AAR v1.04 Sicily (Full Version)

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Rasputitsa -> AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 12:43:14 PM)

PFE Sicily – Axis AI – Neutral handicap.

The Sicily Campaign. Only sixteen turns long and containing a small number of divisions. In this scenario, the Allied player is provided with sea transport points and one paradrop point at start instead of having to build them in the first couple of turns. Sixteen turns is not a long time to destroy the Axis forces and conquer the island, taking the cities of Syracuse, Palermo and Messina. The Axis player has a difficult time of it. The Italian forces are weak; the German forces are too few. It’s very difficult to hold a line for any length of time so a slow withdrawal towards Messina is the default strategy.

The Allies need 50 victory points for a marginal victory. If the Allies also control Messina, then it’s a decisive victory. If the final total is less than 10, then it’s an Axis decisive victory. Any other result is an Axis Minor victory.

Turn 01 – 9th July 1943

Allied Air total (20) - (12) set on air superiority – (6) Ground Support – (2) Interdiction

Visible Axis units are the ITL 26th 'Assietta' and 28th 'Aosta' INF Divs., near the proposed US beach-heads, with GER 29th MOT Div. at MESSINA.

Allocated Airborne and Amphibious landings, with (9) Sea transport points remaining, after allocating all landings, to be a reserve amphibious capacity, but with all available airborne points (2) allocated for this turn.

Airborne landings are directed with the DZ for US 82nd ABN near GELA to block the visible Italian units nearby and the DZ for GBR 1st ABN joining the defence position on the River Gorna Lunga, as the 'rough' terrain further inland is not suitable for airborne operations.

Amphibious landing beaches are, in the US Western zone, North and South of the port at GELA, intending to take the port next turn.

In the British zone landings are planned for either side of the port at SYRACUSE, again with the intention to take the port next turn and further North, along the coast, to establish a blocking position on the River Gorna Lunga to protect the landing area.

Reserve units left at MALTA are GBR 50th INF Div., 231st INF Bde., 4th ARM Bde., US 3rd INF Div..

Fuel/Supply slider set at Fuel 30%/Supply 70%

Unlike the full 'Italian Campaign', the overall supply situation in theatre was never an issue, only getting supply over the beaches in the first few turns, which became critical in the US beach-head.

This image shows the game screen before ending the 'Orders Phase' and selecting 'Turn Resolution', so the Allied units are showing where they are planned to be, but only after turn resolution will you know if these plans have been successful.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 12:56:29 PM)

Turn 02 – 12th July 1943

Allied Air total (19) all on air superiority - Losses (1) – Enemy superiority (6) - Enemy losses (0) ??

The amphibious operations were successful, but the airborne landings were cancelled by the game system, due to Allied failure to win air superiority.

All Allied air missions (19), after first turn loss, set to air superiority to ensure the airborne landings go ahead this turn, so no interdiction, meaning no air recon, 29th MOT is no longer visible at MESSINA and may be making its way to the Allied beach-heads.

How much air superiority you need to ensure successful airborne operations is not clear and you will not know how much air superiority the opponent has put up. I suppose you do what the Allies did on D-Day and put up everything you have in air superiority, but obviously air superiority (12) was not enough.

Supply unloading capacity levels started at less than 25% over most beaches and not enough to provide 'combat supply', only beach 13.14 (at 27% capacity) on the British beach-head, was initially strong enough to provide 'combat supply' to units

Units have landed with level (2) combat supply (yellow triangle), which is a personal house-rule, so cannot risk combat at this stage, except that the US must take GELA quickly, to have a port available in their beach-head.

The landings have revealed ITL 207th Coastal INF Div. (XII Corpo) at GELA, whilst SYRACUSE is not defended and the ITL 28th 'Aosta' Div. (Generale di Divisione Giacomo Romano), a size (2) unit and 213th/208th Coastal Divs. (XVI Corps - Generale di Corpo d’Armata Carlo Rossiboth), both of unit size (1), are all to the West of SYRACUSE and within the proposed Allied lodgement area.

ITL 28th 'Aosta' INF Div., unit size (2), was seen earlier, whilst still inland from GELA, but the planned blocking para-drop by the US Airborne did not happen.

The Italian Division counters with a red insert are weak coastal divisions, at strength (1).

The delayed Allied Airborne drops re-planned to take place, with US 82nd ABN Div. landing as before between GELA and ITL 26th 'Assietta', whilst GBR 1st ABN Div. is changed to drop directly on SYRACUSE to secure the port.

The progress in raising the capacity of the beaches for unloading supply can be seen in the port panel and I think it best to concentrate workers on two selected beaches, rather than spread them out. The (13,14) beach is in the British zone, whilst the (08,11) serves the US zone and the British beach is already up to a useful 46% capacity, with (5) workers allocated. The US primary beach (08,11) also has (5) workers, but progress has been slower, so performance is variable and unpredictable.

The plan is to link up the beach-heads, protect the approaches and secure the ports, supplying port workers to get them quickly up to capacity.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 1:03:21 PM)

Turn 03 – 13th July 1943 – Date anomaly, 1 day turn instead of 3 days.

Allied Air total (17) all on air superiority - Losses 2 – Enemy superiority (2) - Enemy losses (0) ??

The delayed Allied Airborne drops take place, US 82nd is to block ITL 26th 'Assietta', as previously planned, whilst GBR 1st ABN drop has been re-directed to secure the undefended port at SYRACUSE.

US 3rd INF Div., from the MALTA reserve, has made an amphibious landing on beach (07,11) and is to provide beach-head flank guard at the River Salso.

ITL 28th 'Aosta' / 208th Coastal Divs. have both fortified, whilst ITL 213th Coastal Div. has been destroyed by GBR 51st INF Div., which has been left on low 'combat supply' after the battle (started on yellow, now red) and hex supply is now up to 27%, which is just enough to deliver 'combat supply' to this unit.

GER 29th MOT has joined GER 15th MOT Div. in defending the River Gorna Lunga and blocking access to CATANIA over the Primosole Bridge, whilst 'Herman Goering' Div. appears near ENNA, with ITL 202nd Coastal INF Div., another weak size (1) unit.

US 46th INF is moved into the mountains screening the US beach-head, but has only 14% hex supply in this position, which is not enough to deliver 'combat supply' and a small amount of disruption (1) has occurred, the red line on the bottom of the counter (see insert - unit info panel). Hex supply in the mountains will only improve when the unloading capacity of the beaches improves and/or a port is captured.

US 1st and 45th INF Divs. have combined, from their respective landing beaches, to assault and capture GELA, which was probably overkill, as the defending ITL 207th Coastal Div. turned out to be so weak, that either of the US divisions alone would have been enough. However, gaining a port quickly is so vital.

The image is from the start of Turn 3 and shows the result of turn resolution from the last turn, with both the ports of GELA, in the US zone, and SYRACUSE, in the British zone, in Allied hands. This is important, but only half the job as can be seen from the port insert, both ports have 0% capacity. The worker pool is empty, as they are allocated to the beaches, so it is necessary to start reallocating workers, leaving some to keep the chosen primary beaches expanding, but enough to get the captured ports into action ASAP.

The supply overlay shows red in the Allied occupied areas and this would be the time for an Axis counter-attack, as was the case historically, so the game is reproducing the realities and vulnerabilities of amphibious operations. Can the Axis AI react, as any human player certainly would ?

I need to start selecting air priority settings towards air ground support for the expected ground combat.

ITL 26th 'Assietta' has fortified in the centre of the Allied lodgement.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 1:23:43 PM)

Turn 04 - July 16th 1943

Allied Air total (17) - with (15) on air superiority – (2) Ground Support - Losses (0) – Enemy superiority (0) - Enemy losses (0)

Essentially the air war is over. The Axis is providing no air ground support in battle reports and no further Allied air losses have occurred.

The US 3rd and 45th INF Divs. are holding the mountain hexes overlooking the main landing beach at (08,11) over which most of the US zone's supplies are landed and until GELA reaches full port capacity, this beach is vital. These mountain hexes are still below 25% hex supply, so no combat supply can be delivered to these units. They cannot attack, even though ITL 202nd Coastal Div. looks like a very weak unit, because they would drop to low combat supply after launching an attack and it cannot be replenished.

The captured ports are only slowly beginning to gain capacity, GELA 11% / SYRACUSE 17%, but the primary beaches 8,11 (at 55%) and 13,14 (at 71%), is what is leaving the two mountain hexes, with US 3rd and 45th INF Divs., in low hex supply.

These two units need to stay up in the mountain hexes, where the hex stacking value is (5), so a limited total Axis unit size can attack these hexes and HG Div. is a size (5) unit, so it would have to attack the mountains alone. The alternative Axis tactic would be to attack with ITL 4th 'Livorno', probably with no hope of success, but forcing one of the Allied units to use up 'combat supply', which cannot be replaced whilst in low supply, and then hit them with HG Div., whilst the target unit remains with low 'combat supply'.

But then I don't know what the Axis supply situation is.

Either way, this is the time that the Axis should attack and force these Allied units to use up 'combat supply', whilst it cannot be replaced, for this situation will not last much longer. I have pushed forward to take this mountain line, overlooking the US beaches, to stop the Axis gaining these positions. However, the AI is losing the chance to strike, while the Allied forces are unable to respond.

So the bad news is that these divisions cannot risk being drawn into combat, but the good news is that they got to the high ground before the Axis and are screening the one beach over which all the US supplies are being delivered.

I am using all the available port workers to unload supplies over the beaches and to develop the capacity of the recently captured ports. This means that the are are no port workers left in the pool to support any more amphibious landings, which would need (2) workers in the pool, so the reserve units at MALTA will have to stay there for a while longer.

In MALTA the GBR 78th INF Div. has just entered the theatre, so there is now a useful reserve of two GBR infantry divisions (including GBR 50th INF Div. already in MALTA) and GBR 231st INF Bde., for use when the opportunity arises. I am not sending them directly into the existing beach-heads, expecting that there might be the need for another separate amphibious landing later.

Assigned (2) air points to Ground Attack (leaving 15 to air superiority), as Axis airpower should be negligible by now and I need to allocate some missions later to Interdiction, to have some air recon capability.

Enemy air losses are now (0), so I guess there is no opposition left.

On the Western boundary of the Allied lodgement the ITL 136th Coastal Div. and 54th 'Napoli' INF Divs have appeared on the River Salso, with the coast road leading straight to the US landing beach, however the ZOC exerted by US 3rd INF, in the mountains should slow any progress, if the Italians try to cross the river.

GBR 1st ABN Div. sent to help clear the remaining Italian division (ITL 28th) trapped within the Allied lodgement.

GBR 5th Div. has made it into the mountains in the centre, which hasn’t quite linked the two Allied beach-heads, but it has completed a line of ZOCs, which will slow any attempt by the Axis to push between the US and British zones. Meanwhile, the Axis AI has also achieved a line of ZOCs closing off the bridgehead from any quick outward exploitation.

Meanwhile, GER 15th MOT has seized a bridgehead across the River Gorna Lunga in the British sector and GER 29th MOT has sidestepped to cover CATANIA, leaving behind fortifications on the Axis side of the river. Whilst FOW hides the strength of the 15th MOT, its unit size is (4), so quite a strong unit, but I do not know its supply status. I will not know that unless I engage it in combat, which I have been delaying in order to build up 'combat supply'.

However, the Allied units (CDN 1st INF Div., GBR 1st ARM and 4th ARM Bdes.) stacked on the coast road are now at full 'combat supply', so the initial weakness has passed.

These units have been protecting the main British landing beach, just to the South, so although I would like to push on to CATANIA, I have been happy to sit on the river and let sleeping motorised divisions lie, but soon the Allies must push on in this short scenario.

ITL 26th 'Assietta' Div. is the weak spot in the Axis line, so a plan is forming and rather than hammer at the stronger German units, it may be possible to break through more easily in the centre.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 1:27:02 PM)

Turn 05 - 19th July 1943

Allied Air total (17) – with (11) on air superiority – (4) Ground Support – (2) Interdiction - Losses (0) – Enemy superiority (0) - Enemy losses (0)

Most supply is still coming over the beaches, with both the captured ports reaching 27% capacity and SYRACUSE beginning to supply hexes along the Southern coast road, within two hexes of the port.

The supply overlay is still showing red in all Allied controlled hexes, so although the hex supply levels are adequate, it could be a lot better. With 'supply overlay' selected each hexes shows the hex supply level e.g 34(%) and where the supply is coming from (Beach, or SYRACUSE). The unit info panel in the image, selected to US 3rd INF Div, shows that the mountain hex now has achieved 28% hex supply. Hex supply represents the general level of supply, food and sundries, but also indicates the availability of 'combat supply' to fight, which cannot be delivered to a unit in less than 25% hex supply. US 3rd is in 28% hex supply, which is enough, but only just, any less and 'disruption' would build up, if the unit stays in a low hex supply.

Only ITL 28th Div. remains behind the Allied line, in fortifications, on the extreme South-East of the Allied lodgement, but will be dealt with, as soon as the adjacent Allied units have been re-supplied.

It can be seen from the image that I ended up with (7) landing hexes - anchor symbols, including the ports of GELA and SYRACUSE. However, it is necessary to prioritise and choose main supply beaches, shifting workers to those beaches that you want to develop quickly to full capacity, then move workers to captured ports, as they become available.

All captured beaches are initially automatically allocated a minimum number of workers, but it is wasteful to allow them to be spread around and they need to be concentrated where needed. If further amphibious operations are expected, then a minimum (2) workers have to be left in the pool, or no further amphibious operations can take place.

The Supply overlay shows that I have limited control over the lodgement area, but with ITL 26th INF destroyed in its fortifications in the centre a more secure Allied line is forming.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 1:32:43 PM)

Turn 06 - 25th July 1943 - Date anomaly, 6 days turn instead of 3 days

Allied Air total (17) – with (9) on air superiority – (6) Ground Support – (2) Interdiction - Losses (0) – Enemy superiority (0) - Enemy losses (0)

On the Western coastal boundary, US 1st INF launches an attack over the River Salso, but the Italian units have switched, with the weaker 136th Coastal Div. being moved inland and the better 54th 'Napoli' Division, commanded by Generale di Divisione Giulio Porcinari, assigned to protect the coast road.

The 'Big Red One' is attacking 'Napoli', which has fortified, across the River Salso and I have allocated Air Priority (3), which will give the 1st Div. top priority in getting a share of the Allied air ground attack points allocated for this turn. All of this will feature in the combat calculations and the prediction is for (3) hits to be achieved by 1st Div. and (0) hits by the Axis, so it doesn't look good for 'Napoli'.

All of this could be altered by other movements, or support from adjacent enemy units, but that does not seem likely in this case, as the adjoining ITL 136th Coastal Div. is too weak to be of much help, unless something else is hiding in FOW.

The port at SYRACUSE has reached 40% capacity and, even though GELA is at 44%, because SYRACUSE is a bigger port (twice as big as GELA), supply is spreading out from SYRACUSE over most of the lodgement.

The beach at 08,11, in the US zone, is at 83% and is supplying the Western corner of the combined beach-head, so that even the mountain hexes are now at 33% hex supply, or better. 'Combat Supply' can now be delivered to all the Allied units in the beach-head, including those in the mountains.

The planned movement for this turn should provide an unbroken line across the range of mountain hexes, from the River Salso in the US zone to join the river line on the Gorna Lunga, reaching the Eastern coast near CATANIA.

The red bar on the top of unit counters shows that these units have actions planned, movement, combat supply delivery, and only one action is allowed each turn, so planning is important. In WEGO these actions will be played out simultaneously with enemy actions and in this image shows where some of these units should move. Turn resolution should end with a nearly complete Allied line, but the enemy might be moving as well, so some of these planned moves may not be successful. Better quality units move first, so again planning is important, is your unit of good enough quality to achieve what you are asking.

Unlike many turn-based games, you cannot move one unit to the limit, see how it succeeds, then adjust your plan accordingly, with constant time shifts as you work through your units, one by one. With WEGO, you must lay out your complete plan, then see how it works out in 'real' game time.

The image below is just before the Orders Phase ends and shows how the planned movements and actions should look, in completing that continuous Allied line, by the end of the Turn Resolution Phase. On selecting Next Phase, the units planned to move will return to their initial positions and the computer will work through the planned moves and actions for both sides simultaneously. Only then will you see if your plans have worked and you cannot intervene until the Turn Resolution is over.

GER 29th MOT Div. is still blocking the way to CATANIA and GER 15th MOT Div. is still holding a bridgehead on the Allied side of the River Gorna Lunga, which has left a gap in the Axis line covered only by ZOCs from the adjoining Axis units. Before 15th MOT made this move across the river, the gap was covered by ITL 26th 'Assietta' further SOUTH, but that unit was lost two turns back and the AI has not been able to cover it, or ignored the danger. It would have been better for the AI to move 15th MOT back into the fortifications on the other side of the river.

This leaves an opportunity for me, as rather than trying to batter through the two German motorised divisions on the coast road, I shall make use of the weakness in the centre.

I can widen the gap by attacking the ITL 202nd Coastal Div. on the ENNA road and US 2nd ARM is moved into position where the ENNA road crosses the mountains. US 82nd ABN is ordered into the adjacent mountain hex to cover the 2nd ARM right flank from any move by GER 15th MOT.

ITL 28th 'Aosta', the last Axis division, trapped within its fortifications, in the South of the Allied lodgement area, was destroyed in making a failed attack, attempting to break out.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 1:43:18 PM)

Turn 07 – 28th July 1943

Allied Air total (17) – with (9) on air superiority – (6) Ground Support – (2) Interdiction - Losses (0) – Enemy superiority (0) - Enemy losses (0)

The attack by US 1st INF Div., on the coastal road, destroyed ITL 54th 'Napoli' INF, but left the 'Big Red One' on low 'combat supply', which must be replenished before another attack on ITL 136th Coastal Div..

Units on low combat supply (red triangle bottom right unit counter) cannot attack.

On the ENNA road, US 2nd ARM is ordered to attack ITL 202nd Coastal Div., which should be easy and will close the US tanks onto the 'Herman Goering' Div., which is stacked with ITL 4th 'Livorno' INF Div., and is the strongest unit the Axis has in Sicily.

US 82nd ABN stays in the mountains and I bring it up to full 'combat supply', as I don't want to risk unnecessary airborne casualties, for which I have no replacements, by sending them into combat with insufficient combat supply. Shells save lives, friendly lives that is !

GBR 1st ABN ordered forward to take over flank guard for the armoured, even though it is not at full combat supply, as I am hoping not to meet any opposition here. Perhaps I should have more air interdiction set, than the current (2), to avoid surprises from unseen Axis units hidden in FOW.

I want to start wearing down the GER 15th MOT, in preparation for moving on to CATANIA, so launch an attack with multiple Allied units, that have now been brought up to full 'combat supply'. The 'rough' terrain hex (the screen readout says 'hills', but it's wrong) has a stacking limit of size (7), so using GBR 5th INF Div., GBR 4th ARM and CDN 1st ARM Bdes., for a total combined attacking unit size of the (7) allowed, in that terrain.

I have given this attack Air Priority (3), but even so the combat hits prediction favours the Axis unit, however, I need to force the Axis unit to use up 'combat supply' and suffer losses, as I have (2) British infantry replacements available for the GBR 5th INF Div., as I had US infantry replacements available for the US 1st Div. in the last turn. Each unit type and nationality has its own replacement pool.

It's worth checking through the different unit info panels to check on replacement availability, before suffering too heavy losses that you might not be able to replace.

I leave CDN 1st INF Div. holding the coast road to block GER 29th MOT, as I don't want any more Axis units crossing the river. The main British landing/supply beach is the next hex South and, although now SYRACUSE is working well and I have taken away the beach workers from (13,14), I would not like to lose any supply capacity.

It looks like the defensive phase is over and it is time for the Allied break-out.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 1:47:58 PM)

Turn 08 - 28th July 1943

Good supply from SYRACUSE is now covering the whole Allied lodgement area.

Unsurprising, the breakthrough in the centre with US 2nd ARM Div. and GBR 1st ABN Div., destroying the weak Italian coastal division on the ENNA road, has made progress and now closing in on the 'Herman Goering' and 'Livorno' Divs. stack.

US 1st INF Div. has low combat supply after the battle destroying ITL 54th INF Div. on the Salso river and must again be re-supplied with 'combat supply' for the next attack. It cannot attack whilst showing a red triangle, even though it probably has the power to destroy the weak Italian coastal division, if it was allowed.

The US 1st Div. info panel shows that there are (3) US infantry replacements available, and this unit occupies a hex with 71% hex supply, on the extreme Western edge of the lodgement, so the supply crisis is over. I have reduced this unit to 'Air Priority' (1), as this is now not a critical front, with only a weak Italian coastal division left here.

GER 15th MOT is vulnerable in its bridgehead over the River Gorna Lunga and a target for the next assault.

I have sufficient combat supply and replacements, for now, to continue an attritional strategy on this part of the front. FOW hides the damage being done, but it must be having some effect.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 1:50:13 PM)

Turn 09 - 31st July 1943

Allied Air total (17) – with (9) on air superiority – (6) Ground Support – (2) Interdiction - Losses (0) – Enemy superiority (0) - Enemy losses (0)

GER 15th MOT is destroyed in its bridgehead over the River Gorna Lunga and taking this turn to provide 'combat supply' to some the Allied units for the next assault.

With GER 15th MOT disposed of, the next target is GER 29th MOT blocking the road to CATANIA, where the port looks undefended. Now is the time to deploy the MALTA reserve in another amphibious assault. Ensuring that there are (2) workers in the pool, I send GBR 50th and 78th INF Divs. to land at CATANIA, in the rear of GER 29th MOT, hoping that FOW does not hide any surprises.

Simultaneously a multiple unit attack is launched on 29th MOT and also the 'Herman Goering'/'Livorno' stack.

The next attack this turn is planned for the now re-supplied US 1st INF Div. on ITL 136th Coastal Div. on the River Salso.

In the image below and just before turn resolution, all the Allied movement and combat options have been selected and the Axis units are hidden by the planned attacking moves. These moves will be resolved simultaneously during the next phase.

Also in the image US 82nd ABN is highlighted, as one of the Allied units attacking GER 29th MOT near CATANIA and a <right-click> on the attacking stack will show a prediction, in the info panel, of the hits to be achieved by both sides in the coming combat, which again favours the Axis, but I can afford the losses and combat supply. Hopefully the Axis cannot.

The units showing a red bar on the unit counter represents where movement and actions have been planned.

GBR 231st INF Bde. is brought into the Allied lodgement from MALTA, by sea transport through SYRACUSE.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 2:13:23 PM)

Turn 10 – 3rd August 1943

Allied Air total (17) – with (9) on air superiority – (6) Ground Support – (2) Interdiction - Losses (0) – Enemy superiority (0) - Enemy losses (0)

GER 29th MOT Div. encirclement has been completed, during the previous turn resolution, by GBR 1st ABN and 5th INF Divs. moving through the large gap forced in the centre of the Axis defence. A human opponent may have withdrawn the Axis divisions sooner, but 29th MOT is now hemmed in by the reserve Allied units amphibious landing in the rear, at CATANIA, which was undefended.

ITL 136th Coastal Div. on the River Salso is destroyed by US 1st INF Div. and the Western boundary of the allied lodgement is now secure, unless there is anything hiding in the FOW.

Allied units are combat supplied for second attacks on the 'Herman Goering'/'Livorno' stack and against 29th MOT Div..


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 2:15:50 PM)

Turn 11 – 6th August 1943

Allied Air total (17) – with (8) on air superiority – (6) Ground Support – (3) Interdiction - Losses (0) – Enemy superiority (0) - Enemy losses (0)

Hex supply levels from SYRACUSE are very good, all over the Allied controlled area and still at 70% over the River Salso, so I can easily resupply units after combat, even though the overall theatre levels of 'Combat Supply' are nearing the buffers, but still enough for the expected remaining combat.

Increased air 'Interdiction' slightly to try and get more air-recon, to see what the Axis has left and suspecting that it isn't much.

Multiple Allied unit attacks launched on the 'Herman Goering' / 'Livorno' stack and the encircled 29th MOT Div..

After the successful battles on the River Salso, the US 1st INF Div. is sent inland towards PALERMO.

GBR 50th INF Div. is sent from the landing area at CATANIA towards MESSINA and the info panel displayed for this unit shows that it can receive replacements and that (4) British infantry replacements are available.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 2:21:32 PM)

Turn 12 – 9th August 1943

ITL 4th 'Livorno' attempts to break-out through ENNA, but is blocked by GBR 231st INF Bde. on the road out of the town. 'Livorno' is showing a strength of (4), which just matches the strength of the British brigade confronting it, so it looks like the Italian unit does not have the power to break through.

GER 29th MOT Div. is destroyed near CATANIA, by a stack attack of (4) Allied units.

GBR 50th INF Div. discovers GER 1st FsJ Div. in MESSINA, but keeps its distance, waiting for additional allied units.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 2:24:12 PM)

Turn 13 - 12th August 1943

No screen saved, would have to be Turn 13

'Livorno' is destroyed on the ENNA road and, now alone, 'Herman Goering' occupies a hex in 'rough' terrain with a hex stack value of (7) and US 2nd ARM Div., with one of the US infantry divisions, have a combined unit size of (7). HG succumbs to this final attack.

US 46th INF Div. is directed out of its mountain stronghold and onto the Western coast road to clear the far tip if the island.

The remaining Allied force begins the move towards MESSINA, where the Fallschirmjagers wait.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 2:27:09 PM)

Turn 14 - 15th August 1943

US 1st INF Div. is in PALERMO, whilst US 45th INF Div. heads up the coast road towards the Western point of the island, but not expecting to find anything.

The race to MESSINA has overtaken ITL 206th Coastal Div., whilst several Allied units halted just beyond reach of counter-attack from GER 1st FsJ Div, and have been building up 'combat supply' for the final assault on the last objective on Sicily.

However, this late in the scenario I doubt that the city has much Victory value.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 2:28:25 PM)

Turn 15 - 18th August 1943

The Allies close in on MESSINA in overwhelming force, preparing to launch the final assault on the Fallschirmjagers fortified in the city.

US 45th IF Div. continues its march around the Western tip of Sicily.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 2:30:35 PM)

Turn 16 - 21st August 1943

Allied Air (17) total – with (3) on air superiority, – (14) Ground Support, – (0) Interdiction, - Allied Losses (0) – Enemy superiority (0) - Enemy losses (0)

US 45th INF Div. is just completing its circuit of the Western end of the island and has found nothing, as Sicily has been cleared of Axis units, except for MESSINA.

Allied units move in for the kill, with overwhelming force, as the scenario comes to an end there can be no second chances and this will be an irresistible assault.

The MESSINA hex has a unit size stacking value of (11) and the GBR 231st INF Bde., unit size (1), GBR 51st INF Div., unit size (3), CND 1st INF Div., unit size (3) and US 2nd ARM Div., unit size (4), provide a total unit size of (11), for a maximum permissible stack size assault on the MESSINA hex.

Allied air 'Ground Support' set at (14) with a small 'Air Superiority' escort set at (3), with all attacking ground units set at highest air priority (3), so the fly-boys will be in at the end.

Just making sure that there are enough troops, of all nations, for a good sized parade and fly-past at MESSINA when the scenario ends, which will please MONTGOMERY and PATTON, knowing how they both liked a grand display.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 2:31:39 PM)

Turn 17 - Scenario end screen

GER 1st FsJ Div. forced to surrender at MESSINA and a Decisive Allied Victory.

The ending is a little bit of an anti climax, but it was a good show of Allied military power and co-operation. This has been a short scenario and not like the grinding fight for the Italian peninsular, as it appears in the other campaign scenarios of 'Piercing Fortress Europa'.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/6/2020 2:37:41 PM)


I could have delayed the initial landings by one turn to launch a concerted 'air superiority' first turn to clear the Axis air forces out of the way, to then launch the landings with full ground support on the second turn.

Also could have launched the amphibious landings directly to the target ports of GELA and SYRACUSE, instead of taking the safer option of landing on beaches close to the ports and then taking them, by ground attack, in the following turn.

Alternatively, maybe an initial turn of prioritising 'air interdiction' could have revealed more of the Axis deployment, by providing air recon, before launching the Allied landing operations, but time is short in only 16 turns.

As it turned out, SYRACUSE was not defended and GELA had only a weak Italian coastal infantry division, which would not have stood against a powerful attack, with full air ground support.

This is a short scenario, which is more like a tutorial, with no adverse weather effects and always good weather, but there are still alternative options and different strategies.

The 'Scenario Description' notes that the Axis has a difficult task against Allied superiority and should make a slow withdrawal, playing for time, which the Axis AI did not do. The AI stubbornly held on to its forward defence lines too long and, as the Italian forces crumbled, the German units were left isolated and encircled, leaving the way clear to MESSINA.

The Italian Coastal Infantry Divisions (Italian unit counter - red insert) are very weak, at strength (1), and little more than a road bump, but absorb time and combat supply to deal with them, although they might complicate an airborne landing, if they happen to be on the landing DZ.

I played with 'Neutral Handicap' and the Axis never really made any concerted attacks on the Allied positions, so I would play again with 'Favour Axis Handicap' setting. Not knowing the Axis 'Combat Supply' situation, I guess they could do with some help.

'Favouring' the Axis' would have given a bonus in Axis 'Combat Supply and Fuel' (+33%), 'Replacements' (+20%) and 'Firepower' (20%, or 25% **), which I expect would have improved the game against the AI Axis.

Note** : Manual references on Handicap bonus for Firepower differ between 20% and 25%, in different pages.

The AI will never be as challenging as a human opponent, but settings and 'house rules' can help even things out. However, seeing the scenario from the Axis side and noting how short of combat supply the Axis is and how weak the Italian coastal divisions are, it's obvious that the challenge will be in playing as Axis, next time.

Allied Replacements, Fuel and Combat Supply were never a real problem, with enough resources in all cases. The problem with allocating 'combat supply' was in initially having sufficient hex supply levels to be able to deliver 'combat supply' and in timing movement, combat and supply cycles. Replacements for airborne units are not available, so these units cannot be restored if badly damaged.

The Allied 'Fuel/Combat Supply' slider could have been set fully to 100% 'Combat Supply' and 0% Fuel, where it ended up during the game, as there was more than enough fuel available for this short scenario, with the small distances to cover.

Quite unlike the bigger, longer, main Italian Campaign scenarios (130+ turns), with winter weather, greater distances to cover and where the balance between fuel and combat supply is always in question, because there never seems to be enough of either.

I avoided direct attacks on the more powerful German motorised divisions, where possible, preferring to break through the Italian units to then encircle the Germans. A human opponent may have been more able to avoid that tactic, whereas the Axis AI stubbornly held on to its doomed positions, until destroyed.

In the restricted area of the Sicily map, it is sudden death with eventually nowhere to retreat for the Axis.

A better challenge would be to play as Axis and see if the Allies can be kept back.

Not too taxing, but a short scenario to get to know the inner workings of the game system.


Rasputitsa -> RE: AAR v1.04 Sicily (7/8/2021 12:50:05 PM)

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