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Mark Buetow
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Scenario 3 is the first battle of the Italian invasion proper. The Italians bring a force of Colonial troops into some tough terrain to attempt to wipe out the provincial Ethiopian troops and storm their village.

This scenario uses two maps, though the Italians can set up anywhere on Map 85, which really just lets you set up on the edge of Map 87. I think it must be there to force the tank unit to arrive but with some delay in either going over the amba (cliff-like replacement for hills on some of these maps) or around the amba.


The initial setup. The Ethiopians concentrate their forces in the large village. I split the Italians into two groups.

My goal was to swing left around the edge and take the small village and send my larger force on ahead to get near the larger collection of village hexes. In Conquest of Ethiopia, spotting is not a terrible complex affair and in most cases (like the battle), all the units have a range of only 1 hex anyway. So it was up to us to bring the fight to the Ethiopians and throw them out of their village.


The Italian advance closes in. The first village hex is taken. The Italians gain a Minor Victory for controlling all the village hexes on the map (including the town which in this scenario is a village). A Major Victory comes with eliminating all the Ethiopian troops. (There are seven "platoons" of these Provincial Irregulars).


My plan was to keep the leader and smaller group in the smaller village in reserve, but that left my other group spread too thin, especially once the leader would be engaged in assault combat. In any case, the goal on the right was to get into any village hexes we could take while avoiding the adjacent fire of the Ethiopians holding the village hexes.


The fight is on. Hand to hand and bayonets among the huts!


Troops on both sides are taking it on the chin.


My Italians had three platoons that ended up fleeing into the sparse woods and never were able to pull it together for the rest of the fight.


We began inflicting some good step losses on the enemy Ethiopians.


Lots of carnage and running away. (Fleeing is somewhat easier at night; safe hexes are much closer as the darkness keeps the enemy from being able to hit you.


We were down a leader at this point and since night was coming on, the two platoons were not going to be able to keep after that demoralized set of Ethiopians. Around this point in the battle, I had taken out four units; only three to go (plus the two leaders) to win a big victory.


Nightfall the lack of a second leader kept us from pursuing the lone enemy unit to the edge of the map. Meanwhile, I had finally gotten our tank up foolishly put it in harm's way.


The Ethiopians were able to dash out of the village and tear our tank apart! (Rolled a "2" on the Assault!)


The end of it. The assault was brutal in the village but the Ethiopians hung on, continuing to occupy just that one group of huts!

We couldn't eliminate all the enemy troops. We couldn't control all the village hexes. In fact, because the Ethiopians were able to occupy just one village hex, they achieved a Major Victory! I guess they've slowed the Italian invasion at least slightly.

Game Notes
This was a pretty fun and quick playing scenario. Perhaps slightly more fun for the Italians as they get to maneuver a bit more. Still, a tough battle. We were pretty close.

What I learned from this fight is just how crucial it is to keep your leaders in a position to be able to activate more than their own stack. If you have stacks of troops away from a leader, you'll never get them into an assault. That's a harsh tradeoff, though, since you probably want the leader for the +1 column shift in those assaults. Even better would have been not to lose a leader in the first place!

Speaking of leaders, the Ethiopian leader was an 11 Morale 2/2! That was a really tough nut to crack. As you can see by the result, I wasn't able to crack it! Fun game and I'm enjoying the system. The stacks can get to be a bit unwieldy; we're just really, really careful when we touch them!
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Drake Coker
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Mark, enjoying these AAR's. The game looks intriguing for sure, but the $100 price tag is a bit of a hesitation. Has it been worth it for you?
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Mark Buetow
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Olvenskol wrote:
Mark, enjoying these AAR's. The game looks intriguing for sure, but the $100 price tag is a bit of a hesitation. Has it been worth it for you?


So far, yes. It's a decently made game and there are 40 scenarios, so $2.50 a game seems reasonable. The PG stuff just has lots of historical flavor and research and cool equipment. One of those "go for it" games as far as the price. FWIW, I decided I was probably going to get some more stuff, so before I ordered, I joined their Gold Club. It's $35 but you can get up to 30% off and free shipping over $200 as well as some other goodies (extra counters and some downloads, etc.)

Then again, I just anted up for the ASL Rulebook and the Third Edition of Beyond Valor (at an out of print price!) so maybe I'm not the best one to ask.
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Drake Coker
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Thanks Mark!
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