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Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe» Forums » Rules

Subject: Supply In Med Scenario rss

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Doug Cooley
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I'm running through the scenarios in Playbook order now that I've finished the trainers. The Med scenario is more or less a textbook examination of supply and naval transports/escorts. While I believe the rules are clear, I'd like to verify a few things just to be sure I've got the supply system down...

1) Naval and air units in Gibraltar and Malta must trace supply, even though the garrisons don't. That means an air unit in Malta is going to need a convoy there as well if it wants to survive more than a couple of turns, although the convoy itself won't require supply.

2) The Med Fleet in Alexandria can trace supply itself, which could go through the Suez Canal, at the cost of one sortie.

3) The same Med Fleet could trace alternately by rail to the port of Suez then use a convoy there to trace. In this case the Sortie cost would be on the Convoy rather than the Fleet.

4) The practical limit for Axis units in Libya and Egypt is four - two in Low Supply via Tripoli, two via the two Italian Convoys. Assuming you want to supply all units in some form or another, and Italy has both convoys in working order, of course.

5) Italian supply convoys can trace to Sicily as it is part of Mainland Italy per the Country List. Nearly missed this one!

There seem to be a lot of little puzzles in this scenario. The Italians could base a fleet in Rhodes that would threaten the Eastern Med using their special rule invasion capability, although there is enough UK sea power to make it hard to keep. You can even throw Exporter at the Vichy in Syria, and the scenario actually encourages this!

The only thing I haven't quite figured out is how to take Tobruk before DAK shows up in late '40. You could bypass it and run for Bengazi, then move a convoy there, but without a couple of UK units to isolate the port/fort and an air advantage, I just don't see it happening without a certain degree of luck. It would tie up an Italian convoy and fleet, thoug, so maybe that's the golden ticket.

I'm impressed that the scenario, at this scale, does an excellent job of demonstrating how hard it was to hold Malta. Not to mention how expensive it was to keep up a high offensive tempo, just keeping Convoys operating will cost 12PP every four turns, assuming you skip supplying on alternate turns to keep sorties under control.

And I've only played through the first turn of this scenario...

As a trained engineer, I am very impressed with the design work in USE in every aspect, from clear, concise and consistent rules to the look and feel (my copy of the maps live in clear plastic sleeves, and there they will stay until GMT produces a Deluxe map, the only nit I have about component quality), to a game system I want to play and explore in more detail the minute I finish a scenario, to being very solitaire friendly. It has been on my table more or less constantly since I got it six weeks ago.

I'm sure I'll start finding a few flaws, but this game has become the ETO game I feel I will play regularly, and I own a lot of games. And I haven't bothered to log new ones in the last couple of years on BGG...

See? You've made me gush. blush
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Mike Haggett
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I like this game alot, too--rules are very accessible and it plays well on the table.

Clarification on your points above:

2) The fleet only picks up a sortie (or perhaps more than one) if it has to fight, otherwise the trace is free. (7.4.3, Sorties, see the exception).

3) Yes, but see my clarification on 2. A fleet tracing that doesn't fight doesn't have a sortie added.

4) You don't need both convoys in working order to supply 2 Axis units in Libya; one convoy can supply both, assuming it adds two sorties (perhaps more, if it has to fight and the supply runs are interdicted). Generally, though, you're correct in that more than two Axis units kept in full supply will burn out the Italian convoys very quickly.
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Steve Carey
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Here's my take off the top of my head (not gospel), Doug...

dcooley wrote:
1) Naval and air units in Gibraltar and Malta must trace supply, even though the garrisons don't. That means an air unit in Malta is going to need a convoy there as well if it wants to survive more than a couple of turns, although the convoy itself won't require supply.


Correct.

dcooley wrote:
2) The Med Fleet in Alexandria can trace supply itself, which could go through the Suez Canal, at the cost of one sortie.


Correct on the supply trace, but fleets can trace their own supply without getting a sortie (when not intercepted).

dcooley wrote:
3) The same Med Fleet could trace alternately by rail to the port of Suez then use a convoy there to trace. In this case the Sortie cost would be on the Convoy rather than the Fleet.


Again, no need to put a sortie on the convoy when the fleet can trace its own supply for free.

dcooley wrote:
4) The practical limit for Axis units in Libya and Egypt is four - two in Low Supply via Tripoli, two via the two Italian Convoys. Assuming you want to supply all units in some form or another, and Italy has both convoys in working order, of course.


Convoys can trace/attempt more than one supply (think of them making supply runs), but this can accumulate sorties rather quickly (especially when the Brits intervene).

Practically speaking, 4 Axis supplied (two low, two full) Axis units in North Africa won't be easy to maintain.

dcooley wrote:
5) Italian supply convoys can trace to Sicily as it is part of Mainland Italy per the Country List. Nearly missed this one!


Correct.

dcooley wrote:
I'm impressed that the scenario, at this scale, does an excellent job of demonstrating how hard it was to hold Malta.


Indeed - and the overall effect off Malta in the corridor between Italian North Africa and Italy proper is wonderfully handled without a myriad of special rules.
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Steve Carey
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In the Med scenario, I believe Italy can receive a 1 PP transfer from Germany (N/A) each turn, which does help them out a bit (keep those convoys running).
 
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Marc Hanna
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Steve Carey wrote:


dcooley wrote:
3) The same Med Fleet could trace alternately by rail to the port of Suez then use a convoy there to trace. In this case the Sortie cost would be on the Convoy rather than the Fleet.


Again, no need to put a sortie on the convoy when the fleet can trace its own supply for free.


Minor clarification as I agree with Steve on all points. In this case, supply is allowed to be done this way (EDIT as indicated by Mike) via convoy as per the last bracketed sentence in 7.4; the Brit may want to in order to avoid having the Fleet unit intercepted while making its own supply run. That convoy in Suez may usually be safe from interception, but it will cost a sortie.

Marc
 
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Marc Hanna
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dcooley wrote:


The only thing I haven't quite figured out is how to take Tobruk before DAK shows up in late '40. You could bypass it and run for Bengazi, then move a convoy there, but without a couple of UK units to isolate the port/fort and an air advantage, I just don't see it happening without a certain degree of luck. It would tie up an Italian convoy and fleet, thoug, so maybe that's the golden ticket.



Check out the discussion in this thread and Mark's tip about using double or triple assaults to take out forts: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1187846/surrounded-city-is-a...
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Salvatore Vasta
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dcooley wrote:

As a trained engineer, I am very impressed with the design work in USE in every aspect, from clear, concise and consistent rules to the look and feel (my copy of the maps live in clear plastic sleeves, and there they will stay until GMT produces a Deluxe map, the only nit I have about component quality), to a game system I want to play and explore in more detail the minute I finish a scenario, to being very solitaire friendly. It has been on my table more or less constantly since I got it six weeks ago.

I'm sure I'll start finding a few flaws, but this game has become the ETO game I feel I will play regularly, and I own a lot of games. And I haven't bothered to log new ones in the last couple of years on BGG...

See? You've made me gush. blush


Thanks, Doug. I'm glad you are enjoying the game's design. When you find the flaws (whether mechanical or of personal preference variety), I hope they're small enough that you can continue to have fun.

Sal
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Steve Carey
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Remember too that the Italians temporarily lose (Greece) a convoy in Sept '40, and don't get it back until May '41 (w/2 sorties).

Just one available convoy makes the supply situation in North Africa extremely challenging for the Axis.
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Doug Cooley
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Thanks!

I remembered that the warships didn't need to spend a sortie, at least unless they got intercepted, about 10 minutes after I left the computer.

What I wasn't thinking was that you could sortie convoys repeatedly, just like activations. Which is what you're doing, just not when you typically do activations.

I'd seen Mark's assault strategy vis a vis Leningrad, didn't consider it because it would be really hard early to get three or four field units around Tobruk, and then supply would be an issue, not to mention leaving the Levant unguarded with at least a slight possibility of the Axis rebasing to Rhodes and then using their special amphibians assault. Probably best left for Malta, but we wargamers love our counter factual history. I'm looking forward to figuring that puzzle out as well.

I should also mention that I use the term "flaw" to refer to matters of taste as much as anything. To an engineer, nothing is perfect, everything is a compromise, it's just a matter of getting the compromises that you can live with as opposed to those you can't. The game is brilliant and one of my top five of all time, not bad out of hundreds of games I own or have owned.

Thanks for the confirmations and clarifications.
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