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The Italian Campaign: Sicily» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Sicily AAR Pt 4 rss

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Perry Rowe
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I forgot to attach the photos for Pt2 and some twit declined my subsequent post. I can't see any way to appeal so you'll have to do without. Anyway...

The Axis have a Reaction Phase and a belated Spoiling attack. The latter must be a Counter-attack Operation which uses just one division and has half movement only. The former can be any Operation as long as there are RPs available to pay for it. The Axis choices are difficult: An important task for the Axis is to try to block the Commonwealth advance, but the 8th Army’s momentum has noticeably slackened so there is a little time yet. The landing at Termini has not yet been contained either, and the Americans have yet to start moving. There is another possibility presenting itself – use the Spoiling counter-attack against the 82nd airborne HQ. The latter odds would be good (~3:1) in the Lowland terrain without the damned Allied airforce, but still fair even if they intervene. (~2:1) However, Aosta would be guaranteed to take a SL, and the most likely US result would be a 2 – disrupt and retreat 1 hex.

Guzzioni orders Rossi to get his troops moving. He names Napoli, HG and Livorno as well as as many assets as the HQs can handle between them to seal off the 8th Army advance. As a CDO, units may be able to take advantage of a 50% MP boost. Supply is going to be more important now so it is checked first for named units. As Italian Corps HQs are USS in Sicily any unit within one of a road/trail is likely to in supply at this point. Rossi knows the Germans are his strongest forces, and that they must blunt British attacks to the north. HG is sent to the Primasole plain. KF Schmalz joins the rest of the Germans there. Livorno is sent off toward Termini, though the march through the mountains is slow, and the Division will need to transfer to control of XII Corps at some point. Napoli and the motorised groups set up a thin screen in front of the 8th Army. HQs are flipped, and the Time track moved on a box to 11th July PM.



There is now an opportunity to conduct the Spoiling counter-attack. There is now a second contender: HG could now attack 50th ID on the British right flank while it has its SL. The problem here [which I nearly forgot] is that it is in range of Naval Gunnery support and of course the Allied airforces. If the British received maximum support (9/36=25%) HG might suffer a world of hurt on the 1.5:1 column on the 2 row, especially as the British AT would cancel any possible offensive AB! Even half NG (a 18/36=50% chance) would leave the odds at 2:1 on the 2 row. Even with a +1 AB it looked too risky. [At this point in the war the Axis weren’t able to calculate the effect of NG so went ahead with attack precisely like this one, namely at Gela. Perhaps the Axis should be mandated to make at least one counter-attack? I can’t think of any way this could be simulated without such a rule being too open to gaming by either side.] With such a low chance of even modest success planning staff look at Aosta again. Those paras are too far from the sea to receive NG support so the calculations are a little more straight-forward. There are some stacking limit issues which require a little shuffling of units, but Counter-attack allows penetration of weak ZoCs so this wouldn’t be a problem in the event.

The decision is made to conduct the attack. The division moves all its units into the attack, with MGs A&B also under command. 2x10+6+2x6=38 to 10+5+1TR=16. The Axis airforces may be needed for the American retaliation so are not committed. As it would require the expenditure of all the US support points to change the odds they hesitate. Figuring that they can add to the Italian problems they throw the jabos in. (=20). 28:20=1.4:1 on the 1 row. The MGs give an AB of 2-(highest of (dominant or lowest hexside terrain))=+1. The 82nd’s own AT is not affected by the terrain [did I do this correctly in previous phases?), so gives a -1 DRM. Hmm… this could be a mistake. The Italians roll a 3-1=2 for a 2/- result. The 82nd Airborne wave their private parts in the Italian’s general direction. Two Italian units disrupt AND two SLs must be lost. The Italians disrupt the two MGs then chose to take one SL on MG B (is that gamey?) which eliminates it, and the other on the Aosta HQ which is also now Ops Comp. These Italian divisions aren’t up to much in offense are they? The Spoiling Attack marker is moved back to 1, but the Time track is not changed. [In hindsight the Italians should have put in the SPs as they would have guaranteed a better column no matter what the Americans did. They’ve probably done more damage to themselves than the American could. Guzzioni harangues the airforce who complain that they can’t perform miracles, and hey, he didn’t ask anyway, while German’s roll their eyes and moan to each other about incompetent allies! Maybe SPs should be somewhat random like the NG, with the Allies less random than the Axis? That would give some uncertainty to both attacker and defender. Axis 1-2=0, 3-5=1, 6=2. Allies 1=0, 2-5=1, 6=2. Any thoughts? Just another annoying die roll?]



The Allies now have another two consecutive Initiative Phases. There’s only one 8th Army Division able to do anything, so it’s kept in reserve. It’s showtime for Bradley. No CDO is possible so the divisions will be acting on their own whatever they do. The Allies have only spent three of their 8 IPs so they have plenty to spare. A Manoeuvre Op would be wasted at this point as only Termini would have any freedom of movement, and that at risk to their own supply lines and going OCC. An advance by two divisions would carve out some space and probably cause some damage, or each of the IDs could put in an assault and try to cause serious damage to the Italian defenders. Judging that intelligence estimates of Axis capabilities are correct, Truscotts’ 3rd ID and the recce unit (only) advance from the coast and launch an attack on 136 CR.[Two divisions could be named but Allen is hemmed in so needs a different option.] (2x16+3TR+4AF)/2=19 to 2 on row 3. The USAAF did their dash against Aosta, but the Axis use 2 SP in the hope they can cause a SL. 19:4 = 4.75:1. No DRMs for either side. A 5 is rolled for a 0/3 result. American MCs give 8 and 5 so both pass. A 3 result is disrupt (again) which kills the asset. As there are unfulfilled SLs a breakthrough marker can be placed after advance. 3rd ID is flipped to fatigued but still has options… [Aargh. Much later I remember disrupted units can’t give or receive support of any kind – the Italians couldn’t use SPs. Too tricky to undo this as it would affect later attacks.]



Allen’s 1st ID cannot move far so assaults Aosta, knowing that this will leave themselves Ops Comp. However, the paratroops may be able to take advantage of any opportunities that arise. Taking care to check stacking, two regiments and assets attack 6th/Aosta. 2x18+14+4+4AF+3TR =61 to 10+1TR with neither side having SPs so 5.5:1 on the Foothills (2) row. There are no DRMs as the third regiment is not involved in the combat, and there is no armour on either side. A lousy 1 is rolled for a 1/2 result! Attacker disrupts a unit (choosing the engineer) and takes a SL, while the Italians disrupt and R1. They retreat to Carini. Also a Spoiling point is earned. The second punch may have more success. Although it is only by one regiment, the defenders are also weaker. 16+5TR+4AF =25 to 6+1TR=7. No DRMs on either side. 3.5:1 on the Foothills (2) row. From one extreme to the other, this time a 6 for a 0/3 result. MC gives an 8 which is enough to fail with the previous SL on the HQ so the regiment disrupts, but if a unit fails a MC another SL is taken so this is a double blow! (No Spoiling point for that one though.) However, the Italian must disrupt, R1 and take a SL on the HQ, although in their disrupted state the Americans can’t advance. The bruised 1st ID is now Ops Comp. Patton calls his Generals to his HQ ship and slaps them both. Alexander rolls his eyes and faceslaps himself. The Op Track marker is moved to the FR box so the Germans have their last Reaction Phase.



Ariso names Assieti, 202 CD and 208 CD and assets to a CDO Manoeuvre Op. Finally the Germans are a together, although there is a worrying gap on their flank. [In case you are wondering, the prodigal regiment could enter the Breakthrough hex because the Americans projected 0 ZoC over a highland hexside while the Germans projected 1 ZoC moving across the foothills.] The Op Track is moved into the EX box but the Time track is not moved yet.



The Germans are spent, unless the Allies gift them another Spoiling point. The Allies have 1 British and 2 American divisions with some capacity left. US 3rd ID and the airborne could do something…
It is tempting for the 3rd ID to block the main road, but that would put it out of supply next check. 82nd names itself and the Rangers to an Advance Op. The Rangers move to strengthen the connection with 3rd ID while the paras take the hex vacated by Aosta. This puts them Ops Comp. Patton passes on further Ops, wasting 2. [It would have been more sensible to have done a few Barrage Ops, even if the odds were low…] The Ops Track is moved and the Time track moved on two boxes to 12 July PM.

There’s only one Breakthrough marker remaining which the 51st ID happily move into. Everyone needs to take a supply check, so some of those Italian assets may be in trouble. Ports and Corp and Army HQs are USS in Sicily so Augusta, Trapani, Marsala, etc, could strictly speaking be used. Future Air/Naval rules might deal with this apparent anomaly. As it stands despite being in a USS the asset in Augusta can’t trace to it as it must trace first to a HQ. [This can be rationalised as such units not having the clout to order such supply.] Augusta gets an ISO marker. 178 CR is not surrounded but is too far away from the nearest HQ so also gets an ISO marker.

The supply of Allied units is also problematical. [The 'problem' is that as the rules stand the ports are not yet active, so supply has to come over the beachheads, and these have less capacity than needed: only 20 Stacking points each. Assets and paras have given more stacking points than can be accommodated across the beaches. I think an undamaged port should be active after two days, but what if it was captured in the Exploitation Phase? I'm not sure it's reasonable that it would be fully operational in a day even without damage. On the other hand, the small port of Termoli accepted LCIs straight away.] SLs on the 1st ID may actually help in this regard as every two means stacking is reduced a point. Adding the American points up we get 37 Infantry points and 4 (doubled) armour points for 45. Two Beachheads can only supply 40 so we must leave 5 points ISO. The least damaging are the Rangers and a para unit. The situation should only be temporary so isn’t too concerning, but it highlights the tightness of supply in the early phase of an invasion. Imagine if a Beachhead is lost!

At the 8th Army Beachheads we have 64 Infantry and 10 (doubled) armour for 84, but here we have 4 Beachheads for a capacity of 80. 4 points must go ISO. Two Commandoes go hungry (it’s only fair – they will be returning to somewhere more comfortable as soon as the Brits can move them off. The effects of ISO are quite soft and units do not die from being ISO. Their combat ability is degraded however, which makes them more vulnerable when they are attacked. Besides, if they are named to an Op they will be considered in supply and the ISO removed.

Next are Strategic Operations. The Allies have units at sea in Floating Reserve that need to be sustained there, so they have to spend 2 Allied CPs just for them. They do the first of two Sea Movement Ops to move two Sealift markers and their loads. They can go 8 Strategic Hexes to an OHB that was used in the Invasion, stay at sea or move back off board. I am going to land more Americans, knowing that Palermo is about to be activated so supply won’t be as much of an issue next turn. (Palermo will add 60 Stacking Points of supply.) I still need to take care however, as stacking limits apply on the beaches. The floating reserve Sealift are stacked and considered pooled so they can move units about – the photos show the units split out just so I could check I had capacity. However, they can’t split a single Sealift between OHBs (or ports) so all the British units will have to land at the same OHB. Firs the Allies move two Sealifts carrying Geoffrey’s ’Hell on Wheels’ 2nd Armored Division and odds and sods to Termini.

The German player pays for a much needed refit operation. The die is rolled – 3 - and they receive 2 replacement points. These are used to replenish Aosta.

A second Allied CP is spent to move the other two Sealift markers and their loads: one to Syracuse carrying the British units, the other to Palermo. In the invasion Phase at the beginning of next turn they will land on a beach hex. At that point there should be no need to spend CPs maintaining the Floating Reserve as they will all hopefully be landed. Those Sealift markers can then be sent off board to bring in further reinforcements (at a cost in CPs still).

The Germans have no Reinforcements until July 13th. They could fortify but decide to save their remaining CPs for future turns.

The Allies spend their last (Strategic) CP on a Replacement Op. 2D6 is rolled for 12 giving them 4 points. US 1st ID removes its SLs. 50th and 51st IDs both remove 1 but this still leaves the latter, 5th ID, and a glider unit with an SL each.

The two British commando units must be withdrawn on the 12 July so should be making their way back to the beachheads. However, they were out of range of 5th Div so couldn’t be named to an Op. [What should the punishment be for late withdrawal? Certainly they should not be allowed to attack, and should only be allowed to move toward a beachhead or port. What about defence if it came to it? And what if they never get named? I think VPs should be at stake. Any thoughts?]

The Allies have no more CPs and the Axis have already passed so we move to Support Track Replenishment. The Allies have not yet activated ports or airfields but have 6 Beachheads, halved. With the 6 from off board airfields and ports they get 9 and they're allocated 4 for the CW and 5 for the US. The Germans get 5 SPs.

HQs, and assets that haven’t been named to an Op get to move. XVI Corps is jiggled a short distance. Only two British paras hadn’t been named to Allied Ops so they get a free move. I want to start moving them toward an airfield so that they could potentially use air movement.

In the adjustment segment all disrupted, non-ISO units are flipped to their full strength sides. Fatigued (not Ops Comp) HQs are flipped to their full strength sides. Ops Comp HQs with a full strength OR of 7 or greater may remove the Ops Comp AND flip to full strength. Lower OR HQs only remove the Ops Comp so 51st ID stays fatigued, as do Aosta and Assieta. Corps HQs flip to unsupported. The weather roll is 3 = Clear.

Captured airfields and ports are now activated. Palermo and Syracuse can start accepting traffic, and Palermo and Pachino airfields will start counting toward SPs. (But not Comiso as there is an adjacent enemy unit.)

And that is the end of Turn 1!




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David Kershaw
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Lines of Battle: Quatre Bras 1815. Brunswick hussar.
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Perry Rowe
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Right - might give that a go.
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Allen Dickerson
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Wow! I'm equal parts confused and enlightened by these very detailed descriptions and analysis of every combat computation!!!! I think this will help me very quickly get used to the rules, once I have them in my possession!!

Continue on, and thanks for your efforts!
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