The Sons of Raghnall: Strangling the Jackal

So the thing is, Norway in this history is not actually a Great Power; it just plays one in an AAR thread. And HoI has a lot of provinces. So I’m trying to stretch out a secondary-power army to cover a Great-Power front with Bavaria, and it ends up kind of thin:

Thin Line

Fortunately, Bavaria has a similar problem, only rather more so. Hence, as Kuipy notes in his post, he ended up with a hole in his line, on the eastern end where Norway, Russia, and Bavaria meet:

Hole in the Line

Obviously this is where I chose to launch my attack, with my precious few mobile units and the two corps of infantry left over when the line was complete. The plan was to sweep south and chop off the units Kuipy had facing the Russians, meeting Oddman’s corresponding attack in the south.

Russian Attack

There was some minor skirmishing on the Western front, pushing me back here and there. Kuipy’s army after detachments to face Russia was about the same size as mine, but on the whole much more mobile; unlike me, he realised in 1936 that the tons of militia we got in conversion could be upgraded to motorised infantry, for cheap. I just stuck them in as harbour guards and called it a day. So, good for Kuipy for understanding the game mechanics. It’s what kept his front together in the west; I had him a little outnumbered but he had, in effect, interior lines from having much faster units. So I’d push a bit in province X, he’d reinforce and drive me back to my starting lines, leaving a weak spot in province Y, which I’d push at… nothing came of this, but it kept us busy and entertained while we waited for troops to move in the east, where the three encirclements and breakthroughs were happening.

Skirmishes

Here, for example, I’m threatening to capture most of Kuipy’s eastern army in two simultaneous pockets:

Two Pockets

Both of these pockets were created and then broken by Bavarian counterattack. I really like the HoI3 model of supply, where units don’t instantly become helpless because someone broke their supply lines three hundred miles back – they can fight for a while on local reserves. The problem I’m having here is that I’m basically overstretched; I don’t have enough mobile units to both do breakthrough and garrison what I take, and my infantry is both slow and not too numerous either. So there are weak spots in the encirclements. One reason the infantry is so slow is that the roads are being hammered:

Aircraft!

Malayan aircraft! I put up my (converted, un-upgraded) interceptor squadron to see if I could stop them. I think the game is modeling this as Sopwith Camels against B17 Flying Fortresses, or something of that order. At any rate, I decided it wasn’t worth the aggravation; my Camels are grounded for the duration.

Overstretch getting to Kuipy here:

Overstretch

It’s only his ability to rush mobile units back and forth to stop my (still not very numerous) mud-pounding infantry that’s keeping him alive. But note that in the first Great Encirclement:

First Great Encirclement

the first corresponding Inspired Breakthrough doesn’t actually have much work to do – there’s a corridor with no Norwegian units in it! That’s what happens when minors fight. Here I’m trying to repair the breach:

Repair the Breach

Note the name “Obsolete Division” – that’s converted cavalry, since upgraded to MOT. Also note that Kuipy has been paying attention to game mechanics instead of obsessive-compulsively naming his divisions to reflect his corps structure. 😀

Second Great Encirclement in progress:

Second Great Encirclement I

And done, now also with Spanish tanks doubling my armoured punch:

Second Great Encirclement II

Third Great Encirclement:

Third Great Encirclement

I’m not entirely convinced these statistics are accurate, but if they are, it’s presumably the losses of the TGE that leads to the immense disparity:

Land Damage

Not really made up for by Malayan bombing, though he did manage to slow down my infantry considerably, as already mentioned:

Air Damage

At one point I told vR “You can stop bombing now, there’s nothing left”. The infra was literally zero. Fortunately I had my troops out of there by then.

This session I expect Bavaria to fall; then we’ll see where my army goes. Perhaps the Alps, to crush what’s left of Italy; then, perchance, another grinding attritional campaign through Africa and the Middle East, to reach India. Or, for all I know, I may have to desperately redeploy to Norway to fight off a Malayan assault on my industrial heartland; or perhaps America is more likely as a target – even the world’s greatest naval power must find it rather difficult to supply an invasion through the unfriendly North Sea, so distant from its bases. But in any case, it’s clear that there is no peace in this our time.

World map at the beginning of the session:

World map January 1941

And at the end:

World map April 1941

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