The Komneniad: May-September 1943

Written just after the session. Intended as a paragraph to update our readers on the diplomatic shenanigans, it got a bit out of hand.

Oh boy, major happenings!

Quick recap of the diplomacy. Africa offered to backstab and partition Russia (played by Blayne) in exchange for a WP. We agreed, instead, to use this offer as a wedge to cut Blayne loose from the Africans. Blayne took that offer to the Africans as proof of his loyalty. We therefore accepted the original offer of partitioning Blayne. As soon as the African troops were out of Russia, Germany DOWed; at which point Japan vassalised Russia, ending that war. We found this annoying. We DOWed Japan. There was a race to see who could occupy the larger part of Russia; Punjab pretty much won on the Siberian front. Nonetheless, Khanate troops are in contact with their German allies at the extreme eastern end of our line; also, for the first time in centuries, Roman troops are west of the Urals in their own right, as conquerors, not as expeditionary forces.

Japan attempted to land at Port Arthur and to drive up the Korean peninsula. The landing was contained and driven back into the sea. The Korean attack is a hellish meatgrinder, but Japan has a lot of bodies. (Also, paratroops. Very sorry about the air forces at Ganggye, Dano.) Considered as a military campaign this is not very successful, at least so far. Considered as a ploy to pull my troops east, it was pretty successful. At this point Ethiopia vassalised Russia and declared war on Germany again. It is claimed by certain parties that the whole tricky dance of partition was a ploy to get German troops out of position and into Russia, where they can be cut apart by the Africans, who presumably have deployed to prepare for such a strike. We shall see. At any rate Punjab is attacking again in the Himalayas. Once more the Roman Khanate is faced with a two-front war.

The Japanese troops are numerous, but not well equipped; there’s INF-36, MOT-36, MTN-36. The elite marine corps is their most modern formation, and even so it’s only MAR-39. Here is the Anshan landing, from start to evacuation:

Anshan Landing 1

I confess that there was a certain amount of concern in my TS chat at this point. That’s a bad place for a Japanese breakout, very close to my industrial heartland.

Anshan Landing 2

Fortunately his troops had exhausted themselves just getting ashore, and were not well supplied – the Athena squadron (repaired since its debacle at Frunze, and ready for some easy targets to get their morale up) and the Californian air force dominated the Bohai Sea. Also note the old-style equipment. Dude, if I had 200 base IC my MTN troops would not be seen dead in ’36 gear. In fact I believe they’re better upgraded than that even on my 150 base.

Anshan Landing 3

Here my real containing army has just arrived, the 1st Red Banner Army, a counterattack stack with nine INF-ART. Unfortunately this left Ganggye, with its important airbase, without a garrison. I could claim that I thought Japan had exhausted his paras in the landing, but the fact is that it didn’t occur to me to worry about garrisoning airfields behind the line. My bad!

Anshan Landing 4

Stopped in their tracks, driven back.

Anshan Landing 5

The elite marine corps, such as it is. Question: They seem to have a bonus, not malus, for defending at night; is that really correct?

Anshan Landing 6

Once there was reasonable parity of troops, that is, Japan was no longer fighting my militia beach-guards – who acquitted themselves quite well, even so – the serious fighting was all my way. Admittedly Japan certainly has the MP reserves for this sort of thing.

Wonsan Battle

The battle of Wonshan at a late stage. The original garrison, after a heroic VoV stand, has all been driven off at this point (I retreated them when it was that or lose the divisions) and this mountain corps won’t stand much longer. But they’ve bought time for the 1st Red Banner to rush back from the peninsula. Japan is currently asking for a ceasefire.

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