Continuing my push into the heart of Poland.
I throw all the air power I have at the troops on the road north of Cracow, but they seem to shrug my Stuka’s off, with just a loss of a few points of strength here and there.
In the movement phase, I manage to bring some of the Mountain troops down from the hills (hex 2131) and take another factory south of Cracow, collecting another VP point.
The advance on all fronts plods ahead, however with Poznan in my control, I can roll my Panzers along the road system towards Lodz, just north of the Bzura river. I expend their movement allowance, and follow it up with as much infantry as I can. South of Lodz I slam my troops into the enemy defenders there, halting in their zones of control (EZOC).
I have a cluster of infantry being held up by a single enemy infantry unit on the road north of Warsaw. Once you get snagged up in the EZOC’s you have to forcibly push your way through, rather than attempt any clever flanking manoeuvres.
Worryingly, in the far north, a group of Polish Cavalry have been galloping around the edge of the forest there and heading westwards. I think the Nazi flag symbolises a German supply depot that’s about to be taken. I have two estranged infantry battling the break away Cavalry along the river’s edge. My original plan was to advance them southwards and follow the back road into Warsaw. We shall have to see how it plays out.
Pushing northwards into Lodz, I launch a series of attacks from my advancing line.
The Armour unit is stalled on the roadway, by a determined defence by two infantry. But the rest of my men manage to push forward to displace the enemy defenders and open up a path to Lodz itself. Although the remaining overlapping EZOC’s take on an almost trap-like configuration, just waiting to snag and snare my troops. Perhaps I can swing some of the Armour coming from Poznan southwards to take Lodz from “behind”.
I try to break into the central area around Cracow, focusing my attack on the 5th Infantry Division with its supporting Cavalry.
But my low strength even in number fail to secure any major yardage. A tough defense results in both sides losing a point of strength.
The annoying infantry in hex 2112, north of Warsaw, holding up 5 infantry divisions along the roadway is subjected to an overwhelming attack. The combined strength of 25 against a defensive strength of just 6.
The attack isn’t as effective as I’d wanted. The defender loses a single strength point and retreats a hex along the road towards Warsaw. So the cork in the bottleneck still remains, slightly weaker, but holding up my troops just the same.
The defenders in Warsaw are looking thick on the ground, and its not looking like an easy prospect to punch my way in on foot, along the roadside.
Looking at the positions around Lodz, my Armour is my best hope here. If I can get them over the river and south into Lodz, I can hit the defenders there from both sides. Better still if I can push some rolling steel directly eastwards I might have some leverage to move some defenders around Warsaw out of the way.
Looking at the area around Cracow, the Industrial Heartland. My Slovak troops are nearly free to capture some of the undefended factories in the east. My main concentration of troops are still snagged up on the defenders south of Cracow – but with luck my push along the road eastwards should help bring the numbers up to dislodge the resistance there. The sad thing is there’s a river running through the middle of the area making attacks across a river take heavy penalties (half the strength!). So to effectively make these attacks I have to bring almost double the numbers of troops to bear.
Tune in next time, for Turn 4.