Jeff Curtis
United States
Plainfield
Indiana
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This is an interesting scenario. It pits the Italians versus the Greeks in Mussolini’s ill-fated Balkan offensive. The Italians come in on the eastern edge of the map and must try to exit 10 points of troops, with squads being worth 2 and half squads one, off the western end of the map. What makes this interesting is that the Greek troops also enter on the eastern end of the map, so the troops and in close contact right from turn one.

The Italians have several challenges in this game. First, the board is 30 hexes wide, and the Italians have 6 turns to traverse the width of the board and exit off the 4 squad equivalents. Needless to say, they don’t have a lot of time to waste on fire fights. Second, they have the usual poor Italian moral and ELR ratings. Finally, the Italian’s medium machine gun starts the game malfunctioned and repairs cannot be attempted until turn 2.

The Greeks on the other hand are defending their homeland and by SSR the moral on their broken side is one point higher than printed. They also have an 8-1 leader, the only leader with a negative rating in the game. While the opening forces have equal total fire power, the Greeks ace in the hole is a flanking force that will enter on turn 2, 3 or 4. There is a 1/3 chance of entry on turn 2, a 2/3 chance on turn 3 and the flanking force will enter on turn 4 if the turn 2 and 3 rolls failed. This flanking force can enter on the north or south end of the map, so you can wait to decide based on the route the Italians take to exit the map. The Greeks do enter on turn one with 2 movement factors already spent, but the Italians still cannot open up much of a gap. However, since the Italians enter first, they will be waiting on the map ready for defensive fire as the Greeks come on.

Speaking of the map, there are large grain fields, in season, and a couple of groups of trees that work to slow the Italian retreat. In this play the Italians moved onto the board, taking control of the two buildings that can be reached and also moved units into the woods at the east end of the map. The Italians got a break as the Greek troops moved onto the board, as they rolled snake eyes as a Greek officer and infantry squad came onto the map, killing both. One other Greek unit failed a 1MC roll. The Greeks had some luck themselves during the Advancing Fire phase, breaking a couple of Italian units.

The start of turn 2 saw the Italians continuing their break to the west. Leaving their buildings and woods to maximize their movement. The Greeks got some decent defensive fire shots in, leaving behind a couple of broken units. This began a give and take that continued for the 5 ½ turns. The Italians would make their move and often suffer from defensive fire. Then it would be the Greeks turn to pursue the Italians and they would receive the Italian’s defensive fire. There were opportunities for some units to place woods or buildings between themselves and the enemy. Many shots also had to be taken through grain fields or orchards.

On turn three, the Italians stacked as many units as they could with their leaders, took on a CX marker and really made a break for it. Looking back on it, I would like to play this scenario again and try that right from turn 1. The units moving with a leader did open a bit of a gap as the slower units served as a rear guard, holding off the Greeks. This is where the Greek flanking force really closed the deal. The Greek flanking force did not come onto the map until turn 4, but they were still enough to prevent most of the Italian units from exiting the map. Some opportune rolls left a string of broken Italian units within site exiting the map and victory. The Italians got 12 points worth of units within 8 hexes of exiting, but only one made it off the map as the flanking units proved to be expert shots.

Some key factors in the Greek win included:

The Italians were never able to repair their medium machine gun. Those fire factors would really have come in handy.

The Italians have a really hard time recovering from their broken state. The Italian units need 6’s for squads and 5’s for the half squads to recover. With no leaders with a negative rating, it took some good rolls to get a unit moving again. The Italian really needs to do what they can to not give the Greeks good shots with negative modifiers.

On the other hand, the SSR that raises the Greek’s broken moral a point plus one 8-1 leader gives the Greeks better than even odds of recovering, once the DM marker is removed. They even recovered once or twice with the DM -4 modifier.

The Italians had some awful luck, as all of their machine guns were either malfunctioned or broken by turn 6.

According to ROAR statistics, the Greeks have one this scenario at a 2-1 ratio. This play added one more tally to the Greek side of the ledger. I'll be giving it another shot to see if I can improve the Italian performance.
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Stephan Tourville
United States
San Jose
California
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I just played this one last week. I first played as the Greeks, and won, and then as the Italians, and lost. I think this one might be better using the balance that moves the exit hexrow a few letters over.

Nice report!
 
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Carlos Torres
Spain
South Carolina
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One question about that scenario, if your italian troops get a DM marker, don't you be able to run to the exit hexes faster?? because if the greeks starts at the same board edge as you, you can run to the exit direction while routing don't you?
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Johannes Spicker
Germany
Moers
Nordrhein-Westfahlen
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Djsnarf wrote:
One question about that scenario, if your italian troops get a DM marker, don't you be able to run to the exit hexes faster?? because if the greeks starts at the same board edge as you, you can run to the exit direction while routing don't you?


yeah you have a point there.

there is another sessionreport for this scenario on the geek where exactly this happened. the problem would be to put some los obstacles/hindrances between you and any interdicting forces, so the routing squads dont get interdicted and left in the open.
 
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