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Rise and Decline of the Third Reich» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Italy's Initial Defense rss

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Patrick Bauer
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Hello fellow 3Rers,

I have quite honestly never been a great Third Reich player but had always considered myself at least maybe a little, ever so slightly above average. So it is with some chagrin that I have (or at least seem to be close to) lost Italy in the very early stages of the game twice in a row. In each of these cases I chose and desired to keep Italy neutral through the Fall 39 turn. In the first game I held variant #2 and was baiting the Allied player with some unusual Italian positioning, I set up for attacking Yugoslavia and then did not attack it until the winter of ’39. Then I deployed well back from the western Egyptian border offering up eastern Libya. Finally I over committed forces to Libya and got conquered by a seaborne invasion flip-flop (see http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/685538/attacking-more-th...). A well deserved loss.

But in the second game, I left one unit out of place and am about to suffer a Fall-Winter ’39 Italian defeat. I do not remember Italy being so vulnerable so early in the game. But simply put, until the French armor is engaged with the Germans, Italy is always at some level of jeopardy. To that end I have devised a defensive set-up for Italy to act as a deterrent against Allied first strike; to be used in those games where Italy does not wish to declare war on the Allies in the first turn and does not attempt either the Yugoslav or Greek gambits.

Shown is the defense immediately after Axis Fall ’39 SR phase:


I welcome advise and would be really interested in ideas for deterring the Allied first strike if the Yugoslav gambit is attempted.
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Doug Poskitt
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Are we to assume that:

a) Germany has spent to the limit in Fall 39 and that she has 75 BRPs left?

b) Italy has only spent 18 BRPs?

Thus, the Axis BRP total is 132, and the Allied BRP total is 210 at the close of the Axis Fall 1939 turn, correct?
 
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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Obviously Doug has become something of a surgeon with respect to the '39 Allied turn flip conquest of Italy.

In terms of some specifics of the posted defense, I would swap positions of the repl and 1-3 inf on the French border. The 1-3's will be easier to move out of the way if / when you are attacking from Italy into France. I don't really agree with the positioning of the units 'between' Rome and the beach hex. It seems that units on the beach could attack the 1-3 in the mountain hex, advance into it and then attack and take Rome (if successful) on the exploitation, with the Italian armour having no real effect.

With his post here, Doug has touched on one issue - the BRP balance. The Axis need to consider that, as the more they spend the more 'room' they are leaving for the Allies to work with in terms of a flip. Obviously, in theory, the Allies could force a flip if they have even a 1 BRP lead after spending. However, 1 BRP wouldn't be sufficient to do much with if forcing the flip. So part of the 'defense' of Italy would be to do a bit of math and perhaps hold back on a few BRP's worth of spending as the Axis.

One should also consider a potential German counterattack against an occupied Rome, as well as potential attacks against Britain and France. Depending on the timing, and other conquests, the Germans could manage a 'flop' back of turn order over the '40 YSS. Even if Italy is conquered, it isn't a 'gain' for the Allies if Britain falls.
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Patrick Bauer
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dougposkitt wrote:
Are we to assume that:

a) Germany has spent to the limit in Fall 39 and that she has 75 BRPs left?

b) Italy has only spent 18 BRPs?

Thus, the Axis BRP total is 132, and the Allied BRP total is 210 at the close of the Axis Fall 1939 turn, correct?


Yes.
 
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Patrick Bauer
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deadkenny wrote:

In terms of some specifics of the posted defense, I would swap positions of the repl and 1-3 inf on the French border. The 1-3's will be easier to move out of the way if / when you are attacking from Italy into France. I don't really agree with the positioning of the units 'between' Rome and the beach hex. It seems that units on the beach could attack the 1-3 in the mountain hex, advance into it and then attack and take Rome (if successful) on the exploitation, with the Italian armour having no real effect.


Are you saying you would switch the postioning of 2Arm and 3Inf or place one of the units elsewhere? Or switching 3Inf with 6Repl?

I was seeking to place as many lines between the Allies and Rome as possible. First shutting the front door (the replacements are indeed doomed to voluntary destruction in this set up) by having a double line up front and then a third line between the Allied exploiters and Rome.

An invasion of W24 being only two hexes from Rome is problematic, inverting the units simply redirects the line of attack from X23 to W23. It is more difficult for Britian to invade and exploit in the same turn during a F-W '39 ff than a S-S '40 ff. When faced with the heavier '40 assault it again seems a wash.

I also want to keep a second line between the beach at AA23. This way Britain face the maximum number of rolls when attacking.

I could weaken the Libyan defense by keeping the two 2-3's in Italy, placing them on the two key beaches, switch the 1-3's on the beaches for any two replacements and SRing those two replacements to hold the Libyan mid-line. This leaves Libya with two 1-3's in Tripoli and 1-3 in Tobruk. Easy pickings.
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Doug Poskitt
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SewerStarFish wrote:
dougposkitt wrote:
Are we to assume that:

a) Germany has spent to the limit in Fall 39 and that she has 75 BRPs left?

b) Italy has only spent 18 BRPs?

Thus, the Axis BRP total is 132, and the Allied BRP total is 210 at the close of the Axis Fall 1939 turn, correct?


Yes.


So, you are positing a defense of Italy that seeks to disuade an Allied double turn invasion over Fall-Winter 39. IMO, the key to whether such an invasion should be attempted rests on two key issues (obvious ones, I know):

a) Can Rome be taken?
b) If so, can it be held for one Axis combat phase after occupation?

If the answer to the above two questions is yes, then I, as the British/Allied player would try it. It is not as dangerous as it sounds. For one thing, if Rome falls to the Allies (say Britain for example) and can be held in the Axis Winter 39 turn, then we have to consider whether the German will even get a double turn.

By way of example:

Fall 39: Germany conquers Poland (20 BRPs).

Winter 39: Britain conquers Italy (35 BRPs).

1940 YSS

Germany 150 + 20 = 170 BRPs

France = 85 BRPs (minimum)

Britain = 125 + 35 = 160 BRPs

Axis BRP Total = 170 BRPs
Allied BRP Total = 245 BRPs

With a potential, minimum, Allied lead of 75 BRPs, can the German seek to redress that lead by electing not to aid in a counter-attack against Rome and instead build up his 1940 YSS BRP total?

Let's assume Germany conquers Norway (10), Denmark (10), Luxembourg (5), Holland (10) and Belguim (15) in one herculean Winter 39 offensive; a total of 50 extra BRPs to make a 1940 YSS BRP total of 220 BRPs. The Allies would move first in Spring 1940 and if we assume they have been savvy enough to defend well enough not to lose France/Britain, that's the German out his "return double-turn", with the Mediterranean a "British lake" and thus enabling Britain to make use of the forces usually garrisoning Egypt to be used elsehwere (i.e. defencing France), Germany's southern front undone and "the lonely ex-corporal sits brooding in his bunker ... no friends, no prospects."

That's not the end of the disaster Germany faces, as there is another nightmare on the horizon ... devil

I refer to the above in my contention that a good Italian defense does indeed seek to disuade an Allied double-turn invasion, but at the same time should not rely on Germany having to place it's forces in undue concentrations to drive south to Rome, and which at the same time allows for the prosecution of a success against Yugoslavia in time for the 1940 YSS.

That's the challenge to Italy's dispositions at the end of the Axis Fall 39 turn.

With regard to Patrick's intended defense, I would like to study it awhile and see if there is any realistic potential for the Allies to "grasp the nettle" and turf Italy out of the war.

Would other 3R4 BGGers go fot it?

 
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Patrick Bauer
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Yes, I'm seeking only to dissuade a Fall '39 Allied attempt at a flip-flop drive to Rome or barring that, at least make Rome as hard to take as possible. I don't want to surrender Libya in the process -- while not as satisfying as trading France for Italy; trading a quicker fall of France for Africa is always kind of nice. I am presuming that the Allies did not draw variant #1 as well.

While I have shown three German 4-6's, there obviously could be a deployment of significant German air for the counter-attack. I generally have three such units in the south for at least showing a "left hook". This presented deployment is still in range of striking the lowlands.
 
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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SewerStarFish wrote:
Are you saying you would switch the postioning of 2Arm and 3Inf or place one of the units elsewhere? Or switching 3Inf with 6Repl?


The key hex is the mountain hex between Rome and the beach. I'd make that much stronger, with an armour and a 3-3 inf. You only need 2 more units to form a 'line' around Rome, in the two other land hexes adjacent to Rome.

I don't see that you really need such force in Libya to 'protect' at the start. In particular, if the French are starting forces in North Africa with which to invade Libya, there has got to be a weakness somewhere in the defense of France that can be exploited first turn by the Germans.

German armour in Bavaria can both 'threaten' to retake Rome, as well as still being able to reach the entire western front by regular ground movement. I certainly agree with Doug, that a high probability shot at conquering Italy can be worth it, however, there is equally a huge down side if it fails.
 
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Patrick Bauer
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deadkenny wrote:
SewerStarFish wrote:
Are you saying you would switch the postioning of 2Arm and 3Inf or place one of the units elsewhere? Or switching 3Inf with 6Repl?


The key hex is the mountain hex between Rome and the beach. I'd make that much stronger, with an armour and a 3-3 inf. You only need 2 more units to form a 'line' around Rome, in the two other land hexes adjacent to Rome.

I don't see that you really need such force in Libya to 'protect' at the start. In particular, if the French are starting forces in North Africa with which to invade Libya, there has got to be a weakness somewhere in the defense of France that can be exploited first turn by the Germans.

German armour in Bavaria can both 'threaten' to retake Rome, as well as still being able to reach the entire western front by regular ground movement. I certainly agree with Doug, that a high probability shot at conquering Italy can be worth it, however, there is equally a huge down side if it fails.


So something like this?:
 
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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That looks closer to my conception, although I would swap out some of the 2-3's in Libya for 1-3's. Also, I wouldn't bother with a replacement and a 1-3 on a beach - either make it stronger or only put one unit there (or even no units, depending on how one handles exploitation from a vacant beach hex ). A couple more weak units could be used to form another 'line' between Salerno and Rome (where the calf of the boot is only two hexes wide).
 
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Patrick Bauer
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Hmm, an open beach defense:

 
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Doug Poskitt
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What about this approach?

The image shows the situation in the Axis Fall 1939 turn, after Construction but before SR. Italy has setup for:

a) An attrition attack (assume a success) on Yugoslavia in Fall 39, followed by an offensive in Winter 39.

b) To deter an Allied double-turn invasion over Fall-Winter 39.



Readers, what would you do, as the Italian commander, in the upcoming SR Phase?

Would any 3R4 Allied commander take the plunge and invade?
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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Regarding unoccupied beach defense - works if applying the last sentence of 14.4 to amphibious landings, otherwise not so well.

Regarding Doug's defense, YES! I would be taking a shot, given a double turn for the Allies, and only the one German armour.
 
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Doug Poskitt
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deadkenny wrote:
Regarding unoccupied beach defense - works if applying the last sentence of 14.4 to amphibious landings, otherwise not so well.

Regarding Doug's defense, YES! I would be taking a shot, given a double turn for the Allies, and only the one German armour.


So, exactly where would you land and with what? Enquiring minds would be very interested to know.
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dougposkitt wrote:
deadkenny wrote:
Regarding Doug's defense, YES! I would be taking a shot, given a double turn for the Allies, and only the one German armour.


So, exactly where would you land and with what? Enquiring minds would be very interested to know.


Of course I am assuming necessary Allied forces available, however, I land at Salerno and can move right into Rome on exploitation.
 
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Doug Poskitt
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deadkenny wrote:
Of course I am assuming necessary Allied forces available, however, I land at Salerno and can move right into Rome on exploitation.


Granted, it is a question of what Allied forces are available. In the case of an aggressive Allied setup, let's assume armour is in Egypt (2-5) and in Gibraltar (4-5). Let's further assume only one 9-FF is in Britain (at Scapa Flow).

If we say the 4-5 armour invades at Salerno, with the 2-5 held in reserve for exploitation, that makes 13 attack factors (4 armour and 9 shore bombardment.) The Italian beach defense is 9 factors, with 9 AFs permitted to fly DAS. No Allied air is within range.

That makes the Allied attack 13:18 (1:2) with CA-odds of 12:13 (1:2). The attack has a 91.43% chance of failure. (I stand ready to be corrected on my math here). If I read the chart on the back of the rulebook correctly, the Allies will land 8.57% of the time.

I would have thought that would dissuade an Allied invasion.
 
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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Yes, I agree. The Salerno landing would have to come on the second of two consecutive turns. An initial 'set up' op would be necessary, to take Sicily for instance. That would give the Allies sufficient air in range to CA the Italians, get reasonable odds for the landing itself with potentially some left over to provide DAS.
 
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Doug Poskitt
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This is where it gets interesting.

An Allied landing on Sciliy would be unopposed. Could the British exploit from a landing at Syracuse and hit the 2-3 Inf defending in DD22?

I'm not sure (as I haven't got the rules in front of me) whether the British can set up extra air in Malta, but if they can, the maximum exploitation attack against D22 would be 9:6 (1:1). Assuming the British prevail (50% chance only as an EX would necessitate removing the armoured unit), they would control Scily in practical terms and could SR in reinforcements in the SR phase.

However, after spending 35 BRPs to DoW on Italy and 15 BRPs on an offensive, Britain would have only 12 BRPs left to spend. That would be an armour unit and the fifth "1-4 airwing".

The farthest the British armour could get in Winter 1939 (starting from DD22 as it couldn't be SRd out of Sciliy in Fall 1939) would be Naples. The 2-5 could follow, having been SRd from Sycracuse to DD22 in Fall 1939. Thus they could attack the empty hex at Y24 and one unit could exploit into Rome. 10 AFs CAir the 10 Italian factors, leaving 5 AFs for DAS ... based at say, Ajaccio.

Alternatively, both armour units could have been SR'd from Syracuse/DD22 to Messina in Fall 1939, along with the newly constructed armour unit from Britain. Allowing for 10 AFs to CAir the 10 Italian AFs at Taranto, the British could invade Salerno at 18:9 (2:1) and get ashore. That would take 4 armour, 11 shore bombardment and 3 AFs. (Mind you, there would be a naval battle prior to the landing, so the actual invasion odds would be 1:1 in reality).

British armour could then exploit into Rome, dropping off the 2-5 at Cassino. 2 AFs (at best) would be left for DAS.

In the north, the French could get no further than U23/T24, which means they cannot block off the eastern half of northern Italy, just the western portion. In this respect, the French might forgo an attack into Piedmont, and try to set up a Winter 1939 invasion of W24 (maximum 16:12 (1:1 attack). In that case, if there was a British invasion at Salerno, I would, as the Italian, intercept the French force instead of the British,

Obviously, what happens next in the Axis turn depends on the number of armour and air units Germany might bring to battle.

Without going into all the details, unless the French invaded at W24, there would be 2 x 2-3 Inf, a 2-5 and 4-6 armour, plus at least 5 German AFs (to nullify the 2 to 5 British AFs available). The Axis counter-attack to relieve Rome could be an 83.33% 1:1.

I wonder how many Allied players would accept that? If Rome cannot be held, then the Axis would get a double turn (Winter 39-Spring 40) and the consequences for the Allies could be catastrophic ... with so many units out of position ...

... and the German not being required to divert an undue amount of resources, as per my original contention.
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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Perhaps you are right. I do agree that Italy putting the minimum into Libya, as you have done, is both necessary and not particularly risky. I would note the following:

Quote:
5.34 Units are not 'adjacent' for purposes of Pass Option movement and Strategic Redeployment when they are separated by all-water (non-river) hexsides including those containing Crossing Arrows.


Meaning that, having captured Sicily, units could be SR'd into / out of Messina without having to eliminate the Italian unit on the toe of the boot. I had the British with rather more air left with which to provide DAS. Not sure that Italian naval interceptions could knock the landing odds down to 1-1 either, they would of course be counter intercepted by the Allies.
 
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Doug Poskitt
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deadkenny wrote:
I had the British with rather more air left with which to provide DAS. They can't have more than 15 AFs and 10 of those would be for CAir. Not sure that Italian naval interceptions could knock the landing odds down to 1-1 either, they would of course be counter intercepted by the Allies. With what? The French maybe? But the British will need all their 5 fleets to scrape the 2:1 at Salerno. The French interception would be at 2:4, with DRMs of + 2 for the Italians and 0 for the French. That's got to give the Italians a 50%+ chance of getting through to the British invasion fleet. If they do, then Italian losses mean British losses and the invasion goes in at 1:1.


I'm not saying the defense is perfect, but it does present the Allies with a serious degree of risk in that the invasion/assault will fail or if they do occupy Rome, they cannot be sure of holding it.

There isn't a perfect defense of Italy, so I think the Italian has to aim at presenting an unacceptable level of risk to the Allied player. If the Allies go ahead and they don't pull it off, they leave themselves in a precarious position to say the least.

Whether it be the 1:1 attack on DD22 and subsequent movement into Rome, or it be what is likely to be a 1:1 invasion at Salerno, coupled with a liklely 1:1 83% Axis counter-attack on Rome ... how many Allied players would take the risk?


 
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Regarding some specifics:

dougposkitt wrote:
They can't have more than 15 AFs and 10 of those would be for CAir.


If they're 'going for it', why couldn't they have 20 on the second of the two consecutive turns? Also, the French could CA the Italians, freeing the British for offensive and defensive support.

dougposkitt wrote:
With what? The French maybe? But the British will need all their 5 fleets to scrape the 2:1 at Salerno. The French interception would be at 2:4, with DRMs of + 2 for the Italians and 0 for the French. That's got to give the Italians a 50%+ chance of getting through to the British invasion fleet. If they do, then Italian losses mean British losses and the invasion goes in at 1:1.


Why only 5 British fleets? That, plus the 'extra' British air means less need for shore bombardment to get the 2-1. Of course the French intercept.


dougposkitt wrote:

I'm not saying the defense is perfect, but it does present the Allies with a serious degree of risk in that the invasion/assault will fail or if they do occupy Rome, they cannot be sure of holding it.

There isn't a perfect defense of Italy, so I think the Italian has to aim at presenting an unacceptable level of risk to the Allied player. If the Allies go ahead and they don't pull it off, they leave themselves in a precarious position to say the least.

Whether it be the 1:1 attack on DD22 and subsequent movement into Rome, or it be what is likely to be a 1:1 invasion at Salerno, coupled with a liklely 1:1 83% Axis counter-attack on Rome ... how many Allied players would take the risk?


I agree, however, with both Rome and Cassino 'open' it is perhaps a bit more 'attractive' than it needs to be. Scrape up a 1-3 or replacement and put it in Rome or Cassino and it becomes prohibitive for the Allies to try it. Of course it also depends alot on what the Germans have 'in range'. You've shown only a single armour and air. The Germans could easily build a couple more armour in Bavaria, which could still reach most of the western front on the following turn and that would provide a counterattack force which again makes an Allied attempt on Rome prohibitive.
 
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Doug Poskitt
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deadkenny wrote:
Regarding some specifics:

dougposkitt wrote:
They can't have more than 15 AFs and 10 of those would be for CAir.


If they're 'going for it', why couldn't they have 20 on the second of the two consecutive turns? They could, but the extra 5 AFs would have been constructed in the Winter 39 turn and so would be inverted, thus not being available for use in the Axis Winter 39 player turn. Also, the French could CA the Italians, freeing the British for offensive and defensive support. They could do that, but only in the Winter 39 turn. If the British were invading Salerno out of Messina, the French could build an airbase in Syracuse and CAir the Italian air at Taranto. Then the British could have an airbase at Messina and have 10 AFs to support a landing at Salerno. That would definitely enable them to assemble a combined land-sea-air force capable of hitting Salerno at 18:9 (with an extra 5 attack factors available no less).

That being the case, the defense needs modifying, First, if the attrition against Yugoslavia bags a hex, then it should be Sarajevo. Then, the Italian places his airwings at Y24 and Y25 (though at a cost of two airbases). The French could then only attempt to CAir one Italian 5-4 airwing if they had the foresight to construct an airbase at W21 in Corsica in Fall 39, They could then stage 3 AFs to Belgrade ... though air combat would be France -1 DRM, Italy +1 DRM.

The British would then be forced to reserve 5 AFs to deal with the remaining Italian airwing (whenever it flew). The other 5 AFs at Messina would then have to assist the invasion in order to ensure the 2:1.

Due to exploitation movement restrictions, only one exploiting armour unit (4-5) could actually occupy Rome. That would give a total defense strength of 13 factors. 4-5 armour and 5 AFs (as the French can only bag one Italian airwing and then maybe not even then if they lose the CAir combat and some Italian AFs survive for later use.)


dougposkitt wrote:
With what? The French maybe? But the British will need all their 5 fleets to scrape the 2:1 at Salerno. The French interception would be at 2:4, with DRMs of + 2 for the Italians and 0 for the French. That's got to give the Italians a 50%+ chance of getting through to the British invasion fleet. If they do, then Italian losses mean British losses and the invasion goes in at 1:1.


Why only 5 British fleets? Well, you could make it six if all British fleets that started in Britain in Fall 39 were SR'd to Gibraltar/the Med in the previous turn. (That would require an Allied commander with nerves of steel!) That, plus the 'extra' British air (which is inverted and thus useless in Winter 39) means less need for shore bombardment to get the 2-1. Of course the French intercept. And with 6 x 9-FF in the mix, Britain should then get her 2:1 at Salerno.


dougposkitt wrote:

I'm not saying the defense is perfect, but it does present the Allies with a serious degree of risk in that the invasion/assault will fail or if they do occupy Rome, they cannot be sure of holding it.

There isn't a perfect defense of Italy, so I think the Italian has to aim at presenting an unacceptable level of risk to the Allied player. If the Allies go ahead and they don't pull it off, they leave themselves in a precarious position to say the least.

Whether it be the 1:1 attack on DD22 and subsequent movement into Rome, or it be what is likely to be a 1:1 invasion at Salerno, coupled with a liklely 1:1 83% Axis counter-attack on Rome ... how many Allied players would take the risk?


I agree, however, with both Rome and Cassino 'open' it is perhaps a bit more 'attractive' than it needs to be. Scrape up a 1-3 or replacement and put it in Rome or Cassino and it becomes prohibitive for the Allies to try it. (Don't forget, the defense as shown is before the Axis Fall 39 SR phase.) Of course it also depends alot on what the Germans have 'in range'. You've shown only a single armour and air. The Germans could easily build a couple more armour in Bavaria, which could still reach most of the western front on the following turn and that would provide a counterattack force which again makes an Allied attempt on Rome prohibitive. Agreed. Even with the single panzer and 5-4 airwing at Graz, the Axis could counter-attack Rome at 15:13 and any roll other than a 5 sees Rome change hands and the Allies facing a double-turn catastrophe. If all six British fleets were used, and all 15 AFs, then Britain would be caught in a bind with the Germans having a double-turn. Nothing of any consequence (i,e, ground forces) could be SRd back to Britain. She would only be able to SR fleets and air back home and they would only be useful in Spring 40, by which time the damage could be done.


In short, for myself, I would shrink from taking the double-turn under the conditions described above. Only if Rome can be held in the next Axis turn would I attempt an Italian invasion. It's imperative that the German forces in the north be prevented from driving south to Rome; in this defense, the north cannot conveniently be blocked off so as to prevent that.

Interesting discussion here ... I'm enjoying it.
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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I certainly agree that it doesn't leave a 'very' attractive prospect for the Allies, and with the changes you suggested which could be done in the Axis SR phase (I had implicitly assumed that what was shown was what the Allies would be facing - I mean if that was initial deployment, what was a German panzer doing in Bavaria!?!?) it would be a definite 'no-go'. The French being able to CA all of the Italian air etc. would be a definite requirement for me to even look at it further. But then, as previously suggested, even just finding a 1-3 or repl for Cassino would pretty well do it as well. I might also be tempted to put an inf under the Italian armour between Rome and the beach, just to be extra safe.
 
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dougposkitt wrote:
What about this approach?
The image shows the situation in the Axis Fall 1939 turn, after Construction but before SR. Italy has setup for:
a) An attrition attack (assume a success) on Yugoslavia in Fall 39, followed by an offensive in Winter 39.
b) To deter an Allied double-turn invasion over Fall-Winter 39.

Readers, what would you do, as the Italian commander, in the upcoming SR Phase?
Would any 3R4 Allied commander take the plunge and invade?


To be honest I would certainly consider the DoW to flip-flop the conquest of Libya if I was a sole Allied player. The first turn to SR British units to Tunisia and the necessary units to western Egypt and the second turn for a slap happy pair of 3:1's or better for the quick fall of Libyan ports. Not an immediate France for Italy trade but still a probable early Italian exit and a definite safety for Suez.

A multi player game would require a very robust commitment to Murmansk.
 
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Doug Poskitt
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So you would trade the occupation of Libya for:

a) Freeing Italy from spending 35 BRPs to DoW on the Allies;
b) Leaving France, and possibly Britain, open to a double move over Winter 39 - Spring 1940 in the west;
c) Leaving Britain, open to a double move over Winter 39 - Spring 1940 in the Mediterranean ... perhaps losing Malta?

As an aside, you would have to have the Allies invade a Libyan beach, as armour SRd to the Tunisian-Libyan border couldn't occupy Buerat unless playing with the understanding that a unit can advance to the limit of it's movement factor (5 hexes), and then attack an empty hex and occupy it (6 hexes).

I can see the attraction, but might the consequences prove it to be "a sand dune too far"?

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