This is the first of three session reports from what ended up being the three last scenarios played from the Deer Valley Games campaign ”Palermo”. I was playing the Italian side and had been shredded through several scenarios by MG-toting American vehicles. I was able to give something in return in the previous scenario, when the Americans, for once without armor support, was trying to blow up my pillbox in scenario C. Some good hand-building and bold manoeuvring brought my fire group to RR3 to take the fight to the enemy. As most of you probably know, letting a fairly intact Italian fire group get to RR3 spells death and disaster upon the enemies of Italy. That held true also in this case. The Italians killed off seven of the best American soldiers, breaking the US squad. I really needed that victory to keep the campaign interesting. Now let’s move on to the fifth campaign scenario.
Scenario 5: "F - Infantry’s Iron Fist"
In this scenario, I once again found myself facing some hardware from the famous American general, General Motors, this time in the shape of an M8 Greyhound. In fact I wasn’t too worried. Its MG armament isn’t nearly as good as that of its cousin M20. And the 37mm isn’t much more than a pea-shooter against infantry.
I set up two low morale dudes in A. In B went the ATR with Cpl. Farrio as co-carrier and smoke-thrower. Campaign special rules give me elite Italians in this scenario. And that grants me the use of German split-cards. I also threw in #19 Romano as cannon fodder. He presently had morale 0 / panic 1, so I was hoping he could draw some occasional fire to put him out of his misery one way or the other. In C went one LMG and a couple of dudes with slightly higher morale. And, finally, I put the toughest guys in D to maybe sneak up on the flank to RR2 or 3 or even to steal a win by victory conditions.
The game started quite good for the Italians. We managed to dig in and even manoeuvre into some decent terrain quite early on. The exception was group B which spent most of the time firing the ATR in hope of blowing the M8 up with a freak shot. Group D even managed to get to RR2 with American C and D. The Americans, on the other hand, weren’t very interested in moving around. American D in particular, which spent most the time being pinned down and rallying again, and, of course, having a break or two during the inevitable Italian LMG-troubles.
We both had the possibilities to get support in the shape of artillery barrages (campaign special rules). The Italian artillery obviously had the day off, but the American batteries promised to support their fellow soldiers. Had it not been for Sgt. Allen having finger-trouble when operating the radio-set (radio malf.). That sort of showed the shape of things to come for the Americans.
Back on the Italian side, Cpl. Farrio and his group B didn’t do much smoking and moving in the end. Both the corporal and his lowly morale 0 companion fell victim to the pea-shooter of the M8. And that left Ritondo and his ATR alone and unable to move due to the weight of the ATR-beast. As the sarge was in group D, the transfer possibilities were limited and would anyway have put the remaining leader in unnecessary danger. Ritondo, however, took care of the situation alone and actually managed to hit the M8 with a round so well placed that it killed the vehicle!
With that the air sort of went out of the American balloon, and the yanks spent the rest of the scenario trying to limit their losses.
That meant another Italian victory, and made the campaign a bit more exciting. It was not to last...