Following my delve into White Dog Games Battle of Isandlwana, I thought I’d start up an AAR of their most recent title, September 1939 – The Invasion of Poland. Hot off the press, with a slightly more updated UI, I decided I’d give the game a run through and document my progress. I play as the German forces in this scenario pushing my way across the Polish lands in search of Warsaw.
Checking the How to Win conditions on the in-game documentation:
We have to take as many cities, supply depots and factory installations as possible to maximise our Victory Points before the end of Turn 15. If we can secure the hexes at Warsaw we will gain a decisive win ahead of the history books.
The game sets up the German side in their historic positions, but prior to turn 1 gives you the ability to place your units in a deployment area around the Polish perimeter. Normally, I would have kept to the historic positions, but my eagerness to be in the fight, I’d already shifted a good number of my troops to the front line ready for the advance – so I kept the artificial starting positions for this AAR.
Once you’ve finished initial deployment, the game populates the area with the Polish troops. Surveying the key areas of the conflict, we can see the starting positions of both troops – I’ll start in the North (around Danzig) and go southwards (through Poznan and down to Cracow), then sweep up eastwards to see the positions around Lodz and finally Warsaw.
I’ve thrust my two infantry divisions close to the port of Danzig, so that from turn 1 we can secure the Victory Points there. The rest of my troops have been herded into positions where they can best advance inwards.
I have rows of troops both North and South of Poznan ready to sweep in and try and secure the city. You can see the doubled up troops along the yellow deployment line indicating my eagerness to get into the area and into the action. I clustered my armour around the key road junctions, with a mind to swift travel and heavy response to the center of Poznan.
Sheltered by the Mountains in the South, Cracow is the center of the Industrial heartland of Poland, with many factories depicted with additional Victory Point advantage if we can push through. Again I focus my armour around the roadway entrance to the area. With the Mountain troops (infantry with a white ‘M’ in the bottom left hand corner) crossing the mountainous areas (light brown hexes).
You can also see the purple coloured units of the Slovaks, a small group of infantry and motorised troops we can use at the Eastern most border. Not massively strong, but might be useful taking some of those industrial Victory Points.
The central region of Poland is currently protected on all sides with forward troops, Lodz will be a secondary objective once we’ve secured the perimeter goals (Danzig, Poznan and Cracow).
Here we see the key segment of the map, with the three city hexes of the Capital of Poland, Warsaw. With heavy forestation to the North, along with the Modlin Fortress (an area that gives a big bonus to defense of units stationed there) – its going to be a hard nut to crack. I have a small force assembled on the road going South, with a small infantry contingent directly north of a Polish supply depot (indicated by a small Polish flag in the hex 1612).
I should point out that the unit counters depict Strength in red on the left of the silhouette image, and their Movement Allowance on the right. As far as I know the raw numbers presented are not modified visually for factors such as the Modlin Fortress, so you need to keep an eye on the tool tips when hovering over the unit.
So, the scene is set, ready for turn 1. Tune in later to see how the advance progresses.