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King of Men
Posted: Sunday, October 21, 2018 7:34:10 AM
 Legatus legionis

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Joined: 11/23/2007
Posts: 8,492
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Baying at the Wall

Far off, the full tide clambers and slips, mouthing and resting all,
Nipping the flanks of the water-gates, baying along the wall;
Turning the shingle, returning the shingle, changing the set of the sand...
We are too far from the beach, men say, to know how the outwarks stand.

Last week I left the Legion of Doom locked in deadly conflict with the Pact of Hercules over the fate of the American continent, and the Ynglings in retreat to their fortress of ice in Scandinavia, muttering about winter in Finland. As often happens in a megacampaign, the diplomacy that took place over the week proved more important than the battlefield; by the time we returned to our command bunkers, the Pact of Hercules had triaged America, had gotten safe passage across the Atlantic for their armies in return, and were allied with the Legion and with the Latin Empire against Khazaria. Mark drove a hard bargain on my behalf, and I recovered the Jutland peninsula without a shot fired, as well as an epic rescue mission across several hundred miles of Occupied Germany to retrieve my army exiled in the Latin Empire - by now at half their paper strength due to Italian wine and women, but still a welcome accretion of combat power after the disastrous losses of the Elbe Campaign.

With the liquidation of the American front, and downprioritisation of the Danish one, I was able to consider how to counterattack in Finland; meanwhile Clonefusion had decided that fighting in Finland in winter is no joke, and that he preferred to send his tanks to Siberia to invade Japanese Korea and to counter the Chinese attack out of Tibet. Consequently, while the Herculean armies were evacuating America and being shipped across the Atlantic, and while screams for help rose from EastAsia, I amused myself by attacking the Onega Fortified Region with my own tanks:

Alas, amusing myself is all I was doing, as Clone had built my level-3 forts, meant to delay an invasion long enough for reinforcements to arrive, into level-7s, intended to enable the defending troops to maintain their resistance after an exchange of tactical nuclear weapons. Since I did not in fact have any nuclear weapons, four months of heavy winter fighting, in some of the worst terrain in the world, failed to make any dent in the line. However, Clone had unaccountably failed to fortify the line where his advance had stopped between Onega and Ladoga; thus, foiled in my attempt at breaking through in the north, I instead turned to the area between the lakes. Even in the absence of fortifications, Clone did have enough infantry to keep divisions cycling into this rather narrow front, maintaining a small amount of organisation in the fighting line to keep my tanks at bay. Nevertheless, his infantry (like the Yngling, Atlassian, Leonese, Japanese, and Chinese infantry) had no antitank weaponry:

Consequently, I was eventually able to grind my way through the red snow and break into the Onega-Ladoga region, finally restoring something like mobile warfare after four months of attrition. Meanwhile, the Herculeans and the Latin Empire had unleashed their attack, and for the third time in two years the armies advanced across poor Poland, although this time at least without much resistance:

Clone had (depending on how you read his mind) either not expected the Herculean DOW, or had deliberately triaged Poland in order to fight further east, and the Leonese tanks advanced very rapidly through the North European plain. By the time I fought myself through some of the worst terrain in the world merely to reclaim a few hundred miles of useless Finnish forest:

it was, in effect, too late. The Leonese tanks, almost entirely unopposed, had reached Leningrad - in this history, Odingrad, a minor outpost of the great Viipuri Fortified Region - and were able to encircle all three of the lines of resistance that Clone was still maintaining against me:

(Notice the Ladoga-Onega Line north of the river). This tactic occasioned rather a lot of controversy; the accusation was raised that Clone had deliberately allowed his Finnish troops to be encircled and destroyed, in order to give his fortress lines to the Herculeans, so as to improve their situation relative to mine - and this, after not raising any particularly noticeable resistance to their invasion of Poland, while Dragoon's similar attack into the Ukraine had been more or less stopped. I must say I wasn't particularly happy.

Other events of note in the session included a Medinan naval invasion of Chinese-held Thailand, which was eventually stopped and rolled back after the Japanese navy interdicted their supply line across the Bay of Bengal; and English anger at the perceived betrayal of Japan "temporarily occupying" their remaining Asian colonies, in order to better fight the Medinans, which in turn led to the British invasion of South America. Further, the Legion of Doom attacked Mexico, which with the quit of its off-again, on-again player Zirotron was again a Latin colony, leading to much hard jungle fighting, since Dragoon did not choose to abandon his colony as the Herculeans had done. Thus we have the following wars:

  • Khazaria against Legion of Doom, Pact of Hercules, Latin Empire, and China.
  • Medina against China and Latin Empire.
  • Legion of Doom against Latin Empire and Pact of Hercules.

    However, due to general salt over the various betrayals, general exhaustion with the scenario, and possibly a feeling that the war is more or less settled in favour of the Legion of Doom, who boast that they will shortly take Finland and be masters of all Europe, tomorrow's will be our last Hearts of Iron session. We have decided to continue the conflict into Stellaris, each player presumably sending out one colony ship to recreate their culture before the final victory of $VICTOR, much as Iceland was settled by petty-kings who didn't want to be minor nobles in a unified Norwegian kingdom. It remains to be seen whether Finland actually falls to the admittedly impressive Latin tanks. But if, by mischance or miracle, Viipuri should fall at last, I will get my vengeance IN SPACE.

    Read my blog.
    Norway Rome The Khanate Scotland Scotinavia Christendie the Serene Republic has always been at war with the Bretons False Empire Caliphate Persians Russians English Hungarians Oceanians Saracen Jackal! Death, death, death to the Frogs barbarians infidels necromancers vodka-drinking hegemonists Sassenach nomad menace Yellow Menace heathen Great Old One!
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