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The Italian Campaign: Salerno» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Approach to the Winterline Scenario Session 1 rss

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Perry Rowe
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Approach to the Winterline AAR

This is a playtesting AAR for a Scenario I uploaded to CSW.

I set up using the Sicily map for its tables, as the Salerno map does not have a CRT, etc! I guess I will need to make an A4 card with appropriate tables on it so any map can be played on its own. What the heck S&T? Anyway, since the map space can be printed on an A4 sheet I can use the Sicily map folded in half with the scenario map overlaid. Next step is to dig out the counters and set up as close to historic as possible. All mobile units for the Germans make them quite strong!
Note that I will be using my own ruleset during this AAR.
I setup the point tracks, splitting the Allies 3/2 to the Yanks’ advantage. Embarrassingly I seem to have used the SL markers in another game so will have to use the Medwar Damage counters and maybe hand-written counters if they run out. Oops.
German setup didn’t leave many options. Note I have snuck in an Army engineer unit who will begin building fortresses if I have CPs to spare.
The Allied setup should be straight forward .You will notice there are no US armoured units. Where are all the independent Tank Bns in the games? They appear to be factored into the HQ ABs, whether you agree with this or not – I don’t. I chucked in an Army engineer unit to balance the German one: I may need it to clear demolitions. By the start of this scenario Naples and the surrounding airfields were back to full functionality so they won’t be used there but in a campaign game they may have been busy and they can be used to repair bridges.
7th Armoured Div consisted at this time of 4 AB, 22 AB and 131 Lorried Bde. I have used three mech counters from the pool to represent these. (How rubbish was the OoB for these games? Grr!)
OK, I think we are ready to go. I roll for the weather – a 3 which is Overcast. Only half the Support Points available, rounded down, may be used this turn, so that’s 1 each for the three national groups. I use separate markers to reflect this.




We check command control first so that we know who is available to an operation. This may influence your initiative bid. As we have just set up, there shouldn’t be any problems!
Initiative bid. The Allies want to make sure they have the initiative so will have to bid more than the German player can (4). At any rate they wish to assault along the line so this will take a fair CP expenditure. 5 CPs at least would have to be spent to support the Corps HQs to get a support from each of them. The plan is for both Corps to conduct a CDO assault so that the timeline movement and German reaction is minimised – I may need time to get through the German line. This again requires at least a 5 CP bid but would leave nothing for follow-up, so I will bid 7 CPs with the Allies. The Germans are expecting to be hit hard and will need some Reaction Points, even though they have no real reserves on board. They will need to keep CPs for the 3rd PzGDs moving up and for refits, both in the Strategic Phase. They bid 2 CPs knowing they don’t have to convert them both to RPs anyway. The Allies win the Initiative, reduce their CPs by 7 and moving the IP track to 7. The Germans take a risk and only buy 1 RP. They reduce their CP track by one and increase the RP track to 1. Skipping to the Operations Track we subtract the RPs (1) from the IPs(7) and place the Operations marker on the 6 box. As we have bid enough IPs to support both Allied Corps HQs we leave them on their front, supported side. The German has insufficient points to support the XIV Corps so it is flipped to its unsupported side.



Yeeha – it’s show time. The Allies pay for the first of their CDOs – an assault by the units of 10th Corps. An advantage of a CDO is that Divisions can combine units in attack, so we will try to take advantage of that. Stacking in the clear hexes is 10 points so we can stack 2As and a C or 3Bs and a D, etc. This means I could get pretty much all the Brit units into the front line should I wish to and if their MPs allow. The German has had to leave two weaker units on the river, but they have some strong Tac Support available so may not be the pushovers they appear. Furthermore the 15th PzGD unit leads to a bit of a dead end. [Incidentally, the map doesn’t reflect the true geography of this area very well. It was marshy and criss-crossed by canals so shouldn’t be a clear hex.] However, on the basis that one should always work on the weakest part of the line, and remembering that the Brits are already working with a SL of 1, they will attack these two units. I therefore pay the 2 IP cost of an Assault Op and move my units into the attack.



However, as the OT marker has passed through a Reaction box, the German gets a chance to react. If he were able to swap units around he might be able to put a spanner in the Allies’ works. With only one RP his only real options are Counter-attack orAdvance, as they allow penetration into weak ZoCs, or Barrage in the hope of disrupting units. We must work out the strength of the ZoCs to see if the former are feasible. The German would like to move from 2216 to 2116 but it is clear that the projected ZoCs of the Allied units in these clear hexes, even allowing for the river, are far higher than the 4 that defines a weak ZoC. Likewise is true down the line. Without reserves the German cannot do anything to foil the British attack in this manner. A Barrage might do something though – all three HQs could have a go at no cost in Fatigue, and there is a Support Point available. There would be little in the way of DRMs but still a chance of disrupting a unit or two. However, that would be it for the German reactions this turn, so the German saves his RP. The time marker is moved on a box.(13th PM)
The Brits attack the coastal D unit of 15th PzGD first. [I guess that should probably be a C like the other Divs, but too late now.] The 6 strength 46th ID HQ generates 14 points for each Brigade, while 23rd AB is an asset generating 10. That’s a basic strength of 52. On top of this adjacent units can add 11 Tac Support points. (=63). The 46 ID HQ adds 5 AFs. (=68) The SP is not called on but Naval Gunfire is rolled for. A 5 is rolled which allows up to 4 points to be used. We only have 3 for the scenario so use one. (=69) Finally 10th Corps adds its 1 SP for a total of 70 attack points. Wow.
The (9-1=8) strength 15th PzGD generates 5 points for the D unit. However, its neighbour adds 3 Tac Support (=7). The HQ adds 1 (max) AF for a total of 8. The SP could be used but would not help as the combat will be on the max column anyway.
The odds are 70:8 or 8.75 on the 1 terrain code line (clear 0 + river 1). Some DRMs are applicable. The full value of ABs can be used in an Assault Op, so 23 AB adds 4 AB less its SL below 7, so +3. The 46 ID HQ cannot add ABs as they are only ever defensive. The 15th PzGD HQ’s AB is circled so the defending unit must be adjacent which it isn’t so no AB is available from there either. The defending unit has 1 AB. (= +2) The river takes the effective terrain to 1 so this is subtracted from the DRMS. (=+1) The Brits have all units of an ID in the combat so +1, giving a final DRM of +2. The attack is looking pretty solid!
We roll the die – a lousy 1 but +2 for a final roll of 3. On the max column this gives a -/3 result. No effect for the attacker but a 3 result for the defender. This translates to All defending units disrupt and retreat one hex AND the HQ takes a SL. Could have been worse for the German, and in fact was the only non-Breakthrough roll possible! The British may advance over the river (and place a Bridgehead counter).
Ah well, perhaps the next one will go better? We actually have some choices, so rather than just the two weak units, high command decides to try for a larger hit on HGD. The stack on 2117 attacks the C unit on its own. 7th AD generates 12 points for each of the Brigades attacking. (=36). Adjacent units add 10 points. (= 46).The HQ adds 3 AFs. (=49) An SP is not called on, but 10th Corps adds its 1 SP for a total of 50.
HG (8-2=6) generates 6 points in defence. Tac Support adds 8 (=14) HQ adds 3 AF (= 17). The SP is not used.
The odds are 50:17 or 2.94 so is resolved on the 1 terrain row at 2.50, a whole different kettle of fish so far! However, British ABs total 10 less the HG’s 3 (= +7). HGs AB is also circled but this time it is adjacent to the unit so can be used. (= +5). The river drops the DRM. (= +4). No ID bonus this time, so the final DRM is +4.
A 4 is rolled +4 for a final roll of 8. The result is a -/4, enough for a breakthrough. The defender disrupts, retreats 2 hexes and the HQ takes a SL. Ouch, that smarts! [It is clear that the scenario will suffer from having those weak units in the front line, but there are simply no others in an historic setup.] Fortunately the Brits will be Ops Comp but the line is already well broken.
The final British attack goes ahead. The (6-1=5) strength 56th ID generates 12 for each of its brigades for 36. Adjacent (British) units add 11 Tac Support. (= 47) and the HQ AFs 5. (= 52). 10th Corps adds 1 for a total of 53. The SP is held for defence.
HG (now down to 5) generates 12 defence points. Tac Support adds 5. (=17) HQ AFs can be added. (=20). The SP is used for a total of 21. [Perhaps players should each secretly commit points before totals are counted?]
Odds are 52:21 = 2.48. The 2.00 column on terrain 1 row is used. There are no Brit ABs so the HG takes the DRM to -2 but this is capped at -1. Terrain will give -1. (= -2) There is an ID bonus so final DRM is -1 which is the minimum anyway.
A 2 is rolled, which at -1 gives a 2/- result – disaster! Two units disrupt, and the HQ takes two SLs. Nearly as bad as the Yanks on the Gari…



Next session the Americans try to do better.
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Allen Dickerson
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Thanks for this. I've been mildly intrigued by this system, but don't know much about it. Your explanations of the "bidding system" and how reactions work is helping me get an inkling of understanding of the mechanics.

I take it the A/B/C values are for blind chit draws to determine strength at the first combat moment of conduct, a la the "Victory in the West" series?

Please continue!!!

Another newbie question: is this game or any in the series VASSALized?
 
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Perry Rowe
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Hi

Actually the A/B/C indicate the size of the unit. A=3 Battalions, B=2, C=1, D= ~1 Coy, E= ~1 Platoon. You cross-reference the size of a unit with its HQ rating to generate a strength. HQs (generally) take all losses so generate lower values.

I believe the Sicily game has either a Cyberboard or Vassal module. I haven't seen any other.

 
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Darin Leviloff
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Please offer your services to Decision Games. They've been talking of a re-release with streamlined rules. I couldn't get through them, but it seems you can.
 
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