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Axis and Allies Campaign
PTO: Part 5
by David Devere & Tom Maertz

Pacific Theater of Operations Part 5

ETO End of Spring – Summer 1943 - Catastrophe at sea for the Regina Marina and Kriegsmarine, Allied troops are pushed back from Paris while Leningrad and Stalingrad struggle to hold their lines under the weight of the Wehrmacht.

PTO Fall – Winter 1943 – The American Navy continues to stalk the Japanese carrier group responsible for the attack at Pearl Harbor while island hopping closer to Japan. The Japanese try to take back Siam and French Indo-China while British forces attack the remnants of the Japanese fleet off Sumatra.

Results of ETO 5

At the heart of any table top game is the 6 sided die. Dice are the one thing players can’t control and can’t predict. They represent the average, the heroic and the incompetence found in human nature. Sometimes the dice are with you and your overwhelmed troops perform a miracle of heroics and win against long odds. However, every time it happens to you the opposite is happening to your opponent – they are losing when the odds are in their favor.

This last week in the ETO the Italians had taken their battleship and with the support of a German sub attacked the American transport fleet off the coast of England. The British sent a fighter to try and offer some kind of support. High Command did not issue a Fleet Action for this battle as the odds were very much in favor of the Axis and High Command only issues Ticket or Actions for battles that are competitive. So when it came to determining the outcome of the battle standard, Axis & Allies attack and defense values were used and the contest was rolled out normally. Here’s how it went: German Sub rolls a 4 = miss; Italian battleship rolls a 6 = miss; two American transports roll 1 and 1 = 2 hits - sub sinks, battleship takes one hit; UK fighter rolls 3 = hit - Italian battleship sinks. So in a matter of a few seconds the Axis went from having the strongest navy in the Atlantic to no navy at all. Some people have complained that Germany needs to be building a fleet to defend Europe. This opinion was brought up with German High Command and the response was, “The best way to defend Europe is to conquer Russia – you can’t conquer Russia with submarines. I’d rather have an infantry division and an armored division than a submarine.” Well, now the Kriegsmarine has nothing but the Luftwaffe.

Here’s how the ETO battles played out:

Battle 41 for Paris was a win for the Allies. However, the Germans ended up having more troops to reconstitute back into France. If the Allies don’t significantly reinforce France they may find themselves kicked off the continent. Battle 42 in Denmark was another win for the British. Battle 43 in Leningrad was a win for the Germans but the Russians reaped the rewards because they were able to keep more troops. Now the Germans in the city are outnumbered and in desperate need of re-supply. Battle 44 at Stalingrad went better for the Germans - they have almost subdued the city. Finally, the Germans convincingly defeated the British in Iraq. This win forced British units from India to turn back and now India is threatened with a German invasion. In other actions, the Americans sank the last U-boat in the Atlantic – finally winning the battle of the Atlantic for the Allies, and American troops successfully landed in Morocco. Lack of American armor will make it difficult to exploit their gains in Africa next turn. Finally, on the Eastern Front, Germany took back the Baltic States, sunk two British transports in the Baltic with airpower and conquered Archangel. Russian income is now reduced to a pitiful 6 IPCs. Russian High Command is pleading with the British and Americans to put more pressure on Germany. German supply lines are stretched very thin and if they can’t subdue Leningrad and Stalingrad next turn they may have a hard time continuing an offensive war in the east.

Pacific Theater of Operations: Part 5

The Americans are island hopping closer and closer to Japan and in their wake they leave a trail of sunken Japanese vessels.

Battle No. 46 is a Japanese amphibious assault on French Indo-China. The British forces have been ground down by two hard fought battles and now the Japanese are trying to take back this very important province. The Japanese have numerical superiority and have to win this battle at all costs. This is their last chance to take French Indo-China. Next turn the Americans will most likely be assaulting the Philippines and Japanese reserves will be committed there instead of SE Asia.

Battle No. 47 is the second part of the Japanese plan to take back lost territory from the English. Siam is important for keeping Malaya safe from ground based attacks. The Japanese need to win here and then quickly turn around and re-garrison Malaya. This is a Blitz battle into Siam - remember to read the special rules carefully.

Battle No. 48 is in the Celebes. This is an island amphibious attack. There is no retreat for the loser. The Japanese currently have control of the island. Therefore, if the British want to take the island they need to win the most battles and do so while keeping the majority of their forces alive. If the British lose ¾’s of their force while attacking they won’t have enough troops to occupy the island and while they might destroy the Japanese garrison they won’t gain the province. So Japanese commanders need to try and win but more importantly if they are losing they need to inflict as much damage to the British as possible. Banzai!

Battle No. 49 is for control of the sea zone around Sumatra. The Japanese were able to get troops and a transport into the sea zone and take the island before the Royal Navy attacked. Remember that for the Campaign game turns are simultaneous. This allows for multiple actions across a sea zone. Here, the Japanese moved into Sumatra and took the island uncontested, then the British attacked the fleet stationed there.

Battle No. 50 is a Japanese air strike at the American transport fleet off the coast of Dutch New Guinea. If the Japanese have any hope of slowing down the Americans it is here. An Imperial Navy battleship is preventing an invasion of the Philippines this turn but next turn the American combat fleet should be in position to attack the Japanese and attempt to take the Philippine islands. The destruction of at least some of the American transport fleet might slow and possibly postpone the invasion.

In other action around the PTO, the Americans have taken Palau and the Mariana Islands and are attacking the Japanese carrier fleet in the Caroline Islands. The British are moving forces closer to the front and have called back units that were committed to Iraq after the loss there to the Germans. The Japanese have blitzed through northern China in Tsinghai and taken Sikang. They have also reinforced their position in Manchuria in anticipation of a Chinese army attack.

Remember to report your PTO 5 results to The deadline for all PTO 5 battles is Monday, August 20th, 2007 at 10:00am Pacific Standard Time.

Next week we will be at Gen Con so the campaign staffs duties are being called elsewhere so we will have to postpone the campaign for a week. In lieu of this campaign, new platoon cards for Axis and Allies Miniatures will be made available for download. We will be returning to action with ETO 6 on August 22nd. High Command wishes to thank every field commander for their commitment to this endeavor. We couldn’t do it without you. Until then continue to report your battles, fight for your country and have fun.

Previously in the Axis & Allies Campaign:

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