetaibi ends when the enemy in Skikda is defeated by the counter-attack (I think I only got one battle end notice, though).



    So I only have to take the coastal province and the enemy will be stuck in a single-province pocket.

    Seventy men are killed in two more attacks into Chlef, when I notice something hilarious:



    Oddly, we could hear the POWs in Malta, and they were singing! "The British Navy, HUH! What is it good for? Absolutely NOTHIN'"

    In the far east near Tunis there is a third pocket of Vichy Divisions. Unfortunately, here there is a bit more room to maneuver, so we'll have to be a bit more careful in pinching the area off.



    We kill another 40 enemy in Chlef with ground attacks, and the eastern pocket is reduced by one more province as well. Here you can see the central and eastern areas together.



    So we swap around where the eastern divisions are going and the two eastern pockets are collapsing nicely. The one near Tunis will take more work, and men, but it's only a matter of time.



    In the west, in Chlef south of Algier, the one attacking Canadian division is making slow progress, even with incessant bombing of the enemy [Ed - so it's not the gratuitous bombing we were led to believe it was? Me - sorry], but I do not want to waste the attack of adjacent units just to speed things up. One more attack, and soon, and the two enemy divisions will be gone. Finally, here's a nice overview, along with a technology boosting announcement.



    Box 1 is the Medea area and Chlef; box 2 is Constantine and Skikda; box 3 near Tunis is Siliana and soon Tebes. Oh, and IC Efficiency, whoop-de-doo. So now I have even more IC I lack the manpower to use. Great. I added our current research, too. A couple nice techs coming, plus another almost pointless IC boost.

    We won the battle of Chlef, finally, and reduce that pocket to one province as well. We're trying to use our armored cars to help chase the invincible HQ unit, but that's a plan which went back and forth since the AC cannot actually fight. We again lose nearly as many as Vichy in Chlef, actually we technically lost the battle in terms of casualties, 372 to 337. Only our bombardments kept the deathtoll favorable. Still, one last fight and the two enemy divisions are gone for good. Charef (the unmarked province at the intersection of the two Report Boxes) has too low infrastructure to allow movement, so Thanest al Had (the one they're moving into) will be Vichy's last stand.



    A last stand which is coming soon to an AAR posting near you! Right now, I'm off to celebrate my birthday.
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  4. #224
    Lt. General eqqman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentIII View Post
    Then we'll have five divisions for fighting against two enemy. Vichy will be corralled into two provinces. Reduce that pocket to one and a single defeat eliminates the enemy completely.

    A last stand which is coming soon to an AAR posting near you! Right now, I'm off to celebrate my birthday.
    So, you have five for fighting, you'd say? Hehehe...

    Happy Birthday!

  5. #225
    Lady of the North Star Demi Moderator Saithis's Avatar
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    Not too bloody, all things considered, although any losses hurt when you're on negative manpower. Still, go Canada! Teach the French a thing or two about Commonwealth combatants!
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  6. #226
    Second Lieutenant Caleb The Great's Avatar
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    Doing great in Africa, I'm hoping you'll have also time to save the poor british POWs in Malta so they don't break copyrights, while singing a conversion of Edwin Starr's most famous song
    "There are no desperate situations, only desperate people." Heinz Guderian, "Schnelle Heinz"

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  7. #227
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    British with their defence of Malta that always fails >.>, Italian AI is better at stuff that didn't work at all in history.. (succesfull invasion of Malta)

  8. #228
    Lt. General eqqman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallienator View Post
    British with their defence of Malta that always fails >.>, Italian AI is better at stuff that didn't work at all in history.. (succesfull invasion of Malta)
    No kidding, I've even seen Italians successfully take Murmansk!

  9. #229
    Captain Wallienator's Avatar
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    If you get past the RN, wait, how the, they're not supposed to be capable of getting Gibraltar..

  10. #230
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    So, you have five for fighting, you'd say? Hehehe...

    Happy Birthday!
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    Not too bloody, all things considered, although any losses hurt when you're on negative manpower. Still, go Canada! Teach the French a thing or two about Commonwealth combatants!
    We will, well, now that they have no supply and pretty much no ORG, we will!

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb The Great View Post
    Doing great in Africa, I'm hoping you'll have also time to save the poor british POWs in Malta so they don't break copyrights, while singing a conversion of Edwin Starr's most famous song
    I'll think about Malta, but the Italians either don't bother with defense or stack so much in there that I don't want to try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wallienator View Post
    British with their defence of Malta that always fails >.>, Italian AI is better at stuff that didn't work at all in history.. (succesful invasion of Malta)
    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    No kidding, I've even seen Italians successfully take Murmansk!
    Quote Originally Posted by Wallienator View Post
    If you get past the RN, wait, how the, they're not supposed to be capable of getting Gibraltar..
    Very true, can't count on history repeating itself even when it's not us controlling the country. When it is us, you can count on weird stuff happening.
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  11. #231
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Chapter Thirty-Six - That About Wraps It Up For North Africa

    To paraphrase the great Oolon Colluphid, we're getting, slowly, to the end of enemy opposition in North Africa. When we left them off last time, the lads in skates were closing in on three pockets of enemy troops, plus chasing down a ghost HQ which no mortal man can kill.

    In the meantime, Canada has negative 25 manpower, because the battles we've fought to get to this point have been roughly even in losses. On the other hand, the upcoming battles ought to be one-sided in the extreme. We begin in Constantine.



    The Vichy division has 7600 men, but soon it'll have 7500+ POWs.



    Hopefull we'll have four or five battles like this, and 35,000 or more of the enemy will be added to our total.

    On the 13th we again insta-defeated the ghost HQ unit, but the enemy took no losses, so we continue to chase them down. Heh.

    In the westernmost of the three pockets, we have another two Vichy divisions pinned into one province, and so we take one of them out.



    We win! The enemy were in reserve, their ORG was so low, so there were no casualties on either side.



    I'm not sure I got victory messages on the divisions which appeared in the provinces I'm taking, but I think the 35,000 figure will be about right.

    On the 14th of June, 1942, it happens: Turkey mobilizes! Hey, at least I know where Turkey is, unlike certain countries we've seen.



    We did not get a message when this Vichy unit arrived in an already-conquered Constantine. We did get a Human Wave Doctrine advance, reducing our delay between attacks by another day. Even for a country which does not fight that much, this advance matters, since when Canada is fighting, the ability to launch another attack quickly matters a great deal. This is especially true for me, as I'm not always that careful on which army will have an attack available for follow up combat. We push that advance back into the bottom of the currently-worked-on part of the queue.

    The only job left now in some parts of North Africa is just tidying up the map.



    I move my two-brigade division in Tobruch back into that Canadian-owned city, and order strategic movement on the AT unit, planning to combine and use them for whatever fighting comes after this part of the war is over.

    We discover that, though we're still at negative 25.3 manpower for reinforcing, one unit of manpower has built up anyway. So we spend it! For almost nothing ($40) we secure the license for another 4F4 Wildcat squadron. The way I see it is this: we get either navy or air force, because the good land units cost more like 10-15 Manpower. Since we have a decent if knocked about navy, and since the European campaign we have coming up will be on land, not sea, we need more air power. Something to protect our ground attack bombers, or at least help the USA/Uk/USSR clear the skies. Heck, I would not mind three B-17 squadrons for infrastructure bombings. We have IC out the wazoo in comparison to our manpower. Convoys will come back into alignment over time. We need more toys.



    We then make another technology advance, adding to IC! Woot!



    As you can see, we're still chasing down that HQ. This will go down in AAR history as one of the longest pointless battles on record. I sure hope so, anyway. Meanwhile, the other unit in Theniet al Had, we take out the other Vichy division, which again never put up a fight.



    In anticipation of fighting Germans again, Canadian scientists boost our infantry's ablity to fight armor.



    We don't need it just yet, but we'll take it. As you can see, while we'll make more advances in 1942, only one is because we've gotten progress up to this point. Central Planning 3 is the last needed to allow us to then research getting reserves into battle in a reasonable amount of time.

    It's not all good news, however, as on the 18th we lose three Convoys we cannot afford to lose. Our Wildcats are done and sent to Sicily to build up Org. Our last non-ghost enemy has finally arrived in its pocket!



    The build notice icon, by the way, is now an Air Field and a Naval Base. No units for us.

    The final "real" battle of North Africa is no more real than the last two. Again, Vichy has had no supplies, so the unit has no ORG, so it's in reserve and the battle is an insta-win for the good guys. Another 8000 enemy walk calmly into captivity.



    I believe, as to the ghost HQ unit, that there is a provision in the Geneva Convention which allows the execution of "really freaking annoying" commanders.

    While the Second North African Campaign took probably more chapters than its importance to the war would have dictated, it is not a meaningless backwater in terms of the overall war. We did flip 10 VPs from Axis to Allies, and wiped out probably close to 40,000 enemy troops. Not bad for country with -24.6 manpower. Soon, after a suitable period of recovery, the Steamroller of the North will strike again!



    But where?

    Last edited by InnocentIII; 02-03-2012 at 02:14.
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  12. #232
    Lady of the North Star Demi Moderator Saithis's Avatar
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    Well done! The fall of Africa is always an important step in achieving victory over the Axis, as it gives the British Empire security and freedom to move about.
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  13. #233
    You could attempt doing something that could turn the tide as much as possible on the Eastern Front. Maybe an invasion of Greece or Vichy?

  14. #234
    Captain Wallienator's Avatar
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    i would go for cleaning your border so they don't look like the AI played canada,

  15. #235
    Karl Popper Fanboy H.Appleby's Avatar
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    I'd say wait and build up org, you are in no shape to invade continental Europe in your current state. Maybe you can go and pick up the ten easy VPs in Taipei with your Marines?
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  16. #236
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Really good stuff. Loads of technological progress made but I'm rather wondering when Canada can begin researching her own ghost camouflage alike the Vichy HQ! I had to smile at Italian occupied Malta, the British navy seems good for nothing beyond stealing glory from their Canadian counterparts in naval battles. I look forward to seeing where the Steamroller of the North begins flattening next.
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  17. #237
    Karl Popper Fanboy H.Appleby's Avatar
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    Really, this is why I wish you could buy ships etc. because the Canadians could buy some of Britain's warships since the brits have no damn clue as to what they are there for apparently.
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  18. #238
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    Well done! The fall of Africa is always an important step in achieving victory over the Axis, as it gives the British Empire security and freedom to move about.
    They do seem to have come alive in some areas, as we'll see!

    Quote Originally Posted by croguy View Post
    You could attempt doing something that could turn the tide as much as possible on the Eastern Front. Maybe an invasion of Greece or Vichy?
    Very tempting. I think I'll let my guys recover a bit, but from there, I want to do something that matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wallienator View Post
    i would go for cleaning your border so they don't look like the AI played canada,
    Good plan, working on it!

    Quote Originally Posted by H.Appleby View Post
    I'd say wait and build up org, you are in no shape to invade continental Europe in your current state. Maybe you can go and pick up the ten easy VPs in Taipei with your Marines?
    Yeah, I can't hold a real line against Germany, but I may be able to get the Allies started. We'll see.

    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    Really good stuff. Loads of technological progress made but I'm rather wondering when Canada can begin researching her own ghost camouflage alike the Vichy HQ! I had to smile at Italian occupied Malta, the British navy seems good for nothing beyond stealing glory from their Canadian counterparts in naval battles. I look forward to seeing where the Steamroller of the North begins flattening next.
    I forgot about their stolen glory on top of everything else! Sheesh.

    Quote Originally Posted by H.Appleby View Post
    Really, this is why I wish you could buy ships etc. because the Canadians could buy some of Britain's warships since the brits have no damn clue as to what they are there for apparently.
    Yup, I wish the same thing. or at least gimme a small TF, a few aircraft carriers, an Army or three. But I guess the struggle of being Canada depends on not having much to work with, even the few Ships I might have been able to buy.
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  19. #239
    Lt. General eqqman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentIII View Post
    Yup, I wish the same thing. or at least gimme a small TF, a few aircraft carriers, an Army or three. But I guess the struggle of being Canada depends on not having much to work with, even the few Ships I might have been able to buy.
    Stick an objective for the UK on your home soil somewhere and they might slip you some Expeditionary forces.

  20. #240
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Chapter Thirty-Seven - Movin' On

    We wrapped up the last chapter by chasing every living Axis soldier out of North Africa. A certain undead-HQ unit was still shambling around near Spanish Africa, but we brought in a ragtag group of Americans to deal with what they call "walkers". Canada is going to devote itself to the important task of cleaning up the map.



    We thought seriously about taking on Vichy in West Africa, but Dr. Stephen Maturin's sometime girlfriend Diana has things well in hand there.



    I can't tell you what else I was considering, but we're down five months' manpower even if no Canadians die in that entire time.



    On the 22nd of June, 1942 our American friends took care of that zombie HQ, though it cost us a Convoy which the Americans said had been bitten too badly to save.

    We lost another Convoy on the 25th, then discovered the reason: another undead HQ!



    The Americans refused to take care of this one, so we had to surround it ourselves. We have the manpower, but it's not simple to kill the undead. We tried throwing old-style record albums at them, but some of the albums were still good, there were discussions about which ones to keep, so it was a time-consuming process.



    On the 10th of July, after the undead had actually taken a province, we finally got the headshots we needed to end the new zombie threat. Questions were asked, however, how did he zombies arrive from far west north Africa to central north Africa? The mystery would not be unsolved for long! Sure, had this been a military issue it might have made a decent cliff-hanger, but the zombie threat is too great to be the stuff of such cheap theatrics.

    Or is it?



    The zombie threat was barely averted in Casablanca, saving us from hearing Sam forced to sing "As Brains Go Bye" for zombie Rick and zombie depressed and depressing Swedish chick. Ingrid Bergman would not be a good heroine for a zombie movie. You need Megan Fox, who in addition to being hotter (today! today...), is probably immune from zombie attacks, for obvious reasons.

    Then we discovered the source of the zombies near Tunis!



    Nazi agents were now caught in the port city, trapped in a web of their own design, or perhaps thinking they could outgun the Steamroller of the North. We offer the traditional sacrifice to purge the zombies near Casablanca.

    By the way, if you ever get "Casablanca" in a Pictionary-style drawing game, do not draw the White House and a sombrero. It doesn't work no matter how many times you point at them and make faces.

    On the 15th of July, our newest Light Cruiser was completed, HMCS Quebec. It immediately seceeded from the Canadian Navy and demanded every story reporting on it to be written in a ridiculous French accent. I'll try to remember.

    Then suddenly, in an effort to keep you from noticing that nothing is happening, the greatest air duel in the history of WW2 was re-created here in HoI3



    That's right, the Italian and Canadian air forces clashed over the island of Sicily! We mostly won (lost 10% STR).

    The zombies in the West were defeated when our free armored car brigade landed in their destination to join up with the two-brigade infantry division to form what we can't help but call a "Canadian Panzer Division".

    Tunis, unfortunately, was out of range for our ground attack aircraft. However, it was quickly within range of our troops. The enemy commander was convinced all the Canadian forces attacking were doing so only to capture him. Sorry, general, that's what massive airborne assaults are for.



    It didn't help that we left the job of counting the contiguous provinces to an underling. What comes after three?



    It didn't matter anyway.



    I knew that. I knew that. Wait, seriously? Freaking 200-zombie HQ escapes to conquer a province, but a totally legitimate 4000-man force can't do it?

    Using methods we had by now perfected - knife to the forehead! - the zombie HQ south of Tunis was destroyed, without the need to sacrifice a Convoy.



    Spoke too soon. Still negative 23 Manpower.

    The power of Canada was now concentrated in Sicily, poised to spring forth like a stainless-steel daggers hidden in a chocolate candy treat popped into the waiting mouth of its next victim!



    Much had been accomplished, but from deep in the Sahara Desert, mocking voices could be heard, along with the bad singing of desperate men.



    Nothing unites people from different nations like a common enemy!
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