Turn 1: September 1-3, 1939
The war has commenced.
As with most Europa games, Turn 1 began with the German player turn. The Germans moved up, consolidating and reinforcing stacks in preparation to try to punch holes in the Polish line along the border to the south. In the north, units consolidated and moved east to cut off the Polish units stationed between Germany and Prussia. Other northern German units were brought south to prevent any misguided Polish attempt at entering Germany.
The German air phase was highly disappointing. While German bombers and fighters managed to hit every air field containing Polish air units, only one Polish bomber was destroyed, while several German bombers were aborted or returned. Even though they were heavily outnumbered, the outcome highly favored the Poles.
That brought up the German combat phase, which also proved to be disappointing for the Germans. Even with troops concentrated in strategic spots to maximize the chance of getting some breakthroughs, and fairly favorable odds, the majority of the German rolls on the Combat Results Table (CRT) came up as Defender Retreats, which merely backed the Poles up without resulting in the hoped for elimination of units. This allowed the Poles to actually consolidate their line further in preparation for their own turn.
The only major German gains occurred in the exploitation phase, where combat motorized units can make a further move. The northernmost German panzer divisions and two motorized infantry divisions (indicated in orange in the picture above) were able to take advantage of the wide open spaces of northern Poland and drive deep behind enemy lines. The two infantry divisions rolled unopposed into the city of Lodz, while the panzers took up position across the river from Warsaw. A bit of a risky gambit, but wars aren’t won by being cautious.
Thus ended the German turn.
Polish Turn 1:
The key to Polish victory in Case White is to delay the Germans long enough for Britain and France to intervene. To that end, the Polish motto for turn 1 was Consolidation and Defense. Polish units in the north and northwest retreated behind the relative safety of rivers, where attackers’ strengths will be halved coming across. In the south, units were brought in to shore up the main defensive line, including getting some units into the fortress at Crakow. An attempt was made to get units in position to retake Lodz (more on that later), and units were brought from the east to strengthen Warsaw. All of the Polish armored units (such as they are) were shifted to the north side of Warsaw to counteract the presence of the German Panzer divisions, and finally a unit stack was moved south from the Prussian border to ensure that the Panzer divisions would be out of supply on the next turn.
The Poles had no air phase to speak of. Air units were moved and missions assigned, but ultimately it was all for nothing because…
The Polish declined to partake of the combat phase. There were several places that looked promising for Polish attacks. A couple of spots on the main line where German units were surrounded by multiple stacks, the city of Lodz, a spot or two on the Prussian border. However, when the odds were tallied to prepare for combat, in only two places did the Poles have better than 1:1 odds, and those places were only at 1.5:1. The best result any of the possible Polish attacks could hope for was a Defender Retreats, and that was only a 1 in 6 chance. After much deliberation, the Polish High Command decided not to launch any attacks and hope that their still mostly intact army would be able to blunt the German onslaught on the next turn.