Since my previous gameplay overview was September 1943, I can only conclude that I accidentally posted them out of order.
A look at the strategic and tactical situation on the various fighting fronts might be useful, to form context to the various narratives. Strategically, the only big news is the defection of Spain, which signed a separate peace with the Asian powers. Now, if I had done such a thing, it would be with a view to sliding the biggest knife I could lay my hands on into the kidneys of my allies; but for some reason, Vaniver has not yet done so. That is, he did not immediately declare war on the Christian powers and seek to take over our rather undefended European lands with his uncommitted army. If he was waiting for something to do so – calling troops home from the Middle East? Malayan reinforcements shipped through a hostile Atlantic? – he seems to have lost his best opportunity; the internal European border is now defended by the Norwegian army. Odd as it may sound, it is possible that he is actually trying to role-play his country and has concluded that the war, even if winnable, won’t gain Spain anything very valuable. A reasonable conclusion for the Sultan to reach, surely; but one that, it seems to me, must lead to a rather boring game for Vaniver. At any rate, Spain is currently non-belligerent.
Here is the world in November of 1942.
The Malayan invasion of South America seems quite definitely to have failed.
However, the redeployment of the Mongolian army from its victory in China has also slowed, in some places reversed, the Russian march across the steppes.
In the Middle East there is heavy fighting (then again, when is there not heavy fighting in the Middle East? But I digress) without much movement in the lines. Recent Indian successes have been pushed back by Russian counterattacks, restoring the line in Turkmenistan. This is in some sense the decisive front, since victory would allow India to enter the Russian industrial heartlands, or vice-versa. But it’s not an area that lends itself to brilliant blitzkriegs; both sides have immense defensive depth, with the mountains of, respectively, the Caucasus and Iran (and Pakistan) standing between the fighting front and the industries. If the war is decided here it may come down to who has the deeper manpower reserve. Running out of resources is another possibility, as are nuclear weapons.
Then again, perhaps the Anglo-Norwegian Second Front will be the scene of victory! Africa doesn’t, it’s true, offer much in the way of opportunities for knocking out Asian (or European) industries or raw materials. It has, however, a certain strategic importance for its naval bases; with ports on, respectively, the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, Malaya and the western Europeans can at least threaten to invade each others’ heartlands without a long slog through Eurasia. As long as Malaya controls the Indian Ocean it has not lost the war; the same is true for Britain and the northern Atlantic. Norway can be invaded if Russia falls, but that’s a bit of a project; a leapfrog over the seas seems like the easier solution – and also offers a chance at those Russian industries without having to slog through the Caucasus first. Of course all this also requires knocking out powerful navies; but even if every Malayan or British warship were sunk tomorrow, victory through sea power would still require some African ports from which to launch the invasion. So the side that wins the African campaign has, at any rate, acquired defensive depth and a good offensive springboard – valuable assets, even if not by themselves decisive.
Africa is also the only front with any really exciting fighting going on; no grinding attrition here, although there are considerable supply difficulties. Britain has launched a Nile Offensive which has had considerable success in reconquering the Sudan:
At one point there were British tanks on the coast, but they seem to have been driven back, presumably by those Malayan reinforcements. In the west things are not developing quite as much to the advantage of the Christian powers:
The Afrikanske Frigjøringsarme has managed to cut across several hundred miles of jungle and establish contact with their British allies in the Sudan, cutting off several Indian divisions in the process – unfortunately these are making their escape through now-neutral Spain. However, while this was happening, India and Malaya launched a counterattack in the south, driving up the coast towards Libreville, my main supply port. Worse, Malaya established temporary control of the sea, and used it to bomb all three of my ports into nothingness; with their customary strategic acumen, they did this just before invading two of them. So now Malaya is in the position of trying to supply its beachheads through ports bombed to rubble by Malayan airpower, and I wish them very much joy of it. 😀 I expect that we will be able to at least dispute control of this stretch of water pretty shortly, if not fully take control ourselves, and that should help my supply situation quite a bit. True, the biplanes launched from my 1920-vintage carrier didn’t make much of an impression on vR’s modern ships, but I have not yet begun to fight. :nods:
Finally, just a quick note on why we are actually invincible; inexhaustible Russian manpower!
It’s true that supply becomes a bit of a problem somewhere around the fifty-thousandth division, especially if you try to ship it to the Middle East; this is basically the only reason we haven’t won already.