I haven't declared war on a single country yet!
My subs are doing okay, about a third are currently out of action, R&Ring in Kiel. When caught by UK ASW forces, the norm seems to be: lose a lot of Org, take light damage, and then manage to escape. Long may this trend continue. I have plenty of officers, who are either quite skilled, or have the Sea Wolf ability, so breaking my subs up, even into individuals, won't harm my forces.
Bombing has started versus my industry in north-west Germany, and my armies guarding the Franco-German border. My ints have so far seen off all-comers, including a bunch of French ints of equal tech level, so it's good news really.
The bad news is, the Anschluss (Austria folding into Deutschland) doesn't seem to be in any hurry to happen, nor does claiming the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia. Presumably my meddling has changed something? Oh dear. Without Austria and the Sudetenland/all of Czechoslovakia, my IC is a bit tight, with room only for 1 run of tanks, 1 of ints, 4 of infantry, 3 of subs, some radar and various bits and bobs. Still, I have a non-aggression pact with Poland, so I can ignore the East, for now.
First month of sub warfare, April 5 to May 5, has netted me 50 transports and 7 escorts, for the loss of 0 subs. 46 of the transports sunk were British, the other 4 Republican Spanish. In order to keep up with losses, the Brits will have to devote more IC to making transports and escorts. Each run costs 4 IC, and produces 10 transports/escorts about every ten weeks, IIRC. They may have a lot of ships to lose, but unless they put major IC into transports, or major effort into ASW, my subs are going to choke the UK.
Just when I started to use the Spanish colonies as sub bases, the Allies spoil my fun.
Brits amphib assault Gran Canaria, and French coloniales make their way into Villa Cisneros. Back to Kiel it is, and either a roundabout route north of Scotland, or the gauntlet of the Channel.
von Blom earns himself a new trait.
I knew keeping him was a good idea. Well done to you and your 'model' wife, von.
My tankies stop reading Vot Panzer?
magazine long enough to sample the sweet taste of French province.
Mmm, and more to come. Splendid.
The dastardly French manage to crack the border, counter-assaulting a probing effort from me and catching my army off-guard and low on Org.
Luckily, Austria has just joined the Axis. Not as good as the Anschluss, but still, pretty good. Osterreich to the rescue!
Panzers lead the way!
They've been instrumental so far, crushing the enemy, driving reinforcements back, cutting him off. There doesn't seem to be many French divs here in the south, though the numbers are increasing. Allied air power is already having an effect, debilitating my infantry armies with bombing, reducing their Org regain to a slow grind. Currently I'm using Ludwig Beck as my Chief of Staff, for the very nice +10% land unit speed bonus, but I might have to swap to Bayerlein, who grants a +20% Org regain speed. Can't really afford the 1% dissent though.
Allied strategic bombing is a minor irritation. The coast is covered with radar, and select provinces of the interior are now receiving it. At 2 IC per installation, it's not expensive. At most they do 1-2 IC worth of damage, then my ints catch them next time and put the unit out of action for weeks.
I can almost taste the cheese!
It's a bit galling that my drive so far hasn't got me much beyond casualties, experience, and a few new traits for my officers. All the territory has gone to Spain. Still, they could do with being a bit stronger.
Soon I'll be able to pressure the border from both sides.
And then a tsunami of Feldgrau will wash France away, and leave just a lot of conquered territory. Mmm, conquering France, without declaring war. Tasty.
The game goes ever so slightly nuts.
And then bonkers.
I thought I set the AI to Furious, but apparently it switched over to Retarded.
It gets better.
Does anyone know what the Hell is going on? Let's ask Steve Guttenberg, circa 1978.
Steve? Steve? I don't think he knows either. Useless.
I'm going to have to deny Poland, as if she joins me in an alliance, she will be at war with the SU, and will fall in short order. She's better off as a barrier between us. Not that I'm scared of twice-my-IC Soviet Union, good Lord, no.
Yugoslavia, however, is a different story, and they want in.
Axis expansion through being friendly and stuff! Everyone wants to join my alliance. Very kindly, the Yugos offer me some divisions as a loan, and not wanting to be unfriendly, I accept. Half a dozen infantry divs will come in very handy for holding my border while I concentrate on punching into France. I also feel my rear is a lot more secure, now I have an ally in eastern Europe. Yugoslavia is a decent local power, and is a lovely addition to the Axis.
Naturally, not even a week later, they promptly have a coup d'etat.
Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit. Well, I can't afford the +2 dissent that comes with not affording war, so I'll have to take the -100 relations hit. The situation then is thus: Yugoslavia are at peace with the Allies and Soviets, but are still 100% with me as far as fighting Republican Spain goes.
Nationalist Spain shits all over my efforts to help them by producing loads of militia, which are unable to oppose British amphibious attacks. Or indeed a bit of gentle pushing.
The Nationalist forces 'helping' me get rid of the last few Republican provinces? Militia. The divisions holding captured French territory? Militia. What a load of stinky stinky poo.
War becomes Europe's biggest joke, and everyone likes a laugh.
I mean, why? They can't even reach Republican Spain. My interference appears to have split Europe on political grounds. Or perhaps it was keeping von Blom/Fritsch? Who knows!