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HoldFast: North Africa 1941-1942» Forums » Variants

Subject: Prezcon Tournament Rules - campaign Play rss

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Matthew Looby
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Prezcon Holdfast North Africa



" In many respects every offensive ,undertaken by Afrika Korps, except the improvised advance from Tobruck which ended in the final repulse at Alam Halfa, started as a spoiling action designed to cut back British strength before it could mature." Major K.J. Macksey, M.C.



This is a link to the current living rules at Wothington Publishing. The is an errata already in the combat section. Please take note of it.

http://worthingtonpublishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/....p

PREZCON TOURNAMENT RULES:


1) Just arriving reinforcements, eliminated replacement units may not move by strategic movement.

2) Just replaced (at a maximum of 1SP) eliminated replacement arrives on the following month, or thereafter. Place it on the turn track.

3) British may never use Strategic Movement on the first turn of a Campaign game. (Rommel Bonus)

4) If hits of 5's are rolled against the German attacker, he can choose to reduce either German infantry and/or Italian armor before Italian infantry.


Clarification:

When attacking a unit in rough terrain, air and leader units are -1 die.

Reinforcement air unit arrives in play after the Malta box die roll.

Remember, an enemy block is NOT in supply simply by occupying Alexandria or El Agheila!

Suggestion:

Prior to start, players should agree on the conditions for a British victory, it is realistic that the British must control 4 of 5 fortified cities by the end of the game.


Some game observations:

-HOW TO AVOID STATIC BATTLES/PLAY-If you wish to punch through an enemy line, (or enemy armor), consider moving to the attack with 1SP infantry, these units will typically destroy or damage the targeted block(s) but in themselves (hopefully) will be ELIMINATED. This leaves those previously occupied hexes- adjacent to the enemy open (again). Then move reserve units in and attack again, the move through the gap and attack again, and so on. Execute this type of costly attack to capture key positions or cut off supply to a group of enemy units. This is a momentum changing tactic and should be planned out in advance, weigh the ramifications, and executed wisely.


-Announcing you are using a leader move bonus for an armor (with already enough MP available) is a sneaky way to hide armor and trick your opponent into thinking the block is infantry!

-Damaging enemy units and smartly trapping them out-of-supply is a strong play, because it forces your opponent to spend RP to extricate the unit.

-Attack with two armor in tandem to off set hits.

-Attack with Italian armor and German infantry, to off set hits (see Prezcon tournament rules).

-Try not (NEVER!) to attack with a single Italian- even if it is attacking with armor units.

-Attack with a group of three Italian Infantry to off set hits.

-Plan where an Italian can be attacked from only a single hex.

-Plan to lose only one Italian per turn, if that.

-Protect Italians should be in rough terrain, but if they are targeted, ensure your opponent needs to spend extra RP to do so.

-Seek to destroy enemy infantry and target damaged armor.

-Italian armor should never be exposed to an attack from two hexes. Ariete is a defense unit until German infantry arrive to off-set hits.


- When the German forces are damaged, especially Panzers, or a large scale offensive is about to kick-off, placing all available Luftwaffe units in the Malta box is a good rule of thumb. Eleven, or twelve RP each turn is necessary for victory, especially in 1942.

- Placing armor in Tobruck or Bardia should be a consideration, sometimes you may need to hold those places until help arrives.

- A just eliminated unit may be out of combat for three months or more.


-Be careful, try to position your armor, where it cannot be attacked from three hexes.


-Get your damaged armor off the front whenever possible they are too expensive to rebuild. Be careful!

Note: -You can isolate the Free French and 2nd armor on turn one. The 2nd Armor must be forced to escape along the south edge of the board. You can keep it out of play for two-three turns by proper positioning. The Free French will be destroyed by out of supply rule.
If the weather is "Poor" you can easily isolate and destroy 2nd armor by out of supply rule.




















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Matthew Looby
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
Update on latest game:

Block Density

Through September 1941:
The average number of blocks in play was less than 12.

By October the number soared to a high of 16, heavily damaged armor and infantry on both sides.

RPs: The German received a total of 71 RP through the end of October, that meant placing a Luftwaffe in Malta each turn, except one.

In October the Germans had to abandon Tobruck and the rough terrain hexes to the south. All units retreated westward, establishing a line of defense from
El Gubba, south and just west of the coast road.

November/December has been a lull where both sides are rebuilding.

Now the British will have to advance and face a German foe that is much more powerful and just waiting to counter attack.
TO win the British must capture one more fortified city by the end of the game.

Some key Moments:

March 1941: Germans capture Benghazi
May 1941: Germans capture Bardia.
June 1941: Germans capture Tobruck
July 1941: British recapture Bardia
October 1941:British recapture Tobruck


In hindsight, the capture of Tobruck was a very costly decision.
The German armor took too many hits-3 and the Italian infantry suffered 3 hits. it would have been wiser to isolate Tobruck and continue to destroy 2 or 3 British infantry. This was compounded by a British counter-attack on the Panzers and Italians where more hits were suffered. Luckily the Panzer survived (1SP).

However, no matter what, the Germans will have to eventually contract (strengthen) by withdrawing forces westward. At a certain point, the Germans cannot afford the RPs to wage an extended series of battles so far from El Agheila.

Likewise it will be tough for the British to get replacements/reinforcements so far from Alexandria- we will find out today!










 
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Matthew Looby
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
February 1942- After a two month lull, each army has rebuilt to near full strength. The German has positioned strong points from El Gubba
through the rough terrain surrounding Benghazi to El Agheila (Cyrenaica). The protected coast road serves as an avenue for the German to shift forces quickly.

The British advanced into the desert ensuring it's front line was five hexes from Italian infantry and has secured the rough terrain hex just south of El Gubba. In the rear of the front lie in wait British armor.

The decision to attack was a toss-up. So the British decided to stay on the defense and hammer
the, hopefully, weakened German with some well placed counter attacks, if they attack next turn.
 
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
March 1942- Placing all the Luftwaffe in Malta, the German received 12 RP.

The German strike and destroyed 2 British units heavily damaging an armor and cutting it off out of supply. The British countered heavily damaging a Panzer and damaging numerous Italian infantry, but none, were eliminated while extricating the broken armor unit.
 
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
April 1942- The German place all Luftwaffe in Malta and received 9 RP.
The German destroy another British infantry and damage heavily another. The British in a massive attack fail to wipe out a 2SP Panzer. Clearly, the combination of two Italian armor and the 90th infantry attacking in tandem
has been very successful. The German have discovered a way to shield the Italian armor from being attacked from more than one hex. Clearly attacking with three Italian infantry in one attack is very effective.

British counter-attacks destroy one Italian infantry,and damage others, but it looks prudent to start considering to dis-engage and fall back towards the Gazala line.
The British southern front is weak, but a defense in depth shields that area from encirclement. The problem the British face is that dynamic trio of two Italian armor and the 90th infantry lurking on the southern edge of the British front.
 
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
May 1942- The German place all Luftwaffe in Malta and have 11 RP. The German badly damages more British units, some are down to 1SP. The British were very lucky they did not lose any units.

Down three units, and suffering uncomfortable casualties and with the line of communication to Alexandria so far away, it has been impossible to replace eliminated units. These eliminated units will take three turns to reach the front as it stands. Compound that problem with the arrival in June of four German replacements- two of which are German infantry means the striking power of the German will be at least double.

It is time to withdraw and contract. Another air unit and Monty plus a 14 RP rate will help rebuild the British for another strike on Benghazi or El Agheila. more reinforcements are due, plus the British can start to rebuild eliminated replacements. The British withdraw to the minefields(rough) and hold up around Tobruck.
 
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
June, July, August 1942-
What are the odds? All three months had POOR WEATHER!

The German RP for each month was 7,9,8= 24 RP. This was enough to rebuild
the army to near full strength and make some positional moves to bolster the defense of Cyrenaica.

Poor weather delayed the arrival of British replacements and reinforcements
and those months were needed to rebuild forces, especially the depleted armor.
 
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
September 1942- German

Finally the last Panzer unit has been rebuilt to full strength, the German placed all Luftwaffe in Malta and gained 12 RP. Now it's a matter of responding to the coming British onslaught. All units in the game are in play and at full strength. The climactic battle for Cyrenaica is about to kick off. The lines are drawn north to south and to me it feels like a Kursk moment.
 
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
The British attempt to limit the German RP total just prior to the last great offense by throwing a ton of air into Malta. Note: The three British replacements could not move strategically, but will be able this coming move.
 
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
September 1942- British

Monty kicks off the offensive. The main thrust this time is on El Gubba and the rough terrain to the south and in the middle of the German front. Two Italian divisions are destroyed and another heavily damaged. The British suffer light casualties.
 
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
October 1942-

The German send all Luftwaffe to Malta and gain 12 RP. They need every RP to repair and counter-attack. The German attacks destroy only one British infantry unit but heavily damage two other and damage one armor. The German
still holds El Gubba.

The British with heavy air and Monty over run El Gubba and destroy four Italian units. Exploiting the gap along the coast road, the British are in full control on the road just to the east Barce.
 
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
November 1942- the German commit all Luftwaffe to Malta and gain 12 RP, redeploy a panzer division into Benghazi and hold the coast road with Italian armor and German infantry. The Italian infantry front disengage from all adjacent enemy blocks where possible. A mobile defense is established behind the Italians, their mission will be to protect Benghazi
to the last man. Essentially the entire German front was essentially reorganized to protect Benghazi.

A weaker force is outside El Aghiela because as it stands now, the British supply line is will not to reach that area. This force will be used as a last resort counter-attack force and act as a delaying group.
 
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
November 1942- Note: The British have a ton of air units, plus Monty
and 14 RP. The offensive is about to continue with two major assaults- south and north of Benghazi, hopefully the British will encircle Benghazi and trap German units out of supply.
 
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
November 1942-
The British discovered it is a good tactic to initially attack with 1SP infantry units. With air support and 2 1SP infantry in the lead, these units luckily achieved two goals, they themselves were eliminated as well as the target unit, but this opened up important hexes which are adjacent to other enemy blocks.

Note: 'had I discovered this tactic earlier this tactic earlier, the British would be adjacent to Benghazi. Weeding out enemy units in the rough is not a sure thing as air and leader units are -1 die in the attack- just like regular units.

The British are within two hexes of Benghazi. With the 14 RP they attacked strongly but the goal of attacking Benghazi fell short. After wiping out Italian infantry, the British ran head on to an Italian armor in the rough. Ariete held stalling the British advance.

The British have some 1SP infantry in play (hidden), but the German now, clearly understand this new tactic, and will prepare for such.
 
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
German December 1942- Have I mentioned that my brain hurts?!

I have again walked away from the table, trying to come up with a general plan to save Benghazi and finally pull off a German victory, another problem has reared its' 'ugly head', El Aghiela might now be exposed because the British could extend a supply line to that fortified city; the line of the German defense is stretched to the limit.
 
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
British December 1942- The British managed to gain only two attacks against
Benghazi. Both attempts failed to inflict any damage against the panzer holding that place. Weak British units attacked to wear down the area defense but the German rolled poorly, failing to eliminate those weak units, with a those hexes permanently occupied, no British reserve units were capable of reoccupying and attacking again. In other words, there was a log-jam. In the end, for many 'what-ifs', the British fell one turn shy of victory.

I found the game to be tight- at times unforgiving and very stimulating. Had not there been three consecutive 'poor weather' turns, the end game might have been much different.




 
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Re: Prezcon Tournament Rules (Draft)
If anyone has questions- about game balance- and the tips do not satisfy your queries, I'd be happy to discuss them. keep in mind i am merely a veteran player and far from an expert one.

Thanks to all those who took the time to read my boring posts!
 
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